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  • 15 Oct 2020 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Are you interested in understanding just how eviction is affecting your local community? Have you or anyone you know ever been evicted? Are you looking for ways to engage with your community about eviction and also learn more in the process?

    Researchers find 248,000-313,000 Hoosier households are at risk of eviction due to COVID-19. Another recent study estimates 150,000 evictions will be filed by January 2021 and $376,000,000 - $485,000,000 will be lost in rent shortfall in Indiana, unless policy solutions are implemented. Watch the Eviction Lab’s ‘Why Eviction Matters’ video here.

    Sign up for our free 'Evicted in Indiana' Reading Guide and Webinar Series for your community organization! Join the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition for three webinars tying topics from Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted to current housing stability issues in Indiana and how to avoid a COVID-19 eviction crisis.

    Click here to receive the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition’s Evicted reading guide. This guide is designed for individuals and organizations who want to learn more about housing stability issues. Read by yourself or lead your own book club.  Check your local library or major retailer for a copy of Evicted.

    By using the reading guide and participating in the webinar series, you will gain an understanding of the factors behind evictions, the personal and community impact of housing instability, and the risk of a COVID-19 eviction crisis.

    For additional questions, contact Natalie James, Coalition Builder.

  • 10 Sep 2020 2:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    September 10, 2020

    CONTACT:  Jessica Love | (317) 222-1221 x402 | jlove@prosperityindiana.org, Michaela Wischmeier | (317) 222-1221 x409| mwischmeier@prosperityindiana.org

    Prosperity Indiana acquires Housing4Hoosiers

    INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Housing4Hoosiers website and Help Desk service, formerly managed by South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities (SCIHO). SCIHO has ceased operations as of Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

    “SCIHO has been a valued member of Prosperity Indiana, working to meet critical needs through affordable housing development in Monroe County, as well as creating tools and resources to address tenant needs in their service area and beyond,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana.

    Prosperity Indiana will maintain Housing4Hoosiers as an affordable housing resource to promote educational information about housing options and tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities in Indiana. The goal of the program is to ensure Hoosiers have safe, affordable, and stable homes they can count on in their community. “Renting in Indiana: A Handbook for Tenants and Landlords” was created and was recently updated by SCIHO and has been housed on the Housing4Hoosiers website.

    Love said, “As the new home for Housing4Hoosiers, Prosperity Indiana aims to ensure it will become a key housing asset among our community economic development programs. We look forward to offering this advocacy, research and referral resource to benefit those we serve across our statewide footprint.”

    Individuals may reach out to Housing4Hoosiers for assistance and resources related to affordable housing issues. Contact Housing4Hoosiers via email at h4h@prosperityindiana.org.

    ###

    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • 09 Sep 2020 1:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce two additions to our full-time staff: Michaela Wischmeier as Research & Communications Specialist and Natalie James as Coalition Builder.

    Michaela Wischmeier began a new role of Research & Communications Specialist on August 31, after serving as an AmeriCorps Fellow with Prosperity Indiana since January 2020. In her AmeriCorps role, Michaela has assisted with various projects, including communications content such as the monthly “Piece of the PI” newsletter, advocacy research, survey development and analysis, and creating and compiling resources for members. As Research & Communications Specialist, Michaela will be responsible for developing and publishing effective communications across multiple platforms for the organization. She will also perform research, training, and consulting services throughout various program areas to assist Prosperity Indiana members.

    In previous roles, Michaela has experience in prevention education and direct service work with domestic violence survivors, as well as nonprofit development and fundraising. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Affairs through IUPUI. Michaela is a lifelong Hoosier from Columbus.


    Natalie James will join Prosperity Indiana in the new role of Coalition Builder on September 21. Natalie will serve as the lead staff person for several of Prosperity Indiana’s issue-based coalitions. These coalitions have the common purpose of advancing policies that help meet basic needs, preserve and expand affordable housing, and connect individuals and families to education, employment, and economic opportunity for all, especially including Indiana’s most vulnerable and historically marginalized people and communities. Across each of these coalitions, Natalie will help advance Prosperity Indiana’s mission and policy priorities by engaging current members and expanding the reach and influence of these coalitions. By building diverse and inclusive partnerships with communities and individuals throughout the state, she will develop relationships and the advocacy capacity of members to achieve coalition goals.

