2023 Impact Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2023 Aliceann Wohlbruck NADO Impact Award recipients!  The annual Impact Awards program honors NADO members for their creative approaches to advancing regional economic development and improving 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 2023 class of awardees consists of 108 projects from 71 organizations spanning 28 states.  These projects will be recognized at NADO’s Annual Training Conference in Cleveland, OH in November.  

Contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected] with any questions or to learn more.  

Click the image to explore the 2023 NADO Impact Awards StoryMap and learn more about each of the award-winning projects.


  • Southeast Conference, Alaska Mariculture Cluster


  • Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, Integration of Southwest Colorado Regional Organizations


  • Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Apalachee Regional Broadband Planning Project
  • Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Wakulla County Broadband Feasibility Study
  • Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Liberty County Broadband Feasibility Study
  • Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Imagine Bowling Green: A Downtown Vision and Action Plan
  • East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Palm Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan
  • East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Low Impact Development (LID) Implementation Ordinance Recommendations
  • East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, R2C Risk & Vulnerability Assessment
  • North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Visit Natural North Florida Regional Tourism Marketing Campaign
  • Northeast Florida Regional Council, Town of Welaka Downtown Vision
  • South Florida Regional Planning Council, Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund
  • Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, US 19 Corridor Development Opportunities Project
  • Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, The Regional Resiliency Action Plan (RRAP)


  • Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Supervisor and Industry Leadership (SAIL) Academy
  • Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Banks County Martin Bridge Infrastructure Development
  • Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, 2022 Economic Base Assessment
  • Lower Savannah Council of Governments, SC Works Lower Savannah (Workforce Development Mobile Unit)
  • Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, Foothills Regional High School Welding Program
  • River Valley Regional Commission, Broadband Planning Coordinators Build Capacity
  • Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Regional Emergency HUB
  • Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Southern Georgia Regional Commission’s Area Agency on Aging Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
  • Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Exploring Agritourism in Southern Georgia
  • Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, Southwest Georgia Ecosystem Building


  • Clearwater Economic Development Association, Dream It Do It HERE Youth Conference
  • Region IV Development Association, Community and Business Collaboration for Prosperity


  • East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Code Enforcement Program Helps Rural Communities Address Blight
  • Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, Assessment, Cleanup, and Rrevitalization of an Abandoned Industrial Brownfields Site (Elkem Carbide) in Keokuk, IA


  • Barren River Area Development District, BRADD’s Inaugural CEDS Summit
  • Gateway Area Development District, Gateway Region Expanded Senior Center Operations
  • Green River Area Development District, Feed Seniors Now
  • Lake Cumberland Area Development District, Healthy Elderly Living Project
  • Purchase Area Development District, Feeding America Tornado Relief Leverage Project


  • Northern Maine Development Commission, Aroostook County Broadband Initiative


  • Eastern UP Regional Planning & Development Commission, EUP Recovery Plan


  • Headwaters Regional Development Commission, Placemaking-Neighborhood Connections
  • Headwaters Regional Development Commission, Red Lake School Comprehensive Plan
  • Region Nine Development Commission, German-American Learning Exchange on Sustainability and Welcoming Communities
  • Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission, Western Minnesota Prairie Waters Regional Visitor and Relocation Guide


  • East Central Planning and Development District, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
  • East Central Planning and Development District, Shloop Building Redevelopment


  • Bear Paw Development Corporation, Montana Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program Coalition
  • Great Falls Development Authority, Great Falls Region PTAC Program
  • Great Falls Development Authority, Great Falls Brownfields Program
  • Great Falls Development Authority, The Fire Within


  • Southeast Nebraska Development District, Gage County Rural Broadband Partnership
  • Southeast Nebraska Development District, Small Business Stabilization

New Mexico

  • Eastern Plains Council of Governments, Eastern Plains Mental Health Program
  • Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, Water Regionalization and Water Commons Programming

New York

  • Lake Champlain – Lake George Regional Planning Board, Building Balanced Communities for the North County: A Comprehensive Housing Study and Strategy

