Technology is rapidly changing the way the economic development profession operates, and leading economic developers are using technology as a key lever to drive results for their communities. At the launch of our business in 2016 we recognized the importance of technology to the continued growth of the economic development profession, but we saw no professional recognition for those leading the charge.
We created the GIS WebTech Technology Leadership Award a few years later to recognize economic developers that are advancing the profession through innovative use of GIS technology.
It has been our honor to recognize one economic developer in each of the last three years and award the GIS WebTech Technology Leadership Award to that professional.
This year, in response to broad interest from economic development professionals across the U.S. and Canada, we invited nominations from the entire economic development community. Economic developers responded, and we received nominations representing organizations across North America, for work spanning the full range of economic development, from tourism to business retention and attraction. As technology has exploded across economic development so has leading-edge work by economic developers, and the number of nominations reflect this growth.
In fact, we received so many nominations representing high quality work that this year, for the first time, we are recognizing multiple winners. We are also pleased to announce our first Canadian winner.
The three winners of the 2002 GIS WebTech Award are Tim Giuliani of Orlando Economic Partnership, Shane Chadwick of Florida’s Great Northwest, and Kathryn Baird of the City of Maple Ridge, British Columbia.
Tim, Shane and Kathryn each led efforts within their respective organizations that resulted in cutting-edge technology applications that are differentiating their communities and driving real results. All three were nominated by colleagues who stressed their vision, technology leadership, and personal commitment.
Tim, Shane and Kathryn join prior years’ winners Tim Duerr of Alliance Pickens (South Carolina), Lesli Crofford of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and Tommy Kurtz of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation as professionals we wish to recognize for outstanding work in applying technology to economic development.
Over the next three weeks we will post a series of blogs highlighting the great work done by each of our three winners, so please check back regularly to learn more. And please join me in congratulating Tim, Shane and Kathryn!