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.

The Community Builder Award recognizes a community organization that has made a significant impact on the well-being of our community.

 2022 Community Builder Award Recipient
Central Florida Foundation
Central Florida Foundation

The Central Florida Foundation stewards philanthropic dollars on behalf of individuals, families, and nonprofits. The foundation partners with people, organizations and businesses who are determined to make a difference in their community. Knowing that true change demands more than dollars and cents, Central Florida Foundation fosters collaboration, fuels ideas, and spearheads the innovation that will transform our region for good. Thanks to generous donors and community partners, the Foundation has invested more than $80 million in the community since 1994. By combining data, resources, and a collective drive to do better, the Foundation established Thrive Central Florida to collaboratively confront the five critical challenges facing our region (economic stability, healthcare, livability, education, community & social connection) through data, dialogue, and decisions that drive measurable action and impact across the focus areas.


The Neighborhood Champion Award recognizes the contributions neighborhood volunteers make to improve the quality of life in our city.

2022 Neighborhood Champion Award Recipient

David Martens

David Martens – Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association President

David Martens has lived in the Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association for 43 years. When he and his wife moved into the neighborhood in 1979, the neighborhood had no neighborhood association and was in dire need of representation. David got involved right away with the city’s master plan of the downtown area, and because of his involvement, the neighborhood went from predominantly boarding houses in the 1980’s to single family home ownership in the 1990’s. Under David’s leadership, the Lake Eola Heights’ neighborhood received both local and national historic preservation designation. This was important to David because the designation protects the homes character and prohibits the changes once made. One great piece of advice that David has for other neighborhood leaders is to get involved, get organized and work closely with your city government. Together, you will have the greatest positive impact on your neighborhood.


The Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award recognizes an organization or an individual who has demonstrated through their efforts a serious commitment to inclusion. 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award Recipient
2022 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award Recipient
Orlando Center for Justice
Orlando Center for Justice

Many private attorneys must turn away immigrants who cannot afford private representation. Three powerful women who were tired of seeing individuals alone in court and losing their right to stay in the United States, decided to create an organization focused on providing due process for all immigrants. Their mission is to bridge the access gap to justice in Central Florida by using technology, education, and innovative programs to reach a wide range of underserved communities. They are committed to providing legal relief to vulnerable and underrepresented populations in Florida with a focus on newcomers through a holistic healing lens.


Neighborhood Champion Award Recipients

Year Recipient Neighborhood Association 
2021 Madeleine Francois MetroWest Neighborhood Homeowners Association
2020 John and Carla Daly Vista Lakes Homeowners Association
2019 Genie Tuten Wadeview Park Neighborhood Association
2018 Shirley Bradley Bunche Manor Hollando Homeowners Association
2017 Jean Gertenbach Mai Kai Condominiums
2016 Vencina “Vinnie” Cannady Carter Street Neighborhood Association
2015 Faye Henderson Lake Orlando Homeowners Association
2014 Churchill Thompson Rose Isle Neighborhood Association  
2013  Fannie Williams Clear Lake Cove Neighborhood Association
2012  Tommy Chappell Spring Lake Manor Neighborhood Association
2011 Tom Golay

Engelwood Park Neighborhood Association

Community Builder Award Recipients

Year Organization
2021  Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College (PJI)
2020 Central Florida Community Arts (CFCArts)
2019 Early Learning Coalition of Orange County
2018 Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
2017 Heart of Florida United Way 
2016 Seniors First
2015 Harbor House of Central Florida
2014 Dr. Ruth McKeefery Volunteer Director of Educational Impact Program St. Luke's United Methodist Church 
2013  Fronie Jones Neighborhood Advocate & Association President 
2012 First United Methodist Church of Orlando
2011  Julie A. Coleman