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Announcing EDCC’s 2022 ‘Economic Development Achievement’ – Rich Werner

Top people, places, and projects in economic development honored at annual awards dinner & ceremony

PUEBLO, COLORADO (Oct. 20, 2022) – The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) announced the 2022 EDIE award recipients, recognizing economic development excellence during its annual Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference at Pueblo Convention Center in Pueblo, Colorado last week. The most recognized award in economic development in Colorado, the EDIE represents outstanding achievements by its members, organizations, communities, companies, individuals and legislators for their outstanding achievements in economic development in the State of Colorado. Since 1989, EDCC has celebrated the achievements of over 200 award winners. This year, 11 awardees were recognized.

Rich Werner, President & CEO of Upstate Colorado, was selected for this year’s highest achievement the ‘Economic Development Achievement Award’ for his outstanding economic development contributions:

  • Since Rich’s tenure, 64 projects have been secured representing more than $2 billion in new investment creating almost 5000 new jobs.
  • Established a regional initiative to bring together the economic development efforts between Larimer and Weld counties,
  • Established a network of professionals charged with developing and managing the regional economic development strategy and assists businesses looking to expand or relocate to the region.
  • Spearheaded two grant programs focused on recovery and industry relief during the pandemic awarding over $4.6mil in grants to 480 businesses. $3mil in grants were awarded to more than 100 small businesses that suffered losses from the September 2013 floods.
  • Initiated the Powering Colorado campaign which strives to promote and educate other communities on the growing rural influence and impact on the energy, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and healthcare sectors.

“We celebrate and honor the winners of this year’s EDIE awards. Their dedication and hard work towards the progression of our industry, across the state and beyond, is astounding,” said Stacy Miller, 2022 Board Chair of the EDCC and the Director of Economic Development for the Town of Windsor. “These individuals and organizations’ contributions to our communities will help to advance Colorado’s economy for years to come.”

Pueblo, the Steel City, introduced a new generation of the EDIE award fabricated in steel. The EDIE Award was handcrafted by Johnny’s Boiler Shop & Metal Works which has been a staple of craftsmanship and skill in Pueblo Colorado since 1946. This handcrafted award was made with heart and soul by Pueblo metal workers from American steel. The stainless rod, depicting water, was cut from a legacy drill rig which provided drilling service throughout the Southern Colorado region. The base of the award was handcrafted from a 1940’s Denver and Rio Grande Western Box car floor which carried goods throughout the region.

Each of these winners, gives a glimpse into what our professionals and stakeholders are doing, in keeping Colorado’s economy moving forward. More now than ever, the value and importance of sustainable economic development, needs to be shined upon as we navigate the ever-changing headwinds our economy is facing. EDCC is honored to represent this year’s winners and their invaluable contributions and achievements in keeping Colorado economically viable.