    Natalie comes to Prosperity Indiana after completing her service term as an AmeriCorps Public Ally with the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation in Indianapolis. As a Public Ally, Natalie researched guidance on mixed-income housing best practices and recruited volunteers to support community building and economic development activities in the Mid-North area of the city. A native of Indianapolis and Dorchester, MA, Natalie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from Smith College.

    We couldn’t be more excited to have Michaela and Natalie join as full-time “Pieces of the PI”. Please help us welcome them to the Prosperity Indiana team!

  • 15 Apr 2020 1:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Prosperity Indiana Receives $50K from National Low Income Housing Coalition for COVID-19 response and recovery advocacy

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact: Jessica Love, Executive Director

    executivedirector@prosperityindiana.org, 317-222-1221 x402

    Andrew Bradley, Policy Director

    abradley@prosperityindiana.org, 317-222-1221 x403

    INDIANAPOLIS (April 15, 2020) – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce an award totaling $50,000 from National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) to support advocacy and education related to housing and homelessness prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will increase capacity for Prosperity Indiana to convene partners to advocate for short-term housing stability policy solutions and conduct longer-term education and research to achieve federal, state and local policies for an equitable response and recovery to the pandemic.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically rearranged the advocacy world in Indiana, quickly turning priorities upside-down across the housing and community economic development landscape. The pandemic has had disproportionate impact on Hoosiers by demographic groups, including people of color, and many of the counties hardest hit by COVID-19 also have the highest rates of rental housing instability and homelessness.

    Since the outbreak first emerged, Prosperity Indiana has worked with partners and policymakers to ensure that the most vulnerable Hoosier families and the organizations that serve them are kept as safe as possible.  On March 25, Prosperity Indiana thanked Governor Holcomb for heeding our call to protect Hoosier renters from dangerous expansion of retaliatory evictions in SEA 148 and for signing an executive order pausing residential evictions during the public health emergency.

    The grant from NLIHC will allow Prosperity Indiana to expand on our advocacy response to the pandemic to date. Because the pause on evictions is currently set to expire on May 5, Prosperity Indiana recommended, on behalf of a newly forming housing coalition, that Indiana take steps to go further to protect Hoosier renters by extending the moratoriums to match those on federal leases; pairing federal and state resources to work with communities to provide emergency rental assistance; and use market-based tools to reimburse landlords who do not evict tenants after the public health emergency is lifted. Prosperity Indiana looks forward to using this new grant to bring together partners from the housing and anti-homelessness community across Indiana to research and educate policymakers about effective medium- and longer-term responses to the pandemic.

    “We are thankful to NLIHC for this grant that will allow us to build on our policy recommendations to prevent homelessness during the peak of this pandemic by working with partners across the state to protect housing stability and avoid a wave of evictions, once the emergency orders are lifted,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana.

    “Now is the time to pair federal and state funds with community and private resources to ensure that Hoosiers are safe at home throughout the public health crisis and beyond. We want to do more than just survive this life-altering event. If we use this time to create the needed policy structures, housing stability for all Hoosiers shifts from becoming a possibility to a reality long-term,” Love said.

    Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has used its broad membership base to help Hoosiers meet their basic needs, preserve and expand affordable housing, and connect individuals and families to education, employment, and economic opportunity. The organization is known for its role as a convener and advocacy voice in Indiana’s community development landscape and has established its presence as an authority on housing and community development policy.

    ###

    About Prosperity Indiana

    The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

    About the National Low Income Housing Coalition

    Founded in 1974, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone. NLIHC’s goals are to preserve existing federally assisted homes and housing resources, expand the supply of low income housing, and establish housing stability as the primary purpose of federal low income housing policy.


