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2020 Excellence in Economic Development Awards
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2020 Awards

Winners of the Excellence in Economic Development Awards were announced on January 23, 2020 as part of EDAM’s annual Winter Conference. The awards recognize projects and professionals in the economic development industry who have gone above and beyond or faced significant challenges in the last year.

View the 2019 Winners

Winner Videos

Winner Photos


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: Nancy Hoffman, Chisago County HRA-EDA

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: Katie Heppner, West Central Economic Development Alliance

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 Eric Pratt (R) District 55


NEW! Innovation Award

The Innovation Award recognizes a creative solution to an economic development challenge,  awarded to a community, county, organization, or a collaborative team. It could include any or all of the following:

  • Programs or initiatives that focus on business attraction, talent attraction or retention, business retention and expansion, financing, entrepreneurship, technology or other economic development initiatives.
  • Successful partnerships that demonstrate the strength of working together as a collective whole.
  • Creativity, effective communication and impeccable execution of an economic development marketing initiative.

Winner: APEX 360VR FAM Tour


Project of the Year

The Project of the Year Award will recognize a community, organization, or team of individuals 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.

Winners - TIE:

  • Northern Stacks | Fridley, MN
  • CHS Inc. | Fairmont, MN


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