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2024 APWA-MN President's Message

January 25, 2024

2024 APWA-MN President's Message

Happy New Year to all!

It is with great honor and humility that I embrace my new role as President of this phenomenal organization. Thank you for your trust in me to lead us in 2024. I can say with certainty that we have one of the best chapters in all of APWA. I am certainly (and unashamedly) biased, but I have been exposed to several national conferences and chapter training sessions over the last several years in my role as an officer, as well as had many conversations with PWX attendees from all over the country. What I have learned in those interactions is that very few chapters have our numbers, our energy, and our commitment to our common goal. It’s not just that we are 1100+ strong, it’s that our members are active, committed, and genuinely like each other. We work as a team to provide a great member experience both locally and nationally, while at the same time promoting our industry to others, including our future work force. I am proud to say “Minnesota” when folks ask me what Chapter I represent, and I hope you all feel the same way.

In December, our Executive Committee meeting was focused on our plans for 2024. Each committee took some time to present their action plan for the upcoming year, including any new initiatives related to their missions. It was very productive, and the officers are in the midst of compiling all of their great thoughts and ideas into a single “master plan” to serve as our guidance for the year and as a checkpoint throughout. In addition, committee activities and initiatives were tied to both strategic plans that guide us – APWA national and APWA-MN. Those are important connections to make – they reinforce that our activities and goals are the right things to do for the Chapter.

In conjunction with the work of the committees to put together their plans for the year, the officers put together our list of activities/initiatives. Here are the highlights of the goals for your leadership group:

  • Chapter Strategic Plan Update – Our current plan was put together several years ago, and was last visited by leadership in 2022 to establish initiatives. In addition, APWA national has updated the association’s strategic plan for 2023-2027. It is time to bring our chapter plan up to 2024 and realign it with national. The Executive Committee will pursue that in the coming months.
  • Expansion of Student Chapters – Current student chapters at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and University of St. Thomas are thriving and active. Expansion of that concept to other state colleges and universities is a goal for the Chapter.
  • Pre-college Target Audience – As we saw from our State Demographer speaker at the Spring Conference, our industry is challenged to encourage careers in public works before students enter college. We already have a few STEM-related events that our Public Awareness Committee engages in, but an initiative to expand that effort is on the to-do list.
  • Growth of frontline public works engagement – Our chapter membership is heavily weighted toward the engineers and directors in the industry, meaning the frontline professionals are under-represented. Through membership outreach to encourage organizations to expand their membership to frontline staff, as well through education and training, we hope to expand that category within our membership.
  • Snow Conference and PWX – The Chapter has made it known that we wish to host an upcoming Snow Conference and/or a PWX, and indications from national suggest we should hear good news on that front sometime in the coming year. Regardless of that outcome, the officers have expressed a desire to make sure our Chapter is engaged at those two national events. Attendance numbers to be sure, but also chapter-driven activities and gatherings at those two conferences that promotes engagement and member value.

As officers and committees, we’ve opted to put forth some aggressive agendas for the coming year. I love it!! We are in a strong position as a Chapter with regard to our resources, both financial and human. I hope to leverage both of those resources together to achieve even greater successes as a Chapter. Our bar is high – we’re already a high-functioning Chapter with a long record of achievements. But I know this Chapter and its membership are up for the challenge.

Many of you that are reading this (if you’re still awake) are already active members in one or more committees. And for that I am grateful. But if you are not yet on a committee, this is a call to action. There are a number of committees that are looking for folks to contribute to achieving their (and by extension the Chapter’s) goals. You need only reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Michael Kirsch ( He can connect you to committees with openings and get you on your way.

I look forward to 2024 – our shared commitment and effort will surely provide us with great friendships and good times once again! I’m just happy to be along for the ride.

Onward and Upward!

Jupe Hale, PE
2024 APWA-MN Chapter President

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