Commission Excellence Awards

NAPC’s Commission Excellence Awards program recognizes and honors outstanding efforts and achievements by local preservation, historic district, and landmark commissions and boards of architectural review, as well as individual preservationists doing exemplary work at the federal, state, and municipal levels.

These awards are given on a biennial basis and are intended to highlight ‘best practices’ and exceptional accomplishments by commissions at the local level, for both large and small communities, to protect and preserve historic districts and landmarks through legislation, education, technology and advocacy.

Award Categories

Best Practices:

Best Practices – Identification/Registration of historic resources, such as historic resource surveys, historic contexts, local designation reports, and nominations and multiple property submissions for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Best Practices – Protection of historic resources, such as preservation ordinances, new program tools/initiatives, rules and regulations, preservation plans and master plans, incentives, design guidelines and policies, grant and revolving fund programs, code enforcement programs, and zoning and building code provisions for historic properties.

Best Practices – Public Outreach/Advocacy, such as brochures, publications, websites, and other outreach materials; markers/signage; workshops, conferences, awards programs and other public participation and education initiatives; and advocacy campaigns and other organized efforts on behalf of local historic preservation or a specific historic resource.

Best Practices – Technology, such as the innovative use of GIS, databases, photography, digitalization and other technology used in the protection and identification of historic resources; and the use of technology for organizing and orchestrating grassroots efforts.

Commission of the Year:

The ‘Commission of the Year’ Award recognizes an outstanding achievement by a local commission under difficult or adverse circumstances. Nominations will be judged on (a) the magnitude and degree of difficulty, (b) comprehensiveness, quality and excellence, and (c) the impact and results of the achievement; and (d) the leadership exemplified by the commission. Consideration will be given in the judging relative to the size and needs of the local community to ensure that commissions from both small and large communities are represented by the awards.

Lifetime Achievement Awards:

‘Lifetime Achievement’ awards are given in the following individual categories to recognize trailblazers and their long history of professional work in the advancement of historic preservation at the local level. The awards were named to honor the inaugural awardees, who were exemplary in these specific categories of service.

The John and Sue Renaud Award for National/State/Tribal Leadership to Advance Historic Preservation at the Local Level recognizes those working in a variety of different settings at the national or state level who have promoted and aided local preservation efforts.
Eligible recipients include but are not limited to:
- National, State, and Tribal government staff.
- National and state nonprofit staff.
- Consultants

The Daniel L. Becker Professionalism Award for Municipal Leadership recognizes the contributions and exemplary leadership of those working at the local level. 
Eligible recipients include but are not limited to:
- Municipal, County, or Tribal government staff.
- Local nonprofit staff.
- Consultants

G. Bernard Callan, Jr. Award for Outstanding Volunteer, named for NAPC’s founder and first Chairman, recognizes those who have dedicated their lives to historic preservation as active and committed volunteers.

2024 Call for Nominations

The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions is now accepting applications for the 2024 NAPC  Commission Excellence Awards program. Award presentations will be made at FORUM 2024 in West Palm Beach, FL July 31- August 4, 2024. Award  recipients will receive one complimentary registration to FORUM, a mounted award certificate,  and will be featured in The Alliance Review, NAPC’s quarterly journal.  Honorable mentions, if any, will receive an award certificate and one reduced registration.

Learn More and Apply Now
View Past Award Recipients


As a member of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, you become part of a national network of historic preservation commissions, boards of architectural review, staff, local and state preservation nonprofits, and residents of historic districts who value their historic resources.

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NAPC is honored to serve as a national voice for local preservation. This would not be possible without support from members and partners around the country. Learn more about how you can further our mission to build strong local preservation programs and leaders through education, training and advocacy.