40 Under Forty Economic Development Professionals – Winners Announced

Ed Burghard40 Under Forty


The economic development profession is facing a number of significant challenges as Brand America moves from a nation centric to an interdependent global economy. This has become even more evident in the wake of the worst economic performance since the Great Depression.

To effectively deal with these challenges requires the identification and grooming of inspired, dedicated leaders. It requires new thinkers with the energy and optimism to find innovative solutions that will ensure Brand America’s global competitiveness.


Who are these emerging leaders?40 Under Forty

That is exactly the question Development Counsellors International sought to answer when it created the new 40 Under Forty Recognition Program.


I would like to acknowledge DCI for their work in designing and deploying this program for the economic development community. This is the kind of visionary leadership I have come to appreciate from Andy Levine, President & Chief Creative Officer at DCI. If you are not familiar with DCI, please visit their website. I had the privilege of working with DCI on a project in 2012 and found the Team to be exceptionally client need focused. I have also been sharing data from their Winning Strategies Report in my presentations.  Andy describes the mission of DCI as “Our job is to help clients become heroes in their own communities.” The 40 Under Forty Program is the latest example of DCI living up to that mission.

Each week, DCI will be showcasing a 40 Under Forty award winner on their website. An in-depth profile of the “Rising Star of the Week” will be shared. This is a great way to get familiar with the up-and-coming leaders in the industry. If any of the honorees live in your community, region or state, I would encourage you to find an opportunity to get to know them and encourage their continued great work.

I would also encourage you to think about candidates for next year’s 40 Under Forty award. Nominations are being accepted now through October 31, 2013. You can contact Susan Brake (susan.brake@aboutdci.com) for details on how to nominate a rising star in your area. You can also check out the FAQ page if you have questions.


What are your thoughts about the 40 Under Forty Program? Do you feel this type of recognition will help encourage even stronger performance from economic development professionals? DCI will be assessing the success of the Program, what criteria would you recommend they look at in their evaluation?

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