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Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development

The Chairman's Award is given to individuals who have shown long-standing, exemplary commitment to economic development throughout their careers.


Dr. M. Ray Perryman

Dr. Perryman has served as President and CEO of The Perryman Group, an economic research and analysis firm in Waco, Texas for thirty-five years. His firm has served more than 2,500 clients, including 10 cabinet departments, over half of the Fortune 100, two-thirds of the Global 25, and the 12 largest technology firms, six largest exergy companies, and the five largest financial institutions in the world. Dr. Perryman and The Perryman Group have been instrumental in the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. This incredible work in the economic development field is part of the reason that Dr. Perryman was honored by the Texas Legislature for his “tireless efforts in helping to build a better Texas.”

The Perryman Group has assisted communities, states, regions, and nations in comprehensive economic development efforts, as well as aided corporations in determining appropriate sites for new facilities and negotiating suitable arrangements. Under Dr. Perryman’s leadership, the company analyzes and addresses complex economic information for its clients, with expertise from across the entire economic development field. In addition to his economic development work, Dr. Perryman dedicates a substantial portion of his time to pro bono efforts, working towards solutions to major social problems including poverty, hunger, indigent health care, and child mistreatment.

Dr. Perryman has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Baylor University, a PhD from Rice University, and an honorary doctorate from the International Institute for Advanced Studies. He has continued his dedication to academia through various professorships including the Herman Brown Professor of Economics and as University Professor and Economist-in-Residence at Baylor University. Currently, his academic roles include Senior Research Fellow of the IC² Institute of the University of Texas and Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.

This persistent pursuit of education has inspired hundreds of his students and contributed to him being called a “genius” by The Wall Street Journal, and a “world class scholar” by Business Week. In addition to his academic and professional successes, Dr. Perryman has authored several books, over 400 academic papers, and more than 2,500 trade articles. He has also received hundreds of awards for his professional work, including Outstanding Young Economist and Social Scientist in the U.S. and Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Institute for Advanced Studies, as well as recognition by The Democracy Foundation and The Asia and World Institute for his economic work.

Dr. Perryman has more than 40 years of experience in developing systems, analyzing complex problems, and communicating effectively. He is a fearless leader in economic development, in Texas, and for thousands of people across the globe. His efforts to create a better Texas, create more jobs, and improve communities across the nation have not gone unnoticed.

The International Economic Development Council is honored to present Dr. M Ray Perryman with the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Economic Development.


Robert Buckhorn

The Honorable Robert Buckhorn has served as Mayor of Tampa, Florida since 2011 and has worked tirelessly to transform Tampa into a city with a flourishing, diverse economy. When Mayor Buckhorn was first elected, the city was struggling to rise out of the recession. With an unemployment rate of 11.6 percent and a 5 percent foreclosure rate, Tampa was hit hard by the financial crisis and was in need of a leader who was willing to take risks and rethink the future.

Mayor Buckhorn came to the job with experience in local politics during more prosperous times, having served as a special assistant to Tampa’s mayor in the 1980’s and on the City Council from 1995-2003. When campaigning to be elected as Mayor, his main platform was one of economic development and inclusivity. For Mayor Buckhorn, this platform was more than talking points, and his constituency has agreed. In 2015, he was elected to his second term with 96 percent of the vote. Beyond his local support, the data shows real success. In 2018, the foreclosure rate is less than 2 percent, unemployment stands at 3.6 percent, and U.S. Census data puts Tampa at number four in population growth for cities of 5,000 or more. The economic stabilization has laid a foundation for growth. Investors, including the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, have put over $3 billion into a 53 acre redevelopment project that will completely transform the city’s downtown. The development, Water Street Tampa, will include a medical school, two hotels, residential and office space. It will also be the first WELL certified district in the world, a certification that verifies development projects that prioritize citizen well-being.

While the transformation of the downtown core is dramatic, Mayor Buckhorn has worked behind the scenes on less glamorous aspects of economic development as well. One of his very first initiatives as Mayor was to reshape the construction and business permitting process. Since the more streamlined practice went into effect, the city has permitted over $10 billion in projects.

Mayor Buckhorn understands the importance of a visible elected leader when it comes to larger deals. This is evidenced by his hands-on approach in trade missions and business attraction ventures. During his time in office, he has traveled with the Tampa Hillsborough Alliance and Tampa Chamber of Commerce on missions to Europe, Latin America, and Canada. He has also played an integral role in high profile deals, including Johnson & Johnson shared services operations and Ashley Furniture Industries U.S. e-Commerce headquarters. The mayor often goes the extra mile with CEOs looking to relocate, personally reaching out and playing an active role in creation of incentive packages.

Mayor Buckhorn has been the bold leader that Tampa needed over the last eight years. His time as Mayor will end in 2019, but his mark on the city will last far beyond. From small initiatives to large development projects, Mayor Buckhorn has understood economic development in a comprehensive way that has helped Tampa flourish.



Henry L. Coaxum, Jr.

Henry L. Coaxum Jr., chairman of the board of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) and President of Coaxum Enterprises, Inc., is a dedicated entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader. He has worked tirelessly throughout his career to promote economic prosperity and improve the lives of fellow New Orleanians.

After working in urban development for the City of Chicago, Mr. Coaxum joined the McDonald’s Corporation in 1984 as a manager trainee at a McDonald’s restaurant in New Orleans East. Years later, he became the owner/operator of that very location, along with two other McDonald’s restaurants in New Orleans. As president of Coaxum Enterprises, Inc., he now operates three McDonald's restaurants and a state-of-the art training center that not only serves his employees but also the needs of other community organizations. Beyond job training, Mr. Coaxum values formal education among his employees and encourages hard work in the classroom. High school employees are given pay raises and college students are provided scholarships if they maintain good grades while working for Coaxum Enterprises.

His dedication to the community was reinforced during one of the most trying periods in New Orleans history. After losing his three restaurants, an office complex, and his home in Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Coaxum worked swiftly to get his nearly 300 employees back to work. Just six months after the storm, he purchased and reopened the St. Charles Avenue McDonald’s, the first in the area to open its doors. For his disaster recovery efforts, he received the Phoenix Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2008.

As chairman of the NOLABA Board since its inception in 2010, Mr. Coaxum has been a key facilitator, along with Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the city council, and senior business leaders citywide, in defining an economic development direction for the city. In 2013, NOLABA introduced the award-winning ProsperityNOLA, a five-year strategic plan to create a more prosperous New Orleans. ProsperityNOLA received an IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award in 2016. Since its inception, NOLABA has attracted major retailers including Nordstrom Rack, Petco, True Religion, and COSTCO to the city, resulting in a nearly 40 percent increase in local sales tax revenue.

Mr. Coaxum’s dedication to his community stretches beyond his work with the city’s economic development organizations. He serves as treasurer of the Hospital Service District Board, an organization that led the redevelopment of a full-service hospital in New Orleans East in 2013. He also supports organizations including the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, the United Negro College Fund, Junior Achievement, the Metropolitan Crime Commission, and the National World War ll Museum.

An unwavering advocate for the well-being of his community, Mr. Coaxum’s work has not gone unnoticed. He has received much recognition for his civic commitment, including the McDonald’s 365 Black Award for individuals committed to strengthening the African-American community and the Neighborhood Development Foundation Leadership Award for his commitment to the development and growth of New Orleans neighborhoods.

He also is a recipient of the Weiss Award from the New Orleans Council for Community Justice, which helps to “provide leaders with the necessary skills to join in the ongoing fight against bias, bigotry and racism.” In recognition of exemplary leadership in community volunteerism and philanthropy, Mr. Coaxum and his wife Karen, were named recipients of the United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Award -- the highest honor bestowed by the United Way.

The International Economic Development Council is pleased to add to the list of honors and presents Henry L. Coaxum Jr. with the 2017 Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development.



Robert S. Ukrop

Each year, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) selects an individual to receive the Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development. This award honors an individual who has been an influential leader within economic development.

Throughout a successful business career that spans more than four decades, Robert S. Ukrop, known to his peers as Bobby, has made it his mission to lead economic development efforts in the greater Richmond, Virginia, region. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, a prepared-foods operation with two facilities, Mr. Ukrop bridges the gap between a passion for food and a dedication to community and economic development.

