Get to Know the APA-Washington Northwest Section

Summer is here in the NW Section of APA Washington. Meet the elected volunteer Board of Directors:

  • Chris Comeau, AICP-CTP, President                            [Bellingham Public Works Engineering]
  • Derek Koellmann, AICP-CEP, Vice President                [Anchor QEA Environmental Consulting]
  • Samya Lutz, AICP, Secretary                                        [Bellingham Community Development]
  • Brandon Black, Treasurer                                             [Skagit County Planning]

The Section website contains many resources, including the Board-adopted 2016 Northwest Section Work Plan.


  • The NW Section and the WA Department of Commerce hosted the April 28, 2016 Spring Planner's Forum with a special focus on Critical Areas issues and updates.  It was the largest attendance in NW Section history and the venue had to be changed from Burlington City Hall to the Skagit PUD to accommodate the 75 RSVPs. 
  • As a result of the membership survey administered by Communications Coordinator Beckye Frey, the NW Section Board voted to use $300 to help host a “Curbside Chat” by Strong Towns founder Charles Marohn on Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Bellingham.  This is the same date as the scheduled Autumn 2016 Planners Forum, so the NW Section Board also voted to change the location of the Autumn 2016 Planner’s Forum to Bellingham.  We will be updating the Planner's Forum schedule on the web site as soon as possible.
  • Northwest Section planners sporting new AICP credentials!

The NW Section Board of Directors is proud to announce that four members passed the AICP exam in May.  A big congratulations to Mary Anderson, Darby Cowles, Ron Cubellis, and Melissa Fannucci!  

WWU Application to Planning Accreditation Board: Derek Koellmann and Chris Comeau participated in the PAB February visit to WWU and served on interview panels. 

Northwest Section leaders will continue to work with WWU to:

  • Continue to work with WWU on both academic and PAB accreditation issues
  • Increase student APA membership and involvement in the Northwest Section work
  • Possibly hosting a future Planner's Forum on the WWU campus in 2017

Planners Forums and AICP Credentials: In 2016-2017, the Northwest Section will continue to offer high-quality Planner's Forums with AICP certification maintenance credits available for a wide variety of presentation topics, including Law and Ethics.  The Board will focus on developing Forum topics and themes that can help tie our diverse Section geography together.  

Return to the August/September issue of The Washington Planner