LISC announces 2014 MANDI Award finalists

Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC’s) Milwaukee chapter has announced 16 finalists for its 2014 MANDI Awards, which honor individuals, organizations, corporations and programs investing significant funds and efforts into neighborhood development within Milwaukee’s central city.


In their 15th year, the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) “profile the spirit of resilience and determination” that LISC sees every day in the groups it partners with, said Leo Ries, executive director of LISC.

“I believe that there’s so much really good work that’s going on that doesn’t get recognized,” Ries said. “Each of these efforts by themselves (is) rather modest but…they’re making a collective impact, and I think through the MANDIs we want to draw attention to that work.”

MANDI award winners will be saluted at a special gala on Wednesday, April 9, at downtown Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel.

2014 MANDI finalists, selected from a pool of nominations by an independent volunteer committee, are:

Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award (recognizing a public space that fosters community):
*Three Bridges Park
*Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum
*Journey House Packers Football Stadium

BMO Harris Cornerstone Award (recognizing an organization for its long-term commitments):
*Havenwoods Economic Development corporation
*Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation
*Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity
*United Methodist Children’s Services of Wisconsin

Northern Trust Navigator Award (recognizing an individual for their leadership and collaboration efforts):
*Charles Brown of Journey House
*Jan Christenson of YMCA of Metro Milwaukee
*Howard Snyder of Northwest Side Community Development Corp.

PNC Bank Trail Blazer Award (recognizing an “innovative” approach to a community-wide issue):
*16th Street community Health Center’s Kinnickinnic River Corridor Initiative
*Independence First Mobility Store
*Just One More Ministry

State Farm Building Blocks Award (recognizing a real estate project that promotes community development):
*King Drive Commons IV, Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Impact 7
*Rent to Own Homes, Layton Boulevard West Neighbors in partnership with Impact 7
*Westlawn Gardens, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee

LISC also announced that it will award Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual with the 2014 Vision Award, which highlights a foundation or corporation dedicated to transforming Milwaukee.

According to Ries, Northwestern Mutual was selected for the company’s recent philanthropic focus on neighborhood revitalization as well as its decision to construct a new tower to house its corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

“I think our neighborhood work and their building collectively contribute to creating Milwaukee as a stronger, more dynamic community,” Ries said.

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