  • 20 Mar 2020 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Indiana Coalition for Human Services Praises First Steps, Calls for Further Action to Protect Hoosier Families

    As a member of the Indiana Coalition for Human Services, IIWF was eager to participate in the development of a coordinated, member-driven call for a strong policy response. 

    Now more than ever, Hoosiers need to pull together and support one another. The COVID-19 pandemic and the steps needed to end its spread will undoubtedly deepen the financial challenges many households in Indiana were already experiencing, and will cast many others into crisis. Making the right policy choices in this moment is critical. We will need our state leaders and federal delegation to advocate for solutions that allow Hoosiers to meet their basic needs, stabilize their household, and rebuild toward financial well-being.

    We want to commend the Holcomb Administration for acting quickly to put many important policies in place to protect Hoosier Families. In particular, we support the decisions to:

    • Suspend all utility disconnects during the COVID-19 crises, including gas and electric, broadband, telecom, water and wastewater services.
    • Ensure Hoosier workers have access to Unemployment Insurance due to COVID-19 related job losses.
    • Suspend evictions and foreclosure proceedings, ensuring that at this critical time, Hoosiers do not lose their housing.
    • Waive premium payments for those participating in the Healthy Indiana Plan and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
    • Waive job search requirements for those applying for or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
    • Expand the ways in which telehealth services are being offered and paid for, including for mental health services.
    • Waive licensing requirements for therapists so that Hoosiers can see out-of-state therapists without requiring that therapist to be licensed in Indiana.
    • Delay renewal processing for Medicaid and HIP recipients. 
    • Waive work requirements for able bodied adults without dependents on SNAP.
    • Make all WIC appointments by telephone and issuing three months of benefits.

    While we applaud these policy changes, we know that more policy changes at both the state and federal level will be critical if we are to keep Hoosier families safe, healthy, and financially stable. The policies outlined below are the ones that are still needed if we are to help our communities and our nation cope with and recover from this crisis.

    Housing

    Hoosiers need to maintain safe, stable housing throughout the crisis. Indiana has multiple localities that, in normal circumstances, already lead the nation in terms of eviction. Loss of housing is always incredibly stressful, but in this moment it could also result in the spread of infection to shelters or other households. 

    • Veto SEA 148 to prevent making law from dangerous, unvetted language that would worsen Indiana’s affordable housing, eviction and homeless crisis.
    • For those experiencing homelessness, provide supplemental financial assistance directly to housing authorities, housing assistance providers and homelessness service organizations. Free housing counseling services should be provided as well.
    • Urge OCC and FDIC to require banks and other lenders to waive fees and work with distressed borrowers who need to skip or modify mortgage payments. 
    • Urge Congress to include emergency assistance funding to help prevent housing instability and homelessness as a result of the coronavirus outbreak to any supplemental funding bill.

    Health Care

    Access to healthcare is essential for screening and treatment. For our most vulnerable populations, such as those with pre-existing medical conditions and the elderly, it is also necessary that they have access to healthcare that keeps them as healthy and resilient as possible. Medicaid expansion has given millions of Americans access to healthcare but those who remain uninsured, those who elected for non-ACA compliant coverage, and those who have burdensome requirements for retaining their coverage need further protection.

    • Temporarily freeze CHIP redetermination compliance.
    • Increase CHIP eligibility threshold to 400% FPL ongoing to increase current access and mitigate future risks.
    • Open a nationwide Marketplace Special Enrollment Period that allows for the uninsured and those with non-ACA plans to gain access to comprehensive coverage.
    • Require insurance companies to allow for teletherapy, which is not automatically covered by the changes that were announced recently by CMS.
    • Allow teletherapy and pay for it even if it’s only by phone. Many areas of the state don’t have internet access and even in areas with service,  individuals may not have internet access.

    Utilities

    As families attempt to navigate schooling and working from home, caring for children who are affected by daycare and school closures, or quarantining, access to communications and internet, natural gas, electricity, and running water will be even more critical.

    • Restore access to all utilities, including communications and water, to those households currently without service.
    • Provide access, through hot spots or other means, to broadband internet service for those communities and households currently lacking access.

