2022 Distinguished Contribution to the Chapter: Roxann Read, AICP

Roxann Read, AICP, has served as the Florida Planning Conference local host chair for both the 2020 and the 2022 conferences. This service included the rapid transition from an in-person to virtual conference format in 2020 and the integration of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) content and approaches into FPC in alignment with chapter goals and values.

Roxann has also served as the APA Florida EDI Committee Co-Chair since January 2021, building on her membership contributions since 2019. During her tenure, the EDI Committee has provided extensive benefits to the chapter in the form of webinars, conference sessions, policy statements, review of governing documents, and coordination with APA National staff and APA Divisions to raise the chapter’s profile nationally. As of April 2022, the EDI Committee has hosted 26 webinars and conference sessions with 1,554 attendees. APA National choose to share information about the APA Florida’s EDI Committee’s Black History Month webinar series and Upholding Equity in Planning training with APA’s more than 40,000 members via their Interact publication.

Roxann was also recently instrumental in securing a grant from APA’s Chapter Presidents Council to provide an EDI leadership training series for Executive Committee and Section Board members, as well as an EDI workshop for APA Florida members advertised nationally by APA in their Interact newsletter. Her efforts created the opportunity for APA Florida to provide a national model for other chapters on curriculum and methods for delivering EDI training to leadership and membership.

Roxann has also served as a member of the Orlando Metro Section board where she worked diligently to assist with the planning of new events and initiatives. She co-founded the Orlando Metro Section’s Women in Planning group, only the third section-based affinity group in the state, which has continued as a thriving community and support network over the past two years. Through these efforts, she has nurtured many young women planners within the region.

As one person stated in a letter of support for her nomination, “I am very glad that Roxann took the initiative to start this group…. The group has around 50 members or so at this time, which includes some students and one individual in California who heard about the group and is interested in relocating to Central Florida. The group has served for mentorship, professional growth, friendships, event planning, and so much more.”

Roxann also contributes to planning practice in Florida in her former capacity as a Development Services Assistant Director for the City of Wildwood. In that position, she mentored her staff of emerging planners in the planning practice’s ethical and technical dimensions in their roles as reviewers of one of Florida’s largest developments, The Villages. She also encouraged them to become involved in APA, resulting in their participation in the Orlando Metro Section’s (OMS) Women and Planning Group and one staff member becoming a section board member.

She is a passionate advocate for persons with disabilities, in her work with the EDI Committee as well as participating as a speaker on a recent webinar dealing with Empowering a Growing Population of Aging Adults and Individuals with disabilities via Autonomous Vehicle Technology, and volunteering with the Special Olympics.