Updated: Jan 21, 2022
As my term as APA-IL President draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to thank our members for their commitment to our chapter and our profession over the last two years. My term coincided with the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which presented all of us with enormous challenges. During this time, APA-IL's Executive Committee, committee members, and volunteers rallied together to overcome these obstacles and provide new opportunities for our members. I am proud to say that we were able to stay nimble during these unusual times. The perfect example was our pivot to our first virtual state conference in 2020 and our "Return to Normal, IL" state conference, with in-person and virtual options, in 2021.
Our Membership Committee was established in 2020 and over the last two years has become an enormous resource for our members seeking to connect to planners throughout the state with our fun, casual Lowdown and Coffee Talk virtual events. While networking events like these, and our Planners of Color Happy Hours hosted by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, have been held online, we are hoping that there will be chances to complement these events with in-person events in the months to come.
Over the last two years, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee responded to renewed calls for social justice with enormous resources for planners throughout the state, like our 2020 Upholding Equity in Planning Workshop and our APA-IL Equity Resources. I encourage members to help the Chapter continue to bring diverse voices to our events and programs by becoming part of the DEI Committee's APA-IL Speaker Directory that began in the spring of 2020.
In addition, APA-IL's Professional Development (PD) Committee was established in 2021 to provide more educational programs for our members to learn about topics on the cutting edge of planning practice from practitioners around the state and beyond. The PD Committee successfully created and launched the APA-IL Plan Notes Series and as I write this, they are on the cusp of hosting a new and creative Let's Bake a Master Plan drawing skills webinar.
I step into my role as Past President with a sense of real accomplishment and trust that you, our members, will continue to answer the call and give your time for the betterment of our Chapter and our profession. I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2022; and I wish our new President Nina Idemudia, AICP, and the entire Chapter leadership team, all the best in their continued stewardship of our Chapter.
Sincerely, Jake Seid, AICP