Two From Yavapai County Win Prestigious EDDE Awards

Two From Yavapai County Win Prestigious EDDE Awards

Tom Pitts, an economic development consultant in Yavapai County, and Deeidra Skipton of Goodwill Industries of Central and Northern Arizona have both been named winners of the Arizona Association for Economic Development’s (AAED) Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) Awards.

Pitts was named AAED’s Member of the Year and Skipton was named AAED Workforce Practitioner of the Year.

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

Pitts was recognized for its active role within AAED and for supporting AAED’s organizational pillars of education, advocacy and collaboration.  He is a member of the AAED board of directors and serves as chair of the AAED Rural Economic Development Committee, as well as participates in the organization’s government affairs, tribal and Northern Arizona committees.

Pitts also recently created the AAED Rural Economic Development Task Force to:

  • Strengthen cohesion, collaboration and focus on statewide rural issues among regional leaders throughout the state.
  • Develop, define and support common goals to facilitate stronger rural relationships and involvement with AAED, its board of directors and the Government Affairs Committee.

Skipton was recognized for her outstanding achievements toward Arizona’s workforce development efforts.  Among them:

  • Bridging service organizations and advocating for fundamental elements of economic development including transportation, business attraction, retention and expansion of small business and education and training.
  • Assisting more than 70 employers in the past year with recruitment needs and sought to increase the capacity of Goodwill Industries of Central and Northern Arizona to serve Yavapai County by engaging employers, educators and service providers to fulfill the needs of the local economy.

Overall, eight EDDEs were presented during an evening awards dinner at the AAED Spring Conference in Lake Havasu City.  The other winners are:

  • Mitchel Allen, vice president, business development, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community.
  • Tim Kanavel, Pinal County economic development manager, Economic Developer of the Year, Small Community.
  • Salt River Project, Large Organization of the Year.
  • Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation, Sierra Vista, Small Organization of the Year.
  • Cori Garcia, economic development administrator for the Gilbert Office of Economic Development, New Member of the Year.
  • Bruce A. Wright, associate vice president for Tech Parks Arizona at the University of Arizona, AAED Best of Arizona Award.

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.

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