2016 AMPO Awards

Honorable Mentions

Due to the large number of nominations we selected honorable mentions for the categories of Outstanding Overall Achievement for a TMA MPO and Outstanding MPO Partnership and Cooperation.

The Honorable Mention for Outstanding Overall Achievement for a TMA MPO was presented to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization for providing leadership as a planning agency on both the national and regional level and ensuring that the future of transportation in their area will not only include all users, but also seek to promote ladders of opportunity and focus on improving quality of life.

The Honorable Mention for Outstanding MPO Partnership and Cooperation was presented to the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG) for their work to merge the Council of Governments and the MPO. The region and MPO successfully function as a unified one and this coordination has been seen in new planning studies and investigation of new regional services and initiatives in which municipalities across the merged region participate.

National Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement for a TMA MPO

The Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement for a TMA MPO was presented to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) for successfully advancing and promoting metropolitan transportation planning through its leadership on insight2050: A Collaborative Initiative Preparing for Growth and Change in Central Ohio.

  • insight2050 is a unique public-private collaborative initiative that provides data-driven, objective analysis of the impacts of population growth and changing demographics on land use, economic development, and neighborhood design in Central Ohio.
  • The initiative energizes local communities to prepare for future conditions by recognizing the need to modify traditional car-oriented development patterns based on changing demographics.
  • insight2050 demonstrates that accommodating growing preferences for more walkable, bikeable, and transit-accessible neighborhoods will enhance communities’ attractiveness to the region’s growing population of young adults and seniors while reducing infrastructure needs and costs and the amount of land needed for development.

National Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement for a non-TMA MPO

The Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement for a non-TMA MPO was presented to the Valdosta-Lowndes MPO/Southern Georgia Regional Commission for leading the development of a Common Community Vision for Lowndes County – the core county of the metropolitan area – alongside the 2040 Transportation Vision Plan.

  • Through a four-month public and stakeholder input process, a Common Community Vision was developed from more than 800 statements from the public, stakeholders, and more than 25 local, regional, and state plans.
  • New and existing partnerships were developed with organizations ranging from local school boards, to hospitals, to tourism agencies.
  • The Common Community Vision has gone on to be used in the development of Policies, Issues, and Opportunities for the Greater Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan.
  • The 2040 Transportation Vision Plan includes 18 goals that highlight how transportation can positively impact education, workforce development, public health and safety, natural resources, tourism, and utility infrastructure.
  • The Transportation Vision Plan includes a Complete Streets Strategy, an Intersection Improvement Strategy that prioritizes safety, and an Active, Healthy Lifestyles Strategy that encourages each local government to spend at least $500,000 annually on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and safety education programs like Safe Routes to School.
  • Together, the Common Community Vision and Transportation Vision Plan provide holistic guidance for improving many aspects of the community, including economic development and quality of life.

National Award for Outstanding MPO Partnership and Cooperation

The Award for Outstanding MPO Partnership and Cooperation was presented to the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization for their role in the organization of the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition.

  • The Coalition is a non-profit organization staffed and supported by the North Florida TPO.
  • It encourages petroleum reduction through the use of alternative fuels for business, government, non-profit agencies and consumers in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns Counties.
  • With the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition and with creative programming of CMAQ funding the North Florida TPO is moving the region to a greener and more sustainable future.
  • Using CMAQ funds and in partnership with stakeholders, local governments, transit agencies and local utilities the TPO is making this vision reality.
  • This innovative and successful initiative is a model for other MPOs to positively impact their communities today and in the years to come.

The Ronald F. Kirby National Award for Outstanding Individual Leadership

Now in its third year, this award is in memory of Ron Kirby and the legacy he has left within the field of transportation planning and beyond. As we remember Ron, AMPO was honored to present the Outstanding Individual Leadership Award to Jim McKenzie. This award is given to professionals that can be counted on to continue Ron’s legacy in his tradition of professionalism and commitment to excellence. Jim has forged his own legacy within the transportation planning field and is a true champion for AMPO and the entire MPO community.

Jim has served as the Executive Director of Metroplan, the designated MPO for Central Arkansas, since 1988. Over the years Jim has been called on by leaders in Arkansas and around the nation. In 2011, Jim was appointed by the governor of Arkansas to serve on the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance where he served as Chairman of the New Revenue Subcommittee and authored A Reader’s Companion to the Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance Report. The Committee was charged with identifying an adequate and equitable financing system for state highways, county roads, and city streets in Arkansas.

Jim has served as a lecturer, panelist, and board member for several national planning organizations – including serving on the AMPO Board of Directors as both Secretary and Vice-President. Jim has served in many roles for AMPO over the years and it’s safe to say he has left a lasting impact on the organization, its leadership and members, and staff.

Jim received overwhelming support from his peers as a part of the nomination process and I’d like to share one excerpt talking about Jim:

During these past ten years, Jim has not only been my mentor on the business realm but he has also become my friend. He is one of the most intelligent, trustworthy, and progressive thinking individuals I have ever known. Not to mention a great communicator. He can talk on any level whether it be to the President of the United States or a common every day worker. He can take a complex situation and simplify it for a small town Mayor.

Jim is such a great asset, and his retirement will be an enormous loss to the metropolitan area of Central Arkansas. I totally support the nomination of Jim McKenzie for the Ronald F. Kirby National Award for Outstanding Individual/Leadership and believe this great honor should be bestowed upon him. – Mayor Randy O. Holland, Mayflower, Arkansas

Without his vision, leadership, and undeterred dedication the transportation planning community in both Arkansas and around the country would not be the same. We commend Jim for his achievements and were pleased to present him with the Ronald F. Kirby National Award for Outstanding Individual Leadership.