19 Oct 2014

Economic Development Innovation & Leadership Awards Honor 20 Professionals

Alissa Sklar is the director of marketing for GIS Planning. She has extensive experience as a consultant, writer and educator in the fields of technology and communications. Dr. Sklar has a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts of Amherst, and has as worked closely with B2Bs and economic development agencies to assess, develop and implement social media strategies for business development.

Economic Development AwardsGIS Planning Inc., in partnership with fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times in London, held an award ceremony in Fort Worth this evening to recognize 20 professionals from a variety of public and private organizations with Economic Development Leadership & Innovation Awards.

“Two key elements often define the success of communities and economic development professionals: leadership and innovation,” explains Anatalio Ubalde, CEO and co-founder of GIS Planning Inc. “These qualities move things forward and out of the inertia of tradition. They are central to the character of the economic development professionals that define, redefine, and elevate our society.”

“These recipients have the raised the bar for all economic development professionals. They challenge us to be more creative, more courageous and more broad-thinking in our approaches to investment attraction, job creation and business retention.”

The judges created a list of candidates based on changing the profession, demonstrating courage, overcoming incredible odds, organizing a successful initiative that was likely to fail and trying to create a trend to improve the profession.


"fDi Intelligence is very pleased to be part of the first Economic Development Leadership and Innovation Awards. It is a recognition of the winners' outstanding contribution to the field of economic development," noted Courtney Fingar, Head of Content, fDi Intelligence


Recipients of the Economic Development Leadership Award:


Recipients of the Economic Development Innovation Award:


Recipients of the Economic Development Leadership Team Award:

  • William E. Best, Senior Vice President, PNC Bank
  • Ronnie L. Bryant, President & CEO Charlotte Regional Partnership
  • Kurt Chilcott, President & CEO, CDC Small Business Finance
  • Ed Nelson, Director, USFC.EDI
  • David L. Spaur, Economic Development Director, County of Monterey


Economic Development Innovation Team Award: 

  • Tedra Cheatham, Executive Director, The Clean Air Campaign
  • Danielle Casey, Director Economic Development, City of Scottsdale
  • Julie Curtin, Executive Vice President & Partner, Development Counsellors International (DCI)
  • Cecilia HarryExecutive Director, Greater Fremont Development Council
  • William C. Sproull, FM President & CEO, Richardson Chamber of Commerce
  • Andrew T. LevinePresident & Chief Creative Officer, Development Counsellors International (DCI)

The judging panel included:

  • Cathy Katona, Katona Associates, Chicago
  • Chris Knight, fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times in London, UK
  • Katie McConnell, Loudon County, Virginia
  • John Sternlicht, King County, Washington
  • Anatalio Ubalde, GIS Planning, San Francisco
  • Joy Wilkins, University of Georgia  


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