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Leadership Award for Public Service

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who, for more than ten years, has served as a strong public advocate for economic development.


James Brainard

As the City of Carmel’s first six-term mayor, Mayor Brainard has proved a strong advocate for economic development through his leadership in redeveloping the city. He has effectively used tax incremental financing and public-private partnerships to transform neglected areas of town into thriving, mixed-use districts. The Mayor’s dedication to economic development has resulted in 125 corporate headquarters that are now based in Carmel, and ultimately, responsible for growing Carmel’s population from 25,000 to nearly 100,000 during his 24 years in office.

Mayor Brainard led the redevelopment of Carmel’s Old Town area into the Arts and Design District. This project, kicked off in 2003, has found new uses for old buildings and cemented Carmel’s downtown as a vital center for both day and night life. Mayor Brainard’s belief that quality of life, including arts and entertainment, attracts companies and spurs economic development became a large part of Carmel’s development strategy. With his leadership, the Mayor brought that belief to fruition. Carmel’s center of town is now thriving with galleries, restaurants, shops and community events that serve to do exactly that, bringing thousands of visitors each year.

To complement the revitalization of Carmel’s downtown and as a part of the city’s efforts to improve the quality of life, Mayor Brainard also played a role in the creation of the Center for the Performing Arts. During his first campaign for Mayor in 1995, he found that residents wanted a local place to gather and enjoy entertainment. The Center for the Performing Arts has served to fill this need for Carmel’s residents and visitors alike. The Center’s 1,600 seat Palladium concert hall opened in 2011, and since then more than 1,800 performances have been hosted.

Mayor Brainard received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Butler University and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Ohio Northern University, as well as a diploma from the Oxford Institute on International and Comparative Law from the University of San Diego. His book, “Carmel: ‘round about right” covers the redevelopment of the city under his leadership, including the installation of over 100 roundabouts as a safety and cost-saving priority.

Both Mayor Brainard and the City of Carmel have received numerous awards and recognition over the years for planning, development, implementation and services. Money Magazine ranked the city #1 of “Best Places to Live” in 2012, and this year was named #1 “Best Suburb to Live in America” by Niche.com. Mayor Brainard’s personal recognitions include the National Award for Local Arts Leadership, the Public Service Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Indiana, and the 2013 Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award for his leadership in developing a vibrant, multi-functional heart for the City of Carmel.

Because of the Mayor’s experience in city planning, redevelopment and climate change, he has been invited to speak around the world. He has traveled to India, Germany, and Italy to present on climate policy and urban design. His knowledge in developing and designing livable cities during a time of climate change and disaster resulted in an appointment to the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience by President Barack Obama in 2013. Today Mayor Brainard also serves as a Trustee and Co-chair of the Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Mayor Brainard’s prioritization of quality of life and the redevelopment of neglected districts has led to a thriving downtown in Carmel and a considerable increase in business attraction. In the past four years alone, under his leadership, 43 businesses expanded, 11 corporate headquarters expanded, 13 corporate headquarters relocated and more than 100 small businesses opened in the city. The International Economic Development Council is pleased to present the 2019 Leadership for Public Service Award to Mayor James Brainard.


Richard Church, Jr.

Mayor Richard Church, Jr. has lived in the City of Miamisburg, Ohio his whole life. Once he had served one term on the Miamisburg City Council, he ran for Mayor in 1991, was elected and has since become the longest serving Mayor in Miamisburg’s history. After a dedicated 28 years and 7 terms, Mayor Church is retiring in 2019. Mr. Church proved himself a dedicated and capable leader in economic development early on in his role as Mayor. Not long before he took office, the United States Department of Energy announced the decommissioning of the Mound Laboratory, an atomic energy facility in Miamisburg with over 2,500 employees and nearly $2 million annual income tax collections at its peak. With an empty site in dire need of a thorough environmental cleanup, Mayor Church created a coalition of elected officials and community leaders to lobby the Department of Energy to take responsibility for what it had left behind.

