Our Staff

Putting Community First

We are a local small business that truly values the needs of all communities, especially of those that are frequently undervalued and underrepresented. 

Pronouns: They/Them

CEO & Founder

Community & Environmental Planner

Bachelors Degree, Environmental Studies

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Masters Degree, Urban & Regional Planning

University of Iowa


Email: vfixmeroraiz@astigplanning.com

V Fixmer-Oraiz

V has been working in the environmental sector for over a decade. They came to Iowa after completing a Fulbright in the Philippines. Returning to the Philippines, they were able to reconnect with family members and friends while researching climate change impacts on rural bamboo farmers. Transferring their work to the Midwest, they completed their Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning with an emphasis in Environmental & Land Use Planning.
V founded Astig Planning to fuse community organizing techniques with planning frameworks. As a company aligned with a vision toward equity and sustainability, their work has focused on regional planning and community engagement. V has worked with municipalities and counties on comprehensive and master plans, and has contributed to the completion of several regional watershed plans, including the English River and Middle Cedar River watershed plans. They are passionate about engaging with people on a range of issues impacting their community, such as stormwater and floods, economic development, racial equity and social justice, and expanding community services. They are a certified yoga teacher and offer classes focused on building community and connecting people.


Environmental Planner

Bachelors Degree, Architecture

Tribhuvan University, Nepal


Masters Degree, Urban and Regional Planning

University of Iowa


Email: asmita@astigplanning.com

Languages: English, Nepali, Hindi

Asmita Poudel

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Asmita chose the path in planning with an interest to explore the different dimensions of the built environment and its relationship with the natural ecosystem. She is also interested in studying the relation between the built environment and human interaction patterns, the exploration of which she has started during her professional journey as an architect.

Among her major planning projects is the Maquoketa River Watershed Management Plan which was her capstone project for her University of Iowa master's degree program. She has experience in several planning and design works through two years of involvement in academia which includes experiences with watershed and community planning, water quality, hydrology, and ecological habitat protection and preservation. Having worked for 3 years as an architect in Nepal, she also has experience in project management, urban design, and graphical illustration. 

She joined the Astig Planning team after the completion of her master’s degree to work on various environmental projects and assist the team on community engagement activities. She finds her calling to be working towards building sustainable, equitable, and just communities.

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Community Planning Intern

Associates Degree, Business Administration
Kardan University, Kabul

Bachelors Degree, Civil Engineering

University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila


Masters Degree, Urban and Regional Planning

University of Iowa


Email: hekkie@astigplanning.com

Languages: English, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu, Pushto

Hekkie Jamili

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From an associate degree in business administration to a bachelor’s in civil engineering, and now a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning, Hekkie Jamili came to Iowa as a Fulbright scholar from Afghanistan. Hekkie chose the planning career because it involves teamwork and interaction with the community, and it allows him to apply his engineering and managerial background to develop strong and sustainable communities.

Having studied in Asia, Europe, and the US, Hekkie hopes to bring diversity and an
international perspective to Astig. One of Hekkie’s recent projects was a Feasibility Study for Transitional Housing in the city of Clinton, Iowa. The project involved researching policies, identifying problems in the community, and writing a policy memo, and proposing solutions related to transitional housing.

Hekkie joined the Astig Planning team after the completion of his master’s degree to work as a community planner intern due to his passion for creating an equitable, accessible, and sustainable living environment and his commitment to race equity and social justice through his experience in communication, community engagement, policy planning, and research.


De La Torre

Eric Ebner

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Administrative Assistant

Bachelors Degree, History & Bachelors Degree, Sports Studies 

University of Iowa


Email: eric@astigplanning.com

Eric was born, and grew up, in Carroll, IA.  He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2013 and has lived in the Iowa City area ever since.  He enjoys most forms of outdoor activity, especially going on hikes with his dog and his partner.  Eric also enjoys swimming and generally being active.  Eric also enjoys watching sports while spending time with friends.


Since graduating from the University of Iowa in 2013, Eric has worked for several companies in the Iowa City area.  He has a passion for helping people in underserved and underrepresented communities.  Eric hopes to use his administrative skills and passion for helping others to help Astig Planning foster positive change in the area.

Mae McDonough

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Planning Assistant Intern

Bachelors Degree, Environmental Policy & Planning

University of Iowa


Masters Degree, Urban & Regional Planning

University of Iowa

Anticipated 2023

Email: mae@astigplanning.com

Mae’s environmentalist roots can be traced back to her childhood, where she carefully honed an extensive skill set in playing in the woods. She then went on to formalize her interest in environmental protection by pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and Planning. Currently, Mae is working towards her MS in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa. 


Her past professional experiences include working with AARP to assess and improve the age-friendliness of small towns across Iowa and interning as a Stormwater Assistant for the City of Iowa City. These experiences allowed her to connect with community stakeholders while implementing meaningful environmental and social changes. 


Mae is passionate about creating sustainable communities for all to live, work, and play in. She is interested in the intersection of environmentalism and social justice in urban planning. Mae appreciates how planning can be used to create positive, equity-centered change in communities. 

Cassidy Beamer

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Program & Events Coordinator

Bachelors Degree, Environmental Policy and Planning 

University of Iowa


Email: cassidy@astigplanning.com

In 2017, Cassidy moved to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa where she received a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Policy and Planning. As an undergraduate, Cassidy developed a strong belief that communities should be at the heart of solutions to the issues that impact them. In particular, she became interested in community-based solutions to address the environmental, health, and social justice issues associated with the food system. This interest has led her to pursue volunteer, research, and internship experiences where she has worked with local actors to understand issues and find solutions to help build a more resilient and equitable local food system. Since Cassidy graduated, she has been working as the Local Foods Intern for Johnson County which is where she first became involved with the Historic Poor Farm and interested in it’s role in our community.


Cassidy feels passionate about ensuring that the farm is an inclusive space that welcomes, serves, and benefits all residents of Johnson County. She is excited to learn more about the community’s vision for the farm and to coordinate programs and events that support this vision and provide opportunities for community members to learn, connect, and grow in their appreciation for the land and each other.