Development Counsellors International Announces First “40 Under 40” Award Winners in Economic Development

January 28, 2013

DCI awarded 27 of the 40 under 40 winners in Orlando during IEDC's Leadership Summit.

DCI awarded 27 of the 40 under 40 winners in Orlando during IEDC’s Leadership Summit.

NEW YORK – January 28, 2013 – Development Counsellors International (DCI) announced the winners of the economic development industry’s first “40 Under 40” awards at the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Orlando last night. The award was designed to discover the profession’s rising stars.

“The people chosen by the selection committee represent a bright future for the economic development world,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI. “They are a new breed of results-driven, place makers.”

The pool of winners consists of 14 women and 26 men; the youngest is 26 years old and the oldest is 39 years old.

Large communities and the South dominated with 27 award recipients hailing from communities of 200,000 residents or more and 22 winners from Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina and other southern states.

Of particular note, five of the “40 under 40” are from outside the mainland U.S. including winners from Puerto Rico, Canada and Iraq.

“When we launched the search in October we had no idea what to expect,” Levine said. “We were blown away by the response. We accepted more than 150 nominations, all of whom were doing amazing things to advance the profession.”

A five-member selection committee evaluated and chose the winners based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry.

“All of the candidates were outstanding,” said Kenny McDonald, CEO of Columbus 2020 and a selection committee member. “It was very humbling—and inspiring—to digest the great work being done by young economic developers.”

Economic Development 40 Under 40 Award Winners

  • Jon Baggett, Director, Dorchester County (SC) Economic Development
  • Clay Banks, Southwest Tennessee Regional Director, State of Tennessee, Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Charles Beasley, President & CEO, Mississippi Enterprise for Technology
  • Jerry Bologna, Executive Director, Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission
  • Kendra Borgen, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta (EDA)
  • Jennifer Bosser, Assistant Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development
  • Dan Bowman, Assistant Director, Allen Economic Development Corporation
  • Lisa Bradley, Business & Economic Development, City of Gulfport, MS
  • Ed Calvesbert, Former Deputy Secretary, Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Government of Puerto Rico
  • Chris Camacho, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
  • Steven Ceulemans, Vice President for Innovation & Technology, Birmingham Business Alliance
  • Cathy Chambers, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, JAX USA Partnership
  • Chris Chung, Chief Executive Officer, Missouri Partnership
  • Dusty Duistermars, Manager, Site Location Services, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Amber Egnor Martin, Senior Business Development Manager, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
  • Kelly Flenniken, Executive Director, Grand Junction Economic Partnership
  • Kristin Fletcher, Executive Vice President, Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership
  • Matt Forshee, President & CEO, Fayette County Development Authority
  • Steve Fritsch, Director, Regional Business Development Team NEO
  • Chris Gahl, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Visit Indy
  • Ken Harris, President & CEO, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
  • Victoria Hirschberg, Business Development Consultant, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
  • Kevin Hughes, Economic Development Director, City of Suffolk, VA
  • Mohammed Khudhier, Executive Director, Anbar Economic Development Council
  • Cameron McCoy, Executive Director for the Corporate Engagement Office, University of Oklahoma
  • Rodrick Miller, President  & CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance
  • Kim Moore, Marketing Manager, City of Dallas, Office of Economic Development
  • Jennifer Owens, Vice President, Southwest Michigan First
  • Trevor Pawl, Program Director, Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Jonas Peterson, President, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation
  • Harold Pettigrew, Director, DC Department of Small & Local Business Development
  • Scott Resnick, City Councilman, City of Madison
  • Joel Richardson, Executive Director, Trade, Strategic Policy and Marketing, Department of Economic Development, Government of New Brunswick, Canada
  • Sarah Roberts, Senior Vice President, Economic Development, Greater Waco Chamber
  • Gilberto Salinas, Executive Vice President, Brownsville Economic Development Council
  • Shelby Schneider, Director of Marketing & Economic Development Specialist, Saratoga Economic Development Corporation
  • Jay Schwedler, President  & CEO, Sumter Economic Development
  • Joshua Smith, City Manager, City of Hamilton
  • Kadie Ward, Director of Marketing & Communication, The London Economic Development Corporation
  • Claudia Zimmerman, Director of Economic Development, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

For more information on DCI’s “40 Under 40” winners, visit or contact Susan Brake at

Susan Brake

Written by Susan Brake

Susan Brake is Vice President at DCI overseeing the digital media strategy for all the firm's economic development clients. Since joining the company, she has effectively leveraged traditional and social media tactics to reach target audiences for her clients large and small.

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