Starting as a courtesy clerk, and ultimately assuming the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ukrop helped transform Ukrop’s Supermarkets from a small, family-owned chain to a regional powerhouse until its sale in 2010. Now as the head of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, he continues to expand the Ukrop empire as his workforce in the Richmond region exceeds 500 employees.

Beyond his business, Mr. Ukrop is steadfastly dedicated to the economic prosperity of his community as a member of many local boards. The Greater Richmond Aquatic Partnership, Retail Merchants Association, ChamberRVA, and Communities in Schools are only a few of the boards he has not only served on but guided as a former chair.

A recent recipient of the Bernard L. Savage Community Service Award, Mr. Ukrop also contributes to his community through many philanthropic activities. He serves as an active member of the boards for the Virginia Commonwealth University Business School Foundation and the Salvation Army. Previously, he served on the boards of the University of Richmond, Science Museum of Virginia, Collegiate School, and Richmond Sports Backers. His dedication has not gone unnoticed. Just this year, he and his brother Jim were recognized as Virginians of the Year for their business leadership and community stewardship.

Mr. Ukrop has invested in the regional economic development organization, the Greater Richmond Partnership, for 22 years; served as an active member of the board of directors for 12 years; and he is currently serving an unprecedented third term as chair. During his tenure with the board of directors, the Greater Richmond Partnership has helped create nearly 40,000 jobs and more than $8.6 billion in new investment into the community. Additionally, as the capital campaign chair for two terms, he helped the Greater Richmond Partnership raise more than $13 million from the local private sector. These proceeds funded economic development efforts across the region.

Mr. Ukrop has shown a continuous commitment to the community through his leadership and involvement with organizations that improve the quality of life for the citizens of greater Richmond, Virginia, and beyond. For this, the International Economic Development Council is proud to present the 2016 Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development to Robert S. Ukrop.



Robin Roberts Krieger, FM HLM

Robin Roberts Krieger has spent over 25 years leading economic development efforts in communities. Her commitment, leadership, and passion are evident in the results of her work. As vice president for business and industry training at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC), Ms. Krieger connects the campus with the business community, focusing on training and development programs. She is laying the foundation for long-term workforce development in Oklahoma City, providing robust programs and resources to fulfill business needs.

The transition to OSU-OKC was natural for Ms. Krieger, as bridging the gap between local, state and business entities has been a cornerstone of her career. In 2004, she assumed the role of executive vice president for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. Ms. Krieger led the 10-county region in its business expansion and recruitment, adding more than 50,000 jobs during her tenure. She was pivotal in the county’s acquisition of the idled General Motors facility, a Brownfield redevelopment site, and facilitated a major project to lease the site to Tinker Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force.

At the chamber, Ms. Krieger worked tirelessly to enrich the region’s economy. Since 2004, the region’s bioscience R&D base has grown by 25 percent, with large capital investments and a push toward greater commercialization. She led the effort to assist Boeing in major expansions during her tenure. Ms. Krieger was also instrumental in the fundraising of Forward Oklahoma City, a campaign to maximize the region’s competitive advantage, opportunities and investment.

An Oregon native, Ms. Krieger held several key positions in the state prior to her time in Oklahoma. She served in the Oregon Governor’s Office from 2001 to 2004 as a Community Solutions Regional Coordinator, collaborating between all levels of government to spotlight issues including transportation, land use, housing, and economic development. Prior to that, she was director of economic development for the Portland Development Commission, focusing on urban renewal and economic development.

Ms. Krieger has shown dedication to community beyond her work. She has served on the Board of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC), was a 2011 finalist for Woman of the Year in Oklahoma, United Way Women’s Leadership Society, and was named the Oklahoma Economic Developer of the Year in 2011. She is a member of the US Air Force Chief of Staff’s Civic Leader Program and an Honorary Trustee with the Oregon State University Foundation. She was also, notably, the first woman elected as Chair of the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Board of Directors in 2008.

Ms. Krieger has repeatedly shown her commitment to the profession and the communities in which she works. It comes as no surprise that she has inspired her region, colleagues and peers. For these reasons, the International Economic Development Council is proud to present the 2015 Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development to Robin Roberts Krieger.

Christian Saublens
European Association of Development Agencies
Brussels, Belgium

Each year, the IEDC Chairman of the Board chooses a special individual to receive the Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development. The award honors an individual who has been an influential leader in the field and within the International Economic Development Council.

