Chapter Planning Leadership Awards

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mary kay peck, faicp - lifetime achievement award apa florida

Mary Kay Delk, FAICP, accepts the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Florida Planning Conference in Miramar Beach.

The American Planning Association is organized to advance the art and science of planning and to foster the activity of planning — physical, economic, and social — at the local, regional, state, and national levels. The objective of the Association is to encourage planning that will contribute to public well-being by developing communities and environments that meet the needs of people and of society more effectively.

APA Florida is the state’s largest professional land use planning organization. With approximately 3,000 members, our statewide mission is to provide leadership in the development of sustainable communities and to protect and enhance the natural and built environments of Florida.

Each year APA Florida, through its Planning Leadership Awards, recognizes individuals or organizations for their leadership on planning issues. These awards are APA Florida’s highest honors. APA Florida’s Planning Leadership Awards Program consists of the Leadership Awards and the Chapter Award for Best EDI Workplace.

The Chapter Planning Leadership Awards are presented at the Florida Planning Conference, held each year in September. More than 700 planners, attorneys, interested citizens and public officials from around the state are in attendance to congratulate the award winners.


Award categories:

  • President's Lifetime Achievement. Recognizes an APA Florida member's contributions to the development and mission of the American Planning Association in a substantial manner over a sustained period of time of at least 25 years.
  • Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter. Recognizes an APA Florida member who has contributed to the goals and objectives of the American Planning Association Florida Chapter and to its development plan through an extraordinary effort over a short period of time.
  • Legislator of the Year. Recognizes an individual that has made a notable contribution to the planning profession and has substantially assisted in the advancement of the APA Florida Public Policy Agenda and Legislative Priorities.
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year. Recognizes an individual, who serves at a higher level of county or municipal government, who has shown outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to his or her community, such as an advocate for sustainable planning and the formulation of public policy, particularly policies for citizen participation, the environment, transportation, and the economy.
  • Student Planner of the Year. Recognizes a graduate student of a Planning Accreditation Board-approved planning program for outstanding achievement during the nominee's academic career in planning.
  • Outstanding Public Interest Group of the Year. Recognizes a volunteer citizen-based or non-profit group that has advanced or promoted the cause of planning in the public arena. Examples: Engaged citizen group demonstrating outstanding leadership in a community, region, or state; environmental or historic preservation group; or citizen activists or neighborhood leaders.
  • Outstanding Media Leadership. Recognizes an individual, who through media or programming, uses information and education about the value of planning to create greater awareness among citizens or specific segments of the community.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Best EDI Workplace: Recognizes one private-sector, public-sector, or non-profit organization that is engaged in the planning profession in Florida and demonstrates achievement and commitment to expanding equity, diversity, and inclusion in Florida’s planning profession. For this award, diversity should be interpreted broadly, including age, race, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and/or veteran status.

For Best EDI Worksplace category application, click here

For all other categories, click here



2021 Winners


Lifetime Achievement Award

Kim Glas-Castro, AICP



Outstanding Public Interest Group

Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation


Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter

Alissa Barber Torres, FAICP, Ph.D.


Outstanding Community Engagement 

Capital Area Section


Student Planner of the Year
Jessica Kluttz



Past Winners

2020:

2019:

2018:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award:  Michael Busha, AICP
  • Outstanding Public Local Official: Joni Brinkman
  • Outstanding Media Leadership Award:  Richard Danielson of the Tampa Bay Times
  • Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Tony LaColla, AICP
  • Students of the Year: Connor Bailey (FAU), Bridget Callea (FSU), Allison Reagan (UF)
  • Legislator of the Year:  State Sen. Bobby Powell, AICP

2017:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim Studiale, AICP (Outstanding Achievements in
  • the Field of Planning)
  • Outstanding Public Local Official: Former Mayor Jim Tulley, Titusville
  • Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Trina Gilliam
  • Student of the Year: Les Brown (UF)

2016:

  • Outstanding Public Local Official: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tampa
  • Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Frank Palen, AICP
  • Student of the Year: Kayla Costello (FSU) &  Alexis Pena (FAU)

2015:

  • Outstanding Public Interest Group: Friends of the Underline
  • Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Wiatt Bowers, AICP
  • Student of the Year: Allison Goldberg (FAU)

2014:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ramond Chiaramonte, AICP (Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Planning)
  • Outstanding Local Public Official: The Honorable Lori Boyer, Jacksonville
  • Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Merle Bishop, FAICP

