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For Immediate Release: October 25, 2018

Contact: Joe McKinney
NADO Executive Director
202.624.5947 |                                                                         

WASHINGTON, DC – Southeast Conference based in Southeast Alaska has received a 2018 Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Southeast Alaska 2020 Economic Plan.

The Southeast Alaska 2020 Economic Plan showcases the region’s innovative and collaborative approach to regional economic resilience and is engaging and accessible. The result is a succinct, relevant planning document that is widely used. Industry leaders, municipal and Tribal leaders, non-profit organizations, and other key stakeholders have embraced the Plan. The Southeast Conference Plan has been used as an example of how to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) by NADO, EDA, and the State of Alaska. Additionally, in an effort to keep the region updated on the most current economic trends and conditions, Southeast Conference updates the Summary Background of the CEDS every year as a public-facing document called “Southeast Alaska by the Numbers.” This document provides an overview of the regional economy and demographics, as well as key industries. The full Southeast Alaska 2020 Economic Plan can be read here:

NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.  The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.

Meilani Schijvens, architect of the CEDS for Southeast Conference, was on-hand to receive the award during NADO’s 2018 Annual Training Conference, held October 13 – 16 in Charlotte, NC.  The 2018 class of award recipients consists of projects spanning 24 states.  These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries and partners.  The Story Map is available online at:     

“The Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Awards program recognizes the important and wide-ranging work of regional development organizations in communities across the country” said 2017-2018 NADO Doug Elliott, executive director of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, located in Cedar Rapids.  “These awards demonstrate the value of regional development organizations and highlight their critical role in promoting economic development for the nation’s rural and small metropolitan communities.”

This year’s awards are presented in honor of Aliceann Wohlbruck, who passed away in March 2018.  Wohlbruck was NADO’s first executive director, serving 24 years as a tireless champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.

For more information about this award-winning project, contact Robert Venables, Southeast Alaska Executive Director. 

Since 1967 the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) has provided advocacy, education, networking, and research for the national network of 540 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic, and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.