One of SDHF’s signature events, the annual Ruby Awards is the county’s largest affordable housing industry recognition event honoring the best people, projects and achievements during the past year. Every year, hundreds of housing and community leaders from across the region and around the state will be on hand to applaud winners in more than a dozen categories and be inspired by their achievements.
2015 Ruby Awards
A Night to Remember
Thank you to all who attended, supported and celebrated with us on Friday, April 24. It was indeed an affair worthy of a 25th silver anniversary, sprinkled with well-deserved rubies on top…
The evening started with cocktails, mingling and networking to a perfect downtown San Diego backdrop atop the Westin hotel terrace. The silky smooth, soulful jazz and R&B sounds of the Steph Johnson Trio gave everyone reason to believe that this night wouldn’t be a typical work night. Guests figured it out when it was time to move on to the ballroom as they were guided there by the Heartbeats of Africa dance troupe.
Once inside, the program got a rousing kick-off by Frank Urtasun of SDG&E. His ability to get 400 people focused, seated and ready to party is clearly a major part of his job description… but when you’re surrounded by friends it definitely doesn’t seem like a chore. Once he passed the baton to our emcee for the evening, everyone knew that things were now warmed up and ready to celebrate: Councilmember Todd Gloria knows a thing or two about making a crowd happy.
With each heartfelt award, it was clear that these weren’t going to be your typical Rubies. And when the video recognizing some of our champions played, we knew that this was a special event.
The night ended with our necktie-headband-toting, fearless Executive Director Bruce Reznik presenting a rousing and honest glimpse into the future of the Federation. And with that, we were all sent off to dance the night away on the Terrace with Bump N Brass, San Diego’s premier, 13-piece Funk, R&B and Soul band. So if you missed our Ruby Award winners Bree Wong and Sue Reynolds dancing the night away…. then you better be first to buy tickets to next year’s event!
With deep gratitude for a great anniversary from us all,
Your San Diego Housing Federation team
Thank you to our dedicated supporters – your support has already made this a record-breaking event for the Federation!
Housing Project of the Year (New Construction): COMM22, a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development benefitting the City of San Diego, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights and Barrio Logan. COMM22 is a co-development of BRIDGE Housing and MAAC Project in partnership with San Diego Unified School District.
Housing Project of the Year (Rehabilitation): City Heights Ten, a 132-unit apartment project in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, rehabilitated by Wakeland Housing & Development Corp. and City Heights Community Development Corp.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Sue Reynolds, president and CEO of Community HousingWorks, for her decades of dedication to leading affordable housing progress in San Diego. Reynolds was a founding board member of the San Diego Housing Federation.
Special Recognition Award: State Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, a former San Diego City Councilmember and long-time champion for affordable housing and ending homelessness.
Outstanding Government Agency: San Diego Housing Commission for its Housing First-San Diego, a three-year plan to create additional affordable housing with supportive services to help as many as 1,500 homeless San Diegans.
Outstanding Advocate: Dr. David Folsom, medical director at St. Vincent de Paul Village Family Health Center, for his leadership in both supportive housing and health care services benefitting individuals experiencing homelessness.
John Craven Memorial Award: Karl Schwarm, director of housing & neighborhood services for the City of San Marcos, oversaw the creation of 3,500 quality affordable homes for seniors, families, veterans and residents with special needs.
Outstanding Development Partner: North County Lifeline, for supporting the creation of amenities at North Santa Fe Apartments to benefit young adults transitioning out of foster care, in partnership with Community HousingWorks.
SDG&E Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Award (New Construction): Paseo at COMM22, consisting of 130 affordable family units as part of COMM22 in San Diego’s Logan Heights neighborhood, developed by BRIDGE Housing and MAAC Project in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District.
SDG&E Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Award (Retrofit): Rio Vista Apartments in San Ysidro, for its environmentally responsible renovation by Standard Management Company.
San Diego Housing Federation Volunteer of the Year: Bree Wong, vice president of business development at SWS Engineering, Inc., for her passion and drive to support the San Diego Housing Federation’s mission to create and preserve affordable housing for lower-income San Diegans.
Special Recognition Award: San Diego City Councilmember Myrtle Cole and former Councilmember Ed Harris, for their effective policy-making efforts resulting in significant local funding for developing workforce housing.
Special Recognition Award: Carlos Flores, executive director, San Diego Regional Center; Nathan Schmid, executive director, Southern California Housing Collaborative; and Mike McSweeney, board president, Southern California Housing Collaborative; for their leadership on the 32-unit Independence Point in San Diego designed specifically for the developmentally disabled community that broke ground in 2014.
Outstanding Rising Leader: Megan Kirkeby, policy director at California Housing Partnership Corp., for her advocacy efforts to secure state Cap-and-Trade funds for affordable housing developments.
Outstanding Service to Residents: Jennifer Pankey, supervisor at Solutions Farms, a program of Solutions for Change where she teaches formerly homeless men and women how to grow and market high quality, organic produce.
CSH Supportive Housing Award: Chula Vista Housing Initiative, a partnership of the city, county and local housing and service providers that creates pathways from homelessness for some of the most vulnerable people in Chula Vista.
Outstanding Resident Leader: Joyce Roberts, a resident at MAAC’s President John Adams Manor in the Oak Park community of San Diego, who serves an educator and strong advocate for her neighbors.