The Community Wildfire Planning Center (CWPC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to leading the strategic connections between land use planning, building and development practices, and wildfire risk. Since its founding in 2017, CWPC’s specialized expertise has provided communities across the U.S. with unparalleled services and tools to prepare for, adapt to, and recover from wildfires. CWPC is funded through a combination of grants, contributions, and fee-for-service work.
CWPC Staff and Directors
Molly Mowery, AICP
Molly Mowery has dedicated her career to helping communities tackle the growing challenges of community planning, wildfire, and environmental resilience. With more than fifteen years of experience, Molly has developed and managed national wildfire programs in partnership with organizations, including Fire Adapted Communities, Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire, and REALFire®. She has also designed and delivered national trainings to educate land use planners and fire professionals on how community development decisions can affect wildfire outcomes. Molly co-founded and serves as the Executive Director for the Community Wildfire Planning Center. She also founded Wildfire Planning International, a land use and wildfire mitigation planning consulting firm. Molly is a member of the American Planning Association, serves on the Sustainable Development Code Advisory Council, and is lead author of Planning Advisory Service Report 594: Planning the Wildland-Urban Interface. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Naropa University and a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Deanne Suddaby has spent most of her career developing her expertise in office administration and accounting. Deanne’s previous work experience includes serving as the Business Administrator and FireSmart Program Coordinator with FireSmart Canada—the country’s premier national wildfire resiliency program. Specifically, Deanne provided significant contributions to the development of the FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition Program, the FireSmart Home Partners program, and the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day initiative. In addition to Deanne’s FireSmart Canada duties, she provides professional business services to firms and non-profit organizations, including CWPC, to assist in contract administration, grant reporting, and office management tasks.
Donald L. Elliott, FAICP
Donald L. Elliott, FAICP, is a Director with Clarion Associates, LLC, a national land use consulting firm. Don’s practice focuses on land development regulation, fair housing, reasonable accommodation, and affordable housing. Don has assisted over 40 U.S. communities to update plans and regulations related to housing, zoning, subdivision, and land development. He is the author of A Better Way to Zone (Island Press 2008), co-author of The Rules that Shape Urban Form (APA 2012) and The Citizen’s Guide to Planning (APA 2009) and has served as the editor of Colorado Land Planning and Development Law for over 25 years. Don teaches a graduate level course on Land Use Regulation at the University of Colorado at Denver School of Architecture and Planning and is a member of the Denver Planning Board. Don has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Kelly Johnston, RPF, FBAN
Kelly Johnston has been involved in the field of wildland fire management since beginning his career in 1991 as a seasonal firefighter for the British Columbia Forest Service. Kelly focuses his expertise in community wildfire risk assessment, wildland urban interface mitigation solutions, fire behavior analysis, prescribed fire and fire ecology. Kelly works collaboratively with all levels of government, community stakeholders, residents and indigenous partners through key roles and projects that span from local to international levels. His current portfolio of notable projects includes: project lead/wildfire risk and forestry lead for the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire program, developer of the first national WUI Regulations training course for FEMA, co-development of the REALFire® program and developer of the FireSmart Home Partners (Canada) national HIZ program. In addition to his role as Operations Manager, Kelly provides wildfire consulting services through his firm Wildland Professional Solutions; serves as the WUI Technical Specialist for FireSmart Canada; and sits on the National Fire Protection Association Committee on Wildland and Rural Fire Protection. Kelly also maintains his qualifications as a Registered Professional Forester, IFSAC accredited Structural Firefighter, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist, Fire Behavior Analyst and Ignition Specialist.
Mike Budd currently works as a REALTOR with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Colorado Properties, where he has been recognized as a member of the Chairman’s Gold Circle and received awards for Leading Edge Society and Top Unit Sales in Colorado. Mike’s extensive real estate and marketing career includes serving as vice president of sales and marketing for The Genie Company, a $500 million-plus corporation. Mike has more recently focused his activities in the Vail Valley, where he has served in leadership positions with the Vail Board of REALTORS and currently chairs the wildfire taskforce for the Colorado Association of REALTORS. He also engages in community activities, including his previous role as chair for local metropolitan districts and property owner associations. Mike graduated from Cornell University and has earned the following certifications: Graduate Realtor Institute, e-Pro Technology, and Resort & Second Home Property Specialist. Mike is excited to share his marketing and REALTOR perspectives to guide CWPC’s success.
Wayne Chen is the Assistant Community Development Director in the City of Mountain View, CA. Wayne has worked on a wide array of housing initiatives, such as leading the development of affordable housing projects, developing policy initiatives to respond to tenant displacement, funding non-profit organizations to deliver key public services, and collaborating with foundations and the private sector including global technology companies to create and implement innovative strategies to accelerate the local delivery of affordable housing. The issue of wildfire planning and resilient communities is of personal interest to Wayne. Over the past few years, in particular the last two years, Wayne witnessed the severe drought conditions in California that led to the extreme fires throughout the State, especially in the Central Valley and in Northern California. Not only did this destroy homes and directly affect the lives of so many families, it caused severe air quality issues that indirectly impacted the health of millions of households and caused billions of dollars of damage to the natural and built environment. Wayne has a masters in public policy from UC Berkeley and a masters in urban planning from Harvard University.