    Food

    Access to nutritious foods is critical to health and well-being. Certain groups will be especially vulnerable as access to school meals and other services are shut down. Policymakers should take steps to ensure that no-one goes hungry and that Hoosiers can maintain their health through nutritious food options during the pandemic and beyond.

    • Offer automatic boosts in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments through waivers for temporary, emergency CR-SNAP as well as for households with children who would otherwise receive free or reduced-price meals if not for school closures.
    • Streamline application processes and extend renewal processes for existing SNAP caseload.
    • Apply for USDA and other applicable waivers to allow continued food service to children and families affected by school closures.

    Other Expenses

    Income matters to vulnerable families and at no time is this more true than during a public health crisis that is making going to work and work activities difficult. Hoosiers will need access to alternative sources of income as they take leave without pay, see shifts cut, or lose their jobs altogether. Hard-hit businesses will need support as well.

    • Expand access to unemployment insurance to workers whose employers temporarily shut down, workers who are required to self-quarantine, parents or guardians who were forced to quit or take unpaid leave due to emergency school closures, and workers who have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave to care for loved ones affected by the virus.
    • Enact an emergency paid sick days rule to cover workers in occupations with high public contact that often lack paid sick leave, such as leisure and hospitality, food services, child care, transportation, and home health. 
    • Expand access to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families by:
      • Suspending work requirements, placing a moratorium on sanctions and terminations.
      • Considering only continuing income for eligibility and benefit amounts - we should not be taking into account lost wages as we calculate benefits and continuing eligibility.
      • Providing a one-time additional payment to all TANF families to cope with added expenses, such as additional at-home meals for children, increased utility usage, and other needs related to COVID-19.  
    • Provide direct, robust stimulus to working families, the self-employed, and small business owners. Prioritize forms of aid that will replace lost earnings, especially to those least likely to have savings, paid leave, or the ability to work from home.
    • Any stimulus to companies should be accompanied by expectations that they will keep workers employed and offer paid sick leave. 

    Civil Rights

    National emergencies like the COVID-19 outbreak often lead to increases in antisemitic, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric and violence.  Already, organizations like the Anti-defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center are seeing hateful messages, memes, and conspiracy theories proliferating online. 

    • Local law enforcement agencies, to the best of their ability, should maintain regular proactive communication with communities of color, immigrant communities, and minority faith communities.
    • Local law enforcement should continue, to the best of their ability, to maintain the reporting and tracking of bias-motivated crimes as a priority so that national law enforcement agencies know when and where support should be provided. 
    • Congress should continue to support programs and federal grant opportunities for non-profit organizations to better secure their facilities and be better prepared for emergencies and emergency management.

    Immigration/Public Charge

    It is incumbent that all individuals currently residing within the United States seek any and all medical attention that they believe they need without fear of retribution. On March 17, 2020, USCIS published guidance stating that all immigrants with symptoms that resemble COVID-19 should seek necessary medical treatment and that treatment would not negatively affect any immigrants’ future public charge determination, even if treatment that is provided is paid for by a public benefits program such as Medicaid.

    • All elected officials should publicly share information regarding the USCIS determination on public charge and encourage all immigrants to seek any necessary medical treatment they may need

    Consumer Protection

    Now more than ever, consumers are vulnerable to price gouging, predatory lending, and scams. Delayed and delinquent bills that appear on their credit reports could also cause serious and long-lasting harm to their ability to secure access to credit, jobs, housing, and insurance.

    • The Attorney General and other regulators should warn consumers about scams and predatory lending, encourage them to file complaints, and direct them to alternative resources. Create a centralized hub of resources and institutions willing to offer assistance and/or low-cost loans.
    • Freeze negative credit reporting and require loan forbearance periods with no interest or fees.
    • Stop all debt collection activities, including wage garnishments and repossessions.

    For the Future

    This pandemic has brought into sharp relief many of the existing flaws in our public policy framework. Moving forward, leaders should look to create a policy environment that supports public health & financial stability by making housing and health care more accessible, boosting the quality of U.S. jobs, and enacting and enforcing strong civil rights and consumer protections.

