2022 Impact Awards Recipients

Congratulations to the 2022 Aliceann Wohlbruck NADO Impact Awards 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 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, PAClick here to explore our awards StoryMap to to learn more about these projects

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

Click the image to explore the 2022 NADO Awards StoryMap and learn more about each of the award-winning projects

  • Alabama            
    Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments, AEMA Division F Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan
    West Alabama Regional Commission, BE WELL West Alabama Healthcare Locator Map

  • Arizona
    Rural Transportation Advocacy Council, Rural Transportation Priority Project Legislation

  • Florida 
    Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Cycle the Arts
    Central Florida Regional Planning Council, City of Lakeland’s Comprehensive Plan: Our Community 2030
    Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Harde County Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Master Plan
    East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Southeast Volusia Economic Development Strategic Plan
    East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Partnership for the Goals
    East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Pipeline Emergency Response Initiative (PERI)
    North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Gainesville Metropolitan Area Multimodal Level of Service Report
    Northeast Florida Regional Council, 2022 Overdose Summit
    South Florida Regional Planning Council, The Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition
    Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, An Industrial Land Strategy for Pasco County
    Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Resilient Ready Tampa Bay

  • Georgia
    Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Quality Control Apprenticeship
    Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Depot Street Infrastructure Improvements Project
    Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Weld Ready Boot Camp
    Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Middle Georgia Regional Leadership Champions
    Southern Georgia Regional Commission, SGRC Census and Redistricting Information HUB
    Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Northeast Ocilla Infrastructure & Neighborhood Revitalization Projects
    Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Pre-update Comprehensive Plan Workshops
    Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, Rural Partners Network
    Three Rivers Regional Commission, WorkSource Three Rivers Firefighter II Incumbent Worker Training
    Three Rivers Regional Commission, Carroll County Transit Development Plan 2022-2042
    Three Rivers Regional Commission, Partnership with PCHP, LLC powered by Ground Game Health

  • Idaho   
    Region IV Development Association, Resilience for South-Central Idaho

  • Iowa    
    East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Iowa Watershed Approach – Clear Creek, English River, and Middle Cedar Watersheds
    Southwest Iowa Planning Council, Post-Disaster Transformational Housing Development

  • Kentucky  
    Barren River Area Development District, BRADD 2022-2027 CEDS
    Green River Area Development District, Hire to Operate (H2O) Apprenticeship Training Program

  • Louisiana           
    Acadiana Planning Commission, The Acadiana Regional Broadband Initiative

  • Maine  
    Northern Maine Development Commission
    , Community Resilience Pilot Project

  • Maryland         
    Mid-Shore Regional Council, Eastern Shore Economic Resiliency Toolkit
    Mid-Shore Regional Council, Mid-Shore Online CEDS

  • Michigan           
    West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, Veterans Memorial Park Restoration

  • Minnesota       
    Mid-Minnesota Development Commission, Multilingual Journalism Project
    Region Five Development Commission, Watershed Planning
    Region Nine Development Commission, Region Nine Growers Network

  • Mississippi
    Northeast Mississippi Planning & Development District, Restoration of Historic Rosenwald School
    Northeast Mississippi Planning & Development District, Yellow Creek Port Crane Overhaul
    Three Rivers Planning & Development District, High School Career Coaches

  • Missouri            
    Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments, Workforce Resource Assistance Program (WRAP)

  • Montana           
    Great Falls Development Authority, Use of Videos to Enhance Economic Development Impact
    Great Falls Development Authority, Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls
    Great Falls Development Authority, Great Falls Montana Economic Development Top 10
    Sweetgrass Development, Beyond The Pandemic: Surveying and Training Northcentral Montana’s Business Community
    Sweetgrass Development, Asbestos to Housing: The Shelby Bitterroot School Assessment

  • New Mexico     
    Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, City of Gallup Metropolitan Redevelopment Area Plan
    Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments, CO.STARTERS

  • New York          
    Southern Tier 8 Regional Board, Collaborative Recovery Empowerment of the Southern Tier

