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Central Section
News & Announcements

Young and Emerging Planners (YEP) 

Seeking Central Valley Young Professionals

We're looking to expand our YEP network in the Central Valley and would like to start hosting YEP specific workshops and events. Please forward this info to Young Planners within your cities or organizations whom are interested in getting involved. Let us know what you'd like us to host and contact Tiffany Ho, APA Central Section's YEP Coordinator at A survey will go out  soon.

2021-2022 CA Planning Foundation Scholarships

Deadline to Apply 
Monday May, 31st

Russell Fey Memorial Scholarship: $2,000

The Central Section contributes this award to honor Russell Fey, founding faculty member for the planning program at Fresno State University. The Section encourages consideration of students from the Central Valley for this award.

Why Pursue Your AICP Credentials?

Obtaining a professional certification may seem like a daunting task for any employee, especially for young professionals who may not feel that they have the experience, knowledge or understanding needed.  For urban planning, there are also multiple fields and backgrounds which practitioners may have been trained apart from traditional planning programs, such as geography, anthropology or political science.

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) provides the only verification process for a planner’s qualifications and understanding of the profession.  Similar to other professional certifications, such as Professional Engineer (PE) or Certified Public Account (CPA), any planner passing the AICP examination process can be identified quickly as a thought leader within the profession.  AICP certified planners can also be identified easily by recruiters, employers and local officials as a professional having extensive understanding of the history, law, and ethics needed to function competently within the urban and regional planning practice.

As with obtaining advanced degrees, AICP credentials may open up opportunities that were previously not available.  These opportunities include not only advancement to jobs that may not have been accessible but also opportunities for higher salaries.  According to the American Planning Association (APA), AICP-certified planners receive on average $17,000 more annually than non-certified planners, along with a more positive reputation and greater recognition by local decision-makers in the field, such as planning commissioners or city councilmembers.

Apart from the initial requirement of passing the test, AICP certification also carries the responsibility of continuing education with regard to new happenings, laws, and other events within the planning field.  The certification maintenance (CM) requirements are different from those in other professional fields, such as engineering, where continuing is not required in all states. The AICP CM process ensures that AICP planners learn and uphold the high standards of practice expected of certified planners.  Furthermore, the continuing education requirement also allows planners to network with others within the region and across the nation.  By knowing other AICP planners, certified individuals are able to reach out for support when daunting or new issues arise. 

The Central Section as well as the California APA Chapter provide educational training opportunities, resources, and guidance for planners willing to make the commitment to become certified.  See the Central Section web site at for on-demand training opportunities.

Any planner at any career level is encouraged to reach out to their Professional Development Officers with questions, concerns or general comments about becoming AICP certified.

Jerome Keene was elected as the Central Section Professional Development Officer for AICP in February 2021. He can be reached at 

Upcoming Events

Tactical Urbanism Workshop

Thursday, April 8, 2021
5:00 to 6:00 p.m. 

Come check out our tactical urbanism Pecha Kucha workshop this Thursday, April 8th from 5 – 6 p.m. This fast-paced happy hour will feature four planners from the Central Section and one planner from the Los Angeles hour. 1 AICP CM credit pending. Stay for networking!

Grad School Panel

Thursday, April 8 at 5:30 PM

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) News 

NEW Book Club Pick!
DIY City


New Boardmembers

Please join us in welcoming two new boardmembers, we are thrilled to welcome them to the APA Central Section Exective Board. Our section board has doubled in size since 2019 and we are always welcoming of members to join our team. 
Jerome Keene, MAS, AICP
Professional Development Officer for AICP
Fresno State GIS Instructor 
Forward Manager at Century Communities, Inc.

Mark Staples

Planning and Development Director, City of Taft 

Seeking Central Section Director-Elect

Our Central Section Board is recruiting for a new Section Director. This role is mentored and would be considerate of busy schedules. All board meetings are virtual. For more information, contact Jenna Chilingerian at 
Check out our website!
Central Section Board
Jennifer Clark, AICP
Ralph Kachadourian
Eric VonBerg, MRP
Carolina Ilic, MCP, AICP
Rob Terry, MPA, AICP
Victoria Chung, MURP
Mario Anaya, MPA, AICP
Casey Lauderdale, MURP, AICP 
Jenna Chilingerian, MCRP
Tiffany Ho
Jerome Keene, MAS, AICP
Mark Staples
Karl Schoettler (Sierra Retreat Chair)
Social Media
Don't forget to add us on Instagram, Facebook and coming soon LinkedIn. Links are at the bottom of the newsletter. Or search for APA Central Section.
Would you like to highlight a planning professional or project in the newsletter? Please reply and let us know. We would love to feature planning news throughout the section in our newsletter and on the website.
Jobs Posting
The Central Section will post job openings on our website for free! Please
e-mail Rob Terry at if you have a planning-related job opportunity in the Central Valley. 
Copyright © 2020 APA Central Section, All rights reserved.

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7080 N. Whitney Ave. Suite 101 Fresno, CA 93720

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APA Central Section · 7080 N Whitney Ave Ste 101 · Fresno, CA 93720-0154 · USA

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