Congratulations to Commissioner Karen Seel

~~ Forward Pinellas recognizes Commissioner Seel for her years of service and Outstanding Elected Official Leadership Award presented by the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations ~~

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL —- Forward Pinellas recognizes Commissioner Karen Seel for nearly three decades of service to Pinellas County, ahead of her retirement this November. Seel began her career as a Clearwater City Commissioner in 1996 and went on to appointment and subsequent election to the Pinellas County Commission in 1999. Her imprint on this county is evident from a legacy of public infrastructure work, including transforming US 19, the Pinellas Trail system, and Gateway area, to name a few. Seel also chaired the steering committee which combined the county’s planning council and metropolitan planning organization into Forward Pinellas to address both land use and transportation.

The September 9, 2022, Forward Pinellas Board Meeting was Commissioner Seel’s final meeting representing the Board of County Commissioners. Whit Blanton and Mayor Kennedy presented her with a gift from the Forward Pinellas Board.Board members each expressed their sincere admiration, appreciation, and well wishes for her retirement. Councilmember Gina Driscoll began, “Commissioner Seel has shown us what it means to love our county enough to make tough decisions and to push forward good ideas that need to be supported.” Councilmember David Allbritton went on to say, “25 years ago, Commissioner Seel got me into public service. She has been a great leader and someone to look up to in how to give yourself to the community.”

The Forward Pinellas Board is comprised of representatives from our local governments to help Pinellas speak with one voice. It takes leadership to advance significant transportation projects, and Commissioner Karen Seel’s legacy shows how one person can make a difference through this organization. “Service to our citizens is done with compassion, great knowledge, kindness, and by genuinely caring that you are going to make a difference for the future.” – Commissioner Karen Seel

Following a nomination by the Forward Pinellas staff, on October 27, 2022, Commissioner Seel received the prestigious Outstanding Elected Official Leadership Award, presented by the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO). She was selected from a nationwide pool of candidates for her two decades of service on the Pinellas MPO.

“With almost three decades of experience, Commissioner Karen Seel has championed efficient regional transportation and thoughtful economic redevelopment in Florida’s most densely populated county,” said AMPO Executive Director, Bill Keyrouze. “Her accomplishments and years of dedication to the residents of Pinellas County and the MPO community made her more than deserving of the Outstanding Elected Official Leadership award.”

First established in 1994, AMPO is a nonprofit, membership organization which serves the needs and interests of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) nationwide. MPOs are responsible for the planning, programming, and coordinaton of federal highway and transit investments. The Pinellas County MPO was formed in 1977 and was rebranded as Forward Pinellas in 2016 following its merger with the Pinellas Planning Council. MPO is a required designation to spend highway or transit funds. Thus, Forward Pinellas is authorized under federal law since 1965 to identify and prioritize regional transportation projects using federal funds.


If you are interested in getting involved with Forward Pinellas’ work, contact us today:

For more information about Forward Pinellas, visit

For more information about the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), visit or contact Leslie Reardon,, 703.472.5603.


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