Greetings! On January 1, 2016 I assumed the office of the Region II AICP Commissioner. As your new Commissioner I want to thank the South Carolina Chapter for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself to you.  Many exciting events are occurring within the American Institute of Certified Planners. The first being the induction next month of the Class of 2016 AICP College of Fellows in Phoenix at the APA National Conference. 61 new planners will receive the highest honor that AICP bestows upon on a member. If you see one of these new inductees, please take a moment to recognize the outstanding contributions they have made to our profession!

Next, the Commission is deliberating on whether pro bono work may be counted towards a portion of the required 32 CM credits. In the March 2nd issue of Interact, members were encouraged to review and comment on the proposed changes prior to the Commission’s final decision. This is important because our Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct calls us to “contribute time and effort to groups lacking in adequate planning resources and to voluntary professional activities.”  Comments are being accepted through this link:

The Ethics Committee of the Commission, to which I serve as Chair, is concluding a year’s worth of work on revising the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct sections C (Code Procedures) and D (Planners Convicted of Serious Crimes). The two sections required almost complete rewrites to bring clarity to process and procedures. Greater emphasis is placed on education and remediation to try to avoid adversarial situations. In addition, the prosecutorial “hearing officer” is proposed to be replaced by the Ethics Committee and Ethics Officer. The revisions were released for member comment in the February 24 issue of Interact (

Finally, there are exciting developments in the Community Assistance Teams (CPAT) program as the first international team began its work in Belize. This joins two other teams currently working on West Melbourne, Florida and Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition, a Community Planning Workshop on the South Central Avenue Light Rail Extension in Phoenix was held on April 2 at the National Conference in Phoenix. For more information on CPATs, go to

There are many other activities taking place within the Commission that I hope to update you more on in the future. Work continues on the “Pathway to Certification”, developing core competencies, the outcome of the jobs survey, completely updating the AICP exam, and initiatives to market the AICP credential.

I am looking forward to working with you and the South Carolina Chapter over the next four years as your Region II Commissioner.

Denise M. Harris, AICP

Region II AICP Commissioner