Site Selectors Guild Announces Inaugural 2021 Award Winners
Organizations Honored for Exemplary Initiatives in Economic Development
June 10, 2021 – The Site Selectors Guild (the Guild), the professional association of the world’s leading corporate location advisors, announced the inaugural winners of the Projects with a Purpose and the Community Innovation awards. These awards, presented for the first time during the Guild’s 2021 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, recognize exemplary initiatives addressing social and environmental issues and building healthier environments for business.
Winners include the following economic development professionals and organizations:
- Projects with a Purpose Award: Jerry Carter, CEO of Inter-County Energy Cooperative; David Crews, Senior Vice President Power Supply of East Kentucky Power Cooperative; and Brad Thomas, Economic Development Manager of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives
- Community Innovation Award: Ron DiNicola, Co-Founder, Empower Erie; and Kathy Dahlkemper, County Executive, Erie County Government
“We are excited to present the inaugural Projects with a Purpose and Community Innovation awards to these deserving honorees,” said Jay Garner, Site Selectors Guild board chair. “The Guild received many impressive submissions, and we are inspired by how these economic development organizations went above and beyond to make a difference in their communities.”
The Projects with a Purpose award honors individuals or organizations who have successfully implemented location selection projects that go beyond job creation to address social or environmental issues within a community.
The Community Innovation: Building a Better Business Climate award recognizes a unique initiative or legislative action successfully implemented in support of economic development and building a better environment for business on a local, state or national level.
Details on the winners are as follows:
- Projects with a Purpose: In July of 2019, Diageo North America selected Lebanon, Kentucky as the home for their new $130 million state-of-the-art bourbon distillery. At the groundbreaking, local energy supplier Inter-County Energy Cooperative with support from Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives began discussions with the global beverage company about the potential of powering this new facility with green energy. Diageo announced in June of 2020 that their new distillery would be all-electric and carbon-neutral, making it one of the largest green energy projects in North America.
- Community Innovation: For years, the Erie metropolitan area was the largest in the United States not served by a community college. Led by the community coalition Empower Erie, the Erie County Council approved the development of a community college for the county in June 2017. In August 2020, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania formally approved the Erie Community College – the first new community college in Pennsylvania since 1993. Operations will begin in September 2021. This project seeks to increase workforce preparedness and improve financial access to high-quality education for the Erie community.
To learn more about the Guild Awards program, visit https://siteselectorsguild.com/events/annual-conference/awards/