Meet Douglas Irby – Charlotte, North Carolina

”We have a history for being passionate about injustice in our communities. We also have a history of channeling that passion into self-destructive and ineffective behavior. With more community people properly trained to guide those passions into a positive, legal and organized effort to seek the justice that all people are guaranteed by God and the US Constitution, we would all be better served.”

Member Profile: Isis Lopez

Isis LopezIf you drive through the streets of Austin, you will see juxtaposed living situations—model luxury homes next to homes that are older and in need of maintenance. When the Austin Code Department was initiated, the message for our office was that of awareness – “call Austin 311 to report violations.” But our team realized that we were treating the symptoms and not addressing possible solutions or preventing the violations.

In 2018, we shifted our mindset from “report your neighbor” to learning more about the codes and empowering individuals with resources and information to not only avoid violations but live in a safer environment, which is the end-goal for the department.

Our department is largely complaint-driven. We get a complaint, and our inspector goes out to investigate. We decided to become more pro-active, by creating a “heat map” to see the areas with a high incidence of complaints, and then we focus our outreach on the “hottest” areas.

Message from the Executive Manager

Gail MadziarAs your new Executive Manager, it has been a pleasure these past few weeks getting to know the IAP2 USA Board and members. It’s clear you are all a very dedicated group. We have been busy at the IAP2 virtual office as well and you will notice some changes as we move forward in our organizational growth.

IAP2 board elections continue through December 11 with a great slate of candidates. Be sure to vote. Watch for more opportunities to connect and serve your association in the coming months. The IAP2 USA board is reaching out for committee volunteers including participants for a new diversity and inclusion committee, ambassadors, and chapter members. We’re asking your opinions about our programs and processes in a membership survey open through December 11. Your input is important and will guide the direction of the IAP2 USA strategic planning process which begins in 2020. 

Along with the March 9-13, 2020 Skills Symposium in Sacramento, you’ll find a second opportunity to attend a 2020 Skills Symposium in Atlanta this fall. The 2020 IAP2 North American Conference is in Banff in Alberta, Canada is September 9- 11, 2020. Mark your calendars!

I look forward to working with you and hearing your input and ideas. Please contact me any time at gail[at]

Mae West Was Right

Author: Catherine Smith, CP3

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” – Mae West.

Too much good—is that even possible? I don’t think so. There’s always room for doing more good in our world, and especially at IAP2 USA where we teach people what good decisions made together means.

To do more good this year, we’ve launched our first annual giving campaign, funding scholarships for practitioners of all types. Our goal is to broaden our organizational reach by defraying the cost of our learning events for a range of deserving individuals. These funds will help them access our webinars, taster series, symposia, courses, chapter events, and annual conferences. 

New Faces at IAP2 USA: Introducing Gail & Erin

It was just two months ago in a downtown Denver conference room when we met the finalists for the Executive Manager position. Out of 72 applicants, the choice came down to two fantastic candidates. Meeting them in person made us not want to make that choice. It made us want to make a different choice—the choice to hire them both. So we asked for their patience, worked through the numbers, and discovered and decided, it was time. Not only could we acknowledge there was too much for one manager to do, but it was time to specialize the Executive Manager role and create a new one as well.

So it is with great happiness, we are able to introduce you to our new Executive Manager (Gail) and to our new Strategic Development Manager (Erin). It’s due to years of steadily moving and growing into this era, that we have arrived and now, they have arrived to join us. We look forward to you meeting them through our events, services and member engagement opportunities. For now, please say hello to Gail and Erin.

Government with the People?

A new report from the Kettering Foundation, With the People: Making Democracy Work as It Should, offers a strategy for bridging some of the divide separating the people of the United States from their government and from the country’s major institutions. It envisions a form of collaboration that would have institutions working with citizens, not just for them. 

University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) is Seeking Proposals for their 2019 Annual Conference

University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) is now seeking proposals from university researchers, teachers, professional staff and project directors in the fields of civic engagement, multi-stakeholder collaboration, collaborative public management, dispute resolution, and negotiation.

Proposals are welcome focusing on:

  • Research and Scholarship
  • Engaged Scholarship (action research, practitioner-academic joint work, etc.)
  • Teaching, Training and Evaluations (for traditional on-campus students, or for non-degree professionals in training settings)
  • Practice/Engagement Projects and Models

Proposals are due: May 29, 2019 1 PM Pacific Coast Time

To learn more, download the Proposal Packet or check out their website to learn more about their conference.

The conference is open to all people interested and connected to a college or university. UNCG has student and working professional memberships.

About UNCG:
The University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) consists of college and university centers, institutes and programs that engage in service, scholarship and teaching to build the capacity for collaborative governance. UNCG champions collaborative governance by supporting and strengthening a network of faculty members and professionals from college and university centers, institutes, and programs that engage in collaborative governance practice, scholarship, and teaching.

2019 Midwest Chapter Conference UPDATE

Hello IAP2 USA Midwest Chapter members,Our annual spring conference is coming up next month, and the list of sessions is now available! Learn more below, and please plan to join us in St. Louis for this dynamic regional conference, where you can connect with and learn from fellow public participation professionals. The affordable conference fee provides access to informative sessions, networking and social events, food, drinks, and more over two great days!

Questions about travel or hotel accommodations? Contact Heather Lasher Todd, The conference will be held in the Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis, MO.

Register here:

Please help make this important event for our chapter a success by spreading the word to your networks, and sharing this flyer and registration link on social media!

 Meet us in St. Louis May 16 – 17 – Register Now!

Member Profile: Gwen (Happ) Howard

Gwen Happ recently took on the job of secretary of IAP2 USA. “I was part of the early years with IAP2,” she says. “I was there during a period when the organization was experiencing slow steady growth and then… a stall… and declining membership. I’m so glad to see the organization turning it around and membership growing to where we are now.”

So now, let’s meet Gwen (Happ) Howard.