Montana Housing with the Montana Department of Commerce and NeighborWorks Montana announced this year’s Housing Champion Awards presented at the 2021 Montana Housing Partnership Conference. These awards were presented to individuals and organizations that have shown extraordinary success supporting development, ownership and advocacy of affordable homes in Montana.
“These housing champions have spent much of their careers strengthening Montana communities by showing commitment, dedication and the ability to collaborate private and public partnerships,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Scott Osterman said. “It’s people like these who truly make a difference in their communities by creating homes that Montanans can afford.”
“There are so many incredible people doing wonderful work to advance opportunities for homes Montanans can afford. Each year, we look forward to recognizing and celebrating some of the great people doing this work.” Kaia Peterson, Executive Director, NeighborWorks Montana.
This year, Montana Housing’s awards were presented to lenders and front line staff who went beyond business as usual supporting renters and homeowners access COVID-19 emergency housing assistance grants.
Housing Champion awards were presented to:
- Mary Bair, Helena, Former Multifamily Program Manager at Montana Housing – Lifetime Achievement Award
- Senator Brian Hoven, Great Falls – Legislator of the Year, Republican
- Senator Jill Cohenour, East Helena – Legislator of the Year, Democrat
- Ian Ullman, Billings – NeighborWorks Montana Lender of the Year
- First Interstate Bank and Stockman Bank – NeighborWorks Montana Lending Institutions of the Year
- Cindy Newman, Great Falls – Resident Leader of the Year
- George Nikolakakos, Great Falls – Housing Advocate of the Year
- Patricia “PJ” Hanson, First Interstate Bank, Missoula – Montana Housing Lender Beyond Business As Usual Award
- Susan Tarner, Opportunity Bank, Helena – Montana Housing Lender Beyond Business As Usual Award
- Courtney Loeffler, Headwaters RC&D, Butte – Montana Housing Front Line Beyond Business As Usual Award
- Eric Beeson, Human Resources Development Council, Billings – Montana Housing Front Line Beyond Business As Usual Award
- Rebecca Paquette, Jessica Allred and Lynn Tennefoss, Missoula Food Bank and Community Center – Montana Housing Front Line Beyond Business As Usual Award
- Michelle Rogers, NeighborWorks Montana, Great Falls – Montana Housing Front Line Beyond Business As Usual Award
The Montana Housing Partnership Conference is a collaboration of housing professionals in business and government, housing authorities, community development agencies and nonprofit affordable home developers who share the same common goal, to build new or rehabilitate more homes that Montanans can afford.