Major Award Timeline

SMHA Chair of the Board Roberta Madden Receives Woman of Distinction Award

From the YWCA Greater Baton Rouge for her life's work advocating for women.

SMHA Honored by NeighborWorks

West End Receives Community Leader Certification Award

RICOH Recognizes SMHA for 2nd Time

SMHA's Sister Helen Vinton Receives Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award.

SMHA's Chair of the Board Receives the 2015 Anne Mackie Award

NeighborWorks Green Organization

"Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc. is a Chartered Member of NeighborWorks America. The NeighborWorks Green Organization designation is recognition of our comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations. NeighborWorks America awards the designation to organizations that have met a set of green achievement criteria that covers an organization’s overall management and office operations as well as the programs of the organization that are covered by the NeighborWorks Green Organization Guidelines.

CEO Selected as one of EBiz' Women Who Mean Business

Most Interesting People

SMHA's Sr. Helen Vinton selected as one of eight "most interesting people of 2014" by Acadiana Lifestyle

West End WINS Great Places in Louisiana AWARD!

West End Redevelopment Initiative Earns the 2011 GREAT PLACES IN LOUISIANA AWARD!

SMHA’s three-year report earned “Gold” status in the League of American Communications Professionals’ 2008 Vision Awards Annual Report Competition.

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SoSAWG), founded by SMHA's Helen Vinton in 1971, awarded her for her "gentle wisdom and tireless determination" at its annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

A Living Case Study in Community Development Improvement

Lorna Bourg was named a recipient of the Mike Sviridoff Leadership Award by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as one of the top 25 leaders in the community development movement in the USA and LISC recognized that she has built SMHA into a living case study in community development improvement.

SMHA Board Member, Roberta Madden Honored

By 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, at their 49th annual awards dinner, recognizing her work in advancing unity and diversity. Lorna Bourg, Executive Director of SMHA said, "Robbie Madden has a long standing commitment to social justice issues. Her life has been dedicated to racial and gender equity as well as the health of Louisiana's citizens. We are proud to have her as part of the Southern Mutual Help Association's family of policy makers." 100 Black Men is the local chapter of a national organization that works to improve the community, with a special interest in helping young people.

NCRC's James A. Leach Award

Southern Mutual is named recipient of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s (NCRC’s) 2004 Hon. James A. Leach Award, given to the one rural non-profit organization nationally that has made the most outstanding contributions to economic justice and community development.

Independent Sector's 2003 Leadership IS Award

Southern Mutual receives Independent Sector's 2003 Leadership IS Award. This national award is presented to one non-profit organization that exemplifies a commitment to leadership development, internally with board and staff and by volunteers and externally by creating a diverse and inclusive leadership community.

OMB Watch's Hall of Fame

Assistant Executive Director Helen Vinton selected an inaugural inductee of OMB Watch's (Office of Budget and Management Watch's) national Public Interest Hall of Fame. OMB Watch, a Washington-based public interest organization, honored Helen as one of twelve inductees across the country for her work in pursuit of environmental protections and sustainable development.

Women of Courage Award

Southern Mutual Financial Services’ Clem Matthews was selected as a finalist for the Women of Courage Award from the McAuley Institute.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas’s Spotlight Award

SMHA and Teche Federal Savings Bank, along with Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership members IberiaBank and MidSouth National Bank, are the first Louisiana recipients of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas’s Spotlight Award for Innovations in Community. SMHA received a $10,000 check from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas. This partnership has moved over $5 million in five years to 78 very poor first-time homeowners.

A Place in the Country

SMHA was featured in the documentary, a Place in the Country, which premiered during the 2002 Stand Up for Rural America Gala In Washington, DC. The film featured eight non-profit organizations from across the United States, along with interviews with Senators Kit Bond (MO) and Tom Daschle (SD), Congresswomen Jo Ann Emerson (MO) and Eva Clayton (NC), and Robert Rubin, Chair of the Citigroup Executive Committee and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Wade Mackie Peacemaking Award

SMHA Board Member Robbie Madden received the Wade Mackie Peacemaking Award from the Bienville House Center for Peace and Justice.

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

SMHA’s Executive Director Lorna Bourg was reappointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Louisiana Advisory Commission.

Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize

SMHA named one of 17 finalists for the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize out of four hundred non-profit organizations nominated world-wide.

One of Six James A. Johnson Fellows

SMHA’s Executive Director Lorna Bourg named one of six James A. Johnson Fellows by Fannie Mae Foundation

Mother Theodore Guerin Medallion

SMHA's Life Quality Director, Sr. Helen Vinton, received the Mother Theodore Guerin Medallion from Saint Mary of the Woods College, Indiana, recognizing outstanding leadership in Louisiana's rural communities.

Harvard’s JFK School of Government

SMHA’S Executive Director Lorna Bourg received a fellowship to Harvard’s JFK School of Government for the Senior Executives Summer Program.

Fannie Mae Foundation's Sustained Excellence Award

SMHA received Fannie Mae Foundation's Sustained Excellence Award and named one of the 10 best housing and community development non-profit corporations in America over a ten-year period.
Read more

SMHA Chosen as One of Nine

SMHA is chosen as one of nine non-profits across the country to pilot the Acadiana Rural Home Loan Partnership (now the Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership).

