Mary Kerner was selected to receive the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Council of Development Finance Agencies. The CDFA Distinguished Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development finance industry. 

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Ely’s Mary Kerner has received a CDFA award.

The award focuses on efforts to enhance investment, structure new programs, and the pioneering of effective and successful development finance approaches that are transferable throughout the industry. 

To be eligible, candidates must have made lasting contributions that have had an impact on the way development finance programs are operated, managed, and administered. 

Toby Rittner, president and CEO for the CDFA, said “It is my honor to present Mary with this award and recognize all the great work she has been doing in the development finance industry. 

The CDFA Excellence in Development Finance Awards are presented annually and honor excellence, leadership, and the creative use of development finance tools. Congratulations to her on winning this distinguished award!” The CDFA awards two of these each year nationwide. 

Kerner said she was surprised when she learned she was the recipient and graciously accepted the award during the CDFA’s National Summit which was held virtually in November. Kerner is the CEO for the Rural Nevada Development Corporation (RNDC) and has been with them for 20 years. RNDC sought disaster relief and recovery funding during the pandemic to help small businesses in rural areas of Nevada. 

They were awarded $6 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and they also worked with Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) to create the I-80 fund, which NGM seeded with a $5 million contribution. These funds, along with the regular funds administered by the RNDC have bolstered economic sustainability and development throughout the state. 

Kerner said, “Even though my name is on the award, it really belongs to my team. Without them, neither our housing nor lending programs would be successful.”