WEDA Recognizes Geoff Lawrence at 2020 Economic Development Awards.

Washington Economic Development Association Celebrates 25 Years of Success and Excellence in Economic Development with 2020 WEDA Economic Development Awards

February 5, 2020, Washington – The leaders of Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA), Washington’s only trade association focused on economic development, awarded their 2020 Economic Development Awards today at their 2020 Winter Conference in Olympia, WA.

“WEDA’s Economic Development Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in economic development at the highest level,” said WEDA Board Chair Mike Bomar, “There are leaders across our entire state working hard to grow jobs and increase prosperity in their communities. As 2020 commemorates WEDA’s 25th Anniversary, we have a special opportunity to honor economic leaders and projects that are continuing this important work.”  

Bruce Kendall, WEDA Awards Committee Chair added, “We received strong nominations from communities across Washington. The nominations reflect a unique array of the breadth and diversity of strong work taking place in economic development in Washington. These projects are often complex and require extensive collaboration and creative partnerships.”

2020 award winners recognized for outstanding achievement in Economic Development include:

EMERGING PROFESSIONAL IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Carolyn Honeycutt, CenterFuse, Ellensburg, WA – The Emerging Professional Award is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to his/her community, is a promising future leader in the industry, or who has become an integral member of his or her community, creating significant support for economic development. 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR – BUSINESS RETENTION: Geoff Lawrence, Impact WashingtonThis award recognizes a person outside the field of economic development who made a significant and/or innovative contribution to an economic development project or program during the past year. This award recognizes that economic development professionals must rely on a whole host of others in order to be successful. These are sometimes the “silent heroes” of economic development who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the economic development profession or were involved in a significant project in a creative way. 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR – BUSINESS RETENTION: Bring it Back to Washington/Ostrom Mushroom FarmsThis award celebrates the successful creation or completion of a creative, economically significant, and/or model project in a community or region. The project could be one that has retained jobs, was particularly difficult to achieve, was extraordinarily competitive, had multiple partners or contributed to community well-being.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR – BUSINESS EXPANSION: Vigor IndustrialThis award celebrates the successful creation or completion of a creative, economically significant, and/or model project in a community or region. The project could be one that has created new jobs, was particularly difficult to achieve, was extraordinarily competitive, had multiple partners or contributed to community well-being.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR – BUSINESS RECRUITMENT: Prosser Recruitment, Retention & Expansion Committee – This award celebrates the successful creation or completion of a creative, economically significant, and/or model project in a community or region. Factors that may influence the selection include the extent of the economic impact this project has on the community, the development of partnerships, innovation, originality, whether the project or program can be duplicated as a “best practice,” and whether the project or program appears to be cost-effective. 

INNOVATION IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD: Snohomish County/Propeller Airports – This award recognizes that not all economic development projects are alike.  In fact, there are frequently projects that happen or programs that are developed that do not include the “deal” that economic developers typically consider as a success.  WEDA will recognize innovative programs, projects, and partnerships that are pioneering, novel and groundbreaking. WEDA recognizes that communities and individuals are doing state-of-the-art work to further the field of economic development.  It may be the attraction of a world-class event that made a significant economic impact on a community, an atypical alliance of groups who may have never worked together before or the creation of a program that significantly improves a community’s ability to attract investment. 

For more information contact:

Suzanne Dale Estey, WEDA Executive Director 206-769-4217

Mike Bomar, WEDA Board Chair and Director of Economic Development, Port of Vancouver USA  360-839-3577

Bruce Kendall, WEDA Board Member/Awards Committee Chair and President/CEO, Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County 253-208-8458

Contact Information for Award Winners and Photos Available Upon Request

About the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA): Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, WEDA is a statewide, non-profit association of leaders from economic development, ports, governments, tribes, education, and communities who are committed to enhancing the state’s climate for economic development. WEDA’s mission is to serve as the statewide professional association committed to the development of economic and employment opportunities in our state. WEDA is committed to retaining, expanding and recruiting jobs and investment across Washington State. WEDA’s 2020 Legislative Agenda focuses on the most critical actions state lawmakers can take to retain and grow living wage jobs, foster vibrant communities and spark investment in Washington State. WEDA is recognized among decision-makers in Washington State as a united voice for economic development.

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