Patricia Garry nationally recognized for building local communities

Patricia Garry, executive director of the CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati, is retiring from the field of community development after 51 years of service, but she’s ending her career on a high note after receiving the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations’ top leadership award.
“Patricia Garry brings national recognition to Cincinnati and the city's community development corporations because of the strong partnership she developed between the CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati and the city government,” says NACEDA Chair Sharon Legenza. “Because of Patricia, community development corporations throughout the country look to Cincinnati as an innovative leader of community development models, strategies and policies.”
When Garry began her work in 1965, she says she remembers taking her 3-month old son along with her to meetings in her Bond Hill neighborhood because she recognized the value of communities having a say when it came to neighborhood development, early-on.
“CDCs have grown and increased their capacity wonderfully in all this time,” Garry says. “Now there are new collaborations and partnerships all over the country — with banks, funders and cities — and also with artists, the food industry, health care systems and many others. These networks provide strong webs of support for communities, their businesses and their residents.”
The NACEDA connects with nearly 4,000 community development nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, spanning 28 states and the District of Columbia “to advance opportunity and prosperity in low-income and moderate-income communities.”
According to Nate Coffman, the Ohio CDC Association’s executive director, Garry is incredibly deserving of the national award, which is why he chose to nominate her.

“Her leadership has ensured CDCs in Cincinnati  — and throughout Ohio — will continue to improve neighborhoods for the people who live and work there long after she leaves the field," he says.

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Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a college educator, freelance writer, and the event producer for Ohio Civics Essential. She loves travel and photography. Keep up with Brittany on Instagram @brittbrittbrittbrittany.