Typically I don’t blog about planning or my planning career, but last week something happened – something very special. As planners, and therefore regulators, we rarely receive a thank you for our work. By a thank you, I mean a written note or acknowledgment of a job well done. I think that over the past twenty plus years, I’ve probably received a dozen or so written thank you’s. Of course, we understand that a ‘thank’ you isn’t typical in our profession so receiving one is a bonus, a much appreciated event.
Last week I received the ‘Thank You’ of all ‘Thank You’s’ – the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association – our state planning organization. Quoting the information for being nominated for this award:
“The Lifetime Achievement Award, as given by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association, celebrates the contributions over a whole career of a member of the chapter. As a professional, the nominee will be recognized for innovation and creativity. The nominee will exhibit commitment and dedication to the field of planning, expressed through practice, education, and/or community service. As a leader, the nominee will have contributed to the vitality of the chapter or national association through elected or appointed roles. Nominees should be widely recognized as visible leaders in the field, who have had sustained impacts and have been advocates for planning throughout their careers.”
I must say, receiving this award is a bit overwhelming. For days I have been trying to formulate the words to adequately express my ‘Thank You’ to our organization, the board members and all of the planners in our organization. I still have a hard time believing they chose me.
Of course, all of this comes with a little bit of a story. As I was walking to the stage after the chapter president read my bio, everyone stood up. I have to admit it startled me a little and for a split second – because planners don’t get many standing ovations – I thought they were all leaving. But then there was the amazing round of applause – one that I will never forget.
I note that I’m still involved in planning, working part-time and will continue to contribute to the planning field when I can. But, while one ‘lifetime’ is nearing an end, I’ll just get busy with another – becoming a historian.
Thank you APA MN from the bottom of my heart!!
And thank YOU for reading this.