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Eureka Resident Gets American Planning Association Award

By Redheaded Blackbelt

LACO Associates Senior Planner Bob Ulibarri has been honored by the American Planning Association as the recipient of the APA’s 2019 Diversity and Social Change Award of Excellence in recognition of environmental science and planning services to Tribal Governments and underrepresented populations.

Ulibarri, who has been with LACO’s Eureka-based office for the past 10 years, was recognized for his accomplishments at the June 7 APA Northern California Awards Gala at the Starline Social Club in Oakland. His work embodies the APA’s stated intent of “embracing a culture that recognizes the diversity of our communities, promotes inclusiveness in our planning practice, and is able to support our members in fulfilling their ethical obligations to promote a more equitable society.”

“Bob has worked tirelessly for decades to support Tribal communities in economic development, social programs, justice centers, education programs, cultural centers, self-governance and so much more,” LACO Associates President Michael Nelson said.

Throughout his career, Ulibarri has worked for more than 185 tribal governments, 12 counties, and a dozen cities, providing policy planning, wetland delineations, Phase I Reports, and the preparation of more than 550 environmental compliance documents to support municipal and tribal government development projects.“This recognition is a capstone to a long and distinguished career in the planning profession.”

I’m grateful that LACO’s policy on diversity isn’t just about the people who work for the company, but also about the clients we serve,” Ulibarri said. “That gives us an opportunity to do a job that incorporates diversity. Many of these projects break even or even take a loss. It goes beyond monetary risk, instead emphasizing community service.”
The purpose of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section Awards Program is to encourage quality in planning and increase the public’s awareness of the planning profession through recognizing outstanding achievement in the planning field. Each year, the Northern Section bestows Planning Awards to honor the most outstanding efforts in planning in the Section.