Staff

Eric Walberg, AICP
Principal for Planning and Economics

Mr. Walberg, AICP, is an urban and environmental planner with professional experience in both governmental and nonprofit sectors. Prior to his return to the HRPDC, Eric managed the Climate Services program at the Manomet Center of Conservation Sciences in Massachusetts. The Climate Services program provides guidance to communities in New England on balancing climate preparedness with social well-being and economic resiliency. Eric led multiple projects including the creation of climate change adaptation plans for multiple sites in Massachusetts and Maine and the development of regional green infrastructure analyses for the Taunton River Watershed and the Pine Barrens Ecoregion in Massachusetts.   

Previously, Eric progressed through a series of positions at the HRPDC and served as the Administrator of the Physical and Environmental Planning Department. In that capacity he led the Southern Watershed Management Program, developed comprehensive plans for several member localities, updated the regional solid waste plan, and coordinated the regional Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. He served on the Policy Board of the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program and was a member of the Virginia Wind Energy Task Force. He was responsible for the development of the first regional green infrastructure plan in Virginia.   

Eric holds a Master of Planning degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners.

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Sara Kidd, GISP
Senior Regional Planner/Geographic Information Specialist

Ms. Sara Kidd has been with the HRPDC since 2003, first as the Environmental GIS Planner and currently as a Senior Regional Planner and Geographic Information Specialist. Sara provides GIS support and guidance for a variety of regional planning projects and programs at the HRPDC and HRTPO through research, data analysis, data management, and cartography. In addition to coordinating GIS activities at the HRPDC, she also administers the regional GIS open data portal, HRGEO. Sara received a B.A. in Geography and Earth Science and GIS Certificate from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.S. in Geography from the University of Alabama. She is also a certified Geographic Information System Professional (GISP).

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Nikki Johnson,
Regional Economist

Nikki has strong roots in Hampton Roads and has a wealth of knowledge about our region’s economy. Prior to joining the HRPDC, she served as a Research Associate at the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy at Old Dominion University. Additionally, she worked as an adjunct instructor in the Economics Department. During her tenure at the Dragas Center, she contributed to the annual State of the Region and State of the Commonwealth reports. Her previous chapters include a Decade in Review of the Virginia economy, the economic recovery of Virginia’s metropolitan areas after the pandemic, and Cash Bail reform in Hampton Roads. Nikki has worked as an external consultant on planning projects such as the 2021 GO Virginia Region 5 Growth and Diversification Plan. She has also produced economic impact reports for both government and non-profit clients. Most recently, she estimated the economic impact of The Fort Monroe Authority on the Hampton Roads economy. Apart from conducting her own research, Nikki was responsible for data collection, analysis, and visualizations for various research projects at the Dragas Center. Nikki has also informed the public on economic conditions in the region, appearing in the Virginian Pilot, Virginia Business, WAVY-TV, Daily Press, and the WY-Daily. Nikki holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration degree in Economics from Old Dominion University.

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