2013:

  • Outstanding Media Coverage: Ron Cunningham (Gainesville Sun, Outstanding Coverage of Comprehensive Planning Issues)
  • Outstanding Public Interest Group: RealizeBradenton
  • Outstanding Local Public Official: Mayor Kristin Jacobs (Broward County)
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Marta Viciedo (FAU)

2012:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Hunter, FAICP (Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Planning)
  • Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Julia Trevarthen
  • Outstanding Public Interest Group: BikeWalkLee
  • Outstanding Public Official: Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Amy Cavaretta (UF)

2011:

  • President’s Award: Senator Bob Graham (Outstanding Leadership in Promoting Sound Planning and Environmental Protection for Florida)
  • Distinguished Contribution to Chapter: Nancy Stroud, FAICP, and Tim Brown
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Jacob Kain (UF)
  • Outstanding Media Leadership: Craig Pittman (St. Petersburg Times)

2010:

  • Outstanding Service to Chapter (President’s Discretion): Val Hubbard, FAICP
  • Service to the Profession: Steven Lindorff, AICP
  • APA Florida Section of the Year: First Coast Section
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year: Mayor Pam Iorio (Tampa) and Commissioner Mark Sharpe (Hillsborough County)
  • Legislator of the Year: Sen. Lee Constantine (Distinguished Public Service in Promoting Environmental Protection and Regional Transportation Alternatives)
  • Outstanding Media Coverage: Jack Harris
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Seth Morgan (FSU)
  • Outstanding Public Interest Group: United Citizens Action Network

2009:

  • APA Florida Section of the Year: Sun Coast Section
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year: Mayor Scott Clemons (Panama City)
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Jacob Cremer (FSU)
  • Outstanding Public Interest Group: Metro Jacksonville

2008:

  • Outstanding Service to Chapter (President’s Discretion): Marty Quinn
  • Service to the Profession: Brian Teeple, AICP
  • APA Florida Section of the Year: Heart of Florida and Orlando Metro Sections
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year: Mia Jones (Jacksonville City Council)
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Iris Patten (UF)
  • Outstanding Public Interest Group: Alachua Conservation Trust
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Earl Starnes, FAICP

2007:

  • Service to the Profession: Mimi Reid Hartman
  • APA Florida Section of the Year: Emerald Coast Section
  • Media Appreciation Award: Naples Lake Wales News (Scenic Highway planning)
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Clark Stephens (FAU)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ernest Bartley, FAICP

2006:

  • Outstanding Service to Chapter (President’s Discretion): Tom Pelham, AICP
  • Service to the Profession: Governor Bob Martinez
  • APA Florida Section of the Year: First Coast Section
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year: Commissioner Michael DiTerlizzi (Martin County)
  • Media Appreciation Award: Naples Daily News (Affordable Housing)
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Travis Minch
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: John DeGrove, FAICP

2005:

  • Outstanding Service to Chapter (President’s Discretion): Henry Bittaker, AICP, and John O’Brien
  • APA Florida Section of the Year: Treasure Coast Section
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year: Commissioner Doug Coward, (St. Lucie County) and Linda Saul Sena (Tampa City Council)
  • Legislator of the Year: Tom Lee (Florida Senate President) and Mike Davis (House Growth Management Committee)
  • Outstanding Student Planner: Kristen Nowicki
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Wayne Daltry, FAICP

2004:

  • Outstanding Service to Chapter (President’s discretion): Brian Teeple, AICP, Lester Abberger, Marie York, AICP, Mary Wiser, Marty Quinn, Paul Bergmann, FAICP
  • APA Florida Section of the Year: Capital Area Section
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year: Commissioner Katy Sorenson (Miami Dade County)
  • Media Appreciation Award: Naples Daily News (Gulf in Peril)
  • Outstanding Student Planner: William Nemser
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Henry Skokowski, AICP

2003:

  • Outstanding Service to Chapter (President’s Discretion): Rich Unger, AICP
  • APA Florida Section of the Year: San Felasco Section and Broward Section
  • Outstanding Local Public Official of the Year: Commissioner Rich Crotty (Orange County Commission)
  • Media Appreciation Award: Kendall Middlemas, News-Herald (Planning and Growth Management Issues coverage)
  • Student of the Year: Tracy Hegler