Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) President, Allen Kimball “Kim” Callis honored Denny Morris with the Association’s President’s Award at the offices of the Crater Planning District Commission (CPDC) last week.

Denny served as Executive Director for the Crater Planning District Commission for 38 years and was active with the PDC for nearly 50 years before ‘retiring’ this fall. He has remained engaged with the start-up of an EDA grant, while helping to ease his successor (Alec Brebner) into the Crater region.   

“Denny has served on VAPDC committees and has been a valuable member of the VAPDC Board of Directors on several occasions dating back to the late 1990s. Additionally, he has always been an active participant and mentor for colleagues in meetings of PDC Executive Directors. His accomplishments are many, leading numerous efforts focused on economic, industrial and small business development over the years.” said VAPDC President Callis.

In his tenure at CPDC, Denny created the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS), an economic and workforce development collaboration of private sector companies, Fort Lee, and several higher education institutions (UVA, Longwood, Virginia State and VCU). He also supported the region’s small business community through the Commission’s Crater Development Company, established in 1985 to provide small business financing by working cooperatively with the region’s financial institutions.

Denny also worked diligently with the Petersburg Area Regional Tourism (PART), assisting localities in the development of a regional tourism marketing plan and strategy.

“These and other initiatives exemplify the steps Denny has taken over the years to support Crater’s local governments, and also work in various other planning areas,” said Callis.

The VAPDC President’s Award is intended to recognize an individual who has been involved directly in planning district commission activities and who has contributed significantly to promoting regional planning and VAPDC activities in Virginia. 

Planning District Commissions were established by the General Assembly in 1969. There are 21 PDCs and Regional Commissions in Virginia made up of elected officials and citizens appointed by local government. The purpose of the Planning District Commissions is to encourage and facilitate regional solutions to problems of area-wide significance. This is done by promoting the efficient development of the physical, social, and economic policies of all districts by assisting local governments to plan for the future. The PDCs of Virginia have joined together to create the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions to share best practices, and further regionalism across the commonwealth. For information about VAPDC, visit the website at

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