Director’s Notes

By Andrea Ouse, Northern Section Director

Apparently, APA members statewide agree: We are “Rooted in AuthentiCITY”! The deadline to submit proposals for sessions, salons, and mobile workshops for the 2015 APA California Chapter conference in downtown Oakland was February 6. I am thrilled to report that we received a record number of proposals: 319 sessions/salons and 49 mobile workshops. This significant interest in our conference is a great sign that we’ll enjoy record attendance.

We intend to keep up the momentum, leading to an amazing conference. The Conference Host Committee (CHC) met on February 7 to continue working for the benefit of our members. All nine subcommittees remain busy with their respective duties. It’s not too late for you to get involved: simply visit the CHC website for more information,

Your Northern Section Board held a very productive structured retreat with a full agenda on January 24 at the Berkeley offices of MIG. Many thanks to Advertising Director Scott Davidson, AICP, for hosting. While we had the opportunity to reconnect and enjoy the company of colleagues, it was a time to review the successes of the previous year and set our focus and priorities for 2015. I commend the Board for an excellent day of dialogue and strategic planning.

We started the day by welcoming our newly elected Board members: Erik Balsley, AICP, Director-Elect, and Stuart Bussian, AICP, Administrative Director. The Board also welcomed Carmela Campbell, AICP, as Awards Co-Director, joining Florentina Craciun, AICP, to form the Awards Program leadership for 2015; and Stephen Velyvis, as the Acting Legislative Director while Alexandra Barnhill is on leave. The Board also appointed Andrew Mogensen, AICP, as the Co-Chair of the East Bay Regional Activity Coordinator (RAC). We are still seeking nominees for the open Planning Commissioner representative; please contact me if you are interested.

In addition to reviewing and confirming our conference planning efforts, the Board developed actions to support the following broad focus areas for 2015:

  • Membership
  • Section board
  • Communications and social media

Highlights include:

  • Develop and implement a membership survey to assess member needs and opportunities.
  • Continue the momentum generated by the Chapter conference and implement a Membership Drive in 2016.
  • Continue building our online and social media presence, and refine internal board communications.
  • Increase outreach efforts to student and emerging planners, as well as to “non-planner” organizations, to gauge interest and to promote the value of APA membership; and
  • Streamline board meetings and create efficiencies through formation of subcommittees where necessary.

I am continually grateful for the remarkable energy, talent, and hard work of those engaged in Northern Section activities, and excited to be part of this team as we progress through 2015 with optimism and determination.


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