Frankie L. Atwater Sr. is the new President and CEO of the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies (IACAA), a membership organization that provides a unified voice and support to the poverty fighting network of Community Action Agencies. Mr. Atwater brings over two decades of experience in community and regional planning and public administration at the county, state and local government levels.
Prior to being named President and CEO of IACAA, Mr. Atwater was the Director of the Department of Community Development for Fulton County, Georgia, where he was responsible for ensuring the administration of federal and state grant programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the State of Georgia Department of Economic Development Workforce Division. Mr. Atwater was also responsible for guiding the creation and administration of two national award winning programs that serve at risk youth and provide community services through seventy-six (76) nonprofit agencies. As the Director, he was also accountable to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, for ensuring that Fulton County Public Housing Authority continue to have the capacity to effectively deliver services and expand the supply of affordable housing in Fulton County, Georgia.
Mr. Atwater was also responsible for the State of Illinois Office of Community Development, where he directed the administration of over $500 million in federal and state funds that provided disaster relief for local governments, supported the expansion of affordable housing, infrastructure improvements, homeless services, job creation/retention, and the work of community action agencies. Mr. Atwater was also responsible for a $109 million economic development loan portfolio that included over 200 local governments. He directed the administration over $15 million in financing that created over 1,000 jobs for the State of Illinois and spearheaded the creation of the State of Illinois $130 million housing and economic development loan program. He supported the allocation of millions in Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Funds as an appointed advisor of the Trust Fund Advisory Commission. Mr. Atwater also served as a member of the Illinois Housing Task Force Interagency Subcommittee. He also served as a board member to the National Community Development Association (NCDA), a national nonprofit organization comprised of more than 300 local governments across the country.
In 2013, Mr. Atwater was recognized by the Governor of Illinois for his leadership and service to citizens of the State of Illinois. He is nationally recognized for his work in community development and a recipient of numerous awards for his knowledge of federal program policies, guidelines, and creative uses of federal and state funds for planning and economic development projects. Mr. Atwater has a Masters of Public Administration from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University. He also holds a national certification as a housing development finance professional.