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Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award


This award recognizes an individual who has continuously led the same public or non-profit economic development organization with integrity, tenacity, and a philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years. Nominees should demonstrate a vast knowledge of the intricacies of the economic development profession and play a pivotal role in the continued success of their organization. They have not only exhibited exemplary leadership but have also worked tirelessly to develop the leaders around them and have a history of active participation with IEDC.


2018

Jerry Mallot, CEcD

Jerry Mallot has dedicated over forty years to coordinating economic development efforts and leading organizations to success. Currently serving as President of JAXUSA Partnership and Executive Vice President of the JAX Chamber in Jacksonville, FL, he has led his team for half his career. Throughout his career in Jacksonville, he has worked with five different Mayors, assisted in the creation of a new Office of Economic Development, and recruited a large number of companies – some of the most recent being Amazon, Formativ Health, Mercedes-Benz USA, and BMW of North America.

Mr. Mallot’s economic development career began at the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce, where he became President. After 17 years with the Chamber and a number of years at a private venture capital firm, Mr. Mallot joined the Tampa Bay Chamber and assisted in creating and leading the Tampa Bay Partnership.

Early on in his position at JAXUSA, Mr. Mallot led the formation of a seven county economic development program. In 2011, he directed the rebranding of the Cornerstone Regional Development Partnership to JAXUSA Partnership. Mr. Mallot’s continued efforts to coordinate economic development in the Jacksonville Region resulted in the completion of the Innovate Northeast Florida Strategy in 2012, a five year strategic plan to identify target industries and sub-clusters that would increase economic growth in the area.

During the organization’s 25th anniversary in 2015, Mr. Mallot spearheaded the launch of JAXUSA 25, a funding campaign that received $15 million in pledges towards economic development efforts through 2020. During his tenure as president, Jacksonville has seen the creation of approximately 100,000 jobs and $6.9 billion in capital investment. The city of Jacksonville has been recognized three times as the No. 1 American city for expansion and relocation, largely thanks to Mr. Mallot’s successful and committed leadership.

Mr. Mallot’s business experience reaches beyond the Jacksonville Region. He has worked to turn the area into a hub of international investment and development. Mr. Mallot’s partnership with Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shad Khan has led to economic development missions to London and meetings with more than 25 international companies about expansion. Additionally, his leadership in the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, has allowed Jacksonville to be one of the seven cities chosen to develop an export and foreign direct investment strategy.

In addition to being named the 2009 Economic Development Professional of the year by the Florida Economic Development Council and identified as an ultimate CEO by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2013, Mr. Mallot was recognized two years in a row as a Top 50 Economic Developer by Consultant Connect in 2015 and 2016. He has also earned both the Certified Economic Developer and Certified Chamber Executive designations. In 2017, he served as the host for the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Summit.

After a long and successful career in economic development, Mr. Mallot announced his retirement in April 2018. Due to his outstanding work in the field and time he has dedicated to economic and community building organizations, the International Economic Development Council is pleased to present the 2018 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award to Jerry Mallot.

 

2017

Carlton Schwab

Carlton Schwab, a passionate and dedicated leader in economic development, has served as president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Council for nearly two decades. Under his leadership, the Austin-based organization has grown to nearly 900 members and has played an invaluable role in the development of the state of Texas.

Mr. Schwab’s career in economic development spans thirty years. Prior to joining the Texas Economic Development Council in 1999, Mr. Schwab served as a director at Deloitte, specializing in corporate site analysis and economic development strategic planning. He went on to become director of development at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and also served as vice president of the Lubbock Board of City Development.

Established to support and promote economic development in the incredibly diverse state of Texas, the Texas Economic Development Council is host to countless events that serve as invaluable resources to communities across the state. In addition to economic development sales workshops, a Women in Economic Development Conference, and various webinars, Mr. Schwab himself presents at community leaders workshops, teaching local leaders and board members about the importance of economic development. The Texas Economic Development Council is also the IEDC accredited provider of the Basic Economic Development Course.

Mr. Schwab is an unwavering advocate for policies that support economic development at the local and state levels. He works closely with Texas lawmakers, advocating for the preservation of the economic development sales tax, which helps provide funding to economic development organizations across the state, and for infrastructure funding that helps retain the 2.1 million oil rig jobs in the state. With Mr. Schwab as an advocate, Texas regained 422,000 of the jobs lost after the 2008 recession and added another 500,000 from 2011 to 2013.

