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Upcoming Events

TxEPL will have several events at the 2016 State Conference in San Antonio. Stay tuned for more information.



In response to a recommendation from the 2014-2015 APA-Texas Chapter Action Plan, the Texas Chapter Executive Committee formed a 29-member steering committee to create an organization that would assist in building and identifying future leaders in the planning profession. The steering committee identified a number of goals that would be needed to make the organization successful and formed the Texas Emerging Planning Leaders (TxEPL) in 2014. On October 15, 2014, the Texas Chapter Executive Committee voted to approve the new standing committee of the Texas Chapter for the Emerging Planning Leaders. 



The purpose of Texas Emerging Planning Leaders (TxEPL) is to enhance communication between emerging and experienced planning professionals; provide for professional advancement in the field by identifying employment opportunities and through targeted training and education; and support the advancement of the planning profession through leadership opportunities.

In pursuit of the mission, TxEPL is committed to the long term goals of:

  • Developing the skills and knowledge needed to become the next generation of successful planning leaders in the State of Texas;
  • Providing a clearinghouse of communications, training, and networking opportunities for emerging planning leaders;
  • Bridging the professional gap between college graduates, members of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and members of the Fellows of American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP);
  • Identifying individuals to move into leadership roles at the section, state, and national levels of the American Planning Association (APA);
  • Building and executing a successful Mentorship Program to connect emerging planning leaders with the experienced planning professions and Texas AICP Fellows.


Committee Members

The APA-Texas Chapter President appoints a Chair for the Texas Emerging Planning Leaders (TxEPL). This Chair is responsible for the Emerging Planning Leaders activities of the Chapter.  Membership of the TxEPL Committee are open to APA Texas Chapter members in good standing.   The TxEPL Chair designates members of the committee to serve as the Mentorship Program Chair, Communications Chair, and Programs Chair.  Each Section Director also appoints a Section member to serve on the TxEPL Committee.

TxEPL Chair
Kendall Wendling, AICP 

Mentorship Program Chair
Doug McDonald, AICP

Programs Chair
Kelly Porter, AICP

Communications Chair
Claire Hempel, AICP
Central Section Representative
Rachel Tepper

East Section Representative
Kyle Kingma

Houston Section Representative
Michelle Queen

Midwest Section Representative
Shane Pace
North Central Section Representative
Jeremy Williams

Northwest Section Representative
Kevin Crosby

Southmost Section Representative
Cristina Garcia  

Southwest Section Representative
Krystin Ramirez

West Section Representative
Denisse Rodarte



Lattes and Leadership

This TxEPL signature event is meant to showcase experienced planning leaders via an interactive discussion with a small group of planners in sections across the state. A featured planning leader leads discussions about careers, leadership involvement, and lessons learned. These events will happen at least once a year. Thank you to our past speakers and event participants!

April/May 2016 Lattes and Leadership Speakers

Central Section: Kelly Porter, AICP, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Houston Section: Chrishelle Palay, Texas Housers

Midwest Section: Wendy Shabay, AICP, Freese and Nichols

North Central Section: Mike McAnelly, FAICP, Texas Chapter APA Executive Administrator

Southmost Section: Javier Guerrero, Texas A&M University


June 2015 Lattes and Leadership Speakers

Central Section: Rebecca Leonard, AICP, Design Workshop

Midwest Section: Dana Burghdoff, AICP, City of Fort Worth

North Central Section: Lori Schwarz, AICP, City of Plano

Southwest Section: Rudy Nino, AICP, City of San Antonio


Committee Events and Activities