The 2011 ARAMARK Building Community Leadership Award honors one outstanding community center executive director for their active leadership and achievements on behalf of the community center movement. More than 20 current and past community center leaders from across the country were invited to nominate a current executive director of an UNCA or Alliance member organization who:
Qualified nominees were vetted and verified through an internal executive leadership panel of Alliance, UNCA and ARAMARK representatives to determine five finalists who were submitted to an independent committee for selection of a winner. The award comes with a $40,000 grant to the recipient’s community center.
President & CEO
Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
Angela Blanchard is recognized for her pioneering work in asset-based community development that focuses on the human, social and cultural strengths of vulnerable populations. Blanchard is the president and CEO of Houston-based Neighborhood Centers Inc., one of the top 1% of U.S.-based charitable groups that serves 250,000 clients annually through 60 facilities in the Houston and Gulf Coast regions. Former HUD Assistant Secretary Roberta Achtenberg (who currently serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights) has praised Blanchard for her innovation in developing “a powerful transformational model” with important implications for community redevelopment efforts throughout the nation.
Watch for a special message coming in July 2011
Blanchard joined Neighborhood Centers in 1986 and was named president and CEO in 1998. She rapidly expanded the scale of the 104-year-old agency and grew its operating budget from $40 million to more than $220 million. Today, the agency is widely respected for achieving outstanding results in a number of public-service initiatives, including community schools and place-based education programs; immigration and citizenship outreach and advocacy; senior services; economic development; tax services; and disaster-recovery services coordinated in the wake of devastating hurricanes. In 2010, more than 300 organizations applied for Promise Neighborhood Grants from the U.S. Department of Education – and Neighborhood Centers Inc. was selected as one of only 21 recipients nationwide.
Blanchard has been honored by a number of organizations for advocacy on behalf of working immigrants, her excellence in nonprofit leadership, and outstanding achievements in community service. She has been named one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women by Houston Women Magazine and was a “Shattered Glass” honoree of the Harris County Women’s Political Caucus. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center honored Blanchard with its “2007 Everyday Freedom Hero Award” for her advocacy on behalf of the nation’s working immigrants, and the Chinese Community Center has recognized Blanchard with its “Compassion Award.”
Blanchard is active in the Greater Houston Partnership’s Executive Women’s Partnership; the Women’s Initiative and Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Greater Houston; and American Leadership. She currently serves on the Nonprofit Enterprise of the Future Advisory Committee for the Alliance for Children and Families; the Ad Hoc Committee on Sustainability for United Neighborhood Centers of America; the Complex Organizational Structure Group of the Alliance for Children and Families; and the national Community Advisory Board of JPMorgan Chase.