American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

Message from our President

Kenneth Bowers, AICP

Chapter President

President’s Message for February 2018

Happy 2018! The turn of the New Year marks the start of a busy time for the chapter. Planning for the upcoming North Carolina Planning Conference starts ramping up in earnest. We also begin the process of obtaining nominations for our signature awards programs, the Marvin Collins Planning Awards, and Great Places in NC. Both awards tracks provide the opportunity recognize the fantastic work being done by planners and their communities across the state. If you have or know of a plan, project, or place that is worthy of nomination, I urge you to submit an entry. These programs depend on a competitive slate of nominations, and there is no shortage of worthy contenders in North Carolina. The deadline is February 23. Nomination information can be found at:

Last year, the Executive Committee undertook the development of two guiding documents, a new Mission Statement for the APA-NC, and a Four-Year Plan of Work and Development. At the conference in Greenville, we presented drafts of both at the Chapter Meeting, and obtained valuable input from the attendees. Based on this, the Committee adopted a new mission statement in October, and will be adopting the four-year plan in February.

The mission statement was intended to capture the essence of the chapter’s work in a short and memorable phrase. The adopted statement is as follows:

APA-NC promotes equitable, healthy, and prosperous communities across North Carolina through professional planning leadership, advocacy, and education.

The Four-Year Plan for Chapter Work and Development is intended to guide the Chapter’s work over the next four years. It has three strategic priorities at its heart, each representing an important issue facing NC planners: Affordable Housing, Resiliency, and Diversity & Equity. The plan sets forth three Goals (one for each strategic priority), seven Initiatives (specific objectives related to each Goal), and 17 specific Actions. Each action is assigned a timeline, and responsibility for implementation is assigned to a committee. While most actions align with existing committees, the plan does identify the need for two new committees—one to focus on affordable housing, the other on resiliency. The Plan has also provided an opportunity to examine and refine our committee structure. The full text of the plan will soon be posted to, and I invite all members to read it.

Committees are where the work of the Chapter gets done. For APA-NC members who want to get more involved in the Chapter, joining a committee is the place to start, and with a new strategic plan in place, now is the time. All existing committees can benefit from new volunteers, and we have two new start-up committees in need of members and chairs. How can you get involved? If you are unfamiliar with the current committee structure, the “About” tab on provides a list and description of existing committees. The “Who We Are” menu item contains a contact information for all committee chairs. I also invite you to email me directly if you are interested in taking an active role in implementing our new four-year plan.

I’ll be back in a couple months with an update on conference planning and recognition of the 2018 Great Places in NC. Until then, stay warm and keep planning.