Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA) Celebrates Excellence in Economic Development

Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA) awarded 2023 Economic Development recipients on March 30 at their 2023 Spring Conference in Olympia, WA. Alisha Benson, GSI’s CEO and WEDA’s Board Chair was there to help present.

“WEDA’s Economic Development Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in economic development at the highest level,” said WEDA Board Chair Alisha Benson, who also serves as CEO of Greater Spokane Inc. “There are leaders across our entire state working tirelessly to recover and grow jobs and strengthen economic vitality in their communities. These awards honor leaders and projects that are excelling in this important work.”

WEDA was particularly honored to recognize Washington State Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck as WEDA’s 2023 Legislative Economic Development Champion of the Year at a special WEDA Legislative Reception at the Governor’s Mansion which also included Governor Jay Inslee.

Bruce Kendall, WEDA Awards Committee Chair who also serves as President & CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County added, “We received a number of impressive nominations from communities across Washington. The nominations reflect a unique array of the breadth and diversity of strong work taking place by economic developers in Washington. These projects are often complex and require extensive collaboration and creative partnerships. We were also pleased to once again present awards in two newer, relevant, and important award categories established in 2021, the Economic Development Award for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Economic Development Award for Response & Recovery.”

Congratulations to the following winners:

  • Emerging professional in economic development: Lindsey Harris
  • Economic development advocates of the year: Tamsin Bell and Wesley Nguyen
  • Economic development project of the year – business recruitment: Port of Pasco, Darigold recruitment, Reimann Industrial Center Project
  • Economic development project of the year – business retention/expansion: Cowlitz Economic Development Council and NORPAC, NORPAC Expansion Project
  • Innovation in economic development award: City of Spokane Valley, City of Spokane Valley Data Collection Tool for Homelessness and Clean Up Sites
  • Economic development award for diversity, equity & inclusion: Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Community Business Connector Program
  • Economic development award for economic response & recovery: Washington Main Street Organization, Main Street Business Resiliency Response

To learn more about each of the awardees and the awards given, visit WEDA to read the full news release.


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