Picture this- Who do you see on the IAP2 USA Board?

Members Vote Now - deadline October 31, 2021

We have some incredible candidates for you to choose from and we hope that you will take the time to get to know them a little bit better. The following is a quick snapshot of the 2022-2024 Board candidates.

How to vote:

You will be sent an online ballot via survey monkey. 

Deadline to vote: October 31, 2021.

The first seven candidates are standing for election to the IAP2 USA Board. Please vote for up to seven candidates and then move down the ballot to select one candidate as a U.S. Representative to the IAP2 International Board.

IAP2 USA Board Candidates

Name & Location TITLE & ORGANIZATION Excerpt from their vision for P2 & IAP2USA

Claudia Bilotto


Vice President South States District Leader


My overarching interest is to position the IAP2 as the premier organization for Public Participation. My vision is that the IAP2 is where practitioners seek training, access to resources, networking, and professional support. It is the “go to” organization for government, nonprofit, and corporate leaders. More communities are realizing the value of effective public participation, or the impact of the lack thereof. Some lack internal resources to implement effective public participation initiatives. The need for training, resources, skilled practitioners, and consultants is rising. This presents an opportunity for the IAP2 to fill a gap, and serve the needs of these communities and organizations, as well as, continuing to advance the knowledge and skills of those already in the profession. I aim to draw upon my professional experiences and expertise to help position the IAP2 to be the premier organization of choice for public participation; nationally and internationally.

Cassie Hemphill



Cross Street Communication Training and Management

Strong local and regional demand for effective P2 continues to drive our profession. Scaling this to a national mandate, as we see in other countries, is both a challenge and an opportunity. As the standard-bearer for P2 in the USA, IAP2 must continue to be the authoritative source for the profession. We should continue to build opportunities to communicate our message through mass media. Differentiating and elevating P2 from closely allied professions (such as PR, journalism, and planning) creates opportunities for the practice and for our organization. IAP2 USA must continue to identify and reward individuals and organizations who achieve the highest standards of our profession, through the Core Values awards and the Certification program. To build and retain membership, we must continue to provide benefits that create value for both individual and organizational members, including continuing professional development and formal and informal communities of practice.

Kimberly Horndeski


Executive Director

Community Consulting, LLC

In the future, I envision all governmental agencies (state and federal) engaging in successful public participation. This can occur through outreach campaigns and IAP2 Certified Trainers teaching governmental agencies so they can develop internal knowledge and expertise on successful public participation practices. The governmental agencies could also utilize IAP2s network of practitioners to outsource those skills. Through this collaboration, the governmental agencies could share the lessons learned with IAP2 to enhance trainings. 

Secondly, I see a future in which the public can design and implement participation practices that successfully engage decision-makers (i.e., governmental agencies) to design policies through a bottom-up approach. IAP2 is positioned to promote this approach by reviewing current and past processes and coordinating with the membership to identify potential avenues for engagement. 

Most importantly, I see IAP2’s role as fostering the growth of the next generation of practitioners that reflects the diversity of the communities they represent. 

Heather Imboden



Communities in Collaboration, LLC

I believe our communities are strongest when our government works in collaboration with a diverse representation of community members to craft policies and programs. These are complicated times in our country, but community engagement efforts can continue to strengthen our democracy from the ground up. Not only does effective public participation build stronger programs, because the priorities of community members are embedded within then, effective engagement also builds the capacity of local community members. As our country continues to diversify, it is more important than ever to continue to evolve our engagement and participatory practices to ensure that they are inclusive across race, class, gender, age, ethnicity, and ability. While we must stay true to the principles of authentic engagement,

Josh Stepherson


Principal and Founder

Stepherson & Associates Communications

My vision is that the practice of public participation in the US continues to grow and be integrated into an organization’s work.  Greater focus and effort is undertaken to ensure equitable and representative participation that builds a strong sense of community ownership and support.  IAP2’s role is in being an advocate for public participation, educating and informing on best practices and creating a community for PI practitioners to communicate with and learn from one another.

Coby Williams



New Reach Community Consulting

My vision for the future of public participation is for it to be viewed in ways that are valued by all individuals involved with or affected by the craft. I think as a whole the discipline is misunderstood and underappreciated. Additionally, the general public is increasingly skeptical about the intent, outcomes, and impact of public participation processes. I think IAP2 USA can help enhance the overall understanding and proactive embracement of public participation by positioning it as a necessity for connected communities and not just a means to an end.

Rebecca Zito


Senior Manager of Public Affairs

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

The role of public participation in Pittsburgh is shifting. In recent weeks we have seen a group of residents protest outside of our headquarters demanding improved sewer services, throughout the summer we received increased calls for service due to basement sewer backups during rainstorms, and residents are more actively advocating for their needs and holding us accountable for needed improvements. 

If this can serve as an example, citizen-led grassroots efforts are going to become more organized, more vocal, and more demanding of the public entities that provide the basic services residents rely on. 

Professionals in the field of public participation, community engagement, and communications must develop authentic public participation opportunities, be willing to meet residents where they are, and work extra hard to reach the communities that typically don’t have a voice. 

IAP2 has a role to play by setting guidelines and standards for equitable and inclusive public participation. Providing examples of what has worked in other communities and sharing information about the type of issues agencies are responding to are all things I looked for when joining the organization. I would encourage IAP2 to continue offering these resources and networking opportunities to help members learn from one another.

IAP2 International Board Election Candidates

Cathy Smith



CityWorks People + Places, Inc.

I believe that that word “public” in the organization’s name is where our focus needs to be. In the past, we focused heavily on the decision owner, as that person or agency was the decider not only on a project or program, but on whether to engage the public at all. They were also the source of for-fee services for the professional practitioner membership base of the organization. This next era I think we are shifting to focus on the public: to helping the public know what p2 is, how to ask for it, how to lead it themselves and how to know whether the process is living up to the pillars we seek. Based on this, I’ve been identifying and reaching out to organizations that can help establish and reinforce a cultural norm around good public participation.


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