Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Susan Coughanour, FAICP

Susan Coughnaour FAICP 2019 Chapter Service Award

Susan Coughanour, FAICP, had a successful 36-year career at the South Florida Water Management District where she was managed several major projects and coordinated multiple local, regional, state and federal agencies and stakeholders on environmental restoration and land use planning projects.

She has been active in the chapter at least as far back as 2001, working on three statewide conferences, and serving on the Treasure Coast Section board for several years and in several capacities, including her current role as Vice-chair.

Over the years, Susan has established instrumental programs in the Treasure Coast area including the Annual Ethics Seminar, the Annual Legislative Breakfast and the Public Officials Training Workshops. She is also a founding member of the Palm Beach County Planning Congress, an inter-disciplinary professional organization of public and private sector planners, engineers, landscape architects, attorneys, environmentalists, and related professionals, created to promote good planning in Palm Beach County and provide opportunities for professional interaction.

But perhaps Susan is best known statewide for her work as co-organizer of the Treasure Coast AICP Exam Study Group that has assisted more than 360 planners successfully prepare and pass the AICP exam. These sessions run 12-15 weeks, twice a year, and now include webinar live broadcasts which allow anyone in any location to participate.

Susan has also focused on the next generation of planners, by becoming an outspoken advocate for FAU’s School of Urban and Regional Planning. Among other things, she has gone out of her way to help the student organization organize various career-related events, including panels of professional planners speaking about careers in planning, AICP information sessions, and resume-writing and interviewing workshops. She has also been instrumental in motivating and organizing an effort to raise a substantial endowment for the school that is intended to support student scholarships.

Susan’s professional and volunteer efforts have increased the understanding of planning principles and the planning practice, as well as furthered the cause of planning and the chapter by her contribution of time, experience, skill and knowledge. There is no doubt that she has demonstrated the kind of community service qualities that are the mark of a truly outstanding professional in the field of planning.