2024 Chapter Conference

The 2024 IAP2 Midwest Chapter Conference: Spark Connections that Matter! will take place April 17-19, 2024, at the Thompson Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information, visit our conference webpage.

Welcome to the Midwest Chapter!

The Midwest Chapter spans 12 states, making it the largest geographic chapter of IAP2 USA. We are happy to serve IAP2 members and friends who reside in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

View our Chapter's Equity Statement here

Connect with us!

  • Sign up for our chapter e-newsletter by emailing us at midwest@iap2usa.org
  • Visit us on Facebook and LinkedIn

Connect with the Chapter

Join a Committee!

Serving on a committee is a wonderful way to meet other P2 practitioners in our chapter's geographic footprint, as well as a powerful way to build your own skills and expertise. You could also service on one (or more!) of our committees:

  • The Communications Committee spearheads routine communications with members and others on the distribution list. This includes creating dynamic content about chapter activities and the P2 field through an e-newsletter, social media, and the chapter website. 
  • The Engagement Committee cultivates connections within the chapter by providing networking opportunities and frameworks for local or interest groups to thrive, while also offering ongoing education and knowledge-sharing experiences, ensuring participants feel connected and empowered within the public participation field.
  • The Conference Committee helps orchestrate the planning of the chapter's annual spring conference. This committee has several working groups, including one for programming, marketing, logistics + connections, and financials.

Contact any of the board members below, or email us to learn more!

Meet our Board of Directors

The Midwest Chapter Board of Directors has nine seats of staggered three-year terms. As part of the chapter's annual election, the call for self-nominations to the board is issued in October, with the election occurring in November. 
Term Years: 2022-2024    
Edell Fiedler  Heather Lasher Todd  Josie Shardlow 

Edell Fiedler


Click here to email Edell

Heather Lasher Todd


Click here to email Heather

Josie Shardlow


Click here to email Josie

 "I am a team player who collaborates with people across various city service areas, other jurisdictions, and the non-profit and business sectors to help achieve the best possible outcomes. I am committed to using a diversity lens in the communications and engagement work I do."

 "I have really enjoyed being a part of reviving this Midwest Chapter, and I am so excited about where we are headed! There is much work to be done as we look toward our 2023 spring conference in MN and work to engage with our geographically large membership."

 "I bring a passion for the field of community engagement/public participation to be a catalyst to advance our communities’ racial equity, diversity and inclusion goals. I look forward to encouraging others to attend the conference and other events we initiate."

Term Years: 2023-2025    
 Michelle Bennett  Andrea Gebhart  Dan Pfeiffer

Michelle Bennett


Click here to email Michelle

 Andrea Gebhart


*2024 President

Click here to email Andrea

Dan Pfeiffer


*2024 Vice President

Click here to email Dan

"I will share my planning experience working on the ground in Michigan engaging with rural, suburban, and urban residents of all backgrounds. I will bring an honest perspective about the merits of doing engagement well and the danger to doing it poorly."

"Using my strengths, I would love to help grow the P2 profession and better establish it as a known professional practice throughout the Midwest. Through strategic collaboration and organized information and resource sharing, we can enhance the P2 work for many project types and communities in the Midwest (and beyond)."

"I want to continue to bring my planning, leadership, and decision-making skills to the board and continue to expand our membership and recognition. In doing this, we elevate the importance of participatory governance and can help be a positive influence in the communities we work."

Term Years: 2024-2026    
   MJ Lamon  Emily Larson

Leslie Yetka


*2024 Treasurer

Click here to email Leslie

MJ Lamon
Click here to email MJ

Emily Larson


*2024 Secretary

Click here to email Emily

"I feel there is an opportunity to better reach and serve those professionals who don't necessary focus all of their work on public engagement, but, like most in the public sector, find themselves having to 'do' public engagement regardless."

 "I am always drawn to serve in capacities that create spaces for others to learn and grow. Serving on a board is one role and leading committees is how we get the work done. My arranger, activator and strategic strengths allow me to make things happen by turning thoughts into action, organize with flexibility, and find routes to move work forward."

 "In my organization, I am a leader in facilitation and participatory methods. I bring this experience and focus to my work on the board. After filling a partial term on the board (2021), I feel I am just getting started with ideas and efforts around member engagement in our organization and am honored to continue that work."

Past Events

February 2024 Virtual Session
Scoping Strategies for Community Engagement

Developing a scope and fee for community engagement work presents the ultimate dilemma: how do you identify and budget for activities that are yet to be determined or may need to evolve as the project progresses to meet the needs of the affected community? This presentation will discuss the framework of an effective public participation plan and how it can be used to guide the development of a project’s scope of work. This presentation will also provide practical tips to develop scopes of work and fee structures for contracts with community engagement tasks.

Presenter: Andrea Gebhart, AICP, Planning & Engagement Department Leader at JEO Consulting Group 

View the recording here

December 2023 Virtual Session

Making Inroads: New Voices in Old Places

Although many agree that engaging community voices in the decision-making process can lead to better outcomes, it is never easy to bring new voices to old places. From confusion and resistance to inroads and lessons learned, Allison Bell and Rachel Lieser will share how to make pioneering engagement initiatives as successful as possible. Join us and discover ways to: 

  • Structure project plans and contracts to enable innovation. 
  • Build internal support for organizational change. 
  • Set up engagement projects for success. 

View the recording here

October 2023 Virtual Session

AI-Powered City Planning: The Future of Community Engagement Confirmation

If you missed the October presentation on AI in engagement and planning, you can catch up by viewing the recording! This was a favorite presentation from our 2023 conference, which presenter David Jurca of Seventh Hill in Cleveland brought back for a follow-up session.

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