Gilbert Recognized as the First Arizona Economic Development Organization to Be Accredited by the International Economic Development Council

Town of Gilbert May 16, 2013

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) announces that Gilbert, Arizona has been recognized as the first Arizona economic development organization, the second municipality and one of just 35 economic development organizations in the nation accredited by IEDC as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO).

“The Gilbert Office of Economic Development displays the professionalism, commitment, and technical expertise that is deserving of this honor,” said IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle.

The AEDO program is a comprehensive peer review process that measures economic development organizations against commonly held standards in the profession. The program consists of two phases: a documentation review and an onsite visit. Each phase is designed to evaluate information about the structure, organization, funding, programs, and staff of the candidate economic development organization.

Earning the AEDO designation tells the community and prospects that the Gilbert Office of Economic Development has attained a measure of excellence assuring that their trust is well-placed and their business is in good hands.

“In Gilbert, economic development is not an afterthought,” said Mayor John Lewis. “It is at the forefront of the community’s strategic plan in which all employees play a role in the economic development effort. The AEDO designation reinforces Gilbert’s commitment to ensuring excellence in all of our business practices for our community, clients and our stakeholders.”

“As a business leader in the Town of Gilbert, I’ve had a number of opportunities to work with the Gilbert Office of Economic Development and have always found them to be excellent partners in economic development,” said Todd Werner, CEO of Banner Gateway Medical Center and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Banner Gateway Medical Center and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center understands that by having a strong municipal partner that knows our business needs and our industry trends is paramount in today’s global business environment.”

Gilbert’s attainment of the AEDO designation could not have been accomplished alone. State and Regional partners including the Arizona Commerce Authority and Greater Phoenix Economic Council as well as business ambassadors including Banner Gateway Medical Center, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ernst & Young, Heliae, Howard S. Wright, LGE Design Build, Maricopa Community College District, Orbital Sciences, Salt River Project, and Unicon contributed to Gilbert’s achievement.

“Congratulations to Gilbert’s Economic Development team in its steadfast pursuit of receiving this distinguished designation – the first AEDO designation for the state of Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “This announcement is a testament to Gilbert’s ongoing commitment to best practices and continues to highlight Arizona’s commitment to excellence in economic development.”

“As the Gilbert Delegate to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors, I am pleased to have been part of Gilbert’s IEDC AEDO accreditation process,” said Ron Butler, Arizona Managing Partner of Ernst & Young. “The AEDO certification is a milestone for both Gilbert and the state of Arizona. Gilbert’s dedication to achieving the highest standards of excellence through the process is a testament to the community’s desire to be collaborative, innovative and truly best in class.”

Maintenance of the AEDO status is required every three years and is accomplished through documentation submission and/or onsite visits by a team of the AEDO subcommittee.

About Gilbert, Arizona
Located in the southeast valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area, Gilbert, Arizona has a resident base of 217,000 making it the 7th largest community in Arizona and 97th in the nation by population. The community promotes commercial investment opportunities for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries and is the home to a number of notable STEM anchors including Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Orbital Sciences, Lockheed Martin and Heliae. Gilbert ranks 33rd out of the top 100 best places to live in America, has one of the highest ranked K-12 education systems in Arizona, a median resident income of $76,574, and noted as the 5th safest city in the country. For more information, contact or visit

About The International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council is the largest membership association serving economic and community development professionals in the world. With over 4,600 members nationwide and abroad, IEDC offers the economic development profession one source for information and professional development, one voice for the profession and one force for advocacy. For more information on IEDC or the AEDO program, call Tye Libby at 202.942.9450; fax 202.223.4745; write to IEDC at 734 15th Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005; email; or visit IEDC’s website at

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