2019 Excellence in Economic Development Awards

About Entry Packets Categories Sponsors Previous Winners Contact

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. These 34 awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Winners are recognized at IEDC's Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN.


Call for Entries: 2019 Excellence in Economic Development Awards

How to Submit Awards Entries

Step 1: Download the Awards Entry Packet

Step 2: Review the award category descriptions and consider one or more entries from your community.

Step 3: Postmark your application(s) by the May 3rd deadline. Mail to:

734 15th Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Attn: Awards

Questions: Contact Allison Mahnke at awards@iedconline.org or (202) 942-9483.


2019 Awards Timeline

Call for Entries Begins: January 28
Early Bird Deadline: April 5
Final Deadline: May 3
Judging: June
Notification: July/August
Awards Presentation: October 13-16

Best in Show Award

The Best in Show Award recognizes the best entry out of all 24 categories of promotional, program, and partnership awards. The recipient will be revealed during the Awards Ceremony at IEDC's Annual Conference.

The 2018 recipient was the City of Cincinnati for their Nehemiah Manufacturing submission.


2019 Awards Fees (Per Entry)

IEDC Member Non-member

Early (by April 5)



Regular (April 6 - May 3)



Entrants with Populations less than 25,000



Final Deadline: Postmarked by May 3, 2019



Categories 1-24: Projects will be awarded in each of the following population levels:

- Population less than 25,000
- Population between 25,000 and 200,000
- Population between 200,000 and 500,000
- Population greater than 500,000

Promotional Awards
These awards recognize innovative and effective marketing materials used for attracting, retaining and fostering business as well as communications vehicles used by economic development organizations.

1. Print Brochure
2. General Purpose Print Promotion
3. Video/Multimedia Promotion
4. Annual Report
5. Paid Advertising Campaign
6. Magazine and Newsletter
7. Special Event
8. Innovation in Economic Development Week (Special Deadline: May 31, 2019)

Internet & New Media Awards
These awards recognize exceptional and inventive use of the Internet and digital media – including social media, augmented reality, podcasts, blogs, wikis, extranet and intranets – for economic development.

9. General Purpose Website
10. Special Purpose Website
11. Digital Media

Program Awards
These awards recognize outstanding and pioneering programs in economic and business development.

12. Multi-Year Economic Development
13. Business Retention and Expansion Initiatives
14. Entrepreneurship
15. Neighborhood and Retail Development
16. Talent Development and Retention
17. Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse
18. Economic Equity & Inclusion
19. Resiliency, Recovery and Mitigation
20. Creative Financing
21. Innovation Programs and Initiatives

Partnership Awards
These awards recognize significant partnerships formed to support economic development and the results achieved by working together.

22. Public-Private Partnerships
23. Partnerships with Educational Institutions
24. Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration

Leadership Awards
These awards recognize outstanding leaders in the public and private sectors who are advancing economic development in their communities. One individual will be presented an award for each category.

1. New Economic Developer of the Year
2. Leadership Award for Public Service
3. Citizen Leadership Award
4. Institutional Leadership Award
5. Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award
6. Federal Leadership in Economic Development Programs Award (Entry fee waived)
7. Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award (Entry fee waived)

Honorary Awards (Entry fee waived)

Nominations will be considered for the following honorary designations for long-standing active IEDC members.

1. Fellow Member (FM)
2. Honorary Life Member (HLM)

One individual will be recognized for their lifelong commitment to excellence in economic development.

3. Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Economic Development


What Can an IEDC Award Offer Your Organization?

IEDC is the world's largest membership organization serving the economic development profession. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, our members represent the entire range of economic development.

Recipients of IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards demonstrate to our experienced panel of judges that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession. We recognize the most successful, innovative, and effective leaders, programs, partnerships, and promotional materials. Award recipients gain valuable publicity and exposure amongst their peers in the economic development field, media, and prospects. Raise the visibility of your organization - apply for an Excellence in Economic Development award today!