David Wilwerding, a long-time leader in the planning profession, was recently awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Planning Association (APA) Iowa Chapter. In his nearly two decades of volunteer work with the APA Iowa Chapter, David has worked tirelessly to put planning principles at the forefront of decision-making in his community, and has mentored many up-and-coming planners.
David has served in almost every position on the APA Iowa Chapter Board since 2004, including awards coordinator, conference chair, President Elect, President, Past President, and currently as the Chapter’s Professional Development Officer. He has worked to professionalize the Chapter by establishing new operational policies, broadening the structure of the Board, strengthening the relationship with Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, and establishing national connections with other state chapters and the staff at APA National.
David's education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Drake University. He has been an AICP member since 2004 and has been employed with the City of Johnston since 2002, serving in the position of Community Development Director since 2007. Additionally, David frequently serves as a Lecturer in the Community and Regional Planning Department at Iowa State University.
David is well known for his mentorship and guidance for those interested in planning, working through their planning education, seeking their first job, or preparing to take the AICP exam. He champions the importance of relationships and networking and is often the first to engage new students at a conference. David makes regular visits to universities to discuss the benefits of AICP, presents sessions on being a successful exam taker, hires interns to provide professional work experience, and teaches studio classes to ensure students are offered a real-world picture of the planning profession. Many planners in Iowa have benefitted from his advice and time.
David's unwavering dedication to the APA Iowa Chapter and his devotion to giving back to planners across the state make him a worthy recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Leadership Award. Congratulations and a well-deserved recognition.