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LVEDC Wins Two Prestigious IEDC Awards

By Colin McEvoy on September 21, 2022

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has won two Excellence and Leadership in Economic Development Awards from the world’s largest and most prestigious organization serving economic developers.

LVEDC received a Bronze Award for Best Special Purpose Website for lehighvalleypaworks.com, a dedicated microsite developed by LVEDC to highlight the region’s thriving life sciences sector.

Additionally LVEDC has received a Gold Award for Best Annual Report, recognizing the organization’s 2021 report released in March. This marks the fifth consecutive year that LVEDC’s Annual Report has been awarded in this category.

“These awards are a wonderful validation of the effectiveness of our economic development and marketing efforts,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “It’s a true honor to be recognized by the largest association for professional economic developers in the world.”

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

IEDC received more than 500 submissions from the United States and four additional countries around the world this year, according to IEDC Awards Advisory Committee Chair Christina Winn.

“This year’s awards selection process was especially competitive,” Winn said. “We are honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”

The awards were presented to LVEDC on Sept. 20 at the IEDC Annual Conference in Oklahoma City. Nicole Radzievich Mertz, LVEDC Director of Market Research & Communications, attended the conference and accepted the award on LVEDC’s behalf.

“Communities need our profession now more than ever,” said IEDC President & CEO Nathan Ohle. “This year’s awardees exemplify the ingenuity, leadership, and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and the future. The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day.”

IEDC presents awards in 25 categories, and while each category has various tiers, only one Gold Award is provided within each category. The awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, Winn said.

LVEDC’s life sciences microsite was part of a target marketing campaign highlighting the Lehigh Valley’s life sciences sector and the economic assets that have attracted more than 170 labs, diagnostic and medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical distributors.

LVEDC contracted Lehigh Mining & Navigation for the marketing campaign, and the microsite was launched in March. LVEDC Regional Partnerships & Talent Strategies Vice President Karianne Gelinas led the target marketing campaign development, along with Doug Warfel, LVEDC Director of Attraction and Lending.

The site provides basic information about the Lehigh Valley, highlights why the region is attractive to life science companies, and features success stories and companies that have thrived in the Lehigh Valley, including B. Braun Medical, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, Sharp, OraSure Technologies, Tyber Medical, and more

LVEDC has won the IEDC award for its Annual Report every year since 2018. The 40-page 2021 report highlighted major economic development news, the region’s continuing recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, more than major expansion or development projects from 2020, and more.

The LVEDC Annual Report is primarily authored by LVEDC Director of Communications Colin McEvoy, with input from other staff members, and it is designed by Michelle Chrin. The digital version of the 2021 report can be downloaded here or viewed below, and hard copies can be made available upon request.

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