Pierce County Receives Economic Development Award at 2021 WEDA Winter Conference
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March 17, 2021

Pierce County Receives Economic Development Award at 2021 WEDA Winter Conference

Pierce County along with other Economic Development organizations and professionals were honored during the 2021 WEDA Winter Conference. For more information on the winners and awards please read the WEDA Press Release below.

Washington Economic Development Association
Celebrates Excellence in Economic Development with 2021 WEDA Economic Development Awards

Washington – The leaders of Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA), Washington’s only
trade association laser-focused on economic development, awarded their 2021 Economic Development
Awards today at their 2021 Winter Conference which was held virtually, “broadcast LIVE” from Olympia, WA.

“WEDA’s Economic Development Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in economic development at the
highest level,” said WEDA Board Chair Mike Bomar, who also serves as Director of Economic Development for
the Port of Vancouver USA, “There are leaders across our entire state working tirelessly to recover jobs and
rebuild their communities. These awards honor leaders and projects that are excelling in this important work.”

Bruce Kendall, WEDA Awards Committee Chair who also serves as President & CEO of the Economic
Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County added, “We received impressive nominations from
communities across Washington. The nominations reflect a unique array of the breadth and diversity of strong
work taking place to by economic developers in Washington. These projects are often complex and require
extensive collaboration and creative partnerships. We were also felt it was important to add two new award
categories this year, for the Economic Development Award for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Economic
Development Award for Response & Recovery.”

2021 WEDA award winners recognized for outstanding achievement in Economic Development include:

EMERGING PROFESSIONAL IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Tamsin Bell
The Emerging Professional Award is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to his/her
community, is a promising future leader in the industry, or who has become an integral member of his or her
community, creating significant support for economic development.
“Tamsin managed 10 different CARES Act grant programs awarding $2 million to 260 small businesses in 2020,
all while performing her regular duties as EDASC’s Economic Development Manager and completing her
coursework for her CEc.D!,” said John B. Sternlicht, JD, CEc.D, CEO, Economic Development Alliance of Skagit
County.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Washington Small Business Development Center
This award recognizes a person or group of people outside the field of economic development who made a
significant and/or innovative contribution to an economic development project or program during the past
year. This award recognizes that economic development professionals must rely on a whole host of others in
order to be successful. These are sometimes the “silent heroes” of economic development who have
contributed significantly to advancement of the economic development profession or were involved in a
significant project in a creative way.
“Washington state was the first state impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and local businesses have felt the
impact longer than any in the nation. As an SBA-funded resource partner, the business advisers from the
Washington Small Business Development Center have stepped up when our small businesses needed them
most,” Small Business Administration Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “From setting up a business
resiliency center, to an increase in technical assistance webinars, to countless hours walking business owners
through the application process to access relief financing, the Washington SBDC team is the reason many
businesses are still open today. They are the platinum standard for SBA Resource Partners nationwide. I am
grateful for their service to the Washington small business community.”

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR – BUSINESS RETENTION/EXPANSION
City of Olympia, Crown Beverage Packaging
This award celebrates the successful creation or completion of a creative, economically significant, and/or
model project in a community or region. The project could be one that has retained jobs, was particularly
difficult to achieve, was extraordinarily competitive, had multiple partners or contributed to community wellbeing.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR – BUSINESS RECRUITMENT
City of Arlington, Eviation
This award celebrates the successful creation or completion of a creative, economically significant, and/or
model project in a community or region. Factors that may influence the selection include the extent of the
economic impact this project has on the community, the development of partnerships, innovation, originality,
whether the project or program can be duplicated as a “best practice,” and whether the project or program
appears to be cost-effective.
“Mayor Tolbert and her team in the City of Arlington have done a fantastic job of recruiting cutting-edge
companies, and we look forward to seeing Eviation develop into a an even more significant component of our
aerospace cluster,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “I want to thank the Washington Economic
Development Association for their support of aerospace innovation in Snohomish County and for recognizing
our successful focus on recruiting companies.”

INNOVATION IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD
South Landing Project
This award recognizes that not all economic development projects are alike. In fact, there are frequently
projects that happen or programs that are developed that do not include the “deal” that economic developers
typically consider as a success. WEDA will recognize innovative programs, projects and partnerships that are
pioneering, novel and groundbreaking. WEDA recognizes that communities and individuals are doing state-ofthe-art work to further the field of economic development. It may be the attraction of a world-class event that
made a significant economic impact on a community, an atypical alliance of groups who may have never
worked together before or the creation of a program that significantly improves a community’s ability to
attract investment.
“The South Landing Project is transforming a former utility yard into a hub for energy innovation and
sustainable building. The positive impacts of these investments in an underutilized commercial neighborhood
will continue to propel this community forward as a leader in education, clean technology, and life sciences.
Our thanks go out to the partners for their investments,” said Gary Ballew, Vice President, Economic
Development, Greater Spokane Inc.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD FOR DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County
This award recognizes economic development organizations/entities/individuals that have made strides in
improving the diversity, equity and inclusion within their work, communities or organizations. WEDA will
recognize innovative programs, projects and partnerships that are pioneering, groundbreaking and/or novel.
“EDASC has spoken out against injustices perpetrated on people and communities of color, incorporated
equity into its mission statement, and views all activities through the lens of justice, equity, diversity and
inclusion (JEDI). In addition to its Latino Business Retention and Expansion and Leadership Skagit programs
begun in 2004, EDASC in 2020 created an Equity and Education Committee that is sponsoring a learning series
of equity issues and ensures all programs including Leadership Skagit, CARES Act grants and others seek to
improve JEDI,” said John B. Sternlicht, JD, CEc.D, CEO, Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County. CEO
John Sternlicht has conducted his “Unconscious Bias” workshop for WEDA, IEDC and others, and he and EDASC
thank WEDA for this recognition and for incorporating social and economic justice in its work.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD FOR ECONOMIC RESPONSE & RECOVERY
Pierce County Economic Development Department:
2020 CARES Act Economic Stabilization & Recovery Programs
This award recognizes economic development organizations/entities/individuals that have made innovative
efforts to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. WEDA recognizes innovative programs,
projects and partnerships that are pioneering, groundbreaking and/or novel.
“It is an honor to be recognized by WEDA for the work we did to help sustain Pierce County businesses in
2020,” said Pierce County Economic Development Department Director, Betty Capestany. “During very
challenging economic times, Pierce County CARES programs provided vital supplies and funding to businesses
allowing them to continue to operate or re-open. We know the need is still great, and we, along with our
economic development partners, will continue to offer our assistance to businesses throughout the recovery
phase and beyond.”

# # #

About the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA)
As Washington State’s only trade association laser-focused on economic development, WEDA is committed to
recovering, retaining, recruiting and expanding jobs and re-investment in Washington State. WEDA members
include economic development organizations, cities, counties, ports, tribes, businesses, education and
community-based organizations that prioritize economic development.

 

For more information contact:
Suzanne Dale Estey, WEDA Executive Director 206-769-4217
Mike Bomar, WEDA Board Chair and Director of Economic Development, Port of Vancouver USA
360-839-3577
Bruce Kendall, WEDA Board Member/Awards Committee Chair and President/CEO, Economic Development
Board for Tacoma-Pierce County 253-208-8458
Contact Information for Award Winners and Photos Available Upon Request

Copyright © 2021 Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. All Rights Reserved.
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