FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2023
Contact: Izzy Woodruff │ IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
William Tisdale, Natalie Abatemarco, and Gale King to Receive Prestigious Edward W. Brooke and Walter F. Mondale Fair Housing Award
Washington, D.C. — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) will award the prestigious Edward W. Brooke and Walter F. Mondale Fair Housing Award to three distinguished individuals whose work to advance housing equity, fair housing, and lending opportunities has had a significant impact on ensuring underserved people can access quality housing and credit.
The 2023 recipients are William Tisdale, Immediate Past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council; Natalie Abatemarco, Independent Director and Immediate Past Managing Director at Citi Community Development and Investing; and Gale King, Independent Director, Chair of the Executive Leadership Council, and Immediate Past Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Nationwide. Tisdale, Abatemarco, and King will be honored during the Fair Housing Awards Luncheon on Monday, July 17, 2023, at NFHA’s 2023 National Conference, titled “Fair Housing at 55: Advancing a Blueprint for Equity.” Marcia L. Fudge, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be the keynote speaker for the event.
William Tisdale was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council until his retirement in June. He is also a co-founder of NFHA and served as its first Chair of the board of directors. During his decades of service to the organization and the fair housing movement, Tisdale grew the Fair Housing Council into a statewide organization with satellite offices in Appleton and Madison, Wisconsin. Under his leadership, the Fair Housing Council developed innovative programs in fair housing and fair lending enforcement, as well as education and outreach. Further, Tisdale initiated pioneering work in housing mobility programs with the aim of creating inclusive communities for all. He has served on numerous local, regional, and federal advisory boards, including U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s Advisory Committee on Housing, and as Vice Chairperson of the Wisconsin Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Since 2012, Tisdale has been instrumental in leading a national project called Investigative Support for Testing & Enforcement Programs. As a result of this project, over 95 organizations that conduct investigations of housing discrimination have received specialized training and technical assistance to improve their skill and capacity to effectively investigate fair housing claims and assist consumers.
Natalie Abatemarco recently retired as a Managing Director at Citi Community Development and Investing, a division of Citigroup, Inc. At the national level, Abatemarco developed a comprehensive civil rights and advocate relationship management function and established direct relationships with the most influential community leaders and organizations in the country, including NFHA. She played a major role in Citi’s decision to support federal civil rights policies to advance equity and inclusion. She used her talents and relationships during the foreclosure crisis to help thousands of struggling borrowers remain homeowners. Abatemarco was a long-time member of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)’s Minority Depository Institutions Advisory Board, as well as the more recent Project REACh. Her engagement has catalyzed a range of cutting-edge initiatives including the groundbreaking Citi Community ATM Network, and she was a critical contributor to Citi’s Action for Racial Equity, a one-billion-dollar commitment to help close the racial wealth gap. She also served as Co-Chair of NFHA’s Fair Housing Act 50th Anniversary Advisory Council. Abatemarco continues to serve on the Board of the Long Island Community Foundation and co-chairs the Racial Equity Funders Collaborative (REFC), which focuses on racial justice and economic self-sufficiency for Black Long Islanders.
Gale King is an Independent Director, Chair of The Executive Leadership Council, and Immediate Past Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Nationwide. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Columbus Museum of Art, the University of Florida Foundation, and NFHA’s Fair Housing Act 55th Anniversary Advisory Council. She previously served on the board of directors of the National Urban League and co-chaired NFHA’s Fair Housing Act 50th Anniversary Advisory Council. King also understands the importance of philanthropy and is an education advocate. Believing that education changes lives, she has endowed the King Excellence Fund at the University of Florida and scholarships at Santa Fe Community College in memory of her late mother and grandmother. While at Nationwide, King helped lead the company in implementing efforts to advance fair housing and lending opportunities, including the development of a substantial partnership with NFHA, which enhanced the company’s underwriting and other policies and products. She also put in place comprehensive fair housing training for Nationwide’s associates and played a significant role in Nationwide’s decision to support federal civil rights policies to ensure every person is treated fairly.
“Gale King’s mission-focused, fair-minded leadership has compelled corporations to be more equitable in their practices and adopt policies, products, and programs that put people and communities first. Over the course of her career, Natalie Abatemarco has been a tireless champion for community-based organizations, forging key partnerships throughout the country to help advance fair housing and lending practices. Under the leadership of William Tisdale, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council brought precedent-setting enforcement actions to expand equal housing opportunities for millions of consumers,” said Lisa Rice, NFHA’s President and CEO. “I am thrilled to bestow upon these leaders NFHA’s most prestigious fair housing award.”
NFHA’s 2023 National Conference will take place July 16–18 at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel, 999 Ninth Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20001. Learn more at https://events.nationalfairhousing.org/2023-National-Conference.
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.