Special Services Committee

At a glance:

  • Promotes the economic development profession.
  • Recognizes service to economic development through award programs.
  • Organizes awards ceremony for the Annual Conference.

Through this committee, GEDA promotes the economic development profession and recognizes distinguished service to economic development through the following highly selective award programs (specific award criteria available below, from the Committee Chair or the GEDA office). Click here for information on previous winners of these awards.

For more information, contact Committee Chair Morgan Law.

Full list of Committee Members

Award Criteria:

Volunteer of the Year Award:

Recognizes an individual economic development volunteer for outstanding service to an economic development organization or community. Nominations are solicited from all GEDA members. The Board of Directors selects one statewide recipient annually and represents Georgia at the annual Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) volunteer recognition program.  Click here to apply.

Deal of the Year Awards:

Recognize outstanding achievement in the location or expansion of new businesses in the state of Georgia that meet the community economic development goals and involve significant community program support, such as financial or permitting assistance, workforce development, state financial support, etc. Click here to apply.

The categories of award are:

  1. Population Category:
    1. Over 100,000
    2. 50,001-100,000
    3. 50,000 and under
  2. Regional - any multi-county initiative

Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence:

Recognizes a GEDA member with at least 10 years of economic development experience for professionalism, honor, integrity, leadership, hard work, and contributions to the profession. Current officers, directors, and committee chairs are not eligible. Potential recipients are nominated by previous recipients or by current officers, directors, and chairs. The selection of no more than one Rip Wiley Award recipient annually is made by the current Officers. Candidate must email the following to info@geda.org and Morgan Law:

  1. A profile of their professional achievements in economic development
  2. One letter of recommendation

Honorary Life Member:

Recognizes individuals for long, exceptional and/or exemplary career and service to GEDA, or for extraordinary efforts directly related to the purposes of GEDA. HLM status may be awarded at anytime following nomination by a member of the Board, and approval by at least 75% of the Board voting by secret ballot.

Zell Miller Public Policy Leadership Award:

GEDA established this new award in October, 1998 to encourage many Georgians to exert strong leadership in economic development public policy. GEDA may elect not to present this very special award every year. Recipients must have clearly demonstrated by their public work an enduring commitment, dedication, and leadership in advocating and implementing public policies that are essential for sustained quality economic development in Georgia. Recipients may be elected or appointed public officials, or private individuals serving in significant positions of public trust. A recipient need not be a GEDA member. Candidate must email the following to info@geda.org and Morgan Law:

  1. A profile of their professional achievements in economic development
  2. One letter of recommendation

Membership Recruitment Award:

GEDA established this new award in October 2011 to encourage GEDA members to recruit new members. One cash award of up to $400 will be given to the GEDA member who successfully recruits the most new members from October 1 of the previous year until August 31. Award will be given out at Annual Conference.

Committee Service Award:

GEDA established this new award in October 2011 as a way to formally thank one volunteer committee member for outstanding work for the association.

2013 Action Plan

Action Items:


1.  Increase awareness and visibility of all GEDA special awards (Ongoing)
1.  Among key stakeholders
1.  General Membership
1.  Generate newsletter articles about previous honorees
2.  Committee members to speak at monthly luncheons to encourage nominations
2.  Communities and elected officials
2.  Create a logo for the awards (June 15, 2013)
3.  Create/enhance the award recipient toolkit (June 15, 2013)
2.  By the applicable deadline, submit GEDA Deal of the Year award winners to SEDC for Community Economic Development Award (CEDA) consideration.
3.  Evaluate and enhance application/nomination process
1.  Online application submission forms
2.  Define award timeline (call for nominations, processing, awarding, etc.)
3.  Evaluate the adoption of an application fee for select awards (March 15, 2013)

Click here to see related Documents (Members Only)