DCI 40 Under 40

Logo 40 Under 40

2021 Economic Development 40 Under 40 Awards

40 Under 40 is a biennial awards program recognizing the top “rising stars” under 40 years old in the economic development industry. DCI is proud to partner with Jorgenson Consulting, a leading national executive search firm, to find the most innovative, impactful young economic developers around the globe.

Our selection committee of six will independently review and rank nominees to determine the top 40 individuals whose leadership, dedication and innovation have had a significant impact on their organizations, communities and the economic development industry itself. The 2019 40 Under 40 Awards received a record number of highly qualified nominees.

Nominations are due October 30, 2020. Winners will be announced and recognized during the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Summit in January 2021.

Nominate A Rising Star for the Econ Dev 40 Under 40 Awards

Nominate an economic developer under the age of 40 who shows creativity, innovation and passion in their work. You know what makes them awesome, and we want to know too!

List Three Accomplishments of the Nominee in the Past Five Years*
Describe how the nominee has exhibited drive, innovation, community involvement and or leadership in the economic development industry*

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

Danielle Casey Headshot
Selection Committee

Danielle Casey

Executive Vice President, Greater Sacramento Economic Council

Michelle Comerford Headshot
Selection Committee

Michelle Comerford

Project Director, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company

Adriana Cruz Headshot
Selection Committee

Adriana Cruz

Executive Director, Economic Development & Tourism

Jay Garner Headshot
Selection Committee

Jay Garner

President, Garner Economics

Jeremiah Gracia Headshot
Selection Committee

Jeremiah Gracia

Director of Economic Development, City of Grand Rapids

Craig Richard Headshot
Selection Committee

Craig Richard

President and CEO, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Economic Development “40 Under 40” Award?

The Economic Development 40 Under 40 is a list of 40 individuals who have achieved success in economic development before turning 40 years old. The 2021 awards are co-hosted by Jorgenson Consulting and Development Counsellors International.

Who’s eligible to win?

Candidates must be under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2021.

Can former 40 Under 40 winners be nominated again?

Of course! As long as they are still under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2021.

When is the nomination deadline?

Nominations must be filled in completely and submitted by midnight October 30, 2020.

Can a person self-nominate?

Absolutely! A nominee can either self-nominate (and we encourage this!) or be nominated by a third party.

How can I nominate someone for DCI’s 40 Under 40?

Fill out and submit the nomination form by October 30, 2020.

What are the qualifications for DCI’s 40 Under 40?

We’re looking for young leaders who have raised the bar in economic development: those who have brought innovation, creativity, high standards, strong character and a track record of success to their community and the profession. Candidates must be under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2021. For this particular award, service providers to the economic development industry are not eligible.

Will the judges know who filled out a form?

No. Judges will not know who nominated who, they will just see the name of the nominee.

Does the nominee need to be a “Certified Economic Developer” to qualify as a 40 under 40 candidate?

No, however, the nominee must hold a career within the economic development industry.

Will a CEcD help the nominee during the judging process?

Having this accreditation may give the nominee a boost, but it’s completely up to each judge on how they’ll rate or grade each entry.

I have someone who is a perfect fit, but I don’t know the exact details on their success. What should I do?

Email the name and contact information directly to Nick Reshan at [email protected]. We’ll be sure to follow up with each person directly letting them know that someone thought they would be a good fit for the award.

When will winners be notified?

Winners, and all others who submitted an application, will be notified of the status of their nomination in early December 2020.

When will the 2019 40 Under 40 winners be officially announced?

DCI will officially announce and recognize winners during the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Summit in January 2021.

Is 40 Under 40 an annual award?

No. We release the award every two years. After the 2021 awards, the next round of nominations will open for our 2023 class in late summer 2022.

Who decides who will be in DCI’s 40 Under 40?

Our selection committee represents a broad mix of representatives from the economic development industry including recruiters, economic developers and site selectors. For more information on the individuals on the 2021 panel, visit the Selection Committee tab.

How are the winners chosen?

After we receive the nominations, the selection committee will independently review and rank each nominee. We will compile all rankings and use an averaging system to determine the top 40.

What is required of those who are selected?

Candidates who are selected are required to send us a photo to include on the website, as well as complete a quick questionnaire. In addition, we’d love them to attend a special recognition dinner during IEDC’s Leadership Summit in Phoenix in January 2021 should the event take place in person.

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