2017 Keynote Speakers
Thursday- APA Executive Director Jame Drinan
JAMES M. DRINAN, J.D., is Executive Director of the American Planning Association. His 25-year career in association management includes 12 years as Executive Director of the American Association of Endodontists and its Foundation. Prior to the AAE, Drinan was the Associate Executive Director of the American Association of Orthodontists, served as the Director of Health Care and Government Relations for the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and began his career as a federal attorney for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Chicago.
Drinan’s career has focused on association leadership, governance, and strategic planning. He has had executive responsibility for a family of organizations, including associations, foundations, international federations, for-profit subsidiaries, and political action committees. He has served as general counsel, lobbyist, and spokesperson for associations at the state and federal levels.
A native of Boston, he received a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and a J.D. from the DePaul University School of Law. He has written and lectured on association management, government relations, and legal issues.
Welcome- Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza
As Providence’s 38th Mayor, JORGE O. ELORZA has strived to build a Providence that works for all of its residents. Since taking office in January 2015, Mayor Elorza has prioritized education, ensuring transparency in city government, improving city services and providing a sound financial future for the capital city.
Under Mayor Elorza’s leadership, the city has practiced responsible budgeting practices and streamlined services across city departments resulting in the largest operating surplus realized in over 20 years ($10.3M). In November 2016, Fitch Ratings cited the city’s surplus, structural changes to the FY17 budget, and the elimination of risk of one-time revenues as rational to upgrade the city’s credit rating by two grades, from a BBB- to an A-.
As a member of the United States Conferences of Mayors, Mayor Elorza serves as Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Community Development and Housing, co-chairs the Committee for Immigration Reform, and is a member of the Conference’s Advisory Board. The Mayor has been an outspoken national voice on issues such as immigration reform, healthcare, and environmental protection, placing an emphasis on the work done at the local level.
Born and raised in Providence, Mayor Elorza is a graduate of Classical High school, the University of Rhode Island, and Harvard Law School. Prior to being elected Mayor, he served as a Providence Housing Court Judge and co-founded the Latino Policy Institute while he served as a professor at Roger Williams Law School. As an avid cyclist Mayor Elorza frequently commutes by bicycle from his home in Silver Lake to City Hall.
Friday- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D- RI)