The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) has presented 10 Golden Prospector Awards and seven Golden Prospector Awards of Merit recognizing excellence, innovation and creativity in economic development.

The town of Sahuarita, the city of Surprise and PHX East Valley each won two Golden Prospector Awards. 

Sahuarita won for its “Beautifully Connected” metro area marketing brochure and for the Metro Deal of the Year, “SAMTEC.” 

Surprise earned top honors for its metro area multi-media promotion, “Surprise Retail Survey” and its metro area special event, “Tech the Halls.”

PHX East Valley was recognized for its metro area marketing brochure “Economic Profile & Asset Map” and its “Agritainment Fam Tour” metro area special event.

Gilbert’s “Annual Report Fiscal Year 2016” received a Golden Prospector Award in the metro area marketing brochure category.

In the metro area multimedia promotion category, Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s “The Connected Place Video” also captured A Golden Prospector Award.

For special events, non-metro, Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation was honored for its “Arizona UAS Summit and Expo.”

In the website category, the Ak-Chin Industrial Park Board and Nice Creative were cited for their “Santa Cruz Commerce Center Website.”

The multimedia promotions included a promotional piece, series of promotional pieces or promotional campaign that contained non-printed elements. These included videos, mailed promotional items, etc.

The marketing brochures were required to introduce the state, county, community, region, or area of expertise to either:

  • Prospects for industrial, commercial, retail, or general development opportunities, or
  • A specific purpose, such as promoting an industrial park or other specific types of promotions.

The special events category includes meetings, seminars, marketing tours, events, or trips designed to develop prospects and promote economic development, while the website category is for specific projects.

Golden Prospector Awards of Merit went to: 

  • Deal of the Year, Metro: Gilbert, “Silent – Aire U.S. Headquarters.”
  • Marketing Brochure, Metro: City of Scottsdale, “Advancing the Strategy, Targeting the Talent,” and the Town of Queen Creek for “Agritainment Marketing Postcard.”
  • Multimedia Promotion, Metro: City of Maricopa, “Shop Local – Copa Bingo.”
  • Special Event, Non-Metro: Ignite Brand Marketing, “Vote Kingman.”
  • Special Event, Metro: Gilbert, “Gilbert Business Week,” and city of Scottsdale, “Broker Appreciation Event, Scottsdale Development Night.”

The awards were presented at AAED’s Fall Forum in Prescott.

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona’s unified voice advocating for responsible economic development through an effective program of professional education, public policy, and collaboration.    

For more information on AAED, visit or call (602) 240-2233.