News

GYEDC official wins distinguished award

May. 27th, 2012
Joyce Lobeck

Julie Engel, head of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, has been recognized for her leadership in economic development statewide and her efforts to bring jobs to the Yuma area. Engel was named the Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community, by the Arizona Association for Economic Development. The category is defined as those communities with a population of more than 50,000. Her recognition is one of eight Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence awards that were presented by AAED during the organization’s spring conference in Sedona earlier this month. The EDDE awards honor individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the organization and economic growth in Arizona. Recipients are selected from a pool of nominations made by AAED members. In garnering the EDDE award, Engel observed that she continues to follow in the footsteps of Chris Camacho. Camacho was Engel’s predecessor with GYEDC. Now the executive vice president of business development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Camacho was the recipient of the EDDE award for large communities last year. “I continue to follow in Chris’ leadership model,” Engel said. She had been with GYEDC since 2004, and was named president and chief executive officer in November 2008 to succeed Camacho. Engel attributes her selection for the AAED honor to her involvement at the state level and bringing recognition to Yuma County. “I spend a lot of time at the Capitol networking opportunities to bring more notice to the area … to be remembered when the state is awarding programs.” In 2010, Engel was appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to serve on the newly formed Rural Business Advisory Council as part of the governor’s strategy to jump-start the state’s economy. The advisory council was formed to address rural economic development issues and bring them to the Arizona Commerce Authority. Engel was recently reappointed to another term on the advisory council, and she believes her presence on the council has been beneficial to the Yuma area. Yuma has received the lion’s share of funding awarded by the Arizona Commerce Authority through its Rural Economic Development Grant Program since its inception two years ago. Last year, Yuma received 70 percent of the funding. Last year’s grant recipients were Johnson Controls to help pay for the expansion of the company’s battery distribution center in Yuma and Yuma International Airport for improvements to Rolle Airfield. This year’s local recipients will receive a total of $520,000 through the grant program. They include InsulTech, a commercial insulation manufacturer that is opening a plant in Yuma, and DatePac, which is expanding its Medjool date processing plant. Engel’s nomination for the EDDE award noted that in 2011 she led her organization in the creation of 272 permanent jobs with new capital investment of over $208 million and new payroll of $7.67 million — all while generating 88 new leads and hosting 42 client tours. Other EDDE winners are: • Sally Odette, senior consultant, Economic and Community Development for APS, the William Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development; • Richard Wilkie, senior management analyst for the city of Casa Grande, Economic Developer of the Year, Small Community; • Brandon Kavanagh, a partner with Mangum, Wall, Stoops & Warden in Flagstaff, Member of the Year; • Angela Talbot of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, New Member of the Year; • Kari McCormick, Kitchell Contractors, Economic Developer of the Year – Tribal Communities; • City of Phoenix, Large Organization of the Year; and • Sigma Contracting, Small Organization of the Year.

Joyce  Lobeck
Sun Staff Writer
Yuma Sun
May. 27th, 2012