About the Sun Coast Section

Welcome to the Sun Coast!

Welcome to the Sun Coast Section! We are a division of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). Our goal is to provide our diverse membership with an equally diverse range of professional development, networking and other opportunities.

Did you know that you can receive our section news and announcement emails for free even if you’re not a member?  We are transitioning to a new email service, so please check back here soon for the new sign up form.  Also, please be sure to visit the calendar page for information on upcoming events. We’d love to see you at an event!

Download section bylaws.   And are you interested in becoming a Sun Coast Section sponsor? Download our sponsor application to find out all the perks! 



Contact us

Comments or questions are always welcome. Below is a roster of our section leadership. You can fill out this contact form to get a hold of us. 

Position Name
Chair Melissa Dickens, AICP
Chair-Elect Stefanie McQueen, AICP
Vice Chair Roger Menendez, AICP, CE
Communications Officer Brandon Henry
Secretary Kathryn Gademer, AICP
Treasurer Rich Wilson, AICP, PE
Student Representative Christopher Moorman
Young Planner's Group Sean Baraoidan
Professional Development Officer Katrina Corcoran
Professional Development Officer Troy Salisbury, AICP
Citrus & Hernando County Area Director Joe Quinn, AICP
Hillsborough County Area Director Matthew Pleasant
Manatee County Area Director Naveen Nawawy, MPA
Pasco County Area Director Matthew Armstrong, AICP
Pinellas County Area Director Jacob Labutka, AICP
Sarasota County Area Director Katie LaBarr, AICP


Meet our Section Annual Sponsor:

Mark S. Bentley, AICP, Esq., BCS

A tremendous thank you to Mark Bentley and Johnson Pope for their continued support of the Sun Coast Section as the Annual Sponsor. Below please find some information about our annual sponsor:

Mark Bentley is a partner at Johnson Pope in its Tampa office and practices in the areas of land use, eminent domain, administrative law and property rights.  He represents both local governments and private property owners in land use and eminent domain matters.  Mark has taught land use law as an adjunct professor for the University of South Florida’s Urban and Regional Master’s Degree Program, and now serves on the program’s Urban Planning Advisory Board.  He is a former City Planning Director and has been a member of AICP since 1989. In 2001, Mark received the Suncoast Section’s Chairman’s Award, then in 2009, Mark received the Suncoast Chapter’s Planner of the Year Award, and in 2017, he received the Section’s Distinguished Service Award.  Mark also serves as a special master involving disputed land use cases under Florida’s Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act.  He is a frequent speaker at various seminars and events in the Tampa Bay area, as well as throughout the state of Florida and nationally, primarily focusing on eminent domain and land use law.

Johnson Pope is a full service firm that has been serving the Tampa Bay Area for over four and a half decades and is committed to helping its clients seize opportunities and solve problems through high quality representation in a timely and economical manner. The firm and its lawyers regularly receive awards attesting to its capabilities and results obtained for its clients, and notably, it is the only law firm on Florida’s West Coast providing full service offices in all three major cities in the Bay Area.

Learn more about Johnson Pope here.