2017 AEP Elections – Nominees and Statements of Interest

We are pleased to share with you the nominees to serve on the AEP Board of Officers and Directors for terms beginning in January 2018.

President [one-year term]
Devon Muto, ICF International (incumbent)

Executive Vice President [one-year term]
William Halligan, Esq., PlaceWorks (incumbent)

Administrative Vice President [one-year term]
Mindy Fogg, County of Santa Barbara

Financial Vice President and Chief Financial Officer [two-year term]
Lynn Calvert-Hayes, AICP, LSA Associates (incumbent)

National Association of Environmental Professionals Liaison [two-year term]
Robert Prohaska, PMP, Stantec
Michael Smith, PhD, ENERCON (incumbent)

Directors-at-Large [one for one-year term, two for two-year terms]
Marie Campbell, Sapphos Environmental, Inc.
Laurel Glass Lees, Great Ecology
Michael Hendrix, LSA Associates
Victoria Kim, County of San Bernardino
Kent Norton, LSA Associates

The candidates each provided Statements of Interest providing their background, experience with AEP, and their qualifications for serving on the AEP Board of Officers and Directors. We encourage you to learn about each of the candidates prior to casting your vote. Electronic ballots will be e-mailed to AEP members on October 16, 2017. The last day to submit your completed ballot is October 30, 2017. For questions regarding the elections or if you did not receive an electronic ballot, please contact Lynne Bynder, AEP Executive Director.

Note: During the October 2015 elections, the AEP membership voted to approve a proposed amendment to the AEP Bylaws to stagger the terms of Board Members and simultaneously elected a full slate of Directors and Officers for two-year terms. The intent of this amendment was to promote orderly and effective changes in leadership. The new election procedures will be implemented for the first time during this year’s elections and consequently, some board members will only be voted in for a one-year term. Subsequent to the 2017 elections, elections will be held annually as described in the amended ByLaws.

Candidates’ Statements of Interest

President [one-year term]
Devon Muto, ICF International (incumbent)
I am the current AEP President and interested in serving in this position for an additional year. I have been an AEP member since 1998 and held many positions at the Chapter and state level including San Diego Chapter President, Director-at-Large, Administrative Vice President, and Executive Vice President. I have been involved in numerous AEP programs and initiatives. At the chapter level, I focused on growing our membership, expanding our awards programs, establishing student chapters at three universities and initiating a scholarship program. At the state level, I initiated the CEQA handbook, chaired an annual conference, supported the overhaul to our website, and worked on improving our lobbying efforts and communication as the Legislative Committee chair.

My professional experience consists of over 18 years of CEQA, NEPA, planning, and environmental policy work. I have worked for both private and the public sector. I am currently a Principal and the San Diego Branch Leader at ICF. I currently manage projects and several on-call contracts while overseeing our San Diego teams of CEQA/NEPA planners, air quality and GHG scientists, biologists, regulatory specialists, archeologists, historians, and habitat conservation planners.

As President, my primary goal has been and will continue to be to support the current growth and success of the organization, much of which is being accomplished by our Chapters and the other Board members. The organization is running very smoothly and one of my priorities is to ensure that this continues through our relationships with our various staff and contractors, and strategic planning and budgeting. Our membership is growing, we are financially strong, our programs are well attended, and we have several active committees that are contributing to the profession. I will continue to focus on running smooth and efficient Board meetings, ensuring that Chapters have input in overall organizational decisions, respecting the various opinions of our members, and providing support to those that are volunteering to execute our programs.

I am also very excited about the Board’s work on other initiatives to improve the organization. We are continuing to work on improving communications and will be considering additional contracted support. We plan on launching a member appreciation program and initiating the use of webinars at the State and chapter levels. Additionally, we will continue to improve the CEQA Portal and the AEP website.

