Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation (Rainbow), a nonprofit organization which provides service-enriched housing programs for 102 affordable housing developments in 9 states across the nation, recently hosted its 2018 Awards Banquet at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. The annual event serves to honor those who continue to make advances in affordable housing solutions as well to raise funds for future programming and educational opportunities provided to residents of the communities Rainbow serves.
“Funds raised by the 120 attendees of this year’s Awards Banquet will provide opportunities for qualifying low-income individuals to access Rainbow’s uniquely designed self-sufficiency programs focused on education and vocational skills development in the apartment industry and medical field of nursing,” stated Flynann Janisse, Executive Director of Rainbow. “Our mission supports the empowerment of those we serve by providing opportunities which will guide and sustain social and economic capacity. A quality education coupled with life-skills and vocational training aide our residents in reaching long-term goals and financial independence.”
Sponsors of the banquet, in addition to the 10th Annual “Play It Forward” Golf Tournament, allowed Rainbow to raise approximately $183,000 for its national programs. The organization also raised $151,000 for its Rainbow Scholarships and Vocational Training programs, its national scholarship campaign, surpassing the 2018 goal of $125,000.
The banquet featured speakers such as Ann Hilbig and Al Duncan.
Ann Hilbig is the Senior Vice-President of Program Planning and Evaluation at BakerRipley, a charitable organization in Texas which aims to strengthen underserved neighborhoods across the country.
In her speech, Hilbig stated, “I am motivated by the work Rainbow does. We at BakerRipley share the same mission of inspiring welcomeness to underserved communities across the country and Rainbow truly understands the best way to help individuals is by asking the right questions and paying attention to their needs.”
Al Duncan, Youth Advocate, Educator, and Publisher, also spoke during the event, where he told his personal life story and explained how organizations like Rainbow change the lives of people who might need additional resources. He shared several of his “Duncan Nuggets,” which are short, motivational quotes, aimed at inspiring and engaging the crowd.
“Failure is only permanent if you quit,” proclaimed Duncan.
Residents from the communities Rainbow serves were also in attendance, several of whom shared their stories with the attendees. They spoke about how Rainbow’s programs, such as the organization’s Vocational Training Program, tailored to empower participants and employ graduates in a variety of industries, have impacted and changed their lives for the better. Many of them were recently awarded scholarship funds from Rainbow and some have already graduated from one or more of Rainbow’s programs.
Rainbow’s residents honored included:
• Vocational Graduate: Brandon Muckleroy
• Vocational Graduate: Monique Hendricks
• Rainbow Scholar: Brea Marshall
• Rainbow Scholar: Virnesia Haywood
• Rainbow Scholar: Gina Tristin
Since its inception, Rainbow’s Vocational Training Program has placed numerous graduates in various professional careers, from porter positions to project managers. Valued organizations such as Reliant Group Management, J. Allen Management, Capstone Real Estate Services, and Alpha-Barnes Real Estate Services have shared an interest in the placement of these qualified candidates and look forward to interviewing the next graduating class.
Rainbow honored community leaders with a variety of awards, highlighting their dedication to the organization and the preservation of sustainable, affordable housing throughout the nation. Community leader honorees included:
• Affordable Advocate of the Year: Carol Naughton, President of Purpose Built Communities
• Community Partner of the Year: Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney
• Innovative Service-Enriched Housing Partner of the Year: Kipling “Kip” Sheppard, CEO, Development and Construction Division for The Wasatch Group
A number of coordinators from Rainbow were also honored at the banquet:
• Resident Services Coordinator of the Year: Annis Gayle
• Resident Services Senior Collaborator of the Year: Joseph George
• Resident Services Collaborator of the Year: Dherlene Gutierrez
This year’s Title Sponsor was Reliant Group Management, a long-time supporter of Rainbow’s mission across the country. J. Allen Management Company was the event’s Co-Sponsor, based in Beaumont, Texas. National Program Sponsors included: Arent Fox, CBRE, Citigroup Inc, City Real Estate Advisors, CohnReznick, Cornerstone Residential, Cox Castle Nicholson, FPI Management, Highridge Costa Companies, Lockton Companies, Mengali Accountancy, Pillar, R4 Capital, RealPage, and Tidwell Group.
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Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation (Rainbow) is a nonprofit organization which provides service-enriched housing programs for residents of rental housing communities throughout the country. With award-winning services available throughout the United States, Rainbow seeks to create and preserve quality, affordable housing for families and individuals of diverse ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds.