Planning Director Panel

APA Florida Chapter, Suncoast Section


Friday, May 19, 2017
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. EDT

Tampa, FL, United States

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This session highlighted specific leadership skills and career tips for mid-level planners as they seek to move up in their career. Attendees learned from a panel of local planning leaders about their experience, recommended steps, interview advice and managing multiple responsibilities and personnel. Planning directors featured included those for local government, transit agencies, and countywide planning agencies. 


Melissa Zornitta

Ms. Zornitta began serving as the Executive Director of the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission in January 2015. In this capacity, she manages the long range, comprehensive planning for unincorporated Hillsborough County, City of Tampa, City of Temple Terrace and Plant City. Ms. Zornitta has over 18 years of experience ... Read More

Ramond Chiaramonte

Ray, in his role as Executive Director of TBARTA, is trying to bring the many voices of the region together to speak with one regional transportation message. Prior to his present position, Ray Chiaramonte was the Executive Director of both the Hillsborough County Planning Commission and the Metropolitan Planning Organization ... Read More

Whit Blanton

Whit Blanton is the Executive Director of Forward Pinellas (the Pinellas Planning Council and Metropolitan Planning Organization), a unified countywide land use and transportation planning agency serving the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area in the Tampa Bay region. His nearly 30-year planning career spans a wide range of experience in the public ... Read More

Katharine Eagen

Katharine Eagan, AICP, is Chief Executive Officer of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART). HART averages over 50,000 passenger trips a day, and about 15 million trips annually, on local and express bus, flex services, HARTPlus paratransit, and the TECO Line Streetcar. Under her leadership, HART has greatly ... Read More

Catherine Hartley, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Catherine is the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Bradenton, FL. She is a twice-over graduate from Florida State University, receiving an undergraduate Certificate in Planning in 2002 and a Master of Science in Planning in 2004. With experience in both the public and private sectors, she ... Read More

Contact Info

Melissa Dickens,