Terrance R. Duvernay Award

2024 Terrence R. Duvernay Award

Congratulations Christi Coady Narayanan

President and Chief Executive Officer, Opportunity Resource Fund, Lansing, MI

2024 Duvernay Award Winner Announced at Building Michigan Communities Conference

LANSING, Mich. – On behalf of past award winners, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) today announces Christine Coady Narayanan, president and chief executive officer of Opportunity Resource Fund in Lansing, was named this year’s recipient of the Terrence R. Duvernay Award during the Building Michigan Communities Conference.

The award is recognized as a pinnacle career achievement in the affordable housing and community development industry and celebrates the enduring legacy of Duvernay, a past MSHDA executive director. Duvernay is remembered for creating some of the most successful and innovative housing finance programs in the United States. His contributions to the industry fostered significant growth in affordable housing and community development for the state of Michigan.


About this year’s winner

Christi Coady Narayanan has served Opportunity Resource Fund (OppFund) since 1989, starting as an administrative assistant and working her way up through the ranks to the position of executive director in 1997 and president and CEO in 2004. She was recognized for her passion for economic justice and equitable treatment of people from all walks of life and for making a difference through her professional and personal passions.

Under her leadership, Coady Narayanan has grown OppFund and led the expansion of mission-driven community development lending while maintaining a focus on reaching minority borrowers, disenfranchised applicants unable to access traditional capital sources, and those hardest hit in low-income communities, during the Great Recession and COVID-19 pandemic.

OppFund also has provided an alternative investment vehicle for hundreds of individuals, faith-based entities, philanthropic sources, local governments and corporations. These dollars have been pooled to provide 885 loans totaling $55 million and leveraging an additional $200 million from public and private sources. These loans have assisted in the creation or preservation of thousands of affordable homes and jobs, enriched small businesses throughout Michigan, and made 125 children safer in organized and affordable daycares.

“Christi is one of the few people who knew Terry Duvernay. Having someone of her caliber who understands what he stood for and shares his level of commitment to the hard work it takes to make a difference made her a standout nominee,” said Linda Smith, executive director of U-Snap Bac and past Duvernay Award winner. “As one of the lenders for the zero-interest loan in the city of Detroit, she was one of the lenders early on that stepped up to manage that program.

“She sits at many tables, and I've never seen her shy away,” Smith continued. “She isn’t just about being there, but being there to make sure that people understand why this work is so important. I admire her tenacity. Even when someone else may have said, "We can't do it," she tries to figure out how to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’”

In addition to her roles at OppFund, Coady Narayanan has served on various boards, committees and task forces, including with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Standard Federal Bank Community Development Corporation, and Community Economic Development Association of Michigan. She also has participated in Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Build Program, is a founding member of the Detroit Coalition of CDFIs and served the board in a variety of capacities and has served multiple years on the committees of Opportunity Finance Network, a national trade association of CDFIs.

“What (Terry Duvernay) influenced in me was that it was about the people, that at the end of the day, everyone needs a place to call home,” Coady Narayanan said. “It shouldn't matter what you do. It shouldn't matter how much you earn. It shouldn't even matter if you've got a ding in your past. He taught me to always be real. So even as I was able to advance upward in the ladder in my career, I tried to always remember Terry’s mantra: ‘It's about the people.’

“This award has recognized some of the titans of affordable housing and thinking outside the box, and one thing that has been shared among all those individuals is that they all cared about people. They cared about their community. They cared about Michigan. They cared about making it different. This award tells me I got it right that I can count myself among those people who do it for the right reasons,” Coady Narayanan said.



The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), established in 1966, provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing, engage in community economic development activities, develop vibrant cities, towns and villages, and address homeless issues.


Terrence Duvernay Awardees over the years

2023—George Larimore, Turnstone, LLC

2022—Jason Paulateer, Fifth Third Bank

2021—Carlos Sanchez, Grand Rapids Housing Commission

2020—Gary Heidel, MSHDA

2019—Scott Larry

2018—Richard Cannon, Hearts for Homes, Inc.

2017—Jim Logue, Develop Michigan

2016—Sandra Pearson, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan

2015—Marvin D. Veltkamp, Medallion Management

2014—Thomas Goddeeris, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp.

2013—Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire

2012—Evelyn Brown, Local Initiatives Support Corporation

2011—Karl L. Gotting, Loomis Law Firm

2010—Dennis Sturtevant, Dwelling Place

2009—Mary L. Trucks, FiveCAP, Inc.

2008—Melvin Washington, Phoenix Communities and Castle Construction

2007—Ron Calery, Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Agency

2006—Gene Kuthy, Michigan Interfaith Loan Fund

2005—Noreen Keating, Lighthouse of Oakland County

2004—Linda Smith, U-SNAP-BAC, Inc

2003—Jonathan Bradford Inner City Christian Federation

2002—Dr. Kenneth W. Bensen, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan