Cinnaire is proud to announce that Dionna J. Sargent has been recognized with the esteemed Leon N. Weiner Award by Housing Opportunities of Northern Delaware, Inc. (HOND). The award was presented at the 39th Annual Fair Housing Observance and Awards Ceremony – “A View at Fair Housing Law: Creating Wealth for the Future” on June 30th. Dionna was honored along with Delaware State Senator Darius Brown for their exceptional contributions to affordable housing and community development in the state of Delaware.
The Leon N. Weiner Award is a prestigious annual HOND recognition that celebrates individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing affordable housing and creating thriving communities. The award was inspired by affordable housing developer Leon N. Weiner who was a mentor and visionary committed to creating housing opportunities in Delaware. Weiner championed the Hope VI development, the first affordable housing residential project in the City of Wilmington in more than 60 years. Weiner was driven by his personal philosophy that people from every walk of life and economic circumstance share a common dream – a safe place to call home. Dionna Sargent was recognized with the award for driving impactful initiatives and fostering partnerships, including Jumpstart Wilmington, that address housing challenges and promote the development of wealth in underserved communities.
HOND’s mission is to promote fair and equal access to rental housing and home ownership for all Delawareans. The annual luncheon and ceremony brings together influential civic leaders, housing advocates, and community members to honor individuals for their outstanding achievements. It serves as a platform to recognize their dedication and inspire further action in the pursuit of affordable housing and community development.
“Delaware, like much of the US, is experiencing a housing crisis and I want to congratulate Dionna Sargent for her career commitment to addressing the crisis,” US Senator Tom Carper said in remarks at the ceremony.
Under Sargent’s leadership, Cinnaire has implemented innovative strategies to increase access to affordable housing, revitalize neighborhoods, and empower individuals and families in Wilmington. Her dedication, expertise, and collaborative approach have made a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals and communities.
“In my work with Dionna over the years, I see Leon’s passion in her face,” said the Honorable Vincent White, HOND Board of Director in presenting the award. “She exemplifies his tenacity, his courage and his vision to serve. Dionna is a true community servant who presses the questions – how can we benefit the community and what collaborative efforts can we bring together to make the most impact? I have yet to hear her say, ‘We can’t do that.’ She does whatever is needed and then she does more. She is an exemplary community servant.”
Receiving the award, Dionna said, “I am honored and grateful to receive this prestigious award named after someone who was such a great advocate in creating affordable housing and whose legacy still lives strong today. Everyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about affordable housing and improving underserved and disinvested communities, but we all know that we cannot do this work alone and, I’d like to acknowledge my Cinnaire colleagues who are instrumental in this work to create affordable housing and support the work that I do here in Wilmington.”
“My definition of leadership is – You can’t lead without loving and you can’t save without serving, so what is the depth of your love and what is the quality of your service?,” said Delaware State Housing Authority Director Eugene Young. “It is this combination of passion and service that makes Dionna Sargent such a worthy recipient of the 2023 Leon N. Weiner Award. I’ve known Dionna for 15 years and she knew she was going to address affordable housing since the first day. She has always been committed to housing, but more important, she’s always been committed to community development and to people along with her Cinnaire family. It is no happenstance that Jumpstart Wilmington has been as successful as it has been with 10 completed cohorts to this date. Dionna’s passion and service shines through the program as well as all the work that she does.”