Over 15 years and a collective $1.1 billion in environmental cleanup later, the site was redeveloped through a new Community Development Corporation and now houses 16 businesses with 355 employees. Mayor Church’s persistence in helping create a new strategy for the Mound site has allowed it to once again become a major economic asset to the city. The “Mound Model” is seen as a best practice by the Department of Energy. Mayor Church has presented regularly at their conferences, and it has become his signature achievement as an elected official.

His vision for his community goes beyond Mound, however. Mayor Church has consistently worked to foster economic development opportunities within his community. One such project is the Austin Center interchange on Interstate-75, which Mayor Church realized early on would be a major growth opportunity for Miamisburg. When the Dayton region opened the new interchange in 2010, over 225 acres of Miamisburg land became viable for renewed economic development efforts. The support he was able to build in the region, including to create new infrastructure improvements adjacent to the interchange, played a huge role in the monumental success of the Austin Interchange and its impact on the city. Miamisburg has gained almost $55 million in private investment, three North American headquarter facilities, and an increase of more than 900 new jobs with over $60 million in annual payroll.

Mayor Church was also instrumental in the expansion of the Kettering Health Network, one of the Dayton region’s largest employers. In the 1990s, he worked with a small community hospital in Miamisburg to invest in a larger campus, including an administrative building that brought more than 300 jobs to the community. Since then, Mayor Church has continued his relationship with hospital leadership, and the network now has approximately 2,000 employees in Miamisburg.

Due to his active pro-growth leadership, Miamisburg’s economy, geographic size and population have all expanded. Mayor Church’s legacy will continue on in the success of the many development projects he helped attract to the city and surrounding area. With this in mind, the International Economic Development Council is pleased to present the 2018 Leadership for Public Service Award to the Honorable Richard Church, Jr.



Mayor Shawn Hogan

For more than thirty years, Mayor Shawn Hogan has been a dedicated a public servant and advocate for the citizens of Hornell, New York. As the longest-tenured mayor in New York State, Mayor Hogan has overseen at least 36 major economic development projects, attracted over $300 million in private investments to the city, and created more than 5,000 jobs.

Faced with the task of reinventing Hornell’s economy following the closure of the Conrail railroad facility, Mayor Hogan needed to act quickly to maintain the economic health of his community. In response to the loss, which cut the city’s population in half, Mayor Hogan formed a business improvement district that became home to two shopping centers, a pedestrian mall, and a new housing development. Not only did it improve the quality of life for Hornell’s citizens, but the district went on to triple sales tax revenue for the city. While leading his community through this transition, Mayor Hogan also recognized the importance of paying homage to the past. The former Conrail facility is now home to the Erie Railroad Museum.

In one of the largest development projects of his tenure with the City of Hornell, Mayor Hogan led the charge in the purchase of a manufacturing warehouse by the city’s industrial development agency. In hopes of bridging the gap between Hornell’s past transportation successes with that of the future, Mayor Hogan worked diligently to restore Hornell’s place in the country’s transit industry. In partnership with local business, labor, and elected leaders, the city won a $2.5 billion contract to manufacture the new Amtrak Acela high-speed trains, naming the current warehouse tenant, Alstom, as a partner in the effort and providing a boost to the local economy. The result was an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in Hornell and more than 700 new jobs, an astounding achievement for a community of fewer than 10,000 people.

Again faced with the closure of a vital community industry when New York State planned to close the only remaining hospital in the area, Mayor Hogan partnered with a citizen committee and a local coalition of health providers to ensure people had access to adequate health services. The team secured a $55 million grant for a new hospital, slated to open in 2019, and the implementation of a new electronic medical records system.

Many IEDC members have heard Mayor Hogan speak and have spoken to him, as he is IEDC’s most-active elected official and has attended nearly 30 IEDC conferences. An active member of the New York State Economic Development Council, Mayor Hogan has been named Man of the Year by four different organizations and has received much recognition for local government achievement in his city.

The International Economic Development Council is pleased to present the 2017 Leadership for Public Service Award to Mayor Shawn Hogan.



