Provided by Prince William County Economic Development
The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows has inducted James Gahres, Senior Business Development Manager, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. He was inducted for his outstanding achievements in urban planning. Induction to the College of Fellows is one of the most prestigious honors in the planning profession.
Gahres holds the distinction of being the only practicing full-time professional with AICP Fellowship designation and Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation by the International Economic Development Council. An AICP Fellowship is bestowed to members who have achieved certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners. These members have also achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership.
“Individuals who make up the College of Fellows are the true leaders of the planning profession,” said past AICP President Valerie Hubbard, FAICP. “These individuals have made lasting contributions to the profession and have inspired generations of new planners. They are truly awe-inspiring.”
“We congratulate Jim on his induction to the College of Fellows and commend him on his outstanding achievements in planning and economic development,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “His dual certification, continual education and extensive experience makes him a valued asset to the County.”
The American Planning Association, Virginia Chapter further honored Gahres at the annual conference in July. The organization presented a joint resolution (HJ 570) from both the House and Senate of the Virginia General Assembly, commending him for his three decades of service in the Commonwealth of Virginia and attainment of FAICP.
For 34 years, Gahres has worked to ensure the infusion of exemplary planning practice into the sustained economic development of some of the fastest growing communities in the United States, Loudoun County and Prince William County, Virginia. He has led redevelopment and revitalization initiatives which have helped transform Virginia’s historic downtowns into thriving mixed-use communities (Alexandria, Falls Church, Charlottesville and Leesburg). These initiatives have used comprehensive and strategic planning, and creative tools that have incorporated fiscal analysis, public-private partnerships and inclusionary planning processes that have ensured input from citizens, businesses, developers and elected officials. In Prince William County, Jim has led targeted industry projects totaling over $6 billion in capital investment.