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Pictured with the awards recently received by ECEDA are, from left, David Sanders, board member; Barry Mask, executive director; Leisa Finley, project manager; Regina Edwards, board member; and Sam Turner, board member. PHOTO - PEGGY BLACKBURN, THE WETUMPKA HERALD
The Elmore County Economic Development Authority (ECEDA) re cently brought home two top awards from the Southern Economic De vel opment Council (SEDC) Conference held in Asheville, N.C.
ECEDA was recognized for the conception, development and execution of its June 2010 Alabama Festival and Event Development Conference held in Wetumpka.
The initiative was deemed best in its class for promoting economic development through tourism development.
“It was a statewide conference aimed at helping cities, communities and event planners better organize, develop and promote tourism events,” said Barry Mask, ECEDA executive director. “The conference was a huge success with more than 200 attendees from across Alabama.”
Last year the conference was recognized at the state level by the Alabama Department of Tourism, receiving the 2010 Partnership Award during ceremonies held in Montgomery.
Mask said the conference will be held again this year and is set for Sept. 22 at the Wetumpka Civic Center. The event will provide information on planning, resources, budgets, marketing, publicity and funding.
ECEDA also received the top award in its class for education and communication on an issue of importance to the business and economic development community.
That award was given for conception, development and execution of the Health Care Legislation Seminar held in October 2010.
The seminar focused on addressing employer and business concerns and questions arising from passage by Congress of national health care legislation. More than 150 people attended.
This was the second consecutive year ECEDA received two awards at the SEDC Conference.
“Only one other Alabama group won an award -- that was PowerSouth for their website,” said Mask. “It’s a tremendous honor when you’re recognized by your peers.”
In addition, Leisa Finley, one of ECEDA’s project managers, was elected as SEDC alternate director for Alabama.
SEDC is the oldest and largest regional economic development association in North America, with members in 17 states from Florida to Oklahoma.
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