Mayor Roy. D Buol

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who, for at least ten years, has been a committed advocate for economic development in the public sector.

For over twenty years, Mayor Roy D. Buol has worked diligently as a public servant and an advocate for the citizens of Dubuque to ensure economic success for the city. Prior to becoming mayor in 2005, on a platform that engaged “citizens as partners,” Mayor Buol served as a city council member for a decade.

During his tenure as council member, Mayor Buol led the charge to develop over 900 acres of property which is now home to over 50 businesses that employ more than 4,400 people. These businesses have gone on to invest more than $200 million in the community. His commitment to the development of critical business infrastructure that promotes economic growth has continued in his time as mayor. Through a strategic public-private partnership, Dubuque has begun constructing the Southwest Arterial project, which will provide an alternate route for traffic through southwestern Dubuque and become an essential connection to major metropolitan areas. The project will allow the city to drive investment and continue to attract businesses that will create jobs and promote economic prosperity in the community.

In 2006, in an effort to give Dubuque a competitive advantage over other medium-sized metro areas, Mayor Buol spearheaded the movement to make sustainability a top priority for the community. As a result, Sustainable Dubuque, a program that engages the citizens of Dubuque to uniquely define sustainability, was formed. Mayor Buol has also helped create several other sustainability programs such as the Bee Branch Project, a storm water mitigation project, and Smarter Sustainable Dubuque, a public-private partnership between the City of Dubuque and IBM’s Watson Research Center’s Smarter Planet initiative. The program provides citizens of Dubuque with digital tools that allow them to monitor and alter their water usage and reduce waste.

Recognizing that workforce development is a vital part of a healthy economy, Mayor Buol has also played a key role in providing support for programs that help individuals hone their skills for today’s jobs. Dubuque Works, a regional partnership of employers, government, workforce experts, and educators, trains unemployed and underemployed individuals while strengthening workforce development activities in Dubuque. A true testament to Mayor Buol’s commitment to the initiative, the city has become the principal funder for the program, providing $100,000 annually. Since its launch in 2012, the initiative has trained over 1,500 individuals, 96 percent of whom are currently employed or continuing their education.

Mayor Buol has a strong vision for the City of Dubuque and has worked diligently throughout the last two decades to improve the lives of its citizens through the creation of a vibrant business community, successful workforce programs, and sustainability measures that will ensure the health of the area for years to come. Others seem to agree. Under Mayor Buol’s leadership, the City of Dubuque has gained national recognition for its continued economic development and job creation by the Milken Institute, Forbes, Site Selection Magazine, Iowa Workforce Development, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The International Economic Development Council is pleased to present the 2016 Leadership for Public Service Award to Mayor Roy D. Buol.



Edward Zabrocki

For 34 years, Mayor Edward Zabrocki strengthened and led Tinley Park, Illinois. He effectively mobilized industry leaders and community representatives to develop a thriving, economically self-sustainable city in suburban Chicago. Overseeing tremendous growth, the city’s population more than doubled during his tenure, increasing from 26,000 to 58,000 today.

Mayor Zabrocki first entered public service as chair of the human resources commission and the public works committee in Tinley Park. He then successfully ran for village trustee and Illinois Legislature, before elected mayor in 1981. Continuously proving his potential, likability, and loyalty, Mayor Zabrocki won every mayoral election thereafter.

During his tenure, Mayor Zabrocki launched a breakthrough economic development plan that emphasized a broad tax base for residents, property owners, and employers. The plan, still in effect today, incorporates a consistent policy of taxation that results in abatement and benefits for commercial and residential property owners. Additionally, the city boasts an extremely high credit rating that is in the top five percent of the nation. Mayor Zabrocki’s commitment to economic policy elevated Tinley Park to one of the most diverse economies in the Midwest. Today, the city is touted as a “Top Ten Best Chicago Suburb for Young Professionals” and “America’s Best Place to Raise Kids.”