Mr. Schwab has worked diligently to enact programs that promote a robust economy. Under his leadership, the Texas Economic Development Council worked with the governor’s office to launch the Texas Enterprise Fund, a program that provides funding to companies who begin operations in Texas and create high-paying jobs. The fund has awarded over 100 grants totaling more than $600 million across varied industries and projects. Mr. Schwab was also integral in the creation of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, which financed the research, development, and commercialization of emerging technologies with an initial investment of $200 million in 2005. Although the fund ended in 2015, the program awarded a total of $173 million to 120 companies and $161 million to educational institutions.

A highly celebrated, steadfast leader, and active member of IEDC, Mr. Schwab has led the Texas Economic Development Council to its place as the authority on economic development and advocacy in the state of Texas. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2017 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award to Carlton Schwab.

 

Bev Thornton

The Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development Alliance was formed in 2002, and for its entire existence, Bev Thornton has been its leader. Throughout her tenure, Ms. Thornton has shown an unmatched commitment to the economic well-being of the 16 Alberta-area communities she serves.

Ms. Thornton began her career in economic development in 2000 as a volunteer working with five mayors who were considering a partnership to serve their communities. In 2002, she advocated for the creation of the Alberta Office of Economic Development that she would go on to run. A year later, 11 communities signed a joint venture agreement, joining Ms. Thornton’s efforts to form the Mounties to Mountains Economic Regional Partnership. By 2007, the partnership had grown to 16 communities. With Ms. Thornton at the helm, the communities, which make up a geographical area of 16,705 kilometers, work together on regional promotion, investment attraction, and business retention and expansion.

Recognizing the importance of technology in the economic prosperity of her community, Ms. Thornton has spearheaded several projects aimed at positioning the region as connected and forward-thinking. In 2012, she led Alberta SouthWest in the launch of SouthWest Connect, a network of branded wi-fi hotspots accessible to both visitors and residents. Available in all of the partner communities, the hotspots offer free internet access in public parks, arenas, campgrounds, and private businesses.

Ms. Thornton continues to forge alliances that uplift her community. In an effort to facilitate sustainable growth in the region, Alberta SouthWest partnered with Economic Development Lethbridge and the SouthGrow Regional Initiative to form the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership. The initiative encourages investment in renewable energy in the 37 communities it represents. In 2016, SouthWest Alberta also initiated the Southern Alberta-China Investment and Trade Initiative. The multi-organization, cross-border collaboration builds relationships with organizations in China in order to match investors and buyers with investment opportunities, products, and services.

Beyond the work she does as executive director of Alberta SouthWest, Ms. Thornton dedicates countless hours to helping those who live in her community. She works with the Alberta Department of Career Development and From File Room to Boardroom, both programs that provide career planning assistance.

Ms. Thornton is a longstanding member of Economic Developers Alberta (EDA), currently serving as president of its board, and was named EDA Economic Developer of the Year in 2013. Beyond her individual success, she has led Alberta SouthWest in receiving nearly 30 awards for its work. Her dedication to her community has contributed to significant advancements in economic prosperity for the southern Alberta region and sets an example for rural communities around the world. The International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2017 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award to Bev Thornton.

 


2016

Birgit Klohs

The Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has continuously led the same public or non-profit organization with integrity, tenacity, and philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years.

The Right Place, Inc., a regional economic development organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was formed in 1985, and for nearly its entire existence, Birgit Klohs has been at the helm. Joining the team in 1987, she has worked diligently over nearly three decades to create an economic development framework that ensures long-term, sustainable growth for Western Michigan.

In a career that began in 1977 as an industrial consultant with the Economic Development Corporation of Berrien County, Michigan, Ms. Klohs has undeniably become the voice and economic champion of the region. At the Right Place, she has led the organization in the creation of 40,000 jobs and $4 billion in capital investment.

Ms. Klohs has always recognized the value of collaboration in bolstering business retention and expansion. In 1989, early in her tenure with The Right Place, Ms. Klohs and her team partnered with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center - West to form the Manufacturers Council. The council was convened with the goal of advancing the success of manufacturing companies in Western Michigan and still exists today as a voice for the industry that allows members to share best practices and strengthen the industry as a whole.

A native of Germany, Ms. Klohs speaks the language fluently and has employed her heritage to strengthen Grand Rapids. The Right Place saw its first major success in 1990 when she recruited German-based Behr Industries, now NBHX Trim, to begin operations in Grand Rapids. The project brought approximately $20 million in capital investment to the community and created 200 jobs. Today, over 130 foreign firms have operations in Grand Rapids, nearly 50 of which are German-based; a direct result of the connections Ms. Klohs has developed.

