American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

Message from our President

Kenneth Bowers, AICP

Chapter President

President’s Message for June 2018

Message from the President

I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer.

It was great to connect with APA-NC members from across the state at the National Planning Conference in New Orleans. I enjoyed seeing many of you at the Southeast Chapters reception. New Orleans is known around the world as a place to have a good time, but there was a lot of learning that occurred at the conference as well, both inside and outside the convention hall. I would especially like to thank our members who served on this year’s delegates assembly. Two policy guides were under consideration this year, an update and draft framework for the Social Equity Policy Guide; and areas of focus outline for the Surface Transportation Policy Guide. This year’s APA-NC delegates were Amy Sackaroff, an Senior Transportation Planner with Stantec; Stacy Wright, Senior Technical Manager with Atkins; John Morck, APA-NC Past President and Planning and Community Development Manager with the Town of Wilson; and Paul Norby, FAICP, outgoing Planning Director for the City of Winston-Salem.

The details for our own North Carolina Planning Conference are being firmed up. Session proposals are in and under review—thank you to everyone who submitted, even if it was at the last minute. We have an exciting keynote speaker who ties in directly to the Diversity & Equity theme of our four-year Chapter Plan. The local host committee in Winston Salem is gearing up to give us some spectacular mobile workshops and reception venues. Registration will be opening soon for the September 11 – 13 conference, and I hope to see you there.

In May we announced the 2018 Great Places in North Carolina. The communities recognized this year for their great places ranged in size from under 3,000 population to the state’s second largest city. Congratulations to professional category winners of Sylva, Waxhaw, Holly Springs, Cary, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh; and to our people’s choice awardees Mount Pleasant and Alamance County. Representatives from all of these communities were recognized at a special event in the General Assembly in May, and we will be presenting these recognitions in the communities at special events throughout the summer.

The Executive Committee, the governing board for APA-NC, will be holding their annual retreat in August. Last year’s retreat was focused on mission and strategic planning, and we expect this year’s to be focused on capacity-building and plan execution. A key part of growing our capacity is getting more members involved in a continuing or temporary committee. Our Chapter Plan calls for the creation of two new committees, one for the Affordable Housing theme and one for the Resilience theme. I am happy to report that the Affordable Housing Committee is up and running under the leadership of Leigh Anne King of Clarion Associates, and is beginning to meet and scope out their activities. We have also heard from members interested in organizing the Resilience committee and hope to have a core group established soon. You can review the Chapter Plan and read about our committee structure at the APA-NC website, and feel free to email me directly with your interest.

APA-NC has many long-serving volunteers, but few have served as long as Cherie Jzar, AICP, who has chaired the Membership and Diversity Committee for as long as I’ve been involved with the chapter. After years of leadership, Cherie and Vice Chair Candace Davis have stepped aside to make room for two new leaders to co-chair the committee. We are pleased to welcome Brendie Vega, AICP, the Assistant Director of Community Development in Wake Forest, and Eliza Monroe, a Planning Technician with the Town of Apex to the APA-NC Executive Committee. You can read more about Brendie and Eilza, along with a parting interview with Cherie, on the APA-NC blog.

Thanks for your continued commitment to APA-NC, and I’ll see you in this space in a couple months.