The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) presented its 2023 Leadership and Achievement Awards on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 during an awards ceremony held at the NARC 57th Annual Conference & Exhibition.
“As President, I am thrilled and overjoyed to congratulate the exceptional award winners,” said NARC President Jennifer Robinson, Council Member of Cary, NC and board member of Triangle J Council of Governments. “Their remarkable achievements not only inspire us all, but also reinforce the boundless potential of our commitment to regionalism. Their dedication, talent, and unwavering commitment to excellence are the true pillars of success.”
Nine projects received 2023 Achievement Awards and six regional leaders received 2023 Leadership Awards. More information about this year’s recipients can be found below.
Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments | Seamless Transit Project
Within the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments service area, there are eight unique transit agencies that provide public transit service within and across the region. Each agency has its own individual website with corresponding schedules, fares, and service area information. Before this project, each agency was at a different level of implementing transit technology, such as real-time vehicle information and mobile ticketing. Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments coordinated with all eight transit agencies over the course of the project to create a centralized website, a new regional brand, procure GPS hardware and software to enable real-time information for all 60 buses, and pilot mobile ticketing for agencies that desired it.
Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission | Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities
The Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities at the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) program has been instrumental in promoting and exemplifying regional excellence by convening critical partners and acting as a central point of coordination for a long-term, multi-faceted effort.
San Luis Obispo Council of Governments | Transportation Efficiency Analysis
The Transportation Efficiency Analysis is a proactive tool used to identify transportation barriers to housing production. It is changing the way they prioritize project funding and allows them to better compete for funding to implement needed infrastructure projects.
Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization | Broward Vision: The Path to 2100
Vision 2100 (adopted in 2019) is an aspirational vision conceived by the Broward MPO in Florida to help facilitate a paradigm shift from the historical approach to growth, development, and transportation investments and how current solutions to the resulting problems are being outpaced by future needs.
Centralina Regional Council | ARPA Fund Implementation Support Program
The ARPA Fund Implementation Support Program was developed to help communities faced with challenges in making strategic spending decisions for the $800 million in federal funding that came to the Centralina region via ARPA.
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning | Illinois International Port Project
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s (CMAP) Illinois International Port District (IIPD) Master Plan is the result of years of effort and collaboration to address a long-identified need for improvements to the region’s port district.
Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency | Towpath Trail
One of the most significant regional projects in Northeast Ohio, as well as Central Ohio, is the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. This trail runs 101 miles north and south, from its northernmost trailhead in Canal Basin Park in downtown Cleveland to its southernmost trailhead in Canal Lands Park in New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The Towpath Trail follows the historic path where mules pulled canal boats laden with passengers and goods up and down the historic Ohio & Erie Canal from 1827 to 1913.
Sacramento Area Council of Governments | Green Means Go
Green Means Go, a proposed $400 million pilot program, is SACOG’s solution to accelerate infill development by reinvesting in city cores to make it easier to walk, bike and roll to destinations, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and addressing California’s housing shortage.
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council | Regional Resiliency Action Plan
The Regional Resiliency Action Plan is a living document created to address resilience challenges prioritized by intergovernmental and community collaboration and intended to guide action over the next five years. Through the planning process, the planning team engaged stakeholders through online meetings, in-person workshops, and surveys that allowed the document to be shaped to reflect the wide range of expertise and geographic area.
2023 WALTER SCHEIBER LEADERSHIP AWARD
Andrew Gruber: Executive Director, Wasatch Front Regional Council
Under Andrew Gruber’s 13 years of direction, the Wasatch Front Regional Council’s (WFRC) leadership in the region has grown tremendously. Andrew knows that for an MPO to lead, it needs to elevate partnerships.
Mark Policinski: Executive Director, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments
Mark Policinski is celebrating his 20th year as CEO & Executive Director of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI). Since his arrival to the agency, Mark has been a recurring member of the 100 Most Powerful Leaders in the Tri-State by Cincy Magazine. Under Mark’s leadership, OKI has become a perennial national model of what a metropolitan planning agency can become to a region. He has changed the culture of the entire OKI organization, top to bottom, to the benefit of the 2.1 million residents who live and work in the OKI region.
2023 TOM BRADLEY LEADERSHIP AWARD
Becky Bradley: Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Executive Director
Becky Bradley is an exemplary leader and planner with a remarkable track record of accomplishments that demonstrate her dedication to creating sustainable, equitable and livable communities. Her achievements have made a significant impact on the Lehigh Valley region and serve as a model for other planners across the nation.
2023 PRESIDENT’S AWARD
Gregory Stuart: Executive Director, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization
Gregory Stuart is the executive director of the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and serves in a number of ways at the local, state, and national level. Mr. Stuart works with tireless dedication to improve the transportation landscape in Broward and the state of Florida and, more often than not, ends up leaving the world in a better state than he found it.
Rick Dunne: Executive Director, Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
Rick has demonstrated professional and executive management excellence on the local, state, and national level. Rick efforts have established him as a leader and trusted advocate for regional concepts, approaches, and programs. He has devoted decades to serving the public interest through his contributions on the local, regional, state, and federal levels.
Geof Benson: Former Commissioner, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission
Geof has served actively on the NIRPC Commission for 15 years and was twice elected Chair of Commission, which is an honor granted to only one other NIRPC chair in recent memory. He has developed relationships with NARC members across the country and has always actively brought other NIRPC Commissioners into the NARC fold and onto NARC Board positions and leadership. Geof served as President of the NARC Board in 2019, was chair of the NARC Environment Committee for over 4 years, and served on the NARC Board overall for 11 years.