On March 1, 2019, APA Maryland began our call for nominations for our 2019 election cycle.  APA Maryland’s elections are now held in concert with the National APA election cycle, and are administered by APA National. Because of a recent change in the APA Maryland bylaws, we now have staggered two-year terms for all of our officers. This year we will be holding elections for the positions of President-Elect, Eastern Shore Representative, Baltimore Metro Representative, Southern Maryland Representative, Western maryland Representative, and Statewide Representative. Officers elected to each of these positions will be in office for two years, from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. 

As we have a vacancy in our current President-Elect position, that position is also on the ballot. The person elected to that position will fill out the rest of the term of the current President Elect position ending on December 31, 2019, and become President of the Chapter on January 1, 2020. That term will end on December 31, 2021. The Chapter has nominated one candidate for every position except for the positions of Eastern Shore Representative and President-Elect for 2020-21. 


The Chapter was not able to find any member willing to stand for nomination for the Eastern Shore Representative position or the President-Elect position. However, it is still possible for these petitions to be filled through the petition process (see below).  Note that the President-Elect automatically becomes President in 2022 at the end of the next President’s term. Interested parties should send an email to contact@apamaryland.org for more information.

Information on nominated candidates is below:

CURRENT PRESIDENT-ELECT (Becomes President for a two-year term on January 1, 2020)

Nomination: Helen M. Spinelli, AICP

Position Statement:  Please accept my bio and this position paper as my application to be considered to stand for election to fill the vacancy for the position of Current President Elect of the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association through the end of 2019, and continuing on as President of the Chapter from 2020 to 2022. 

Having served on the Executive Board of the Chapter as Treasurer for seven years and currently as Eastern Shore Representative for two years, I have firsthand knowledge of the operation of the Chapter as an active, volunteer directed, professional organization. While serving on the Executive Board in 2005 -2012 1 witnessed a very positive transition of the organization as a leader in the planning community for education of planners through the provision of workshops and conferences. Major assistance is provided for planners seeking to advance their careers through training for the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) exam. Updating the Chapter's website and the conversion of the newsletter to an electronic format were also major achievements for the Chapter.

During my tenure on the Executive Board, two year budgeting cycles were initiated which provide for the budget to be reviewed and adopted by the Board at the beginning of each new Executive Board term. Additionally, since the establishment of Certification Maintenance (CM) requirements by APA, the Chapter has supplied training in Maryland for CM credit opportunities through its regional representatives sponsoring workshops to allow Chapter members to have free and low cost access to CM credits. The Chapter seeks to provide at least 16 credits per year to achieve 32 credits in the two year cycle.

With a grant from the President's Council of APA, the Executive Board conducted meetings through-out the State of Maryland pertaining to the Comprehensive Planning process. Also, I sponsored as an Executive Board member, a workshop at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory, concerning "The Relationship Between Science and Planning for the Protection of the Environment."

Since becoming Eastern Shore Representative to the Maryland Chapter of APA in the fall of 2017 two workshops have been held, April 2018 and May 2019, advancing the art and science of planning in the state with each offering 5 CM credits.

My goal as Current President Elect of the Chapter, if elected, will be to continue to support the provision of CM credits in Maryland at the lowest cost to the members. I will seek to increase the number of workshops and training opportunities as well as support for Maryland's Universities with planning programs. Increasing the interactions between professional planners and students through scheduling events at the schools is also a goal.

Working with adjacent Chapters particularly National Capital will increase the opportunities for training for Maryland members as well. The development of the Chapter membership as resource to the State's elected leadership on matters of planning and the built and natural environment is also a goal, if elected.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my interest in this important leadership position for the Maryland Chapter of the Maryland Planning Association.

Bio:  Helen M. Spinelli, AICP, is Principal Planner at Queen Anne's County Planning and Zoning Department and Adjunct Professor at Morgan State University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning teaching Land Development Law. Helen served on the Maryland Chapter of APA Executive Board of Directors from 2005 -2012 as Treasurer and currently has served as Eastern Shore Representative since 2017. As Principal Planner for Queen Anne's County she leads all long range planning and comprehensive plan implementation efforts for the Department. This includes the development of comprehensive plans and community plans for the designated growth areas in the county along with assisting the county's eight municipalities with their long range planning needs which is part of the Department's mission. Creating the implementation tools to realize the plans is germane to long range planning as well. Helen was Economic Development and Tourism Director for Caroline County and prior to that a Comprehensive Planner Il, Water & Sewer for Carroll County responsible for infrastructure planning for the county. She has a BA and MA in Economics from Fordham University, New York, NY, completed an Honours Economics program at Delhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia Canada and is a trained Community Mediator and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).


