Awards & Recognition

GEDA recognizes members, volunteers and other leaders for excellence in the field of economic development with five awards:

Congratulations to our 2023 Award Recipients! 

2023 November Awards Photos

Small Deal of the Year: 
Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County / Anovion Technologies
Mid-Size Deal of the Year: 
Development Authority of Bryan County / Hyundai MOBIS Electrified Powertrain LLC
Large Deal of the Year: 
Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development / Hyundai Motor Group and SK On
Committee Chair of the Year: 
Heath Tippens, Cherokee Office of Economic Development
Committee Member of the Year: 
Dylan Horne, Metro Atlanta Chamber
Volunteer of the Year: 
Darryl Hicks, Fayette County Development Authority 
Honorary Life Member: 
Rope Roberts
Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence: 
Charles Stallworth

Deal of the Year

The Deal of the Year Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in the location or expansion of new businesses in the state of Georgia that meet community economic development goals and involve significant community program support, such as financial or permitting assistance, workforce development, state financial support, etc.

Deal of the Year Winners

Volunteer of the Year Award

The 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. One statewide recipient is selected by the Board of Directors annually.

Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients

Governor Zell Miller Public Policy Leadership Award

The Georgia Economic Developers Association believes that sound, progressive public policy is essential for sustaining quality economic development in Georgia. In consideration of his outstanding leadership as Governor, and his public service to Georgia for many years prior to becoming Governor, GEDA believes that Governor Zell Miller has been a model for the kind of public policy leadership that Georgia needs for its future. The economic success that Georgia has enjoyed these past several years can be traced to the policies and programs Governor Miller has championed as Georgia's chief economic developer.

GEDA has established an award for leadership in economic development policy. With Governor Miller's consent, GEDA has named that award The Governor Zell Miller Public Policy Leadership Award. It is the intent of GEDA that this award will serve to encourage many Georgians to exert strong leadership in economic development public policy. To assure the highest possible qualifications and most exemplary recipients, the GEDA Board of Directors may elect not to present this very special award every year.

Recipients must have clearly demonstrated by their work an enduring commitment, dedication, and leadership in advocating and implementing public policies that are essential for sustained quality economic development in Georgia.

Zell Miller Award Recipients

Honorary Life Member

The Honorary Life Member Award recognizes individuals for long, exceptional and/or exemplary career and service to GEDA, or for extraordinary efforts directly related to the purposes of GEDA.

Honorary Life Members

Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence

Rip Wiley AwardThe 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 for this award. 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.

From the files of GEDA... H. W. "Rip" Wiley worked for the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism as Director of the Industry Division when he passed in October 1978. Rip's primary objective was to locate industry in the rural communities of Georgia. He also strove to help local communities initiate development efforts in their particular community which would enable the recruitment and retention of industry. He worked long and hard to ensure that his projects were not being "let go". An example of his commitment was once while in intensive care, he "ordered" his briefcase be brought to him so that he cold work. He genuinely stood for the people of Georgia, politics and egos aside. In striving to serve Georgia, he represented the state as a shining example of honor, leadership, integrity, dedication, professionalism and hard work which impacted numerous persons in the industrial development field in Georgia. This award was established upon his death in 1978 to be presented to the person in economic development who best represents his spirit of excellence."

Rip Wiley Award Recipients

Committee Chair of the Year

This award is given each year to publicly honor and recognize outstanding performance for the Georgia Economic Developer’s Association through work as a committee chair. By meeting the goals and objectives of the committee as determined by the strategic plan, this individual has furthered the professionalism and contributed to the success of GEDA. Committee Chairs can be nominated by any GEDA member at large, or by current Officers or Directors. This award is chosen by the current GEDA Officers.

Committee Chair of the Year Recipients

Committee Member of the Year

This award is given each year to an individual for outstanding work or performance as a member of a committee. This member should attend meetings called by the chair and should show initiative by working without direction and overall being a contributing member of the team. Nominations can be made by any GEDA member at large, or by Committee Chairs, Officers or Directors. This award is chosen by the current GEDA Officers.

Committee Member of the Year Recipients