  • North Carolina 
    Centralina Regional Council, Centralina Regional Resilience Collaborative
    Centralina Regional Council, Centralina Workforce Development App
    Centralina Regional Council, Centralina Regional Dialogues Series
    Land of Sky Regional Council, Livable Appalachia Summit 20
    Land of Sky Regional Council, Tunnel Road Corridor Study
    Land of Sky Regional Council, Bridging the Digital Divide – A WNC Digital Inclusion Plan
    Lumber River Council of Governments, COVID-19 Employment Program
    Lumber River Council of Governments, Lumber River Regional Broadband Study
    Lumber River Council of Governments, Back to School Support for Grandparents
    Mid-Carolina Regional Council, Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority Training Project
    Mid-Carolina Regional Council, Mid-Carolina Senior Games
    Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Workforce Transportation Initiative
    Piedmont Triad Regional Council, COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing, and Education Access for Older Adults
    Triangle J Council of Governments, COVID-19 Outreach and Education Initiative
    Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, New Start Glow
    Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Upper Coastal Plain Broadband Task Force
    Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Resilient Leaders Initiative
    Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Western Piedmont Industry Growth Analysis
    Western Piedmont Council of Governments, NC Foothills Experience Web App

  • Ohio     
    Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Southeast Ohio Downtown Revitalization Workshops Series
    Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, ARC INSPIRE Southern Ohio Employer Resource Network
    Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Ohio University, TechGROWTH Ohio

  • Oklahoma         
    Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, ACOG Community Economic Resiliency Initiative (CERI) Program

  • Oregon
    Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, 2022-2027 Columbia Gorge Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
    Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, Northeast Oregon Workforce Housing

  • Pennsylvania    
    Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Get Connected
    Northwest Regional Planning and Development Commission, Northwest Pennsylvania Economic Development GIS Mapping Tool

  • South Carolina 
    Appalachian Council of Governments, Appalachian Minor Home Repair Program
    Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments
    , One Region Roadmap Opportunities for All
    Catawba Regional Council of Governments, South Carolina Business Loan Fund
    Catawba Regional Council of Governments, Catawba Regional Brownfields Coalition Assessment Project
    Lowcountry Council of Governments, Lowcountry Military Installation Resilience Review
    Lowcountry Council of Governments, Lowcountry Biz Connect
    Lower Savannah Council of Governments, Lower Savannah Council of Governments – An Economic Assessment of the Six-County Region
    Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, High Five 2 Change – Back-to-School Jamboree
    Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, Far-UV Disinfection Lighting for School Buses
    Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, Regional COVID Educational Campaign
    Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Abbeville Ventilation Improvements in Public Facilities
    Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Project Level UP

  • Tennessee        
    Southwest Tennessee Development District, SWTDD Economic Recovery Strategic Planning

  • Texas   
    Alamo Area Council of Governments, AACOG IDDS Apprenticeship Program
    Alamo Area Council of Governments, VelocityTX
    Ark-Tex Council of Governments, ATCOG PAUSE Program
    East Texas Council of Governments, Regional Solutions Reports
    Heart of Texas Council of Governments, HOTCOG Regional Communications Tower Project
    Panhandle Regional Planning Commission, Economic Development Events for Texas Panhandle Communities
    South Plains Association of Governments, Uniting Resources Against Senior Hunger
    South Plains Association of Governments, SPAG CORE – COVID Relief RLF Financing

  • Utah    
    Southeastern Utah Economic Development District, Utah Rural Energy Diversification & Innovation

  • Virginia
    Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, Economic Recovery and Resiliency
    New River Valley Regional Commission, New River Valley Regional + Local Housing Study
    New River Valley Regional Commission, East Main Downtown Plan
    PlanRVA, Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund
    PlanRVA, Lower Chickahominy Watershed Collaborative
    PlanRVA, ConnectRVA 2045
    West Piedmont Planning District Commission, WPPDC Regional COVID Response 2021-2022

  • West Virginia    
    Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, MOVRC Celebrates 50 Years

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Contact Joe D'Antonio

Regional Development Researcher Andrew Coker joined the NADO team in March of 2023 after spending two and a half years as the Regional Economic Resiliency Coordinator at West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix College and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

At NADO, Andrew conducts research on the newest economic and community development best practices from Economic Development Districts across the country. He helps produce easily digestible information on complex regional issues through case studies, tip sheets, and research reports. Andrew also hosts training and professional development opportunities including conference sessions and virtual webinars for member regional development organizations.

Andrew is one of our Missouri-based team members and enjoys reading and training for his next triathlon.

Jack Morgan came to the NADO team in 2022 after seven years with the National Association of Counties (NACo) as a Program and Senior Program Manager. Prior to NACo, Jack was a Policy Analyst for Friends of Southwest Virginia. Jack holds a bachelor’s in geography from Emory & Henry College and a master’s in geography from Appalachian State University.

As a NADO Senior Program Manager, Jack leads capacity-building and peer-learning work supporting energy communities in economic transition, regional resilience, and recreation economies. He also helps with the EDA-Austin training program Emerging Leaders.

