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Orange County Association of Environmental Professionals
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OCAEP - The Nexus

January 2021

Message from the President

Dear OCAEP Members and Friends, 

Happy New Year!  It is with great excitement that we present to you our first newsletter of 2021! Despite the difficulties we have all faced in 2020 we have a lot in store this year with a wide array of exciting programs, networking opportunities, and other special events.  Our Chapter Board strives to provide high-quality, consistent, relevant, timely lunch programs for our members.  If there is a particular issue or topic you would like to see addressed in one of our programs, please contact our C0-Vice Presidents of Programs, Josephine Lim at (josephine.lim@mbakerintl.com) or Frances Yau at (frances.yau@mbakerintl.com). 

As a reminder, the 2021 Advanced CEQA Workshop Webinar is scheduled to occur on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and on Thursday February 25, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Information regarding the workshop and registration can be found online here.

In this new year, please encourage your colleagues to join AEP and participate in the local Orange County chapter programs and special events.  And, for those of you who are current members, please remember to renew your membership when renewal notices are sent. In closing, I would like to thank you for your continued support of our organization.  We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events this year!


Sincerely, 

Pierre Glaize
President, OCAEP

2021 Board of Directors

Our 2021 Board of Directors nominations and elections took place in November and December 2020. Thank you to all our members who took the time to nominate and vote! The following individuals have been elected to serve as OCAEP's 2021 Board of Directors:

President:
Pierre Glaize, ICF

Chapter Director:
Brian Allee, ESA

Co-Vice Presidents, Programs:
Josephine Lim, Michael Baker International
Frances Yau, Michael Baker International 

Co- Vice Presidents, Newsletter and Social Media:
Cameron Lukos,  RVA
Daniel Latham, VCS Environmental 

Treasurer:
Meghan Macias, E|P|D Solutions

Secretary:
Christina Maxwell, LSA

Membership Liaison:
Alisha Winterswyk, Best Best & Krieger 

Co-Special Events Coordinators:
Patrick Maxon, VCS Environmental
David Crook, HELIX Environmental Planning, Inc. 

Student Liaisons:
Kristen Bogue, Michael Baker International
Jessica Ditto, Michael Baker International
Danielle Regimbal, Michael Baker International
 
Additionally, Jennifer Lynch (Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP) was appointed as our Legislative Liaison, Velvet Park was appointed the Scholarship Representative, and  Maya Cheva (Chapman University), Ana Grant (UC Irvine), and Cameron Cesa (CSU Fullerton) were appointed as our Student Chapter Representatives.

Congratulations to our new 2021 OCAEP Board! 

Recent Programs & Events


Toy and Gift Drive

December 19, 2020

The Orange County Association of Environmental Professionals (OCAEP), Orange County American Planning Association (OCAPA), and their Young and Emerging Professionals group (YEP) held a Toy and Gift Drive to benefit the County of Orange Operation Santa Claus program. Operation Santa Claus provides gifts and toys to children who are abandoned, neglected, and/or abused and are placed in foster care in Orange County, as well as to children of disadvantaged families. Operation Santa Claus is a County of Orange Board of Supervisors approved program, and is the only official County holiday toy drive. In, 2019, this program distributed over 39,000 toys and gifts, bringing joy and a message of hope to our most vulnerable children in Orange County who might otherwise have gone without.

This past holiday season, OCAPA and OC Young & Emerging Planners (YEP) partnered with the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) to host a socially-distant drive-through toy drive for Operation Santa Claus. 

Thanks to everyone's generosity, we were able to drop off an entire car full of toys for the program right before Christmas! In addition APA, YEP, and AEP jointly donated $1,500 to help the program purchase toys and gifts for foster children in the county.