    We recognize that this list is by no means comprehensive, but represents some of the initial policy considerations from advocates who care about and are regularly engaged in safeguarding the physical and financial well-being of Hoosiers. We hope state officials will consider these recommendations. It is time for us to bring all available resources together and take care of each other.

    View the original blog here.

  • 18 Mar 2020 1:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Contact: Ed Loyd (MediaRelations) Edgar.Loyd@53.com | 513-534-NEWS

    Chris Doll (Investor Relations) Christopher.Doll@53.com | 513-534-2345

    Fifth Third Bank Announces Additional Hardship Relief Immediately Available for Customers Affected by the Coronavirus

    CINCINNATI – Fifth Third Bank, National Association, today provided additional detail on immediate steps it is taking to help customers impacted by the coronavirus, augmenting its prior announcement last week to include new customer-centric provisions.

    “Fifth Third’s focus on helping customers improve their lives and building stronger communities is more relevant than ever during these times of uncertainty,” said Greg D. Carmichael, Fifth Third chairman, president and CEO. “We take our role and responsibility seriously to understand and put our customers’ needs first. We are continually evaluating our programs to assist our customers. Last week, we announced several proactive measures that we are taking across our business and consumer products to help lessen the financial strain on our customers, and we are providing additional details on these programs today. Our goal is to stand with our customers to help them and our communities get back on their feet. We are here to help our customers when they need us most.”

    Fifth Third is offering the following programs for our consumer and business customers facing financial hardship related to COVID-19. To participate in the programs, customers will need to contact Fifth Third.

    • Vehicle Payment Deferral Program: We are offering a payment deferral for up to 90 days with and no late fees during the deferral period.
    • Credit Card Deferral Program: We are offering a payment deferral for up to three payments and no late fees during the deferral period.
    • Mortgage and Home Equity Program: We are offering 90-day payment forbearance with no late fees.
    • Small Business Payment Deferral Program: We are offering a payment deferral program for up to 90 days, no late fees and a range of loan modification options. We are waiving all fees on our Fifth Third Fast Capital loans for 6 months.
    • Fee Waiver Program: We are offering to waive fees for up to 90 days for a range of consumer and small business deposit products and services.
    • We are suspending initiating any new repossession actions on vehicles for the next 60 days.
    • We are suspending all foreclosure activity on homes for the next 60 days.

    Fifth Third recommends that customers continue to leverage all of the digital banking tools and resources for self-service banking and account access through mobile, online and voice banking services, as well as the Bank’s network of approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States.

    Fifth Third is prepared to assist customers with their questions or concerns and has a dedicated support page available at 53.com as the first point of contact for all customers. Representatives are available at 800-972-3030 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturdays. For Business Banking service, please call 877-534-2264 or email bbgsupport@53.com. Due to high demand, call wait times may be longer than normal and Fifth Third thanks customers for their patience as we navigate this situation together.

    About Fifth Third

    Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of December 31, 2019, Fifth Third had $169 billion in assets and operated 1,149 full-service banking centers and 2,481 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2019, had $413 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $49 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses.

    Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.

    # # #


  • 28 Feb 2020 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Central Indiana Community Foundation is currently seeking a Communications Manager, Donor Engagement Officer, Not-for-Profit Sustainability Officer, and Opportunity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator. Positions will remain open until they are filled.

    CICF employees are encouraged to be self-directed, motivated, and creative. The work environment is fluid, as the organization is designed to respond to current and emerging community needs. It is their policy to seek and retain employees of the highest possible quality, and new employees are hired based on ability, education, experience, personal integrity, potential ability and other standards as required.

    Opportunity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator- This full-time position requires superior organizational and workload prioritizing skills as well as project management and outstanding customer service skills. This person is responsible for managing calendars and logistics as well as serving as liaison for the Community Ambassador program, OEI Advisory Council and the internal racial equity committee.  This position requires a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail, the ability to handle multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, meet designated deadlines and interact effectively with a variety of people.

