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PRESS RELEASE: OEDA Announces 2022 Awards of Excellence in Economic Development


Media Contact
Anna Marum

OEDA announces 2022 Awards of Excellence in Economic Development

The awards recognize the state’s best economic development programs, projects, partnerships, marketing materials and the year’s most influential leader.

Each year, the Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA) honors organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive economic development in Oregon communities.

OEDA’s Awards of Excellence in Economic Development recognize the state’s best economic development programs, projects, partnerships, marketing materials and the year’s most influential leader.

The 2022 awards were presented at the OEDA Annual Conference in North Bend-Coos Bay in October. Below are the winners in the five categories.

Business Development Success

This award recognizes innovative programs in business development, including expanding or recruiting businesses in an effort to create jobs, expand the local tax base, and improve the community.

WINNER: Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)


SherpTek, which makes modular systems to modify truck beds, worked with EDCO throughout their 150-mile move from Eugene to the Crook County community. They took occupancy and became operational in early Q2 of this year.

This project is unique for many reasons, but first and foremost, the SherpTek was among the first tenants to take occupancy in the redeveloped Woodgrain mill site, rebranded the “Prineville Campus,” which had been closed down and inoperable for years after being one of the top employers and sole industries in Prineville for decades.

Outstanding Collaborative Partnership

This award recognizes significant partnerships formed to support economic development and the results achieved by working together.

WINNER: CCD Business Development Corp. (serving Coos, Curry and Douglas counties)

PROJECT: Economic Recovery Initiative (ERI)

CCD’s Economic Recovery Initiative focused on the regional economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative worked to bring resources to the region and create a long-term resiliency plan to strengthen the region when facing future disasters.

CCD actively involved a diverse array of community partners on the ERI project and outcomes, including businesses, local governments, ports, nonprofits, local tribes and other stakeholders.

Exceptional Economic Development Marketing and Promotions

This award recognizes innovative and effective marketing efforts used for attracting, retaining and fostering business development as well as communications vehicles used by economic development organizations.

WINNER: Greater Portland Inc

PROJECT: World Athletics Championships Familiarization Tour

The World Athletics Championships came to the United States for the first time ever in July and was held at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene. Greater Portland Inc used this extraordinary showcase to host five executives from targeted apparel & outdoor brands for five days. The purpose of this tour was to familiarize these prospects with Oregon and all it has to offer, with the goal of building brand preference and increasing location knowledge among expanding companies.

Urban Renewal Project of the Year

This award recognizes a project that has helped transform or revitalize a community using tax increment financing.

WINNER: City of North Bend

PROJECT: Historic Liberty Theatre enhancement and expansion

In 2015, North Bend’s Liberty Theatre was in danger of being torn down, but city leaders saved it by amending the city’s Urban Renewal Agency District and awarding the theater a $500,000 grant to kickstart fundraising. Since then, the theater has raised more than $3.5 million from more than 650 individual donors and more than 30 grants.

The theater is once again holding productions, and its activity supports local businesses and attracts visitors to the area. It is undergoing an eight-phase process to enhance, expand and restore the theater to its original splendor. Renovations are slated to finish by April 2024, the theater’s 100th birthday.

Economic Development Leader of the Year

This award recognizes the outstanding achievements in the economic development profession.

WINNER: Seth Sherry, Economic Development Manager, City of Albany

His accomplishments include:

  • Bringing a background of agricultural economics and development to the city
  • Helping the local Council of Governments with their regional work in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties
  • In leading Albany’s economic development work since 2018, he has:
    • Helped city council members and see and implement a vision for the redevelopment of the core of Albany
    • Advocated for industrial land readiness
    • Led the charge to partner with a local developer and Business Oregon to create the Takena High-tech Manufacturing Hub, a flex industrial space for young, innovative companies to grow
  • As OEDA board president, he has:
    • Led the organization through COVID
    • Hired a new director
    • Elevated OEDA’s the work by participating and presenting to the Oregon Business Plan’s Leadership Summit

About OEDA: Oregon Economic Development Association is Oregon’s economic development community. We represent stakeholders from 150+ cities, counties, regional EDOs, ports, utilities, DMOs, chambers, SBDCs, and partners in finance, entrepreneurship & workforce. We work on the front lines of Oregon’s economy- creating jobs, retaining and attracting businesses across key sectors, and building dynamic regional economies. Learn more at oeda.biz.