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2021 APA-IL State Conference

October 6-7, 2021 Normal, IL

October 8, 2021 Virtual


3 days of virtual and in-person learning!

The APA-IL will be getting BACK TO NORMAL -- within CDC and local guidelines  in Normal, IL on October 6-7 and virtually on October 8..

The APAIL21 in-person program will include an assortment of unique sessions, mobile workshops, and beloved annual sessions, such as Law, Ethics, Speed Planning, the 2021 Awards Ceremony... and there's more! Earn CM each day!

Please scroll down for an overview of the agenda and details on AICP Exam Prep, Plan Commissioner Training, and Social Events.

Click on the button above to see program details and to register.

The APA-IL has your best education needs and safety in mind as we have been planning this event. We will be planning all in-person activities following CDC and local guidelines.



All Oct 6-7 events will be held at the Marriott unless otherwise indicated (*). 

Full program, session, & mobile workshop information is available by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021


  • 8:00 - 9:00 AM Breakfast & Registration

  • 9:00 - 10:30 AM Welcome & Sessions

  • 10:30 - 10:45 AM Break

  • 10:45 AM - 12:15 AM Sessions

  • 12:15 - 1:30 PM Loungeabout the Roundabout Lunch (on your own)

  • 1:30 - 2:30 PM Sessions

  • 2:30 - 2:45 PM Break

  • 2:45 - 4:15 PM Session

  • 4:15 - 4:30 PM Break

  • 4:30 - 5:30 PM Awards Presentation

  • 5:30 - 7:30 PM Awards Reception and Exhibitor Meet & Greet

Thursday, October 7, 2021


  • 7:30 - 8:30 AM Breakfast with Sponsors &  Exhibitors

  • 8:30 - 9:30 AM Speed Planning

  • 9:30 - 9:45 AM Break

  • 9:45 - 11:15 AM Sessions

  • 11:15 - 11:30 AM Break

  • 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Sessions

  • 12:30 - 1:15 PM Loungeabout the Roundabout Lunch (on your own) 

  • 1:15 - 2:00 PM Dessert with Exhibitors

  • 2:00 - 3:00 PM Keynote: Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch

  • 3:00 - 3:15 PM Break

  • 3:15 - 4:15 PM Sessions

  • 4:15 - 4:30 PM Break

  • 4:30 - 5:30 PM Sessions

Friday, October 8, 2021


  • 8:15 - 8:30:00 AM Introduction

  • 8:30 - 9:30 AM Session 1

  • 9:00 - 12:00 AICP Exam Prep

  • 9:30 - 11:00 AM Session 2

  • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Session 3

  • 12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch Break

  • 1:00 - 2:00 PM Session 4

  • 2:00 - 3:00 PM Session 5 

  • 8:00 PM - APA-IL The Lowdown Virtual Happy Hour 

Tuesday, Oct 5, 2021


  • 8:00 PM - Happy Hour

  • 8:30 PM - Trivia Tour of Uptown Normal

Wednesday, November 17, 2021


  • 4:00 - 6:00 PM - Plan Commissioner Training

!! Please note: items on this page are subject to change !!

All Oct 6-7 events slated to be held at the Marriot unless otherwise indicated (*). 

Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch

Representative Emanuel "Chris" Welch

7th District

Speaker of the House

Date: Thursday, October 7, 2021

Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Emanuel “Chris” Welch has served as a State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly since January 2013. On January 13, 2021, Chris became the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. The first Black lawmaker to hold such position. Prior to becoming Speaker, Welch served as Chair of the House Executive Committee and before that he Chaired Higher Education.  All positions where he left a positive mark.

As State Representative, Welch focused on improving classroom education, creating jobs, helping the most vulnerable, and streamlining government. Welch was the Chief Sponsor of several pieces of historic legislation including the law bringing cursive writing back to our schools, the Historic Illinois Trust Act, the Law making Illinois a Welcoming State for immigrants, and the Homeless Bill of Rights. Speaker Welch is also a leading voice for adding Black and Brown people to the boards of publicly held corporations after sponsoring landmark legislation that requires Illinois corporations to annually disclose their board composition.

Welch has been recognized with several significant awards for his legislative record including the prestigious Zeke Giorgi Award from the AFL-CIO and the Friend and Education Award from the Illinois Education Association.

Prior to joining the General Assembly, Welch served 12 years on the Proviso Township High School Board of Education.  His last ten years he served as the Board Chair. Welch lead the Proviso School Board in the creation of the Proviso Math and Science Academy, a school that today is recognized by Chicago Magazine and US News and World Reports. He did this all while balancing the schools budget for the first time since the early 90s.

