Safe Streets Summit


We have rescheduled the Summit to April 21, 2021. Same location, same time, same great speakers and sponsors.  

Join us for the 2021 Safe Streets Summit! The North Florida TPO is proud to lead this annual effort in conjunction with the American Planning Association First Coast Section and our generous sponsors. The TPO is committed to planning a transportation network that provides safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

Our theme this year is “Connecting our Communities from the Inside Out.” We’ll explore the needs, challenges and accomplishments of ensuring safe and accessible streets within our urban neighborhoods, as well as projects that connect our core through the suburbs to our beaches. 

Our Keynote Speaker is a global thought leader - Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair, 8 80 Cities; Chair, World Urban Parks; and President, Gil Penalosa & Associates. We are also delighted to have national expert Charles Brown from the Voorhees Transportation Center, and two panels of local officials and experts. You can learn more about the event and our speakers below. We hope to see you there!   


Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront
225 E Coastline Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Parking is available in the attached garage for a discounted rate of $8. Be sure to bring your parking ticket to registration to be validated for the discount rate and you can exit the garage quickly at the end of the Summit.

Room Location (Click to enlarge)


9-11 a.m. Pre-Summit Walkshop

Join us for an approximately 18-block tour of the nearby Cathedral District.  The District includes five historic churches and is currently being redeveloped into a leafy, green, vibrant neighborhood where a diverse array of residents can live, work, shop, eat, play and pray.  Learn more about the Cathedral District.

11-11:30 a.m. Registration: Third Floor - River Terrace 1

11:30 Keynote Luncheon: Gil Penalosa, 8 80 Cities Founder

1:00 p.m. Break

1:15 p.m. Equity Panel: How can we plan and invest to make our streets accessible and safe for all?

Speaker/Moderator: Charles Brown, senior researcher at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center; Panelists: Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser, Jacksonville City Council Member Sam Newby, Jacksonville City Council Member Ju’Coby Pittman and Florida Department of Health Nassau County Director Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel. 

2:30 p.m. Break

2:45 p.m. Core to Coast Panel: What are the safe streets challenges, opportunities and successes in our communities?

Moderator: Jake Gordon, Downtown Vision CEO; Panelists: Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer, Jacksonville City Council Member Joyce Morgan and Groundworks Jacksonville CEO Kay Ehas.

4:00 p.m. Close


Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, MBA, PhDhc, CSP

Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, MBA, PhDhc, CSP

Founder and Chair, 8 80 Cities; Chair, World Urban Parks; and President, Gil Penalosa & Associates

Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. His focus is on the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, using public transit, and new use of cars.

To that end, in 2007, he founded the successful Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities, where he now serves as chair. He is also board chair of World Urban Parks, the international representative body for the city parks, open space and recreation sector. Through his international consulting firm, Gil Penalosa & Associates, he is a sought-after keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic workshops and advisor to decision makers and community groups.

In the late 1990s,  Penalosa led the design and development of over 200 parks in Bogata, Colombia including Simon Bolivar, a 113-hectare park in the heart of the city. His team also initiated the "new Ciclovia"/ Open Streets program in Bogota, and as a result, 1.7 million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometres of Bogotá's city roads every Sunday.

Because of Penalosa's unique blend of experience, pragmatism and passion, his leadership and advice are sought out by many cities and organizations. He has worked in over 300 different cities on every continent. He also serves as senior advisor to Vision Zero Network, Children & Nature Network, and America Walks.

Penalosa holds an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Management, where he was recently selected as one of the "100 Most Inspirational Alumni" in the school's history. In 2015, Gil received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Urban Planning at the University of Sweden, SLU. He has also earned a spot on Planetizen's list of the Top 100 Most Influential Urbanists.

Charles Brown, MPA

Charles Brown, MPA

Senior Research Specialist

Charles Brown is a Senior Research Specialist with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and Adjunct Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He has over 12 years of public and private sector experience in urban and regional planning, policy, and research throughout the country.

As a livability and healthy community advocate, he has steered strategic collaborations between professionals in the transportation, health, school, and environmental industries. He has also advised more than 60 municipalities and counties during their adoption of complete streets policies. He has also served as one of the lead instructors for the New Jersey Department of Transportation Complete Streets course.

He has been nationally recognized for his work in transportation and receives invitations to speak locally, nationally, and internationally. He is a military veteran and a recipient of the Mississippi Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Belhaven College and Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Central Florida.

Ellen Glasser

Ellen Glasser

Mayor, City of Atlantic Beach

An Atlantic Beach resident for many years, Ellen Glasser is a Navy wife, mother and grandmother. Her own public service includes a distinguished 24-year career as an FBI Special Agent and past president of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.

