NADO Announces the 2021 Impact Awards

Congratulations to the 2021 Aliceann Wohlbruck NADO Impact Awards recipients!  The Impact Awards program honors NADO members for their creative approaches to advancing regional economic development and improved quality of life.  These projects have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of services and program delivery provided by regional development organizations across the country.

The 2021 class of awardees consists of 102 projects from 70 organizations spanning 24 states.  Click here to view a StoryMap that highlights the stories behind each of these projects.

For more information, contact NADO Research Foundation Associate Director Brett Schwartz at [email protected] or Senior Program Manager Ciara Ristig at [email protected]

2021 NADO Impact Awards Recipient


  • Southeast Conference, Southeast Alaska 2025 Economic Plan: Southeast Conference CEDS


  • Western Arizona Economic Development District, The University of Arizona APCV-498 Senior Capstone CEDS Project


  • Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado, Southwest Colorado Business Disaster Assistance Funding


  • Apalachee Regional Planning Council, US 90/Washington Street Streetscape Improvement Concept Plan (City of Chattahoochee, Florida)
  • Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Heartland 2060: Building a Resilient Region – Revisited
  • Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Central Florida Migrant and Farmworker Housing Study and Model Ordinance
  • East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Sanford Resilience Element
  • Northeast Florida Regional Council, Northeast Florida COVID-19 Support, Recovery & Economic Resilience Planning
  • North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Visit Natural North Florida Website
  • South Florida Regional Planning Council, CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program
  • Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Project Phoenix 2.0: The Recovery


  • Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Towns County 2021 Economic Development Strategy
  • Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Fox Factory Holding Corp.
  • Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Electro-Mechanical Academy
  • Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Encroachment Elimination and Redevelopment
  • River Valley Regional Commission, Using Broadband Mapping to Site Wireless Routers for Rural Students During the COVID-19 School Shutdown
  • River Valley Regional Commission, Columbus Lift Project
  • Southern Georgia Regional Commission, City of Valdosta, Public Works Findings Solution
  • Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Certified AARP Age-Friendly States and Communities Enrollment for SGRC Region
  • Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, Age-Friendly Region and a Member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities
  • Three Rivers Regional Commission, Three Rivers Regional Commission Disaster and Emergency Supportive Services
  • Three Rivers Regional Commission, Three Rivers Regional Commission Broadband Taskforce
  • Three Rivers Regional Commission, The Three Rivers Senior Hunger Coalition


  • Economic Development Districts of Idaho (EDDI), EDDI Disaster Recovery Initiative


  • Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Downstate Business Stabilization


  • East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners (PATCH)
  • East Central Intergovernmental Association, Bear River Cottages – Pocket Neighborhood


  • Bluegrass Area Development District, EVV Assist – Bridging the Gap
  • Green River Area Development District, West Kentucky Regional Training Center
  • Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, Resilient Kentuckiana
  • Pennyrile Area Development District, Pennyrile ADD Home Delivered/Curbside COVID Meals
  • Purchase Area Development District, Rethinking Food Distribution During a Pandemic


  • Eastern Maine Development Corporation, 2021-2025 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
  • Northern Maine Development Commission, Small Business Pandemic Assistance
  • Northern Maine Development Commission, Ignite PI


  • Region Five Development Commission, Rural Energy and Environment Planning
  • Region Nine Development Commission, Minnesota State Polytechnic Institute


  • Central Mississippi Planning & Development District, Madison County Megasite
  • Central Mississippi Planning & Development District, Natchez Housing Assessment
  • Central Mississippi Planning & Development District, Jackson Medical Mall Master Plan
  • East Central Planning and Development District, Reinvesting in Properties Utilizing Brownfield Grant Funds
  • Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District, Economic Development/Infrastructure Improvements
  • Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District, Economic Development-Building Acquisition
  • Three Rivers Planning & Development District, Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program
  • Three Rivers Planning & Development District, Overcoming Isolation:  Virtual LTC Visitation During a Pandemic
  • Three Rivers Planning & Development District, Senior Farmers’ Market Voucher Program


  • Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments, Moberly’s Demolition of 65 Residential Properties
  • Meramec Regional Planning Commission, Meramec Region’s Rural Opioid Initiative
  • Missouri Association of Councils of Government, Organizing Your Community for Disaster Recovery Tool-Kit


  • Great Falls Development Authority, West Bank Landing Riverfront Brownfield Redevelopment
  • Great Falls Development Authority, Economic Development Response to COVID Pandemic
  • Sweetgrass Development, Blackfeet Community College Health & Science Education Building
  • Sweetgrass Development, Suta South Petroleum Cleanup


  • Nebraska Regional Officials Council (NROC), Nebraska Statewide Broadband Mapping Initiative

New Mexico

  • Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, Trail of the Ancients Byway – New Mexico

New York

  • Southern Tier 8 Regional Board, The Better Connection Program

North Carolina

  • Centralina Regional Council, CONNECT Beyond: A Regional Mobility Initiative
  • Centralina Regional Council, Pride in Care North Carolina
  • Land of Sky Regional Council, Racial Disparity in the Land of Sky Region
  • Land of Sky Regional Council, $17 per Hour And Beyond Job Fair
  • Land of Sky Regional Council, Caregivers Harnessing Technology to Connect
  • Lumber River Council of Governments, COVID Care Package Distribution for Seniors
  • Lumber River Council of Governments, Teaching Tuesdays
  • Lumber River Council of Governments, Finish Line Grant
  • Mid-East Commission, Martin County Economic Recovery Forum
  • Mid-East Commission, Assessment and Evaluation of Key Components of the Martin County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Triad Career Connect (TCC)
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Elder Abuse in the Time of COVID-19: Where Are We Now?
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Learn-Build-Eat: A Virtual Food Assessment Launch Event
  • Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Aging CARES
  • Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Upper Coastal Plain Digital Inclusion Planning Process
  • Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Healthy Food Access Mapping (Healthy FAM)
  • Western Piedmont Council of Governments, COVID Relief – Assistance to Seniors, Caregivers, and Aging Service Providers
  • Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Unifour HOME Consortium – 25th Anniversary
  • Western Piedmont Council of Governments, A Study of Equity, Economic, and Demographic Data for the City of Hickory


  • Buckeye Hills Regional Council,
  • Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, A Regional Housing Strategy for Central Ohio


  • CCD Business Development Corporation, Economic Recovery Initiative (ERI)
  • Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation, Economic Resiliency Newsletters
  • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, Oregon Investment Board Videography Project
  • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, GOrge Pass Project

South Carolina

  • Appalachian Council of Governments, Appalachian Regional Freight Mobility Plan
  • Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, Beach Reach Shuttle
  • Catawba Regional Council of Governments, City of York 2021 Strategic Plan
  • Lowcountry Council of Governments, 2020 Lowcountry Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Lower Savannah Council of Governments, Drive-Thru Job Fairs
  • Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, Masks for Class
  • Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Abbeville County Federal Lands Access Improvements
  • Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Your Next Step After Graduation Employer Directory


  • Alamo Area Council of Governments, COVID-19 Broadcast Public Service Announcement Spots
  • Alamo Area Council of Governments, IDD Health & Wellness Program
  • Coastal Bend Council of Governments, Regional Resilience Partnership (RRP)
  • Heart of Texas Council of Governments, Digital Resiliency
  • Panhandle Regional Planning Commission, Downtown Revitalization in the Texas Panhandle
  • South Plains Association of Governments, COVID-19 Small Business Relief: The Support Lubbock Fund


  • Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, The Pipelines and Pathways Program (P3)
  • Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program (ReVTA)
  • Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Southern Vermont Economy Project
  • Windham Regional Commission, Windham Region Broadband Project


  • Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, Broadband Expansion in Virginia’s Coalfields
  • New River Valley Regional Commission, Economic Resilience and Recovery: Business Continuity Team
  • Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, Roanoke Valley Transportation Needs Assessment

For more information about the NADO Impact Awards, click here.
To learn more about  previous award-winning projects, click here.


Applications cannot be saved and returned to at a later time. It is recommended you compile all of your information in advance in a word processor and cut and paste into the application below.

2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence.

Organization Address

Project Location (if different from Organization Address)

Executive Director

Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected] Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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