2010 Trailblazer Award

Beginning in 2010, all award-winning projects will be judged by a group of peers during networking receptions that take place each year at the NADO Annual Training Conference and the National Rural Transportation Peer Learning Conference. The top winners selected by the judges will be honored as Trailblazers, and will be given special recognition during and following the conference. Judges will be looking for projects that show significant evidence of above average innovation. This category will be exclusively for one-of-a-kind projects demonstrating unique innovation.

During NADO’s 2010 Annual Training Conference in San Diego, August 28 – 31, four organizations were selected from among the 50 Innovation Award winners to recieve Trailblazer Awards. Two additional organizations were selected as Trailblazer Award winners at the National Rural Transportation Conference in St. Louis, October 20 – 22. These organizations were selected from among the 22 Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards Winners. The 2010 NADO Trailblazers are:

  • Central Ohio Local Food System Assessment and Plan – Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (Columbus, OH)
  • Cleveland Historic Cemetery – Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (Gainesville, GA)
  • Mountain Landscapes Initiative/Region A Toolbox – Southwestern Commission (Sylva, NC)
  • Recycle This Site – Land-of-Sky Regional Council (Asheville, NC)
  • Prairie Pathways Initiative – Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments (Waterloo, IA)
  • Travel Demand Web-based Toolkit – Southwest Region Planning Commission (Keene, NH)

All Innovation Award winners receive a certificate, a press release to share with local media, and the opportunity to have a photo taken with NADO leadership during both conferences. Award winners are also often highlighted through NADO publications, outreach activities and highlighted as conference participants. The projects chosen as Trailblazers receive additional recognition and a special award.

Search NADO.org

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 and will receive the printed award certificates and other hardcopy materials should the project win an award.

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]

Contact Melissa Levy

Contact Krishna Kunapareddy

Contact Andrew Coker

Contact Laura Gale

Contact Katie Allison

Contact Jack Morgan

Content Questions Form

Registration Questions Form

Hotel Questions Form

New Speaker Inquiry

Job Listing Inquiry

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.

Contact Danny Tomares

Contact Dion Thompson-Davoli

Contact Ciara Ristig

Contact Bret Allphin

Contact Brett Schwartz

Contact Carrie Kissel

Contact Scott Brown

Contact Jamie McCormick

Contact Joe McKinney

Contact Krystal De Leon

Contact Brittany Salazar

Contact Laurie Thompson

Contact Mirielle Burgoyne