November 6, 2017 (New York, NY) – The National Development Council (NDC) celebrated the 2017 NDC Academy Award semi-finalists and winners at their biennial conference in Washington, D.C. The nominees traveled from across the country to receive awards for making a significant difference in their communities.

Tony Gradney, a retired police officer with over 18 years of experience in the food service industry had a vision for his community. His vision was to establish an eatery in an area that had been long neglected economically, where families could go and enjoy a nice meal, food and entertainment. He set out to develop a restaurant that not only had great food and offered superior service but would serve as a destination, gathering point and an inspiration to the surrounding community. It is from this vision that Tony G’s, a soul food restaurant that offers a Southern Style breakfast and lunch menu, was born. With the motto Every Day is Like Sunday”, its easy to understand why it’s Sunday Brunch with live music and bottomless Mimosas has become a community favorite. Friday nights are also special with the After-Work happy hour, dinner buffet and live music that keeps the party going well into the night. Tony G’s has also become a community gathering place hosting a variety of community meetings, announcements, private parties and other special events. This popular establishment has brought new life to long neglected part of the community.

“What really makes this project unique however, is the impact that it has had on the lives of its employees said Jackie Gorman, CEO of SAGE, as a second chance employer, Tony G’s is having a huge impact on the community”.

Behind every nominated project is a passionate and dedicated team that shared their inspiring stories at the NDC Academy — from long – time activists who have worked to improve their communities for decades , to students at the beginning of their economic development efforts.

“All of the nominated projects, not just the awardees, are winners,” said Daniel Marsh III, the President and CEO of the National Development Council , at the aw ards ceremony in Washington, D.C . “ A t a time when some might feel discouraged that economic and community development is not having an impact, we have clear – cut examples that people’ s lives can be changed. What we see in the impressive project images is in spiring and even still, the pictures don’t fully capture the humanity that brought these projects to life. Thank you for sharing your stories here today.”

About NDC Academy

NDC Academy is a biennial conference that offers economic, housing and community development professionals from around the nation opportunities to engage in panels and courses addressing the latest policy developments and new trends impacting their profession.

About the National Development Council (NDC)

NDC’s work focuses on HOMES, JOBS, and COMMUNITY. Founded as a national nonprofit in 1969, NDC has worked for almost 50 years fulfilling its mission to increase the flow of capital for investment in low-income communities. NDC directs capital to support the preservation and creation of affordable housing, the creation of jobs through training and small business lending and the promotion of livable communities through investment in social infrastructure. NDC’s products and services are deployed for the benefit of our municipal and nonprofit partners in both urban and rural low-income communities throughout the United States. NDC is headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington, DC, Seattle, WA, Cleveland, OH and Cincinnati, OH.

About SAGE

SAGE is a non-profit organization that serves as a growth engine for San Antonio’s Eastside. Through partnerships, alliances and leveraging resources, we help Eastside businesses expand and grow and support new businesses joining our community. Our passion is telling the story and celebrating the successes of San Antonio’s Eastside.

Media Contact

Akeem J. Brown

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