2008 National Planning Conference

2008 APA/AICP Annual Meeting

By Roberta Rewers
APA Public Affairs Associate

The APA/AICP Annual Meeting offers members an opportunity to hear about the association's highlights over the past year and the direction the organization will take in the coming year.

Executive Director Paul Farmer, FAICP, began the Wednesday meeting with a recap of APA's progress over the past year, including surpassing membership goals and record enrollment for the upcoming AICP examination. Farmer also highlighted several APA programs that are designed to increase awareness about planning and planners such as the High School Essay Contest, the successful Great Places in America program, and National Community Planning Month. He also discussed the role of the Planning Foundation and how it provides opportunities for student planners to attend the China Study Tour and to work in Ed Blakely's Recovery office in New Orleans.

APA President Robert Hunter, FAICP, shared a personal story about the importance of always taking the opportunity to explain the importance of planning. He emphasized never passing up such an opportunity to discuss planning with neighbors, business leaders or elected officials.

AICP President Graham Billingsley, AICP, recapped the adoption of Certification Maintenance and the next steps the Commission will take over the next couple of weeks in reviewing and voting on alternative fee structures.

Majority of the annual meeting was dedicated to celebrating the achievements of students, chapters, divisions, and authors.

Students from Tufts University, Portland University, and the University of Michigan were honored for their work. This year the APA Planning Student Organization at California State Polytechnic University Pomona was honored for its program Great Latino Streets, Great Latino Neighborhoods.

Chapter honorees included the APA North Carolina Chapter and the APA Kansas Chapters. Both were recipients of Karen B. Smith Awards. New Chapter Leadership Awards recognized the dedication of volunteer leaders including the APA Kansas President Thomas Dow, AICP, the APA Iowa Chapter Professional Development Officer Gary Taylor, AICP, and the APA Oregon Chapter Volunteer Dennis Egner, AICP.

Divisions recognized the communication efforts of the Gays and Lesbians in Planning Division for its newsletter Gayzette, and the Economic Development Division's newsletter, News & Views. The Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division was recognized for education excellence and the City Planning and Management Division for its contribution to the planning profession.

The awards presentation concluded with recognition of the APA Journalism Award winners. Three reporters from the Kansas City Star newspaper were present to accept their award for the large newspapers category. The Journal of the American Planning Association presented the Best Article Award of 2007 to five authors for their work on "The Rising Costs of Floods: Examining the Impact of Planning and Development Decisions on Property Damage in Florida."

After concluding the awards portion of the meeting, outgoing APA Board Members, AICP commissioners and Advisors to the Board were recognized for their service. Special presentations were given to David Siegel, FAICP, APA Immediate Past President, and Sue Schwartz, FAICP, AICP Immediate Past President. Both individuals received standing ovations from those present for the meeting.

The meeting concluded with the announcement of the election results. Elected candidates will take office in approximately six weeks.

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