The third annual Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium was the biggest event yet coordinated by the West Florida Regional Planning Council. Hosted at Sandestin on November 12 and 13, the event boasted 200-plus attendees including more than 60 speakers and panelists.

“The transportation planning process through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the local and regional transportation planning organizations (TPOs) is the best in the country and it showed again through the presentations by FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold as well as all keynote and panel presenters in widely ranging transportation topics.” said event symposiarch, Jim Wood. “As a Destin city councilman for the last eight years, chairman of the Okaloosa-Walton TPO for the last five years, both chairman and vice chairman of the Northwest Florida Regional TPO, vice chairman of the State Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council or as a participant on the Florida Transportation Plan Steering Committee, I have always been impressed with the professionalism and dedication of all in the process. Whatever your interest in transportation: safety/security; agility, resiliency and quality infrastructure; efficiency and reliability; more choices on how to travel; global economic competitiveness; quality places to live, learn, work and play and/or environment and energy conservation all participants in the process work diligently to strike the correct balance across the board and ensure that Florida has the best transportation system in the country.”

Photos and presentations from keynote speakers and panelists are available on the event web site – – including those from:

  • Dr. Jim Johnson, profiled by Fast Company Magazine as “a geographer with a PhD, a professor with an endowed chair at a leading business school, an expert on poverty, and a tireless activist for social justice”
  • Dan Burden, director of innovation and inspiration at Blue Zones
  • James Mazzuto, operations director of Make It Right in New Orleans
  • Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, executive director of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise

The Transportation Symposium is hosted in conjunction with the Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization and the Bay, Gulf, Holmes, Washington Regional Transportation Partnership.

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