John Regan addresses guests at the ceremony
for the presentation of the Order of Isabel la Católica
St. Augustine City Manager John Regan receives Order of Isabel la Católica from Spanish government
The government of Spain, with the Royal Sanction of King Felipe VI, has awarded John Regan, St. Augustine City Manager, with the Order of Isabel la Católica, in recognition of his contributions to cultural exchanges between the US and Spain, and in particular for his work commemorating the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine.
Consul General of the Kingdom of Spain in Miami, the Honorable Candido Creis, made the presentation in a ceremony at City Hall on September 9. The Order of Isabela la Católica was created in 1815 with the intent of rewarding the Spanish citizens and foreigners who contribute to the enhancement of Spain’s relations with the nations of the Americas.
Regan was named St. Augustine City Manager in 2010 following over 12 years of service to the city as Utilities Director and then as Chief Operations Officer. Regan came to the City of St. Augustine from Gainesville Regional Utilities where he worked in engineering, management, and administration over a ten year period. He is a professional engineer licensed with the State of Florida and has published numerous articles on research and development of engineering technology and public utility management issues.
Shortly after being appointed City Manager, Regan’s responsibilities grew with the approaching 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine by Spain on September 8, 1565. Under his leadership, the city undertook a four year series of events, programs, and projects highlighting the historical and cultural achievements of the city and in particular those relating to the city’s ties to Spain. The multi-year commemoration closed with a five day-long series of events that drew thousands to the city for free concerts and a reenactment of the founding of the city attended by a wide array of national and international guests and officials on September 4-8, 2015.
The commemoration culminated with a visit by Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, their visit coinciding with a meeting in St. Augustine of the Spain-U.S. Council, lead by Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. The annual meeting of the prestigious group of international leaders came about in large part because of efforts led by Regan.
Consul General of Spain in Miami, the Honorable Candido
Creis (right) presents the award to Regan
In his remarks, Consul General Creis praised Regan’s devotion to his work and his efficiency, and as a great and true friend of Spain.
“He is a wonderful honorary ambassador, active and discreet," said Creis, adding "helpful as always, thinking of ways to promote better understanding between Spain and the U.S.”
“Commemorating the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine was a great opportunity to reinvigorate our city’s ties with Spain and our common history,” said Regan. “This recognition is truly for all the people of St. Augustine who every day, each in their own way, express their pride in the Nation’s Oldest City and its very unique history.”