State group honors GJ for economic development

Clarke Becker, President/CEO of the Colorado Rural Development Council, host the Economic Development Council of Colorado 2009 Spring Award luncheon at Two Rivers Convention Center

Grand Junction received the 2009 Large Community of the Year award from the Economic Development Council of Colorado during a statewide conference at Two Rivers Convention Center on Thursday.

The award is given to a community of more than 20,000 that demonstrates support for economic development through an organized program and strong leadership.

Ann Driggers, president and CEO of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, nominated
the city for the award.  She highlighted a quarter-cent sales tax increase instituted after the oil and gas pullout of 1982, saying it has created more than 3,000 primary jobs.

She included in the nomination that Grand Junction ranked No. 5 on the 2008 Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Index for small U.S. metropolitan areas, and ranked No. 24 on the 2009 Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers.

The EDCC awards acknowledge individual, corporate and community contributions to economic development of Colorado.

The other awards presented Thursday went to Doug Johnson for Volunteer of the Year, Stone Age Inc. of Durango for Company of the Year, Morgan County for Small Community of the Year, Jack Llewellyn for Rookie of the Year and Holli Baumunk for Economic Developer of the Year.

The EDCC holds two conferences a year in rotating locations around the state, in fall and spring. This spring conference concludes today.


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