Journal of Housing & Community Development

NAHRO Honors Outstanding Professionals

December 11, 2020

On November 17, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) honored two outstanding professionals at the Opening Plenary Session of the online #NAHRONavigates conference.

You can view the award presentations and acceptance speeches here.

The Outstanding Professional of the Year Award is NAHRO’s highest and most prestigious award. It honors 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 was established in 1975 in the name of M. Justin Herman, then renamed and revamped in 2019 to better reflect the purpose of the award and to encourage nominees from all agency sizes to apply.

Milton Pratt, Jr. Wins Outstanding Professional of the Year Award


Milton Pratt, Jr., Executive Vice President of The Michaels Organization, was named one of NAHRO’s 2020 Outstanding Professionals of the Year.

“Milton’s impact on affordable housing development across the country is undeniable,” NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman said. “His track record and the sheer number of affordable housing units whose development he’s facilitated, even during a pandemic, are a testament to his leadership, expertise and team-building skills.”  

In his current role, Pratt has been a guiding hand in all affordable housing developments for The Michaels Organization, focusing on both pipeline growth and building industry partnerships. His tenacity has allowed him to take on massive, at times complex, projects as he visualizes opportunities to provide communities with much-needed affordable housing. Pratt and his team have developed more than 2,000 units, many of which were award-winning developments that have re-shaped entire neighborhoods.  

Louis Riccio Wins Outstanding Professional of the Year Award 

Louis Riccio

Louis Riccio, Executive Director of the Madison Housing Authority, was named one of NAHRO’s 2020 Outstanding Professionals of the Year.  

“During Louis’s tenure at the Madison Housing Authority he’s proven he is a forward-thinking leader and innovator,” NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman said. “He’s been an important catalyst for increasing the supply of affordable housing all while gaining the support of his community. It’s my pleasure to help recognize him with NAHRO’s highest honor.”  

Riccio has served as Executive Director of the Madison Housing Authority since 1981 and has remain committed to dismantling the stigmas associated with high-density public housing. In his lengthy career in public housing, Riccio and his team have created hundreds of homes for seniors, disabled households, and families in need.  

In 1992, Riccio launched the nonprofit Madison Affordable Housing Corporation (MAHC) to further facilitate the creation of low-income apartments. Since then, the nonprofit has developed more units with state, county, local and private funding sources than the housing authority developed with HUD funding. It soon became a template for other housing authorities, and Riccio started to share his idea with his peers across the state and country.  

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