    Not-for-Profit Sustainability Officer- This full-time position will work with the donor engagement team to provide exceptional customer service and with development staff to grow assets, respond to requests for proposals and make sales presentations to organizations.  This position requires strong knowledge of the not-for-profit community, excellent organizational, analytical and evaluation skills as well as outstanding customer service skills.

    Communications Manager- This full-time position will work with staff to identify, research, write and produce stories, press releases, articles and copy for the Foundation.  This person will manage the project production schedule and provide strategy and design support. This position requires a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail, excellent organizational and workload prioritizing skills.

    Donor Engagement Officer- This full-time position will represent the Foundation with a portfolio of high-value, highly engaged donors – cultivating donor engagement and co-investment in our mission and community leadership priorities and providing world class service to our donors and advisors.  This position requires outstanding communication and relationship building skills, superior customer service skills and excellent collaboration skills. Professional presence and the ability to interact effectively with a variety of people is essential.


  • 24 Feb 2020 2:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    INDIANAPOLIS – On February 18, Prosperity Indiana announced the winners of its annual leadership and program awards at its 2020 Summit. The Prosperity Indiana Summit was an occasion to celebrate the leaders and innovators in the community economic development field. The 2020 winners came from a pool of committed community leaders and innovative programs across Indiana. Winners were nominated by their peers and chosen by a judging committee, based on criteria established for each award.

    Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Jessica Love said, “Each year, we’re honored to recognize the amazing work of our members and partners across the state. In their own, innovative ways, each recipient has made a significant impact on the quality of life for the people and places they serve. We know they often do this work without much recognition. So, we’re pleased to congratulate the winners of the 2020 Prosperity Indiana awards.”

    Award winners include: Food Prescription for Better Health; Albert Brownlee, Genesis Outreach, Inc.; Michelle Pitcher, Pace Community Action Agency, Inc.; and Bruce Baird, Renew Indianapolis.

    Michael Carroll Community Economic Development Leadership Award - Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank

    Presented to Bruce Baird, Renew Indianapolis


    This Leadership Award, jointly presented by Prosperity Indiana and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, honors an individual who has exhibited exceptional advocacy to further support the community economic development field.

    Bruce Baird has committed over 28 years to community economic development service. He has served in a variety of community development leadership positions, including roles at Eastside Community Investments, Mayor Bart Peterson’s administration, Insight Development Corporation, and Renew Indianapolis. Not only does Baird work in these neighborhoods, he lives in them. His work and leadership has brought significant change and made a positive impact on the City of Indianapolis. 

    Other Leadership Award nominees:

    • Wendy Dant Chesser, One Southern Indiana

    John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award - Sponsored by First Financial Bank

    Presented to Michelle Pitcher, Pace Community Action Agency, Inc.


    The Rural Development Leadership Award honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in improving the quality of life, influencing policies, and fostering opportunities for growth and development for the betterment of rural Indiana.

    Michelle Pitcher serves as the Clinical Services Director for Pace Community Action Agency, Inc. and has continuously worked to improve her community, her organization, and herself. She has expanded the reach of Pace’s health clinics to three additional counties, created partnerships to provide health insurance navigator services in five counties, obtained her Family Nurse Practitioner license and is currently working on a doctorate degree. Her work has helped thousands of rural Hoosiers improve their health outcomes.

    Other Rural Development Leadership Award nominees:

    • Joe Micon, Lafayette Urban Ministry

    Robert O. Zdenek Staff Member of the Year Award - Sponsored by Brightpoint

    Presented to Albert Brownlee, Genesis Outreach, Inc.


    The Staff Member of the Year Award honors an extraordinary individual who contributes to his or her organization and to the community economic development field as a whole. This person shows leadership, personal initiative, and is a public servant.

    Albert Brownlee is a distinguished community servant-leader with 20 years of service to Genesis Outreach, Inc. In that time, Albert helped to change the landscape of northeast Indiana and the city of Fort Wayne through his work creating multiple new housing and community development opportunities throughout the region.

