Thank you to our judges!

October 2018 – Tasked to select award winners from the incredible pool of entries submitted this year in ten broad categories, our jury panel of professional planners from outside of Hillsborough County had their work cut out for them. Judges carefully read and score each submission package, then conference together to determine which projects have achieved excellence in planning, design, and execution given the following criteria: Quality of Life Benefit | Originality & Innovation | Quality & Comprehensiveness | Implementation & Transferability | Education & Engagement.

This year’s jury brought a wealth of experience with them! A huge thank you to:

  • Merle Bishop, FAICP | Growth & Development Director | City of Winter Haven, FL
    With more than 40 years of experience in planning and growth management, Merle is a Certified Public Manager. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 1986 and has been inducted into the AICP College of Fellows. Merle served as President of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2011 through 2013.
  • Allison McGrath, AICP | Senior Planner | Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
    Allison has 25 years of experience in land use planning and zoning, project management, industrial site certification, stakeholder engagement, regulatory compliance, grant writing and administration, and economic development. Allison has successfully secured grants from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. She nurtures and develops strategic partnerships to create project momentum and support. Among her APA Florida highlights, she has served on the Legislative Committee since 2004 and was the Chapter Project Awards Chair three times.
  • Silvia Vargas, AICP, LEED AP | Principal Planner | Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc.
    Silvia has 25+ years of public and private sector planning experience in the US and abroad, including leading the creation of dozens of comprehensive and strategic plans, visioning, neighborhood, district, downtown and corridor plans; revitalization work; grant preparation; parks and recreation master plans; institutional campus master plans; and site-scale planning, as well as numerous implementation tools. Her planning work has been recognized with numerous awards and speaking opportunities. Passionate about advancing the planning profession, Silvia is a Commissioner of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a member of ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.

We greatly appreciate your expertise, perspective, and generosity with your time amidst your very busy schedules!

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