Robert Grow of Envision Utah recognized with national award

Robert Grow, CEO of Envision Utah, will receive the national “Leader for a Livable, Equitable and Sustainable America” award, presented by Partners for Livable Communities (Partners), a Washington-based nonprofit. 

Partners announces the honor as part of the “Celebrating Champions of Livability” national awards program, which recognizes 23 individuals, four organizations and two communities for their role in shaping a more livable, sustainable and equitable America. Partners will host all honorees and their guests for a luncheon and awards presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on November 12, 2018.

The “Leader for a Livable, Equitable and Sustainable America” award recognizes individuals who embody the many elements that Partners, throughout its 40 years, believes defines livability in American communities.  

Grow is the founding chair emeritus and CEO of Envision Utah, a nonprofit that engages people in creating great communities for themselves and future residents. Two decades ago, Grow helped pioneer the Envision Utah process that brought 20,000 Utahns together from government, private organizations, nonprofits, and the public to understand local values, consider choices for the future, and ultimately create a broadly supported, long-range plan to accommodate growth while improving quality of life.

Under Grow’s leadership, the initial Envision Utah effort led to a dramatic expansion of Utah’s public transportation system, reductions in per capita water use, reduced air pollution, and community design that is more convenient for families and minimizes the loss of farmland. Most importantly, it established a vision for what the future could be and outlined specific, collaborative strategies to realize that vision. Thanks in part to these efforts, Utah has been recognized as being among the nation’s leaders in economic growth and upward mobility. Grow has also helped facilitate or led similar efforts in many communities in Utah and more than 80 other regions across the country, becoming a national leader and expert in collaborative, values-based visioning.

“The 15 national leaders we honor in this distinguished category embody the elements Partners has woven together to define livability—concern for older individuals; equal opportunity for all; amenities, arts and culture as assets; innovative economic development strategies; and bold municipal leadership,” said Robert McNulty, president and founder of Partners.

Grow has also been honored with the American Public Transportation Association’s Distinguished Service Award and has been recognized as Utah’s entrepreneur of the year. Under Grow’s leadership, Envision Utah has also received the American Planning Association’s Daniel Burnham Award, the Urban Land Institute’s Award of Excellence, numerous APA Utah Chapter awards, and many other accolades.

“Two decades ago, we implemented a process to ensure everyone has a voice in creating a vision and strategic plan for the future. Over and over again, that collaborative, values-based, and bottom-up approach has created great results in Utah and in communities we’ve worked with around the country,”Grow said. “This award honors everyone who, for more than 20 years, has volunteered their time and resources, freely shared their expertise, and cooperated with others to envision a pathway to a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

For 40 years, Partners has celebrated the leadership of people, institutions and partnerships that have discovered unique assets that communities can build upon to become a more livable place.

Celebrating Champions of Livability:

Honoring the Leaders and Communities that Shape a

Livable, Sustainable and Equitable America

Hosted by Partners for Livable Communities

National Press Club

Washington, D.C.

Monday, November 12, noon – 3 p.m.


America’s Most Livable Community Award

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Bridge Builders Award

  • World Central Kitchenand José Andrés, Chef/Owner, ThinkFoodGroup, and Founder, World Central Kitchen

Investor in America Award

  • John Taylor, President and Founder, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
  • Omaha Public Schools Foundation

Leader for a Livable, Equitable and Sustainable America

  • Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President, Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, AARP
  • Honorable Henry L. Marsh, III, Former Mayor, Richmond, Virginia, Former Virginia Senator, and Civil Rights Activist
  • William K. Reilly, Former Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency, and Former President World Wildlife Fund
  • Ronald Lee Fleming, Urban Planner and Designer, Preservation Advocate, and Environmental Educator and Critic
  • RobertGrow, CEO, Envision Utah
  • Daphne Kwok, Asian American and Pacific Islander Advocate
  • Honorable Parris Glendening, Former Governor, State of Maryland
  • Honorable Glenda Hood, Former Mayor, Orlando, Florida, and Former Secretary of State, Florida
  • Carol Bebelle, Co-Founder and Executive Director,  Ashé Cultural Arts Center
  • Neal Peirce, Urban Affairs Journalist
  • Jeremy Nowak, Founder, The Reinvestment Fund (In Memoriam)
  • Jane Chu, Former Chair, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Andrés Duanyand Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Principals, DPZ Architects
  • William Struever, Principal, Cross Street Partners

Entrepreneurial American Leadership Award

  • Honorable Jacob Day, Mayor of Salisbury, Maryland
  • Tina Shelvin Bingham, Executive Vice President, McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Coterie
  • Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Director, Greenhorns

John Parr Award

  • Tyler Norris, Chief Executive, Well Being Trust

Culture Builds Community Award

  • EYA LLCand City of Alexandria Archaeology
  • Rondell Crier, Artist

Ageless America Award

  • Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging