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OCCD Annual Award Winners to be Recognized at Summer Meeting

June 30, 2019

Ohio Conference of Community Development (OCCD), a statewide association of community and economic development practitioners, announced the winners of the 7th Annual OCCD Member Awards, the President’s Award for Innovative Practices, and this year’s Public Service Scholarships.

The 2019 honorees for the sixth annual OCCD Member Awards are as follows:

         Legacy Awards – In recognition of individuals who have advanced community development programs with particular ardor and creativity throughout their careers, and where long-term benefits are demonstrable and noteworthy. 

 2019 Recipient:  Hal Keller 

         The George Voinovich Distinguished Public Service Award – In recognition of individuals who have devoted much of their lives to the benefit of society through careers in community development in the public and/or private sectors. 

2019 Recipient:  Michael Hiler

        Community Development Partner of the Year Award – In recognition of a non-profit or faith-based organization, individual, business, financial institution, foundation, intermediary, government agency, or other entity that has provided exceptional support to the community development industry. 

2019 Recipient:  MORPC 

        Community Development Professional of the Year – In recognition of community development professionals whose work on a project or program had a major impact on their community. 

 2019 Recipient:  Matthew Martin, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership

           Community Development Department of the Year – In recognition of a department whose programs collectively or one program singly has made a significant impact in their community. 

 2019 Recipient:  CountyCorp  

In addition to the Member Awards, OCCD created the Public Service Scholarship Fund in 2012 to support students who are passionate about the field of community development. The scholarship fund was established in honor of William Graves and Gary Locke, and in 2017 was expanded to include Karen Kerns Dresser, who committed their careers to community development and public service in Ohio. Recipients of $2,000 scholarships will include:  Taylor Brill, a third-year undergraduate student majoring in City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University; Bryce Roberts, a graduate student majority in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, at the University of Toledo; Kyle Wilson, a graduate student majoring in Public Administration at the University of Cincinnati; and Renee Michelle Wott, a graduate student majoring in Public Administration at the Bowling Green State University. 

The winner of the 2019 OCCD President’s Award for Innovative Practices was also announced. The Early Childhood Resource Center in Canton, Ohio.  The City of Canton awarded the Early Childhood Resource Center $40,000 in CDBG funds for a year-long program that helped Canton residents start their own family child care businesses.  The program, which began in August 2018, paved a career path for the participants while increasing the amount of high-quality child care that is available in the Southeast and Northeast areas of Canton.  All of the participants have or will complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, a national credential for early childhood.

OCCD is an association of more than 175 community and economic development professionals representing cities, counties, villages, non-profit organizations and consulting firms across Ohio. Its members are dedicated to improving the livability of their communities through various initiatives and collaborations that aim to eliminate urban blight and encourage planning practices that enable a healthy, sustainable, and equitable way of life for all citizens. The OCCD Member Awards were created to formally recognize those community development professionals who have made the greatest difference in their communities and in Ohio.

The 2019 award and scholarship recipients will be honored at OCCD’s Annual Summer Luncheon and Banquet held July 24, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.

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