Established in 2010, the award recognizes an emerging leader under the age of 40 who has demonstrated leadership and worked collaboratively to address a critical societal need. Since assuming her position in 2016, Stout has worked to ensure that Grand Rapids residents take full advantage of all the community has to offer. Her accomplishments include creating and implementing the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, with the goal of enhancing the sustainability of neighborhood associations and advancing racial equity and resident empowerment in the city. A former program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Stout also co-founded and serves as a leader of the Latina Network of West Michigan, which is focused on resisting tokenism, elevating local Latina leadership, and shaping a narrative that honors Latinas' power, importance, and diversity.
"Stacy is a shining example of the tremendously talented group of emerging professionals in the nonprofit sector who are creating real, lasting change in communities around the country," said Independent Sector president and CEO Daniel J. Cardinali. "It is particularly meaningful that Stacy is the first award recipient to be honored at our inaugural Upswell, with its focus on the power of collaboration among changemaking professionals to identify new ideas and approaches to address society’s challenges."