Tracey Chavira, Katherine Hennigan, and Nicole Kuklok-Waldman have been collaborating to create innovative solutions to government challenges for almost two decades.
Tracey brings more than 19 years of government and political experience to Collaborate. An eight-year veteran of Los Angeles City Hall, Tracey worked for four City Councilmembers, including Joe Buscaino, Dennis Zine, Wendy Greuel and Rudy Svorinich, Jr. Through this work, she gained first-hand experience about the inner workings of local policy, procedures and politics.
In addition to her local government experience, Tracey gained federal experience while working for the late Congressman Matthew G. Martinez as a field representative, tackling issues related to immigration and veterans’ affairs. She also worked on Capitol Hill at a lobbying firm, and maintained an assignment in campaign finance compliance.
Between times in city service, Tracey worked for nearly five years at Central City Association of Los Angeles, a leading business advocacy organization, as the Director of Government and Member Relations. In that role, Tracey advocated on behalf of the organization’s members at all levels of government, built and mobilized effective coalitions, shaped public policy, spearheaded fundraising for political campaigns, and created winning political strategies.
Most recently, Tracey led the Los Angeles City Hall practice, as well as co-managed the local government affairs practice, at a large public relations firm. In that role, Tracey served as strategic counsel and advocated for clients before local elected officials and decision-makers, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and various regulatory agencies. In that time, Tracey had the opportunity to work on ground-breaking policies like a permit for transportation network companies to pick-up at LAX, as well as signature projects like the new InterContinental Hotel, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
Tracey has also taken on leadership roles as a board member of Los Angeles Streetcar Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on building a modern streetcar system in Downtown Los Angeles, and Bringing Back Broadway, an initiative spearheaded by Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar to revitalize the historic Broadway theatre district through economic development, design, and mobility. Tracey is a board member of Mount Washington Preschool and Child Care Center, Inc., a nonprofit that oversees three licensed preschool and child care centers, including Joy Picus Child Development Center located in Los Angeles City Hall South.
Tracey earned her Master of Science degree in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Public Service from the University of California, Riverside. Tracey resides in Monterey Park with her five-year-old daughter. Click here to contact Tracey.
Katherine Hennigan Ohanesian
Katherine Hennigan is a founding partner at ColLAborate, where she specializes in land use and government affairs. She achieves positive results for clients by listening and knowing who can best and most efficiently obtain key objectives.
Prior to founding the firm, Kate spent more than twelve years serving the City of Los Angeles in various capacities, most recently as Economic Development and Legislative Director for Councilmember Paul Koretz. Kate advised and represented Councilmember Koretz regarding business retention, job creation, transportation policy and economic development.
In this capacity, Kate advised the Councilmember on important legislative issues such as wage theft prevention and minimum wage increase proposals, and served as his liaison to the local business community. Her responsibilities also included monitoring the activities of various departments and committees - including the Council Transportation Committee; the Council Budget Committee; the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department; Economic Development Committee; Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee; and the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Kate previously served as a Senior Policy Director in the Office of Economic and Business Policy for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, where she was responsible for the Hollywood film and entertainment community.
In addition to her work, Kate is actively involved with several nonprofit organizations, including “Women Against Gun Violence,” where she has served as Board Chair.
Kate earned her Master’s Degree in International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California, and holds a Bachelors of Arts in English from Loyola Marymount University. Click here to contact Kate.
Nicole Kuklok-Waldman advocates for businesses to ensure the best results for her clients. From regulatory challenges to development projects, Nicole specializes in a comprehensive advocacy approach and is known for integrating community outreach, communication with elected officials and community leaders, and honesty backed up by evidentiary support, to ensure a positive and desired result.
Prior to founding ColLAborate, Nicole practiced Land Use Law at major law firms in Los Angeles. Her practice included management and entitlement of highly-visible and controversial development projects; plan approvals, modifications, and compliance with existing entitlements; strategic advice; managing teams of consultants on large scale land use projects; and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance and review. She was integral in the entitlement of a large project in Beverly Hills, including a five star hotel and luxury residential units, and has worked on a variety of projects including shopping centers, museums, hotels, visitor-serving uses, and residential projects. Several of her projects have survived CEQA challenge or referendum efforts.
Nicole specializes in historic preservation and related issues. She is readily familiar with historic preservation laws and policies at the national, state and local levels, and has specific expertise in the historical development of Los Angeles and mid-century architecture and design. Nicole successfully defeated a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument nomination for a 1960s resource building at the Cultural Heritage Commission, and defeated the nomination of a 1960s resource building at City Council. She has also consulted with property owners and trustees regarding potential historic designations.
She has also worked on numerous projects subject to the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission and successfully settled a Coastal Commission appeal against a Malibu shopping center. Nicole has worked on numerous regulatory approval processes required for different land uses across the region, and is often brought in to work with neighbors to gain approval and/or settlement of difficult issues.
Nicole graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, where she teaches Planning Law and Entitlement at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Lusk Center for Real Estate. Nicole is also a licensed real estate broker, and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Saban Community Clinic. She lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband, Stuart Waldman, children, and rescue labs, Max and Roxy. Click here to contact Nicole.