For APA Director, Region 4
Wendy E. Moeller, FAICP
- Compass Point Planning: Principal/Owner (2010-Present)
- McBride Dale Clarion: Senior Planner (1999-2010)
- Pflum, Klausmeier & Gehrum: Planner (1996-1999)
- APA Region IV Director (2016-Present)
- APA Secretary (2019-Present)
- APA Legislative and Policy Committee Vice-Chair (2018-Present)
- APA Governance Committee Chair (2018)
- New Urbanism Division: Secretary/Treasurer (2013-2016)
- APA-Ohio: Chapter President (2009-2012)
- APA-Ohio: Board of Trustees (2008-2015)
- APA-Cincinnati Section: Officer (Various) (1997-2009)
- Goshen Township Zoning Commissioner (2004-2007)
- Sign Research Foundation: Board of Directors (2013-2017)
- Bachelor's Degree, Urban Planning: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (1996)
I have been a planner for the past 22 years, almost all of which I have actively participated in various levels of APA because of my love for this profession and the desire to showcase how planning can benefit all communities. Being a planning consultant has afforded me the opportunity to work across the nation, allowing me to witness the transformative effect planning has on our communities and this is what makes me want to continue my work with APA.
If re-elected as the Region IV Director for APA, I would commit to the following:
- Expanding the APA Strategic Plan. During my time on the board, we have made a significant shift in how we are strategically planning for the future of the organization. The board now focuses on evaluating the "mega-issues" that communities and planners are facing (e.g., infrastructure, leadership, etc.) and working to determine the best course of action for APA as the basis of our organizational strategic plan. I want to continue to work with our membership to identify these key issues and then systematically tackle the issues with involvement from our members to make sure we focus our resources in an effective and efficient manner.
- Ensuring that APA is about all. APA serves planners and communities of all types and we need to provide a wide array of services and educational opportunities to represent that diversity. APA is not just about professional planners working for big cities. We are urban, suburban, and rural communities; professional and citizen planners; and we are comprised of members of every form of background that needs to be recognized as an important component in our work as an organization. I want to continue to work to make sure we are serving the needs of all, including APA's work on diversity, inclusivity, and social equity.
- Facilitating cooperation amongst APA components. As an organization with a number of components (national, divisions, chapters, student organizations, etc.), I will continue to expand on the conversations about the different and important roles of each component and find out how to best use our resources to give members the biggest bang for their buck. In having this kind of conversation, we might discover that our chapters are more effective at providing certain services, such as planning commission training, while the national organization should continue to serve a central function in planning policies and supporting research that will benefit all communities.
- Communicating the value of being an APA member. There are many people who feel that membership with APA means getting a magazine once a month and invitations to the national conference. This could not be further from the truth and members need to understand the value of their membership. I will work with the APA Board to find ways to better communicate the breadth of resources available to the membership.
It would be my privilege to continue to serve as the Region IV Director where I can help ensure an organization that understands its membership and works to provide services to help make great communities happen for all.
What do you believe is the most important member service APA provides? Why? How would you propose strengthening this and other member services?
I think that research and education are jointly our most important member services. The introduction of free digital access to the Planning Advisory Service opened up a huge resource to our membership that provides great value. APA needs to continue sponsoring more of that research as well as partnering with other organizations on joint efforts similar to our current partnership with AARP. I believe that the APA Foundation's current effort to develop a research agenda based on input from our membership is going to take that work to the next level. Ultimately, I think research and education go hand-in-hand and that we need to continue to expand our education efforts including broadening the availability of education resources online through APA Learn and affordable, in-person training opportunities.
How could APA improve and strengthen the relationship among APA and its components (AICP, Chapters, Divisions, SRC)?
Making the chairperson of each component a voting member on the APA Board went a long way towards strengthening that relationship as it makes each of the components a part of the decision-making process from the start. At the same time, I think there needs to be a continued effort to make the components aware of major efforts the APA Board and AICP Commission are working on beyond just putting that responsibility on the chairs. Where there is a need for component input, the board should give the various components advance notice of the timing for release and feedback so the comment period is not rushed. Beyond improving communication, I think there is a lot of opportunity to engage the components be appointing component leaders to the various committees that are helping APA with its overall organizational work as well as with our strategic planning efforts.
Now that the Planning for Equity Policy Guide has been adopted, how should APA use this guide to shape itself organizationally?
The Planning for Equity Policy Guide is a great first step in giving our organization direction on how we need to be thinking about diversity, inclusion, and equity as a group. I think there are two different initiatives APA needs to focus on. First, I think as an organization, we need to take a look within and undertake an audit of how our current organization meets, exceeds, or is lacking in the pursuit of equity and then identify what we need to do to improve the overall organization. Second, if we, as an organization, what to help communities work towards equity, I think we need to find ways to provide education and resources to communities regardless of membership. To do that, I believe we should look beyond our typical partnerships with other design-based organizations (e.g., AIA, ASLA, etc.) and work more with organizations tied in with community leadership including, but not limited to, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Association of Counties (NACo), and the National League of Cities (NLC), to name a few. We should seek partnerships with these organizations to mutually develop a more diverse leadership and membership, as well as creating resources for all communities on steps they can use to plan for equity.
What is the biggest challenge facing the planning profession, and how should APA address it?
I personally don't like to think of APA as an organization serving just the "planning profession" when ultimately our goal is to serve communities in general, whether they have professional planners or not. That being said, I think that one of the biggest challenges for the profession and for communities is the cost of housing. It is an issue that is affecting every size and type of community and I think our profession and our communities are struggling to find the right combination of tools to develop realistic solutions. I think APA's Planning Home will continue to serve as a great resource as it consolidates information APA is generating while also providing information on research and tools that communities are effectively utilizing in the field. I think APA needs to continue to build that resource and make sure that we don't get caught in the trap of highlighting primarily what big cities are doing as housing cost is an issue for small towns and rural communities too, many of whom do not have as many resources as larger cities.