September 2020 – There are a few factors that make our Annual Planning & Design Awards so special. As important as the great work being done throughout Hillsborough County is the jury selected from outside of Hillsborough County who bring a wealth of planning and design experience to the jury table. Meet this year’s jury! Pictured above, from left to right: Allara Mills Gutcher, AICP | Andre Anderson, AICP | Silvia Vargas, FAICP, LEED AP
Allara Mills Gutcher, AICP is the Managing Principal of The Planning Collaborative, a sole-proprietorship established in 2011. She is a seasoned policy planner and has worked with both local governments and private developers on numerous development entitlements to include comprehensive plan amendments and zoning changes. Allara also works with land use attorneys across the region as an expert witness. Her clients range from smaller grass-roots community efforts to Fortune 200 companies. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Allara has been involved in the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association, as the Vice President of Certification Maintenance among other roles over the past fifteen years. Allara has over 20 years’ experience in the land use planning profession with a Masters of Regional and City Planning from the University of Oklahoma. Her undergraduate studies were completed at the Florida State University.
Andre Anderson, AICP has more than 30 years of public and private sector planning experience and is the current Community Development Director for the City of St. Cloud, Florida. He is a qualified member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a Certified Public Manager. Andre earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Florida A&M University; his Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University; and his Master of Business Administration from Rollins College. Andre is the first ever African-American President and now Immediate Past-President of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association, and currently serves as the chair of the Chapter’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
Silvia Vargas, FAICP, LEED AP is a professional planner with more than 27 years of experience throughout the U.S. and abroad. After starting as a public sector planner in the Florida Keys, Silvia’s subsequent private practice has spanned planning projects at every scale, in urban, suburban and rural contexts. She has directed some 24 region-wide, county, and municipal comprehensive plans, many of which have received national or state awards for planning excellence from APA and other professional organizations. In her current role as a Principal Planner with the Miami office of Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc., she has focused on designing and executing creative, inclusive, and equitable public engagement processes. A graduate from the University of Kansas with a BA in Architectural Studies and a Master of Urban Planning, she is actively involved in the advancement of the planning profession through the American Planning Association (APA). She is a former Commissioner of the American Institute of Certified Planners Commission, a former Chair of the College of FAICP Fellows Committee and AICP Exam Committee. She currently chairs APA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Thanks to each of you for dedicating your time and many talents to selecting projects that best represent excellence in planning and design in Hillsborough County this year!