Meet APA Virginia's 2024 Awards Committee
Learn more about the Award Categories below!
Meg Rupkey, Chair
Planner, City of Harrisonburg
Sophie Huemer, Vice Chair
Principal Planner, Alexandria City Public Schools.
Director of Transit Development, Hampton Roads Transit
Deputy Director, Vienna
Principal Planner, City of Williamsburg
Justin D. Sanders
Senior Planner, Montgomery County
Urban and Community Planning Manager, WGI, Arlington
Planner I, York County
Project Manager, Senior Transportation Planner, Mead and Hunt
Robert (Bob) Kuhns
Senior Planner, Mead and Hunt
Planner II, Land Use Review, Loudoun County
Climate Equity Doctoral Fellow, University of Virginia
Planner II | Land Use Review, Loudoun County
Climate Equity Doctoral Fellow, University of Virginia
Planner II, Botetourt County
Director of Planning, Prince George County
The Chapter’s Awards Program recognizes Virginia’s great planning efforts, individuals, and
communities working to make communities of lasting value for all.
The Individual Awards categories honor individuals who are great practitioners and advocates of
planning in Virginia.
Foxhound Award - Distinguished New Professional:
This award is named for the state dog of Virginia, the American Foxhound, and is awarded to an
outstanding new planner (less than five years of experience). Like the Foxhound, this award
recognizes a planner at the outset of their career who is good-natured, reliable, and known for
their work ethic and consideration for others.
Larson Award - Distinguished Professional:
New in 2024! In honor of Glenn Larson, FAICP, who has dedicated his career to advancing the
American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and Virginia
communities by championing initiatives that promote integrity, diversity, equity, and
volunteerism. This award recognizes a planner who is a model to the profession for their
experience, their breadth of knowledge, and their high ethical standards. This award recognizes
exceptional skill and achievement from an individual planner.
Moeser Award - Outstanding Leader:
In honor of the late Dr. John V. Moeser, our esteemed colleague who was described as an
‘advocate for a more just society and an urban studies trailblazer’, the Chapter will recognize a
planner who has contributed to the growth of the profession and the improvement of their
community. This award recognizes a remarkable planner who has embodied APA’s mission
statement of Creating Great Communities for All with their individual efforts.
Nelsonite Award - Virginia’s Planning Advocate of the Year:
Named for Virginia’s State Rock, this award represents the bedrock of good planning in the
Commonwealth - citizen influenced, and community serving. The award recognizes a
community leader or civic organization that advocates for planning on a local, regional or
Dogwood Award – Virginia’s Citizen Planner(s) of the Year:
This award honors an outstanding Planning Commission and/or individual Planning
Commissioner that serves as an example for all citizen planners by being dedicated, objective,
open, moral, balanced, and knowledgeable of the framework of planning in Virginia.
Cardinal Award – Legislator of the Year:
Named for the State bird, the Cardinal Award recognizes elected officials that can see the big
picture and find solutions through the field of planning. Local and state legislators are eligible for
The Planning Efforts category recognizes planning documents, programs or initiatives that make
great places happen in the Commonwealth.
Equity in Planning Award:
New in 2024! This award recognizes Virginia planning practices that promote equity, diversity,
inclusion, and accessibility within the planning field. The successful nominee will be a planning
process, plan, program, and/or initiative in Virginia that addresses the concerns of women and/or minority groups related to planning.
Holzheimer Economic Development Award:
In honor of Dr. Terry Holzheimer, our esteemed former colleague who passed away in 2014 who
was described as “one of the deans of the economic development profession”, the Chapter will
recognize great planning efforts for improving Virginia’s economic development. The successful
nominee will show how their study, initiative, program, or even site development yielded
economic development results for their locality, region, or state.
Old Dominion Innovative Approaches Award:
Virginia has many unique challenges, where innovative planning solutions are critical for making
great places happen. The Innovative Approaches Award recognizes pioneering planning efforts
in the Commonwealth. Nominees may include innovative planning processes, plans, programs,
initiatives or site developments that have or will result in real results.
Resilient Virginia Community of the Year Award:
This award recognizes a community’s effort and commitment to build resilience through
responsible planning practice and innovation. Successful nominees will present real-world
solutions for buffering their community from the adverse effects of critical changes related to, for
example, inadequate infrastructure, climate change, natural disasters, food and water shortages, economic restructuring, or institutional/organizational capacity changes.
Commonwealth Connectors Award:
Planners diligently work, sometimes over many years, to implement new ideas to solve the
Commonwealth’s transportation challenges. From distribution centers to autonomous vehicles,
each community is finding creative ways to meet the diversity of today’s modern-day
transportation needs. This award highlights innovative and exceptional transportation-focused
Virginia Plan of the Year Award:
The Virginia Plan of the Year Award honors the best planning document of the year. A successful nomination will show that the effort included outstanding planning processes, vision,
implementation strategies, and innovative approaches. The planning document can be local, regional or a statewide effort.
The great places category recognizes great places, developments, and communities in Virginia
Jamestown Award – Locality of the Year:
In honor of the first local government in Virginia, the Chapter will recognize a locality that has
undertaken sound and innovative planning practices, not in a single plan but through various
efforts. This award recognizes a town, city or county that is dedicated to the principles of
Red Clay Award – Development of the Year:
Virginia’s red clay is the Commonwealth’s traditional building material, making it an appropriate
name for Virginia’s Development of the Year Award. This recognition honors a development that
exhibits the values of great planning, helping to create a great place in Virginia. Eligible
nominees include infill developments, building rehabilitation projects, brownfield
redevelopments, downtown redevelopment, and other similar projects.
The Awards Committee leaves room for flexibility in the Awards Program. If there is a
remarkable individual, place, effort, or initiative that does not neatly fall within the defined
award categories, please submit a nomination for Open Submittal consideration. The Awards
Committee reserves the right to grant special recognitions and/or awards. Please note that the
2024 Awards Program will not award any honorable mention certificates.
Our 2023 Awards Program Committee