Mayor Zabrocki’s countless development projects are a testament to his dedication to the city. He helped devise the $30 million Tinley Park Convention Center that currently produces a $250 million economic impact annually. He also successfully led the city’s downtown redevelopment project and attracted Panduit Corporation’s LEED Gold certified headquarters, a $50 million investment that created 1,000 jobs.

In addition, Mayor Zabrocki’s collaboration with other mayors and city officials developed one of Metro Chicago’s most distinctive business incentives policies, one of the few codified policies in the Midwest. His business expansion program produced over nine million square feet of new commercial and industrial space, leading to the creation of more than 12,000 jobs. When Mayor Zabrocki took office in 1981, the city had 320 businesses; in 2015, there are more than 1,400.

For 34 years, Mayor Zabrocki has been a perpetual advocate for economic growth and for the people he represented. His efforts were met with success, witnessed by Tinley Park’s evolution into a desirable, well-run city on the rise. Such growth could not have been possible without Mayor Zabrocki. The International Economic Development Council is pleased to present the 2015 Leadership for Public Service Award to Edward Zabrocki.



The Honorable Mitchell Landrieu
New Orleans, LA

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who has served as a committed advocate for economic development for at least 10 years in the public sector.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana coast in August of 2005, a struggling economy was left in its wake. New Orleans was especially affected, but the city is now on the path to economic recovery, due in great part to the efforts of Mayor Mitchell Landrieu.

Prior to being elected to New Orleans’ top post, Mayor Landrieu spent six years as Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor, leading the effort to restore New Orleans’s tourist industry after Hurricane Katrina. A shining example is the Cultural Economy Initiative, which he created to promote job growth in the entertainment and art industries. An important sector making up eight percent of Louisiana’s workforce, the cultural industry was one of the few parts of the economy to see employment growth between 2011 and 2012 as a result of the initiative. Mayor Landrieu’s experience working on effective state-wide economic development programs prepared him to return to his hometown to act as its chief executive.

Mitchell Landrieu became Mayor of New Orleans in 2010 and immediately began to reform the city’s economy. He launched the city’s first economic development public-private partnership, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA). NOLABA serves as the city’s official economic development agency, acting as a primary resource for business retention, expansion, and attraction: vital resources the city lacked before Mayor Landrieu was elected. In 2013, the mayor’s office and the New Orleans Business Alliance created ProsperityNOLA, a strategic plan for the City of New Orleans. This publicly-accessible five-year plan lays out the steps to achieve the city’s ultimate vision of making New Orleans economically competitive in a globalized world.

Mayor Landrieu understands that attending to the needs of the underserved and disadvantaged citizens and businesses is essential to creating a thriving city. To this end, he created programs such as the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, which provides financing to fresh food retailers located in low-income areas. Mayor Landrieu also strengthened the City’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program, which levels the playing field for low-income business owners, by requiring 35% of all public contract work to be provided by disadvantaged businesses. Because of the mayor’s efforts, the number of participants in the DBE program more than doubled in 2012.

The impact of Mayor Landrieu’s work is unmistakable. A city once marred by one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history has once again become a vibrant and open place for business and tourism. The city now ranks as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the nation, number one in overall economic recovery, and as the nation’s most improved city for business.

As a leader in the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans, Mitchell Landrieu has shown that focused planning and innovative programming can help lagging economies grow and flourish, even after a natural disaster strikes. For this reason, International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2013 Leadership Award for Public Service to the Honorable Mitchell Landrieu.



Elton Dean, Sr.
Montgomery County Commission
Montgomery County, AL

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who has served as a committed advocate for economic development for at least 10 years in the public sector.

First elected in 2000, Elton Dean has risen through the ranks of the Montgomery County Commission and has served as Chairman since 2009. He has shown himself to be integral in building consensus across diverse constituencies and essential to the revitalization of the manufacturing industry throughout the region.

Mr. Dean has taken a leadership role in the negotiations of several key projects. When Hyundai Motor Company was looking for its first U.S. manufacturing facility location, Mr. Dean was a key member of the team that brokered the deal for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) in Montgomery. With an initial investment of $1 billion and 2,000 jobs, the facility has brought new vitality to the region. Expansions to the company’s facilities in 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012 have further solidified its place in the community.

