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OCCD Annual Awards to be Announced at the Summer Annual Meeting

July 01, 2021

Ohio Conference of Community Development (OCCD), a statewide association of community and economic development practitioners, announced the winners of the 9th Annual OCCD Member Awards, the President’s Award for Innovative Practices, and this year’s Public Service Scholarships.

The 2021 honorees for the 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.

 2021 Recipient:  Patricia Barnes

         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.

2021 Recipient:  To Be Announced

        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.

2021 Recipient:  Cleveland Housing Network’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program

        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.

 2021 Recipient:  Desmond Maaytah, Butler County

       Young Community Development Professional of the Year – In recognition of young community development professionals whose work on a project or program had a major impact on their community. This is the inaugural year of this award that recognizes community development professionals under the age of 35.

 2021 Recipient:  Lucie McMahon, Columbus

            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.

 2021 Recipient:  Clark County

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:  Angel Thornton, a graduate student majoring in Business Administration at Cleveland State University; and Kathryn Anne Evans, a graduate student majoring in Public Administration at Bowling Green University. 

The winner of the 2021 OCCD President’s Award for Innovative Practices is the CHN Housing Partners Emergency Rental Assistance Program.  CHN Housing Partners worked with its partners and the HUD Columbus Field Office to design a program that provides a one-stop shop for housing stability in Cuyahoga County. The cities of Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Lakewood and South Euclid all joined the effort. Additionally, CHN Housing Partners partnered with EDEN, Inc. in order to assist residents through ESG and ESG-CV funded programs. This award has been earned by CHN Housing Partners and all of their government and non-profit partners for quickly responding to a housing crisis through a monumental collaboration.

This program reflects outstanding performance in addressing significant and immediate needs in the region.

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 2021 award and scholarship recipients will be honored at OCCD’s Virtual; Annual Summer Meeting held July 29, 2021.  For meeting details, go to www.occd.org.

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