Beyond the work she does on the ground in Western Michigan, Ms. Klohs leads international business strategy for The Right Place. She travels on several annual international trade missions to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as a voice for the region and frequently addresses international audiences on economic development. In 2014, she was appointed to an international authority tasked with overseeing the construction of the new bridge that will connect Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. The project will strengthen the economy by creating both short- and long-term jobs and enhancing security for Michigan and Canada.

Ms. Klohs has been a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) since its formation in 2001 and serves as a member of the International Advisory Committee and as a regular speaker at conferences.

The work that Ms. Klohs has done during her decades-long tenure at The Right Place, Inc. has set the stage for prolonged economic development success in Western Michigan. Since the start of her career in 1977, Ms. Klohs has been awarded 24 times for her professional achievements. The International Economic Development Council is honored to add to the long list and present the 2016 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award to Birgit Klohs.

 


2015

Gerald L. Gordon, PhD, FM, HLM

Since joining Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) in 1983, Gerald Gordon has been a respected leader for his ability to generate a probusiness climate and booming economy in Fairfax County, VA. Dr. Gordon has helped propel Fairfax County from a Washington D.C. suburb to a regional job center. Over the last 30 years, the county has seen an increase in jobs from 243,000 to more than 600,000.

As the president and CEO of FCEDA, the authority dedicated to creating high-quality demand and business attraction in Fairfax County, Dr. Gordon commits himself to long-term planning and consistent business outreach. Anchored by Tysons Corner and Reston, Fairfax County’s commercial development quickly grew. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor dubbed Fairfax County as the private-sector jobs leader for the Washington D.C. area.

Dr. Gordon played a central role in the site selection process for major companies such as Hilton Worldwide, Volkswagen, and Intelsat, all of which chose Fairfax County for their headquarter operations. This momentum was significant in attracting additional companies including Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, and Booz Allen Hamilton. In 2010 alone, Fairfax County companies won $24 billion in federal contracts, making up 41 percent of funds awarded in Virginia.

Not only has Dr. Gordon been instrumental in attracting companies to the area, but he also built a stable commercial tax base; a highly desirable attribute for businesses and residents alike. Even amid the recession, the county’s unemployment rates were below the national average; a telltale sign of Fairfax County’s high-quality jobs and dynamic marketplace.

It was Dr. Gordon who championed the pursuit to diversify Fairfax County’s economic base. He pioneered FCEDA’s Business Diversity Program: a comprehensive program that develops and recruits small and minority-owned businesses. Dr. Gordon also organized focus groups designed to understand factors that can inhibit the growth of minority-owned businesses, and, created events such as the Emerging Business Forum to tackle those factors and spotlight the diversity of Fairfax County’s business community. In addition to his work in Fairfax County, Dr. Gordon is a sought after speaker and has authored a dozen books that highlight his observations on the economy, job growth, economic development, and government contracting. His most recent book, The Economic Survival of America’s Isolated Small Towns, is just one an example of Dr. Gordon’s ability to emphasize relevant issues that many communities face.


2014
Gregory H. Wingfield, HLM

Richmond, VA

The Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has continuously led the same public or non-profit organization with integrity, tenacity, and philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years.

Over the past 20 years as the Greater Richmond Partnership’s first and only president, Gregory H. Wingfield has been admired and respected for his ability to lead business, civic, social and legislative executives forward in accomplishing remarkable achievements in the Richmond, Virginia area. His dedication to the Partnership's enduring mission has helped grow the economy through the attraction of high quality jobs, new capital investment, the retention of existing businesses, and the continued improvement of the region's business climate.

With Mr. Wingfield at the helm, the Greater Richmond Partnership has accomplished great economic feats in its two decades of existence. Since its inception, the area’s employee earnings have grown by more than $1 billion annually. Additionally, the organization has been responsible for attracting important large-scale companies. In 2011, Amazon announced a fulfillment center expansion to the Richmond region, resulting in over 1,300 jobs and earlier this year, Shandong Tranlin Paper Company announced plans for a $2 billion facility with an expected employment of 2,000.

In addition to successful business attraction, Mr. Wingfield leads his team in developing innovative economic development programs. Established in 2006, Business First Greater Richmond, assists existing businesses and connects them with needed resources, helping companies that have gone on to invest more than $300 million in the region's economy. RichmondJobNet.com, another well-received program, was the Partnership's response to the sudden high volume of quality, unemployed workers during the recession. The site offers job search tools, career event information, links to dozens of area online job boards, and online social networking to quickly connect job seekers with employment opportunities in the region.

