November 2021 Newsletter

From the Executive Manager's Desk - Gail Madziar

November 2021 Message: Gail Madziar, Executive Manager, IAP2 USA

It’s Been a Pleasure 

Not quite two and half years ago, I had the privilege of joining the IAP2 USA community as your Executive Manager. Together we reexamined and reinvented and weathered the storm of the pandemic. Like everyone across the globe we picked up the term ‘pivot” to describe just about every task and event and many plans and projects were delayed or eliminated as a result. While it was not what any of us expected, during this time I experienced true IAP2 community support as our members in the U.S. and around the world came together to keep public participation front and center. It has been exciting and rewarding to be part of that process.

My tenure as your IAP2 USA Executive Manager wraps up on December 31, 2021 when I will retire. On January 1, 2022 your very capable Strategic Development Manager Erin Zimmermann steps up to lead the organization as Executive Manager. I will remain on board as a consultant for the month of January and then stay available for special projects as needed to support staff and members. The positions of Finance Administrator staffed by Dina Alengi Storz and your Communications and Membership Specialist filled by Angela Madziar are evolving to support Erin and the organization as IAP2 USA transitions once again....

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A message from your President: Gwen Howard

As I prepare to say farewell to my time as President, I reflect on the amazing things we have accomplished…together. These last two years have been incredulous!  And although there was one significant event that catapulted us into a changed, more responsive, more accessible organization, everyone of you, our members, stepped up to assist in record breaking growth, adaptive virtual programs, a new and robust strategic plan, and an organization committed to being a reflection of the people and values we espouse through our new diversity lens.  Thank you for trusting me to lead the organization through a difficult and trying time, as well as through celebratory times.  And please never forget to say “Thank You” to our staff who do so much behind the scenes to help IAP2 USA run smoothly. I could not have done it without their support and organization. 

I leave knowing the organization remains positioned to accepting new leadership, ideas, and insights as we continue to serve each of you AND the greater good.  As a continuing Board member and IAP2 USA member, I hope to see many of you, on the flip side.   We have important work to keep doing!

GeGe Howard

IAP2 USA Impacts Federal Response

In June 2021, the Office of Management and Budget sent out a Request for Information on Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through Government. IAP2-USA provided a response on best practices for Stakeholder and Community Engagement from practitioners throughout the United States.  This response was shared to help improve the processes that the federal government uses to engage proactively with the underserved individuals and communities that will be most affected by agency programs, policies, rules, processes, or operations. The resulting Report to the President and the summary of key findings included many of the insights shared from our organization.

A special thanks to the practitioners who contributed to sharing our community of practice with the nation: Jacob Anderson, Anne Carroll, Gail Conners,  Sara Decher, Natalia Hentschel, Heather Imboden,  MJ Lamon,  Heather Lasher Todd, Wendy Green Lowe, Cathy Smith, Coby Williams, and KaDeena Yerkan Jacobs.

Get Involved Volunteer and Engagement Opportunities with IAP2 USA

2022 Call for Volunteers

The 2022 Call for Volunteers is now open! Take advantage of the opportunity to make a difference in the P2 community. Develop your leadership skills and grow your professional network by volunteering to serve on a committee or task force. If you're interested in growing personally or professionally, we have a place for you.

2022 Committee appointments run from February 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.
Volunteer by 12/17/2021 

Looking for ways to further your career, get up on the latest trends, enhance your network, create professional relationships, or contribute to your P2 community? We encourage you to explore the many avenues available to connect with your IAP2 USA and your colleagues.

Details and committee descriptions

Who is Eligible?

All IAP2 USA members are eligible to participate and volunteer on a committee or task force. Nonmembers interested in volunteering are welcome to join the association online.

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteering will help you take charge of your career and broaden your knowledge. You can gain access to current events in your career area or take advantage of a safe space to learn about other areas while you have a chance to enhance your leadership skills. It’s also a great way to just have some fun while meeting new people.

Volunteer Application

IAP2 Logo Merchandise is Ready for Gift Giving

Looking for a clever holiday gift or a way to welcome the New Year? Visit the IAP2 store and Find something for yourself or great gifts for your friends while you support your organization. You'll find unique merchandise with the IAP2 USA logo on t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and more.

IAP2 USA Market

Become a Certified Public Participation Professional, CP3

Certification as a Public Participation professional acknowledges your adherence to a strict set of standards recognized around the world for delivering quality, meaningful public participation. It is the premier credential for public participation professionals. 

An Assessment Center is now scheduled for June 10-11, 2022 with an application deadline of February 25, 2022. 

More Details

Featured Course - Pinpointing Your Participation: Stronger Assessments and Better Evaluation 

Trainer: Doug Zenn 

 Two Sessions

December 6, 1:00-4:00 p.m. EDT

December 8, 1:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

Are your P2 programs and campaigns working?

Looking for feedback and new ideas?

Join us for an interactive workshop - with optional scheduled small-group practice sessions - where you will discuss your actual P2 projects and receive feedback from your peers and the instructor. 

Assessment and evaluation are perhaps the most important and overlooked tools in your Involvement toolbox. This is particularly important on projects with high potential controversy, but can be used to improve any project. A strong assessment and continued evaluation will ensure that your participation program recognizes, and addresses stakeholder needs.  

This two-session workshop will:

  • Strengthen your assessment skills.
  • Ensure that ongoing evaluations make your participation program adaptable and effective.
  • Provide the tools to customize your participation plans. 
  • Show you how to reach all affected by decisions, and not just the usual participants. 
  • Help you build trust among your communities.
  • Assist you with elevating the issues most important to stakeholders into project discussions. 

December Webinar

December 14 - Learning Webinar - NAC Encore "Storytelling - A Structure for Building a Shared Story and Strategy"

"What happened?" and "What are we going to do about it?" -- two questions we often ask these days, as our communities experience harsher impacts of climate change, social justice strife and an uncertain future. 

In this reprise of her session at the 2021 IAP2 North American Virtual Conference, Cathy Smith looks at storytelling as a way to move from individual perspectives to a collective perspective, as well as to help communities organize information, so that it can be used to develop a shared understanding of challenges, consequences and steps to create new realities.


Webinar Recordings -  Available free to Members On-Demand

All of our past webinars are available to members who are logged into Just click here and you will be prompted to login to the Webinar Archives.

November 9 - Learning Webinar - NAC Encore ”Cancel Culture and Communications Planning - Moving Towards an Accountability Mindset"

If getting "cancelled" isn't part of your communications planning, it needs to be. In a world where outrage travels fast, the list of organizations and individuals facing the so-called 'cancel culture' backlash grows longer by the day. Managing public engagement in the age of 'cancel culture' is uncharted territory, but addressing calls for accountability has become mission-critical for any public relations strategy to succeed. In this webinar, a reprise of her session at the 2021 IAP2 North American Virtual Conference, Kathryn Kolaczek will explore:

  • The meaning and impact of 'cancel culture'  online and in the real world.
  • The dangers of 'woke-washing' and tone-deaf activism.
  • How organizations can protect themselves from being #cancelled.
  • The way forward: shifting from a 'cancel culture' to an 'accountable culture'.

If our current courses don't meet your needs please fill out this quick survey so we can help you become the P2 practitioner your community needs.

Member Spotlight

If your organization  had any recent P2 successes or thought of creative solutions we want to hear about it! Please contact to be featured on our website or newsletter.

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