Public Assets Institute > Press > Press Releases > 2022 Con Hogan Award Winner Joe Wiah Speaks about the Award and What it Means to Him

2022 Con Hogan Award Winner Joe Wiah Speaks about the Award and What it Means to Him

Nominations for 2023 award close on June 29; the winner to receive $15,000 Cash Prize

In 2022, Joe Wiah was honored with the Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial, Community Leadership. The director of the Ethiopian Community Development Council’s (ECDC) Multicultural Community Center in Brattleboro, Wiah is helping refugees integrate into community life in Southern Vermont. In a recent interview, he talked about his work and what receiving the award meant to him both personally and professionally.

Asked whether receiving the award has been important to him, Wiah said, “As a recipient, my life has changed so much with this award.” He went on to say that the award allowed him to take a break last fall and visit his mother and other family members in Liberia. It also provided him with an opportunity to get executive coaching assistance. “To do this work, I realized that I needed to improve as a person too,” he said. “As the director, I lead a team of 21 individuals now. When we started, we were just three people.”

The annual award recognizes Con’s life by rewarding a community leader who shares his vision of a better Vermont and who seizes the responsibility for making that vision a reality. Awardees are individuals who focus on results, use data and measurement to mobilize action, work with people across diverse perspectives, take risks in pursuit of their vision, and persist through setbacks.

Wiah urges Vermonters to consider nominating someone for the award. “If you know of someone who has made a change in people’s lives, please nominate them because it means a lot.” He added, “Your effort will change not only that person’s life but the lives of the people that person may be working with.”

Watch the interview with Wiah at

Nominations are now open for the 2023 award. As in the past, the award will go to an individual selected by the Award Committee, whose members represent a broad range of interests and experience, including health care and human services, the arts, government service, early care and education, and the economy. The awardee must be a Vermont resident who has not yet received the prize and must be nominated by another individual. 

Nominations will be accepted through the Vermont Community Foundation’s website until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2023. The award will be presented at a public event in Montpelier, at 4:30 p.m. on October 11, 2023.

For more information or to submit a nomination, visit


The Vermont Community Foundation was established in 1986 as an enduring source of philanthropic support for Vermont communities. A family of more than 900 funds, foundations, and supporting organizations, the Foundation makes it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love. The Community Foundation and its partners put more than $60 million annually to work in Vermont communities and beyond. The heart of its work is closing the opportunity gap—the divide that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work. The Community Foundation envisions Vermont at its best—where everyone can build a bright, secure future. Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.

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