Robert M. Ady Professional Development Scholarship Program

Robert M. Ady Professional Development Scholarships

The Site Selectors Guild recognizes that some economic organizations have limited resources and are not otherwise able to enjoy all of the educational benefits and networking opportunities that attendance at a Guild Annual Conference can provide. The Robert M. Ady Professional Development Scholarships awards five deserving economic developers with complimentary registration to an upcoming Guild Annual Conference.

Scholarship Application

Eligibility & Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be a full-time employee of a credible economic development organization
  • Be the sole employee of that organization to apply for an Ady Scholarship in a given year
  • Have never before attended a Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference or Fall Forum and be employed by an organization that has never sent an attendee to a Guild Annual Conference or Fall Forum

Applications will be evaluated based on:

  • The candidate and/or their organization’s demonstration of financial need
  • The degree to which the candidate and/or their organization interacts with, or desires to engage with site selection professionals
  • Whether the applicant is a member of an underrepresented group and/or serves communities that have been historically underrepresented in economic development
  • The applicant’s accomplishments in economic development

Recipient Expectations:

  • If selected for an Ady Scholarship, applicants must promptly confirm their ability to attend the Guild Annual Conference. They are expected to be present for the duration of the conference, taking fullest advantage of conference-related activities.
  • They must be willing to be featured in any pre-or post-conference promotions, as requested, and to attend a follow-up interview with Review Committee members to discuss their experiences and to share what they have learned.
  • They must remain responsible for all additional conference attendance expenses including, but not limited to, travel, accommodations, and any pre-conference activities. Each recipient will be responsible for making his/her own travel arrangements.

About Robert M. Ady

Robert M. (Bob) Ady enjoyed a long and fruitful career helping companies select the optimal locations for their offices, manufacturing facilities and other operations. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University. Over the course of his career, he coached countless aspiring professionals, many of whom are in leadership positions today throughout the industry. One of his longtime goals was to build an organization specifically for site selectors to network with one another to advance the industry in a unified way. In 2010, as the capstone of his career, Bob formed the Site Selectors Guild, which, a decade later, remains the only association of the world’s foremost site selection consultants. It is with that in mind that the Bob Ady Professional Development Scholarship Program has been developed in his honor.

Previous Scholarship Recipients

2023 Robert M. Ady Annual Conference scholarship recipients:

  • Zach Gilmore, Jackson County Economic Development
  • Stewart McGregor, Kaufman Economic Development
  • April Potter, Opportunity Stanislaus
  • Pamela Lopez-Fettes, Growth Dimensions Economic Development
  • Sarah Hoefgen, El Dorado, Inc.


2022 Robert M. Ady Annual Conference scholarship recipients:

  • David Lieving, Huntington (W.VA) Area Development Council
  • Sean Maguire, Town of Colonie (NY) Industrial Development Agency
  • Kristopher Phillips, Chester County (SC) Economic Development
  • Zachary Morris, Market Van Buren (MI)
  • Andrei Buzatu, North-East Romania Regional Development Agency


2021 Robert M. Ady Annual Conference scholarship recipients:

  • Tyler Engle, Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County, Tennessee
  • Kelsey Foster, Algiers Economic Development Foundation
  • Rob Harrington, Bourbon County Economic Development Council
  • David Hengel, Greater Bemidji
  • Benjamin Vickers, Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission