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Dani Arps

My name is Dani Arps and I work for the Montana Department of Commerce in the Community MT Division and I am a planner for the CTAP (Community Technical Assistance Program) which I’ve done for the past ten months. Prior to that, I spent about two years as the planner, floodplain administrator, and grant administrator for Teton County. I’ve been involved in the Legislative Committee with MAP and I’ve been a MAP member for just about three years.

I love my job for many reasons. First, because I get the pleasure of working with a talented and passionate team of people at Commerce who really enjoy helping communities. We collaborate with a variety of planners, from contracted engineering firms to local governments and some volunteers in communities. The shift we are seeing statewide away from reactive planning to pro-active, long-range planning is happening at a critical time and we are delighted to help support that.

Secondly, Montana is rapidly growing and working for preservation of the things that make Montana such a special place for all to enjoy is important work. We administer grant programs that result in projects in communities to increase attainable workforce housing, construction and engineering for infrastructure and implementation of legislation to help guide growth, among many other objectives.

I would like to continue to learn and share resources and education throughout the state by serving on the Board of Directors for MAP. Thank you for your consideration of me for this position.

Ashlie Gilbert

I am an Associate Planner for Gallatin County primarily working on subdivision review,zoning applications, and Future Land Use Map development and outreach. Although I am an early career planner, I feel my experience with collaboration, discussion facilitation, and science communication would be beneficial to the MAP Board. I received my masters in Earth Sciences, Emphasis in Geography from Montana State University in 2022, my thesis is titled Adaptation and Water Resources Management: Examining Adaptive Governance in Montana. My thesis research centered around the creation and analysis of multiple online

surveys and interviews with 30+ water resource stakeholders throughout the State. Though there is always more to learn, I feel that my thesis work allowed me an in-depth look into the complexities of growth and development amidst resource preservation in Montana from the perspective of folks with “boots on the ground.” While at MSU, I also worked on a Sustained Dialogue program for the Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons office and have training and experience with facilitating group discussions about difficult topics. I have also worked in non-profit fundraising and currently serve on the Board for the Gallatin Watershed Council. I am excited by the possibility of using my critical thinking, policy analysis, and public engagement skills to inform the next MAP strategic plan and the future of planning in Montana. I hope to assist the Board with creating an inclusive environment that encourages thoughtful discussion, honors dissenting perspectives, and communicates the nuances of complicated planning topics and policies to a variety of audiences.

Forrest Mandeville

Forrest Mandeville, AICP, has worked in the planning profession in Montana since 2007 when he was hired to work in the Stillwater County Planning Department. Since that time Forrest’s career has taken him from the public to the private sector, and he currently works as a consultant. In his current role, Forrest provides on-call planning services to counties and municipalities and works on a variety of private planning projects throughout Montana. Forrest has written and updated numerous planning documents, including subdivision regulations, growth policies, trail plans, and zoning codes.

Forrest has served in the Montana legislature since 2015 where he worked on numerous land-use bills. Forrest has developed a reputation among legislators and lobbyists as a go-to source for information on bills that impact planning laws. Forrest has also been a speaker at the national level regarding how to build consensus and pass laws that move the planning profession forward.

Forrest has been on the MAP Board since 2020 and looks forward to continuing his work with the Board on a variety of issues. Forrest is proud of the work of the MAP Board becoming an APA chapter and working on many important legislative issues. He is excited to work on strategic planning as MAP plans next steps to ensure the momentum we have now continues to pay dividends for the next generation of Montana planners.

Monica Plecker

I am running for re-election to the Montana Association of Planners Board.  I have worked in planning in Montana since 2011 in both private a public sector planning. I am a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Career wise, most recently I was the Planning Division Manager for the City of Billings and Yellowstone County a City/County Planning Division which also included the MPO. In December 2023, I took on a new role as Deputy Public Works Director for Yellowstone County. In this new role I am still involved in land use development in Yellowstone County.

I have been a board member since 2016 and very much enjoyed my role and contributions to the board and organization which even include hosting the MAP conference in Billings in 2023. I am a member of the MAP legislative committee and was part of the last strategic planning effort in 2016 and part of the call to action that began in 2017. I would like to continue my efforts to see map through the new strategic planning process as we make concerted efforts to move the organization forward in the next 3-5 years.

Sarah Rosenberg

I have been with the City of Bozeman since 2017, serving as the City’s Historic Preservation Officer and Associate Planner. In these roles, I manage the historic preservation program, handle development review projects, and act as the City of Bozeman’s LGBTQ+ liaison. I hold a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Colorado Denver and obtained my AICP certification in 2019. As both a planner and preservationist, I strive to stay current with trends and issues in both fields to foster collaboration between them.

Over the past two years, I have had the pleasure of serving as Vice President on the MAP Board. I am committed to MAP’s mission and efforts and wish to continue in this role. I am proud of my contributions to the conference planning committee, where we have worked diligently to ensure the annual MAP conference addresses relevant topics for attendees. Additionally, my participation in the executive leadership committee has driven me to proactively and collaboratively work on growing the board and better serving our members.

The MAP Board is in the process of updating our strategic plan, and I am eager to help move this initiative forward. While the board has a strong foundation, I believe we can further enhance our support for members through improved education and professional development, additional networking opportunities, and effective policy advocacy. I look forward to the opportunity to continue contributing to these efforts.

Anna Vickers

I’m Anna Vickers and I have worked for the past almost 9 years as a consulting land use planner within private engineering firms across the State of Montana. Recently, I have accepted the position of Planning Division Manager for City of Billings/Yellowstone County. As a consultant and now public servant I would like to focus my attention while on the board on public/private partnerships. My goal is to stay community centered while navigating developer concerns and processes. With the recent legislation of SB382, public private partnerships across the state will be integral, as many planning divisions will turn to consulting firms to help with required updates. I am excited to bring my perspective from both positions to the board. 

Aaron Wilson

MAP is in a unique stage in our history. As a newly formed chapter of the APA, we are being recognized and celebrated for our successes at the national level, and simultaneously creating stronger local leadership in Montana and within the APA organization. Our chapter also realized success at the state legislature during the 2023 session, seeing our input on land use and planning issues viewed as valuable technical knowledge. I would like to continue building on these and many other successes to ensure MAP provides a significant benefit to planners and the profession in Montana. The Board is working on a new strategic plan that will guide us into the next several years, focused on capacity building for the organization, and maximizing value for our members across the state. At the same time, we are focusing on the next legislative session coming up in just over 6 months.

I also believe MAP can do more for professional development through our annual conference and other new opportunities. If re-elected, I would like to focus on improved communications, building additional education and training opportunities in partnership with APA National and other state chapters, and ensuring our conference continues to provide innovative, Montana-centric opportunities to learn and grow our collective knowledge of planning innovations. This includes expanding our relationships with other state chapters as well as working to develop a leadership pipeline for MAP and national leadership roles with APA National.

The next several years promise to be busy with exciting challenges for MAP, and I’m eager to continue working with the rest of the board!

Aaron Wilson is the Planning Manager for the Public Works & Mobility Department of City of Missoula, where he oversees the Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization, Missoula In Motion, and the City’s Transportation & Infrastructure Planning. His focus in this position is currently figuring out how we make ambitious plans and goals a reality through innovative implementation strategies. Prior to concentrating on Missoula’s many transportation issues, Aaron gained experience understanding how our natural and built environment systems interact through work on land use planning, open lands preservation, and wildfire research. Aaron attended Cornell University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, and later earned a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning at Portland State University. He is the current MAP Board President and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).