    Other Staff Member of the Year Award nominees:

    • Joe Bowling, Englewood Community Development Corporation
    • Albert Brownlee, Genesis Outreach, Inc.
    • Willie Dearing, South Bend Mutual Homes Cooperative
    • Bob Goodrum, Wellspring
    • Jennifer Layton, LTHC Homeless Services
    • Wallace McLaughlin, Fathers and Families Center
    • Natalie Powell, Hoosier Uplands
    • Evan Tester, King Park Development Corporation/Renew Indianapolis
    • Mark Wuellner, Indiana Bond Bank

    Key Award for Program of the Year - Sponsored by Merchants Bank of Indiana

    Presented to Food Prescription for Better Health


    The Program of the Year Award honors excellence and innovation in a service-oriented community development initiative. This award recognizes a unique program model that leads in the area of service provision and/or volunteerism.

    The Food Prescription for Better Health program partnership included the Wabash Valley Health Center, Indiana State University, Purdue Extension, and United Way of the Wabash Valley. This collaborative effort aimed to increase healthy food consumption and improve health outcomes by increasing access to fruits and vegetables in combination with healthy living education sessions and cooking demonstrations.

    Other Key Award nominees:

    • Crooked Creek Food Pantry
    • Indianapolis Community Building Initiative
    • Stability Builders Network
    • Strong Fathers Program
    • Trusted Mentors

    ###

    About Indiana Association for Community Economic Development D/B/A Prosperity Indiana

    Prosperity Indiana is a statewide membership organization for the individuals and organizations strengthening Hoosier communities. Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to approximately 200 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • 17 Dec 2019 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    Each year, Prosperity Indiana celebrates dedicated individuals and innovative programs that have improved the quality of life in Indiana communities. We would like to congratulate the following individuals and programs which have been nominated for one of our four signature awards by peers in the community economic development field. Winners will be selected by a committee of distinguished leaders in the field and will be honored during the Awards Luncheon at the Prosperity Indiana Summit on February 18, 2020. 

    Michael Carroll Community Economic Development Leadership Award

    Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank

    This award recognizes an individual who has exhibited exceptional advocacy to further support the community economic development industry. Winners are selected based on their contributions to the affordable housing and community economic development field, their exceptional advocacy work, and the impact of their leadership. 

    • Bruce Baird, Renew Indianapolis
    • Wendy Dant Chesser, One Southern Indiana


    John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award

    Sponsored by First Financial Bank

    The Rural Development Leadership Award is designed to recognize outstanding leaders in the field of rural community economic development.

    • Michelle Pitcher, Pace Community Action Agency, Inc
    • Joe Micon, Lafayette Urban Ministry


     Robert O. Zdenek Staff Member of the Year Award

    Sponsored by Brightpoint

    This award recognizes outstanding professional leadership and commitment of a staff person working for a housing or community economic development organization. 

    • Willie Dearing, South Bend Mutual Homes Cooperative
    • Wallace McLaughlin, Fathers and Families Center
    • Natalie Powell, Hoosier Uplands
    • Evan Tester, King Park Development Corporation/Renew Indianapolis
    • Albert Brownlee, Genesis Outreach, Inc.
    • Joe Bowling,Englewood Community Development Corporation 
    • Mark Wuellner, Indiana Bond Bank
    • Jennifer Layton, LTHC Homeless Services
    • Bob Goodrum, Wellspring


    Key Award for Supportive Services Program of the Year

    Sponsored by Merchants Bank of Indiana

    The Key Award honors excellence and innovation in a service-oriented community development initiative. Winners are selected based on the program's creativity, evidence of cooperation, and impact on the community. 

    • Indianapolis Community Building Initiative, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center
    • Stability Builders Network, Family Promise of Hendricks County
    • Strong Fathers Program, Fathers and Families Center
    • Crooked Creek Food Pantry at Eskenazi Health Center Pecar, Eskenazi Health
    • Trusted Mentors
    • Food Prescription for Better Health


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Prosperity Indiana
1099 N. Meridian Street, Suite 170
Indianapolis, IN 46204 
Phone // 317.222.1221 
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