Kristen Ohnoutka Named Nebraska APA Emerging Planner of the Year

5 min read

Nebraska's American Planning Association (APA) community recently honored Kristen Ohnoutka as the 2023 “Emerging Planner of the Year.” This award recognizes a young planner with less than seven years of planning experience who has shown exceptional understanding of the profession through distinguished practice, teaching, and writing.

At JEO, Kristen Ohnoutka serves as a practicing planner who has been involved in various projects, including park and trails planning, water resources, strategic planning, downtown revitalization, sustainability planning, urban design, and smart growth tactics. With an undergraduate degree in Speech Communications and a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning, Kristen’s unique background enables her to combine strategic messaging with value-based solutions to create meaningful participation.

Kristen is an AICP candidate and a Certified New Urbanist through the Congress for New Urbanism. In addition to her professional practice, she also volunteers on the NE APA Awards Committee and is the newly elected APA Chapter Secretary.

We look forward to seeing more of Kristen's contributions in the years to come. In reflecting on why she chose the planning profession, Kristen comments:

Planning is the tool we use to create community in the everyday. Without planning, our cities are just dots on a map, our neighborhoods are just where our houses are located, and the environment is an obstacle to work around. I am grateful to be working in the field of planning and helping to create more ways for people to connect with each other and the places they call home."