This year's Awards Program was held on Tuesday, July 23 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Congratulations to all of this year's awards winners!

Please contact Nick Rogers, VP External Affairs with any questions. 


Every year, the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association engages in its annual awards program. This effort is the Chapter’s opportunity to recognize the tireless work of individuals who bring great planning and places to the Commonwealth. As a professional association, recognizing members and their work is a core function of the Chapter. It is the responsibility of APA Virginia Chapter to identify, acknowledge and promote great planning. Under this program, the Chapter strives to accomplish many objectives, including:

  • Helping Planners Plan, by highlighting best practices and inspiring our members;

  • Helping Virginia Plan, by promoting sound planning and decision-making in the Commonwealth;

  • Making Planning and Planners Matter, by promoting the value and enhancing the credibility of planners among elected and appointed officials, the public and related professions;

  • Meeting Membership Needs, by endorsing our members and their work;

  • Getting Planners Involved, by engaging volunteers to steer the awards committee and evaluate the work of their peers; and

  • Making Great Places Happen, by helping members and localities replicate and build on the success of others.

2019 Awards Committee

  • Nora Amos, Town of Ashland

  • Antoinette Fowlkes, AICP, Town of Hampton

  • Wayne Leftwich, AICP, City of Roanoke

  • Barbara Nelson, Port of Virginia

  • Evie Sloan, FAICP, Retired

  • Earl Anderson, AICP, York County

  • Nick Rogers, AICP, CZA  Arlington County

Terry Holzheimer Economic Development

City of Norfolk,

Economic Development Strategy

Wynter Benda (Chief Deputy City Manager), Aleea Slappy Wilson (City of Norfolk), and Earl Anderson (President, APA Virginia)

Commonwealth Plan of the Year

Town of Bedford,

Bridge Street Area Plan

Earl Anderson (President- APA Virginia), Mary Zirkle (Town of Bedford), Ross Hammes (Hill Studio), and Josephine Arbaugh (Hill Studio)

Old Dominion Innovative Approaches

Mecklenburg County,

Solar Farm Planning & Zoning

Earl Anderson (President- APA Virginia), with Denise Nelson, Andrew Williams, and Todd Gordon (all of The Berkley Group)

Legislator of the Year

Delegate Robert Thomas

House of Delegates

28th district 

Legislator of the Year

Senator Barbara Favola

Senate of Virginia

31st district

Resilient Virginia Community of the Year

City of Portsmouth,

Build One Portsmouth 

Earl Anderson (President - APA Virginia), Robert Baldwin (City of Portsmouth), Emily Crow (McBride Dale Clarion), and Albert Williams (City of Portsmouth)

Commonwealth Connectors

Fairfax County,

Guidelines for Development: Reston Transit Station Areas

Earl Anderson (President - APA Virginia) and Beth Elliott (Fairfax County)

Commonwealth Plan of the Year

City of Fairfax,

2035 Comprehensive Plan

Brooke Hardin, Paul Cunningham, Janet Jaworski ( all of the City of Fairfax), and Earl Anderson (President - APA Virginia)

Nelsonite Award – Virginia’s Planning Advocate of the Year

Brian Swets, 

City of Portsmouth

Earl Anderson (President - APA Virginia) and Julie Chop receiving this award on behalf of Brian Swets

Student Award Winners

Justin Lipsett – Undergraduate, Virginia Commonwealth University

Elizabeth McKinsey – MURP, Virginia Commonwealth University

Emma Hendrix – Undergraduate, University of Virginia

Rachel Haynes - MUEP, University of Virginia

Alexandra Kahl – Undergraduate, Virginia Tech

Matthew Rhodes – MURP, Virginia Tech (Alexandria)

Hector Mendoza – MURP, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg)

Beng Abella Lipsey – MURP, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg)

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