Nomination: Angie Hernandez AICP

Position Statement: Please accept my bio and this position statement for consideration to stand for reelection to the position of Statewide Representative of the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association. Having served only a short term, approximately 5 months, on the Executive Board as the current Statewide Representative, I have very quickly become immersed in the APA MD Chapter members desires and the needs of the planning practice across the state. I have participated in reaching out to surrounding state APA chapters to identified shared needs and potential shared resources. I have gained valuable connections to other state APA Chapters and have been successful in cross marketing Chapter events and the Annual APA MD Chapter. 

I currently serve on several APA MD Committees including; Conference Planning Committee, Fundraising/Sponsorship Committee, and Events Planning Committee. My goal, if reelected, will be to continue to support these committees and to expand events, workshops, and training opportunities as well as growing membership and member engagement across the State. I plan to expand awareness of the Chapter by attending local events and partnering with other professional organizations active in Maryland and coordinate more statewide events and training opportunities.  These actions will hopefully increase membership and current member engagement and satisfaction with the Chapter.

Bio:  Angie Hernandez (AICP) has worked for both public and private planning agencies across the country. She is currently employed by JMT where she works as a planner focused on multi-modal transportation planning projects and master planning efforts across the Mid-Atlantic Region. Angie is passionate about creating thriving, healthy, livable, multi-modal communities and places where people want to be. She is experienced in master planning, technical writing, grant writing, roadway design, GIS analytics and mapping, research techniques, facilitating public workshops, and consensus building efforts.



Nomination: Olivia Vidotto

Position Statement: I have been a member of the MD APA for over seven years.  I was very involved with the committee for the 2016 MD/DE APA conference in Towson.  We worked together for about 10 months on the themes and topics for sessions, recruiting speakers, and working on the details for a successful conference. As the Southern Maryland Representative, I held a one day conference in southern MD in May of 2018, on Agriculture and Planning that received great feedback (in spite of the day being cut short due to weather) and provided CM’s.  I am hosting the same conference again this year in June and offering CM’s.  I am working some on the upcoming 2019 MD APA conference for this fall.  I would very much like the opportunity to continue to host events in southern MD and to try to have more local get-togethers.  It is challenging as the southern MD counties are so separated by distance and divided by a river.  However, I would like the opportunity to continue and work on having some smaller local functions within each county and possibly host some field trips in southern MD related to planning and development.  Thank you for letting me serve the term thus far and I hope to continue in this role.

Bio: I have worked in the private sector for an engineering firm for over 6 years before joining Calvert County Planning & Zoning in 1993 as a review planner.   I have over 30 years of experience with residential and commercial projects, writing policy and procedures, working with different appointed and elected officials along with volunteering with the Calvert Marine Museum for over 20 years. With experience in the private sector and the government side, it truly gives me a better appreciation of how projects start and the different nuances of each one. I am truly passionate about my work and being the 5th generation of my family to live and work in Calvert County, I genuinely take a personal interest in the preservation of land and farms but also want the diversity of walkable communities along with the availability of culture, music and art for all ages.  There has to be a balance of conservation and growth when looking at regulations and development along with the impact on the citizens, the economic base and the future for all who live and enjoy the southern part of Maryland. 


Nomination: Lynda Eisenberg

Position Statement: Having over 20 years of planning experience at the state, local and federal levels of government as well as the private sector, feel that I can bring a broad network and knowledge base to the chapter.  If elected as the Metro Area Representative I will work with the other Maryland Representatives to support the professional development of Maryland Planners as well as increasing the opportunities for networking with other planners throughout the region.  Having just attended the National APA conference and meeting with our National-Capital Area chapter, I feel there are opportunities for cooperation and coordination of these types of programs with them that can help our chapter reach a wider audience.

Bio: Lynda Eisenberg was appointed Director of the Carroll County Department of Comprehensive Planning in January 2019, after being acting director of the department since 2017. Ms. Eisenberg began employment in Carroll County as Bureau Chief of Comprehensive Planning in 2013. Her responsibilities included overseeing and managing activities of employees engaged in comprehensive land use planning, transportation planning, historic planning, facility planning, and water resource planning in accordance with federal, state and local laws. In addition to those duties, Director Eisenberg will now direct overall Comprehensive Planning programs/processes and the Carroll County Comprehensive Plan, monitor compliance with appropriate governmental and other regulatory and reporting requirements and represent Carroll County on legislative and regulatory issues at the local, regional, state, and federal levels.

