By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer
For these efforts, and many, many more, the Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council (IACC) recognized Halverson with the 2014 Joe Mitschelen Lifetime Achievement Award last month during its annual conference. IACC noted that Halverson participated in council activities to seek out funding sources and to network across government agencies. The council also made known that in the six years it has given out the award, strong competition made this year’s decision-making the most difficult.
Joe Mitschelen served as an environmental rural development specialist in Washington with RCAC from 2001 until 2009, and he was the first recipient of the award in 2009. Skip Rand, who also was an RCAC rural development specialist in Washington between 1999 and 2011, received the award in 2011.
“Halverson invested over $5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds during the past 20 years toward the improvement of moderate income and gentrified neighborhoods, and promoted a sense of fairness in sharing Camas’ successes with all of its citizens,” said Russell Holter from Washington’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, in announcing the award.
Halverson oversaw 30 grants under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and made sure that the funds went toward reinvestment in older modest income neighborhoods
“He promoted a sense that we’re all sharing in the community’s progress,” said Scott Higgins, the mayor of Camas, in nominating Halverson for the award. “Mr. Halverson’s vision of a six-mile trail system that spans the entire length of Camas resulted in the Heritage Trail that is enjoyed by all year-round,” Higgins said.
Halverson not only had a keen interest in local civic engagement, but also in how he could contribute to bettering lives overseas, working as a consultant in Poland, Thailand, the Czech Republic and Uzbekistan.