President’s Corner

Gary Leach
LAI President

Greetings and best wishes to you all for a healthy and productive 2022!

Many chapters are welcoming new leadership and thanking those past leaders who are moving on. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all of the 2021 Chapter Presidents.

Aloha                                  Susan Todani
Atlanta                               Bill De St. Aubin
AUM                                   Anil Hatkar
Austin                                 Randy Williams
Baltimore                          Matthew Kimball
Barcelona                          Juanjo Martinez
Boston                               Tom Goodwin
Ely                                       Richard Wilson
George Washington        John Schlichting
Golden Gate                      Mike Grisso
London                               Chip Good
Los Angeles                       Karin Chao
Madrid                               Francisco de Asis Fernandez Ordonez
Memphis                           Greg Marcom
Minnesota                         Peter Brown
New York                           Jeff Beal
Orange County                 Jeanette Justus
Ottawa                               Miguel Tremblay
Philadelphia                      Gina Lavery
Phoenix                              Amy Winski
Sacramento                      John Leonard
San Diego                          Brooke Peterson
San Juan                             Emilio Colon-Zavala
Simcoe                               David McKay
Sonoran Desert                Rodrigo Torres Cande Balderrama
Tokyo                                  Hiroshi Koyama
Vancouver                         Elisa Campbell
Zia                                        Forrest Thomas

Congratulations to the New York Chapter’s new/current leadership for bringing their business filings current, clearing up many prior years of neglect!

Local chapter programming has been very active with most programs open to all members via Zoom. Our Global Programming Committee led by Richard Cook recently hosted a program on Affordable Housing in December. This is available to view on the LAI YouTube channel. The next program scheduled for January 26th at 9:00 pm Central Time features four scholars from Mumbai, Tokyo and Melbourne (meeting time set to best accommodate multiple time zones). The committee has a number of other programs in planning process with a goal of offering one each month. Check the Upcoming Events for more details and to register at A number of these programs such as the one next week features a recipient of a Land Economics Committee (LEF) grants. The LEF board has been quite active reviewing and approving grant requests. The team now includes Jocelyn Fredericks a long time LAI member from Ely and the Boston Chapters now a member at large.

The Strategic Plan Committee has been very active drafting a LAI Strategic Plan for the time period of 2023-2027. The committee is being led by Immediate Past President Sheila Harris, PhD. She is working with Planning Teams making initial updates focused upon: Vision, Mission, Principles and Goals; Chapter Support/New Chapters; Marketing and Communications; and Global Chapter/Ad Hoc Program Committees. Additionally, she has added two new Teams for the 2023-2027 Plan: Land Economic Weekends (LEWs) and Membership. The first four teams have completed their initial review of our current plan and made suggested changes.  Both the LEW and Membership Teams have done some excellent initial work utilizing feedback from LAI members who participated in surveys. Ian Lord and Susannah Bergmann are Co-Chairs of the LEW Team and Deana Grinnell and Andrew Fogg Co-Chair the Membership Team. More to come on this committee’s excellent work and there will be additional opportunities to provide input from all members this Spring.  The goal of this effort is to have a second draft of the plan completed by the Spring Meeting of the Board of Governors.

The Chapter Services Committee led by LAI International Vice President Kathline King engaged the Atlanta, Ottawa, New York, Boston and Austin chapters in a “Pilot Project” that funds essential administrative support to energize and grow membership. Kathy also spearheaded the creation of a Board of Governors Manual that will guide current and new Board members on the operations and key activities of our LAI International organization. This will be made available soon on the LAI website.

The Communications Committee has been helping chapters to produce videos related to celebrating the 90th anniversary of LAI. They are also producing videos of interviews with chapter presidents to be used in their “Next Chapter” program promoting local chapters.  These can also be viewed on the LAI YouTube channel.

Our Sacramento Chapter has done an excellent job of organizing our next Land Economics Weekend scheduled to take place on May 5 – 7. The Chapter LEW Committee has been working to ensure that all COVID protocols will be followed in accordance with local guidelines. Their focus is on having a safe event and they are reassessing as the pandemic continues to evolve.

Finally, thanks to all of you who give your time in support of LAI. There are way too many of you to give mention here by name, but your hard work is appreciated. I also would like to encourage those of you who are not involved at the International level to consider volunteering on one of our committees to help shape the future of our organization.  I look forward to the culmination of these efforts as the year unfolds. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Best regards,
Gary Leach
LAI President

Photo by Maria Leach