In addition to the HMMA negotiations, Dean also facilitated deals that brought several other businesses to Montgomery including HMMA’s largest supplier, Mobis Alabama, and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., a leading publisher of local news that serves more than 130 communities nationwide. In an attempt to grow the automobile manufacturing cluster, Mr. Dean spearheaded the recruitment efforts of DAS Corporation, a Korean-based manufacturer of automobile seat components. The arrival of DAS to Montgomery will bring robust growth to the Montgomery Industrial Park, a development for which Mr. Dean advocated.

Mr. Dean’s impact has reached much farther than the important tangible outcomes he has helped achieve. He has been the catalyst for a culture of cooperation among elected leaders and the impetus to the creation of new and the expansion of existing public-private partnerships. In an effort to bring a spirit of collaboration to the area, he helped develop the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Imagine Greater Montgomery economic development strategy and was a major influence in bringing key elected officials to the table to develop a set of priorities.

Since taking office in 2000, Elton Dean has shown an innate ability to build consensus for the greater good of citizens of Montgomery, Alabama. For this reason, International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2012 Leadership Award for Public Service to Elton Dean.



Gary Slagel
Richardson, Texas

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who, for more than ten years, has served as a strong public advocate for economic development.

As the mayor of Richardson, Texas for an unprecedented 22 years, Gary Slagel has had an extraordinary impact on the economic vitality of the city. His creative and highly effective leadership has been integral in the elevation of Richardson to a best practice city for the technology-led economic development model.

Known as Richardson’s “High-Tech Mayor”, Mr. Slagel has a long history of involvement in high-tech startups. In addition to his post as mayor, he simultaneously served, and continues to be the CEO of CapitalSoft, a venture capital backed software company.

The unique skill set of its mayor allowed Richardson, with a population of 100,000, to become competitive with much larger cities. Richardson ranks 5th, behind Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, in the number of local companies receiving grants from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF). Eleven Richardson companies have received $16.2 million from TETF.

Mr. Slagel was instrumental in mobilizing community groups and industry leaders in the development of several programs and projects throughout his tenure. Beginning in 2006, Mr. Slagel worked to engage interest groups to designate the 20 miles length of rail corridor running from Richardson to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport as the planned route for an east-west commuter rail expansion. His leadership and efforts to forge these relationships ended a decade long political battle over the route. Mr. Slagel also spearheaded an initiative that secured a new 1.1 million square foot office campus in Richardson for BlueCross BlueShield of Texas. In turn, the mayor initiated efforts to move an expanding Fossil, Inc. from its current facility into the building that BlueCross BlueShield left empty. The benefits of this deal were twofold – Richardson retained a significant employer in the area and it filled a recently vacated complex.

Mr. Slagel was also integral to the planning and design stage of economic development activities. As the region was struggling to plan and execute the light rail system, the mayor led the development of the four rail stations in Richardson and the systems’ first Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. This initiative has served as the cornerstone of a redevelopment strategy that has created several mixed-use, sustainable developments that have generated investments exceeding $300 million. He also provided leadership to support city funding for a highly successful public-private effort in economic development. Since 2007, this initiative has created of retained over 18,000 jobs and secured the occupancy of a 5.8 million-square-feet of office and technology space.

For over two decades, Gary Slagel played a central role in shaping the economic development climate of Richardson, Texas. After a long history of public service, Mr. Slagel retired in 2011, but the effects of his efforts will be felt throughout the city and region for years to come. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present Mr. Gary Slagel with the 2011 Leadership in Public Service Award.



Bill Anoatubby
Chickasaw Nation
Ada, OK

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who, for more than ten years, has served as a strong public advocate for economic development.

While many Indian Nations have struggled to find ways to diversify their economies, Governor Bill Anoatubby has guided the Chickasaw Nation toward a brighter economic future, setting a standard for all Tribal governments with his creativity and vision.

