Four years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set out to change the way it does business. Now, leaders are taking the next step to modernize its planning process, designating 34 certified planners to assist with complicated, controversial or highly visible studies and initiatives.
“Certified planners should be utilized to tackle the Nation’s complex water resources challenges,” said Maj. Gen. Donald Jackson, deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations for the Corps, in a memorandum announcing the selections.
Corps districts have been asked to review their planning portfolio to see where a certified planner could provide value, and the National Planning Center of Expertise can help match their need with an appropriate certified planner to either join their project delivery team or provide mentoring and guidance.
Sacramento District will not only get a front row seat for the new program but it appears it will have a chance to drive some of our nation’s most complex projects. Nine Sacramento District planners were selected as part of the inaugural collection of certified planners, which range from plan formulators to economists to environmental and cultural resources specialists.
“The selection process was rigorous and the standard high,” Jackson said. “Certification isn’t just about completing required training but requires a mix of training, experience, knowledge and leadership.”
Alicia Kirchner, chief of planning division for the Sacramento District, envisions the certification program will highlight the district’s capability to support other districts in the region and nation.
Each of the planners selected has broad experience and training within the Corps, and have proven capable of leading complex water resources planning efforts. The National Water Resources Certified Planner designation sets the standard for the profession, said Tab Brown, chief of planning and policy for the Corps during an August 29 ceremony in Washington D.C., to recognize the 34 certified planners.
List of USACE National Water Resources Certified Planners:
Nicholas Applegate, Sacramento District
Samantha Borer, Jacksonville District
David Bucaro, Chicago District
Kim Carsell, Sacramento District
Susan Conner, Norfolk District
Mark Cowan, Sacramento District
Mark Doles, Albuquerque District
Craig Evans, Saint Paul District
Tim Fleeger, Northwestern Division
Craig Forgette, Buffalo District
Brad Foster, Jacksonville District
Jerry Fuentes, Sacramento District
Miki Fujitsubo, Sacramento District
Elden Gatwood, Wilmington District
Alicia Kirchner, Sacramento District
Camie Knollenberg, Saint Paul District
Rhiannon Kucharski, Sacramento District
Eric Lynn, Kansas City District
Andrew MacInnes, New Orleans District
Judy McCrea, South Pacific Division
Rachel Mesko, Seattle District
Greg Miller, Mississippi Valley Division
Karen Miller, Huntington District
Jason Norris, Lakes and Rivers Division
Patrick O’Donnell, South Atlantic Division
Marshall Plumley, Saint Paul District
Monique Savage, Saint Paul District
Brooke Schlenker, Sacramento District
Heather Schlosser, Los Angeles District
David Schulenberg, Buffalo District
Sara Schultz, Sacramento District
Leigh Skaggs, USACE Headquarters
Greg Steele, Norfolk District
Brad Thompson, Omaha District