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ANNUAL Awards for Excellence in
Community & Economic Development

Thank you all are guests, supporters, and members who were able to attend the long awaited return of our Annual Awards in 2023. Our ceremony reception held on Friday, May 12th at the UM Newman Alumni Center was a heartwarming celebration of our field recognizing the incredible impact of distinguished colleagues and friends. Mark your calendars for the 2024 awards coming soon.

See 2023 Program

2024 Annual Awards are Temporarily Postponed
Please stay tuned for updates soon. Thank you.

The 2023 Annual Awards

To learn more about sponsorship or advertisement opportunities for 2024, please visit our sponsors page. 

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Award Nominations

2024 nominations are closed. Please check back for updates soon. Honorees receive 2 complimentary tickets for themselves and a guest for the VIP reception and soirée, as well as waived membership dues (terms apply). 

  • Nominations are reviewed by an independent panel of volunteers; staff is recused and does not vote on selection committee. 
  • Nominators may submit more than one form.
  •  Each nominee may be nominated for more than one category using a single form, however each nominee is only eligible for one award. 
  • One form submission per nominee. 
  • Previous honorees and nominees are eligible for nomination for different categories, however nominees who have not been honored yet are preferred. 
  • Self-nominations for either Advocate or Practitioner Awards are eligible. 
  • For additional questions, please contact us by email. 

2024 Award Categories & Criteria

Advocate Awards

These awards are exclusively for organizations, agencies, or collaborations. 

  • Housing Affordability: This award recognizes significant strides towards addressing the affordable housing crisis either through real estate development, public policy advocacy, or grassroots community engagement.

  • Small Business: This award recognizes the effort that has promoted incentives, protections, and needs of local small businesses and entrepreneurs to combat displacement and marginalization through technical assistance, advocacy, or community engagement. 

  • Community Resilience: This award recognizes the effort that has been instrumental in advancing neighborhoods' ability thrive and overcome issues affecting quality of life and livability leading to stronger, more equitable communities and social justice (i.e. racial, spatial, climate, etc.) 

Practitioner Awards

These awards are exclusively for individuals or partners. 

  • Rising Star: This award recognizes a practitioner under the age of 35 (as of January 1st, 2024) who has been a catalyst to the field. The recipient has made significant contributions to local community and/or economic development through their talent, skills, and/or engagement. 

  • Coalition Champion: This award exclusively recognize an active member who has exemplified our coalition values and demonstrated the best of our shared vision through community impact and leadership. 

  • Sage Legacy: This award honors the lifetime achievement and contributions of an individual member (present or posthumous) towards the advancement of community and/or economic development in South Florida.

Previous Honorees 


Housing Affordability Advocate - SMASH Miami

Small Business Advocate - The Allapattah Collaborative CDC

Community Resilience Advocate - Miami-Dade County Office of Equity & Engagement

Rising Star - Audrey Aradanas, Miami Homes for All

Coalition Champion - Santra Denis, Miami Worker Center

Sage Legacy - Denis Russ, Miami Beach CDC (retired) 


Rental Housing Award - Eric Haynes, St. John Community Development Corporation Inc.

Homeownership Award - Eugene Simmons, Professional Bank (retired)

Economic Opportunity Award - Christine King, MLK Economic Development Corporation

Rising Star Award - Evian White De Leon, Miami Homes For All

Leadership Award - Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, Radical Partners

Public Service AwardTanya Wilson, City of North Miami

Impact Collaborative - LAND, Robin Bachin, PhD, UM Office of Community and Civic Engagement


Rental Housing AwardClarence E. Woods, III SE Overtown/Parkwest CRA

Homeownership Award - Eric Johnson, Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust

Economic Opportunity Award - Pandwe Gibson, PhD, EcoTech Visions

Rising Star Award - Sharhzad Emami, Esq., Legal Services of Greater Miami

Leadership Award - Barbara “Bobbie” Ibarra, Miami Homes for All

Public Service Award - Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County Commissioner District 8

Impact Collaborative - Catalyst Miami


Rental Housing AwardStephanie Berman-Eisenberg, Carrfour Supportive Housing, Inc.

Homeownership Award - Danny Felton, The Experts Team

Economic Opportunity Award - Leroy Jones, Neighbors and Neighbors Association (NANA)

Rising Star Award - Jorge de la Paz, Miami Coalition for the Homeless (presently, Miami Homes for All)

Leadership Award - Arden Shank, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida

Public Service Award - Constance Collins, Lotus House

Impact Collaborative - HOPE, Inc.


Rental Housing AwardPatricia Braynon, Miami-Dade Housing Finance Authority

Homeownership Award - Rennatta Delgado, Centro Campesino, Inc.

Economic Opportunity Award - Cornel Crews Jr., Partners for Self-Employment

Rising Star Award - Daniel A. Esino, Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske

Leadership Award - Jihad Rashid, Collaborative Development Corporation

Public Service Award - Terry A. Coble, Miami Coalition for the Homeless


Rental Housing AwardFrancisco Rojo, Landmark Development Corporation

Homeownership Award - NSP Consortium (Carrfour, City of North Miami, HACDC, NHSSF, OLCDC, St. John CDC, Urban League of Greater Miami)

Economic Opportunity Award - Maria Coto, Partners for Self Employment

Rising Star Award - Kamalah Fletcher, Catalyst Miami

Leadership Award - Barbara Romani, Citi

Legacy AwardThomas Zuniga, PhD


Rental Housing AwardErbi Blanco-True, Great Florida Bank

Homeownership Award - Joaquin Willis, Collective Empowerment Group

Economic Opportunity Award - Fabiana Estrada, ACCION USA

Rising Star Award - Lars Gilberts, South Florida Urban Ministries (presently, Branches)

Leadership Award - John Little, Legal Services of Greater Miami

Public Service AwardMatti Herrera Bower, Miami Beach Mayor 

Office: 300 NW 12th Ave., Miami, FL 33128

Phone: (786) 237-2125


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South Florida Community Development Coalition is an incorporated tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established in 2007.
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