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2016 Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Community Development Individual Award Recipients

Federal Legislator of the Year

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin


The Federal Legislator of the Year award is presented to Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland. Sen. Cardin has been a strong supporter of the new markets tax credit (NMTC) while serving on the Senate Finance Committee. As a longtime advocate of the Senate bill for permanent extension of the NMTC program, Sen. Cardin has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the program. He has championed for NMTC permanence because he understands the specific needs of the program.  Sen. Cardin was the original cosponsor of the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2015. In July 2015, he introduced the Cardin Amendment to increase annual allocations from $3.5 billion to $3.9 billion. This amendment was approved in the final Senate Finance Committee bill.

Sen. Cardin was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is also a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Previously, Sen. Cardin was the youngest speaker of the Maryland State House of Delegates and served in the House of Representatives for nine years.

Congratulations to Sen. Cardin for his ongoing support of the NMTC program and his role in the multiyear extension of the NMTC in 2015.

State Legislator of the Year

Utah State Representative Brad Wilson

District 15, Republican Majority Assistant Whip

The State Legislator of the Year award goes to State Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Utah. As chairman of the Utah Economic Development Task Force, Rep. Wilson oversaw the work that helped create thousands of jobs for Utah residents. He championed the 2014 New Markets Jobs Act in Utah as the primary House of Representatives bill sponsor. As a small business owner and real estate developer, Rep. Wilson is aware of the difficulties that growing compan

ies face while seeking flexible working capital. His efforts have proven effective, since 17 deals have been completed since this program launched. The small businesses that benefited vary throughout the entire state, but all are located within the community underserved by traditional forms of capital.

Rep. Wilson also sponsored legislation that attracts capital to Utah for startup business in technology and other high-growth industries. As the lead sponsor of legislation bolstering the tourism industry, which leads to more than $1 billion in state and local taxes, Rep. Wilson remains involved in the local business community and serves as a member of the board of directors for the Davis County Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulations to Rep. Wilson for his support of small businesses and his commitment to creating new jobs in Utah.

Public Executive of the Year

Richard Blackwell

Executive Director
Oconee Economic Alliance

The Public Executive of the Year award is presented to Richard Blackwell,

executive director of the Oconee Economic Alliance in South Carolina. In 2015, Mr. Blackwell successfully championed Oconee County's Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) certification as part of South Carolina's participation in the program. South Carolina was chosen to be one of the four states to implement this program in 2012. To receive the certification, a county must meet state-sanctioned goals for high school graduation, soft skills development, business support and National Career Readiness certificate holders.

With Oconee County's Youth Apprenticeship Program, Mr. Blackwell and the Alliance worked with the School District of Oconee County and Apprenticeship Carolina to give students the skills and experiences they need to become integral parts of the local workforce. Because of the work-ready certification, businesses understand that they'll be able to find the work force they need to be successful in Oconee County.  As a result of Mr. Blackwell's leadership, the Alliance had six manufacturing announcements in 2015 that brought 426 jobs and $53 million in capital investment to nonmetropolitan Oconee County.

Congratulations to Mr. Blackwell for his work with the Oconee Economic Alliance to develop the next generation's work force and attract new businesses to the area.

Return to Past Community Development Individual Achievement Awards

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