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This year, the Vermont Planners Association is thrilled to bestow its Career Achievement Award for Excellence in Planning to Dean Pierce, AICP. Dean has devoted more than thirty years to professional planning at the local, regional, and state level. Throughout his career, he has advocated at all levels for pragmatic, smart growth planning principles that reinforce Vermont's historic settlement pattern and protect Vermont’s environment. He has been a continual innovator in the field and a dogged advocate for professional development for his planning colleagues and citizen planners. Since 2002, Dean has served as Director of Planning and Zoning for the Town of Shelburne, where he leads by identifying community issues, educating the public, building consensus, and collaborating to create solutions. He has guided two overhauls of the Town's Comprehensive Plan, implemented multiple bike/ped transportation projects, and developed natural resource policies as well as the Town's form-based zoning code. Dean began his planning career at Addison County Regional Planning Commission in 1987, where he oversaw creation of an in-house GIS system – one of the first in Vermont. Dean helped establish VPA as one of its first members, and with the organization he assisted the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in its anti-sprawl campaign in the late-1980s. He collaborated with others to provide input on federal takings legislation and has helped craft state policy and provide testimony to the Vermont Legislature on a number of issues including the regulation of telecommunication facilities, home occupations, and farm based businesses. Dean is a brilliant planner, ardent to the communities he serves. He is sharp, has a wide breadth of knowledge, is quick on his feet, and gives context-specific, precise solutions to complex issues. While steadfast to the planning practices and ethics he adheres to, Dean remains curious and actively listens to new ideas and perspectives, which is why he has remained vital to the planning community’s development and growth over several decades. The Vermont Planners Association congratulates Dean on his many years of service to the profession statewide.