Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization honored with state award for excellence

From left, VVREO Directors accepting the EDDE award: Tom Pitts, Co-Chair, Yavapai County Sector Strategy Team; Penny Wills, President, Yavapai Community College; Mary Chicoine, VVREO Chair; Casey Rooney, Economic Development Director, Cottonwood; and, Jodie Filardo, Economic Development Director, Clarkdale.

From left, VVREO Directors accepting the EDDE award: Tom Pitts, Co-Chair, Yavapai County Sector Strategy Team; Penny Wills, President, Yavapai Community College; Mary Chicoine, VVREO Chair; Casey Rooney, Economic Development Director, Cottonwood; and, Jodie Filardo, Economic Development Director, Clarkdale.

Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Arizona Association for Economic Development has announced that Verde Valley Regional Economic Development Organization, Inc., is the recipient of its annual Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence award for Small Organization of the Year.

The awards were presented during an evening awards dinner at the AAED Spring Conference in Tucson.

The prestigious EDDE awards honor individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the organization and also to the economic growth within the state of Arizona. Recipients are selected from a pool of nominations made by members of AAED.

VVREO was recognized for its overall commitment to economic development.

Joyce Grossman, AAED's executive director, said VVREO and its individual directors actively support and participate in economic development activities throughout the region, including those directed by all of the incorporated communities in the region, the Yavapai-Apache Nation, the Cottonwood Economic Development Council, the Sedona Verde Valley Tourism Council, chambers of commerce and business associations in the region, as well as other leadership groups and foundations.

Overall eight EDDEs and a Best of Arizona Award were presented.

The William Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development was given to Brian Dalke, CEcD, city manager for the city of Goodyear. This award recognizes outstanding achievements by an individual that has made significant contributions to economic development efforts in Arizona and demonstrated a sustained commitment to AAED.

Susan Hyatt, economic development program manager for the city of Phoenix, was cited as Member of the Year.

William Jabjiniak, economic development director for the city of Mesa, received the Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community Award. The award for Economic Developer of the Year, Small Community, was presented to Mignonne D. Hollis, executive director of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation (SVEDF).

The award for Large Organization of the Year was presented to the city of Mesa Office of Economic Development.

Richmond Vincent, vice president of workforce development for Goodwill of Central Arizona, covering Maricopa County, Prescott and Yuma, was named Workforce Practitioner of the Year.

Pascua Yaqui Tribe Councilman Marcelino Flores was recognized at AAED's New Member of the Year.

Arizona State University received the rarely-awarded Best of Arizona Award for its new American university model and the positive economic development impact it has.

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona's unified voice advocating for responsible economic development through an effective program of professional education, public policy, and collaboration.    

For more information on AAED, visit www.aaed.com or call (602) 240-2233.

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