Executive Vice President [one-year term]
William Halligan, Esq., PlaceWorks (incumbent)
My name is William Halligan, Esq. I have been an active member of AEP since I began my career over 29 years ago. From January 2011 to December 2014, and from January 2016 to present, I have served on the AEP State Board of Directors as Executive Vice President. As Executive Vice President, I am responsible for assisting the President with overall management of the corporation, development of Board meeting agendas, supervision of membership coordination and administration, and serve as the Chair of the Legislative Review Committee and the Permanent Conference Committee. Prior to joining the State Board, I served at the local chapter level as Orange County Chapter President and Chapter Director for nearly 10 years. I also served as Conference Chairman for the highly successful 2006 AEP State Conference in Newport Beach.

My professional experience includes over 29 years as a CEQA practitioner and over 16 years as an attorney. I earned my Juris Doctorate degree specializing in environmental and land use law from the Chapman University School of Law. In addition to my involvement with AEP, I am an active member of the Orange County Bar Association. I serve as a frequent guest lecturer on CEQA and associated case law for AEP’s CEQA Workshop Series, UC Irvine’s Graduate School of Management Program, UC Riverside, and Cal Poly, Pomona. My diverse background provides me with a unique understanding of the issues facing our profession.

I would like to continue my service to AEP as Executive Vice President. I am a CEQA practitioner and attorney with exceptional knowledge of the environmental profession. I have years of experience with AEP and understand the issues facing our organization. I would appreciate your vote for me, William Halligan, to serve a one-year term as Executive Vice President.

Administrative Vice President [one-year term]
Mindy Fogg, County of Santa Barbara
I am a Supervising Planner with the County of Santa Barbara, Planning & Development Department and have over 16 years of experience as a Land Use/Environmental Planner and CEQA Practitioner. Since 2007 I’ve been an active AEP member and have greatly benefitted from this organization’s dedication to the environmental profession. I served on the San Diego Chapter Board from 2008 to 2015, both as Vice President of Membership and Chapter Director. At the chapter level, I focused much of my efforts on retaining members, recruiting new members, and organizing/facilitating the local CEQA Workshops.

For the last two years I have been the Director-at-Large on the AEP Board of Officers and Directors. One of my primary duties was to continue chairing the Membership Committee, which has been quite active and very successful in meeting the goals of the AEP Strategic Plan. I have also enjoyed serving as the Workshop Coordinator for the CEQA Essentials and Advanced CEQA workshops.

As Administrative Vice President I would continue to focus on membership growth and retention, and to explore more opportunities to provide services to members in remote areas. Currently, I am working with other Board members and AEP Management on website improvements that will provide more tools and resources for our members while also making our membership outreach more efficient. I would like to continue that effort but also take on more of a leadership role in the organization. I am confident that my years of Chapter Board and State Board experience combined with my ability to foster teamwork and collaboration, build enthusiasm, and achieve results make me a good fit for this position.

Financial Vice President and Chief Financial Officer [two-year term]
Lynn Calvert-Hayes, AICP, LSA Associates (incumbent)
My name is Lynn Calvert-Hayes, AICP and have been an active member of AEP for the last 29 years. I am currently the AEP Financial Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and have held the position for the last five years. I have held numerous positions with AEP including five years as AEP Executive Vice President, two years as Southern California Regional Director, four years as Chapter Director, one year as Chapter Treasurer, and one year on the AEP Legislative Review Committee. I have also conducted AEP CEQA Workshops and was on the AEP State Conference Committee in 2002 and I am currently the Chair of the 2018 AEP State Conference. I am highly qualified to represent our members on the State Board through my considerable working knowledge of AEP.

In my professional career I am a CEQA/NEPA practitioner with 32 years of experience. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from California State University, San Diego. I have taught Earth Sciences for the Redlands Unified School District “GATE” program, taught CEQA workshops for AEP and for the University of California at Riverside Extension program. I have served as a Board Member on the Riverside Land Conservancy and I am a member of national and local urban planning and environmental organizations.

