TUCSON, Ariz. (May 2, 2023) – Una Wirkebau with the City of Winslow was named 2023 Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) Economic Developer of the Year for a Small Community at the annual Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) Awards at the spring conference in Tucson last week.
The EDDE Awards honor the best economic development practices for individuals, organizations and companies that have significantly contributed to the advancement of economic growth in the state. Recipients are selected from a pool of nominations made by members of AAED.
The Small Community Award honors an economic development professional in a community of fewer than 50,000 people. Wirkebau’s contributions to the Winslow community include several impactful initiatives.
Wirkebau secured $300,000 in grant funding to expand a local farmer’s market, which increased the footprint of education and access to locally made and grown food. She spearheaded Why Not Winslow, a place branding initiative, broadening Winslow’s reach on Facebook and Instagram.
Wirkebau partnered with Moonshot at Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET), which allowed for the community’s first pitch event. She worked with Local First Arizona to host a first-of-its-kind Rural Policy Forum in Winslow, connecting rural economic development professionals, community leaders, business owners, nonprofits, and other rural stakeholders interested in sustaining rural communities.
Additionally, she was part of the team that advocated for the funding to fix the levee in Winslow as a part of the $65.5 million Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act work plan from the Army Corps of Engineers. The Winslow Levee Project will help hundreds of Winslow residents get out of a flood plain and save money on home insurance.
The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) was founded in 1974 to serve as Arizona’s unified voice for responsible economic development through professional education, public policy, and collaboration. The Association works to promote economic development in the State of Arizona through an exchange of information and educational opportunities among its members, to act as a liaison with outside groups, to influence legislation affecting economic development, and to empower members to create relationships to improve the economic outlook for Arizona. For more information on AAED, visit aaed.com or call (602) 240-2233.