WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Port Authority’s Economic Development Week 2021 Campaign was selected as the winner for the Marketing Program (Small Division) category for the Mid-America Economic Development Council’s (MAEDC) 2021 Annual Economic Development Awards.
“The Port Authority is thrilled, and honored, to receive this recognition from the MAEDC,” said Clinton County Port Authority Executive Director Dan Evers. “I’m extremely proud of the excellent work of my colleagues on this initiative. It reflects the energy and creativity our team brings to community engagement efforts and all of our economic development program activities.”
The award was presented Thursday at a ceremony during the Mid-America Competitiveness Conference, held annually in Chicago.
The Port Authority has been the officially designated Economic Development arm of the county government for several years. The Economic Development program – funded by a collaborative agreement between the Port Authority, the City of Wilmington, the Clinton County Board of Commissioners, the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Wilmington Community Improvement Corporation – has only been in effect since January 2020.
That timing meant that much of the public introduction of the program and its director, CCPA Economic Development Director Jennifer Klus, was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic, as in-person meetings and events were postponed or cancelled, and as the program’s attention focused on emergency response.
While the Port works closely on a daily basis with city, county, and community agencies, staff had little opportunity to interact directly with the general public, either formally or informally, in 2020, making Economic Development Week, from May 9-15, 2021, an ideal avenue for belatedly introducing the program, and for highlighting and promoting the program’s partners to individuals and organizations throughout the county.
“Through the multiple public-awareness components of the campaign, we were able to have conversations that allowed us to help individuals understand exactly what Economic Development is, and how that work is carried out in our community,” said Klus.
The campaign, which received a silver award from the International Economic Development Council earlier in the fall, encompassed a robust social media campaign, recognition from local and state government representatives, and community awareness and business education programs.
It also included participation in, and promotion of, events by the Port Authority’s Economic Development partners throughout Clinton County.
“Our ability to represent our community effectively and positively, provide the assistance needed, and demonstrate that Clinton County is a location where businesses can succeed and thrive, is fundamental to the success of the entire community,” noted Evers. “This campaign was an important part of that effort.”
MAEDC has sponsored the annual Economic Development Awards competition to recognize and stimulate the creative use of quality marketing by economic development organizations throughout the 13-state Mid-America region in promoting their respective communities.
The competition is open to all economic development organizations in the MAEDC region.