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Call for nominations – 2016 OCDCA member awards

OCDCA is issuing a call for nominations for the annual Ohio CDC Association member awards.

These awards recognize CDCs, their staff and volunteers, projects, partners and advocates who have made exemplary contributions to the community development field.

Celebrate the individuals and organizations that are helping to stabilize, restore and invigorate communities in Ohio!

Winners will be announced at the 32nd Annual Conference at the Member Awards Reception on Thursday, October 13th in Athens.

Nominate someone here.

Ned D. Neuhausel Award
In honor of Ned Neuhausel, long-time leader in Ottawa County’s disability support system and Executive Director of Ottawa Residential Services, Inc. Nominate one person who has played a key role in providing affordable housing for vulnerable people and been a strong advocate on their behalf.

Stephanie J. Bevens Award
The award honors Stephanie Bevens, a long-time OCDCA Board Member, an innovative director of microenterprise programs at Pike County Community Action, and a tireless advocate on behalf of low-income entrepreneurs. Nominate a CDC staff member with an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong advocate on behalf of low- to-moderate income people.

CDC Project of the Year
This award gives recognition to an outstanding CDC project related to affordable housing, community economic development, community engagement, financial empowerment or food access.

CDC Staff Member of the Year
Nominate an outstanding staff member, full or part-time who has made the work of the CDC a success.

CDC Community Leader of the Year
Recognize an outstanding community leader (CDC Board Member, volunteer, etc.) who has provided leadership or other major contributions to a CDC.

Community Development Partner of the Year
The nomination may be a special non-profit or faith-based organization, individual, business, financial institution, foundation, intermediary, government agency or other entity that has provided support to a CDC.

CDC of the Year
Nominate a CDC that has done outstanding work this year.

New Award for 2016! CDC Rising Star
Nominate an outstanding staff member, volunteer, or advocate, who is under 30, who is making a big impact in community development.



Only CDC members, which includes staff, board and projects may be nominated, except in the case of the Partner of the Year, where a nominee does not have to be a member but must be a partner of a current CDC member. View the current list of OCDCA members.

Winners will be selected by an impartial Awards Committee. You may nominate yourself or your organization. Nominate someone here by August 10.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at or (614) 461-6392 ext. 211.

The 2016 OCDCA Member Awards are sponsored by Chase Bank.



Crippen discusses HAPCAP in public hearing

A little news from southeast Ohio, from The Logan Daily News, by Josh Givens:

“Glen Crippen, Hocking Athens Perry Community Action Community Development Coordinator met with the Hocking County Commissioners to explain the citizen participation plan and hold the first Community Development Block Grant Funding public hearing.

Crippen presented a draft of the citizen participation plan for 2016 to the commissioners and explained the plan as “an opportunity to make the community aware of the funding.”

The process is governed by the state and federal law, and is referred to by the state as the citizen participation process. The purpose is to gain input from the community and community officials, or anyone who has ideas about projects.

“The state is asking the counties to adopt a citizen participation plan,” stated Crippen. “Which is basically what we are already doing by holding the two public meetings and passing out the local request for funding documents.

“So we’re not changing anything, I would like to propose that Hocking County adopt this document,” Crippen concluded.

The document was given to the commissioners to review and decide on in the future once it’s formalized.”




Rural Action takes local food to the community with auctions

On a beautiful August day, OCDCA staff traveled through Athens to attend our Southwest Membership meeting. While tuning into the local NPR station, WOUB, we heard this little gem featuring member Rural Action and an OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA, Megan Conkle.

Listen and/or read the story of the Chesterhill Produce Auction here.


ALSO! Don’t miss Tom Redfern, heard on this story, as a presenter on local foods at the OCDCA conference on October 1-2.


AmeriCorps VISTAs wrap up their year of service

After dedicating a year or more of service in an effort to alleviate poverty and build capacity at community development organizations throughout Ohio, OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA members will continue making a difference in their plans post service. Vietnam Veteran, Melvin Ward, with a knack for serving America, worked over three years in AmeriCorps at multiple agencies, including Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs, and is returning to substitute teaching to continue touching lives. Lucas Knicely, who spent a year combatting homelessness through his service at Lancaster Fairfield Community Action Agency, is moving to New Zealand to expand his work ethic globally. Luke isn’t the only OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA making a big move—several more are following suit. Capitol Hill will be welcoming Sam Bolam, OCDCA’s in-house asset development VISTA, at Georgetown Law this fall 2015. Also returning to school is AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, Maura Harris, who will be attending the University Of Virginia School Of Architecture for a master’s in Public Policy and Urban Planning.

OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTAs volunteering for the Ohio CDC Association Spring Day of Service in Mansfield.

OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTAs volunteering for the Ohio CDC Association Spring Day of Service in Mansfield.

Common Wealth, Inc. will bid farewell to newlywed Sara Wilhelm, who aided them in bringing in Youngstown’s only grocery store, as she journeys to Hershey, PA with her husband. Wedding bells continue ringing among the OCDCA VISTA members for Meggan Riley, who will wed on June 13th, 2015, and remain at her service site, ACEnet, as their new employee. Also hired by their subsites are Tom Phillips of JRC in Canton and Kyle Verge of ReUse Industries in Athens. OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA alumni remain active members of society, and some will continue serving a second year in AmeriCorps. OCDCA is glad to welcome Tim Adams, who served at Homes on the Hill in Columbus, as the next OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA Leader.

We thank all of our AmeriCorps VISTAs for their year(s) of hard-work, dedication, and service!


Central Appalachian Network funds secured to expand Perry County community kitchen project


Rural Action is pleased to announce that one of their partnerships, the Perry County Community Kitchen, has been awarded a $15,000 Central Appalachian Network (CAN) grant. The Perry County Community Kitchen, under the direction of master chef Alfonso Contrisciani, will act as a shared-use commercial kitchen and retail space in Perry County, Ohio. Rural Action, a member of CAN since the organization’s inception, will partner with Contrisciani and the Community Kitchen on the project. OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA member, Megan Conkle, assisted in capacity building for this project.


Rural Action establishes fund for a sustainable future


Rural Action builds model sustainable development projects and encourages a broad civic conversation around Appalachian Ohio’s assets in order to create sustainable development paths for the region. Located in Athens, Ohio, Rural Action does a lot to promote sustainable development. As part of that, they recently established a fund for sustainable development through the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. Read more here.