Tonight I attended a summer social hosted by the National Capital Area chapter of the Association for Strategic Planning at the Front Page.  Drinks!  Fish tacos!  Door prizes!  Fun was had by all.

The Association for Strategic Planning (ASP) was started on the west coast, so its presence on the east coast is somewhat recent and spotty.  I have been involved with ASP at the local level for about 4 years.  The chapter is still fairly young, and not widely known.  I routinely meet people in the strategic planning field who are have no idea it exists.  But that just gives me a good opportunity to share with them about it.

The turnout at tonight’s event was good, and included people who are new to ASP as well as some long-time regular attenders.

Conversations were many and varied.  Here is Dawn, a Certified Professional Facilitator, who shared with me the story of her transition to owning her own business.  Dawn has a gift for finding good, even in unpleasant circumstances.

Dawn Rhine, CPF

Dawn Rhine (and Jim Stockmal)

Terry and I talked about the comparative benefits of Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.  I suspect he’ll end up somewhere else entirely — and love it.



Jim and I shared observations about the increasingly partisan political pressures endured by many civil servants today.  Jim also urged me to try the fish tacos.  I wasn’t going to, but I’m glad he insisted.  A tasty melange of fish, tortilla, and spicy sauce.  Yum!

Jim Stockmal

There was a lot of talk about ASP’s strategic planning certification.  I served on the committee to help define the competencies for the certification, so I was curious to find out where the effort was going.  I was pleased to hear people are starting to pursue certification (Chapter president Erik Phelps is gearing up to get certified soon).  Perhaps, as more people earn the credential, it will receive greater recognition and hopefully raise the profile of the strategic planning profession.

Here are a few other pictures from the evening.

Meeting the new members of the local ASP chapter has me really enthused about attending the upcoming programs.  Erik says to expect the first event in September or October.  Stay tuned.