News from the Top

Engaged Leadership Focus Amidst Uncertainty


The morning news surrounding Ukraine was unsettling for sure and further complicates the breadth of uncertainty we are experiencing. As the pandemic seems to be entering the endemic phase, the future outlook for recovery is complicated by current inflation, supply chain challenges, workforce shortages, and now the unknown impacts resulting from Russian troops entering Ukraine.  

As leaders, it’s essential to remain focused on what we can accomplish—where we can affect change or progress. We must recognize the environment surrounding us to make necessary adjustments while addressing the needs of our constituents today and maintaining the long-term vision ahead. 

These are times when IDA’s network is most valued—leaning on one another to define the challenges and develop solutions as a collective community. We remain the voice for city center revival. IDA committees, leadership and staff continue to spearhead priority issues for 2022, including return to office, safety and security, housing led recovery, transportation and parking, and reimagined public space within the umbrella of building more inclusive places.

This is the time to engage. Applications for the new Executive Leadership Retreat are being accepted through March 2, 2022, an opportunity that could not be happening at a more critical time. Responses to the 2022 federal public policy survey sent to U.S. members are being received. The Canadian members’ leadership group is establishing specific asks of their federal government to address street issues, support small businesses and target infrastructure funding for downtowns and main streets. I am inspired by the 30 new emerging leaders (just now learning of their acceptance) and nearly 100 session submissions received for the Annual Conference & Marketplace in Vancouver.

Leadership, advocacy and education are taking center stage at IDA, with more room for members to get involved. I invite you to share with me your efforts to address the priority issues discussed above so IDA can further communicate new ideas with all our members. Right now, we are collecting examples for proactively addressing social issues impeding the return to office and accepting applications to join Top Issue Councils focused on placemaking, homeless services, inclusive entrepreneurship, and parking & mobility. Please continue to lean in and help the IDA community, and most importantly, if you have not been active before, join your colleagues today to help shape the profession for the future.