September 2013: AdvantageWest, the regional economic development partnership for Western North Carolina, was honored recently with five awards presented for excellence in communications by the Southern Economic Development Council. SEDC is the oldest and largest regional economic development association in North America with 900 members in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
AdvantageWest won an Award of Superior for a brochure for the Advantage Opportunity Fund, an evergreen loan started by AdvantageWest to provide high-growth startups in Western North Carolina with the early-stage funding needed to launch or expand their business. The piece showcases the successes of a diverse of mix of loan portfolio clients.
AdvantageWest also won an Award of Excellent for each of the following: a branding package for the WNC Film Commission; an information card, “Business is Blooming,” for the Natural Products Manufacturing Facility at Blue Ridge Food Ventures; and a rack card for the Certified Entrepreneurial Community® program. In addition, the 2012 AdvantageWest Annual Report, “Tradition of Innovation,” also won an Award of Excellent ─ the third consecutive year the annual report has been recognized by SEDC.
SEDC presented awards in more than 20 categories of marketing work, evaluating entries within four division-size levels. AdvantageWest, a nonprofit, public-private partnership covering 23 counties of Western North Carolina, competed in the Large Division, against economic development organizations in locations such as Atlanta, Dallas, New Orleans, Miami, and Washington D.C.
“These annual Communication Awards recognize and showcase the leading marketing work done by economic development professionals throughout the south. AdvantageWest continues year after year to be one of the organizations that hit the mark with their marketing campaigns. These campaigns not only show creativity, but also solid messaging and effectiveness at reaching its target audience. We were wowed by all the entries we received this year, and were impressed with the high level of marketing work being done in economic development by SEDC members,” said SEDC President Gene Stinson after the ceremony.
Judges for the Communication Awards competition are economic development consultants, practitioners and design professionals from across the southern U.S. that work with clients in developing strategies for growth in their communities. SEDC chose these judges because of their knowledge of economic development, site location and design. Judging criteria included Graphic Appeal, Clarity of Message, Quality of Information, Positioning/Differentiation and Format.
AdvantageWest is a nonprofit regional economic development partnership serving the 23 westernmost counties of the state, a geographic region of about 10,000 square miles or about the size of the State of Maryland. AdvantageWest’s program of work focuses on advanced manufacturing, entrepreneurship, the film industry, the green-tech and clean-energy economy, and agribusiness. For more information, visit www.advantagewest.com or call (828) 687-7234. AdvantageWest is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AdvantageWest and can be followed on Twitter at @AdvantageWest.
The Southern Economic Development Council is a 900-member professional association composed of a broad cross‐section of active and influential economic developers from business and industry, utilities, transportation, financial and education institutions, chambers of commerce, and local, regional and state development agencies. Members in the 17‐state area share a common interest: the promotion and enhancement of the economic development profession. The SEDC region includes the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information about SEDC please visit our Web site at www.sedc.org.
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