Ms. Eisenberg earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from University of Maryland, Baltimore County and holds a Master’s Degree in Geography and Environmental Planning from Towson University. She has over 20 years of experience as a planning professional and an extensive background in Maryland planning and land use programs as well as federal and intergovernmental planning issues. She is a published contributor to several planning-related publications and is active on several boards and committees. Ms. Eisenberg is originally from Calvert County, Maryland and has lived in this region for more than 25 years. She is married with two children and enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, volunteering at her children’s school and coaching field hockey.


Nomination: Alan Feinberg, AICP, RA

Position Statement: Alan Feinberg has a half-century of experience in the public, private and quasi-public sectors, and has always maintained the Planner's Code of Conduct's primary obligation -- serve the public interest*. This has been clearly demonstrated with his dedication to improving Frederick with over a dozen years of steadfastly establishing, collaborating, planning, and promoting East Frederick  and many other initiatives and projects for decades.

Bio: Mr. Feinberg is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is a registered architect (RA). He has over 30 years of varied professional planning, design, and project management experience, comprising two years as a private developer, over a dozen years of private sector planning, a decade as a public sector planner and urban design reviewer, a year as a parking planner in the quasi-public sector, two years as a teaching fellow at George Washington University’s Graduate Planning Department, four years as a military planner. Also, during those years Mr. Feinberg has been always an active participant in his community’s activities.

After traveling extensively throughout the country for HUD, Mr. Feinberg decided to try his hand as a private developer. He was the president of Central Maryland Development, Inc. where he was involved in developing a number of projects in second-tier communities in the Mid-Atlantic Highland Region. This was after a decade in his own firm, FeinDesign, where he accomplished a myriad of projects and assignments that focused on developing the strengths of communities and furthering the principles of more sustainable and resilient communities. He was a part of the team that won a $35 million HUD HOPE VI grant for Norfolk, Virginia that transformed an area that was 750 public housing units into the mixed-income Broad Creek Community.

After spending several months in the Fall of 2005 in Baton Rouge and New Orleans seeing the devastation of the Gulf Coast first hand, to him business as usual was just not appropriate in the situation that confronts the country and the world now. He founded and persistently promoted the East Frederick Rising non-profit and began local continuing conversations through Frederick's Urban Design Meetup and other initiatives to engage citizens in more proactive community processes.

Prior experience includes being the Planning and Program Coordinator for the Parking Authority of Prince George’s County. He was head of planning and urban design for a major engineering firm specializing in residential development. Then, during the high growth era of the 1980’s, he had been the principal reviewer for the Urban Design Section of Prince George’s County Planning Department. There he was the coordinating reviewer of many of the largest, most complex development projects to have ever been proposed in Prince George’s County. He also headed up the Planning Assistance to Municipalities Program. He was instrumental in a major effort to reshape the overall quality of development, which required intensive public participation. Prior to that he coordinated an outreach effort by a non-profit housing organization in Reston, VA to increase the number of affordable units in that growing new town. 

Mr. Feinberg’s private sector experience has included projects such as the Germantown, MD, Master Plan; an approved Comprehensive Design Basic Plan for the largest undeveloped property inside Washington Beltway; and the successful site plan for the National Research Home Park. Mr. Feinberg served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and performed as Facility Planner for Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) and as Command Facilities Planner at Systems Command Headquarters (Andrews AFB, MD).


Any Chapter member in good standing with both the Chapter and the APA may petition to be put on the ballot for any position up for election. Associate members are not eligible for nomination by petition. The petition shall indicate the Office being sought and shall be signed by at least ten (10) Chapter members. The deadline for filing a petition is no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, June 28, 2019. All petitions must include both position statements and biographies to be considered complete. Petitions will be forwarded to APA National on July 1, 2019. Petitions and questions should be submitted to contact@apamaryland.org.


The remainder of the 2019 election schedule is below:

June 28:  Firm deadline for receiving petition candidates and their position statements/bios.

July 1:  Firm deadline for submitting petition candidates to APA National.

July 15:  Ballots available online, reminders emailed to all chapter/division members.
Late-July:  Email reminders sent to those members who have not yet voted.
Early August:  Email reminders sent to those members who have not yet voted.

August 15:  Firm deadline for receipt of ballots from membership

August 20:  Survey Ballot Systems certifies election results and prepares report to National for dissemination to Chapters/Divisions. 

September:  New leaders attend onboarding and orientation meetings at the Fall Policy Conference in Washington, DC.

January 1, 2020:  Newly elected leaders take office.