The Leadership Awards are the APA Florida Chapter’s highest honors that recognize individuals for their leadership on planning issues. After seeking input from the membership, award candidates are nominated by the APA Florida Executive Committee, which also serves as the Leadership Awards Jury. 

The 2022 Leadership Awards will be presented during the Florida Planning Conference, Sept. 6 – 9 in Orlando.

For eligibility and criteria information for the newest category, Best EDI Workplace, please go here



Mary Kay Delk, FAICP, was recognized for her lifetime achievements in 2019.

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.

ELIGIBILITY: Candidates may not self-nominate. APA Florida membership is required.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

  • Support of Planning. Specify how the nominee's work increased the understanding of planning principles and the planning process.
  • Support of APA. Detail how the nominee's participation in, and contribution to APA furthered the cause of the association.
  • Effectiveness and Results. Describe the contribution the nominee has had to the planning profession, the level of effectiveness the nominee has had in formulating and implementing his or her ideas, and subsequently furthering the cause of planning and APA.

Alissa Barber-Torres, FAICP, PhD, here with her husband Anthony, was honored for her chapter contributions in 2021.

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.

ELIGIBILITY: Candidates may not self-nominate.  APA Florida membership is required.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

  • Support of Planning. Specify how the nominee's work increased the understanding of planning principles and the planning process.
  • Support of APA Florida. Detail how the nominee's participation in, and contribution to APA Florida furthered the cause of the Chapter.
  • Effectiveness and Results. Describe the contribution the nominee has had to the planning profession in Florida, the level of effectiveness the nominee has had in formulating and implementing his or her ideas, and subsequently furthering the cause of planning and APA Florida during the prior year.

State Sen. Bobby Powell, AICP, was Legislator of the Year in 2018.

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.

ELIGIBILITY: Candidates may not self-nominate. APA membership is not required. Nominees shall be any elected member of the Florida Legislature, or United States Congress representing the State of Florida.  Nominee must have served in the Florida Legislature or US Congress for at least 2 years prior to nomination.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

  • Support of Planning. Specify how the nominee's work demonstrates leadership and commitment to sound planning initiatives and/or efforts to develop partnerships in the planning process.
  • Support of APA Florida. Detail how the nominee's participation with, and contribution to APA Florida furthered the cause of the Chapter.
  • Effectiveness. Describe the level of effectiveness the nominee has had in formulating and implementing his or her ideas, subsequently furthering the cause of planning and APA Florida during the prior year.
jenna haligas outstanding local official apa florida chapter leadership award

Commissioner Jenna Haligas, of Panama City, was honored in 2019 for her contributions following Hurricane Michael.

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.  

ELIGIBILITY: Candidates may not self-nominate. APA membership is not required. Nominees shall serve in any county or municipal government in the State of Florida, either as an elected official, appointed board member, or executive level staff member.  Nominee must have served in the position for at least 2 years prior to nomination.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

  • Support of Planning. Specify how the nominee's work demonstrates leadership and commitment to sound planning initiatives and efforts within his or her community.
  • Support of APA Florida. Detail how the nominee's participation with, and contribution to APA Florida furthered the cause of the Chapter.
  • Effectiveness. Describe the level of effectiveness the nominee has had in formulating and implementing his or her ideas, subsequently furthering the cause of planning and APA Florida during the prior year.

FAU's Jessica Kluttz took home Student of the Year honors in 2021.

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.

ELIGIBILITY: Nomination will be accepted from a Planning Accreditation Board-approved planning program at the graduate level. Nominees may not self-nominate. APA Florida membership is required.  Attend graduate school for 1 year prior to award nomination.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

  • Support of planning. Illustrate how the nominee's academic achievement has demonstrated comprehension of planning principles and the planning process. Show how the nominee's participation and leadership within the planning program demonstrated a sincere enthusiasm for excellence in planning.
  • Effectiveness, results, and potential. Describe the contribution the nominee has made to the planning profession. Explain how the nominee demonstrates potential for success as a professional planner.

Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation was recognized as Public Interest Group of the Year for its work preventing pedestrian deaths around the UF campus.

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.

ELIGIBILITY: Group may not self-nominate and cannot earn their living primarily from the planning profession while engaged in the volunteer citizen-based or non-profit group activity.  APA Florida membership is not required.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

  • Support of planning and planners. Illustrate how the nominee's work has increased the understanding of the planning issues. Indicate how the nominee has shown a clear understanding of, and support for, the role of planners in public life.
  • Effectiveness and results. Describe the extent that the nominee has been effective in formulating and implementing plans and ideas in support of good planning. Identify the level of influence and effectiveness achieved by the nominee within different segments of the community during the prior year.

Kevin Spear, of the Orlando Sentinel, was recognized in 2020 for his outstanding coverage of planning and sustainability issues.

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.

ELIGIBILITY: Candidates may not self-nominate. APA Florida membership is not required.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

  • Originality. Document how the media or programming uses new ideas or combines tools to address a demonstrated need for planning information or education within the community.
  • Quality. Describe how the nominee’s work represents excellence of thought, analysis, writing, and graphics throughout the media or programming.
  • Education. Show how the media or programming has increased the understanding of planning principles and the planning process. Explain how the results have been measured and internalized.


General Submission Information For Planning Leadership Awards

 Nominations must be submitted electronically to the APA Florida Chapter Office. Each award nomination must include the following:

  1. Summary of the entry (max. 500 words)
  2. Description of how the entry meets the award category criteria (max. 1200 words)
  3. Letters of support:

  • At least one (1); up to three (3) one-page letters of support.
  • Letters should be addressed to: Chairman Leadership Awards Jury.
  • Letter(s) should offer support for the value of the nominated effort.  
  • Letter(s) may not be written by the nominator of the submission or by the nominated individual or group.
  • Comments from APA Florida sections, members, and other stakeholders involved with the subject of the nomination are encouraged.

NOTE: APA Florida reserves the right to use information or graphics from awarded applications for awards program, website, social media, or newsletter publication.


How to Submit a Nomination

TO SUBMIT A NOMINEE, FILL OUT THIS FORM

Complete award package in electronic form must be received by the APA Florida Chapter Office no later than 5 pm ET June 10, 2022 (no exceptions).  Please direct any questions about the awards program to Alex Magee at 850-201-3272 or fapa@planning.org.