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. Hyperlocal data, virtual site visits, and integration with local GIS departments through the Esri platform are just three examples of major innovations in GIS for economic development that are now increasingly common.
Yet, until a few years ago the economic development profession had no recognition of technology leadership. At that point our Recruit technology was two years old and creating a major buzz in economic development. As economic developers flocked to Recruit it was obvious that there was strong latent demand for modern GIS technology and that GIS technology was now a permanent fixture in economic development. It was equally obvious to us that economic developers advancing the profession through leadership in GIS technology should be recognized for their contributions.
So we created the GIS WebTech Technology Leadership Award in 2019 and have been proud to present it to Tim Duerr of Alliance Pickens (South Carolina) in 2019, Lesli Crofford of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in 2020, and Tommy Kurtz of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation in 2021, for their groundbreaking work advancing GIS technology for economic development.
With the launch of our all-new Guru technology this spring, economic developers now have even more tools to move the ball forward! Guru is the most advanced GIS app ever built for economic development, and it allows economic developers with little or no GIS experience to take advantage of the latest features. One of my favorite examples: simply drag and drop a spreadsheet on the map to show local data such as industry clusters or privately held properties! No training required. Nothing could be easier.
In response to interest from economic developers across the U.S. and Canada, and with the launch of Guru, we are opening up nominations to the 2022 GIS WebTech Award for Leadership in GIS Technology for Economic Development. If you or a colleague have done some exciting work applying GIS for economic development, we want to hear about it!
Best of all, there are no forms to fill out or web links to follow, and the award is open to everyone in economic development, whether they are a researcher, a technology professional, a marketer, or a generalist.
To nominate someone simply drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org describing the great work and how it solved a problem or advanced a project. It would be helpful to include a snip or image file illustrating the work, if applicable. Be sure to include your contact information.
If you have done exciting work in GIS please do not be shy about nominating yourself! And if you are nominating someone else be sure to include contact information (email and cell phone) for that person, as well. Nominations are open until close of business on August 31. If you have any questions on the process just reach out.
We are excited to open up the nominating process this year and to hear about all the cutting-edge work done by leading economic developers!