Economic Development Board’s 2018 annual meeting is March 8

Loren Cohen and his father Mike Cohen, both of Point Ruston LLC, accept the 2017 Golden Shovel award from Bruce Kendall (far right), president and CEO of the EDB, and Kari Scott, 2017 EDB board chair. Photo courtesy of Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board

Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board’s annual meeting for 2018 is fast-approaching, taking place March 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.

The question is which Pierce County project or impactful person will receive the coveted 2018 Golden Shovel award. The 2017 winner was Point Ruston, which has had tremendous impact on the region and Tacoma’s evolving waterfront. Also announced at the meeting will be the list of the Excellent 10, 10 projects that were worked on or were completed in the previous year and that had significant impact on the region.

“We have decided to turn our annual meeting into a celebration of what’s going on in the South Sound economy,” said Jenn Adrien, vice president of communications at the EDB. “We are expecting between 500-550 people. So far, 150 people are registered with the ConnexMe app, which will allow people to connect with each other directly before the event, respond to polls and surveys, and allow guests to send questions to the panelists.”

This year’s panel is called “Innovation Works” and is focused on the active part that technology and innovation play in Pierce County’s growing economy.

“What’s unique about this event is that a panel of world-class innovators – who’ve never before shared a stage – are coming together to discuss how what they do in their respective fields lays the foundation of a healthy economic development ecosystem for our region,” said Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the EDB.

Panelists include Andrew Fry, director of industry partnerships at UW-Tacoma’s Institute of Technology; Debbie Lee, CEO of Tool Gauge and Supply; Dona Ponepinto, CEO of United Way of Pierce County; and Carla Santorno, superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools. The moderator of the panel will be Tom Layson, managing editor and producer-host of KBTC’s “Northwest Now.”

Adrien said a prize will be at each table, so guests have a one in 10 chance of winning a prize.

“This is known to be a real fun event,” Adrien said. “The event title of ‘annual meeting’ does not give it credit for the fun, upbeat event that it is and to the hard work of people making Pierce County successful. This is really about those projects across the entire county that make the county tick, makes it successful, brings it vibrancy, and makes it a place where we not only want to live but work as well.”

For more information about the meeting and to register, visit

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  1. The EDB has zero idea about what they are doing. Companies leave are city – DaVita, Russell. And these guys think they’re winning…

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