By: Andrea Pietras, AICP, APA South Carolina President

I am excited and honored to be writing my first President’s message to the APA South Carolina membership.  I have very large shoes to fill as those who preceded me have done such amazing jobs, making APA South Carolina stronger than ever before.  Our Immediate Past President, Ernie Boughman, has expanded the services offered by APA South Carolina, strengthened our organization’s financial position, and represented us well with APA including serving on the Chapter President’s Council Certification and Maintenance Committee.  Robby Moody, who served as President from 2012 through 2014 and has recently stepped down from the position of Immediate Past President, began the APA South Carolina Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) Program and successfully led our first CPAT project.  Robby has graciously agreed to remain on the Executive Committee as our CPAT Committee Chair.  Other Executive Committee members who have recently stepped down and whose service I would like to recognize include: Mary Douglas-Hirsch, Secretary-Treasurer; Paul Thebo, Director-at-Large; and John Newman, Director-at-Large.  APA South Carolina officers for 2016 through 2018 were installed at the Fall 2016 Conference.  Our membership has elected very dedicated and talented people to the leadership team and I look forward to working with them over the next few years.  Their names and contact information can be found on APA South Carolina’s website (

Our current President-Elect, Josh Stephens, has accepted a new job in New York City, and therefore, will no longer be able to serve.  I would like to thank Josh for his hard work and dedication as APA South Carolina’s Director-at-Large and Legislative Committee Chair (2014 – 2016), congratulate him on his new position, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.  We will be holding a special election to fill the position of President-Elect.  If you or someone you know would like to run for this position, please fill out the Position Statement form and return it to Ernie Boughman at by the February 3 deadline.  Elections will open February 10 and close March 3.  I encourage you to consider running for this position. For additional information, please contact Ernie Boughman at

The APA South Carolina Executive Committee Annual Retreat was held on December 9 at the Central Midlands Council of Governments.  At the retreat, we approved the FY 2017 Budget and 2017 – 2019 Strategic Plan and Annual Work Program (view the documents here:  As you will see in the budget, 2016 was a very good year for us financially and we plan to use the revenue to increase conference scholarships and training opportunities, and create an annual awards program.  The Executive Committee intentionally approved a negative balance for the FY 2017 Budget to allow for these expansions, knowing that we likely will end up with a positive balance and that APA South Carolina has the funds available in savings to cover the deficit should the need arise.

Moving forward into 2017, we will be working to execute the Strategic Plan and Annual Work Program through: continuing to plan interesting and educational conferences; conducting a member services survey; offering CPAT Program opportunities to our communities; incorporating and insuring our organization; creating an annual awards program; revamping our Young/Emerging Planners Program; and nominating one of our members for the Fellow AICP (FAICP) honor.

If you are interested in assisting with any of these efforts, have suggestions for ways APA South Carolina can improve its services, or have other ideas you would like to see APA South Carolina take on, please contact me at or 843.202.7219.  We are very interested in having as many of our members as possible participate in leadership positions and we have several committee member positions that we would like to fill.  I also encourage you to consider running for President-Elect in the upcoming special election.  I look forward to serving you and working with our leadership team as we continue to improve and strengthen our organization!


APA South Carolina President