News from the Top

Universal Support & Collective Thinking


Last month, the US Conference of Mayors invited IDA to speak about the return to office and conversion of underutilized buildings to mixed-use and housing – key topics in our U.S. federal agenda.  I was struck by the universal support of the mayors to consider innovative tools for the adaptive reuse of underutilized buildings, but I was blown away by the great interest to develop complete neighborhoods and communities.  If we are not collectively thinking about building diverse and inclusive districts that help everyone prosper and thrive, we will miss the opportunity that emerges from the pandemic shifts in society.

On a related policy note, IDA is hosting “Days on the Hill” in both Ottawa and Washington, DC this year. IDA members are invited for capitol fly-ins to meet with their elected federal officials and advocate on the industry’s behalf.  The U.S. Hill Days are March 21-22, 2023. The Ottawa dates will be identified soon.  In Washington, DC, IDA members will arrive for an afternoon briefing by the IDA Policy Committee and government relations staff in preparation for prescheduled meetings on Capitol Hill throughout the next day.  Visit the registration page so we can begin preparing for your arrival.  For those of you in Canada, stay tuned for more information.

The first month of the year has flown by.  While you are focused on your district, the IDA team is focused on increasing opportunities to meet member needs and deliver opportunities for all. Our Executive Leadership Retreat program is now scheduled for April 3-7, 2023 in Palm Springs.  This program was launched in 2022 with 30 chief executives coming together in a retreat environment, away from the distractions of our urban districts, to focus on organizational leadership and interpersonal skills needed to navigate current challenges. The 2023 retreat is limited to 30 attendees on a first-come basis, so if you are interested in the newly scheduled dates, please submit your interest today.

Our spring summit schedule is posted with detailed content being released this month.  Targeted training on place-based economic development in Norfolk, VA along with operations and placemaking programming in Minneapolis, MN provides professional development opportunities staff needs to grow and remain fresh.  The Pacific Northwest Regional Conference cohosted in partnership with BIABC, and the West Coast Urban District Forum, cohosted with the CDA, both provide regional access to multidisciplinary content. It’s also easy to access our biweekly educational webinars (free to all IDA members including your organization’s staff and board members). If you have not added your team to your membership roster, please contact the IDA Membership Department who will happily assist and also respond to questions if you are interested in becoming a member.

All of this news is available in the Inspired by IDA e-newsletter which also contains personally customized media stories based on your individual area of interest.  If you ever need help, have a question, or want to learn more about exciting opportunities in the future, please reach out to me any time.