2010 National Planning Conference

2011 APA/AICP Annual Meeting and Leadership Honors

By Joseph A. MacDonald
Senior Research Associate

The APA/AICP Annual Meeting and Leadership Honors offers members reports on the state of the association and recognizes the contributions made by leaders among APA students, chapters, divisions, board advisors, the APA Board, and the AICP Commission.

APA Executive Director and CEO Paul Farmer, FAICP, opened the 2011 meeting on Tuesday with praise for the 2011 conference with its increased attendance, overflow session audiences, outstanding opening plenary by Professor Michael Sendel, and the wonderful efforts of the Boston host committee.

Farmer reminded the audience of the tremendous challenges facing planners and the planning movement in 2011: national and global economies, changes in global climate, rapid urbanization and growth of the global population, and the "graying" and "browning" of America.

Within APA itself, Farmer reported, membership continues to show steady decline from its peak a couple of years ago (from nearly 45,000 down to just more than 40,000) because of municipal budget cuts and a decline in development. AICP membership declined because of economic conditions and, to a lesser extent, the inauguration of the Certification Maintenance (CM) program in AICP. Farmer praised the CM program, noting that while the first cohort of certified planners experienced some attrition, the attrition rate for the second cohort dropped significantly; a sign of increasing acceptance of the program among members who may have initially resisted change.

Farmer also reminded the audience of all that APA offers its members and the innovative programs designed to keep APA at the forefront of planning. While recognizing the continual need for additional advanced training at the National Planning Conference, Farmer noted low-cost and free CM-qualified programs through chapters, divisions, and distance education.

National Community Planning Month and a growing number of Public Service Announcements (more than 300) emphasize three key messages of planning: planners are in it for the long haul; planners are enablers; and planners are all about choice. The Great Places in America program, APA's most effective means of communicating planning to the nation, carries tremendous appeal because it is "outcome-based."

Farmer concluded with a reflection on current happenings in federal, state, and local government; the need for strength in light of some backlash against planners; and global planning initiatives that advance APA's message across the world (Global Planners Network, Delta Urbanism, APA's China Program, and the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas).

Leadership Honors

The following awards were presented by Paul Farmer with support from outgoing APA President Bruce Knight, FAICP, and outgoing AICP Commission President Paul Inghram, AICP. (Visit www.planning.org/honors/ for a list of the winners of APA's National Planning Awards.)

  • AICP Student Project Awards – Application of the Planning Process
    • Tufts University
  • AICP Student – Applied Research
    • University of Oregon
  • AICP Student – Contemporary Issue
    • University of Washington
  • APA Student Representative Council Award for Outstanding Planning Student Organization Award – for Best Practices
    • Cornell University
  • Planning Accreditation Board's Outstanding Site Visitor
    • Charles Newcomb, AICP (Flemington, NJ)
  • Karen B. Smith Chapter Awards
    • Overall Chapter Achievement
      • APA Mississippi Chapter
    • Outstanding Service to Members
      • New Jersey Chapter
    • Outstanding Outreach to the Community
      • Colorado Chapter
  • Chapter Leadership Awards
    • Chapter president recognition
      • Kara Drane, AICP
    • Professional Development Officer
      • Diane Kushlan, AICP
    • Chapter Volunteer Recognition
      • Susan Coughanour, AICP
      • Henry Bittaker, AICP
  • APA Division Council Awards
    • Overall Communications Effort
      • Gays and Lesbians in Planning (GALIP) Division
    • Overall Performance
      • Transportation Planning Division
    • Education Excellence
      • Technology Division
    • Contribution to the Planning Profession
      • Urban Design and Preservation Division
  • JAPA Best Article Award
    • Reid Ewing and Robert Cervero (Travel and the Built Environment: A Meta-Analysis) – Summer 2010
  • APA Branding Excellence Award for a Chapter
    • Georgia Chapter
  • APA Branding Excellence Award for a Division
    • Urban Design and Preservation Division

Each of the following awards is given only once in every 2-year leadership term:

  • APA President's Award for Outstanding Achievement (Bruce Knight)
    • Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos (Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States)
  • AICP President's Award for Exceptional Practice (Paul Inghram)
    • Whit Blanton, AICP

Paul Farmer recognized the following individuals who are leaving their positions after providing outstanding service to APA:

  • Recognition of Outgoing Advisors to the Board
    • Andy Epple, AICP (Chapter Presidents Council Advisor to the Board)
    • Mary Catherine Barganier (Student Representatives Council Chair)
  • Recognition of Outgoing Staff
    • Charlotte McCaskill (APA Chief Operating Officer)

Passing the Gavel

APA CEO Paul Farmer recognized outgoing APA President Bruce Knight, FAICP, and outgoing AICP Commission President, Paul Inghram, AICP, for their efforts and leadership over the past two years.

Each was invited to offer remarks before passing the gavel to incoming APA President Mitchell Silver, AICP, and incoming AICP Commission President, Anna Breinich, AICP.

Knight and Inghram praised APA leadership and staff for their efforts and welcomed the the incoming leaders. Knight urged the need for "One APA" in the coming years, while Inghram offered perspective on the current political situation and reminded the audience how "planning in the United States is tough because democracy is tough."

Silver dedicated his presidency to his late brother. He challenged planners to strive ardently for the following goals during the next two years and beyond: lead the nation and collaborate globally; emphasize the value of planning and planners; lead communities to a more just and sustainable future; cultivate leaders; initiate and implement new strategies to attract a broader audience; and act as "One APA."

Silver asked APA members to fall in love with planning again and invited us to "start the romance."

Breinich offered appreciation to many, including her husband, and reached out to the audience, saying it is "going to take all of us to make this happen." She offered the Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) as an example of how APA needs to get planners out there and lead by example.

Breinich reflected on her graduate education and advisor at Penn State in the late 1970s who inspired her to give back, get involved, and to care about AICP. She challenged the audience to do the same: take a hard look at the APA development plan, grasp it, and get involved in its implementation.

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