The Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (known as the MANDIs) – presented by LISC Milwaukee in colloboration with sponsor U.S. Bank – celebrate individuals, organizations and projects that work to improve Milwaukee’s neighborhoods.
In early December, based on public nominations, a 40-member, independent, cross-sector volunteer Selection Committee named 12 finalists for this year's MANDIs.
Now, LISC Milwaukee wants you to help select the winner in the Wells Fargo People's Choice Category. Each voter can select its top three among the nominees and the winner gets $1,000.
Vote here through March 14.
Winners will be announced at the 19th annual MANDIs gala on Thursday, March 15, at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. Typically, more than 700 leaders from the private, philanthropic and nonprofit communities attend the event, according to LISC.
Here are the finalists in each category:
The "Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award" for public space that helps build the community
- Fondy Park
- Riverwest 24
The "BMO Harris Cornerstone Award" for commitment and effectiveness over time
- Artists Working in Education
- Healthy Neighborhood Initiative Community Improvement Program (HNI/CIP)
The "Chase Economic Development Award" for economic and business development
- North West Side Community Development Corporation North side revitalization
- Menomonee Valley Revitalization
The "Northern Trust Navigator Award" for individual leadership
- Dr. Mark Eppli, Marquette University
- Kalan R. Haywood, Sr., Haywood Group LLC
The "PNC Bank Trail Blazer Award" for an innovative approach to a community problem
- LBWN Neighborhood Block Projects Menu
- Safe & Sound Community Programs
The "State Farm Building Blocks Award" for a real estate project that advances the community
- Pete's Fruit Market
- The Alexander Lofts
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.