Section Updates

Inland Empire Section (IES) Connects with EWU Association of Student Planners (ASP) Mentorship Program

By Miles Rinne

The Association of Student Planners (ASP) at Eastern Washington University has begun its annual mentorship program with the Inland Empire Sector (IES) Chapter of APA Washington. This year IES and ASP have managed to pair 22 students with practicing professional mentors. The mentorship program has been a great way to connect local professional planners with planning students. Professionals have an opportunity to spread their planning knowledge and experiences, while the students get an opportunity to learn firsthand about potential career paths and how to move through the planning field.

ASP and IES host several events each quarter to give mentees and mentors a chance to get together. These events are a great way for everyone involved to catch up and learn more about what is going on in the area. In November, we met up at Saranac Commons for a quick social hour. Through the mentorship program, IES and ASP have managed to form a strong connection in the region.

Northwest Section

By Meredith Penny

I am Meredith Penny, a Long Range Planner with Island County and the new president of the Northwest Section. I have enjoyed my time serving on our section board, first as the communications specialist, and then as the president-elect, and I am honored to now serve as the section’s president for the next two years. I will have a hard act to follow though. Chris Comeau has served as section president for the last five years and served on the board for a total of seven years. His work has helped to create the foundation of this section.

Over the past few years we have:

  • Maintained a full elected Board of Directors according to NW Section bylaws since 2015;
  • Kept our NW Section web page full of current information and useful resources for planners;
  • Hosted quarterly Planner’s Forums in many of the communities within our very diverse NW Section geography, including:
    • Coffee and catered lunches;
    • Excellent speakers presenting information on contemporary planning issues;
    • An average of 4 to 5 AICP certification maintenance credits free to attendees;
    • An average attendance of over 40 planners per forum;
    • Created an annual $500 NW Section Scholarship for WWU Planning Students in addition to the annual APA Washington Scholarship for WWU.

Going forward, we hope to continue this important work and build on it. Our quarterly forums are now planned around a central theme and we rotate the location to visit our different communities. Here are some of the dates and themes for our upcoming forums in 2020:

  • February 13
    • Theme: Communication. Will also include a silent auction to help raise funds for our spring forum
    • Location: Skagit County
  • April (specific date to be decided based on speaker availability)
    • Theme: Environmental Planning. We are planning to host a forum in conjunction with Earth Day and Huxley College of the Environment’s 50th anniversary. We also hope to bring a prominent keynote speaker for the event.
    • Location: Western Washington University
  • July 23
    • Theme: TBD
    • Location: Island or San Juan Counties
  • November 5
    • Theme: TBD
    • Location: Whatcom County

Last but not least, if you have any internship opportunities that may interest a WWU planning student, please contact our WWU staff representative, Tammi Laninga [email protected] much appreciated.

Return to the November/December issue of the Washington Planner