Mr. Wingfield's leadership qualities and influence have extended beyond his transformational work with the Greater Richmond Partnership. He has served on the boards of the Council on Urban Economic Development (CUED), the American Economic Development Council (AEDC), and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and helped found LEAD VIRGINIA, which connects diverse professional leaders across the commonwealth.

Gregory Wingfield and the success of the Greater Richmond Partnership have become synonymous with each other. As its President and CEO for two decades, Mr. Wingfield has guided the organization with exemplary leadership. It is because of Mr. Wingfield’s vision and dedication to the economic development community that the International Economic Development Council is pleased present Gregory H. Wingfield with the 2014 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award.


2013
Austin Burke, HLM

Scranton, PA

The Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has continuously led the same public or non-profit organization with integrity, tenacity, and philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years.

As the committed leader of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce since 1981, Austin Burke has dedicated his life’s work to the economic growth of his community. Faced with the need to transform Scranton’s reputation as a collapsed and failing manufacturing town, Mr. Burke created the Scranton Plan, a branch of the Chamber that has successfully utilized media and special events to rebrand the area as an ideal place to grow and relocate businesses. Under another arm of the chamber, the Scranton-Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO), Mr. Burke repurposed former mining land into $92 million worth of industrial and office buildings. Fifteen business parks and seven renovation projects have been successfully completed through SLIBCO.

Mr. Burke also understands the importance of a well-trained workforce. Seeking to replenish a dwindling leadership pool in the area, he formed a community leadership program called Leadership Lackawanna with former Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton in 1982. The program trains emerging professionals to become community leaders, engages established professionals with the Scranton Area, and teaches high school students important professional and leadership skills. More than 1,400 professionals and students have graduated from the program and have gone on to contribute to the Scranton Area’s economic prosperity.

Mr. Burke’s impressive achievements reach beyond Scranton to the state level. In 2006, former Governor Ed Rendell named Mr. Burke to the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) board. Working side by side with elected officials on the board, he governed over 19 economic development programs funded by $2.8 billion in stimulus packages, successfully moving Pennsylvania into the top half of the United States for economic performance. His success on the CFA board positioned him to again be selected by the Governor to assist with economic development. In 2010, Mr. Burke temporarily left Scranton to serve the state as Secretary of Community and Economic Development, returning to the Scranton Chamber of Commerce at the end of the governor’s term in 2011.

Providing service to his community and state for over three decades as President and CEO of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Austin Burke has proved that a single person can lead an organization to have a measurable impact on economic success in its community. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2013 Jeffrey A. Finkle Leadership Award to Austin Burke.


2012
Steven J. Budd, FM HLM

President
CityWide Development Corp.
Dayton, OH

The Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award recognizes an individual who, in his current position, has continuously led the same public or non-profit economic development organization with integrity, tenacity, and a philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years.

Steven Budd has been a tireless advocate for long-term, comprehensive development in his adopted hometown of Dayton, Ohio for more than 30 years. After joining the CityWide Development Corporation staff as a housing analyst in 1978, Mr. Budd quickly rose through the ranks and was named as the organization’s president in 1989, a position he has held since.

Created as the primary development arm of the City of Dayton, CityWide long depended on funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and Economic Development Administration. Shortly after Mr. Budd took the helm of the organization, this money became scarce and he was faced with the challenge of finding new sources. He worked tirelessly with stakeholders to establish strong and lasting partnerships that have been essential to the continued development of the city. Many of Dayton’s development successes are due to the ongoing strength of these partnerships and the establishment of comprehensive neighborhood initiatives that address the unique challenges of each area.

By focusing on each neighborhood individually, Mr. Budd has been able to oversee dramatic transformations throughout the Dayton area. The Phoenix Project, a collaboration between Good Samaritan Hospital and the City of Dayton, has injected $16 million dollars into the high crime area surrounding the hospital. Since the project’s inception, major crime has decreased by 90 percent. Mr. Budd also spearheaded the renovation of the city of Dayton’s only movie theater, the Neon. Part of a larger downtown revitalization, the upscale movie theater has proved to be an immensely successful venture, drawing people to an area that was oft overlooked.

Mr. Budd is a longstanding and active member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He served on the merger team that oversaw the transition of IEDC’s two predecessor organizations, was a founding member of the Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP), and held several leadership roles within IEDC before being elected as chairman in 2004.

Steven Budd has guided the transformative revitalization of the City of Dayton for the more than three decades. His commitment to public service and unwavering pursuit of creative solutions to urban issues is unmatched. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2012 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award to Steven Budd.


