Sun Coast 2018 Annual Awards Reception

The time has come to celebrate the accomplishments of our Section!

Click here for flyer

Check back later for tickets and CM event information!

The Sun Coast Section of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association invites you to attend the Annual Awards Reception to celebrate excellence in planning in the Tampa Bay region.

Sun Coast Annual Awards Reception Sponsored by Mark S. Bentley, Esq., B.C.S., AICP with Johnson Pope Counselors at Law


Save the date! Winners will be announced at the Section’s Annual Awards Reception on May 9th, 2018:
May 9th at Franklin Manor in Downtown Tampa
CM Event from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Networking/Awards Program from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. (Ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m.). Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cash bar provided.

The nomination categories are as follows:

  • Distinguished Service: This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the planning profession over a period of time. This includes but is not limited to community leaders, veteran professionals, elected officials, and citizen advocates.
  • Planner of the Year: Honoring a planning professional who has made significant contributions to the community or planning profession during 2017-2018.

(Plus five new categories this year!)

  • Public Outreach and Engagement Award: Honoring a project, program, or initiative that uses information and education to create greater awareness and/or input among citizens or specific segments of the public. The award celebrates strong communication to increase understanding about the value of planning or a specific project, program or initiative 
  • Best Plan, Report, or Study: For a plan that advances the science and art of planning. Examples include transportation plans, comprehensive plans, urban design manuals, regional studies, or economic development plans.
  • Placemaking or Design Award: For a specific physical planning project of unusually high merit that is in the process of being constructed or has been constructed within 2017-2018. The project should demonstrate “on-the-ground” results that are supported by documentable physical or social change. Examples include streetscapes, public spaces or developments. 
  • Adaptive Reuse or Redevelopment Award: To recognize outstanding projects or plans that use planning principles to repurpose, redevelop, and redesign vacant or underutilized spaces/places. 
  • Student Project Award: To recognize outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning. While it is appropriate to submit a project or paper on which a faculty member(s) has given guidance, the submission should be primarily the work of the students. (Applicant must be attending a college or university located in the Sun Coast Section and the project must have been completed within the 2017-2018 Calendar year). 

There is no cost to submit a nomination. Nomination packages are to be submitted to

Click here for submission package (.PDF)

Click here for submission package (Word .DOC)

Nominations Due Thursday, April 12, by 5:00 p.m.


Past Winners:


  • Award of Excellence: City of Clearwater – U.S. 19 Zoning District and Design Guidelines
  • Planner of the Year: Jay Collins, AICP
  • Distinguished Service: Mark Bentley, PA, AICP
  • Distinguished Service: Lorraine Duffy-Suarez, AICP


  • Award of Excellence: Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board
  • Planner of the Year: Catherine Hartley, AICP, CNU-a
  • Distinguished Service Award: Bob Bray


  • **See 2016 awards.**
  • Award of Excellence – Urbanism on Tap
  • Planner of the Year – Karen Kress, AICP, LCI
  • Distinguished Service – Mark Sharpe
  • Distinguished Plan: InVision Tampa
  • Distinguished Project: Nathan Benderson Park
  • Planning Advocacy: The Green Artery
  • Planning Advocacy: Laurel Park Overlay District, Sarasota
  • Planner of the Year: Stephen L. Benson, AICP, CNU-a
  • Distinguished Service: Robin R. Jones
  • Distinguished Project: Pinellas County Transit Alternatives Analysis
  • Planning Advocate of the Year: Jim Shirk, P.E.
  • Distinguished Service: Michael Taylor, AICP
  • Distinguished Plan: Walk/Bike Plan, City of Tampa
  • Distinguished Service: Joe Bell, AICP
  • Distinguished Project: Tampa Bay Mitigation Bank
  • Planner of the Year: Richard Gehring, AICP
  • Distinguished Service: David Healey, AICP
  • Distinguished Project: Skycrest Roundabout Corridor, City of Clearwater
  • Distinguished Plan: TBARTA Regional Transportation Master Plan
  • Planner of the Year: Mark Bentley, Esq., AICP
  • Distinguished Service: Robert B. Hunter, FAICP