Jack is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) in the Regional & Intergovernmental Planning division. He also serves on the Emory & Henry College Alumni Board.

Taking road trips, reading non-fiction, and indulging in top-notch barbecue and coffee round out Jack’s days. He loves maps, mountains, and of course, all things sports.

Karron Grant joined the NADO team in 2023 as Administrative Specialist and is the first face (or voice) you’ll see or hear when reaching out to NADO. As Administrative Specialist, Karron manages our database and coordinates NADO event operations. He ensures members’ needs are met, contact information stays current, and NADO’s office is running efficiently.

Karron came to NADO after four years in the classroom teaching at The New Century School and Old Mill Middle North where he received the Patriot of the Year award. He attended Towson University and the University of Maryland Global Campus and holds a bachelor’s in international studies and humanities.

Visiting art galleries and museums, playing basketball and bowling, and taking in movies and music are some of Karron’s interests and hobbies.

Deputy Executive Director Laurie Thompson has been with NADO for 25 years. Laurie helps keep the NADO and NADO Research Foundation wheels turning through management of the daily operations of the Research Foundation, securing financial resources and overseeing grants management, and helping execute NADO’s Annual Training Conference each year.

Laurie holds a bachelor’s in public affairs and government from Mount Vernon College and a master’s in health services administration from The George Washington University. Prior to NADO, Laurie spent time as a Field Specialist and an Eagle Staff Fund Director at First Nations Development Institute.

When she’s taking a rare reprieve from her NADO work, Laurie enjoys traveling domestically and internationally to visit friends and family.

Jamie McCormick joined the NADO team as a Policy Fellow first in 2019, then moved into her current role as Legislative Associate in 2021. As Legislative Associate, Jamie keeps NADO members apprised of any policy and regulatory issues and communicates NADO’s policy priorities to federal stakeholders and partner organizations. She is also the first stop for members with inquiries on policy issues. The planning and execution of NADO & DDAA’s annual Washington Conference is also managed by Jamie.

Jamie holds a dual bachelor’s in political science and international relations from The State University of New York College at Geneseo and a master’s in international development studies from The George Washington University. In addition to her roles at NADO, Jamie also worked as a Legislative Assistant for the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association.

Outside of her NADO work, Jamie is an active volunteer with the VOLO Kids Foundation and a fundraiser for YMCA youth programs. She is also NADO’s resident baker regularly providing treats for those in NADO’s D.C. office. Traveling, taking her pup on walks, and hiking in the northeast keep Jamie busy. 

Brett Schwartz began at NADO in 2012 as a Research Fellow after earning his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. The following year, he was promoted to Program Manager and has now been leading as an Associate Director since 2018. Brett is responsible for managing NADO’s Economic Development District Community of Practice (EDD CoP), as well as researching and monitoring the latest trends in regional economic development and resilience, including best practices for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). With more than a decade of experience on the NADO team, Brett is a dynamic relationship builder helping connect and build capacity among the national network of regional development organizations.

Brett also holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s from Trinity College Dublin, as well as a certificate in mediation training. He’s a member of Catalyst Grantmakers of San Diego and Imperial Counties and was a participant in the 2021-22 Field Trips to the Future Cohort.

Brett is one of NADO’s West Coast team members residing in San Diego, CA where he enjoys spending time outdoors, attending concerts and festivals, and soaking up life as a parent of two young children.  

Communications Manager Katie Allison joined the team in 2023 to lead the strategic communication efforts of NADO. Katie creates and develops print and online materials, communicates NADO’s updates to members via weekly emails, and maintains content for nado.org and NADO’s social media channels. She also works with different departments to generate new ideas and strategies to effectively describe and promote the important work NADO is doing for EDDs and RDOs across the country.

An experienced nonprofit communications professional, Katie has worked for organizations in western North Carolina for nearly a decade. She holds a bachelor’s in communications from Wingate University where she was a four-year student athlete. Katie has also completed Vision Henderson County, a comprehensive leadership development program that promotes informed and committed civic volunteerism.

Katie stays busy trying to keep up with her two young sons whom she enjoys exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains with. Traveling to new and favorite places and cheering on the Atlanta Braves are some of her family’s favorite pastimes.