First elected as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation in 1987, Governor Anoatubby is currently serving his sixth term. During his tenure, the nation has seen unprecedented growth. When he first took office, the Chickasaw Nation had 250 employees and an $11 million budget. Today, there are 11,800 employees and capital outlays of more than $350 million annually.

Governor Anoatubby has taken an innovative approach in directing the Chickasaw Nation away from its gaming-centered economy. By investing the profits gained from gaming in new ventures, the nation has become a healthy, diverse, and self-sustaining economy. Radio stations, a chocolate factory, a natural gas station, and the construction of a $147 million hospital are just a few of the projects that have emerged under Governor Anoatubby’s leadership. He also created a private corporation that, in late 2009, purchased Remington Park - a racetrack and casino in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that had fallen into bankruptcy. The development strategy for the site will have a positive impact on the entire area for years to come and is innovative because the enterprise is not on tribal lands.

The success of the Chickasaw business community has led Governor Anoatubby to forge successful partnerships with outside organizations. The partnership of Murray State College and the Chickasaw Nation has proven to be a dynamic one; they have teamed up to build numerous recreation facilities in the area, as well as address critical infrastructure needs.

Governor Anoatubby’s leadership has resulted in the Chickasaw Nation becoming one of the first tribal governments in the United States to be certified as an A-102 tribe, a designation that carries superior ratings for management and fiscal controls. The nation’s economic self-sufficiency has made it easier for the government to provide for citizens without relying on federal funds.

Governor Anoatubby has been recognized for his exemplary leadership by more than 20 local, state, and national organizations. He has served on 15 boards, including the Oklahoma Business Roundtable Board of Directors, the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the Federal Reserve Board of Directors Oklahoma City Branch.

Because of his undying mission to create a diversified economy and a better life for the citizens of the Chickasaw Nation, the International Economic Development Council is honored to bestow the Leadership for Public Service Award upon Governor Bill Anoatubby.



Oscar B. Goodman
City of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who, for more than ten years, has served as a strong public advocate for economic development.

A resident of Las Vegas since 1964, Mayor Oscar B. Goodman has served as Mayor of Las Vegas since 1999. His continuing popularity among residents is an indication of his love of, dedication to, and commitment for improving and revitalizing the city of Las Vegas.

Mayor Goodman’s revitalization initiatives have been extremely successful. He has not only continued the redevelopment trend of the downtown area that began in the early 1990s; as chairman of the city of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency, Mayor Goodman has championed the cause and led the charge on 115 completed projects - totaling $2.17 billion in private investment - that have been realized in downtown Las Vegas since 2004. These projects, in turn, generated 7,660 permanent jobs and 10,917 construction jobs.

The pace is not slowing – there are an additional 156 projects totaling $15.6 billion that are currently under construction, pending regulation and planned for this urban core. Under Goodman’s leadership, the Redevelopment Agency’s current public-private investment ratio stands at 1:15 — almost double the industry average.

Many of the projects begun during Mayor Goodman’s time in office will be essential to Las Vegas’ economic and cultural future. He was successful in acquiring a large piece of urban real estate in the city without the use of eminent domain. Symphony Park, a phenomenal 61-acre planned development, will include the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, a 350,000 square-foot Performing Arts Center, boutique hotels, multiple high residential units, business, medical, and retail opportunities.

These efforts have not gone unrecognized – he received 84% of the vote in his latest reelection campaign, resulting in one of the highest margins of victory ever for a mayor of a large city.

Because he has made a positive impact on the lives of the citizens in and around Las Vegas, the International Economic Development Council is proud to honor Mayor Oscar B. Goodman with the 2009 Leadership Award for Public Service.



Donald Plusquellic
City of Akron
Akron, OH

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official who has served as a strong public advocate for economic development for at least 10 years.

Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic has been serving Akron, Ohio for 35 years both as a city councilman and mayor. The longest-serving mayor in Akron, he has been in office since 1987. During that time, his vision has helped his city thrive and survive even in challenging economic times.

