Town Receives International Excellence in Economic Development Award

Posted On Wednesday October 03, 2018


October 3, 2018


Town Receives International Excellence in Economic Development Award


ATLANTA, GA – The Town of Gravenhurst has received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its Community Ambassador Program, a project in the category of Video/Multimedia Promotion from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  The honour was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Over the past four years, Council has continued to be champions for economic development in Gravenhurst,” said Mayor Paisley Donaldson.  “Getting recognized on an international level is a testament to all of the hard work that has been put into this initiative by staff and our community ambassadors, without great volunteers in our community we wouldn’t be able to keep moving forward.”

The Community Ambassador program is a unique lead generation program for both resident and business attraction. Using community pride through local and seasonal resident’s social networks, volunteers work to promote Gravenhurst through their personal and professional interactions. 280 credit card sized USBs were created that became puzzle pieces of a large mural. Four main elements are included on the USBs including a video, invitation for a FAM tour, customized community profile and links to relevant information. Recipients of this program are invited to visit Gravenhurst and bring their USB card back, place it back into the mural and spend some time with Economic Development staff to talk about their ideas for Gravenhurst. A comprehensive lead follow-up program is built into the program to ensure that leads are being fostered over multiple years.

“This program, despite only being a couple of months into implementation has shown several positive results.  There are now over 30 trained enthusiastic community ambassadors composed of new residents, long term residents and seasonal residents,” said Jeff Loney, manager of Economic Development.  “Our team has completed four familiarization tours which have led to three business investments in the area. Additionally, 15 leads have been generated through this program, and are in various stages of the business attraction pipeline,” said Loney.  “We look forward to the long term impact of this project,” added Loney. 

“This year our judges reviewed some extraordinary projects that advanced both communities and businesses. We congratulate all the award winners, and thank everyone who nominated their projects for sharing their success with fellow IEDC members. What we learn from each other helps us to grow and advance as a profession,” Craig Richard, CEcD, FM, President and CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the world’s largest membership organization for economic development professionals. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life in their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, our members represent the entire range of economic development. Learn more at


Attached Presentation Photo: Jeff Loney, Manager Economic Development accepting Economic Award on behalf of Town of Gravenhurst with  Quentin L. Messer, Jr. - Chair, IEDC Awards Advisory Committee and  Craig Richard, CEcD, FM, 2018 IEDC Board Chair

For more information, please contact:


Jeff Loney, Ec. D.

Manager Economic Development, Town of Gravenhurst

705-687-3412 Ext.280

Cell: 705.644.2207