City receives recognition from International Economic Development Council

The City of Hamilton, The Hamilton Mill, and Jeffrey Thurman recently accepted awards for their economic development efforts in Hamilton from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most  influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

The City of Hamilton received the Gold Excellence in Economic Development award from IEDC for the Initiative Update in the General Purpose Print Brochure category for communities with a population between 25,000 to 200,000. The Initiative Update highlights the City’s major projects and provides information on cost and timeline. View the 2015 Initiative Update here.

The City also received two Silver and two Bronze Excellence in Economic Development awards for communities with a population between 25,000 to 200,000. The first Silver award is in the Public-Private Partnership category for the City’s partnership with the Hamilton CORE Fund. The partnership is aimed at revitalizing Hamilton’s urban core. The second Silver award is for Downtown Developers Day in the Special Event category. The event, which occurred in September 2014, brought developers into downtown Hamilton to discuss development opportunities.

The first Bronze award is for the City of Hamilton Data Center Brochure in the Special Purpose Print Brochure category. It is a marketing piece aimed at leveraging the City’s utility resources to attract the data center industry to the community. The second Bronze award is for the Economic Development e-Newsletter in the Newsletter category.

The Hamilton Mill received the Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for communities with a population between 25,000 to 200,000 for the business incubator’s new website in the Special Purpose Website category. The new website was part of their overall reinvention into Southwestern Ohio’s small business incubator for green, clean, water, digital and advanced manufacturing technologies. View The Hamilton Mill website here.

Jeffrey Thurman, President & CEO of Community First Solutions, received one of the most significant awards that IEDC bestows. Mr. Thurman received the Citizen Leadership Award, which is given to a community or business leader who is not an economic development practitioner, but has played a key leadership role in influencing economic development.

Mr. Thurman has been an active participant in the economic development efforts of Hamilton for the past 36 years. In addition to building one of Hamilton’s largest companies, he founded Leadership Hamilton in 1992 in an effort to sustain the city’s vitality.

The program educates emerging leaders on relevant community issues, expands their networks, and mobilizes leadership. The program has evolved and grown, boasting more than 600 graduates to date, many of whom hold esteemed positions in the community today. Mr. Thurman is also a key participant in city projects such as Hamilton’s Downtown Developer Day and the We Are Hamilton video.

Mr. Thurman chaired the Government Services Building Task Force as the city and county worked together to build a new government services center in the early 2000s. He is also the past chairs of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton Rotary Club. He has also served on the boards of Butler County United Way, Great Miami Valley YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, and The Center for Family Solutions. Today he is an active member of the Downtown Improvement District (SID), Board Member & past Chair of Leading Age Ohio Foundation, and Board Member of Ohio State University Core of Knowledge.

Community First Solutions supports a four-county area in Ohio, serving 46,000 individuals annually, and, is the city of Hamilton’s second largest private employer with 700 employees. Under Mr. Thurman’s leadership, Community First Solutions has made $75 million in capital investments within the community. He recently led the effort to relocate the company headquarters to downtown Hamilton. The company just celebrated the ribbon cutting on the $5.88 million rehabilitation of a historic building into the new Community First Solutions Resource Center. This investment is a critical contribution to the revitalization of downtown Hamilton.

The IEDC honors were presented at an awards ceremony on Monday, October 5, during the IEDC Annual Conference which was held in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Hamilton has won multiple awards each of the last three years, which is significant because it validates our economic development strategy. And it is such an honor to have an individual from our community win the Citizen Leadership award. Congratulations to Jeff Thurman,” Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith stated.

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