Students Corner


2020 Fall Scholarship Program Winners

Following an extensive review of the scholarship applications received for our 2020 Fall Scholarship Program, the OCAEP Board is pleased to announce the scholarship winners:

Carline Hua, University of California, Irvine, ($1,500): Carline is pursuing a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning with focus on creating ways to plan sustainable and equitable cities that facilitate human-centered placemaking. She intends to achieve this goal by working to implement integrative climate change mitigation measures into regional and municipal plans here in Orange County. Carline is currently working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to analyze their climate risk management process and to improve their international community outreach program while completing her degree at the University of California, Irvine.  Carline's impressive academic record, leadership in UCI's AEP student chapter and USAID, and current internship with the City of Dana Point, displayed her drive and commitment to the planning profession.  Her application exemplifies her passion for environmental health and her commitment and initiative to serving her local community as a planner in Orange County.  
Lucero Mondragon, University of California, Irvine, ($2,500): Lucero is pursuing a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and is interested in providing access to green open space and building healthy, sustainable neighborhoods throughout Orange County. The implementation of such spaces will serve to improve the air quality and address systemic inequities, which are issues that Lucero has been actively advocating for as a community organizer for the past five years. Currently, Lucero serves as a board member for THRIVE, the first community land trust (CLT) in the City of Santa Ana, while finishing her degree at the University of California, Irvine.  Lucero's background as an immigrant with personal experience related to environmental inequities,  leadership at THRIVE, and her commitment to environmental justice in Santa Ana and Orange County at large, made her a standout candidate.  Her personal experiences, environmental and community activism, and her academic career, exemplifies the principles of diversity and inclusion in AEP's initiatives for the future leaders in the planning profession.  
Renata Langis, University of California, Irvine, ($1,000):  Renata is pursuing a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning with focus on establishing active transportation in the City of Long Beach. She is especially interested in innovative urban solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, ranging from natural disaster planning to developing urban ecosystem services and strengthening local economies and social communities. Recently, she volunteered with the Grass Valley Energy Action Plan working group and gained knowledge of energy efficiency, solar energy systems, renewable energy policy, and community choice aggregates in California. After completing her degree at the University of California, Irvine, Renata plans to pursue a career in climate planning and urban sustainability management.  Renata's writing skills and understanding of complex urban planning challenges and sustainability, as demonstrated by her application essay and impressive letters of recommendation, in combination with her clearly laid out plans to pursue a career in planning, show her incredible dedication to AEP's commitment to serve the public interest.
Ricardo Jose Olea, University of California, Irvine, ($1,000): Ricardo is pursuing a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and is interested in redefining traditional urban planning practices to produce more equitable urban environments. Recently, Ricardo worked as a research and policy analyst for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) during which time he was able to advocate for innovative state and regional policies, promote community building through mutual aid fund management and encourage civic engagement through community focus groups and workshops. After completing his degree from the University of California, Irvine, Ricardo plans to pursue a career in urban planning.  Ricardo' ambitions to pursue a career in urban planning in pursuit of more equitable planning practices, inspired by his personal experience as a person of color from the inland empire and work with the CCAEJ, and clear explanation of how this scholarship will allow him to reach his career goals as an urban planner in Orange County made him a standout candidate.  Ricardo demonstrates the importance of AEP's diversity and inclusion initiative to supporting the next generation of planners, with diverse backgrounds, to enhance the planning profession.  
The OCAEP Board would like to thank everyone who submitted an application for the 2020 Fall Scholarship Program. We received applications from many outstanding students, and the selection of the winner was a difficult decision. Please be sure to congratulate Carline, Lucero, Renata, and Ricardo on their achievements!

New Student Chapter at CSU Fullerton!

OCAEP is pleased to announce our new Student Chapter at California State University, Fullerton!  We are still actively seeking students interested in joining the Student Board.  The Student Board will meet on-campus once a month (usually takes about an hour or less).  This is a great opportunity for students to connect with environmental professionals, as the Student Board will work closely with the OCAEP Board of Directors.  If you are interested in helping, please reach out to Cameron Cesa, President & Student Chapter Representative, at ccesa@csu.fullerton.edu. 
     

TIP OF THE QUARTER

Happy 2021!  The new year is an excellent opportunity to refresh your knowledge base.  Take some time to confirm the basis for your working understanding of CEQA and its implementing guidelines.  You might be surprised what you find, and it is a great way to start the year with renewed expertise.

HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT TO SHARE?

Let us know by emailing OCAEP Admin VP-Newsletter, Cameron Lukos at camlukosocaep@gmail.com and we will get it in the next OCAEP newsletter!

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