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The APATX17 conference was a huge success and set the bar for future conferences. Thank you to the conference committee members for donating their time to make this conference a great one. Based on the post conference survey, 93% of respondents said the conference met or exceeded expectations! The post conference survey also indicated that we had some of the best keynote speakers in recent history. Chet Garner with the Daytripper was overwhelmingly a crowd favorite. You can check out the post conference survey results here.

McDonald Headshot

Following the Chapter Conference, new Chapter and Section officers assumed their elected and appointed roles with APATX. As your new Chapter President, I am excited to say that your Chapter Board is already hard at work. In November, the Board approved a new five year Action Plan, which outlines goals and actions to advance our organization. The new APATX Executive Board will have its first meeting on February 2 to discuss a number of important topics related to the Action Plan, which will include:

  • Selection of 2019 and 2020 conference locations;
  • New technology proposal for session and award submittals;
  • Potential section boundary adjustments; and
  • A part time Communications Technician position.

Your new elected officers created a fun “get to know us” document if you want to know which officer sings to Spice Girls at karaoke and which officer spends their free time camping with family.

One of my goals as Chapter President is to provide the membership with brief recaps of Board meetings to improve the transparency of the Board’s actions and keep the membership apprised of new initiatives. The Board has also live tweeted during the past two meetings, so if you are interested in actions, votes, and Board discussions, you can follow @txplanning on Twitter during the meetings.  You can also find APATX on Facebook, which is another great outlet for APATX information.

Many of the actions you see from the Board will come from the 2017-2022 Action Plan. This plan was developed by the comments we received last year from the membership survey (view survey results here). Feedback from members is vital to the success of our organization, so I urge you to participate in the future when these opportunities arise.  

2018 will be a great year for APATX. Below is a quick highlight of what is to come:

  • The Post-Disaster Recovery Committee, led by Committee Chair Kimberly Miller, is meeting bi-weekly to discuss how to support Texas communities in the disaster recovery process. You will see new initiatives from this Committee throughout the year as they develop strategies for communities. If you are interested in joining this Committee, please contact Kimberly Miller at
  • The Second Year of Great Places in Texas! Have a place you want to nominate? The Call for Places is currently open, and closes February 2!
  • The graduate planning program at the University of Texas at Arlington will be reviewed for re-accreditation by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). Are you a UT-Arlington graduate and want to help? Take this quick survey or contact Ivonne Audirac at
  • Partner Event – 94th Annual Texas Public Health Association conference in Waco, March 5-7, CM sessions will be available (Registration is open)
  • New technology will be introduced for APATX18 conference session submittals and Chapter awards submittals (no more PDFs or flash drives!)
  • NPC18 in New Orleans April 21-24 with the Texas Chapter Reception on April 23 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant, 701 Tchoupitoulas Street (Registration is open)
  • Partner Event – Texas Municipal League Annual Conference in Fort Worth, October 9-12
  • APATX18 Chapter Conference and Short Course in the Gulf Coast Region on October 17-19, with the conference held in Galveston and mobile workshops in Houston.

As we kickoff 2018 with new board members, I want to thank those individuals who served on a board over the past two years. We have over 40 elected positions at the state and section levels and these individuals play a significant role in our organization.

I hope to see you all at APATX18 in Galveston. Cheers to a new year!

Pictured above (left to right): Chapter President-Elect Chance Sparks, AICP, West Section Director Fred Lopez, AICP, Chapter Executive Administrator Mike McAnelly, FAICP, and Chapter President Doug McDonald, AICP at a conference site visit in El Paso on the beautiful campus of UT-El Paso. 

Pictured above (left to right): Chapter President Doug McDonald, AICP, APATX member Sherry Sefko, AICP, Midwest Section Director Tamara Cook, AICP, Chapter Professional Development Officer Richard Luedke, AICP, Claudia McAnelly, and Chapter Executive Administrator Mike McAnelly, FAICP at a conference site visit in Waco at the Magnolia Market at the Silos.