0 Articles
0 News
0 Properties
0 Page

Athens Economic Development Corporation wins prestigious award

Author: 
Michael Hannigan

 

Pictured are: TEDC Chairman John Osborne; Mayor Jerry Don Vaught; Jeaneane Lilly, AEDC Board Member; Lisa Denton, AEDC Executive Director; Dale Robertson, Texas Workforce Commission; Carlton Schwab, TEDC President. (Courtesy photo)

Pictured are: TEDC Chairman John Osborne; Mayor Jerry Don Vaught; Jeaneane Lilly, AEDC Board Member; Lisa Denton, AEDC Executive Director; Philip Rodriguez, Athens City Manager; Dale Robertson, Texas Workforce Commission; Carlton Schwab, TEDC President. (Courtesy photo)

Staff and Wire Reports

The Athens Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) was named a 2016 Community Economic Development Award winner by the Texas Economic Development Council. The award was presented at a special awards luncheon held Thursday, October 20, at the TEDC’s Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Antonio.

The Community Economic Development Awards program recognizes exceptional contributions cities toward the economic vitality of their communities and the state of Texas through creativity, leadership, and partnership in the achievement of business retention, business recruitment and community improvement.

The AEDC won the award for its work turning the Biotech Manufacturing Center fiasco into a positive.

 

“This project, which appeared so bleak in the early stages, definitely turned the unfortunate failure of one business into a success with the retention and expansion of two others. We appreciate Texas Economic Development Council’s recognition of our efforts,” said Athens Mayor Jerry Don Vaught.

The Biotech Manufacturing Center (BMC) was an experiment in manufacturing, training and business incubation that failed in 2015. When it closed, the BMC had between $200,000 and $300,000 in obligations plus owed the AEDC another $1 million.

“This was such a difficult time. We found ourselves facing a loan that would never fully be repaid, loss of jobs, the potential of EDC assets tied up in bankruptcy courts and a community looking for answers. We are so blessed to have found solutions that enabled us to come out ahead in the end,” said AEDC board member Jeaneane Lilly.

That solution included retaining the existing tenant, West Pharmaceuticals; helping FutureMatrix Interventional expand into the space; bringing back training classes; and increasing jobs, the City’s tax base, and income to the AEDC.

“This effort would not have been possible without FutureMatrix Interventional and West Pharmaceuticals. AEDC values the relationship we have with those and all of our existing industries. We also appreciate the combined efforts of the Athens City Council, Texas Workforce Commission, Trinity Valley Community College and Athens ISD, who were all vital partners this project. These allies help make us successful in our mission,” said AEDC Executive Director Lisa Denton.

Other award recipients for 2016 included Seguin, Terrel, New Braunfels and Abilene.

“Our Community Economic Development Award is one of the ways in which our organization honors the excellent work done by our communities, their leaders, and their economic development professionals,” noted John Osborne, 2016 Chair of the
Texas Economic Development Council. “Each community nominated achieved excellence in economic development and substantially improved the economic base of their respective regions. The recipient communities in each population category were recognized for extraordinary accomplishments in meeting the criteria set forth in the nomination process.”

Jeaneane Lilly addresses awards luncheon attendees. (Courtesy photo)

Jeaneane Lilly addresses awards luncheon attendees. (Courtesy photo)

 

image_top: