Mayor's Neighborhood and Community Awards

Mayor Dyer created the Community Builder, Neighborhood Champion and the Diversity and Inclusion Champion Awards to honor and recognize volunteers and organizations who excel in building better neighborhoods and strengthening our community.

Mayor Dyer's Community Builder Award is a great way to thank citizens for outstanding community work that makes a positive difference and improves our quality of life.

2019 Community Builder Award Recipient

earlylearning.jpg Early Learning Coalition of Orange County

Since 2000, the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County (ELCOC) has worked tirelessly to ensure all Orange County children enter school ready to learn by promoting high-quality standards among early learning service providers and providing training and technical assistance to improve teacher quality. The ELCOC is an unwavering resource for local families and an advocate for future academic success for the children of Orange County. Research shows that investment in early learning programs is essential to eliminating the learning divide that starts before kindergarten and can last a lifetime. ELCOC recognizes that pre-school education of our youngest citizens is imperative to our community’s vitality and future economic, cultural and social well-being.

Last school year, the ELCOC provided quality services to 32,400 children in Orange County. Currently, ELCOC supports more than 750 early care and education centers in Orange County. The School Readiness program provides financial assistance to eligible Orange County families giving them access to high-quality early care and education while they are working to become financially self-sufficient. ELCOC provides
scholarships to 4-year-olds, regardless of income, to attend Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program (VPK), giving them access to quality education which promotes early brain development and academic skills essential to success in school. The ELCOC is a true Community Builder, dedicated to training and inspiring productive citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

The Early Learning Coalition of Orange County continues to be an unwavering resource for local families and ensuring the future academic success for the children of this community. Investment in early learning programs is essential to eliminating the learning divide that starts before kindergarten and can last for a lifetime, which is essential to our community’s vitality and future economic growth. They are dedicated to expanding our educational resources, keeping up with the increasing need for quality early care and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow. Since his service in the Florida State Senate and throughout his 17 years as our Mayor, Mayor Dyer has made early childhood education a priority of his administration through many partnerships with the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County.

Congratulations to Karen Willis, Early Learning Coalition CEO, their board and staff on being selected as this year’s recipient of Mayor Dyer’s Community Builder Award!

To learn more about The Early Learning Coalition of Orange county, visit

Mayor Dyer values the contributions that neighborhood volunteers make to improve the quality of life in our city. In recognition of the many unsung heroes that work hard to keep their neighborhood a great place to live, Mayor Dyer has created the Neighborhood Champion Award.

2019 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient



Mayor Dyer’s 2019 Neighborhood Champion Award recipient is Genie Tuten from the Wadeview Park Neighborhood Association. Genie has been the association president since 2014. Before that, Genie was a board member for seven years. Her dedication to the city is evident in many ways. She doesn’t just understand the need to build community, she builds one. From hosting fun events like the pet parade, truck or treat and movies in the park, to clean ups, tree plantings, family picnics and producing the association’s monthly newsletter.

Genie understands the importance of keeping her neighborhood safe and has been recognized for doing so. She has been involved in Neighborhood Watch for more than 12 years. She has hosted annual National Night Out parties, winning numerous awards including Block Captain of the Year in 2014.

It’s because of her love for her city and her impact in the Wadeview neighborhood that Genie Tuten is the 2019 Neighborhood Champion Award recipient.


The Interfaith Council seeks to create a more peaceful, more harmonious community by encouraging and facilitating greater understanding, respect and cooperation among our region’s many faith groups and those of no faith. Through education and interaction they seek to dismantle all barriers caused by bigotry and bias which are leading to animosity and alienation between society’s various subsets. They believe that every human has innate value and deserves to be treated justly and with dignity and respect.

They equally recognize that the world’s great religions share a vast array of core values. The Interfaith Council seeks to highlight these shared values and rally the region’s faith groups around causes that are spiritually, morally and socially important to us all.

2018 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Shirley Bradley, Bunche Manor Hollando Homeowners Association, Clear Lake Neighborhood

2017 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Jean Gertenbach, Mai Kai Condominiums, Conway Neighborhood

2016 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Vencina “Vinnie” Cannady, Carter Street Neighborhood Association, Parramore Neighborhood

2015 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Faye Henderson, Lake Orlando Homeowners Association, Rosemont Neighborhood

2014 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Churchill Thompson, Rose Isle Neighborhood Association, Rose Isle Neighborhood

2013 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Fannie Williams, Clear Lake Cove Neighborhood Association, Clear Lake Neighborhood

2012 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Tommy Chappell, Spring Lake Manor Neighborhood Association, Rock Lake Neighborhood

2011 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient
Tom Golay, Engelwood Park Neighborhood Association, Engelwood Park Neighborhood