June President's Message


Wow, it's been four years serving as Vice President, President-Elect and President. Not to mention the eight previous years on the legislative committee, bill proposal subcommittee, budget committee, lobbyist selection committee, conference committees, etcetera.  Time flies when you are having fun...and, it's not over yet! Now it's time to take a vacation and then move into the vaunted position of past president with all of the emeritus and little of the responsibility.

Although my wife often tells me to "move into second gear" when I ramble on, there are many people I want to thank.  In no particular order...

  • Jill Sterrett for being a great mentor, the inspiration for getting me started many years ago, and for showing an incredible organic stick-to-itiveness with project after project,
  • Laura Hudson for letting me know that she had my back and then quietly delivering on every request made to her including supporting the sections...a long overdue chapter task,
  • Chris Hudson for owning the Handbook,
  • Matt Ransom for saving the bank,
  • Bill Mandeville for the membership-based section dues formulas,
  • Anne M. for passing me notes and for setting me straight on running meetings, and
  • Paula Reeves for taking the reins and leading us in bigger and more impactful directions.

Looking a little further back...

  • Norman Abbott, Rocky Piro and Robin McClelland for supporting my involvement and guiding my career,
  • Joe Tovar and Steve Butler for defeating the initiative and saving planning,
  • Brad Collins and Mike McCormick for reviewing every tough bill and for creating the Act,
  • Esther Larsen and Josh Peters and Michael Shaw for keeping us strong and in the LEAD,
  • Scott Greenberg for keeping us tastily beveraged and for the dues restructuring that began our transition back to financial health,
  • Chris Branch and Andi Lane and Anne Fritzel and Jeff Wilson (plus a bunch of APA leaders) for making a long-overdue partnership come to fruition.
  • Ferdouse Oneza for effectively a managing a half-dozen positions,
  • Nancy Eklund for wisely parsing every word and maintaining a key role for many years,
  • Kim Selby and Stacy Smith (and many editors) and Nikole Coleman-Porter and Kimbra Wellock for getting the communications right,
  • Michael Cardwell for being an unstoppable fundraiser,
  • Kendra Breiland and Nikole Coleman-Porter and Scott Kuhta for the excellent Bellevue and Spokane conferences,
  • Paul Inghram and Deborah Munkberg (and a dozen others) for putting on the best National Planning Conference, and
  • The remaining Board members for their great work on important programs such as the Joint Awards (Steve and Greg), Scholarships (Tirrell and Kell), Planning Commissioners Quarterly (Ryan), Continuing Ed (Oneza), Membership (Geoff and Anna N.), and Big Ideas (the horde of volunteers).

Looking Forward 

As shown in the photo, the Board celebrated another democratic transfer of power.  Paula Reeves received her official gavel from the Board, and started her term early, and in full force, with a membership survey and review of the strategic plan. 

A lot has changed since we adopted the Strategic Plan in 2012 and, in order to guide the chapter over the coming years, at its May meeting, the Board:

  • Reviewed the membership survey results to better understand the wants and needs of the general membership,
  • Discussed a long-range vision for the chapter,
  • Identified societal and cultural trends that are impacting the chapter,
  • Determined actions that we can take to capitalize on those trends,
  • Discussed the chapter Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results,
  • Identified strategic directions and key initiatives to focus on in the next three years, and
  • Drafted objectives for 2015-2016.

The Board identified some exciting new projects that build on our core services and membership benefits.  This was the first step in the strategic plan update and before it's over our members will get another chance to share their opinions.  As always, don't be shy and look for additional articles from Paula on what this means for you – our members and newsletter readers. 

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow 

I end my final Presidents Message by sharing that being involved in chapter leadership has been incredibly rewarding to me personally and professionally. We know that being involved is the key to being happy in a relationship and a career. We also know that happiness comes from giving.

It's been a wonderful opportunity to give my time and, more importantly, be involved with other planners who were also giving their time to our profession. Because of them, the chapter is incredibly strong and is ready to take on new and exciting initiatives. Get involved and see you at a meeting soon! 


Ivan Miller, AICP
President, APA Washington
[email protected]

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