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The William F. McKenna Award
On October 16, 2003, the first William F. McKenna Awards for leadership in the field of affordable housing were presented at the 10th Annual Tribute to Affordable Housing Leaders sponsored by LINC Housing Corporation, a non-profit housing corporation that Mr. McKenna was instrumental in creating in 1984. The first two recipients are Neelura Bell, Program Director for the Los Angeles office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and Sister Diane Donoghue, Executive Director and co-founder of Esperanza Community Housing Corporation.

William McKenna was a founding partner of the national law firm of McKenna, Conner & Cuneo. Throughout his career, Mr. McKenna served on national policy making committees in the fields of housing, finance, and organized crime. In 1954, at the personal request of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he investigated and revised the housing policies for the Eisenhower Administration. He served as Chair of The President’s Commission on Housing and Chair of the Federal Savings and Loan Advisory Council. Mr. McKenna also served as General Counsel for the Committee on Government Operations, the U.S. House of Representatives, Chief Counsel for Government Reorganization Subcommittee, and the Joint Anti-Racketeering Subcommittee. In 1954, Mr. McKenna established the organized crime unit within the Criminal Division for the U.S. Department of Justice. In California, Mr. McKenna was Commissioner of the state’s Constitutional Revision Committee and served for many year’s as Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

We at LINC Housing are honored to have had Mr. McKenna as Chairman of the Board of Directors from our beginning as the Corporate Fund for Housing (CFH), LINC’s predecessor. He was instrumental in the founding and initial directions of CFH and then LINC and served as chair of both boards from inception until his resignation in 1999. Inspired by Bill McKenna’s vision, LINC has created more than 7,000 affordable homes in more than 60 communities across California. We believe that these homes are a part of Mr. McKenna’s legacy and we will remember and recognize him each year with the annual presentation of the Award to leaders who reflect his commitment to our industry and the residents we serve.

William F. McKenna