All members of APA California are automatically members of the California Planning Foundation (CPF). Although APA California members pay annual dues to belong to APA California and the national organization, the American Planning Association, there are no separate dues to belong to CPF.


CPF is governed by a twelve-member Board of Directors. The members of the APA California elect ten of the members to four-year terms. The APA California Vice President for Professional Development and the appointed Student Representative are also members of the CPF Board. The CPF Board elects the officers of the Foundation. The President of CPF also serves as a member of APA California’s Board of Directors. The CPF Board establishes the annual budget of the Foundation, develops annual professional development programs, and selects the recipients of the Foundation’s annual statewide scholarships. The Foundation’s updated and adopted its bylaw in December 2021.

The CPF budget typically allocates less that 10 percent of its expenses to administrative costs. The CPF Board seeks to increase the Foundation’s endowment so that scholarships are awarded only from interest income, donations, workshops and fundraisers. The principal in the Foundation’s accounts is not used to meet expenses.

Board of Directors

Hing Wong, FAICP
Retired Senior Regional Planner                                                                                                        Association of Bay Area Governments/Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Aaron Pfannenstiel, AICP
Vice President and Events Committee Chair
Principal, Atlas Planning Solutions

Lisa Wise, AICP
Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
Principal, Lisa Wise Consulting, Inc.

Mirle Rabinowitz-Bussell, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Undergrad Studies,                                                                            Urban Studies and Planning Program, University of California, San Diego

Kareem El-Sisi
Board Member
Urban Planning Consultant

Brian McGinnis
Board Member
Urban Planning Consultant

Erik Mumm
Board Member and Publicity Committee Chair
Planning Analyst, Kimley-Horn and Associates

Hilary Nixon, PhD
Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chair
Deputy Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

Kim Prillhart, AICP
Board Member
RMA Director, County of Ventura

Chelsea Richer, AICP
Board Member
Senior Associate, Fehr & Peers

Yassaman (Yassi) Sarvian
Student Representative
Master of Urban and Regional Planning Student, UCLA

APA California Ex-Officio CPF Board Members

Jerome Keene, AICP
APA California Vice President for Professional Development
Senior Planner, Quad Knopf

Ahoura Zandiatashbar, PhD
APA California University Liaison – Northern California
Assistant Professor, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, San José State University

Carey Fernandes, AICP
APA California University Liaison – Southern California
Principal, Dudek

Section Liaisons

Central Section Liaison 

Kimmie Nguyen, AICP
Central Coast Section Liaison

John Hildebrand
Inland Empire Section Liaison

Marta Polovin
Los Angeles Section Liaison

Edgar Maravilla
Northern Section Liaison 

Dana Privitt, AICP
Orange Section Liaison

David Schlegel, AICP
Sacramento Valley Section Liaison

Sue Peerson, FAICP
San Diego Section Liaison

Strategic Plan

The California Planning Foundation (CPF) has put together a dynamic strategic plan. The results of this analysis are described below as Future Goals and Actions and is covered under four categories: 1) Educational, 2) Professional, 3) Fiscal, and 4) Organizational.


The purpose of the California Planning Foundation, established in 1970 as a nonprofit, charitable corporation is to further the professional practice of planning in California through two means:

  1. Scholarship support for students preparing for careers in the planning profession in California
  2. Continuing professional development of practicing planners in California

CPF promotes the objectives of equal opportunity and social equity in all its programs.

Constituents (in priority order)

  1. Students in accredited professional planning programs in California
  2. Other planning students in California
  3. Members of APA California
  4. Other planning professionals in California

Future Goals and Actions 

I. Educational – Scholarship Program

A. Increase the level of scholarship support as much as possible. 

  1. Increase level of support annually toward the goal of $60,000 in 2021, with possible increase each following year.
  2. Increase named/sponsored scholarships.
  3. Establish a process by which endowments can be made to CPF.

B. Increase the number of statewide scholarships as appropriate through periodic review and increases.

C. Attract more highly qualified applicants for CPF scholarships – CPF should receive at least a few applications from every eligible academic program.