I believe I am a qualified candidate for the AEP Financial VP because of my considerable experience with management and financial matters through my position as Managing Principal with a consulting firm for the last 14 years. I have successfully managed AEP’s finances by maintaining a budget that has been in the black for the last five years. In these times of financial stress, it is important that AEP elects a candidate that is versed in the handling of fiscal issues in a realistic and prudent manner. I would like to continue as your AEP Financial Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, please vote for me Lynn Calvert-Hayes, as AEP Financial Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

National Association of Environmental Professionals Liaison [two-year term]
Robert Prohaska, PMP, Stantec
I am an environmental professional with over 30 years of experience serving in various leadership roles ranging from portfolio, program, and project management to business unit and office operations management. I have served on numerous Boards of Directors for volunteer organizations in capacities including President and Chairman. I am a strategic thinker and consider the big picture in developing solutions that focus on positive outcomes for my clients.

I have developed specialized expertise in preparing environmental documents compliant with CEQA and NEPA, as well as leading environmental permitting and construction compliance projects. I have completed EIRs and EISs, international Environmental Impact Assessments, Proponent’s Environmental Assessments, and Applications for Certification for a wide variety of clients and projects. I have managed large and complex EIS and EIR projects involving multiple stakeholders and government agencies. I am adept at developing permitting strategies that result in acquisition of permits and authorizations to allow project construction to occur on schedule.

I am certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional and utilize universally recognized project management best practices to guide project execution. I pride myself on strong project management and leadership of teams that are motivated to excel and deliver exceptional results.

AEP – NAEP Experience: I have been a member of AEP for most of my professional career and in addition to attending annual State AEP conferences, AEP CEQA update seminars, and luncheons with my local San Diego Chapter colleagues, I have served as an award juror for several San Diego Chapter AEP award programs. I have been a member of NAEP prior to the two associations becoming affiliated and served on the Conference Planning Committee and as technical panel facilitator at an annual NAEP conference held in Atlanta Georgia in 2010.

NAEP Liaison Representation: As your NAEP representative on the AEP Board I will strive to maintain a collaborative relationship with the two organizations and act as a conduit to share relevant information regarding the status of CEQA and NEPA as well as regulatory developments affecting our members. My professional experience includes work on CEQA, NEPA, and joint CEQA/NEPA projects for a variety of clients in various market sectors. Based on this experience I understand the differences and similarities in these two major environmental laws as well as the technical studies and assessments that are used during development of environmental impact assessment documentation. I have a passion for continuous improvement and systems efficiencies and would bring this passion to the role of NAEP Liaison to provide as much value as possible to any briefings or communications to the AEP and NAEP Boards as well as professional development initiatives. I understand that as busy professionals we do not have the luxury of devoting significant amounts of time to reviewing new case law opinions, regulatory filings, or other information that often impacts our practice. To facilitate high level communication of relevant information I would propose information sharing along the lines of a periodic “flash report” that provides highlights of important developments in the field with links for those that desire a more in depth understanding of the issues.

In closing I would be honored to be your NAEP Liaison and ask for your vote.

Michael Smith, PhD, ENERCON (incumbent)
I am running for the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) Liaison position on the AEP Board of Directors for two primary reasons:

1. I have been an active member of both AEP and NAEP for 17 years and my career has been focused on improving the practice of impact assessment, and I view volunteering time and energy to helping improve professional organizations like AEP and NAEP to be a crucial component of those efforts.
2. Specifically, I am in an excellent position to serve as an effective liaison and advocate for AEP issues and concerns with NAEP given my active role with AEP coupled with my experience with leadership within NAEP. I currently serve on the AEP Board as the NAEP Liaison, a position I was elected to in 2015. In this position, I have focused on maximizing AEP member benefits in partnership with NAEP, as explained in more detail below. In addition to my current service, from 2007-2010, I served as an elected At-Large Board of Directors member for NAEP. During this period, NAEP created the current affiliation structure and relationships with the state chapters, including AEP. For all of these reasons, I have in-depth knowledge and a proven track record of both the enormous potential opportunity for AEP’s affiliation with NAEP to bring real value and benefits to AEP members, as well as the numerous challenges to realizing the full benefits inherent in the partnership.

