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LVEDC Wins Prestigious IEDC Award for Third Straight Year

By Colin McEvoy on October 16, 2020

For a third consecutive year, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has received an award from the world’s largest and most prestigious organization serving economic developers.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has bestowed an Excellence in Economic Development Silver Medal Award upon LVEDC in recognition of the organization’s 2019 Annual Report.

LVEDC competed in the largest population range for the award (500,000 or greater), meaning the organization was selected ahead of much larger regions with far more resources available to them.

“Each year with our annual report, we seek not just to show what our organization has done over the past year, but to tell the broader economic success story of the Lehigh Valley itself,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “This recognition by IEDC serves as a wonderful validation of the effectiveness of our marketing efforts.”

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders, according to 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald.

IEDC received more than 500 submissions from four countries for its awards categories this year, he said. The awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day,” McDonald said. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”

The 36-page 2019 LVEDC Annual Report provides an overview of economic development in the Lehigh Valley from that year, including the region’s record-high GDP, Top 3 ranking in the Northeast for economic development, and 50 major business attraction, expansion, or retention projects resulting in the creation or retention of more than 9,200 jobs.

First published in March, before the coronavirus pandemic became widespread in the United States, the digital version of the 2019 Annual Report can be downloaded here and browsed above. Hard copies can also be made available upon request.

In a news release, IEDC wrote that the LVEDC 2019 Annual Report “offers a thorough review — in words, images, and data — of the many ways LVEDC has fulfilled its mission to the community,” while also providing a backdrop to LVEDC’s 25th anniversary celebration and the launch of the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley talent-attraction initiative.

“The report illustrated the quarter-century transformation of Lehigh Valley from a region dependent on heavy manufacturing to a diversified economy with multiple strengths and exceptional underlying fundamentals that have positioned the region for further growth and long-term success,” IEDC wrote. “The report is a go-to source of information for corporate executives, site selectors and location advisors, human resource and talent acquisition professionals, and key in-market stakeholders in business, education, and local government.”

LVEDC also previously won an IEDC Silver Award for its annual report in 2017, as well as a Gold Award in 2018. The organization also received an IEDC award last year for its two-minute Made Possible in Lehigh Valley video.

LVEDC Director of Communications Colin McEvoy is the primary author of the LVEDC Annual Report. Michelle Chrin has designed the report for the last three years, as well as the organization’s Commercial Real Estate Reports, Investment Opportunities brochure, and other marketing materials.

This year’s IEDC award was announced at the organization’s 2020 Annual Conference on Oct. 15. The conference was hosted in Dallas this year, though it was largely held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis.

IEDC is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.

LVEDC has been honored by IEDC in previous years as well. In addition to last year’s annual report recognition, LVEDC won a Silver Award for Best Video/Multimedia Promotion in 2016 and a Gold Award for Best Multi-Year Economic Development Program in 2013.

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