Tampa Downtown Partnership Director Appointed Planning Commissioner

Tampa Bay News Wire

TAMPA (April 19, 2017) – Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to announce the appointment of Karen Kress, AICP, Director of Planning and Transportation, to Commissioner for the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. Kress took her oath of office representing the City of Tampa at the Planning Commission’s April 10 meeting.

In her new role, Commissioner Kress will work together with nine fellow Planning Commissioners to collectively make recommendations on land use, capital improvements, urban design, and other planning issues to Tampa City Council as well as to the other jurisdictions in Hillsborough County. The Planning Commission provides comprehensive planning promoting a prosperous community that provides opportunity, fairness, and choice in how Hillsborough County residents live, move, work, and play.

“The Planning Commission is a perfect fit for Karen’s innovative and collaborative skills as we make it a priority to coordinate and facilitate the involvement of all people in the long-range planning and visioning for our community,” said Melissa Zornitta, AICP, Executive Director for the Planning Commission.

A true advocate for transit and transportation, Kress leads the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Transportation Committee, Parking Task Force, and has been successful in bringing ride-share opportunities like Coast, Zipcar, and the free ride service Downtowner. She has been with Tampa Downtown Partnership for 14 years and continues to elevate Downtown Tampa as the vibrant center of the region through her efforts and partnerships.

Kress is a certified urban planner, awarded Planner of the Year in 2014 by the Suncoast Section of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association, and co-founded Bike Walk Tampa Bay (previously Tampa BayCycle) in 2007.

Karen Kress, AICP, LCI

Karen serves as the Director of Transportation and Planning at the Tampa Downtown Partnership. In her role, Karen manages all aspects of transportation, parking and access throughout Downtown Tampa. A true advocate for transit and transportation, Karen leads Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Transportation and Urban Design Committees, and its Parking Task Force. Karen has been successful in advocating for and bringing transportation options such as Coast bike share, ZipCar carshare, and Downtowner – an app-based electric free ride service.

An avid biker, Karen helped found Tampa BayCycle (now called Bike Walk Tampa Bay), a regional cycling education, advocacy and encouragement campaign in 2007 and for over twenty years she has actively volunteered for the Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connections Outdoors program. Acknowledging her efforts, Karen was honored by the Suncoast Chapter of the American Planning Association Planner of the Year in 2014 and in 2017 she was appointed as a Planning Commissioner by the City of Tampa.

Previously, Karen worked in transportation demand management, marketing, human resources and event planning.

A native of Ohio and Political Science graduate of Ohio University, Karen moved to Tampa in the mid-1990’s and is raising her three children with her husband in their own little slice of paradise on the Hillsborough River.

About Tampa Downtown Partnership

Tampa Downtown Partnership is a private, membership based not-for-profit 501(c)6 compromised of companies, organizations and individuals with a common goal of advancing Tampa’s Downtown. Through an annual contract with the City of Tampa, Tampa Downtown Partnership administers the Special Services District. In addition to Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team, Tampa Downtown Partnership serves downtown through marketing, business development, transportation, advocacy, public space activation, planning and beautification.