I have over 20 years of experience in consulting and teaching in CEQA and NEPA, and am currently a Principal with ENERCON in Oakland. I have managed and provided compliance review for some of the California’s and the nation's largest, most complex, and highly controversial projects, including major energy, transportation, water infrastructure projects. I frequently lead training workshops in CEQA and NEPA for AEP and NAEP, as a faculty member at the UC Davis Extension Land Use and Natural Resources Program, the UCLA Extension Environmental Studies and Sustainability Programs, the NEPA Certificate Program at the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University, and as a Senior Consultant at The Shipley Group, one of the nation’s top NEPA training firms. I am a past recipient of a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at EPA’s Office of Water and Office of Federal Activities in Washington, DC, and from 1998 to 2007, I was an Associate Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences at Humboldt State University.

The primary responsibility of the NAEP Liaison Board member is to advocate for educational, professional development, and related issues that are relevant to California AEP members of NAEP, and for arranging and producing the annual NEPA workshop training for AEP members. I have served as the lead organizer for these AEP NEPA Essentials workshops the past two years as part of my NAEP Liaison Board position, and I have participated as one of the lead instructors for the workshop series the past five years. I look forward to working with the Board to improve the value of these workshops for the AEP membership as well as helping to expand the availability of other useful training and professional development opportunities, including an upcoming planned expansion of the workshop series to include an Advanced NEPA Topics workshop for the membership. A strong partnership and sharing of resources between AEP and NAEP in this area offers tremendous potential to realizing these opportunities, and I look forward to utilizing my past experience with both AEP and NAEP training and development program to help optimize these types of future benefits for the AEP membership.

Directors-at-Large [one for one-year term, two for two-year terms]
Marie Campbell, Sapphos Environmental, Inc.
My goal in seeking, to serve as an elected Director-at-Large for the California Association of Environmental Professionals is to advance the action plan resulting from the strategic planning session, most recently updated in 2017, particularly related to expanding educational opportunities and support of members through support of services to local chapters. Throughout my tenure as Director of the Los Angeles Chapter, I have concentrated my energy in two key areas: (1) continuation and expansion of professional development opportunities and (2) fiscal stewardship. In the two most recent years, serving on the State Board, I have had the opportunity to support the AEP Institute to bring together industry leaders from government, research, private sector, and non-governmental organization to advance dialogue among environmental professionals related to climate change and adaptation, and more recently per capita vehicle miles travelled.

I would like to support AEP in expanding educational opportunities beyond the workshop series, to developing targeted training workshops. As a board member I am well aware of the constrained economic environment in which we are all operating and the need to continue to seek opportunities to use innovation and technology to enhance member service, while at the same time achieving efficiencies and cost controls.

I would like to be considered to serve in the role Director-at-Large for AEP. It has been an honor and a journey to serve as the Director for the Los Angeles Chapter for the last three years and hope that you will endorse my transition to role as a Director-at-Large.

Laurel Glass Lees, Great Ecology
My name is Laurel Glass Lees, and I am the Western Regional Director of Great Ecology in San Diego. My primary responsibility is managing teams to provide sustainable solutions to the restoration, planning, and design of the natural and built environment. I have over 10 years of experience as a land use/environmental planner and project manager, focusing on developing and implementing water, energy and climate programs in compliance CEQA/NEPA and other local, state and federal regulations. Through direct experience in both the public and private sectors-- coupled with leadership roles on the AEP San Diego Chapter Board-- I am inspired to navigate through the unique challenges of sustainability planning and land use policy that we face in California…and elsewhere.

For the past five years, I have fulfilled various roles on the AEP San Diego Chapter Board. While serving as Newsletter Editor, I was responsible for preparing and distributing the local publication, The Environmentor, coordinating webpage updates, and creating and managing social media sites. In my current role as Vice President of Membership, I continue to enhance the Chapter’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages as an additional recruiting tool and member benefit. This effort has been lauded both locally and at the State level as another method of sharing meaningful, relevant information with members and soliciting member-driven content for local programs and events. I also distribute email notifications for the Chapter and focus on building relationships with new and existing members by making connections between people, projects and employment opportunities.

