Preparing for Success in Planning Management

Now Available from APA Learn

This course is now offered on the APA Learn educational platform.

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 1.25

You'll learn:

  • How three newly minted planning managers transitioned from planner to supervisor.

  • Tips on how to establish leadership and gain team trust during your first 100 days on the job.

  • Strategies to motivate a team to work collaboratively, productively, and efficiently.

  • Organizational challenges and responsibilities not taught in school.

Are you a planner on the management track? Then this session is a must. You’ll hear from others who have transitioned seamlessly from planner to supervisor. What skills and knowledge proved critical to success during their first 100 days on the job? What do they wish they had contemplated before making the leap into the management? Drawing from The New Leader’s 100 Day Action Plan, the presenters will cover what you should consider when applying and interviewing for a planning management job, what you need to learn to hit the ground running (once hired!), and how to chart a positive direction as a planning manager. Topics to be covered include understanding the workplace culture and political environment; building relationships, budgets, and the work program; meeting, assessing, and building your team; and managing the different expectations of team members, elected officials, administrators, and the public.





About the Speakers

Scott Swearengen
Scott Swearengen, AICP, is the Pinellas County Planning Department’s Long Range Planning Manager responsible for instituting strategic plans and policies to support the unique challenges of Florida’s densest, mostly built out county. Scott has over 17 years of experience in the public and private sectors working at a range of project scales, from dense urban neighborhoods to rural lands. Prior to joining Pinellas County, Scott served primarily as a project manager with various consulting firms, specializing in multimodal transportation and land development regulations. He also served as an urban designer with a small, boutique architecture firm in Chicago, Illinois. Scott has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Michigan University.

Marcie Stenmark
Marcie Stenmark, AICP, is the City of Safety Harbor Community Development Director and oversees the planning, building and code enforcement divisions. Marcie has over 19 years of experience in the public and private sectors including several years as a project manager with WilsonMiller. In addition, she held positions with the City of Gainesville, Hillsborough County, and the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. She has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Lake Forest College.

Melissa Zornitta
Melissa Zornitta, AICP is the Executive Director of the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission, serving in that role since January 2015. In this capacity, she manages the long range, comprehensive planning for unincorporated Hillsborough County, City of Tampa, City of Temple Terrace and Plant City. Ms. Zornitta has over 18 years of experience working in land use planning, comprehensive planning and community planning for local governments in Florida. Before becoming Executive Director, Ms. Zornitta held a number of progressively responsible planning positions with the Planning Commission, including serving as Assistant Director for three years. Prior to working at the Planning Commission, she worked for the City of St. Petersburg, Charlotte County and City of Tallahassee. Ms. Zornitta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from the College of William and Mary and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University. Ms. Zornitta is currently the Past President of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association, serving as the President from 2014-2016. Previously she served as the President Elect, Vice President of Section Affairs for the Chapter and chair of the local Sun Coast Section.