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The Southwest Section is committed to promoting sound planning practices based on ethical principles to help the community improve its quality of life, realize its goals, and secure its future.

SW Section Statement on Racial Equity and Inclusion

Board of Directors | Bylaws Get Updates | Events | Strategic Plan 

 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors meets for a conference call on the first Wednesday of every month at 5:00 PM PT.

Conference Call-Instructions:

Call-in Number: (513) 386-0000

Participant Access Code: 1024669#  | Meeting ID: 897 0811 9740

Passcode: 027346 | Meeting on Zoom

Executive Board email: [email protected]

Position Name Position Expiration Date
President Melissa Johnston, AICP October 31, 2024
President-Elect Claire Lust October 31, 2024
Immediate Past President Sam Rubin, AICP  
Treasurer Ethan Spoo, AICP October 31, 2024
Secretary Drew Helmes October 31, 2024
Clark County Representative Jenna Kay October 31, 2024
Cowlitz County Representative Jason Lugo October 31, 2024
Skamania County Representative Mandy Hertel October 31, 2024
Professional Development Co-Chair Adam Trimble October 31, 2024
Professional Development Co-Chair Claire Lust  October 31, 2024
Communications Chair Mark Person, AICP October 31, 2024
Legislative Liaison Brian Carrico October 31, 2024


Section Bylaws

The bylaws are the organizing and operating protocols for the SW Section. The most recent version was unanimously voted for approval on July 18, 2018.

Read the Southwest Chapter Bylaws

Get Updates 

Subscribe to the SW WA APA listserv to receive a quarterly newsletter and notices for upcoming events.
To join, send an email to: [email protected] Like us on Facebook





October 26 / 9 a.m. 

October Planners Forum

Happy fall 2023! Please save the date and mark your calendars for an outstanding planner’s forum – Fall 2023 Southwest Washington Planner’s Forum! The forums are co-hosted by the Department of Commerce, the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association, and the Planning Association of Washington. Details are provided below. The agenda includes three speaker presentations. Tribal collaboration, grants, and technical assistance for floodplain management, and deconstruction rather than demolition of historic properties.

Register now
October 28 / 9 a.m. - 1 p.m

Urban Activism - Make a Difference Day Celebration

Join in with SW WA planners in recognition of National Make a Difference Day. We will support Clark Public Utilities’ StreamTeam at their tree planting event. Training, tools, breakfast snacks, and lunch will be provided. Your family and friends are welcome to join in too. Please register with StreamTeam and send a note to [email protected] so we can all meet up at the event.

Register now

May 11 / 9 a.m. - Noon

APA Forum

Zoom: Please register

Topics: Affordable housing strategies, riparian ecosystem protection, urban growth area swap, and updates from the Department of Commerce

May 11 / 5:30 p.m.


Join us for axe throwing at Vancouver's new Firehouse Axes. There will be axe-throwing instruction and there is food/drink available for order. You are welcome to come to hang out without throwing axes too. The axe throwing activity is free of charge, complimenting APA Washington, SW Section. Wear closed-toe shoes. RSVP to Melissa:[email protected]

July 22 / 10 a.m.- Noon


Join us at Lacamas Lake for kayaking! Available rental equipment includes Kayak, large kayak, stand-up paddle board, tandem kayak, and youth kayak. Or, bring your own. Rental is compliments of the Washington APA, SW Section.  RSVP to Melissa: [email protected].

Board Meeting Agendas & Minutes

January | View Minutes
March | View Minutes 
April | View Minutes 
May | View Minutes


View 2021–2022 Board Minutes 

Online Training and Resources

Have a look at these free Online Training and Resources document. For additional trainings check out our YouTube Channel with recorded trainings.

Strategic Plan

The Southwest Section exists to support our members, to advance the planning profession and to make communities great. The Strategic Plan includes prioritized goals, strategies and actions items to be accomplished over a two-year period.