Throughout my years on the Board, I have enjoyed sharing ideas for the Chapter’s Awards Banquet and other events, and volunteering on the Holiday Party and Student Scholarship committees. I like to help with the CEQA workshops, participate in State Conference session panels, and be the emcee for the San Diego Chapter’s auctions and trivia nights! One of my favorite AEP memories is participating in the Summit at Disneyland this year, where I met Board leaders from across the state who were openly sharing information and ideas to improve the organization. The attendees’ creativity, passion and bond has inspired me to take on a more executive role in AEP.

My goal as Director-at-Large would be to continue to recruit new members and improve benefits for existing members by making strategic connections between people and ideas. I look forward to serving on the Executive Committee and nerding out with…I mean…learning from other leaders. I believe my presence on the State Board would bring additional enthusiasm and knowledge, and it would be a mutually beneficial experience.

Michael Hendrix, LSA Associates
I am respectfully submitting my name for consideration in the position of Director at Large on the AEP State Board. I have been an AEP member for 20 years and have done my best to provide my services to AEP and enhance our profession. I became an Inland Empire Chapter Board member in 2003 and have been on the State Board since 2007. In the position of Director-at-Large I will continue to positively influence the quality of AEP in the following ways:

1. Continue to lead the AEP Climate Change Committee and provide guidance to our membership as well as influence State and Federal Agencies on how to address climate change in CEQA and NEPA, including recommending to air districts reasonable updates in GHG Thresholds.
2. Expansion of the Climate Change Committee to include guidance on climate risk assessment and adaptation recommendations now required by the State for inclusion in General Plan Updates.
3. Continue influencing the AEP CEQA Workshops curriculum in order to keep our workshops relevant and timely for our membership.
4. Focus State resources toward local chapters because that is where AEP provides most of the programs, training and membership benefits.

I will continue to serve AEP and am hopeful to do so as your Director at Large.

Victoria Kim, County of San Bernardino
My name is Victoria Kim, and I am applying for the Director-at-Large position. I have the necessary experience and qualifications of supervising the production of CEQA workshops and other outreach activities. I am a member of the AEP, and currently, I am a planner at the County of San Bernardino in the Land Use Services Division. I am enrolled in the CEQA Practice Certificate at UCSD Extension. I am committed to assist the Board of Directors of AEP and serve the duties of this role. I have experience in implementing programs at a local and regional level in my prior involvement with the American Red Cross and the American Planning Association. I would like to most actively be involved in acting as a liaison between the Board and educational institutions and universities. I had been a student liaison for various clubs in my graduate program in urban planning at UC Irvine, and I’ve established new clubs as well. The experience provided me the background in administrative responsibilities and creating new membership services. I look forward to bring these skillsets to this position and be further engaged with the AEP in this region.

Kent Norton, LSA Associates
I served as a Director-at-Large on the State AEP Board from 2010 to 2015. Before that, I was AEP State President from 2006 to 2009 and the Inland Empire Chapter Director from 2004-2005. I also chaired the Emerging Issues Committee from 2010-2014 and organized two AEP Institute events in 2014 (Water Resources) and 2015 (CEQA Changes). Over my 40 years as an environmental professional, I have also served just about every AEP chapter officer role at one time or another. Through this experience I have gained a deep awareness of the many problems and challenges we continue to face as a volunteer organization. However, I also see many opportunities to reinvent ourselves and expand/improve services to our members, with a special emphasis on attracting new public agency members which then attracts new members from the private sector as well. We also have to find the best balance of volunteer vs. contract services to most efficiently use our monetary and people resources. Finally, we have to continue to give our chapters the resources they need since they are our primary method of providing services to our members. I hope the members of AEP will allow me to again serve them as a Director-at-Large so together we can find ways to improve our services in the most cost-effective ways.