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Cindy Banyai wins AEA Award

Cindy Banyai wins AEA Award

Honored for outstanding evaluation practice and dedication to the evaluation field

Cindy Banyai, Ph.D., Evaluation and Design Advisor to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and Principal, Banyai Evaluation & Consulting, was recently awarded the American Evaluation Association’s Advocacy and Use Evaluation Award.

The AEA recognized eight individuals and one team for their outstanding evaluation practice and dedication to both furthering the interest of the evaluation field and the association. The award winners were recognized at AEA’s annual award luncheon held in November in Cleveland, Ohio.

“The acknowledgement from this award energizes me to continue banging the drum of sound evaluation practice in my community and work,” Banyai said. “I am inspired to keep speaking truth to power and lifting up the marginalized through participatory practice, data-use, and informed design in systems change.”

Banyai has worked in the field of community development since 2000. In 2012, she joined a start-up nonprofit as its first executive director to develop the organization’s infrastructure and practice to provide housing and services to homeless families. In 2010, Banyai founded and served as the Principal Consultant of Banyai Evaluation and Consulting, LLC. She worked with many clients around the world to better understand their effectiveness and impact and to develop practices and processes that raise up the voice of those they wish to serve, paying particular attention to cultural nuance and language barriers.

In addition to serving as Evaluation and Design Advisor at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, she also teaches in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Florida Gulf Coast University. She received the Donald W. Littrell New Professional Award in 2015 from the Community Development Society for her work on regional initiatives at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and for her commitment to community-based advocacy organizations such as BikeWalkLee. She is currently serving as the President of the Community Development Society and on the team of the Collaborative, Participatory and Empowerment Topical Interest Group organized by AEA.


About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $6.8 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $126 million, it has provided $78.2 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are now located in the historic ACL Train Depot at Collaboratory in downtown Fort Myers, with a  satellite office located in LaBelle (Hendry County). For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit

Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Our ambition is a more vibrant community that will continually address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties in Southwest Florida. We invite you to join our family and invest in the community with us!