2012
Maury Forman, PhD HLM

Managing Director for Education and Outreach
Washington State Department of Commerce
Seattle, WA

The Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award recognizes an individual who, in his current position, has continuously led the same public or non-profit economic development organization with integrity, tenacity, and a philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years.

Few people in the field have championed economic development education as enthusiastically and comprehensively as Dr. Maury Forman.

More than two decades ago, Dr. Forman saw a need to create an economic development course in the underserved Northwest region. By reaching out to partners in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, and Washington he started a training program that has seen nearly 2,000 economic development professionals come through its doors. Not only has the program been a huge success, but it has also led to the creation of two additional courses in Alaska and in British Columbia. Dr. Forman served as an irreplaceable guide to the organizers of these programs.

Dr. Forman has created a robust and well-rounded training program that addresses the diverse needs of economic development professionals in the Northwest. Working across the spectrum of a few large cities, medium sized towns, and rural communities, Dr. Forman has recognized the unique challenges each of these populations face. With considerable forethought, he continuously adapts course content to their needs.

A tenet of Dr. Forman’s philosophy on education is the provision of education for all who want to pursue it. He created a scholarship program to offset the cost of registration for communities. Nearly half of all training participants have received full or partial scholarships to attend. He also identified the need to encourage economic developers to become certified. In partnership with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the Washington State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development, the number of Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs) more than doubled.

Seeing a void in one of the most trade dependent states in the country, Dr. Forman developed an export certification program for businesses and economic development practitioners in Washington. The two day course and certificate is designed to educate and assist in bringing merchandise to the international market.

Dr. Forman is the author of 14 economic development books, easily recognized by their accessibility and cartoon accompaniments. He is the recipient of several notable awards, including the United States Small Business Administration’s Vision Award.

Maury Forman has changed the landscape of economic development education in the Northwest and has created a program that is a shining example for others to emulate. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2012 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award to Dr. Maury Forman.


2011
Jeffrey A. Finkle, CEcD

President & CEO
International Economic Development Council
Washington, DC

The Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has continuously led a public or non-profit economic development organization with integrity, tenacity, and a philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years. Recipients demonstrate a vast knowledge of the intricacies of the economic development profession and play a pivotal role in the continued success of their organization. They have not only exhibited exemplary leadership but have also worked tirelessly to develop the leaders around them and have a history of active participation with IEDC.

Whether on a neighborhood or national scale, economic development is a complex, demanding endeavor. It requires financial skills, political acumen and the ability to gauge the social benefit that will result from a given undertaking. Since the late 1970s, Jeffrey A. Finkle, for whom this award is named, has demonstrated mastery of all those skills, applying them worldwide.

This experience has made Jeff a recognized leader and international authority on economic development. As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), he contributes his expertise on community revitalization, business development and job creation to projects nationwide. Jeff has established multi-lateral partnerships with regional and national economic development organizations around the world and currently sits on the Consultative Committee of World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA). He has advised on economic development in China, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania and serves Board of Directors for Climate Prosperity. Inc., an organization based on creating important regional economic outcomes -- green savings, green opportunity, and green talent -- while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

He is also a leader in community service and philanthropy. In 2005, Jeff organized 250 economic development volunteers to work in Gulf Coast communities as they recovered from Hurricane Katrina. He also founded the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to educate and support children who have lost one or more parent who worked in the field of economic development.

With the formation of IEDC in 2001, Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential economic development organization. IEDC resulted from the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED), where Jeff was president for 15 years, and the American Economic Development Council (AEDC). Addressing significant financial and organizational challenges, Jeff has grown IEDC to a $5 million annual operation with 30 employees. IEDC is recognized for its leadership in making sustainable economic development a priority in communities of all sizes and for professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development.

Prior to his position at CUED, Jeff served Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he oversaw programs such as Community Development Block Grants and Urban Development Action Grants.

Jeff maintains a long-standing relationship with Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs and serves on the School’s Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development Advising Committee, where he regularly participates in programs of direct benefit to Appalachia Ohio. In 2011, the university named an internship program after Jeff that will bring an Ohio University student to IEDC each summer.

Jeffrey Finkle has helped transform the International Economic Development Council into the world’s largest professional organization for economic developers. As a result of his leadership, the landscape of economic development has been forever changed. Because of this, and in honor of his 25th year at the helm of the organization, the International Economic Development Council is honored to bestow the inaugural Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award upon Jeffrey A. Finkle.