To nationally recognize the impressive efforts of regional development organizations, NADO sponsors two annual award programs and a member photo contest. Both awards provide an excellent opportunity for members to promote their successes to a national audience and with their regional and local partners. Applicants must be NADO members, and projects must show substantial quantitative or qualitative results in their region.

Aliceann Wohlbruck NADO Impact Award

Each year, through its awards program, NADO recognizes member organizations that demonstrate valuable and effective approaches to regional economic and community development. Since 1986, The Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards (formerly known as the Innovation Awards), have recognized nearly 2,000 NADO member projects for their creative efforts in advancing regional economic development and improved quality of life. The breadth and scope of the winning projects is impressive and far-reaching and illustrate the important role NADO members have in supporting regional development. Previous award-winning projects have showcased efforts in multiple program areas including business and economic development, community health initiatives, emergency planning, brownfields, sustainability, technology, transportation, workforce development, and more. 

2022 NADO Impact Awards Announced

Congratulations to the 2022 Aliceann Wohlbruck NADO Impact Awards recipients!   The 2022 class of awardees consists of 107 projects from 71 organizations spanning 28 states.  These projects will be recognized on October 17 at NADO’s Annual Training Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.  Click here to see the full list of awardees and click here to explore a StoryMap to learn more information about each of these projects. 

The Excellence in Regional Transportation Award

The Excellence in Regional Transportation Award, a program of NADO’s RPO America and the NADO Research Foundation’s Center for Transportation Advancement and Regional Development, recognizes noteworthy projects and practices in rural and small metropolitan transportation planning, programming, and service delivery.

See the awards’ titles and organizations by year below:

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NADO Photo Contest

Congratulations to the 2022 NADO Photo Contest winners and runners-up!  This year, nearly 90 images were submitted from members across the country that demonstrated what makes their regions great places to live, work, and play.  Images were judged in four categories:  “Strengthening the Built and Natural Environments,” “Building Vibrant Places,” “Investing in Our Regional Economy,” and “Sustaining Our Communities.  A “People’s Choice” winner was also chosen online by the public via our Facebook page.  Click here to see the winners and runner ups and to learn the stories behind the people and places featured in the images.  


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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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