The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) announced that the Town of Gilbert 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 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 of the 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.