The founder of Conway and Site Selection magazine, McKinley “Mac” Conway, once said, “We are an integral part of a great system that provides a better quality of life for the people of the world. This system develops productive facilities to meet ever-growing needs for food, shelter, clothing and essential services. It provides jobs that sustain families. It pays for medical, education and government services for communities. Without this vital system there would be chaos.
“Specifically, we provide an important communications link between productive companies and those seeking to attract them who represent cities, states and nations around the world. We are part of the development process. We play a role in the future. And we help bring a better quality of life to areas today.”
I love the passion behind those words. Mac Conway had a passion for making things better — in his community, his state, in the world. He recognized that same passion in the economic developers who worked day in and day out to attract the investment that would help the people in their communities thrive and prosper. That’s why we use the pages of this magazine to recognize the work of these EDOs.
Site Selection’s newly minted Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development, formerly known as Top Groups, applauds the Top Economic Development Agencies of the previous year in both metropolitan and micropolitan areas. While not a ranking, objective criteria are used. We examine the total number of jobs created and total amount of investment, as well as per capita investment and jobs created in the region. Subjectively, we look at unique ways EDOs are addressing critical issues in their communities. This year’s awardees are tackling everything from urban food deserts to workforce education.
We recognize that the highlighted groups are just a sampling of the thousands of outstanding economic development professionals toiling away in their communities. We salute you all for the contributions you are making to create a better quality of life for your citizens.