Duluth LISC announces 2013 Building Healthy Communities Award winners

Duluth LISC, which held its annual awards luncheon Wednesday at Clyde Iron, opened in 1997 and since then has developed or preserved 1,194 units of housing, created 186 new child-care spaces, 1,273 new jobs, and leveraged over $74.7 million new investment in Duluth. Duluth LISC has three core programs: the Building Sustainable Communities Initiative, affordable housing development, preservation and advocacy, and building the capacity of local community development organizations. Howie / HowieBlog.com

Duluth LISC, which held its annual awards luncheon Wednesday at Clyde Iron, opened in 1997 and since then has developed or preserved 1,194 units of housing, created 186 new child-care spaces, 1,273 new jobs, and leveraged over $74.7 million new investment in Duluth. Duluth LISC has three core programs: the Building Sustainable Communities Initiative, affordable housing development, preservation and advocacy, and building the capacity of local community development organizations. Howie / HowieBlog.com

Duluth LISC held its annual awards luncheon on Wednesday, when over 250 attendees ranging from local business leaders, city and elected officials to nonprofit and philanthropic groups including the At Home in Duluth collaborative members came together to celebrate recent achievements and honor 2013 Building Healthy Communities Award winners.

This year’s recipients were Sherman Associates and Ecolibrium3. Special recognition was also given to outgoing Local Advisory Board member Scott Bradt of Wells Fargo Bank.

The keynote address was delivered by Michael Levine, who hails from New York and is the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. His message focused on funding and technical resources that Duluth LISC brings to the area, as one of LISC’s 31 local offices in the nation. Local impact is neighborhood revitalization and prosperity, noting Duluth LISC multiplies each local dollar more than six times.

“Our 16 years in Duluth is a testament to community leaders, organizations and neighborhood residents pulling together to see Duluth’s core is strong and sustainable,” said Duluth LISC Executive Director Pam Kramer. “This year’s Building Healthy Communities Award winners demonstrate leadership in revitalization, working with the community to foster livable, safe and healthy neighborhoods.”

· Sherman Associates and developer George Sherman is being recognized for the adaptive reuse of the former Lincoln Park Elementary School. The school consists of over 170,000 square feet and sits in the center of Lincoln Park, one of Duluth’s most economically challenged neighborhoods. The first phase provides affordable space for the Lincoln Park Boys & Girls Club to maintain its programming for 600 youth. In addition, they are creating office space, a shared kitchen and community gathering area for Community Action Duluth and the new Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative. Their plans also call for 49 quality, affordable apartments for working families, including a small number of supportive housing units for homeless families.

· Ecolibrium3 is a new collaborative being recognized for its resiliency, innovation and resourcefulness in creating and carrying out programs and projects that have achieved extraordinary environmental results. In the past two years, 457 households completed advance energy efficiency measures with an average household savings of $646/year; 323 multi-family energy scores were generated with 11 completed projects representing 141 units of housing; 162 DIY audits were completed; and energy work was complete or in progress on 87% of units. Jodi Slick, CEO of Ecolibirium3, was honored as a Champion of Change at the White House this month and named as a finalist for the MN Environmental Initiatives Awards.

· Bradt, president of Northern Minnesota Business Banking for Wells Fargo Bank, is an outgoing Duluth LISC Advisory Board member recognized for his leadership and special contributions as former board chair and the head of the Fund Development Committee. Bradt provided guidance through a difficult economic climate and the transition to broader fundraising during his five years of service.

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