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2019 Excellence in Economic Development Awards
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2019 Awards

 The winners were recognized at the 2019 Winter Conference January 23-25, 2019.


Economic Developer of the Year

The Economic Developer of the Year will recognize a true leader in the industry from the past year.  This person exemplifies excellence in economic development and leadership. This award is intended for a professional who utilizes best practices, collaborative thinking, creativity and a spirit of innovation. 

Winner: Tom Lambrecht, Great River Energy

Emerging Professional of the Year

The Emerging Professional Award acknowledges outstanding achievement by an emerging leader in the economic development industry. This individual shows promising leadership skills and positively impacts their organization, community, and/or region through economic development. This person should have less than five years of experience in the industry.

Winner: Marie Pflipsen, City of Becker

Project of the Year

The Project of the Year Award will recognize an individual(s) or a group(s) who have worked to complete a project that has had a positive impact in the State of Minnesota in the past year. This project will demonstrate collaboration, creativity, and complexity. The project will have created or retained employment and capital investment.

Winner: Uponor, Inc.

Program of the Year

The Program of the Year award recognizes a creative new program or initiative that has been developed to help businesses and / or a community to thrive, grow and prosper.  This could include programs or initiatives that focus on businesses, workforce, business retention and expansion, financing, start-ups, clusters, entrepreneurs or a number of other economic development initiatives. This award is for an individual, entity, or organization who has demonstrated success, creativity and innovative thinking.

Winner: GPS 45:93 Innovative Career Initiative

Redevelopment Project of the Year

The Redevelopment Project of the Year recognizes the best example of a project that has demonstrated a significant impact on a neighborhood, community, region and/or state. The nominated project should showcase prime examples of the following elements: complexity of problems that were resolved, collaboration among multiple entities, land use challenges resolved, and ultimately how the project has or will create jobs, capital investment, and/or community amenities. To be eligible, project initiation must have occurred in the last 12 months.

Winner: Topgolf - Brooklyn Center

Partnership Award

The Partnership Award recognizes true cooperation, collaboration, and creativity to achieve successful economic development projects or initiatives. This award is granted to an individual, entity or organization who understands that true success is achieved through building and maintaining relationships and partnerships. This award should represent a team working together on a specific project or initiative as a collective whole.

Winner: Anoka County Economic Development Roadmap

Marketing Award

The Economic Development Marketing Award will recognize excellence in marketing, branding, and promotion. Areas could include, but are not limited to: talent attraction, business recruitment, business retention, community, regional, & state-wide marketing. The individual, entity, or organization receiving this award will have exemplified best-in-class creativity, effective communication and impeccable execution of an economic development marketing initiative. 

Winner: Otter Tail County Rural Rebound Initiative

Elected Public Official of the Year

The Elected Public Official of the Year award will be bestowed to an individual that has worked diligently to advocate for economic development tools, resources, or initiatives that have had a positive impact in Minnesota. Nominations should reflect an elected official who is willing to stand boldly in developing and supporting robust economic development tools and resources. The elected official can represent at all levels including: community, county, state or federal legislature. 

Winner: Senator Jeremy Miller (R) District 28


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