Welch is a partner in the local government law firm Ancel Glink. Prior to that, he served as a partner at Sanchez, Daniels and Hoffman, LLP from 2007 to 2018 where he represented local school districts and municipalities. For his work in school, education and civil rights law, Welch has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and one of Chicago’s Leading Lawyers.

Welch is a graduate of Proviso West High School (‘89), Northwestern University (‘93), and The John Marshall Law School (‘97). He is a 2016 inductee into the JMLS Wall of Fame.

Welch is married to ShawnTe and has two children, Tyler and Marley.

Speaker Welch believes that “He will always find a way, or make one.”

AIC Exam Prep


Date: Friday, October 8, 2021

Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (noon)

Cost: Illinois members FREE / Non-Illinois members $25 (conference registration not required)


The APA-IL is proud to once again provide the widely successful AICP Exam Prep Workshop. The virtual session will be led by the same trainers who have conducted AICP training throughout the country for over a decade and the past 8 National APA Conferences including the 2018 National APA Conference in New Orleans: John Houseal, FAICP, Devin Lavigne, FAICP, LEED AP, founders of Houseal Lavigne Associates, and Trevor Dick, AICP, LEED AP, City of Aurora. Each registrant will be provided a course booklet .pdf.

Plan Commissioners

Plan Commissioner Training

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021 tentative

Location: virtual (Zoom)

Time: 4:00 - 6:00 PM tentative

Cost for Commissioners: conference single day $75 | full conference (3 days): $150. November Training is included in the registration.


Plan Commissioners Training is going virtual this year! We will be changing things up for 2021. Commissioners will attend conference sessions October 6-8, 2021 (in-person and/or virtual) THEN have a seperate, virtual training on November 17th from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm.

Plan commissioners work hard reading packets, reviewing cases, conducting public hearings, and considering policy matters; but they rarely get the chance to sit back and look at the big picture of what they do and the significance it has to the communities in which they live. 

Most commissioners are not professionals in the planning or development field and can benefit from a bit of extra training on the topic. Even seasoned commissioners appreciate the chance to step back from the task of plan review and approval, learn what’s new in planning, and discuss their role with fellow commissioners.

All planning officials, boards, and commissions are welcome. Professional planners are welcome to attend the November 17th training as well (no CM offered will be offered). 

Social Events

Social Events

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Tuesday Evening - Get Socially Reacquainted then Uptown Normal Trivia Tour

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Time: 8:00 pm

Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

201 Broadway

Normal, IL 61761

This is a casual event is open to all.


Get socially reacquainted..

Do you remember how to shake hands? Greet someone when you're face-to-face? Neither do we. Let's work on our social skills (while adhering to COVID guidelines) on October 5th! Come get settled in at the Marriott and join your peers for a casual meet up at Jesse's Lounge (the Marriott's bar), at 8:00 pm (trivia @ 8:30 pm). This is a great opportunity to get reacquainted with your planning peers before sessions begin the next morning.


Then, get ready for a Trivia Tour!
Do you remember all the fun of trivia from the 2020 APA-IL Virtual State Conference? Neither do your hosts, Glen & Phil. Come join them as they try to recreate the madness, I mean magic, in Normal. Find out if they still have chemistry as they meet in person for the very first time (like on 90 Day Fiancé). Bring your walking shoes because this trivia is going to take you around Uptown Normal!

Join the APA-IL in Normal the evening before the conference begins. We'll be meeting up at the hotel bar, trying to remember our best social skills, and seeing if we can recognize each other outside of a Zoom meeting!

Awards Reception and Exhibitor Meet & Greet

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Awards Ceremony - 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Exhibitors Meet and Greet Reception - 5:30 to 6:30 pm


This complimentary event is open to all attendees. 

After the Awards Program, mingle with award winners and exhibitors at the meet and greet immediately following the awards. This reception joins you and other attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors.

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APA-IL "The Lowdown" Virtual Happy Hour

Friday, October 8, 2021
Time: 7:30 pm


Cost: FREE!

Don your slippers and grab a sipper - brought to you by the APA-IL Membership Committee. Each Lowdown is a casual conversation over 1-1.5 hours. After a short introduction from each member, we'll have a topic to kick off the conversation or welcome any "I have a question...", "Did you see...", "Could you help me with...", "You won't believe...", and "Did you know..." from the group.

Great friendships and solid networking are a mainstay! Please consider joining us whether you've attended the conference or not AND we're welcoming non-members as well!

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