We started our company in 2016 with the belief that technology would improve the way economic development is done, and when we launched our first technology in 2017 our resulting rapid growth confirmed that economic developers were tired of the glacial pace of innovation in legacy apps and hungry for modern technology – technology that would make them more efficient and more effective in their profession.
But when we reviewed the industry in our first year we saw no professional recognition for those economic developers driving the profession forward in its use of technology.
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 six economic developers over the last four years by awarding them the GIS WebTech Technology Leadership Award.
This year we received nominations representing organizations across North America, for work spanning the full range of economic development. As technology has exploded across economic development so has leading-edge work by economic developers, and the number and quality of the nominations reflect this growth. We received so many nominations representing high quality work that this year, for the second year in a row, we are recognizing multiple winners.
The winners of the 2023 GIS WebTech Award are Melanie Moore of JAXUSA, Antony Burton of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, and Dat Nguyen of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
Melanie, Antony and Dat each led efforts within their respective organizations that resulted in cutting-edge uses of technology that are driving real results and simultaneously expanding best practices in economic development. All three were nominated by colleagues who stressed their vision, technology leadership, and personal commitment. Dat also represents the second team member from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to win the GIS WebTech Award – the first economic development organization to have two winners!
Melanie, Antony and Dat join prior years’ winners Tim Duerr of Alliance Pickens (South Carolina), Lesli Crofford of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Tommy Kurtz of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, Tim Guliani of the Orlando Economic Partnership, Shane Chadwick of Florida’s Great Northwest, and Kathryn Baird of the City of Maple Ridge, British Columbia. We wish to recognize all of these professionals 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 Melanie, Antony and Dat!