Galesburg's Economic Development Department, EBI Network wins Award for Excellence

October 12, 2012 04:00 PM
Galesburg's Economic Development Department and the Entrepreneur, Business and Industry Network (EBI Network) received some good news on October 9, 2012 - they had won a Top Five Award of Excellence from Expansion Solutions Magazine, a top publication for economic developers and site selectors. According to Jeff Cornett, CEO of expansion solutions, "The Top Five Awards of Excellence recognizes economic development organizations that have shown exceptional progress in the area of development. The City of Galesburg was chosen because of the support system offered to businesses, as well as recent activity and potential growth that can be created in the agriculture industry. Strategic locations, pro-business climates, investments made in improving infrastructure and the availability of buildings and sites were among the top deciding factors in choosing Galesburg."  In its sixth year, winners of the award are selected by an advisory board made up of several economic development and site selection consultants, who've reviewed candidates submitted by the editorial staff throughout the year.
Cesar Suarez, Galesburg Economic Development Director said, "Its great seeing our Economic Development Department being acknowledged by an independent third party. We're doing lots of things that other cities our size normally don't do - Foreign Trade Missions, the Sustainable Business Center (an incubator for sustainable businesses), a pro-active industrial development campaign, the Center for Entrepreneurship, our nominees to the Chicago Innovation Awards.  These programs make a difference in the region's economy."  City manager Todd Thompson was also upbeat about the award, noting, "I am very proud of our staff and the support we get from all our departments and our community partners.  Our development team is very assertive, quick and focused when responding to a project. This award is a testament to their success."   
Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL - 17) commented, "Galesburg's efforts are truly worthy of this award. Mayor Garza and the city's economic development team are always in motion and has been producing a solid string of accomplishments, even in these very challenging times. They are creating a pro-growth environment there and we are seeing the results. I commend the city and its team wholeheartedly."
Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza said, "I am proud of our team for winning this award. To me it says we are on the right path. This award is for the economic development team, the community development team, our council and all our partners - Workforce Investment Board of Western Illinois, Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg Business & Technology Center, Galesburg Downtown Council, the Chamber and CVB, just to name a few - that are making economic development happen here." Garza added, "We can celebrate today but we cannot rest on past accomplishments, we must move forward as a community to position Galesburg for future growth."
State Senator John Sullivan joined in and praised Galesburg's efforts in leading the region's economic development efforts by pointing out, "Projects like Gates Rubber, United Facilities, the Sustainable Business Center and its young businesses are happening because of this team's efforts. Galesburg has its game on and should be a model for other economic development efforts around the state, if not nationally.  I am extremely happy to see this happening in our region."
State Representative Don Moffitt added. "The Galesburg team has worked on some very interesting projects. Pennycress Energy for example, a renewable energy product that can be locally grown is very exciting and I am pleased to see the region taking the lead on this. Combine this with the industrial retention and recruitment, and the downtown development projects and you can see why they received this award. They are delivering the results in a very trying economy."
The Top Five Awards of Excellence were announced on October 9, 2012 and will be awarded in January, 2013. Galesburg makes its first appearance on the winners list and joins an impressive list of past winners from around the country. For more information about Galesburg's economic development programs and the EBI Network contact Cesar Suarez at 309/345-3680.


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