Economic Developer of the Year award recipients announced

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 1:30pm

WILLISTON, N.D. – The North Dakota Governor’s Office, North Dakota Department of Commerce and Economic Development Association of North Dakota (EDND) today presented the Governor’s Choice – Economic Developer of the Year awards during the EDND Fall Conference in Williston.

The Economic Developer of the Year award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution that will leave a lasting impact on the economic health of his or her community or region. The award is presented in both urban community and rural community divisions.

The 2017 recipient in the urban community division is Matt Marshall, the economic development and community services director for the City of West Fargo. Marshall has helped facilitate growth and development in the area, including the Downtown Redevelopment Project, which consists of the redevelopment of two complete blighted blocks into businesses, residential units and a city park. Other accomplishments have included the expansions of Wex Health and Bobcat in West Fargo.

The award recipient in the rural community division is Melissa Beach, executive director of the Traill County Economic Development Commission (TCEDC). Beach has focused this past year on business retention and expansion, as well as business and workforce recruitment. Recent accomplishments include the Shop Local Traill campaign, which helps promote local businesses, and the Traill United Group, a nonprofit extension of TCEDC that assists organizations in securing funding sources, business marketing, bookkeeping, training and more. Beach has also been an active voice in promoting the expansion of natural gas throughout the state.

“Both Economic Developer of the Year award recipients understand that a vibrant city center and business-friendly environment are essential to attracting and retaining the capital and workforce talent North Dakota needs to compete in a global market,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “We commend them for their leadership efforts, which align with our Main Street Initiative pillars of a skilled workforce for the 21st century economy; smart, efficient infrastructure; and healthy, vibrant communities.”

"We are deeply grateful for the work of the Economic Developer of the Year award recipients," said Jay Schuler, North Dakota Department of Commerce Commissioner. "Both Matt Marshall and Melissa Beach have helped to create an economic environment which supports investments that will positively impact their community, region and the state of North Dakota for years to come."

EDND represents more than 80 state economic development organizations on the front line of economic development efforts throughout North Dakota. The primary purpose of the organization is to promote the creation of new wealth throughout North Dakota to develop more vibrant communities and improve quality of life. Additional information is available at www.ednd.org.