August 6, 2018

Connie Long
VAPDC Administrator

Roanoke - The Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) selected former Lynchburg Mayor Joan Foster as the 2018 recipient of the Gordon Dixon Award.  

Mayor Joan Foster served on the Region 2000 Local Government Council from 2004 through June 2018, including serving as Chair in 2008-2009, 20013-2014, and 2017-2018.

" During her service on the LGC Mayor Foster provided valuable leadership and trusted advice on local and regional initiatives and policies, and worked to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of the region," said Gary Christie, Executive Director, Region 2000 Local Government Council in his nomination of Foster. "Mayor Foster focused on the implementation of major projects that resulted in lowering costs for localities and improving or maintaining high quality public services by developing regional services and service delivery systems such as solid waste management through the Region 2000 Services Authority, emergency services communications through the Region 2000 Radio Communications Board and workforce development and education through the Region 2000 Workforce Development Board."

In her tenure on the LGC, the region was recognized by the National Association of Development Organizations for innovative planning and regional cooperation, recognized by VAPDC with the Baker award for exemplifying with distinction the ideals of regional cooperation, planning and development in Virginia, and was recognized by the Virginia Commonwealth University's Wilder School of Government with the Excellence in Virginia's Government award for innovation and planning excellence in Public Private Partnerships.

"Foster exemplifies the values of the Gordon N. Dixon Award by creating value for her regional community by providing leadership and making outstanding contributions to promote the concept of regionalism in the Commonwealth of Virginia," said VAPDC President Robert K. Coiner.       

The Gordon Dixon Award is named for Gordon N. Dixon who served more than 16 years as Executive Director for two planning district commissions. He sincerely believed in regional planning and community development. Following his death in 1987, VAPDC established the Dixon Award to recognize PDC Commissioners and executive directors who display exceptional dedication to the regional planning vision for Virginia.

Planning District Commissions were established by the General Assembly in 1969.  There are 21 PDCs and regional Commissions in Virginia made up of elected official and citizens appointed by local government.  The purpose of the 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 have joined together to create the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions to share best practices, and further regionalism across the commonwealth.  For information about VAPDC visit the website at www.vapdc.org.

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