Founder, Collab Local
Ms. Tourje is the owner and founder of Collab Local, a community outreach and engagement consulting firm. As an urban planner, public engagement expert, and community builder, Ms. Tourje is passionate about partnering with communities on the path to creating healthy, whole and equitable places. Throughout her career she has worked in Southern California and Boston, Massachusetts to facilitate community visioning and collective impact processes both at a neighborhood and city level. Ms. Tourje is currently a board member for Mika CDC in Costa Mesa, CA.
As an urban planning and community engagement consultant in Southern California, Ms. Tourje has experience working with elected officials, staff, and residents in multiple cities and counties in the region through a wide array of projects and is certified by the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2). Through her work with the Orange County Health Care Agency’s FIT Cities Initiative, Ms. Tourje developed partnerships with local city staff, elected/appointed officials, and residents in 16 Orange County cities to provide technical assistance, training, and outreach to integrate healthy communities strategies into local planning efforts.
As a project manager for the County of San Bernardino County Community Plans Continuum process, Ms. Tourje’s team developed community plans for 26 unincorporated communities in rural and low-income areas in the largest County in the United States.
Prior to her consultant work in California, Ms. Tourje directed a community planning and visioning process in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts that deeply engaged over 1000 participants from residents to legislators in defining what was next for the community. Her efforts led to the designation of Boston’s first Eco Innovation District and a legacy project for the city, and created a merchants association and Main Streets program for the neighborhood.
Michael Baker International, Irvine — Senior Planner & Project Manager
JUNE 2014 - JUNE 2017
Community Engagement and Risk Communications, Nationwide United States. FEMA. Planner. Responsibilities include providing outreach and facilitation support for Region 8, including on-the-ground stakeholder meeting support and facilitation during the kick-off and discovery phases. Michael Baker is a member of the national Community Engagement and Risk Communication team for the Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning program. Michael Baker’s services include hazard mitigation planning, community outreach, preparation and dissemination of outreach materials, and development and delivery of training for stakeholders.
SANBAG (San Bernardino Associated Government) Marketing and Communications Plan. Project Manager. Responsible for client meetings, ensuring deliverables, keeping the project on time and on budget, and managing the project team towards creative and effective media relations activities for SANBAG's capital projects.
FIT Cities Initiative, Orange County, California. County of Orange. Project Manager. Responsibilities include project management, budgeting and grant reporting, engaging with city and regional staff to encourage healthy communities activities, and providing day-to-day project support. Michael Baker provided planning services in support of the Fifteen in Twenty Twenty (FIT) Cities initiative to reduce obesity rates countywide to 15 percent by 2020. Michael Baker is providing technical assistance, training, and outreach to local city staff, elected/appointed officials, and residents to integrate obesity prevention strategies into local planning efforts. Throughout the life of the project, Michael Baker provided technical assistance, training, and outreach to local city staff, elected/appointed officials, and residents to integrate obesity prevention strategies into local planning efforts.
S.R. 138 Public Outreach. Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. Project Manager. Responsible for client meetings, ensuring deliverables, keeping the project on time and on budget, and conducting all public outreach and engagement activities for the project. For this project, outreach activities included building and designing a project website, an aerial flyover video, providing outreach materials, agency coordination, and an open house. Michael Baker International was hired to conduct public outreach for the City of Lancaster for the SR-138 Improvement Projects, spanning six interchanges and funded through Metro's Measure R Highway "Equity" Funds.
Linda Vista Comprehensive Active Transportation Strategy (CATS), San Diego, California. City of San Diego Economic Development. Public Involvement Coordinator. Responsible for advising on community outreach and participation throughout the project. Michael Baker provided public outreach and GIS modeling services for The Linda Vista Comprehensive Active Transportation Strategy (CATS), a first in the region, with an objective to blend the pedestrian and bicycle master planning processes into one active transportation plan effort. It focuses on GIS modeling and public outreach to arrive at data driven results to develop active transportation projects. Pedestrian and bicycle demand models were overlayed with existing and planned transit routes to determine the high score areas for active transportation propensity. Typologies were created to understand the existing street network and how it relates to land use, so that context-appropriate solutions can be implemented. Two public workshops and an online survey were developed to gain community opinions that would help identify specific areas of need that may not have been captured by modeling efforts.