Senior Program Manager Ciara Ristig has been a member of the NADO team since 2021, and helps with NADO’s EDD Community of Practice, EDD staff capacity building and other grants on a range of subjects, including equity and solar energy. Before NADO, Ciara worked as a Planner for the County of Santa Barbara and an Assistant Project Manager for REM Consult. Ciara holds a bachelor’s in urban studies and French from Bryn Mawr and a master’s in urban studies from Ecole d’Urbanisme de Paris.

When she’s not traveling, you can find her outrigger paddling and serving on the board of the Blue Sky Center in New Cuyama, CA, near her home base of Santa Barbara.

Carrie Kissel has been a member of the NADO team since 2005 when she began as a Research Fellow. She later moved into the roles of Program Manager in 2006, and then Associate Director in 2011. Carrie holds a bachelor’s in anthropology from Ball State University and a master’s in public anthropology from American University. As Associate Director, Carrie oversees NADO’s work in rural transportation and rural wealth creation. She provides technical assistance and support to rural regions on transportation and economic development issues and develops training and peer exchange events on transportation issues and rural wealth creation as an economic development strategy.

Carrie is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and secretary of TRB’s Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council. She is also a member of the American Anthropological Association and the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology.

Reading, gardening, hiking, and kayaking are a few of Carrie’s hobbies, and she organizes and facilitates a DEI/social justice-focused book club in her community.

Melissa Levy has worked at NADO as a Regional Development Researcher since February 2023 and is the Principal Consultant at her own firm specializing in wealth-based economic development consulting. With a career spanning nearly 30 years, Melissa brings a breadth of knowledge to her role as a Regional Development Researcher. Melissa provides in-depth research, coaching, and training on regional economic resilience, rural wealth creation strategies, and economic development.

Melissa is a North American Food Systems Network trained AgriCluster Resilience and Expansion (ACRE) facilitator and a WealthWorks coach, facilitator, and trainer. In addition to her professional work, Melissa serves on the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Council, on the board of the Hinesburg Community Resource Center, and on the Hinesburg Economic Development Committee.

A true outdoorswoman, Melissa enjoys cross country and downhill skiing, paddleboarding, hiking, biking, and kayaking, as well as yoga, and teaching Tai Chi.

Program Manager Krishna Kunapareddy began her role with NADO in February of 2023 after 14 years of service at Boonslick Regional Planning Commission in Missouri. Krishna manages NADO Research Foundation’s Planning and Environmental Linkages and Center for Environmental Excellence projects. In addition to researching and writing, Krishna also conducts virtual workshops on innovative tools and techniques related to transportation planning.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Andhra University and a master’s from JNT University in India, as well as a master’s in city and regional planning from the University of Texas at Arlington. Krishna is also a certified Smart Cities Academy Practitioner and holds the Location Advantage certificate from geographic information system software company ESRI.

In her spare time, Krishna volunteers with Mentors4College helping high schoolers better plan for their post-high school paths. She is also a dedicated advocate for documented H4 Dreamers.

Krystal DeLeon joined the NADO team in October of 2020 as Database & Grants Manger, but in January of 2022 transitioned to her current role as Operations Manager. Krystal keeps NADO running through behind the scenes work of invoicing, solving any database issues that may arise, producing membership reports, and much more. Her organizational skills and thorough knowledge help the NADO team operate more efficiently across all departments.

Prior to NADO, Krystal was the Conference Services Coordinator for State Services Organization. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), a licensed realtor, and holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Liberty University. When she’s not keeping NADO’s operations in order, Krystal enjoys running and rock climbing, and adventuring with her husband and son.

Senior Program Manager Bret Allphin joined NADO in April of 2022 bringing with him a wealth of knowledge after a 20-year career with Buckeye Hills Regional Council in Marietta, Ohio. In addition to his bachelor’s in political science and master’s in public affairs, Bret is licensed Geographical Information Systems Professional (GISP). He is NADO’s go-to team member for all things mapping while also supporting members with transportation and economic development technical assistance services.

An avid sports aficionado and former collegiate athlete, Bret enjoys cheering on his Cincinnati Reds, hitting the trails on his mountain bike, and improving his golf game whenever possible. Bret is an involved community member in Marietta dedicating much of his spare time to serving on local nonprofit boards.

Contact Karron Grant

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]

Contact Melissa Levy

Contact Krishna Kunapareddy

Contact Andrew Coker

Contact Lara Gale

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Hotel Questions Form

New Speaker Inquiry

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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.

Contact Danny Tomares

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Contact Ciara Ristig

Contact Bret Allphin

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Contact Carrie Kissel

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Contact Joe McKinney

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