NAHRO Outstanding Professional of the Year Award

Purpose:  The Outstanding Professional of the Year Award is NAHRO's highest and most prestigious award given to honor an exceptionally qualified person who has made outstanding contributions to the quality of life through service in the field of housing or community development. The award is made on the basis of extraordinary accomplishments and contributions. 

History: The award was established in 1975 in the name of M. Justin Herman to provide a living acknowledgement of the contributions he made to the beauty and vigor of San Francisco.  The award was renamed and revamped in 2019 to better reflect the purpose of the award and to encourage nominees from all agency sizes to apply.  

Qualifications:   Each nominee must have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the nation's effort to provide "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family."

Selection:  Up to three winners will be announced from the following categories -- Category 1: Nominee is from either a housing agency with under 500 units or a CD/Public Agency that has a population under 100,000, Category 2: Nominee is from either a housing agency with 501-3,000 units or a CD/Public Agency that has a population between 100,001-500,000, Category 3: Nominee is from either a housing agency with over 3,000 units or a CD/Public Agency that has a population over 500,000, and Category 4: Nominee does not work for either a housing or a CD/Public Agency.

Deadline: August 17, 2020

The recipient will be honored during NAHRO's National Conference and Exhibition, October 1-3, 2020, in Orlando, FL.

Apply Online

Judging Guidelines

Judging Guidelines Definitions 

The recipient will be selected on the basis of achievement in one or more of the following areas:

  • Demonstrated commitment to solving housing and community problems and evidence of improvement in the quality of life (0-30 points)
  • Demonstrated Excellence in one of the following areas:
    (Achievements  probably has had national implications and far exceeds what would normally would be expected by someone performing well in their employment position) (0-35 points)

Maximum Number of Points:   100
Nominees must receive an average score from the jury of at least 70 points to be considered for receipt of the award. If a tie results, a phone interview may be conducted.

2018 Recipient

Michael Gerber
President and CEO
Housing Authority of the City of Austin
Austin, TX

Previous Recipients

Richard C. Gentry, President/CEO, San Diego Housing Commission, San Diego,CA

Adrianne Todman, Executive Director-District of Columbia Housing Authority, Washington, DC

Robert Pearson, Executive Director/CEO, Santa Barbara Housing Authority, Santa Barbara, CA

Curtis O. Law, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk, Norwalk, CT

Jane C.W. Vincent, Regional Administrator - Mid-Atlantic Region, HUD, Philadelphia, PA

Carol Gore, President and CEO, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Anchorage, AK

Michael P. Kelly, General Manager, New York City Housing Authority

Steve Falek, Associate Director, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, WI

Apolonio "NoNo" Flores, Principal, Flores Residential LLC, San Antonio, Texas

Elizabeth Morris, former President/CEO, San Diego Housing Commission, San Diego, CA

Jack Quinn, PHM, Former Executive Director, City of Pueblo Housing Authority, Pueblo, CO

Maria Lourdes Seman Ada, Executive Director, Northern Marianas Housing Corporation, Saipan, MP

Kurt Creager, Former Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Housing Authority, Former NAHRO President, Vancouver, WA

Helen L. Sause, Former Deputy Director, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and Former NAHRO President, San Francisco, CA

Richard Y. Nelson, Director, Montgomery County Department of Community Development, formerly Executive Director of NAHRO, and Chair, Housing Opportunities Commission, Montgomery County (MD)

John T. McEvoy, Former Executive Director, National Council of State Housing Agencies, Washington, DC

William S. Clements, PHM, Retired Executive Director, North Little Rock (AR) Housing Authority

Robert L. Armstrong, President, AVI Consulting, Omaha, NE and Past President NAHRO

I. Donald Terner, Former President and CEO, Bridge Housing Corporation, San Francisco, CA


For a list of additional recipients, click here.

For additional information, contact:

Sylvia Moore Bowen
877-866-2476, ext. 7201