NARC Presents the 2021 Regional Leadership and Achievement Awards


Contact: Eli Spang | 202.618.6363

The National Association of Regional Councils Presents the 2021 Regional Leadership and Achievement Awards

 Virtually (June 16, 2021) – The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) presented its 2021 General Achievement and Leadership Awards today during a virtual awards ceremony held at the NARC 55th Annual Conference & Exhibition.

“I am so pleased and so proud as President of NARC to be able to celebrate these achievements in regional cooperation, excellence, and leadership,” said NARC President Bob Cannon, Supervisor of Clinton Township, Michigan and former chair of Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. “What greater honor is there than to be able to recognize the valuable contributions of my colleagues.”

Seven projects received 2021 Achievement Awards and six regional leaders received 2021 Leadership Awards. More information about this year’s recipients can be found below.


Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission & Atlanta Regional Commission

Racial Equity Conversation Series

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) began a conversation with other regional agencies after recognizing the need to have what many may view as uncomfortable conversations about race. What started as a conversation turned into a six-week conversation series that worked to facilitate racial learning, healing, and equity building. Through their outreach efforts, MORPC and ARC joined more than 30 regional councils together from across the country to hear concerns, share best practices, and create steps to eliminate racism. They developed a resource guide for other regional agencies to serve as a starting point in having these important conversations with board members and staff to eliminate racial barriers.

Houston-Galveston Area Council

The Regional Conservation Framework

Between the months of June and September 2020, the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) conducted virtual listening sessions throughout their 13-county region to discuss local conservation opportunities, needs, and challenges. In March 2021, the H-GAC Board of Directors approved the Regional Conservation Framework. Three recommended strategies for local and regional conservation projects are highlighted in the Framework: Leverage, Support, and Fund. The Framework provides guidance for H-GAC efforts to preserve and enhance their region’s diverse natural heritage and realize the benefits of conservation.

Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments

Ohio River Recreational Trail Digital Guide

 The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) developed the Ohio River Digital Guide, an interactive digital map that is designed to aid boaters, paddlers, anglers, cyclists, and motorists to safely explore the Ohio river communities. The guide provides real-time updates of where commercial vessels are and where the barge “sail line” is in the river. In addition to this, the guide includes links to river community websites so travelers can learn about the wonderful amenities that can be found within the river communities.

Southern California Association of Governments

Go Human Program

To respond and plan for safer communities, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) developed Go Human, a multi‐pronged community engagement program. Go Human was created to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities involving people walking and biking and increase rates of active transportation. One of the many pivotal Go Human strategies includes engaging priority and historically disinvested communities through the development of its “Kit of Parts,” an engagement tool for jurisdictions to temporarily demonstrate potential and planned street design treatments and safety infrastructure. Since its release in 2019, the Go Human Kit of parts has been deployed over 45 times for a variety of projects and experienced by tens of thousands of residents at events across Southern California.

San Joaquin Council of Governments

EZHub, Fare Payments-as-a-Service for the Vamos Mobility App

 The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) sought to integrate fares and make using transit easier by developing a program that would provide both trip planning and fare payments to citizens all in one place. In November 2020, EZHub was launched onto the Vamos Mobility Platform. EZHub provides users with both trip planning and fare payments on the same page. The program also provides a contactless payment option and allows opportunities such as fare capping, ticket promotions, and carsharing reservations. The project has made a positive impact within the region and increased opportunities for residents.

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission

E-Commerce in Northwest Indiana

E-Commerce has taken a significant role in the changing world of retail, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In consideration of this growing sector, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) decided to conduct a study to investigate the impacts of e-commerce on Northwest Indiana. The study provides recommendations to Northwest Indiana municipalities on best practices to anticipate e-commerce impacts, mitigate effects on land use and transportation, and provide guidance on how to harness the opportunities that e-commerce presents. NIRPC’s E-Commerce study is the first initiative in Indiana to address the implications that e-commerce has on transportation, land use, and retail.

Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Heartland 2060: Building a Resilient Program – Revisited

 The Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s (CFRPC) Heartland 2060 brought together seven inland counties in Florida to discuss the region’s future and the need to build a more resilient region. The Heartland 2060 plan supports the following priorities: the need to support existing communities, encourage revitalization, enhance economic competitiveness, provide more efficient transportation choices, and ensure the sustainability of communities. The plan also provides extensive data and economic, transportation, housing, and environmental modeling. Heartland 2060 produced technical assets that can be used to aid the region and its local governments in the future to ensure sustainability within the region.



 Brian O. Martin

Executive Director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission

 Brian O. Martin serves as the 6th Executive Director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC). Brian represents the agency in various capacities at the regional, state, and national levels and is responsible for overseeing all management aspects of the organization. Brian is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Regional Council’s Executive Directors Council and serves on multiple local boards. Brian has been widely applauded for his work in social justice, equality, and diversity in the Miami Valley Region and he has continued to emphasize the need for disparities to be addressed through a regional approach.

Becky Bradley

Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

 Becky Bradley has over 20 years of experience in city, regional, economic development, historic preservation, and transportation planning. Becky has served as Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) since August 2013. Through her vision, she has helped the region manage its economic success while continuing to preserve farmland and natural resources within the region. She manages a $2.5 billion Long-Range Transportation Program and she is responsible for the region’s first-ever plan to prepare for unprecedented freight movement growth. Becky has had a major impact on the region, and she has given the Lehigh Valley a greater voice at the state and national level.


 The Honorable Oliver G. Gilbert III

Chairman, Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Governing Board, Miami-Dade County, Florida, Member, South Florida Regional Planning Council, Florida

Oliver G. Gilbert III, Chairman of the Miami-Dade TPO Governing Board for Miami-Dade County, Florida, also serves as the Vice Chairman for the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners (BCC), Chairman for the Southeast Florida Transportation Council (SEFTC) and as a member of the South Florida Regional Planning Council. Chairman Gilbert has led the Miami-Dade TPO Governing Board by providing guidance and overseeing the passage of fifty TPO Governing Board transportation planning related resolutions during 2020. As the Miami-Dade TPO Chairman, he has led major milestone resolutions that are advancing critical transportation initiatives in the Miami Urbanized region. Through his leadership, Chairman Gilbert continues to forge partnerships throughout the Miami region to advance multimodal transportation for residents and visitors.


 David Warm

Executive Director of the Mid-America Regional Council

 David Warm has served as Executive Director of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) since 1991. David has provided excellent leadership to MARC and is known to be a deeply insightful advocate and national leader on regional issues. David serves as the Region XI Regional Representative for the NARC Executive Directors Council and has played an active role in many projects to increase support for regional councils at the national level. In recognition of his work with MARC and his efforts at the national level, David was previously awarded NARC’s Walter Scheiber Leadership Award.

 Douglas R. Hooker

Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission

 Doug Hooker has served as Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) since 2011. Through his career he has worked on important regional and local projects including transportation planning, aging services, workforce development, water conservation, and homeland security. Doug is an active member of NARC’s leadership and currently serves as the Chair of the NARC Executive Directors Council. Doug is a well-known and respected leader in his region and the impacts of his work extend through many groundbreaking projects in the Atlanta Region. Doug recently announced that this will be his last year at the head of ARC, as he plans to retire in March of 2022.

The Honorable Garret Nancolas

Mayor of the City of Caldwell, Idaho

 Mayor Garret Nancolas has served on the Board of Directors of the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) since its inception in 2000 and has represented COMPASS and Region XII on NARC’s Board of Directors since 2016. Mayor Nancolas was elected mayor of Caldwell, Idaho in 1997 and is the longest serving mayor in the city’s history and the only of the city’s mayors to have served more than one term. Mayor Nancolas holds multiple regional leadership positions, and he is known throughout the region as a man of integrity. After more than 30 years of public service, Mayor Nancolas has chosen not to seek reelection as mayor and plans to retire at the end of 2021.

More information about NARC awards, conferences, and leadership can be found at


About the National Association of Regional Councils

NARC serves as a national voice for regions by advocating for regional cooperation as the most effective way to address a variety of community planning and development opportunities and issues. NARC’s member organizations are composed of multiple local governments that work together to serve American communities – large and small, urban and rural.