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Michael Harper

Posted in: About Us by Eric Sopp on September 20, 2009

Michael A. Harper, FAICP, our Treasurer, retired in May 2009 as the Advanced Planning Program Planning Manager of the Washoe County Department of Community Development in Reno, Nevada. He worked for Washoe County for over 29 years, holding a number of management positions: Special Projects Manager (Community Development Department), Assistant Director (Comprehensive Planning Department), Director (Development Review Department).

Mike has served in leadership positions in many of the professional organizations to which he belongs. He was President of the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association, Commissioner on the AICP Commission, and President of the Sierra Nevada Chapter, American Society for Public Administration. He is currently the Nevada Chapter, APA, representative to the Western Planning Resources, Inc. (and a member of the executive board); a member of the site review team pool for the Planning Accreditation Board; and Treasurer of the County Planning Division, APA.

Lake Tahoe has been an important part of Mike’s planning experience. He was Chair of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Advisory Planning Commission and Chair of the State of Nevada Commission: Purchase of Land in the Lake Tahoe Basin. He served four terms as Chair of the Tahoe Transportation District/Tahoe Transportation Commission, and was Washoe County’s permanent alternate to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board since 1981.

Assisting with planners’ professional development and planning officials training has led Mike to a second career of teaching. As APA Nevada Chapter president he assisted in the creation of a planning commissioner’s primer. Mike served as both the APA Nevada Chapter’s Professional Development Officer and Planning Officials Development Officer. As an APA Planners Support Network member he participated in the development of a presentation on career related issues particular to professional planners. In recognition of his service to APA and AICP, Mike was inducted into the AICP College of Fellows in 2004 and received the Nevada Chapter’s President’s Award for Outstanding Service in 2009. Mike is a National Business Institute faculty member, lecturing on planning statutes in Nevada; and adjunct faculty in the University of Nevada, Reno’s Geography Department. Mike frequently conducts planning commissioner training at the state planning conference. Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master of Public Administration degree. He is married to Vickie and has two grown sons.