The top awards for economic development initiatives were handed out during the eighth annual Team NEO Economic Development Plus Awards, held this summer at the InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center. More than 400 business and community leaders, economic developers, politicians and chamber of commerce representatives from throughout the northeast Ohio region were on hand to acknowledge the economic growth occurring in this area.
The Department of Public Utilities, an event sponsor, was well represented by Cleveland Water Commissioner Alex Margevicius, Christine Leyda, assistant commissioner of sales for Cleveland Public Power as well as CPP sales representatives Wesley Tarver, Dale Gallis and Kimberly Smith-Woodford.
Two City of Cleveland departments came away winners for their outstanding work in economic development and job creation. The City’s Economic Development team lead by Director Tracey Nichols received two awards during the evening. The first, in the category of Asset Creation for work done on The Global Center for Health Innovation project which is the premier state-of the art facility in Cleveland at 1 St. Clair Avenue, and sits adjacent to the new Cleveland Convention Center. What makes the honor more special is that, The Global Center for Health Innovation is the only facility in the world that displays the future of health and healthcare presented on four themed floors and serves health and healthcare innovation, technology, education and commerce through state-of-the-art spaces, programs and virtual offerings.
The second honor received by Nichols’ team was in the category of Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration for creating the Adopt a City pro bono program. “Mayor Jackson puts a big emphasis on creating jobs for our community. He has assembled a world class Economic Development Team and we are honored to have been recognized for the hard work and innovation as exhibited in our projects, “said Nichols.
The final award presented to the City of Cleveland was accepted by Michael Curry from the Office of Equal Opportunity in the Minority Business Development category for the Cleveland Benefits Agreement program. The initiative first announced by Mayor Jackson in 2012, has helped to serve as a catalyst for job creation and job development in the construction and trades industries. Under the direction of the City’s Public Affairs Chief, Natoya Walker-Minor, the CBA is changing the way Cleveland does business through a collaborative commitment with business, civic, labor and trade organizations.
Throughout the evening of salutes, a reoccurring theme was – to return the NEO region to being one of the most vibrant robust areas in the Midwest and to advance it with a strong global work force, thus creating a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Written by Kimberly Smith-Woodford