The 2018 Conference theme was It’s YOUR Democracy. The event brought together activists and reformers, stalwarts and newcomers, leaders and followers, bystanders now taking action, and people who are talking and listening closely for the pulse of our Civic Life. All attendees came together with a goal to inspire, engage, and inform. 

Over two jam-packed days,  a remarkable array of active citizens worked to renew and refresh our democratic practices, our democratic structures, our democratic culture, our democratic beliefs, and our democratic hopes for the future of our country. NCoC recognized outstanding citizens, veterans, and civic innovators both at the community, municipal, and national levels.


The 2018 HOOAH Award recipient was Brenda Sue Fulton. Fulton, who graduated from West Point in 1980, was a member of the first USMA class to admit women. She was honorably discharged as a Captain before becoming an integral part of the advocacy to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and to fight a ban on transgender service members. Fulton currently serves as the Chair and Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. She is the first openly-gay member of a New Jersey state agency.

The 2018 Citizen of the Year award was presented to G.S. Mack McCarter The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes individuals who use their public presence to inspire others and give back to their community. Mack McCarter was chosen for his leadership and partnership to build hope and renew the spirit of cooperation in every segment of the Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana, community. Evidence of the CRI’s work can be measured in many ways, perhaps most notably that major crime has dropped an average of 52 percent in areas where they operate Friendship Houses.