2022 Overview

President’s Message

In this section, the Chapter’s 2021-2022 President, Ashley Atkinson, AICP, reflects on the year and shares a message as she concludes her term. You’ll also see highlights of Chapter activities for 2022, and an overview of our year-end income and expenses reflecting sources and uses.

Although COVID continued to present challenges in 2022, the year also offered opportunities for APA California to embrace progress. Early in the year, we approved our first-ever four-year Strategic Plan, which reflects months of research, discussion, and evaluation of our values and goals as an organization and as planning. We strove to better align our work with our values, including a revision to our financial strategy that ensures our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our investments. We added new advisory positions focused on supporting our equity initiatives and engaging members in legislative activity. We made improvements to the way we do our work, including updates to policies and contracts to ensure stability as our long-term executive director planned for retirement. Our first in-person conference since 2019 was a great success, bringing nearly 2,000 planners to Anaheim to renew their professional skills and networks. 

Looking ahead to 2023, we will continue implementing our strategic plan with a renewed focus on supporting planners across the state; enhancing legislative advocacy and communications; increasing the diversity of our membership; and investing in leadership development. We are grateful for your membership and engagement in California’s planning community!

Ashley Atkinson, AICP
Chapter President, 2021 – 2022


Highlights of 2022 included a conference in Anaheim that broke attendance records, and marked the first time that conference sessions were offered both in person and online. The year also brought another active legislative session, preparation for APA California’s 75th anniversary in 2023, and a continued focus on diversity through Chapter programs and scholarships. In preparation for the retirement of our longtime executive director, Sande Stefan, at the end of 2022, board members and staff began to transition to a new full-service association management firm. Compass Management Solutions, which came under contract in spring 2022, will take on the executive director role in 2023.

  • More than 800 student members brought into the profession
  • A record 1,956 attendees at the 2022 Conference in Anaheim
  • 759 planning-related bills tracked in the California legislature
  • 40 eNews promoting programs, training, and opportunities to members 
  • 46 award winners and honorees in the field of planning
  • 52 student scholarships totaling more than $80,000


Services to the Chapter’s more than 5,000 members include Professional Development, Policy and Legislation, Public Information, Diversity and Equity, Conferences, and other support functions. The Chapter’s revenue primarily derives from a portion of member dues collected by APA at the national level, in addition to conference profits, online job ads, and participation in programs. The Chapter invested heavily in infrastructure in 2022 and finished the year with expenses exceeding income by a de minimis amount.