Congratulations to the Winners of the 2014 NADO Photo Contest!

NADOPhotoContestEmailHeaderIn this year’s inaugural NADO Photo Contest, 31 of our member organizations submitted over 140 images that showcased 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.  The People’s Choice winner was chosen by votes from the public on NADO’s Facebook page.

Thanks again to all of our members who participated and congratulations to our winners and runners-up!

To view all of the photos that were submitted, click here.


Strengthening the Built and Natural Environments


Organization:  Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (VT)
Photographer:  Lee Krohn
The Story:  The much-loved Richmond Monitor Barn is a remarkable example of historic preservation, spearheaded by the Richmond, VT Land Trust, and done in a manner that meets historical standards, while allowing adaptive reuse for current needs. It serves as headquarters for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and rental income from events held at the Barn support VYCC’s activities and mission. The Barn is a highly visible landmark upon the landscape, and can be seen by travelers on Interstate 89. With a portion of its electrical needs being generated by solar panels, this site is a clear demonstration that historic preservation and modern technology can coexist in a peaceful and non-intrusive fashion.

Building Vibrant Places


Organization:  Memphis Area Association of Governments (TN/MS/AR)
Photographer:  Maggie Johnson
The Story:  At 495 Tennessee Street, in what is known as the newly revitalized South Main area in downtown Memphis, sits a 19th century Romanesque factory building.  Looking dilapidated from the outside; inside, it holds a secret treasure. Four members of the downtown community envisioned an opportunity with this diamond in the rough, turning the courtyard and 2-rooms on the first floor into an exciting and unique pop-up beer garden.  The Untapped event was born, bringing awareness to this building set for demolition in August. Running Thursdays to Sundays from April to June, Untapped highlighted local breweries, food trucks, music, art, and preservation.  Everyone from kids to adults enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere created by these historic brick walls.  Suitors have taken interest in the building since and in mid-July, a preliminary 90-day contract was signed on the building by a potential buyer.  Untapped’s success may save the building which was months removed from certain demise, reviving this artifact as a part of Memphis’ downtown redevelopment.

Investing in Our Regional Economy


Organization:  Land of Sky Regional Council (NC)
Photographer:  Carrie Turner
The Story:  Land of Sky’s region has a robust local food economy with over 20 tailgate markets. Several of the markets, including Asheville City Market, provide tokens in exchange for payments through EBT/SNAP/credit/debit cards. This improves the access of local food to residents of all income levels.  Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) manages the Asheville City Market, which hosts over 70 vendors each week. ASAP has led the development of tailgate markets throughout the region and their mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

Sustaining Our Communities

Sustaining_Winner_Region9Organization:  Region Nine Development Commission (MN)
Photographer:  Ashley Aukes
The Story:  Rick is not your average older adult. At age 76 he is more active than he was in his early twenties. Being active is something that became very important to Rick after his experience with a severe heart condition. His home in Elysion, MN is a prime location to support his physical activity. He is located just walking distance from the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail, seen in this photo, and kayaks behind his home in Lake Francis. Rick hopes other older adults can see the struggles he has overcome and be inspired to become physically active themselves.

People’s Choice

Central Florida

Organization:  Central Florida Regional Planning Council 
Photographer:  Jennifer Codo-Salisbury
The Story:  Downtown Auburndale is once again bustling and filled with the sounds of children’s laughter and busy cash registers while families are seen strolling in downtown before dining in local restaurants at night and on weekends. The City with funding through the Community Redevelopment Agency took underutilized public lands and right of way next to an active heavy freight rail line and transformed it into a park that is a magnet for children and adults alike. The Central Florida Regional Planning Council works with the City  in planning for its future that also includes the opening of Florida Polytechnic, the new state university dedicated to STEM education, bringing more young adults and professionals seeking activities and services into Auburndale.


Strengthening the Built and Natural Environments


Organization:  Pennyrile Area Development District (KY)
Photographer:  Jim Creighton
The Story:  After the January 2012 collision of the cargo ship MV Delta Mariner with the Eggner’s Ferry bridge over Kentucky Lake in western Kentucky severed a major traffic corridor through the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet expedited a contract for a replacement bridge segment.  This photo was taken on the day that the completed segment was placed into position on the piers of the bridge structure, re-opening US Highway 68 to traffic once again.

Building Vibrant Places

Organization:  Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (OK)
Photographer:  Jennifer James
The Story:  Local musicians play the guitar and violin while Oklahoma City residents enjoy connecting with their community through Open Streets OKC. The project is a partnership of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. Coalition members include the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG), City of Oklahoma City, Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma, and the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. Open Streets turned a busy Oklahoma City corridor, Northwest 23rd Street, into a car-free space for biking, walking, and playing one Sunday afternoon in March 2014.

Investing in Our Regional Economy

Regional Economy_RunnerUp_Buckeye















Organization:  Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District (OH)
Photographer:  Misty Casto
The Story:  Miba Sinter USA LLC, located in McConnelsville, Ohio (about 1.5 hours southeast of Columbus) has been in production since 2010. Miba Sinter began with a 40,000 square foot facility in 2010 and has just expanded an additional 43,000 square feet in 2014. Miba Sinter USA offers high-tech sintered solutions for the North American automotive industry. Its key focus is to improve fuel efficiency and emissions by providing innovative, functional, highly precise, and cost effective components and modules.  Akkai Strohl, Machining Technician, is shown here describing a precision machining process used on a powder metallurgy part during Miba’s Expansion Grand Opening on July 10.  Steve Ferree, Site Technology Manager for Miba shown in the background,  was one of the tour leaders.

Sustaining Our Communities

Organization:  Green River Area Development District (KY)
Photographer:  Woody Maglinger
The Story:  Green River Area Development District (GRADD) AmeriCorps volunteers deliver groceries to a low-income senior in Owensboro, Kentucky during the annual ‘Stop Senior Hunger’ food drive. ‘Stop Senior Hunger’ is a public-private partnership between GRADD, Comfort Keepers, and Independence Bank. Over the past four years, generous community donations have provided nearly 20 tons of food to 1,500 citizens in need.


We hope you can participate in next year’s photo contest.  Start taking pictures now and show off the great things happening in your region!  Please direct any questions to Brett Schwartz at [email protected].


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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.

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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.

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