Each year outstanding individuals and organizations in Michigan’s affordable housing industry are recognized at the Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing. This year, CEDAM would like to recognize the 2010 winners of CEDAM awards presented at the CEDAM membership celebration, and two winners of awards presented at the MCOAH awards luncheon.
The CEDAM Community Economic Development (CED) Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Gary Heidel, MSHDA’s Director of Program Policy and Market Research. The award is given annually to the organization or person who has done the most to advance the impact of community economic development in Michigan. During his tenure at MSHDA, Gary Heidel successfully advocated in the state legislature for Michigan’s Housing and Community Development Fund and a critical tax abatement for supportive housing properties. Through his work, Mr. Heidel has helped countless Michigan residents obtain high-quality, affordable homes.
The CEDAM Innovator of the Year Award went to two CEDAM member organizations this year, Northern Initiatives in Marquette and Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing. The award is presented to the organization(s) that has engaged in innovative new programming or has generally proven to be a leader in advancing new policies, strategies, or best practices in the industry.
Northern Initiatives was recognized for their award winning work with the Great Waters project, as well as their small business Enterprise Center. Through the Great Waters project, Northern Initiatives has spear-headed a very successful regional strategy to re-invigorate tourism along the Eastern Upper Peninsula coastlines.
Allen Neighborhood Center was recognized for the extensive work they have done to improve their community’s health, vitality, and connectedness. ANC strives to connect its residents to healthy foods by increasing access and introducing people to organic food production. A “Cool Cities” grant enabled ANC to build a Greenhouse in a local park, allowing residents to cultivate fresh produce year-round. ANC’s Allen Street Farmer’s Market takes place weekly and was the first in Michigan to accept the EBT card.
The Living in Michigan Coalition’s Champion for Vibrant Communities Award was given to Senator Mark C. Jansen at the MCOAH awards ceremony. Senator Jansen provided crucial legislative support for Michigan’s Housing and Community Development Fund. His support ranges from sponsoring the legislation to create the Fund to helping make the Fund’s donation check-off on the Michigan income tax return.
Finally, the prestigious MCOAH Duvernay Award was awarded to Dennis Sturtevant, the Executive Director of Dwelling Place in Grand Rapids and the current chair of CEDAM’s Board of Directors. The Duvernay Award is an annual leadership award commemorating former MSHDA Executive Director Terrence Duvernay’s lifelong commitment to affordable housing. Mr. Sturtevant’s remarkable career as an advocate for social change is marked by leadership in affordable housing organizations, oversight of twenty new Dwelling Place affordable housing projects, and the transformation of downtrodden areas into vibrant and diverse neighborhoods.