Don Plusquellic consistently combines innovative ideas with a determination to make Akron a city with a global reach. He admits that his most important mission is securing and fortifying his hometown’s economic future. Nationally-recognized for successfully attracting European investment to Akron, the mayor has traveled around the world, working to bring international business home. Equally important, though, is retaining current jobs; Plusquellic has, within the last two years, retained and created 10,000 new jobs.

His dedication to the future of Akron is present in all he does. Mayor Plusquellic is developing a Biomedical Corridor in the central city. It is geographically framed within a strong medical and science community bolstered by the University of Akron’s powerful polymer science and research programs, and anchored by three hospitals and a business accelerator to incubate and grow entrepreneurial endeavors.

Mayor Plusquellic received the highest honor bestowed on city leaders by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1999, the prestigious City Livability Award, for the Mayor’s leadership in the decade-long effort to create and develop Joint Economic Development Districts in Ohio. These special districts are revenue sharing plans negotiated with Akron suburbs that help fuel the city’s economic development engine.

To sustain economic development, Plusquellic has been a faithful partner with the Akron Public Schools in providing leadership and the assurance of community-wide support for the challenges the school system faces in the coming years. Under his leadership, voters resoundingly approved ballot issues to support operating and capital needs for Akron Public Schools well into the future. Additionally, the Mayor has been instrumental in developing nationally-recognized after-school programs that now serve children from Akron’s most impoverished neighborhoods.

Such success has been widely recognized: Mayor Plusquellic has been named Municipal Leader of the Year by American City and County magazine, Vice President of the International Mayors for Peace, and President of the United States Conference of Mayors.

Because he has made a positive impact on the lives of the citizens in and around the city, the International Economic Development Council is proud to add to Mayor Donald Plusquellic’s list of awards with the 2008 Leadership Award for Public Service.



2007Jerry E. Abramson
City of Louisville
Lousville, KY

The Leadership Award for Public Service recognizes an elected official that has served as a committed advocate in the public sector for economic development for at least ten years.

From the start, Mayor Abramson worked rigorously to improve the City of Louisville. As mayor, he recruited major employers; expanded Louisville’s airport to create tens of thousands of jobs and attract scores of companies; replaced junk yards and sand piles with the award-winning Waterfront Park; invested in Louisville Slugger Field, which spawned more than $150 million in private investment nearby; revitalized housing projects in West Louisville with a mixed-income housing development that became a national model; and created a citywide beautification program called Operation Brightside.

Mayor Abramson helped trigger more than $1.5 billion in downtown investments planned or now under construction, including a 61-story skyscraper and contemporary arts center called Museum Plaza. The project is already receiving international press and the first shovel of dirt will not be turned until this fall.

After twice being re-elected mayor by overwhelming margins, he was dubbed “Mayor for Life” by a local radio personality, a title that stuck. But after three consecutive terms as mayor of Louisville, the limit under Kentucky law, he returned to private life, practicing law at Frost Brown Todd LLC in Louisville, one of the region’s largest law firms, and teaching at Bellarmine University.

In 2000, when local civic and business leaders launched a campaign to merge Louisville and Jefferson County governments, Mayor Abramson was the overwhelming choice of voters as the new mayor of the combined entity. Since the merger, he has launched the largest urban parks expansion project in the nation. He is also helping revitalize downtown with new housing, a new contemporary arts center, and new hotels and attractions. He is constantly searching for ways to improve his hometown: ways to grow the economy, strengthen neighborhoods, and attract new jobs.

Because he has made a positive impact on the lives of the citizens in and around the city, Mayor Jerry Abramson has been nominated for the Leadership Award for Public Service by the people of Louisville.

Edward G. Rendell

City of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

W.F. Joseph, Jr.

Meyera Oberndof

President & Chief Executive
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Ronald O. Loveridge
City of Riverside
Riverside, CA

Hazel McCallion

City of Mississauga
Mississauga, ON Canada

D. Weston Stucky