After her FBI retirement, Glasser’s professional focus shifted to education. She completed certificate programs in teaching and nonprofit management. She also completed her doctorate from UNF in Educational Leadership. For seven years, Glasser was a faculty member in UNF’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Department, teaching on topics including women and the legal system, terrorism and homeland security, crime in America, white-collar crime, and serial murder. 

Glasser has been active in a variety of civic, community, and professional activities, including the Atlantic Beach Community Development Board, the Atlantic Beach Code Enforcement Board, Beaches Habitat Family Selection, and the Jacksonville Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Sam Newby

Sam Newby

Jacksonville City Council Member, At-Large - District 5

Samuel C. Newby is a Jacksonville native, and a graduate of Raines High School and Edward Waters College. He has been actively involved with the community for over 30 years. In addition to working for PepsiCo for over 30 years, Newby served as president of the Joseph E. Lee Republican Club, chairman of the Johnson Family YMCA, chairman of the Republican Party of Duval County, and co-founded the Florida Assembly of Black Republicans. A motivator and mentor, Newby coached recreation sports at the Johnson YMCA for several years and turned around the lives of several at-risk youths, who have gone on to become successful businessmen and women.

Over the years, Newby has been an advocate for a thriving local business climate, driving education and safer streets. This experience informs his six-point strategy for strengthening the city: safer communities, more job opportunities, fighting blight and neglect, improved infrastructure, quality neighborhood schools, and protecting at-risk youth.

In May 2015, Newby was elected to an at-large seat on the Jacksonville City Council, where he currently serves on two standing committees, the Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety Committee and the Rules Committee. He is also the City Council liaison to the Florida League of Cities, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, and the Safety and Crime Reduction Commission.

Ju'Coby Pittman

Jacksonvile City Council Member, District 8

As a Jacksonville native, Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman has been working to improve Jacksonville for over 30 years by implementing programs that effect change through cost-effective initiatives by engaging the community. In her role as president and CEO of the Clara White Mission, a one-stop community center stimulating economic development through job training, educational programs, daily feedings, advancement and more, she raised $3.8 million to develop and open the Henri Landwirth Beaver Street Veterans Villas and Outreach Center in 2017. This funding transformed a vacant historic downtown structure into a furnished, full-service permanent housing facility including supportive services for their veteran clients.

Over the years, Pittman has served on the boards of the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, Cummer Museum, and the Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Leadership Jacksonville, Leadership Florida, Civitans, the Homeless Coalition, Junior League of Jacksonville and the Rotary Club of Jacksonville. She worships at Bethel Baptist Institutional Church. She is a recipient of the Florida Times-Union’s EVE Award, the FBI’s Director’s Community Leadership Award, and Leadership Jacksonville’s Tillie K. Fowler Distinguished Leadership Award.

She is a graduate of the Florida State College in Jacksonville and Jones College. Additionally, she was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Jones College and serves as one of the institution’s most accomplished alumna. 

Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel

Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel

Director for the Florida Department of Health Nassau County

Eugenia Ngo-Seidel, MD, MPH is the Director for the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of South Florida College of Medicine, board certified in Family Medicine and a diplomate of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She earned a master of public health degree from Loma Linda University and has served on short-term medical mission teams around the world. Her special interests include integration of population-based and preventive health with medical practice, improving access to care for underserved populations and clinical care innovation including telehealth, group visits and team care.

Jake Gordon

Jake Gordon

CEO, Downtown Vision, Inc.

Jake Gordon relocated to Jacksonville in 2015 to lead Downtown Vision, the 90-block Business Improvement District (BID) for Downtown Jacksonville. He previously served as vice president of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP), the citywide economic development corporation for Camden, N.J. He also served as executive director of the Camden Special Services District (CSSD), Camden’s business improvement district. At CFP, Gordon managed numerous revitalization projects in Camden’s downtown, waterfront and neighborhoods, including streetscape improvements, park restoration, placemaking initiatives, infrastructure rehabilitation, façade upgrades and energy-efficient retrofits. As executive director of the CSSD, Jake managed a traditional business improvement district with an expansive clean-and-safe Ambassador program. Jake also served as general counsel for CFP and CSSD.

Jake was named one of Jacksonville Business Journal’s Ultimate CEOs in 2019. He is also a leader in local civic organizations including the Urban Land Institute, where he chairs the public/private partnership council and sits on the North Florida advisory board. He is a member of the JAX Chamber Board of Directors, the Downtown Design Review Board, and the Mayor’s Task Force for Downtown Homelessness. He is a member of the incoming board of directors for the International Downtown Association.

He earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 2003, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1999. Jake has passed the bar in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Lori Boyer

Lori Boyer

CEO, Downtown Investment Authority

Lori Boyer was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Downtown Investment Authority in 2019 after serving two terms on the Jacksonville City Council. She moved to Jacksonville after graduating from law school at the University of Florida in 1978, and began her legal career practicing land use and environmental law. Boyer left private practice to work for several real estate investment and management companies founded by her late husband, Ron Nemeyer. She later became President of those entities, and gained significant experience in finance and construction management as she continued to grow her expertise in real estate, contracts and negotiation. That experience served her well in her role as chair of the City Council’s Land Use and Zoning Committee for two terms.

She has been a resident of San Marco and active in San Marco Preservation Society since 1987. She has been President twice and held countless other Board and chair positions over the years, leading efforts to construct the tennis complex at Southside Park, relocate Preservation Hall to Fletcher Park, and build Balis Community Center. Boyer was named a Florida Times-Union EVE Award finalist in 2004 for her work on the creation and adoption of the San Marco zoning overlay.

Boyer has also been active in Boy Scouts for over a decade and remains a merit badge counselor for the Riverbend District. She is a trained Red Cross shelter volunteer and has served on boards including the Jacksonville Historical Society and Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. She is a member of Southside Businessmen’s Club, JAX Chamber, and the Jacksonville Bar Association. As a member of Church of the Redeemer, she serves on the advisory board for the Institute of Worship Studies.

Boyer was born in rural South Dakota, attended public schools, and worked at the local Dairy Queen throughout high school. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University before coming to Florida. She is married to Circuit Judge Tyrie W. Boyer and together they share a blended family of one son, three daughters, four grandsons and one granddaughter.

Kay Ehas

Kay Ehas

CEO, Groundwork Jacksonville

Kay Ehas is chief executive officer of Groundwork Jacksonville, which leads the city’s efforts to clean and redevelop Hogans and McCoys creeks and convert contaminated land into parks, playgrounds, trails, and other public spaces to create the “emerald necklace” championed by famed architect Henry Klutho in the early 20th century.

Under Ehas’ leadership, Groundwork Jacksonville has collaborated with the PATH Foundation, the organization responsible for building more than 270 miles of trails in Georgia including portions of the famed Atlanta BeltLine, to develop the first master plan for the Emerald Necklace. Groundwork Jacksonville is currently fundraising to design the first segment of the trail to begin construction by early 2020. Additionally, Ehas is also leading Groundwork’s collaborations with local and nonprofit partners to restore McCoys Creek to a naturally meandering channel design. These plans will prevent flooding, improve the waterway's health and water quality, create habitats for fish and wildlife, and offer recreational amenities.

Ehas has worked in local government for 15 years. Most recently, she was chief administrative officer for the Duval County Property Appraiser. She also has more than a decade of private-sector human resources experience, including vice president of human resources for a financial institution. As a long-time resident of the Riverside/Avondale neighborhoods, she served on the Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) board from 2004–2015. During her tenure leading the organization from 2008-2010, RAP designed and implemented the Riverside Arts Market and planted more than 1000 trees along neighborhood streets.

Ehas moved to Jacksonville as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) where she worked with public housing tenant associations and a low-income senior citizens group. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Florida.

Joyce Morgan

Joyce Morgan

Jacksonville City Council Member, District 1

Joyce Morgan is serving her second four-year term as a member of the Jacksonville City Council, representing the Arlington area. She currently chairs the Rules Committee and the Value Adjustment Board.  She also serves on the Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health & Safety Committee. Her Council colleagues have recognized her services with the Charles D. Webb Award, the City Council’s most prestigious internal award for commitment to public service.

Morgan has fought for several projects slated for District 1 including a $1 million rowing center to be built along the Arlington River, a $3.5 million swimming pool to be constructed at Blue Cypress Park, a new management team slated to begin operating the Blue Cypress Golf Course, improvements at Bruce Park and Warrington Park, $1 million in funding for renovations for the Norman Studios, and a $2.5 million investment by JTA in the roundabout at University Blvd. and Merrill Rd. Additionally, Council Member Morgan fought for a new zoning overlay in the Renew Arlington Community Redevelopment Area and façade grants to help fund the upgrades.   

Morgan moved to Jacksonville 1988 during her career as a news anchor. Her three decades in communications and journalism have sharpened her understanding of the elements needed to build a strong community. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and has a host of honors ranging from media awards to Girl Scouts’ Women of Distinction.

Morgan is married to Dr. Richard Danford, Jr., CEO of the Jacksonville Urban League. They have three children. Joyce and her family are members of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church.