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ANNUAL Awards for Excellence in
Community & Economic Development

Thank you all who supported the return of our Annual Awards in 2023. Our gathering held on Friday May 12th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the UM Newman Alumni Center was a special time of celebrating our field and recognizing the incredible effort of distinguished colleagues was a heartwarming experience. We presented six new prestigious award categories to highlight excellence, impact, and leadership.

See 2023 Program

Save the Date:
Friday, March 1st, 2024
Location: TBD

To learn more about sponsorship or advertisement opportunities for next year's event, please visit our sponsors page. 

THE 2023 Annual Awards WERE GENEROUSLY Sponsored By: 

<< All album photos 6/9 photos


2024 nominations will open in October 2023. For more details please contact

2023 Award Categories 

Housing Affordability Advocate: This award recognizes the effort of an individual, organization, or collaboration that has made significant strides towards addressing the affordable housing crisis either through housing development, public policy advocacy, or grassroots community engagement.

Small Business Advocate: This award recognizes the effort of an individual, organization, or collaboration that has promoted incentives, protections, and needs of local small business to combat displacement and marginalization through technical assistance, public policy advocacy, or community engagement. 

Community Resilience Advocate: This award recognizes the effort of an individual, organization, or collaboration that has been instrumental in advancing communities' ability thrive and overcome problems affecting quality of life. The impact has led to stronger, more equitable communities. 

Rising Star: This award recognizes an individual under than age of 35 (as of January 1st, 2023) who has been a catalyst to the field and/or community. This person can be a professional or volunteer who has made significant contributions to local community and economic development through their talent, skills, and/or leadership. 

Coalition Champion: This award is nominated exclusively by coalition members to recognize an individual, organization, or collaboration that has demonstrated the best of our coalition through community impact and leadership. 

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

Previous Award Recipients 


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 

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