Hampton Roads Planning District CommissionHRPDCVA



Greg Grootendorst, AICP
Chief Economist

Mr. Grootendorst received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  After college Greg dedicated a year to the AmeriCorps National Service Project, where he worked to provide affordable housing opportunities with a non-profit housing development agency in the inner city.  Following his one-year commitment, Greg returned to school and received a master’s degree from Michigan State University in Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration in Economic Development.  While at the MSU, Greg worked with the University’s Extension service, assisting in planning projects for downtown Grand Rapids.  He also worked with the city of Lansing’s Economic Development Department conducting economic impact analysis on various projects.  Greg has been with the HRPDC since 2001 and as the Chief Economist, conducts regional economic modeling, forecasting, and provides information and analysis at the local, regional, and state level.

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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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John Harbin, AICP
Senior Regional Planner

John Harbin joined the HRPDC in January 2021. Previously, he was the Administrator of the Living River Trust, a local nonprofit land conservancy and environmental mitigation organization. In that role, he oversaw day-to-day operations of the organization, including both land conservation and mitigation programming, development and marketing, community outreach, and strategic planning in collaboration with a 12-member Board of Trustees. His projects included the acquisition of 500 acres within the Great Dismal Swamp, the first conservation easement in the city of Portsmouth, and using land conservation for managed retreat to sea level rise in the cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk. John previously worked for the city of Chesapeake as a Principal Planner where he administered real property acquisition programs in support of conservation, open space, and compatible use goals, reviewed conditional rezoning and use permit applications for consistency with plans and policies, and led environmental planning programs associated with water-quality, recurrent flooding and sea level rise, and local foods.  John has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech and a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. John serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. 

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Katherine Rainone, AICP
Regional Economist

Katherine Rainone joined the HRPDC as a Regional Economist in September 2019, after moving to Virginia Beach at the completion of her Master’s in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. At Scripps, her research focused on the economic impacts of sea level rise and coastal flooding. Prior to joining the HRPDC, she worked for various environmental non-profit organizations in Washington DC, having moved there after undergraduate studies in Baltimore (Katherine holds a BA in Economics and an MS in Environmental Planning and Management from Johns Hopkins University). Originally from New York, Katherine is looking forward to combining her experience and education towards ensuring a safe and prosperous future for all who call Hampton Roads home. Katherine’s work at the PDC includes economic impact analysis on a broad variety of regionally significant issues, developing the Hampton Roads Economic Monthly, producing the Hampton Roads Benchmarking Study, providing staff support to member localities as well as state and regional organizations, and maintaining the PDC’s socioeconomic database of regional information.

Click here to email Katherine Rainone

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