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President's Letter
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Greetings Arizona Association for Economic Development current and prospective members and partners.

A lot has changed since our humble beginning back in 1974, when our membership was made up of 50 men representing the private sector and mostly from the Phoenix Metro area.  Today AAED has over 480 members representing private industries, non-profits, professional associations, practitioners, educational institutions, workforce entities and elected officials, from all over the state. This growth has helped us become the statewide leader for promoting/advocating for responsible economic development through an effective program of professional education, public policy, and collaboration. 

Our success is directly attributable to our members who lead and participate in our committees which develop and plan programs and events that help educate not only our membership, but other key stakeholders about economic development, workforce, and policies that support responsible economic growth; find new opportunities for collaboration; and are continually identify ways to enhance the value AAED provides to our membership.  Our committees offer a wide range of activities where all members can find a place to participate, so I encourage you to find a place to plug in, if you haven’t already done so, as I know you will find it very rewarding and an opportunity to build meaningful relationships while educating yourself within AAED.

Over this next year it is my goal to build upon our current efforts by more proactively engaging some of the key stakeholder groups (including elected officials, chambers of commerce, educational institutions, young professionals and the major corporations that are significant economic engines for the state) that historically not been as involved as a group in AAED in order to increase their participation and ultimately benefit from their perspectives/positions on how we as an organization can be more effective in achieving our core goals.

If you are visiting this site and interested in strengthening Arizona’s economic health, then I encourage you to join our dynamic organization and become part of Arizona’s unified voice advocating for responsible economic development.

I look forward to working with all of you over the next year to explore exciting new ways to advance our organization’s reach and significance in the State.

Best Regards,

Richard Wilkie, CEcD, AZED Pro                                                                                                                                      AAED President, 2018 -19