LISC calls for MANDI Awards nominations

Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Milwaukee affiliate has opened up the nomination process for its 2016 MANDI Awards program, which will recognize individuals and organizations spearheading revitalization efforts in Milwaukee neighborhoods.

The 17-year-old awards program, officially known as the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation, features five award categories backed by area companies:

*BMO Harris Bank Cornerstone Award: Salutes an organization for commitment and effectiveness
*Northern Trust Navigator Award: Applauds an individual for excellence in leadership and collaboration

*PNC Trail Blazer Award: Highlights an innovative approach to a community issue

*State Farm Building Blocks Award: Recognizes a real estate project that significantly improves a city neighborhood

*Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award: Honors a public space that rejuvenates a neighborhood

“The MANDIs lift up the stories of creative, inspiring, and effective work being done to improve the social and economic vitality of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods,” Laura Bray, executive director of LISC, said in an email to BizTimes. “We are looking for the people and projects who are making a tremendous community impact, even though their hard work might otherwise go unnoticed. Our goal is to share these stories with the broader public and to build investment and awareness for our city.”

Award winners will be celebrated during a gala on March 16, when they will each receive a trophy and $1,000 for their efforts. The last awards gala drew an audience of about 850, comprised of leaders from Milwaukee’s public sector as well as business and nonprofit communities.

Nominations for the 2016 program will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 19. Each nomination is reviewed by an independent committee, which chooses finalists for each award category. LISC will reveal finalists during a celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

In 2015, LISC introduced a new award, the Wells Fargo People’s Choice Award, which gives the community an opportunity to vote for the finalist they believe is most deserving of recognition. The 2016 program will again incorporate the People’s Choice Award with all finalists eligible for the award. Public voting will run online March 7-15.

Additionally, LISC plans to issue the Vision Award as it has in past years. The award has traditionally honored corporations that have made significant investments in community revitalization. The 2015 award, however, was given to former executive director Leo Ries in praise of his 15-year commitment to LISC. Each year, the Vision Award winner is selected by LISC’s Local Advisory Board.

The MANDI Awards are sponsored by U.S. Bank.

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