EL CENTRO – Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp.’s periodic magazine, Abundant Opportunities, and its annual Renewable Energy Summit each received an award at the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) annual conference in Long Beach on Thursday.
CALED annually honors programs that are unique, innovative and may provide a model for other economic development organizations to emulate.
“It is an honor to be recognized by our peers,” said Timothy E. Kelley, president and CEO of IVEDC. “It is especially gratifying because we were competing against economic development organizations from across the state, many with budgets 10 times larger than ours.”
The merit award for IVEDC’s 2012 edition of Abundant Opportunities magazine was described as a “best practice and something that has proven to build opportunity and vision for a community.”
Published by IVEDC and compiled, edited and produced by Valley Solutions Group Inc., an El Centro-based public relations firm, Abundant Opportunities provides an important tool for marketing the Imperial Valley at trade shows, on trade missions and on IVEDC’s website. Additionally, IVEDC reprints articles to use for strategic marketing opportunities.
In its nomination form, IVEDC stated Abundant Opportunities “allows us to showcase our assets, while helping dismiss or clarify negative press. It tells the story of why you would expand to the Imperial Valley.”
By charging a fee for advertising in the magazine, IVEDC offsets production costs and provides a mechanism for companies and service providers to reach a broader audience.
Each edition of the magazine focuses on a different industry cluster, such as agribusiness, logistics, international trade and renewable energy.
The renewable energy edition of Abundant Opportunities is published to coincide with IVEDC’s annual Renewable Energy Summit, which also earned a CALED merit award.
“The Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit has been a driver in stimulating and diversifying the Imperial County economy,” a summary of the project stated.
IVEDC hosted the first Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit in 2008 that drew some 300 attendees. By 2012, the annual summit was drawing more than 500 attendees. Concurrently, the value of renewable energy development in the region skyrocketed. According to an Imperial County report released earlier this year, the value of building permits issued in 2009 was $14.1 million. By 2012, the value of building permits issued was up to $274.8 million and most of those projects were for renewable energy developments.
The Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit is the first of its kind in the region and is unique because it schedules in plenty of time for networking.
This is not the first time IVEDC has been honored by CALED. In 2011, IVEDC’s ongoing business services program won the economic development association’s grand prize. The business services program focuses on linking Imperial Valley businesses with new projects coming to Imperial Valley. Additionally, in 2010 IVEDC was awarded for its collaborative efforts with San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and Baja California for the Calibaja Bi-national Mega Region Initiative.
CALED is California’s premier statewide professional economic development organization that helps its members in provide excellent economic development services to their communities and business clients.
Kelley is a member of the CALED Board of Directors and presented a program at the Long Beach conference about sustainable, vertically integrated programs that focused on a local dairy project.