Outstanding Dedication to Social Justice

Attorney Marion Overton White received an award for 27 years of Outstanding and Dedicated Work of Justice in Behalf of Human Rights for Louisiana’s Rural Poor and for his continued service on the Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc., Board of Directors.

A 2nd Maxwell Award of Excellence

SMHA became the only organization to receive a second Maxwell Award of Excellence from Fannie Mae Foundation. The grant was for $25,000 for work in Four Corners, Sorrel and Glencoe (Dailey Iberian, May 4, 1995).

HUD Commissioner’s Award

SMHA received the HUD Commissioner’s Award for significant contributions to HUD’s mission to help create communities of opportunities

Grassroots Activism

SMHA's President and co-founder, Sr. Anne C Bizalion, received the national Older Women League (OWL) Grassroots Activist Award.

Maxwell Award of Excellence

SMHA receives its first Maxwell Award of Excellence from Fannie Mae Foundation.

MacArthur Fellowship

SMHA’S Executive Director, Lorna Bourg, was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in recognition of accomplishments in public affairs, dedication to creative pursuits and capacity for self direction

Iberia Parish Environmental Leadership Award

SMHA's Director of Life Quality, Sr. Helen Vinton, received an Iberia Parish Environmental Leadership Award.

Points of Light

SMHA received the President's Points of Light Award.

The Fay Bennett Award

The Fay Bennett Award presented to Sister Anne Catherine Bizalion for Leading the Fight Against Oppression and Exploitation in Rural Louisiana from The National Sharecroppers Fund.

Ms. Foundation

SMHA's Executive Director Anne C. Bizalion received the Ms. Foundation "Found Women" Award.

