CUPPAD Regional Commission Staff

Dotty LaJoye, Executive Director – Phone Ext. 1376

As Executive Director for the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission, Dotty oversees day-to-day operations of the Commission staff and projects.


Richard Smith, Community Planner–  Phone Ext. 1378

Richard is CUPPAD’s lead person in land use regulations, such as subdivision and zoning ordinances. He works with local and regional organizations on economic development planning and implementation and also provides technical assistance to local units of government, and is also involved in demographic/census data, recreation plans, and master plans. Richard holds a BA in Sociology from Graceland University and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa.


Peter VanSteen, Transportation Planner –  Phone Ext. 1379

Peter is our lead person in transportation planning, access management, traffic counting, non-motorized and other transportation projects.  He represents our region in statewide planning efforts and assists communities with transportation-related technical assistance.Peter holds a degree in Business Administration from Valparaiso University.


Steve Lenaker, GIS Coordinator –  Phone Ext. 1381

Steve specializes in developing and analyzing maps for local units, staff, and others using various methods. Steve develops, analyzes, and maintains an extensive set of data layers used by staff for planning and map purposes and builds appropriate base maps for local and regional projects.  Steve also assists with the local and regional 911 emergency management programs, and assists other local communities developing and maintaining their GIS systems and GPS equipment. Steve holds a degree in Geography, with a minor in GIS & Spatial Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.


Ben DuBois, GIS Specialist/Community Planner –  Phone Ext. 1307

A graduate of Grand Valley State University in Geography with an emphasis in Urban Planning and GIS, Ben provides mapping and GIS support under the direction of the GIS Coordinator. Ben is primarily tasked with providing direct GIS support to Delta County under the Regional GIS, and is the primary staff on parcel mapping for Alger and Delta County. Ben also provides assistance on various planning and transportation projects.


Ryan Soucy, AICP, Community Planner –

Ryan’s diverse experience in planning, zoning, and specialized training in community and economic development can assist communities with a variety of services and planning needs from capital improvement planning, zoning and permitting, design charrettes, and much more. Ryan is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and  comes to CUPPAD from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) where he directed the region’s Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC) Program.


Rawan Alhabbal, GIS Technician / Planning Assistant –

Rawan is a graduate of the University of Damascus with a bachelor of science in Geology with an emphasis in hydrogeology. She has also decided to continue her education at Bay de Noc Community College and received an associates degree in Geographic Information Systems. Rawan helps bring support to CUPPAD’s team in aiding in a variety of projects those include: GIS parcel mapping for Alger, Delta, and Schoolcraft County, transportation planning, CDBG, support to the GIS Coordinator, and any other projects where she is needed.



The CUPPAD Region

Click the map below to pull up county-specific information and resources.