Charles Gauthier, FAICP Member Spotlight

Charles Gauthier, FAICP

It’s a long, complicated but easy answer to the question about what has shaped Gauthier's career. “Its been my experiences and people — I feel like my first job as a planner was really helped by a set of circumstances including that I was fortunate to have a good group of people around me.” He mentions how much he learned from his time at Department of Environmental Regulation, the old DER, and from his first boss, Bill Hinkley, whose expertise and a folksy style guided him and consumers alike.

On Success —

“I have been lucky and given so much, that I know I want to give back, to help the public interest.”

-Charlie Gauthier, FAICP

Gauthier also mentions places he worked like Lee County, Collier County, and the Department of Community Affairs where he had not 1 but 3 tours of duty. And earned his stripes in the planning field—whether fielding surprise meetings or handling difficult land use issues. As Division Director of Community Planning from 2007 to 2011, he had an opportunity to oversee statewide land issues and shape up-and- coming planners in the field. Large projects like Horizon’s West in Orlando, regularly crossed his desk. I know about the mentoring part, because at one time I worked with Charlie when I was a brand new planner. In asking him if his mentoring was intentional, he replies with a hand wave and a “not really,” but even if unintentional, it was present in direction, modeling and in spoken word. When asked about AICP at the office, he would encourage planners to pursue it and kept his AICP examination results in a drawer in his desk to show people when the conservation came up. Professionalism. Ethics. Role-Model.

When asked about what has contributed to his success he contemplates a moment, and then replies that it’s a combination of personal progress, luck and network. These days he opts for projects that are achievable and leans towards public interest groups.

Charlie admits that he is not a very social person, but that has not curtailed outlets reaching out, like the recent prominent mention in Craig Pittman’s article on Florida’s vanquished growth management laws. He reminds us its still worth exploring compromises where we can find them.

Charlie didn’t tell me his awards or accolades, but I know at least one planning book has a dedication to him and Maria Cahill for their work in Florida. When asked, he shuffles it away with a passing comment and nod.

The Capital Area Section should also count itself lucky to have a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners like Charlie—an inspiring planner continuing his work in Florida.

- Susan Poplin, Urban Planner, AICP, MSP, Capital Area Section Officer

On a different topic, he mentions a lengthy network of people that he has interacted with over the years—including Bob Graham, John DeGrove, and Richard Grosso. More poignantly, he shares stories of early work trips including one in South Florida, when he was working on the Charlotte Harbor Management Plan. Acquaintances like the late Rob Magee, who worked at Lee County, and Alex Magee who worked at the local regional planning council, were important—both professionally and personally. In fact, Rob introduced him to a woman named Susan, who would later become his wife.