For immediate release with agencywide logo
Melissa Zornitta selected as next
Planning Commission Executive Director

On Monday, at a special meeting of the Planning Commission, final interviews were conducted by the Planning Commissioners and the executive director search committee representing Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City, and Hillsborough County. In a unanimous vote of the Planning Commission, Melissa Zornitta, AICP, was selected to become the next Executive Director of the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission.

Ray Chiaramonte, AICP, the current Executive Director of the Planning Commission, will be retiring on January 31, 2015 after thirty five years of service to the citizens of Hillsborough County. "I am thrilled for Melissa Zornitta. She will do an outstanding job leading our agency into the future," said Mr. Chiaramonte. "This was a vote of confidence in our entire staff and the quality of our work we do in our community."

With the Planning Commission since 2001, Ms. Zornitta is the current Assistant Executive Director, and a nationally recognized certified urban and regional planning leader with expertise in:
  • Comprehensive planning
  • Consensus building
  • Planning agency administration
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • State legislative process

She has more than 16 years of experience working with urban and regional planning programs in Florida with extensive experience and knowledge of the communities within Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and Hillsborough County. Also the current President of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association, Ms. Zornitta leads this professional organization of more than 2,200 planners statewide. Her influence and knowledge of the State of Florida will help her guide our region into a thriving future.   


"Living here and raising my kids in the community, I am very committed to making Hillsborough County an even better place to live, work, and play," said Ms. Zornitta. "I appreciate the support of the Planning Commissioners and am excited to continue to collaborate and build upon relationships with our many community stakeholders and our four local government partners."

Melissa Zornitta received her Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Government from The College of William and Mary and her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University.

The Planning Commission is the official Land Planning Agency for Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City, and Unincorporated Hillsborough County. The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization is a transportation policy board comprised of representatives from local governments and transportation agencies focusing on transportation planning and programming decisions that support the mobility needs and economic development of these jurisdictions.



- END -

Media contact information:

Lynn Merenda
Switchboard: 813.272.5940  Direct Dial: 813.273.3774 x342
Planning Commission | Metropolitan Planning Organization | River Board
601 E Kennedy Blvd, 18th floor
Tampa, Florida 33602
P: 813.272.5940