  1. Tally number and distribution of applicants and scholarship recipients for past several years
  2. Review scholarship application requirements
  3. Make more concentrated efforts by Board members through department/faculty contacts at each eligible academic program

D. Strengthen the connection between scholarship program and professional planning. 

  1. Review scholarship selection criteria to emphasize potential for leadership in practice
  2. Refine interview questions
  3. Maintain criteria supporting diversity in the scholarship program

E. Increase the visibility of scholarship recipients. 

  1. Identify recipients at APA California Conference (e.g., ribbons on badges)
  2. Provide press release to academic programs, school newspapers and local newspapers
  3. Increase interaction between recipients and CPF Board
  4. Share scholarship recipient highlights with APA California Board

F. Track previous scholarship recipients through their careers. 

  1. Develop a data base of past recipients starting in 2002.
  2. Develop a tracking system, including APA California membership and job positions

G. Manage administrative responsibilities and costs associated with scholarship program. 

H. Continue to focus scholarship support on undergraduate and graduate students in accredited and non-accredited programs in California. Consider extending eligibility to students in professional doctoral programs.

II. Professional Development

A. Clarify professional development mission 

  1. Clarify CPF and APA California roles
  2. Balance fundraising requirement with professional development mission

B. Establish professional development niche

  1. Review the nature of competing offerings
  2. Be flexible/adaptable to timely topics
  3. Emphasize a different angle or approach, e.g.: ·
    • Lessons from case studies
    • Simulations
    • Nuts and bolts for different levels – entry and advanced

C. Sponsor two sets of workshops per year.

  1. Each set of workshops should include at least one workshop in Northern California and one workshop in Southern California.
  2. Schedule workshops in the May-June period and the October to mid-November period.
  3. Target a minimum enrollment of 20 per workshop session and increasing net income per workshop session.

D. Develop co-hosting and sponsorship relationships.

  1. Work with APA California Chapter and Sections
  2. Co-host with academic programs, including use of university facilities
  3. Offer AICP certification maintenance credits for CPF workshops

E. Increase exposure to workshop materials/results. 

  1. Publish materials on website
  2. Publish follow-up article in CalPlanner

F. Address operational issues. 

  1. Prepare workshop planning checklist
  2. Establish regular schedule with appropriate lead time
  3. Simplify and focus publicity
  4. Involve several board members in logistical support

G. Balance costs and fees. 

  1. Keep registration fees reasonable, but commensurate with length and quality, and not underpriced compared with the competition
  2. Provide discounts for selected audiences – e.g., multiple participants from a single agency or firm; recent graduates; past scholarship recipients; AICP exam aspirants
  3. Continue to use donated facilities
  4. Continue to use volunteer presenters in local area – no honorarium or travel reimbursement
  5. Provide net revenues to support scholarship program
  6. Set a norm for the ratio of income to expenses for professional development activities

III. Fiscal

A. Determine the appropriate level of investment income and other revenues to sustain a sound fiscal status. 

B. Fund scholarships as well as operating costs from endowment return and annual income. Do not reduce the endowment. 

C. Increase the CPF endowment by at least $10,000 per year. In 2002, the endowment was approximately $125,000. In 2021, the endowment was over $240,000.

D. Increase revenues from auction and workshops to increase endowment as well as to cover cash flow. 

E. Establish a structured campaign for increasing donors, i.e., Friends of CPF

F. Establish a guideline regarding the proportion of the budget for scholarships vs. administrative costs over a fiscal year – e.g., total annual administrative costs should remain less than one-half of the scholarship program budget.

  1. Select meeting locations carefully to manage travel costs

G. Maintain a relatively liquid reserve sufficient to cover two years of regular expenses. 

IV. Organizational

A. Maintain Board strengths while seeking to reduce weaknesses

  1. Seek ways to share Board assignments and balance tasks over the year – review calendar of activities
  2. Add non-members in committees to manage events (such as CPF does now with the nominating committee)
  3. Find ways to recognize significant contributors in a meaningful way, for example, “Friends of CPF”
  4. Consider staff support

B. Strengthen APA California liaison

C. Strengthen relationships with academic programs

D. Establish communications strategy

  1. Publish regular articles in CalPlanner
  2. Establish website as outreach tool
  3. Consider alternatives to brochure – perhaps a datasheet on the web that also prints well
  4. Explore free “ad” in CalPlanner

E. Identify key information to be shared

  1. Mission – clarify role of CPF as a foundation
  2. Activities ·
    • Schedule and application procedures for annual scholarships
    • Information and registration for workshops
    • History of workshop topics
  3. Board members
  4. Scholarship recipients

F. Establish CPF archive