Introducing our 20th Anniversary Superheroes: Tamar deFries, Jane Barrett and Linda McGraw-Adams (Part 5 of 6)

In our second-to-last spotlight on our 20th Anniversary Superheroes, we’re highlighting the important work and leadership of three women who have made an enormous difference in their communities. These women have dedicated their careers to catalyzing housing and economic development projects that have forever changed their communities for the better.


Tamar DeFries, principal with Pacific Growth Associates — Milestone-Economic Development

This Milestone award is for a leader in their community who has catalyzed infrastructure, health care, education, business or other community projects. Tamar deFries has helped build a strong foundation for Native Hawaiian communities. Tamar is one of the hardest working people we know and is determined to connect Native Hawaiian communities with the capital they need. She has great focus and amazing energy and enthusiasm for her culture, her projects and her vision for what is possible. We congratulate Tamar on her incredibly hard work to spur economic development in Native Hawaiian communities.


Jane Barrett and Linda McGraw-Adams of the Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority — Milestone-Housing

This Milestone award is for two people who have dedicated their careers to providing housing for American Indian families. They represent the highest professional standards and serve as a mentor to younger partners.

Jane Barrett and Linda McGraw-Adams are two individuals who have worked in tandem for decades to provide housing for their fellow tribal members in the North Woods of Minnesota. As one of Travois’ very first clients, Jane and Linda took a chance on what was then a financing program that had never before been used to build homes on reservations. Their vision for a better future paid off. Eleven tax credit developments and 287 homes later, Jane and Linda have forever changed their community for the better. As the executive director and assistant executive director of the Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority, they also work to help fellow tribes in the region access affordable housing information by coordinating the Minnesota Indian Housing Conference and hosting countless community meetings and conference sessions talking about their experiences and best practices for other affordable housing professionals.

If you know Jane and Linda, you know that they are linked inextricably. Best friends, coworkers and community leaders, they are individually amazing women and together even better. We congratulate them on their incredible achievements these last 20 years.

We’ll close our award announcements next week with one final spotlight. In case you’ve missed them, here are our other winners: