2020 Annual Excellence Awards

Aug 2, 2020 | News

Call for Nominations

Submit your Nomination online by August 14th



The Ohio Economic Development Association’s annual Excellence Awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development.  Submit your nominations today and have excellence in your community recognized statewide!

A panel of judges will evaluate the nominations, determine finalists, and select a winner for each of the categories noted below.  Award winners will be announced in conjunction with the 2020 Virtual OEDA Annual Summit (September 29-October 1).  Finalists will be notified prior to the Annual Summit.

Winners and finalists will be promoted on OEDA’s website and in the OEDA e-newsletter. This information may also be published by winners and finalists in the media and used for promotional purposes.

Please note that if you are selected as a winner in any of the four categories, you will be asked to make yourself and/or other individuals involved with the project/campaign available for the purpose of capturing footage for the videos. This video will be yours to keep and can be an excellent marketing and/or fundraising tool.  Be sure to check out examples of last year’s award winners.  Further details will be sent to the winning nomination contacts at a later date.  Please note that the timeline on video completion is flexible.  We understand that filming may not be possible or preferably for winners immediately, with the current COVID-19 crisis. 

Award Categories & Online Submission Links (submit your nomination online by August 14th)

  1. Best Project



  1. Excellence in Marketing & Communications



  1. Excellence in Workforce Development



  1. Economic Development Professional of the Year



Eligibility Criteria

Nominees in all categories must be individuals or organizations that operate within Ohio and may be a community-based or non-government organization, government agency or political subdivision, or a private for-profit organization.  Please note that an entry may be deemed inapplicable if the judging committee feels that the entry does not fit the category selected by the nominator.


Nomination procedure

To nominate an individual or an organization for an award, please complete the appropriate nomination form(s) and submit with the requested information for each no later than Aug 14, 2020.  Self-nominations are encouraged.

Nominations are free for current OEDA members.  The nomination fee for non-members is $75 per entry (nominator and/or nominee must be an OEDA member to qualify for no entry fee).  Non-members will be invoiced for the $75 fee per entry.



A panel of no less than seven judges, comprised of past award winners, OEDA area directors, and Ohio CEDs, will evaluate each submission. To ensure fairness and objectivity, judges must recuse themselves from judging a category if they OR the organization by which they are employed are a participant in any of the submissions in that category.

At the discretion of the judges, one or more finalist, honorable mentions or similar recognitions could be awarded in any of the award categories, but no such award must be given in any category.

OEDA reserves the right to not make an award in any category for which there are less than three submissions.



Award Category Descriptions

Best Project

The Best Project Award recognizes outstanding and innovative projects (retention, attraction, redevelopment (brownfield or historic), greenfield infrastructure, Main Street) in economic and business development that retain or generate jobs and capital investment.  This can be anything from a retention project to new facility construction, redevelopment (brownfield or otherwise) or an historic project.  The award determination is not dependent on the number of jobs created or retained, size of site, or the amount of total investment.  Rather, this award will showcase a unique approach to the project, which can include a public-private partnership, local collaboration, innovative financing and/or incentives, overcoming historic barriers or obstacles, or been a catalyst for economic development in the community.  The project must have been completed in the last 18 months, however there are no time limits or constraints on the total timeline of the project. (especially in the case of brownfield redevelopment, infrastructure projects, etc).


Excellence in Marketing & Communications

This award recognizes successful economic development marketing projects or marketing campaigns.  Examples include target market studies, branding, websites, direct mail, consultant events, public relations campaigns, social media campaigns and advertising.

There are no longer separate sub-categories based on the size of a community.  Rather, the community’s or organization’s resources relative to the project or campaign will be considered when evaluating the project. Criteria such as total organization staff, organization’s budget, project budget, internal staff allocated for the submitted project and use of consultants will be considered.


Excellence in Workforce Development

This award recognizes unique approaches to any aspect of workforce development and recognizes a person or organization that has developed innovative practices and programs. The strategy(ies) should provide direction, guidance, and motivation to Ohio’s workforce and business community and demonstrate an impact in meeting the workforce needs or overcoming the challenges in a specific community/region, industry, population or the state as a whole.


Economic Development Professional of the Year

The Economic Development Professional of the Year award is to recognize an individual who has been an economic development professional in Ohio for at least the past year.  The purpose of the award is to identify someone who has assisted in making a significant impact in their organization/community through their efforts as an economic developer. The Economic Development Professional of the Year award encourages, recognizes, and celebrates one the individual who has met the challenges of providing economic development and, who demonstrates the ability and commitment to positively impact their community’s and/or the state’s economic growth, and contributed to the advancement of the economic development profession in Ohio.


Earning and Maintaining Ohio Certified Economic Developer Credential

Earning and Maintaining Your OhioCED Credential
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 01/01/2021


What is the OhioCED Credential?
The Ohio Certified Economic Developer (OhioCED) credential is designed to demonstrate the depth and breadth of an individual’s knowledge and their ability to apply that knowledge to the benefit of their community or organization. The Ohio CED designation also represents the economic development practitioner’s commitment to advancing the Ohio economy and elevating the economic development profession.

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