Greencastle City Planner Shannon Norman was recently elected a central region representative of the Indiana chapter of the American Planning Association.
Norman is one of six at-large members of the statewide board and one of 15 board members overall. The association is a network of 619 member professionals and citizen planners from across the state.
Being a member of the board not only keeps Norman connected with what is happening at the state level, but also at the national level, as one of the Indiana board members is also a member of the national board.
"There are a lot of initiatives out there, and knowing about them and being able to talk with the public about them is important," she said. "We're not an island out here.'
Norman said one of the most important parts of her selection was the ability to represent Greencastle and the interest of smaller communities in a forum where large cities are more often represented.
"Communities of our size have a voice just like everyone else," Norman said.
Still being a young professional in her field, Norman also feels honored to have been chosen by her peers, saying it's important to her to be an active part of the organization at this stage in her career.
"I'm on the board with people from much larger places and with much more experience," she said. "It's huge to have your peers choose you as a representative."
As a member of the board, Norman is already taking on three committees. She will take part in reviewing the chapter's by-laws, updating the citizen training manual and serve on the Web site committee.
While the experience on the board will serve both Norman as a professional and the city of Greencastle very well, she is planning to take care of her new responsibilities on her own time, not the city's, as much as possible.
Although it was Norman's own initiative that got her on the board, she also gave credit to the city's leadership, saying the both Mayor Sue Murray and former Mayor Nancy Michael have led by example with their involvement in regional statewide organizations.
"We've always been encouraged to be a part of the associations," Norman said. "I believe it to be one of our strongest attributes as a staff that we think beyond the day-to-day."