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Beth Kremer, San Juan Development Association, selected as the 2023 ‘Rookie of the Year’

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

GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO (Oct. 19, 2023) – The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) announced the 2023 EDIE award recipients, recognizing economic development excellence during its annual Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference at Grand Junction Convention Center in Grand Junction, Colorado, Oct. 18 – 20, 2023.

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, 12 awardees were recognized:

Beth Kremer with the San Juan Development Association was selected as this year’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ for her achievements in the following activities:

  • Do to large infrastructure gaps in Silverton, Beth focuses primarily on infrastructure including housing, and broadband, as well as diversifying the economy for year-round employment stability.
  • In her leadership, she co-Chaired the Rural Philanthropy Days event which showcased a tour bringing funders by bus to see completed/funded projects as well as a plan for future ones.
  • She participated in a community visioning project which resulted in the creation of a Master Plan, outlining goals, priorities, and projects for the community. From this effort, Beth created internal infrastructure for the EDO including developing policies and procedures, a website, and the hiring of additional staff, to support the Master Plan.
  • Affordable housing in a major issue as currently more than 65% of Silverton’s homes are vacant at least part of the year, as second homes or vacation rentals. Due to its remoteness the town cannot rely on bedroom communities or a large population of commuters for its workforce. Beth is working closely with the Town and County leading the building of single-family homes that will be AMI and deed restricted. The full project will result in 8 single-family homes, 10 townhomes, and a 16-unit apartment complex. This project aims to complete and fully occupy all units by 2028.
  • Further housing efforts include CHFA’s technical assistance grant to help catalyze small-scale affordable housing developments by providing access to an affordable housing consultant and pre-development grant assistance, awarded $200,000 for building 4 single-family units, awarded a DOLA grant to purchase 1.24 acres for rental of future homes and apartments to residents who are earning less than 140% Area Median Income, and received $75,000 REDI grant for a Housing and Project Coordinator
  • Business support efforts include receiving funding for a Main Street initiative and private foundation funds to grow the organization, received a Main Street Open for Business (MSOB) grant and awarded over $600,000 for six downtown businesses for facade and renovation work, recruited the County’s first Rural Jumpstart Business, and the first two businesses in the County to be accepted into the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs (SCAPE) class.

Criteria to be considered for this award include:

  • The Rookie of the Year award is designed to encourage new professionals who have demonstrated exceptional ability and performance in the field of economic development.
  • They have had less than 3 years in the profession but at least 1 year in Colorado.
  • Recommended by their supervisor for exceptional work on a project, issue, or problem.
  • Demonstration of ability or leadership, usually limited to a veteran economic development practitioner.
  • Participate in professional development or support professional development in Colorado.

“The historic Avalon Theatre in downtown Grand Junction was the perfect place to honor this diverse and talented cast of contributors to Colorado’s economic development community,” said Drew Kramer, EDCC Board Chair and Economic Development Program Manager for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. ”Each of the winners represents a key piece of the complex puzzle we must complete to ensure an economically viable future for Colorado – from large and small communities to national corporations and local businesses to elected officials and individual professionals and advocates.”

Kramer further noted the hard work that EDCC Executive Director Kim Woodworth, her staff and several volunteers put in to make the Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference such an effective gathering of the state’s economic development professionals, policymakers and business leaders. An estimated 300 attendees converged in Grand Junction for an agenda rich with content covering everything from housing and the impacts of the outdoor recreation industry to leadership development and demographic trends. Taking place, the second night of the conference, the EDIE Awards ceremony was held at the recently renovated Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction’s Main Street District.

2023 Rookie of the Year Beth Kramer2023 Class of EDCC EDIE Award Winners