NAHRO’s Advocacy Award

NAHRO’s Advocacy Award recognizes outstanding and innovative achievement in the area of legislative advocacy. Awardees are announced during NAHRO’s annual  Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. Originally named after former NAHRO employee Mary K. Nenno, this award is provided to a professional who embodies the excellence of her contributions.

About the Award

The Nenno award is presented in two categories: Organizational, for a NAHRO Region, Chapter or State Association, and Individual, for a NAHRO member or group of members. Awards go to efforts that exemplify the highest legal and ethical standards.

About Mary K. Nenno

Born in 1924, Mary Kathryn Nenno worked at NAHRO from 1960 to 1991, serving first as Assistant Director for Housing, then as Director of Program Policy and Research, then as Associate Director for Policy Development. She was one of the first to initiate NAHRO’s role as monitor and reporter on federal legislation of critical importance to housing and community development practitioners. In 1987, she and Philip M. Klutznick were jointly awarded NAHRO’s highest honor, the M. Justin Herman award. Ms. Nenno was also a Trustee Emirita of the Cooperative Housing Foundation.

A lifetime NAHRO member, Ms. Nenno was an extensive traveler, speaker and prolific writer. Her works include both articles for industry publications such as the Journal of Housing and Community Development and Development Law and Outlook, as well as full-length books such as Housing in Local Government and The Story of Housing and Ending the Stalemate: Moving Housing and Urban Development into the Mainstream of America’s Future.

Nomination Process & Application

Application Deadline:  Friday, February 2, 2024

Apply Online



Yvonda Bean, CEO, Columbia Housing & Cayce Housing (SC)


Jennifer Keogh, Vice President Operations- Affordable Housing, Progress Residential (Minn)


Ivory Mathews, Executive Director of Home Forward (Ore.)


Craig Maraschky, Executive Director of Aurora Housing Authority (Colo.)


North Central Regional Chapter of NAHRO (NCRC)


Michael Sweet, Chickasaw Housing Authority (Ala.)


Chris Gouig, of Alameda County (Cali.)


Donald May, Executive Director of the Adams County Housing Authority (Colo.)

Michael Wong, Executive Director of the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority (Va.)


Ron Clewer, CEO of the Rockford Housing Authority (Ill.) 


Sherry Scudder, Executive Director of Meade, Butte, and Lawrence County Housing Authorities (Mont.)


Lucy Brown, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Billings (Mont.)


Dianne Hovdestad, PHM, CMMO, CMPO, Deputy Director, Sioux Falls Housing and Redevelopment Commission (S.D.)


Jim Coleman, Vice Chairperson, Housing Authority of the City of Marianna (Ark.)

California Association of Housing Authorities (Organizational)


LaVon Holden, Executive Director of Vancouver Housing Authority (Wash.)


Minnesota NAHRO


Tony Bazzie, Executive Director of the Raleigh County Housing Authority (W.V.)

The New York City Housing Authority

The Massachusetts Chapter of NAHRO (MassNAHRO)


Nebraska Chapter of NAHRO

Have any questions, contact:

Gabriel Smith

Legislative Affairs Analyst
phone 202-580-3500 x 7202 mail Send Gabriel an email