George Mitchell Award from the Southern Regional Council

SMHA received the Southern Regional Council’s George S. Mitchell award as one of two outstanding organizations in 13 states.
  • SMHA received the George Mitchell Award from the Southern Regional Council.
  • SMHA's Executive Director Anne C. Bizalion received the Ms. Foundation "Found Women" Award.
  • SMHA received the U.S. Bicentennial Horizons on Display Award.
  • SMHA named to International Who's Who in Community Service
  • SMHA featured on 60 Minutes for its farm worker advocacy in Louisiana's sugar cane plantations.
  • Dictionary of International Biography
  • Nominated for the Winthrop Rockefeller Award for Distinguished Rural Service
  • Sr. Anne Catherine Bizalion, President and CEO, received the Fay Bennett Award "for leading the fight against oppression and exploitation in rural Louisiana" from the National Sharecroppers Fund.
  • SMHA featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt for its community building innovations in rural Louisiana.
  • SMHA received the President's Points of Light Award.
  • SMHA's Sr. Helen Vinton named to Louisiana's State Pesticide Commission.
  • SMHA received its first Maxwell Award of Excellencefrom Fannie Mae Foundation.
  • SMHA's Director of Life Quality, Sr. Helen Vinton, received an Iberia Parish Environmental Leadership Award.
  • SMHA's Executive Director, Lorna Bourg, named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow.
  • SMHA's Executive Director Lorna Bourg received the Connections Career Achievement Award
  • SMHA's President and co-founder, Sr. Anne C Bizalion, received the national Older Women League (OWL) Grassroots Activist Award.
  • Reverend Vincent O'Connell received an award for twenty-two years of dedicated service on the Southern Mutual Help Association Board of Directorsand for his lifetime of courageous advocacy on behalf of rural poor workers.
  • A Certificate of Appreciation was presented by the Southern Mutual Help Association Board of Directors to Farmworker Beverly Rhodes for eighteen years of outstanding and dedicated service to the rural poor as a board member.
  • A Certificate of Appreciation was presented by the Southern Mutual Help Association Board of Directors to Farmworker Gustave Rhodes for twenty-one years of outstanding and dedicated service to the rural poor as a board member.
  • SMHA's President and co-founder, Sr. Anne Catherine Bizalion, received the Gray Panther's Margaret Mahler Award.
  • SMHA became the only organization to receive a second Fannie Mae Foundation Maxwell Award of Excellence.
  • SMHA received the HUD Commissioner's Award for Creating Communities of Opportunity.
  • SMHA is a founding member of Rural LISC.
  • SMHA chosen as one of nine non-profits across the country to pilot the Acadiana Rural Home Loan Partnership (now the Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership).
  • Farmworker Simon Daniel received an Award for a Life Time of Courage and Advocacy on Behalf of Farmworkers and for twenty years of committed service on the Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc., Board of Directors.
  • Attorney Marion Overton White received an award for 27 years of Outstanding and Dedicated Work of Justice in Behalf of Human Rights for Louisiana's Rural Poor and for his continued service on the Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc., Board of Directors.
  • SMHA received Fannie Mae Foundation's Sustained Excellence Award and named one of the 10 best housing and community development non-profit corporations in America over a ten-year period. Fannie Mae Award
  • SMHA's Life Quality Director, Sr. Helen Vinton, received the Mother Theodore Guerin Medallion from Saint Mary of the Woods College, Indiana, recognizing outstanding leadership in Louisiana's rural communities.
  • SMHA's Executive Director, Lorna Bourg, named one of six James A. Johnson Fellows by Fannie Mae Foundation.
  • SMHA's Executive Director received a fellowship toHarvard's JFK School of Government for the Senior Executives Summer Program.
  • SMHA named one of 17 finalists for the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize out of four hundred non-profit organizations nominated world-wide.
  • SMHA received the Rural LISC National Communications Award.
  • SMHA Board Member Robbie Madden received theWade Mackie Peacemaking Award from the Bienville House Center for Peace and Justice.Madden
  • SMHA Board Member Wendy Johnson completed a six-month Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria.
  • SMHA's Executive Director Lorna Bourg was reappointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights - Louisiana Advisory Commission.
  • SMHA's Assistant Executive Director Helen Vinton was re-elected president of Rural Advancement Foundation International - USA.
  • SMHA's Executive Director Lorna Bourg was elected president of the Sustained Excellence Alliance Corporation.
  • SMHA's Executive Director Lorna Bourg was appointed to the Southern Louisiana Community College Advisory Board.
  • Southern Mutual Financial Services received a $400,000 capital investment matching award from the CDFI Fund of the United States Treasury.
  • SMHA was featured in the documentary, A Place in the Country, which premiered during the 2002 Stand Up for Rural America Gala in Washington, DC. The film featured eight non-profit organizations from across the United States, along with interviews with Senators Kit Bond (MO) and Tom Daschle (SD), Congresswomen Jo Ann Emerson (MO) and Eva Clayton (NC), and Robert Rubin, Chair of the Citigroup Executive Committee and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
  • SMHA Executive Director Lorna Bourg received the Oliver-Sigur Humanitarian Award from the Louisiana Human Relations Council.
  • SMHA's Executive Director Lorna Bourg was reappointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights - Louisiana Advisory Commission.
  • SMHA adjunct staff appointed to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Advisory Board.
  • SMHA received the $10,000 inaugural Innovations in Community Award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.
  • SMFS' Clem Matthews was selected as a finalist for the Women of Courage Award from the McAuley Institute.
  • Southern Mutual receives Independent Sector's 2003 Leadership IS Award. This national award is presented to one non-profit organization that exemplifies a commitment to leadership development, internally with board and staff and by volunteers and externally by creating a diverse and inclusive leadership community.
  • Assistant Executive Director Helen Vinton selected an inaugural inductee of OMB Watch's (Office of Budget and Management Watch's) national Public Interest Hall of Fame. OMB Watch, a Washington-based public interest organization, honored Helen as one of twelve inductees across the country for her work in pursuit of environmental protections and sustainable development.
  • Southern Mutual is named recipient of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition's (NCRC's) 2004 Hon. James A. Leach Award, given to the one rural non-profit organization nationally that has made the most outstanding contributions to economic justice and community development.
  • SMHA Board member Roberta Madden received the "Portrait of Caring Award" from 100 Black Men, the local chapter of a national organization that works to improve the community, with a special interest in helping young people.
  • Dr. Ned Doffoney, SMHA Board member and President of Fresno City College, was awarded one of three prestigious "Exceptional Communicators" awards by the New California Media.
  • Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SoSAWG), founded by SMHA's Helen Vinton, awarded her for her "gentle wisdom and tireless determination" at its annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • SMHA Executive Director Lorna Bourg receives the Jewish Funds for Justice Woman of Valor Award; Bourg is the first non-Jewish woman to ever receive this award.
  • SMHA's three-year report earned "Gold" status in the League of American Communications Professionals' 2008 Vision Awards Annual Report Competition.
  • SMHA earned Louisiana Association of Non-Profits' (LANO) Seal of Excellence for the second time.
    • SMHA's annual report earns "Gold" status in LACP's 2008 Vision Awards Competition
  • NeighborWorks® presented its "Rural Initiative Partnership Award" to SMHA.
  • SMHA Executive Director was appointed on of 11 citizens to the Louisiana Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • The West End Redevelopment District master plan prepared by Architects Southwest under contract with SMHA wins INDesign 2011 Gold Award
  • The West End Redevelopment initiative was recognized by the 2011 Great Places in Louisiana Award
  • SMHA Board Member Ashley Shelton named to the Louisiana State Ethics Board.
  • SMHA's Lorna Bourg and Sr. Helen Vinton featured in "Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement" by Peggy Frankland, along with Wilma Subra, local environmental expert.
  • SMHA's President and CEO honored as one of the 2014 "Women Who Mean Business", sponsored by ABiz, IBERIABANK and the LHC Group.
  • SMHA's Sr. Helen Vinton selected as one of eight "most interesting people of 2014"
  • SMHA's Chair of the Board Roberta Madden Receives the 2015 Anne Mackie Award.
  • SMHA's Sister Helen Vinton Receives Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award.
  • SMHA receives the NeighborWorks Green Organization designation – A comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations.