The 2015 APA Los Angeles Awards Gala was held on June 25 at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale. Over 200 attendees gathered to say hello to old friends, make new contacts, share ideas, and celebrate this year’s award winners. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts were provided by Porto’s Bakery, and Mediterranean dinner cuisine was catered by The Kitchen – both local businesses based in Glendale. A group of attendees also enjoyed a walking tour of Downtown Glendale, led by City of Glendale’s Urban Designer, Alan Loomis. Walking tour attendees got a chance to see and hear about newly completed mixed-use developments and caught a glimpse of local parks and upcoming adaptive reuse projects.
This year’s awards jurors were Larissa De La Cruz, Brian Glodney, Nicolas Maricich, Candida Neal, Todd Nguyen, Robert Paternoster, Timothy Ralston, Srinivas Rao, Veronica Siranosian, Francisco Contreras, Bill Crouch, Thuy Hua, and Alvaro Gomez. Together, the jurors presented 21 awards from 16 different categories. Dr. Leobardo Estrada was awarded the Planning Pioneer Award for his countless contributions to the academic advancement of urban planning and to the planning profession locally, nationally, and internationally. Kevin Keller, AICP was awarded the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his tremendous tenure in service to and support of APA Los Angeles, having served two back-to-back terms as Section Director, as well as serving as APA California Chapter President during challenging economic times. Finally, the Distinguished Leadership Award for a Planning Agency was given to the City of West Hollywood Community Development Department, which over the past 30 years has proven leadership that has transformed the City of West Hollywood into a vibrant, walkable community and destination unique in Southern California.
In attendance at the Gala were APA California Chapter President Hing Wong, AICP, and APA National Board Member, Kurt Christiansen, AICP. 2016 California Planning Conference co-chairs Melani Smith, AICP, Kevin Keller, AICP, and Meghna Khanna, AICP were recognized for their leadership and hard work. Glendale City Councilmembers Paula Devine and Vartan Gharpetian also attended.
This year’s Awards Gala was presented by our Marquee Sponsor, the Glendale Economic Development Corporation. With the Alex marquee and its signature art deco neon tower glittering as award winners celebrated, the future looked bright for planning in Los Angeles.
More photos of the event can be seen on the APA Los Angeles Facebook page.