Christian Saublens has faithfully served as the Executive Manager of the European Association of Development Agencies (known as EURADA) for over 20 years. He founded the agency in 1992 upon the realization that European regional development agencies lacked a hub for assistance and networking. EURADA is a membership organization similar to IEDC, serving as the voice for European regional development agencies, and is based in Brussels, Belgium.

The management of EURADA was an easy transition for Christian, who had been lobbying for economic development in the European Union since the 1980s. Christian astutely realized that the traditional strategies of large business attraction and foreign investment were diminishing in the region, and he began focusing EURADA’s attention towards fostering small and medium-sized enterprises. Thanks to Christian’s passion for economic development and innovation, EURADA has successfully brought important economic development topics to the attention of the European Commission, placing issues of regional innovation strategy, entrepreneurship, benchmarking, business retention, clusters and capacity building on the agenda. Under his helm EURADA has advocated for legislation and programs to stimulate and sustain regional economic development in Europe. Significantly, EURADA was the first entity in Europe to provide vital resources to SMEs, such as informational seminars and other tools to assist with small business development.

In addition to his work at EURADA, Christian has contributed to the creation of other important economic development organizations in Europe. He long managed the European Business Angels Network (EBAN), which has helped to make angel investing more respected and credible in the region. He also played a pivotal role in helping to create the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) that has become an important financial resource for small regional businesses today. He is a strong advocate of coordinated international efforts, and maintains close relationships around the globe, including among leaders and members of IEDC.

IEDC and EURADA have been collaborating for over 15 years, and Christian has always been a valuable partner to the organization, consistently providing IEDC with essential information and a European perspective on key economic development initiatives. Going back to the mid-1990s, IEDC (then CUED), EDAC (of Canada), EURADA, and a few other national agencies, formed INED – the International Network of Economic Developers – in order to have a formal network for international collaboration. Throughout the years, Christian has continuously strived to widen the international network for economic development and foster international exchange and cooperation among practitioners.

A thought leader in the field and a true innovator, IEDC is grateful to Christian for his support and friendship. His dedication to international cooperation and partnership has made a lasting mark on IEDC and the profession as a whole. For these reasons, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2014 Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development to Christian Saublens.

Donald E. Jakeway, FM
Deputy City Manager
City of Arlington
Arlington, TX

Conferred annually by the Chairman of the Board, the Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development honors an individual who has been an influential leader in the field and within the International Economic Development Council.

Don Jakeway is the quintessential economic development professional. With over 35 years of public and private sector experience, his contributions have left a tremendous mark on our profession. Mr. Jakeway continuously strives to create long-term, sustainable economic development opportunities through the consistent use of quality programs and customer service.

Beginning his economic development career in 1976 managing local initiatives, Mr. Jakeway swiftly worked his way up to the highest level of leadership due to his keen abilities to build consensus and lead with integrity and honor. He is one of the few economic development professionals who have run two separate statewide economic development organizations, both in Ohio and Michigan. Mr. Jakeway also served President Ronald Reagan as President of the Ohio and Florida Chapters of “Citizens for America” from 1982 to 1987.

Serving as Director of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) for seven years, Mr. Jakeway directed the efforts of the $1.5 billion agency that was twice named one of the 'Top Ten Economic Development Agencies in the World' by Site Selection Magazine. He then led the $100 million public-private Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) before taking the helm of the one of the most unique economic development agencies in the nation at the Brooks Development Authority (BDA) in San Antonio, Texas.

During his tenure at the BDA, Mr. Jakeway oversaw the creation of thousands of non-military jobs at the former Brooks Air Force Base as Congress initiated its closure due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision. Significantly, the BDA also attained the coveted Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) designation under his leadership, underscoring the organization’s excellence in the economic development field and positive impact on the community.

Today, Mr. Jakeway serves as the Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Capital Investment for the City of Arlington, Texas, but his support for economic development goes beyond his day job. His dedication to economic development is exemplified in his service to the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the innumerable amount of people he has helped mentor over the years. Generous with his time and knowledge, Mr. Jakeway is always willing to share his wisdom and advice to help colleagues to succeed and to support the economic development profession. A four-term IEDC Board Member, he has served on a variety of IEDC Committees, and has supported several IEDC conferences including the 2012 Leadership Summit and the 2014 Annual Conference Committee.

