FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 19, 2020

Washington, DC – Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County and the City of North Port won a Bronze Rank for its Sarasota County Familiarization Tour, a project in the category of Special Event of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented today at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference, which is currently underway.

“The recognition of the North Port/EDC Familiarization Tour as best practices by the International Economic Development Council is further evidence of how partner collaboration, innovative thinking, and our unique community are positioned to compete on a national and international stage”, commented Dave Bullock, CEO, EDC of Sarasota County.

“We are very proud of our Economic Development team, partnerships, and community for making our Familiarization Tour successful. This award is a testament to the outstanding work being done in our region. It’s a great accomplishment and a big deal”, commented Peter Lear, City Manager, North Port, Florida.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. 35 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

On February 27-29, 2020 the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County and The City of North Port partnered to host VIPs from tech-centric private equity firms, Venture Capital firms, Enterprise Florida and Florida Power & Light for a Sarasota County familiarization tour. With tech investment booming in Sarasota County we decided to engage more than just site selection consultants. We engaged private equity and venture capital firms that were current community investors, as well as those who were brand new to our community. The event created connections and brought value to our existing companies while bringing attention to the opportunity for new investment.

The 12 guests enjoyed activities included a sunset yacht cruise of Sarasota Bay (sponsored by Gold Coast Eagle Distributors), a bus tour and presentation of Sarasota County highlighting North Port, the Wellen Park and Benderson Development’s new commercial development in North Port. The group enjoyed an Atlanta Braves Spring Training game and ended the event with a breakfast presentation. Along the way they met community leaders, business owners, investors and elected officials. It was a memorable experience for our guests and will create great economic benefits for our community.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day”, said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions.

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