The Community First Awards celebrate the success of Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago) member institutions and their local partners as they work together to strengthen the communities they serve. Nominations are accepted in four categories: Partnership, Project or Program, Pioneer, and Emerging Leader:


This category recognizes the collective, ongoing efforts of a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders to make positive and long-lasting impacts.

Project or Program

This category honors an outstanding single- or multi-family project, or an innovative program, in support of a broader community and/or economic development strategy. Projects must have completed construction within the last three years and be in either Illinois or Wisconsin to be eligible in this category.


This category commends a career of achievements by an individual who has demonstrated an ongoing dedication to investing his or her time and improving his or her surroundings through community and/or economic development activities. This individual’s characteristics may include perseverance, consensus building, the ability to share knowledge, and a steadfast vision. Eligible nominees may be employed by an FHLBank Chicago member or a partner organization.

Emerging Leader

This category recognizes the promise of an individual new to the affordable housing and/or community development field (defined as 10 or fewer years in the field). This individual’s characteristics may include natural curiosity, confidence, receptivity to new or unconventional approaches, and humility. Eligible nominees may be employed by an FHLBank Chicago member or a partner organization.

The 2018 Community First Awards were presented at the FHLBank Chicago member meetings. Press releases announcing the Illinois and Wisconsin awardees can be found in our News section.

Nominations for the Community First Awards are now open; you can access the nomination form here.