American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

Message from our President – August 2018

Kenneth Bowers, AICP

Chapter President

The Executive Committee, comprised of the chapter Officers and chairs of the Continuing Committees, is the governing board for our Chapter. Our annual retreat is occurring this Friday, August 10, and we have a full agenda. Last year’s retreat was focused on identifying priorities for a new Four-Year Chapter Development Plan and refining a new Mission Statement. This year’s retreat will be focused on capacity, organization, and implementation. Our Bylaws were last examined in 2014 with the prior strategic plan. We have grown the number and complexity of undertakings, adding several new initiatives to our past successes such as Great Places in NC and Planning for Prosperity. Adequately staffing these initiatives with committed volunteers and aligning our committee structure and staffing with our four-year plan will be critical to our success. We are pleased that former APA-NC president and current Chapter Presidents Council Treasurer Rodger Lentz has agreed to facilitate the retreat.

It is just a few weeks until the annual North Carolina Planning Conference. This year’s theme is Community, Connectivity, and Change. We are excited to be returning to the recently renovated Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem. I want to thank the local host committee and everyone who stepped up this year with session proposals. We have a full program with over 50 concurrent sessions and lightning rounds, 10 mobile tours, plenaries, our annual Marvin Collins awards luncheon, and much more. I am particularly looking forward to our opening keynote and plenary, which will directly address the Diversity and Equity theme of our Chapter Development Plan. There are also many social and networking events, including the Exhibitor and Sponsor Meet & Greet Reception on Tuesday, the Welcome Reception at Reynolds Place on Wednesday, and the Diversity Mixer at Foothills Brewing on Thursday. The preliminary agenda is available at the chapter website, and the cut-off date for hotel reservations is August 13.

The annual Chapter Meeting is held at the conference each year, this year on Thursday afternoon. In keeping with the shift in focus from strategic planning to implementation, this year’s chapter meeting will cover the first year of progress on the Chapter Development Plan and provide an opportunity to learn more about how go get involved in the Chapter. Most of our committee chairs will be in attendance, so it is a great opportunity to learn more about the work of the chapter and how to bring your talents to the initiatives we have in the pipeline. No matter what your interest or passion, we likely have a volunteer opportunity for you.

We also have some significant changes in store for the Chapter’s legislative program. I would like to thank our outgoing Legislative Chair Amy Nelson for her years of service to the committee during a difficult time for planning legislation, and to welcome our new Chair Chad Meadows. Chad has served as legislative chair in the past and has volunteered to come back to run the committee while the chapter seeks to renew and strengthen our legislative program.

To this end, Chad’s first accomplishment was to prepare a Chapter Presidents Council grant for a Peer Learning initiative to research best practices in legislative programs. APA-NC is pleased to announce that the Chapter Presidents Council Executive Committee has chosen to fund APA-NC’s 2018 first cycle grant application in the amount of $3,000. The grant will fund the work of an intern to assist leadership with preparation of a white paper detailing successful legislative programs from other state chapters. It will also allow a facilitator to assist the team in developing a strategic plan for the Committee. With the next Long Session only a few months away, this work will be critical in making sure APA-NC will be prepared for a busy legislative season.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable end to their summer, and I look forward to seeing everyone in Winston-Salem.