Alaska Gets Five IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards

Nearly 1,000 economic development professionals from around the world are in Anchorage for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference.

Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska (photo – neil alejandro/flickr)

The conference is expected to pump an estimated $2 million into the economy in the Anchorage and surrounding areas, not including spending by conference attendees who extended their trips to further explore Alaska.

It’s a happy coincidence that the host state is also one of the top winners of the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards. Five Alaska organizations, including the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), have been named as award recipients in different categories.

AEDC took top honors in the General Purpose Website category, winning the Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award. Last year, AEDC embarked on a project to redesign to transform it into a modern, innovative website with user experience at the forefront of their objectives. The website continues to evolve and improve.

AEDC also took the Silver Award in the Special Event category. Their Crowdfunding AK event, part of AEDC’s 2014 Alaska Entrepreneurship Week, included a keynote presentation by Danae Ringlemann, co-founder of, as well as a panel of successful local crowdfunders.

Other Alaska organizations who won the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards this year include the Alaska Division of Economic Development, the Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority, Haa Aani Community Development Fund, Inc. and Huna Totem Corporation.

Another winner with two Gold Awards is the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). One Gold Award in the Special Event category was for LAEDC’s Most Business-Friendly City (MDFC) Awards program. The second Gold Award was in the category of Business Retention & Expansion, honoring LAEDC’s Business Assistance Program (BAP), which reached the milestone of 200,000 jobs retained and created in LA County.

JoAnn Crary, CEcD, Chair of the International Economic Development Council and President of Saginaw Future Inc., said in a release that from localized community projects to large scale endeavors, economic development efforts have played a vital role in the global economy.

“As we address new and longstanding challenges, these efforts continue to take on even greater importance,” added Crary. “These two awards serve as a salute to pacesetting organizations like the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) for leading the charge.”

Yet another Gold Award winner was the Rutgers Business School, honored for helping small businesses in New Jersey grow and create jobs through the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI). Since its launch in 2009, over 180 entrepreneurs have participated in the EPI program. The aggregate impact of these companies exceeds $35 Million in annual revenue.

Lyneir Richardson, executive director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers Business School, accepted the award. “This is a prestigious honor and we are proud to be acknowledged for having social and business impact,” said Richardson.

The York County Development Corporation, which serves York County, NE, also won an Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award in the General Purpose Website category for communities with populations less than 25,000. YCDC launched a new economic development website in June last year, and has since continued to expand the site with new pages and information.

IEDC is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,600 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.

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