Gilbert Shines With Two EDDE Awards From Arizona Association For Economic Development

Written by: HMA Public Relations

(Gilbert, Ariz. – Oct. 29, 2020) -- The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) has announced the recipients of its annual Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) Awards.

The prestigious EDDE Awards honor individuals and companies that have made significant contributions to the advancement of the organization and to economic growth within the state of Arizona. Recipients were selected from a pool of nominations made by members of AAED.

The William Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development, presented by the Pat Davis Design Group, Inc., was given to Greg Tilque, CEcD, whose career and significant contributions to economic development in Gilbert and the Valley span more than 30 years, while Jennifer Graves, CEcD, deputy economic development director for the town of Gilbert, was named Economic Developer of the Year – Large Community, presented by Sigma Contracting.

Tilque started his career as the executive director of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce before moving to work at the town of Gilbert. He later worked for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and is now a consultant.

Among his accomplishments are helping to establish both the Gilbert Heritage District and the Gilbert Sister Cities program He also played an instrumental role in the recruiting of many of Gilbert’s major employers, including Spectrum Astro, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, EchoStar Corporation and the San Tan Motorplex, to name a few.

Tilque has served on the board of directors for AAED, East Valley Partnership and Arizona Sister Cities, as well as the Chandler/Gilbert Community College President’s Advisory Council. He has also held leadership positions with a number of organizations, including Greater Phoenix Economic Council, ASU Technopolis Board of Advisors, Gilbert Unified School District Bond Committee, Gilbert 2000 Steering Committee, Gilbert United Way and Arizona Workforce Recruitment and Job Training Council.

Last year under Graves’ direction, Gilbert’s Office of Economic Development was successful in securing nearly $366 million in capital investment, 1.8 million new and expanded square-feet of commercial and industrial space and 1,500 announced new jobs.

Among some of the top projects that Graves has played a role in over the last 12 months are:

  • Mercy Gilbert Hospital – expansion of a new medical tower and medical office building as part of the healthcare offerings for the greater East Valley, generating nearly 400 jobs.
  • Deloitte – expansion of the company’s Arizona footprint with a new 100,000 square foot U.S. delivery center for technology solutions, with an additional 100,000 square foot expansion scheduled creating 400 jobs.
  • Silent Aire – entered the U.S. market through its location in Gilbert and recently expanded its operations to include nearly 100,000 square-feet and 100 jobs.
  • Progressive Insurance – selected Gilbert to widen its Arizona operations, including an insurance claims center and training facility encompassing 25,000 square-feet and 300 jobs.
  • Northrop Grumman – will double its current production capacity in Gilbert, adding close to 250,000 square-feet of manufacturing, administrative and engineering facilities and 200 jobs.

Overall, 10 EDDEs were presented during a virtual awards ceremony at the AAED Fall Forum. The other winners are:

  • Karla Moran, AZED Pro, economic development analyst, Salt River Project, Member of the Year, presented by Pat Davis Design Group, Inc.
  • Tami Ursenbach, economic development director for Mohave County, Economic Developer of the Year, Medium Community, presented by Concord General Contracting.
  • Tom Doyle, economic development manager for the City of El Mirage, Economic Developer of the Year, Small Community, presented by Speedie & Associates, Inc.
  • Aaron Moon, business development coordinator, ARIZONA@WORK Pinal County, Workforce Practitioner of the Year, presented by Newbridge Technology Solutions.
  • Crystal Pierce, business development representative, CCS Presentation Systems, New Member of the Year, presented by CCS Presentation Systems.
  • Pinal County, Large Organization of the Year, presented by the Salt River Project.
  • Town of Queen Creek, Medium Organization of the Year, presented by the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation.
  • Price Corridor, Best of Arizona Award, presented by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

“The EDDEs showcase the best in economic development for all of Arizona,” said Carrie Kelly, AAED’s executive director. “Without the work of these individuals and organizations, the economic vitality we see across the state would be nowhere near the high level that we see today. They truly have a role in the growth of their individual communities and we are pleased to recognize them and their accomplishments.”

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona’s unified voice advocating for responsible economic development through an effective program of professional education, public policy and collaboration. For more information on AAED, visit or call (602) 240-2233.