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One Southern Indiana, Greater Louisville Inc. recognized for collaboration

Two chambers receive Excellence in Economic Development Award from International Economic Development Council

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 9, 2013) — One Southern Indiana (1si) and Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for their 2012 collaboration in the category of regionalism and cross-border collaboration for communities with populations greater than 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

glione-southern-indianaThe honor was presented Oct. 8 at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference in Philadelphia.

“The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognizes 1si and GLI as being one of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” said Paul Krutko, IEDC chair. “These awards are meant to honor the organizations and individuals who are dedicated to making a positive change in their communities. These organizations use creative solutions and inventive ideas, and offer other regions a wonderful example to learn and benefit from. The award represents an acknowledgment and appreciation for 1si and GLI’s dedication to continuous growth within itself, as well as improving the industry overall.”

Man’s need to cross the mighty Ohio River near the Falls of the Ohio has long played a key role in U.S. growth. Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery launched there, and the services needed to get safely around the Falls contributed to the rise of Louisville, Ky., on the river’s south bank and the communities of Clarksville, Jeffersonville and New Albany, Ind., to the north.

Bridges stitched these diverse communities into one larger metropolitan area. Beginning in 1969, business, civic and political leaders periodically studied and pushed for construction of additional crossings to span the mile-wide gap.

The federal government, two states, several municipalities and dozens of other entities and individuals finally came together to launch two new crossings — together, they comprise the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project. Indiana agreed to lead the design, construction and financing of an East End crossing, and Kentucky agreed to build the Downtown crossing. Bridge openings are targeted for the fall of 2016.

1si and GLI, organizations that promote economic development activities and serve as the chambers of commerce for the region, played key roles in finally bringing stakeholders together.

“Collaboration is key in these types of situations and especially for projects that will profoundly affect an entire region,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, 1si president and CEO. “Both of our organizations have worked tirelessly to bring attention to and tout the benefits of Indiana and Kentucky. We’ve proved that old adage that economic development truly is a team sport.”

“The regional collaboration of GLI and One Southern Indiana resulted in a Bridges Coalition that united business, labor and bi-partisan government leaders to advocate for one of the largest bi-state infrastructure projects in the U.S. and will be a catalyst for driving economic growth in our region and for the future,” said Craig Richard, GLI president and CEO.

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.