Akerman's Valerie Hubbard Elected President of National Planning Institute Commission

MIAMI, FL, June 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, today announced that Valerie Hubbard, director of planning services for the firm's Real Estate Practice Group, has been elected as President of the American Planning Association's (APA) professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Effective June 10, Hubbard will serve one year as president-elect before assuming the presidency for a two-year term, followed by a final year as past-president. In this role, she will be responsible for leading the eight-member AICP Commission and setting strategic goals.

At Akerman, Hubbard provides planning services to both private and public sector clients throughout the state of Florida on a wide variety of planning issues, including land use, zoning and permitting approvals; comprehensive plans; developments of regional impact; land development regulations and formulation of innovative solutions to planning challenges. She leverages her experience in both local and state planning agencies and provides insight into the development review processes of Florida's state and local governments.

Hubbard has held strategic planning positions in several of Florida's local governments. She served as director of the Division of Community Planning for the Florida Department of Community Affairs. In that role, she helped develop and implement Florida policy on school concurrency, proportionate share mitigation and capital improvements programming and worked on a variety of planning policy issues with the Florida Legislature.

Since 2008, Hubbard has served as AICP Commissioner from Region III, which includes the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, as well as the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and South America. She has held concurrent appointments as secretary-treasurer of the AICP Commission and chair of the AICP Ethics Committee. She has also been president of the APA Florida Chapter. Hubbard was inducted into the AICP College of Fellows in 2010, the highest honor bestowed by APA upon its members.

Hubbard was previously chief of comprehensive and environmental planning for the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department. She also served as the City of Orlando's city planning bureau chief, director of community development for the City of Kissimmee and as chief of comprehensive planning for the City of Gainesville. In addition, she holds the LEED AP credential from the U.S. Green Building Council.
About Akerman LLP

Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M &A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 600 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 20 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The National Law Journal NLJ 350 (2013). Akerman also is ranked among the top 40 law firms for diversity in The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2014).
The Akerman Real Estate Practice Group offers comprehensive and fully integrated project counsel services to clients across the United States and in Latin America. With substantial industry experience and prominent local presence, Akerman represents clients in complex real estate transactions and financings, development and redevelopment projects, public private initiatives and litigation. Recognized as a national tier one law firm for Real Estate Law by U.S. News - Best Lawyers, the group advises investors, developers, builders, lenders, retailers, owners and corporate end users, often in high profile matters.
More information can be found at akerman.com or twitter.com/akerman_law.
About APA and AICP

APA, an organization with approximately 40,000 members, provides leadership in the development of vital communities. AICP certifies planners and focuses on ethics, professional development and standards of professional practice.

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CONTACT:Marlisa Serrano
         Akerman LLP