15th Street Corridor Bicycle Boulevard, Long Beach, California. City of Long Beach. Public Involvement Manager. Responsible managing, coordinating, and facilitating outreach and engagement activities throughout the life of the project. Michael Baker provided preliminary engineering services, community outreach, and final engineering services for a citywide network of bicycle boulevard projects on local neighborhood roadways. The city’s vision was to be the most bicycle friendly urban city in the nation by providing an environment and culture where cycling is a safe, viable, and a preferred mode of transportation in their community. The network of bicycle boulevards forms the backbone of the city's bicycle master plan. The 15th Street Corridor Bicycle Boulevard is a 3.3-mile corridor that travels from Magnolia Avenue at 14th Street; easterly on 14th Street to Long Beach Boulevard; northerly to 15th Street; and easterly to Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The project consisted of Class II and Class III bicycle facilities, traffic circles, roadway rehabilitation, signage and striping improvements, and traffic signal improvements with bicycle detection.
Comprehensive General Plan Update, Rancho Santa Margarita, California. City of Rancho Santa Margarita. Public Involvement Coordinator. Responsible for working with the project team and city to conduct public outreach and engagement. Outreach included external communications, focus groups, roadshows, and pop-up workshops. Michael Baker is preparing the city’s Comprehensive General Plan Update and associated Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The focus of the update is to "refresh" the Land Use, Economic Development, Conservation/Open Space, Safety, and Noise elements to address the continued vision for the city. Additionally, updates will ensure that all elements are consistent with new state requirements for general plans. The scope of work included a tour of the city, a city staff summit, community engagement, website design, and workshops with the City Council and/or Planning Commission. In addition, the city also requested that Michael Baker prepare a retail market analysis and laborshed analysis (spatial mapping of commuting patterns).
Community Plans Continuum Project, San Bernardino County, California. County of San Bernardino. Program Manager. As Group Project Manager, responsible for managing six community plans in San Bernardino County as part of the larger community planning effort. In addition, responsible for leading the Health Technical Team. As part of the countywide planning process for the largest county in the U.S., Michael Baker is guiding the development of community plans for 26 unincorporated communities. The plans are strategic in nature and address each community’s direction and vision, aligning them with the overall Countywide Vision. Communities range from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Mojave Desert. The project includes intensive immersion weeks where multiple facilitations teams are immersed in each community conducting collaborative public workshops. Six group project managers are assigned a number of the 26 plans and are responsible for utilizing technical team experts to facilitate community capacity building, infrastructure and transportation, land use and urban design, environmental and resiliency, housing, and finance to help develop goals, objectives, and action plans to address the issues and needs of each community.
Complete Streets Improvements and Public Workshops, Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Planner. Provided content and design for outreach materials for the Jacksonville Complete Streets Mobility Workshops. As part of the MobilityWorks program, Michael Baker provided conceptual design and analysis services for implementation of the Complete Streets model in two improvement focus areas. Michael Baker studied the most appropriate application of the Complete Streets model to the focus areas to accommodate all site users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, and vehicles. Part of the design process included two public workshops that brought local residents together to provide ideas and give feedback to existing conditions in the study areas.
Ervin "Magic" Johnson Recreation Master Plan, Los Angeles, California. LA County Parks & Recreation. Public Involvement Coordinator. Responsible for all aspects of coordinating and planning community workshops for the Ervin "Magic" Johnson Park Master Plan. Activities included roadshows, pop-up workshops, community workshops, and online engagement. The Earvin "Magic" Johnson Recreation Master Plan (EMJ) is approximately a 120-acre recreation area located within a disadvantaged urban community known as South Central-Willowbrook area where the community consists of 58% Hispanic or Latino and 35% African-American residents. The Project is a community-based and needs-based preliminary design of a state-of-the-art recreational facility in the EMJ Recreation Area. Given the project location consisting of minority and underserved residents, the project required developing and implementing an Outreach Strategic Plan that would consist of stakeholder meetings, special interest/ small group interviews, (3) community workshops and a final County Public Hearing. Michael Baker was contracted to provide development of a conceptual design alternatives plan for recreation facilities such as a bicycle and pedestrian trails, exercise stations, children play areas, picnic areas, and other public use areas.
Lawndale General Plan Safety Element, Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and Emergency Operations Plan, Lawndale, California. City of Lawndale. Planner. Outreach assistant responsibilities include preparation of outreach materials. Michael Baker updated the General Plan Safety Element and Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and developed a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) and Informational Brochure for the City of Lawndale pursuant to the requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The plan includes identification and profiling of the city’s natural hazards, a vulnerability assessment, mitigation strategies, and plan implementation and maintenance. Michael Baker also provided public participation assistance during the planning process, including public workshops and outreach.
Malibu Bluffs Parkland Master Plan and EIR, Malibu, California. City of Malibu. Public Involvement Coordinator. Responsible for coordinating and managing all public outreach and engagement activities. Outreach for the project includes interactive online engagement, a youth design charrette, visual preference surveys, and community meetings. Michael Baker is preparing a park master plan and environmental impact report (EIR) for the Malibu Bluffs Parkland project. The project site consists of three parcels totaling nearly 95 acres of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A portion of the project area contains an existing park, while the majority of the site is undeveloped open space containing coastal sage scrub habitat. Michael Baker is helping the city explore the potential of the Parkland to provide new recreational opportunities for the Malibu community to meet the city’s current and future recreation needs.
