Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions Names Award Winners

~Three awards presented at Association's Summer Conference~
August 2, 2019

David Blount
Executive Director
WILLIAMSBURG, VA - The Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) announced several award winners at its annual Summer Conference held two weeks ago in Williamsburg.

Southside Planning District Commission Executive Director Gail Moody received the Gordon N. Dixon Achievement Award. Gail is retiring this month after 41 years with the Southside PDC, including the last nine as Executive Director. She also has served as the chair of the VAPDC Awards Committee.

"Gail is very deserving of this award. We sincerely appreciate her many years of leadership and service for the Southside PDC, as well as her work promoting regionalism in Virginia with her many contributions to the VAPDC," said 2019 VAPDC President Robert K. Coiner.

The Dixon award recognizes an executive director or a VAPDC commissioner who has provided leadership and made outstanding contributions to promoting the concept of regionalism in Virginia.

President Coiner honored Billy Martin with the President's Award. Martin was VAPDC President for two years (2014-2016), and most recently completed his tenure on the VAPDC Board as Immediate Past President. He is a longtime member of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors.

"Billy has made outstanding contributions to VAPDC," said President Coiner. "We are grateful for his ongoing passion and dedication to regionalism and the work of PDCs."

The VAPDC President's Award recognizes 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.

Finally, the Robert M. deVoursney Best Practices Award was presented to the Blue Ridge Inter-City Transit Express, or BRITE. Accepting the award were Bonnie Riedesel, Central Shenandoah PDC Executive Director, and Nancy Gourley, Transit Manager. The BRITE Bus is a small urban public transit system that operates in the Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro (SAW) area.
"Getting BRITE up and running involved many hours of research, coordination and implementation by Central Shenandoah Commissioners, the BRITE Transit Advisory Committee and hard-working staff, led by Ms. Gourley," Gail Moody, VAPDC Awards Committee Chair, said in presenting the award. "The Central Shenandoah PDC is the only PDC in the Commonwealth, and one of the few in the country, that oversees and manages a transit system. Developing and fostering productive and professional relationships with the many funding agencies and partners was essential to the success of this project."

The Best Practices Award recognizes organizations that have initiated innovative regional activities which have contributed significantly to the effectiveness of a region.

Planning District Commissions were enabled by state legislation in 1968 and most were established the following year. There are 21 PDCs and Regional Commissions in Virginia made up of elected officials and citizens appointed by local governments. The purpose of 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 joined together to create the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions in 1987 to share best practices and further regionalism across the Commonwealth. For more information about VAPDC, visit our website at www.vapdc.org .

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