Hello Mississippi planners!
First of all, let me start by saying what an honor it is to serve as Chapter President for APA Mississippi. APA Mississippi is a wonderful organization comprised of passionate planners, and it will be my goal over the next two years to make sure our organization continues to advance the planning profession across the State of Mississippi.
The privilege of serving as Chapter President comes with great responsibility. In my position statement for the election, I pledged to do the following things as President:
Update the chapter’s strategic development plan.
Publish a quarterly e-newsletter for chapter members.
Host professional development and/or social events in each of the three regions.
Work with the Mississippi Planning Institute to expand training opportunities for planning commissioners in Mississippi.
Continue to support academic programs at Jackson State University and Southern Miss, and expand to include programs at other universities in the state.
Evaluate Mississippi’s planning enabling legislation to determine if recommendations should be made for improvement.
Expand our chapter’s involvement with allied fields and organizations, including architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, and real estate development.
Create and implement a statewide Great Places in Mississippi program.
Nominate at least one community for APA’s Great Places in America program.
Continue our chapter’s legacy of high quality, affordable statewide conferences.
While these ten items represent an ambitious agenda, I will work hard with members of the Executive Committee over the next two years to accomplish these goals. Already, we have given our chapter website a design refresh and have sent the first of the quarterly e-newsletters. In addition, taskforces have been created to revise our Strategic Development Plan, establish a Great Places in Mississippi program, and examine Mississippi’s planning enabling legislation.
Accomplishing these goals will take hard work from members of the Executive Committee and others who serve the chapter in various capacities, but let us all remember that our primary obligation as planners is to serve the public interest and advance the planning profession.
With that in mind, let me encourage you to get involved with our chapter. I have been a member of APA since 2007 and have served the Mississippi Chapter as Public Information Officer and Conference Committee Chair. I also currently serve as Vice-Chair of APA’s Leadership Development Taskforce. Each of these experiences has provided me an opportunity to develop leadership skills and meet other planners in Mississippi and across the country.
If you would like to get involved or have ideas you’d like to share, please send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
Thomas Gregory, AICP