Mr. Jakeway has also served as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors for almost 20 years. His fundraising efforts have not only benefited the Hall of Fame Assistance Foundation, for which he serves as Chairman, but charitable organizations such as Wounded Warriors, Make – A – Wish, Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Fisher House and the IEDC supported Diane Lupke Scholarship Fund.

Mr. Jakeway’s contribution to the economic development field has been invaluable. Through his passion, vision and honor he has played a paramount role in advancing both the profession and IEDC. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the “2013 Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development” to Don Jakeway.

Diane C. Lupke, CEcD FM
Diane Lupke & Associates
Newton, WI

Diane Lupke’s more than thirty-year career has been guided largely by one principle: community engagement. Raised in an entrepreneurial family, Ms. Lupke gained valuable insight into the interconnectivity of business and community. This foundation inspired the theme that would prove critical to Ms. Lupke’s career.

Fresh out of graduate school and eager to make an impact, Ms. Lupke was hired by the state of Indiana to develop an enterprise zone program. Recognizing that business and community support were critical, she took an innovative approach to implementation. Locally-based community development corporations, including business, resident, and government representatives, were tasked with administering the program. Funding for local programming came directly from businesses as a portion of the taxes saved by zone employers. Indiana’s enterprise zone program became the highest per capita job creation program of its kind in the nation and several states used it as a template for their own legislation. After seeing the implementation of the enterprise zone program underway, Ms. Lupke moved to the financial sector. Hired by Toledo Trust Bank in Ohio, she was tasked with supporting subsidiary banks throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan to invest in the development and revitalization of their local communities.

Armed with perspective from academic, government, and financial sectors, Ms. Lupke took her unique skill set and began her consulting career in 1990. Diane Lupke and Associates, Inc. specializes in economic development and emerging markets, with a special focus on areas in transition. Ms. Lupke has been an important resource to states and localities throughout the country as an expert on redevelopment. She was responsible for drafting legislation to create an equity vehicle to retain investment capital within the state a plan to attract capital to of North Dakota, where only ten percent of investment capital was invested locally. Ms. Lupke developed an incentive structure that encouraged people to invest a portion of their resources in a state-wide fund in exchange for a tax credit. In return, the fund is used for redevelopment or investment throughout communities in the state.

Beyond her consulting work, Ms. Lupke strives to improve people’s lives through education. Recognizing the unique challenges of economic development professionals working in distressed areas, she created the Diane Lupke Scholarship Fund in 2000. The fund gives these individuals the opportunity to attend International Economic Development Council (IEDC) training courses. By personally investing in the fund and encouraging her peers to do so, Ms. Lupke oversaw the growth of the endowment surpass $50,000 in 2011.

Ms. Lupke is a long-standing and active member of IEDC. She played a crucial role in the merger of the American Economic Development Council (AEDC) and the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) by guiding the integration of both organizations’ education programs. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and serves on the IEDC Board of Directors.

Diane Lupke has guided the transition of countless communities throughout the United States. Her focus on the well-being of underserved, oft overlooked areas has been a guiding force throughout her career. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to bestow upon Diane Lupke the 2012 Chairman’s Award.

Gene DePrez
Global Innovation Partners
Sparta, NJ

For nearly four decades, Gene DePrez has been using his expertise to assist businesses and communities position themselves strategically and competitively. He has proved himself to be a consummate leader, advising and mentoring both emerging organizations and those new to the economic development profession.

As Founding Partner of Global Innovation Partners, Mr. DePrez provides insight from his experience in both the public and private sectors to establish connections and bring resources together. With business contacts throughout the world, Mr. DePrez builds strategic alliances that lead to successful collaborations and substantive outcomes. Mr. DePrez now focuses much of his time advising economic development organizations, universities, and science parks and is an invaluable asset and thought leader in this role.

Mr. DePrez served as Director and Chief Innovation Officer at Creativesheffield in Sheffield, England, the UK’s first comprehensive economic development company. Focused on sector development, Mr. DePrez championed innovation and collaboration throughout the city-region. Helping the area transform its economy from the remnants of its industrial heyday, Mr. DePrez encouraged collaboration among stakeholders including two major universities, businesses, city and regional agencies, and emerging entrepreneurs. He also spurred creative entrepreneurial development by guiding the launch of the new Sheffield Digital Campus, an incubator and accelerator focused on collaboration across the digital industries. Mr. DePrez and his team were the key catalyst for commercialization and community uses of the Digital Region, Europe’s most advanced high speed broadband public network.

Before joining Creativesheffield, Mr. DePrez was the Co-Global Leader of IBM’s Global Location Strategies practice. He guided global companies as they chose locations for headquarters, R&D, manufacturing and operational centers. In addition, he helped communities benchmark themselves against their competitors and to identify areas for improvement to best attract those companies. One of Mr. DePrez’s most notable corporate location engagements was an international project that ended in the global consolidation of Novartis’ Institutes for BioMedical Research to Cambridge, Massachusetts. This move brought top scientists together with university researchers onto one campus. Innovative because of the sheer scale of the consolidation and its proximity to the city’s renowned academic institutions, academic medical centers and biotechnology companies, the campus has become a prominent center of research and development.

Prior to its acquisition by IBM in 2002, the Global Location Strategy practice operated within PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. DePrez led the two consultancies for eleven years combined and previously held, among others, several consultant executive positions with Fantus and Fluor, and was chief executive of a regional economic development organization and of a national Washington based development clearinghouse.

From an extremely diverse background, Mr. DePrez’s first foray into economic development came when he was a marketing professional at Kodak. When the presidents of Xerox and Kodak chose to make a film addressing the affordable housing crisis affecting Rochester, New York, Mr. DePrez acted as producer, and thus began a longstanding interest in and commitment to economic development.

Mr. DePrez has been a longstanding and active member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He served on the Board of Directors for several years and as Co-Chair of Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP). He has also been a frequent speaker and serves as an instructor for IEDC training courses. He was recently named a Senior Fellow, providing ongoing insight to the IEDC staff on a volunteer basis.

Gene DePrez’s service to the economic development profession and willingness to advise and mentor are unparalleled. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to bestow the 2011 Chairman’s Award upon Gene DePrez.

Donald E. Hunter
January 13, 1941 - December 30, 2009
Hunter Interests, Inc.
Annapolis, MD

Don Hunter was a trailblazer, leader, inspiration, and mentor to many in the economic development field. Because of his uncanny ability to bring public and private sectors together to complete complex projects, blighted areas are now booming enterprises, jobs have been created, and communities have been saved.

In 1986, Mr. Hunter founded Hunter Interests Inc., an award-winning development and consulting firm based in Annapolis, Maryland, specializing in diversified real estate investment; development; large scale, mixed-use developments; and public/private ventures in urban areas. The firm’s combined experience as developer and economic consultant was unique in the field, and Mr. Hunter was able to use this as an advantage in navigating projects. His successes have been many and include development projects totaling more than $700 million in value.

Prior to founding his own firm, he was co-owner of Zuchelli, Hunter & Associates Inc. and was a Westinghouse executive with international project management responsibilities that included the development of the 1,700-acre Jakarta Industrial Estate in Indonesia. Mr. Hunter also served as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy during two tours in Vietnam, receiving seven combat decorations including the Bronze Star.

Mr. Hunter was highly involved as a Board Member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and its predecessor the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED). He was instrumental in the development of IEDC’s How You Build It Conference series and served as a regular speaker. In 2003, Mr. Hunter was selected as a Fellow Member (FM) of IEDC. This prestigious award recognizes attainment of high stature and commitment to the profession as well as longevity of membership and service to the organization.

Mr. Hunter was also active in the International Downtown Association (IDA), and the American Planning Association (APA), which recognized Hunter Interests with their highest award for the best economic development project in the nation, for its Medical Mall Feasibility Analysis in Prince George' s County, Maryland.

Not only was Mr. Hunter an inspiration and a leader in the economic development field, but he was also a dedicated family man and friend. His wife, Patricia Flipse Hunter, and two daughters, Kristen Hunter Ruhlig and Stephanie Hunter, were a constant source of support and inspiration throughout his life.

The International Economic Development council is honored to present the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Economic Development posthumously, to Don Hunter, in recognition of his dedication to the economic development profession and the enthusiasm with which he practiced.