Beach Concessions Improvement Project, City of Long Beach. Planner. Responsible for managing public outreach and engagement for beach improvements for the Tidelands Capital Improvements Division. Outreach activities include stakeholder meetings and interviews, roadshows, pop-up workshops, open houses, and online engagement.
Rim of the World Active Transportation. SANBAG (San Bernardino Associated Government). Public Involvement Manager. As public involvement manager on the project, responsibilities included direction and coordination of outreach and engagement activities throughout the planning process. Specific outreach programs and activities included interactive online surveys, pop-up workshops, stakeholder tours, asset mapping, and community workshops.
Village Entrance Project, Laguna Beach, California. City of Laguna Beach. Planner. Responsible for coordinating the project communication and meetings as well as coordinating public outreach activities. Improvements will include additional landscaping, a pedestrian/bicycle pathway and an exterior renovation of the historic sewer digester facility. Michael Baker is providing architectural and engineering services for the planning, design, and construction of the Village Entrance Project. Michael Baker’s services include architecture, landscape architecture, civil and structural engineering, environmental services, and related professional services.
Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan, Laguna Beach, California. City of Laguna Beach. Planner. Provided writing support and plan structure for the final product. Michael Baker prepared a Complete Streets transition plan that will provide the policy framework for the city to implement physical and operational changes to the roadway network to improve conditions for all users including bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and motor vehicles. As part of the project, Michael Baker conducted an extensive analysis of the existing facilities in Laguna Beach that support or hinder mobility, including sidewalk locations, street grades, and speed limits. Extensive community outreach, including an online survey, walk audit, and bike audit, resulted in community identification of issues and opportunities. The final plan included recommendations to improve mobility citywide.
Placentia General Plan Sustainability Element and Development Code Assistance, Placentia, California. Southern California Association of Governments. Public Involvement Manager. Responsibilities included coordinating public outreach events and workshops, drafting sustainability goals and policies, and preparing the Sustainability Element. As part of a Sustainability Planning Grant, Michael Baker prepared a sustainability element and conducted community outreach in support of the Placentia General Plan Update. Through this element, the city is integrating principles of sustainability – a balance between social equity, a strong economy, and a healthy environment. This provides additional opportunities to identify ways to improve the quality of life in Placentia and become a more resilient community. Michael Baker administered a community survey and conducted community outreach workshops. Implementation programs, including actions, identification of key partners and potential funding sources, and a monitoring program, were also prepared.
General Plan Outreach 2014, Scottsdale, Arizona. City of Scottsdale, Arizona. Planner. Outreach assistant responsibilities include preparation of outreach materials. Michael Baker served as the lead public involvement consultant providing public engagement guidance, graphic design, project messaging, and workshop strategy development assistance to the city’s long range planning staff. Specific work tasks included assisting in the development of public information material; coordination of land use design charrettes; development of strategy; facilitation of “World Café” workshop discussions; and development of self-guided workshop-in-a-box informational materials along with video montages, social media announcements, and project website content for public consumption.
Valley Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan Health and Wellness Elements, San Bernardino County, California. Southern California Association of Governments. Public Involvement Coordinator. Responsible for coordinating public engagement efforts, researching and writing the Health and Wellness Profile, and facilitating workshops. Michael Baker provided planning services to incorporate a health and wellness focus into the specific plan for the Valley Boulevard Corridor. Michael Baker’s services included vision development, corridor planning, and recommendations.
Interstate 5 and Valle Road/La Novia Avenue Interchange Improvements, San Juan Capistrano, California. DMB Pacific Ventures, LLC. Public Involvement Coordinator. Provided public outreach for construction management activities for the I-5 La Novia Interchange. Michael Baker prepared plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) and provided environmental studies and engineering for the Interstate 5 (I-5) and Valle Road/La Novia Avenue Interchange Improvement Project. The purpose was to re-align the Northbound I-5 exit and entrance ramps, Valle Road, and La Novia Avenue to eliminate the existing offset intersection and congestion due to geometric deficiencies. The roundabout will improve intersection operations and safety for all modes of transportation.
