2023 Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council

This marks my 7th Gold Award from the IEDC. Official press release:

Seattle, Wash. (September 28, 2023) – Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) received a 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for the launch of Uncommon Thinkers Welcome. The award was bestowed specifically for the organization’s work in the Digital Media category that impacted 500,000+ residents. GSP also received the Bronze Award for Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration for population greater than 500,000. GSP was acknowledged and honored at the IEDC 2023 Annual Conference during the inaugural Recognition Night event in Dallas, TX, September 19.

“GSP has raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its Uncommon Thinkers Welcome program. This award is a testament to GSP’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better,” said Nathan Ohle, IEDC President and CEO. “It is IEDC’s honor and privilege to present GSP with this award and recognize its leadership and innovation in the field of economic development!”

Every year IEDC looks specifically for economic development organizations, government entities, initiatives, and programs that have demonstrated consistent, exemplary performance in the economic development profession, leading the execution of projects that have a significant impact on revitalizing communities, and playing a major role in shaping and improving the practice of economic development.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the IEDC. The goal of this project was to unite our public and private partners around an authentic brand position that captures the unconventional attributes that differentiate Greater Seattle from the rest of the world. In partnership with our fiercely creative friends at Mekanism, we conducted extensive regional and global research to inform the brand pillars and breathe life into what would ultimately become Uncommon Thinkers Welcome. It is very rewarding to see such strong results from the initial launch of the campaign, which would not have been possible without the help of so many amazing partners across the region that helped us clearly show – we don’t do things like everybody else,” said Robert Payne, vice president of marketing and communications.

“Since first partnering with GSP in 2019, we’ve been determined to prove that the fastest growing tech hub in the country is more than just rain,” said Lisa Zakroff, General Manager of Mekanism. “Together, we tapped into a truth about this region that resonated deeply with GSP’s partners, big and small, allowing for a campaign designed to feature them all. We loved the opportunity to galvanize so many
bedfellows who would seem strange anywhere but here.”

Uncommon Thinkers Welcome continues to garner regional adoption across Snohomish, King and Pierce County and has appeared in front of global forums across Europe and Asia. Driven by new ideas like we are, some of the regional companies and partners that have contributed to the growth of the brand are as follows:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Amazon
  • Aquagga
  • Boeing
  • Campfire Coffee
  • Eighth Generation
  • Eviation
  • Feedme (Shubert Ho)
  • Just Evotec Biologics
  • Namatad
  • Pallet Shelter
  • Pokemon
  • Port of Everett
  • Port of Seattle
  • SAFE Boats
  • Seattle University
  • Spaceflight
  • TOTE Maritime
  • University of Washington
  • Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
  • Washington State University

To learn more about Uncommon Thinkers Welcome visit UncommonThinkersWelcome.com.

About Greater Seattle Partners

Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) is a public-private partnership that leads regional economic development through global business attraction, site selection and investment and trade opportunities in the greater Seattle region. GSP collaborates with community and economic development partners to ensure that every person in the Puget Sound region has the opportunity to prosper. We strive to attract and retain quality family/living wage jobs across all communities of the region. Throughout the world we tell the story of our talent, pioneering spirit, unique communities, and quality of life. For more information visit Greater-Seattle.com.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,300 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development practices.\ Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at iedconline.org


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