Nancy Williams
National Program Director
Verizon Communications
New York, NY

Nancy Williams has championed economic development for more than 35 years through a career that has spanned leading a county-wide economic development organization to driving national economic development initiatives for Verizon and its predecessor company, GTE.

Ms. Williams began working in the field of economic development in her home state of Washington, working with several economic development organizations in the Seattle/Puget Sound area. As president of a nonprofit economic development organization, she led the statewide initiative to site the U.S. Navy Homeport Base in Everett, Washington, creating thousands of jobs and economic opportunities for the region.

She was recruited by GTE to lead the company’s regional economic development program in the Pacific Northwest, and was later brought to the headquarters in Irving, Texas, to establish and manage a national economic development program for the company. The program focused on the fundamentals of economic development – supporting growth and job creation, while preserving and enhancing quality of life. Hallmark initiatives included: “Regions of Choice” – an initiative that built strong regional economic collaborations across the country; and “Competitive Economix” – a professional development/training program for GTE’s national community affairs team, enabling them to work effectively with local economic development organizations to create jobs and enhance investment. She also developed a highly successful national program, in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Association of Development Corporations, which trained Certified Development Companies (CDCs) in marketing the benefits of SBA 504 loans to small business, thus stimulating capital investment and job creation.

Throughout her career in economic development, Ms. Williams has been a dedicated proponent for education, literacy and workforce development. That commitment led her to be tapped as a leader in the Verizon Foundation, focused on literacy and international programs. Ms. Williams brought the principles of economic development into her work at the Verizon Foundation, most recently with an innovative international initiative that advances adult literacy as a tool for social and community development.

Ms. Williams served for 12 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), where she chaired the Marketing, Membership and Bylaws Committees and served on the Executive Committee. Ms. Williams played a key role on the CUED/AEDC Merger Design Committee; provided leadership for the Excellence in Economic Development Awards program; funded the site selection standards portal Development Alliance; and supported the development and distribution of the Back Office Manual that enabled communities to market their telecommunications assets and resources.

The International Economic Development Council is proud to award Nancy Williams the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Economic Development in recognition of her dedication to the profession and the contributions she has made to development of economic development programs and initiatives.

Paul B. Strasbaugh

General Manager
Oklahoma Industries Authority
Oklahoma City, OK

Since 1946, Paul Strasbaugh has had an impressive record as a leader in economic development for Oklahoma City. His tenure of more than 60 years is marked by a 36-year period during which he operated a highly successful industrial recruiting program combined with work on several public trusts that have financed more than 200 projects valued in excess of $1.5 billion.

Mr. Strasbaugh’s industrial recruiting program established a manufacturing base that employed thousands of Oklahomans for many years. General Motors, Bridgestone/Firestone, Western Electric, Hertz, Xerox and York International are just a few of the significant employers that chose to invest in Oklahoma City during his tenure. Strasbaugh was also a leader in facilitating the expansion of Tinker Air Force Base and the establishment of the FAA’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. These two federal installations continue to employ more than 30,000 people today.

While his work in industrial recruitment is legendary in Oklahoma City, he has also been a leader in downtown development, urban renewal programs and in managing both city and statewide issue campaigns to create public support for significant infrastructure programs.

Mr. Strasbaugh organized the Oklahoma City Economic Development Foundation in 1982 to celebrate the land run of 1889 that settled the Oklahoma City region and secured the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival as part of that celebration. Today, the Foundation continues under the operation of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, carrying out economic development initiatives for the city.

Mr. Strasbaugh is currently General Manager of Oklahoma Industries Authority and Oklahoma City Industrial and Cultural Facilities Trust, two public trusts that issue revenue bonds to finance industrial, health care and educational projects. He currently administers more than $500 million of trust funds.

At ninety one years of age, Paul’s commitment to the economic development of Oklahoma City has not waned. He works every day and his passion for his work is clearly evident to his colleagues and friends.

The International Economic Development Council is proud to award Paul Strasbaugh the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Economic Development in recognition of his great contribution to the field.

Michele (Mike) Keller

Manager, Economic Development
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway
Minneapolis, MN

Sam Volpentest

Executive Vice President
Tri-City Industrial Development Council
Kennewick, WA

Ted Levine

Development Counsellors International
New York, NY