The Ohio Conference of Community Development (OCCD) is a statewide association of community and economic development professionals. On July 3, the OCCD announced the winners of the 5th Annual OCCD Member Awards in all six categories, one being the Community Development Professional of the Year. The recipient of this award is the City of Piqua’s Development Program Manager, Nikki Reese.
“I really enjoy working in the community development field and this is a great honor to be the recipient of this award!” said Reese.
The Development Professional of the Year award is presented to a community development professional whose work on a project or programs has made a major impact on the community. Reese has been instrumental in applying for and receiving grants for the City of Piqua to help revitalize the community.
Assistant City Manager, Justin Sommer stated, “Nikki is seen as a leader in the state regarding CDBG programs.”
She serves on the Advisory Committees for the Ohio Development Services Agency Formula Allocation, Neighborhood Revitalization, and CHIP programs. She also serves on the OCCD State Programs Committee.
Before coming to work for the City of Piqua, Reese worked in the Miami County Development Department from December 2007 to January 2015 where she helped the county receive a total of $8,012,044 in funding. In this role, she managed the county’s Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP), Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), and Moving Ohio Forward (MOF) grants.
In February of 2015 Reese joined the City of Piqua’s Department of Development as the Development Program Manager. Reese manages the city’s CDBG program, CHIP program, HELP program and various other programs within the city. Sommer expressed that her excitement and experience for community development led to the attendance of over 70 community members at the first CDBG public meeting.
“Nikki is consistently looking towards the future to improve the lives of residents. Her creativity and energy has provided opportunities for citizens that would not have otherwise existed,” Sommer said. “She is driven, accountable, and fiscally responsible with taxpayer funds. Nikki Reese is the model of a successful Community Development professional.”
In just three years Reese has helped the City receive a total funding of $1,540,345. This total includes grants from the CDBG program, CHIP program, Miami County Foundation, Piqua Community Foundation and the Lundgard Foundation. Two major grants Reese helped the city receive are the 2016 NatureWorks grant that helped with the Mote Community Center Restroom renovations and the US EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant to remove asbestos from the former Mo’s Lounge.
Reese stated, “I am extremely proud to be part of the City of Piqua’s Development Department team and I look forward to continuing to write grants to improve the City of Piqua.”
OCCD presented this award to Reese on July 26, 2017 at the Summer Member Meeting.