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2020 OC-APA Board Election

Cast your vote today! Ballots due December 31, 2019.

Nomination Statements


Amy Stonich, AICP:

It is with excitement and anticipation that I am running for Director of Orange Section APA. I currently hold the position and have served the past two years. I am an active member of the American Planning Association practicing as a certified planner (AICP) and have been an active Board Member of APA Orange Section from 2007 to 2013 and served as the 2014 APA California Conference Chair for Programs. I offer over 20 years of professional experience in the public and private sector working for Orange County cities including the cities of Lake Forest, Tustin and Anaheim, San Clemente and Stanton.

With the experience I’ve gained over the years as an active member and board member of APA, I believe I offer experienced leadership to the Orange Section. I have successfully organized programs the past two years and have plans to fulfill all our members’ needs in the next two years. The Orange Section has a strong board that represents the section in a positive light. I feel that together, we can accomplish amazing goals in the next two years.


Karolina Gorska, AICP

I wish to be considered for the position of Vice Director for AICP. I recently moved to Orange, CA from Los Angeles where I have served for the last two years as a Vice-Director of Professional Development for APA Los Angeles. In that position I organized and led AICP study and informational sessions for members and neighboring APA sections. I regularly interacted with and provided information to members who were interested in taking the AICP exam or interested in earning certificate maintenance (CM) credits. I also worked closely with the Programs Director and the rest of the board to organize events and register many of them for CM credits.

I currently work as a contract planner for Rincon Environmental Consultants. Prior to my move to Orange County I worked as a planner for both L.A. County and L.A. City. In addition to my time in public sector planning, I have worked as a consultant, as well as a planning lecturer and researcher at UCLA. Through these varied experiences, I always saw the APA as an essential connection between diverse planning practitioners, and I am interested in continuing to volunteer for APA in my new OC home.

I understand the importance of providing educational opportunities to members and believe APA should take the lead when it comes to communicating best practices to students, planners, and the public through seminars and symposia. I believe that my broad experience would make me a successful Vice Director for AICP. Thank you for considering me for this position.

Starla Barker, AICP

I have been honored to serve on the APA California Orange Section Board for the past six years as the Vice Director for AICP and submit this statement of candidacy for re-election for the 2020-2021 term. I am very proud of what we have accomplished over the past six years. But there is still much I would like to achieve and wish the opportunity to continue the momentum we have built.

As the Vice Director of AICP, I have worked with my fellow board members to:

  1. Organize and conduct an annual Orange Section AICP Information Session. We have had over 125 people in attendance over the last six years to learn about AICP – what is AICP; what are the benefits; how to become AICP; how to apply for the exam; how to prepare for and sit for the exam; and how to maintain AICP status. Participants have had the opportunity to hear from recent AICP exam passers and to ask questions.

  2. Introduce the AICP Candidate Pilot Program to planning students and young professionals at various events, including the AICP Information Session, Annual Planners Showcase, and UCI Urban Planning Student Association (UPSA) meeting.

  3. Improve communication with AICP members in need of CM credits and researching and providing CM opportunities.

  4. Serve as a resource to AICP and AICP-Candidate Pilot program applicants seeking application review, study groups, and study materials.

  5. Actively participate with the Professional Development Officers (PDOs) and AICP Directors from other sections and the Chapter to share ideas on how to assist members and provide CM opportunities.

  6. Recognize our newest AICP members through personal emails, eblasts, and formal recognition at our annual Awards event.

  7. Coordinate with the Vice Directors of Programs to provide over 40 CM credit opportunities annually, including ethics training.

For this next term I would like to:

  1. Continue discussions with the State Professional Development Officer to implement AICP Exam Study Sessions available statewide to all members.

  2. Continue to organize and implement the annual AICP Information Session and provide updated and improved study resources and materials.

  3. Provide information and guidance of APA’s AICP Candidate Pilot Program.

  4. Improve communication for all things related to AICP through emails, eblasts, and the website.

  5. Continue to work with the board members to serve the needs of our members, including opportunities for CM.

About Me:

I am a Senior Associate and Project Manager with GPA Consulting, providing planning and environmental consulting services to public and private clients for over 17 years. I have been a member of APA for 17 years and in addition to serving as the Vice Director of AICP, I served on the Programs Committee for the 2014 State Conference in Orange County.


Eddie Torres:


  1. Planning and Environmental Sciences Manager, Michael Baker International, Santa Ana


  1. Co-Vice Director of Membership – 2017-2019


It has been a privilege to serve as the current Co-Vice Director or Member for the Orange County APA Chapter. I am proud of the many successes that our Board has achieved. However, there is still work that needs to be accomplished to support current and future members. I am seeking your support to continue our momentum to increasing our membership numbers and to promote the value of being a member of APA.

The value of being a member of APA must continually be conveyed to current and prospective members. I believe the next step is to develop a framework for increasing the value and benefits to APA members. As part of my duties I will also be proactive on solving any potential membership issues and promote member appreciation events.

Thank you for your membership and for your consideration.

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