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2023 APA-IL State Conference

North Central College, Naperville, IL

September 11-13, 2023


This year's conference allows you to revisit the spirit of learning and rediscover the passion that ignited your urban planning career. Get ready to reminisce about your college days on the campus of North Central College and embrace the joy of learning in the dynamic city of Naperville!


Program highlights are below. Click the link above for the full program.

Note: If you registered prior to the program being published, please go back into your registration and add your sessions. Your confirmation email has a reference # that you will need to login. The confirmation email was sent from with the subject "Confirmation for 2023 APA-IL State Conference".

We will be using an app at this conference this year! Details will be sent to registered attendees very soon. Thanks for your patience.

APA-IL is working once again with CGi to manage this year's conference. If you have any questions about the conference or your conference registration, please email or call 501-954-9244.


Agenda at a Glance

All events will be held at North Central College unless otherwise indicated (*). 

Items below are subject to change.

Monday, September 11, 2023


  • Breakfast & Registration

  • Headshot Lounge Open!

  • Welcome

  • AM Sessions & Mobile Workshops*

  • Lunch Break*

  • PM Sessions & Mobile Workshops*

  • Awards Ceremony

  • Awards Reception

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


  • Breakfast & Registration

  • AM Sessions & Mobile Workshops*
  • Networking Break with Sponsors (including NCC Coffee Lab and Opportuni-Tea Time)
  • Lunch Break*

  • Let's Bake a Master Plan Workshop*

  • PM Sessions & Mobile Workshops*

  • Murder Mystery Dinner Social Event

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


  • Breakfast & Registration

  • AM Plan Commissioner Training*

  • AM Sessions & Mobile Workshops*

  • Lunch Break*

  • PM Plan Commissioner Training*

  • AICP Exam Prep*

  • PM Sessions & Mobile Workshops*

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

All events to be held on the campus of North Central College unless otherwise indicated (*). 

Program Highlights

Headshot Lounge

Monday, September 11, 2023

All day, by appointment

Wentz Concert Hall, look for directional signage near registration

Thanks to sponsors Canete Medina Consulting Group and Muse Community + Design, we are offering FREE headshots to attendees. Be sure to pack your best suit, get a haircut, and don’t forget to bring your smile :)

Appointment details TBD

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Networking Break with Sponsors

Monday, September 12, 2023

9:30 am - 10:15 am

Wentz Concert Hall, Exhibit Hall


Enjoy an extended break with your favorite sponsors!


Don't miss out on these special treats during this time:

  • North Central College's Coffee Lab. A state-of-the-art roastery and research laboratory dedicated to studying the craft of the coffee industry. Our conference will offer their coffee and during this time attendees will sample their hot chocolate!

  • APA-IL's Opportuni-Tea Time. Are you seeking new career opportunities or looking for the perfect candidate to join your team? Join this informal meetup session and let's explore the possibilities together. Meet at the APA-IL booth in the Exhibit Hall. 

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Speed Planning

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

10:15 am - 11:15 am

Held in Wentz Science Center, Room: Stevenson (E)

CM | 1.0


A conference favorite! Stick around for this fast-paced, interactive session where you can hear about the many planning projects and efforts going on
throughout the state! 

Speakers: TBD


Let’s Bake a Master Plan! Back in the Kitchen for an Expanded Drawing and Design Workshop

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Held at the Naperville Municipal Center

CM | 3.0

Making a master plan can be just like baking a cake! You need a great framework (recipe), great plan elements (ingredients), and the right drawing/design tools (utensils). You need to practice (and practice more) until you find your own way to draw and design. Most importantly, you have to love the process of making, and the joy of watching others enjoy places you helped create. This highly interactive 3 hour workshop will expand on the successes of the online drawing webinar “Lets Bake a Master Plan” held in 2021 and in 2022. Each workshop attendee will receive a drawing supply kit courtesy of Ginkgo Planning & Design Inc. The session will be capped at 35 professional attendees.

Cost: $15

Speakers: Ferhat Zerin, FAICP, Ginkgo Planning & Design Inc.; Pericles  Georgopoulos, Ginkgo Planning & Design Inc.

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Plan Commissioner Training

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Held at the Naperville Municipal Center

Cost for Commissioners: single day $75 | full conference (3 days): $200 


It's back! 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. That will be the focus of this all-day track.


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.

Session 1:  Panel Discussion with Planners and Attorneys (start: 9:00 AM)

  • Introduction to planning and tools of the trade – History, comp plans, zoning, roles of other parties, responsibilities of commissioners 

  • Planning Tricks of the Trade – Running a meeting, Findings of Fact, Ethics, Ex Parte, conflict of interest, open meetings


Networking Lunch

  • This is a great opportunity to network with commissioners from other communities! Lunch is included in registration fee.


Session 2: Walking Tour & Mock Hearing (1:00 - 3:00 PM) CM | 2.0

  • See how the importance of a site visit becomes evident as you examine the sites, discussed during the morning session, up close and personal. This short walking tour will provide the opportunity for you to see how the ideas put on paper become a reality. The walk will be within 1-2 blocks of the Naperville Municipal Center.

  • After the walk, attendees will return to the Naperville Municipal Center and participate in a mock hearing. Topics will include typical items that occur during a public hearing and how best to handle the process. Commissioners will be asked to volunteer to read a script and play the parts, such as developer, attorney, engineer, architect, planner, neighbor. At several points, the audience will be asked to apply their knowledge from the morning session. We will discuss whether certain things could have been handled in a different manner so the commissioners will learn about best practices for conducting a hearing.

  • 2 CM will be offered for planners that would like to attend.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Learn about the concepts and standards of planning.

  2. Learn about the roles and responsibilities of a plan commissioner.

  3. Learn about the roles and perspectives of others involved in the development approval process.


  • Tom Farace, AICP, Village of Carol Stream

  • Greg Jones, AICP Ancel Glink

  • Megan Mack, Ancel Glink


AICP Exam Prep

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Held at the Naperville Municipal Center

The APA-IL is proud to once again provide the widely successful AICP Exam Prep Workshop. The session will be led by the same trainers who have conducted AICP training throughout the country for over a decade and the past National APA Conferences. Each registrant will be provided a course booklet .pdf.

Cost: Free, anyone not attending the conference is welcome to register separately for this session only. Registration is required.


John Houseal, FAICP (Houseal Lavigne Associates), Devine Lavigne, FAICP (Houseal Lavigne Associates), Trevor Dick, FAICP, LEED AP (City of Aurora), Brandon Nolin, AICP (Houseal Lavigne Associates)

AICP Exam Training
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