North Carolina

  • Central Pines Regional Council, Solarize the Triangle
  • Central Pines Regional Council, Equity and Inclusion Pilot Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Project
  • Centralina Economic Development District, Prosperity for All Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
  • Centralina Regional Council, Regional Transportation Guide for Older Adults & People with Disabilities
  • Eastern Carolina Council, Regional Technology for Seniors
  • Foothills Regional Commission, Rutherford County Farmland Preservation Plan
  • Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, Food as Medicine
  • Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, Kerr-Tar Reentry Roundtable and Reentry Services
  • Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, INNOVATE 2023: Question. Design. Thrive.  
  • Land of Sky Regional Council, INspire: Recovery to Career
  • Land of Sky Regional Council, Advancing Equity and Inclusion in Evidence-based Health Promotion Programs
  • Land of Sky Regional Council, Regional Stormwater Services Program – MS4 Information Management System
  • Lumber River Council of Governments, Lumber River Operation Heat Relief
  • Lumber River Council of Governments, Lumber River Rural Transformation Grant Assistance
  • Lumber River Council of Governments, Lumber River Redistricting
  • Mid-Carolina Regional Council, Mid-Carolina Regional Family Care Giver Program
  • Mid-Carolina Regional Council, Hometown Recovery and Resiliency
  • Mid-East Commission, Elevation & Acquisition Beaufort County North Carolina HMGP-DR 4393 Hurricane Florence
  • Mid-East Commission, Made In
  • North Carolina Association of Regional Councils of Governments, Supporting Local Recovery Through Regional Collaboration
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Yadkin River State Trail
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council, NC Triad Outdoors
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Bridging the Gap
  • Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Creative Workforce Development OUTREACH!
  • Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Technical Assistance to Local Governments
  • Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Hickory MSA Economic Indicators Newsletter (25th Anniversary)
  • Western Piedmont Council of Governments, The Western Piedmont Housing Growth Toolkit


  • Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Appalachian Community Grant Program Convening
  • Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Downtown Revitalization Guidebook
  • Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Broadband Listening Sessions
  • Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Ohio University, PORTSfuture


  • Northern Oklahoma Development Authority, Fairview Regional Medical Center Therapy Facility


  • Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, Wallowa County Regional Main Street


  • North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Interactive Dashboard
  • Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Northern Appalachia ARISE Summit
  • Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Environmental Impacts of Long Range Transportation Planning in Northwest Pennsylvania

South Carolina

  • Catawba Regional Council of Governments, Carlisle Union Regional Wastewater Extension Project
  • Lowcountry Council of Governments, Senior Technology Initiative


  • Upper Cumberland Development District, Wish You Were Here! Adventures in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland


  • Alamo Area Council of Governments, Public Service Announcement: Ending of Continuous Medicaid Coverage
  • Alamo Area Council of Governments, Texas Tall Tales Campaign
  • Ark-Tex Council of Governments, Northeast Texas Population Growth Evaluation
  • Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Older Americans Month Spring Fest
  • Brazos Valley Council of Governments, 2023 BVCOG BOOK FORWARD Campaign
  • East Texas Council of Governments, East Texas Broadband Planning Initiative
  • Heart of Texas Council of Governments, Community Public Health Expos – Area Agency on Aging of the Heart of Texas
  • Panhandle Regional Planning Commission, Innovation Outpost
  • South Plains Association of Governments, The Giles Dalby Corrections Facility: Making the Transition from Private to County Facility
  • South Plains Association of Governments, Water Wise Sessions


  • Bear River Association of Governments, Cache Summit


  • New River Valley Regional Council, New River Valley Public Health Task Force After Action Report
  • PlanRVA, Preparedness Partnership Project with Richmond Flying Squirrels Baseball Team
  • PlanRVA, PlanRVA Flood Aware: A Flood Risk Awareness Campaign in the Richmond Region
  • PlanRVA, Pathways to the Future
  • West Piedmont Planning District Commission, Boones Mill 2040, The Town’s Comprehensive Plan


  • Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, Spirit Lake/Toutle-Cowlitz River System Collaborative (SLTCRC)
  • Tri County Economic Development District, Filling the Broadband Gap in Northeast Washington State


  • Northwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Regional Infrastructure Systems Culvert Inventory Database

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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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