VAPDC celebrates 50 years

Published 3:18 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

The Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) celebrated 50 years of regional collaboration at its annual Summer Conference held last week in Williamsburg. As part of the conference, the VAPDC debuted a new logo and unveiled a 50th anniversary commemorative book highlighting the history and work of Virginia’s 21 planning district commissions.

At its annual business meeting during the conference, South Hill Town Manager, Allen Kimball “Kim” Callis, of the Southside Planning District Commission, was elected President of the VAPDC. Donald Hart of the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission was elected first vice president. Also elected were Martha Shickle as second vice president and Kevin Byrd as secretary/ treasurer. Robert Coiner of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission will serve as immediate past president.

Prior to being elected president, Callis served as a member of the VAPDC Board of Directors. He has served as the town manager of South Hill, Virginia for the past 12 years, and is chairman of the Southside PDC.

Hart is a past chair and current member of the Accomack-Northampton PDC, and also is chairman of the Accomack Board of Supervisors, on which he has served for nearly 40 years. He also is a past president of the Virginia Association of Counties.

Martha Shickle has been the executive director of Plan RVa (Richmond Regional Planning District Commission) for nearly four years. She previously held the same position with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission.

Kevin Byrd was appointed as executive director of the New River Valley Regional Commission in 2009 and has served as secretary/ treasurer of VAPDC since 2010. He also serves as first vice president of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO).

Elected as directors for 2019-2020 were: Thomas Gleason, Commonwealth Regional Council; Deborah Gosney, Southside Planning District Commission; Robert Lazaro, Northern Virginia Regional Commission; Patrick Mauney, Rappahannock Rapidan-Regional Commission; Linda Millsaps, George Washington Regional Commission; and Lou Ann Wallace, Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission.

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 areawide 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 its website at www.