The dictionary definition of a mentor is "an experienced and trusted advisor or a "person who imparts wisdom.” At the National Planning Conference you’ll have an opportunity to connect with some of the most accomplished professionals through mentoring.
One of the volunteer mentors is Cynthia Hoyle, FAICP. Chosen by her peers to be a Fellow of AICP, she has gained one of the highest honors that AICP bestows upon a member. A model planner, recognized for her contributions and dedicated to mentoring for the future of the profession, she has many skills.
Sterling credentials and accolades are definitely things that you want to see when choosing a mentor, but how do you know if you’re going to connect on a level that leads to trust? We asked Cynthia some questions that are meant to get to more of a personal measure and a peek into what really makes her tick.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Persistence and passion.
What characteristic do you appreciate most in your colleagues / employees?
Enthusiasm and honesty. Being direct when you have a concern or issue. It’s best to get things out in the open.
What are you passionate about?
Planning of course, specifically working on issues of fairness and basic rights, with a focus on mobility and access. A passion of mine is to make corrections when possible to give people a choice, create fairness.
Which living or dead person do you most admire?
I admire people for how they lived. Abagail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt come to mind. They’re women who made a difference given the constraints of the time in which they lived. I really admire, former Illinois Congressman and Secretary of Transportation Ray La Hood. I’m impressed by his work refocusing the department on mobility. Under his leadership roadway safety was improved and the department went from a department of highways to putting mobility of people first. His humanitarian focus is inspirational.
What faults do you have the most tolerance for?
Fear and anxiety; fear of change is something planners deal with and we need to understand how to address it. It’s human nature to fear change, giving up what you have for something new is anxiety producing. Even if the change is good for us, we often resist it. The best ideas are often lost to fear of change. As planners we need to address these real feelings and communicate the vision to help people understand how we can achieve creating great communities.
What advice do you have for aspiring planners?
Be polite, persistent and join APA; get involved! It’s been important in my career. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to engage with people and to form real connections
What’s your motto?
I often share these with people, guess you could call them mottos:
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. — Martin Luther King Jr.
I think of that when I get discouraged, if things feel like they’re taking too long.
Perseverance and spirit has done wonders in all ages. — George Washington
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead
Read more about Cynthia Hoyle’s accomplishments by visiting her LinkedIn profile.
About the Author
Bobbie Albrecht is APA's Career Services Manager.