Martha Herm, the retired executive director of Peoria's Center for Prevention of Abuse, was honored last week with Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago's 2016 Community First Award for her years of dedicated service.
Herm was nominated for the Pioneer Award by Peoria's South Side Trust and Savings Bank. The Pioneer Award recognizes a career of achievements by an individual demonstrating ongoing dedication to improving the community.
Herm retired from her role at the center last year after serving in the position for 25 years. Highlights of her leadership include adding services to help disabled adult victims of abuse, expanding a domestic violence center and establishing the annual duck race fundraiser.
“I'm very honored to be chosen by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago for their Pioneer Award,” Herm said. “This recognition really needs to be shared with an amazing staff who were willing to join with me in trying new projects and programs which we believed, would help the people we served in a more effective way. The award also needs to be shared with board members, volunteers and the community in general, all of whom supported our innovations and expansions.”
Another initiative created during her leadership is the Next Step Transitional Housing Program, which provides long-term housing for women and children.
“The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, itself, helped us develop a transitional housing project which has been a most successful program," Herm said. "We learned through that initiative that, with enough time and support, people can fundamentally change their lives for the better.”
The award included a $10,000 check from Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago to go to the nonprofit of Herm's choice. She designated the funds for the Center for Prevention of Abuse.