The Millennium Initiative, Codman Square NDC, Boston, MA — Director
SEPT 2011 - JUNE 2014
Directed the Millennium Ten Initiative, a ten-year strategic planning project through the Local Initiative Support Corporation’s (LISC) Resilient Communities, Resilient Families (RCRF). Helped Millennium Ten create a space for neighbors and community organizations to define what's next for the Dorchester, Boston community through community organizing and engagement, public facilitation, strategic planning, and convening the Millennium Ten Coalition. Millennium Ten deeply engaged over 1,000 residents, 10 neighborhood associations, two hospitals, youth agencies, and the local city government in a grassroots campaign that created strategies and action steps for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Physical Environment, Youth, and Connectivity and Communication.
Dorchester Community Food Co-Op, Boston, Massachusetts. Director. The Millennium Ten Initiative supported the Dorchester Community Food Co-op through coalition building, strategic planning and mini-grants. The co-op to will be a space for education and cultural activities, job opportunities for community residents, and a food hub working with corner stores, farmers’ markets, and neighborhood health centers to provide local access to affordable healthy food. The Co-op is currently partnering with a local foundation to open a 24,000 sq. foot space in Dorchester that includes an open space “mercado” for community entrepreneurs, a co-work space business incubator, and mission-based financial support services. Ms. Tourje assisted in facilitating the strategic planning process and provided assistance in obtaining seed monies in order to leverage capital for start-up costs.
Winter Farmer’s Market, Dorchester Community Food Co-Op, Boston, Massachusetts. Director. Coordinated the program’s communication activities with community partners, stakeholders, and residents. Secured funding through grants to fund the advertising and marketing efforts of the program. As part of the Millennium Initiative, the Dorchester Community Food co-op developed a Winter’s Farmer’s Market program that provided low-income residents access to food during winter months. Due to the shortage of farmer’s markets in the winter, the Dorchester Community Food Co-Op developed the first winter farmer’s market in the City. This market featured local farmer produce, fish, meat and dairy.
Eco Innovation District, Boston, Massachusetts. Program Director. Partnered with the Environmental l Protection Agency (EPA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to create Boston’s first Eco Innovation District. The project was recognized as a Legacy Project for the City of Boston, and incorporated LEED ND standards, local energy generation, and deep energy retrofits to address an already existing neighborhood.
Engineers Without Borders UCI, Irvine, CA — Vice President of Community Development
DEC 2009 - JUNE 2011
Led a team in developing a partnership with the Endana Secondary School and Segera Mission to create a local organizing board to educate schools and local communities on water and sanitation in rural Kenya. Developed an applicable model for building social capacity and participation in relation to community-led technical innovations addressing environmental health risks. Designed and conducted a replicatable, in-depth community input and public health assessments in relation to water and indoor-air quality for a village in Kenya.
California Endowment, Santa Ana, CA — Data Researcher
DEC 2009 - JUNE 2011
Researched best practices for linking public safety, community health improvements, and community engagement. Incorporated economic development, affordable housing, and job creation and training strategies into final plan.
Mika CDC, Costa Mesa, CA — Hope Center Coordinator
DEC 2009 - JUNE 2011
Coordinated community outreach and organizing efforts in Westside Costa Mesa. Directed over 40 volunteers weekly in running daily tutoring and education classes, coordinating neighborhood action committees, and facilitating community forums with police and public health officials. Developed the annual Center Street Children’s Health Fair with Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), the Orange County Rescue Mission, and Hoag Hospital.
University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA — Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP)
SEPT 2009 - JUNE 2011
University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA — B.A. International Studies
SEPT 2014 - AUG 2007
Co-Lecturer, PPD294 AB Planning for Healthy Communities Practicum, University of California, Irvine. Fall 2015
Co-Lecturer, PPD294B Planning for Healthy Communities Practicum, University of California, Irvine. Winter 2016
Co-Lecturer, PPD294A Planning for Healthy Communities Practicum, University of California, Irvine. Fall 2016
Co-Lecturer, PPD294B Planning for Healthy Communities Practicum, University of California, Irvine. Winter 2017
Presenter, "Express Clinics: Tools for Resilient Communities," APA National Conference. April 4, 2016.
Presenter, "Tools for Developing Healthy Communities," APA California 2015 Conference. October 4, 2015. Oakland, California.
Transportation Planning Award, 2015 — Orange County American Planning Association (OC-APA)
Won the OC-APA Transportation Planning award for the City of Laguna Beach. The project included the policy framework for the city to implement physical and operational changes to the roadway network to improve conditions for all users including bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and motor vehicles.
Don Owens Water Science and Policy Fellowship, 2011 — University of California, Irvine The fellowship was awarded to conduct the implementation work for the Professional Report requirement.
Years of Experience:
MURP, UC Irvine M.U.R.P., 2011, Urban and Regional Planning, University of California at Irvine
B.A., 2007, International Development, University of California at Irvine
Licensed IAP2 Public Participation Trainer, 2014
American Institute of Certified Planners, 2014, 027398