By Amy Holloway, President, and Marian Kansas, Consultant

This has been a year full of memory-making moments. From helping new clients kick off their first economic development strategies to witnessing long-term clients experience record-breaking success, it’s almost impossible to narrow down our list of favorite moments. But, a few a very special moments come to mind. In no particular order, here are Avalanche’s top 10 of 2018:

1 – Our Client Brunch at IEDC’s Annual Conference– Great company, great food, and spectacular views of the Atlanta skyline made this event one of our favorites of the year. Facilitating a conversation about the future with some of the best minds in economic development was a true pleasure and a moment that continues to inspire us.

2 – Officially unveiling The Future Of– In 2018, we launched The Future Of, Avalanche’s curated content service. The Future Of is our chance to share information that influences our perspective on modern economic development. It’s our go-to library of news that matters most to our field, refined for busy professionals who want the best insights without having to wade through the rest. Check out The Future Of today! 

3 – Assisting Sonoma County with fire recovery and planning for the future– It has been a true honor to work with the incredible Sonoma County EDB team and its partners on a fire recovery strategy and CEDS. We have been so inspired to see the entire community come together to recover from the October 2017 wildfires. Reminding people that buying from Sonoma County businesses is the best way to revitalize the economy, the EDB’s #GoSoCo shop local campaign has been a tremendous success, winning a Silver Award from IEDC and an Award of Excellence in Promotions from CALED. Thank you, Sonoma County, for the privilege to work with you!

4 – 2018 was a big year for Headlight– Headlight Data, Avalanche’s sister firm, saw success after success in 2018. We launched the new Three Rivers Works talent portal, finished the Headlight Dashboard 2.0, and continued to add new clients. We’re excited to see so many clients openly sharing data and career planning resources with their communities through Headlight.

5 – Experiencing ED 411 in Columbus, Ohio– This month, Amy and John attended the 7th annual ED 411, an event dedicated to discussing the future of economic development in the Columbus region. More than 700 attendees participated in planning workshops and heard presentations by Amy, Columbus 2020 President Kenny McDonald, Gov.-elect Mike DeWine, and L Brands Chairman and CEO, Les Wexner. The event was a powerful example of how effective leadership can bring people together to advance regional growth and innovation.

6 – Leading the Elevate Strategy for the Jacksonville Region– We were beyond excited to develop our second five-year strategy for the Jacksonville, Florida, region together with our partners from CAEL. After an eight-month process that involved hundreds of stakeholders, we delivered the Elevate Strategy in September. JAXUSA, CareerSource Northeast Florida, and the Northeast Florida Regional Council are dynamite clients, which makes our jobs even more fun. We can’t wait to see the region take it to the next level. #WeLoveJAX!

7 – Participating in the WinED Conference– In October, Avalanche had the opportunity to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to attend one of our favorite conferences, WinED. Noelle moderated a discussion on creative workforce solutions. We’re always thrilled to mingle with economic developers and site selectors from around the country. And, Annie’s events are always first-class affairs!

8 – Speaking at the Outside the Lines launch event in Douglas County, Georgia – We have attended a lot of community events in our careers, but very few have been as energized as Douglas County’s strategy and brand launch event in August. 400+ residents attended, ranging in age from 2- to 90-years-old, to hear about the future of the county. We were blown away and can’t wait to see Douglas County continue this momentum in the years to come

9 – Leading an ED Talk at IEDC’s annual conference – Delivering our ED Talk on the power of partnerships and joining the other incredible speakers on the main stage was a highlight of our year. We greatly appreciate the chance to share our ideas with such a broad audience!

10 – The arrival of Jack Vernon, Junior Consultant– This September marked the arrival of Avalanche’s youngest team member, Jack Vernon! We’re sure his mom will teach him the ropes and he’ll be an economic development expert in no time. A huge congrats to Jennifer and JD on the birth of your beautiful son!

Most of all, we are so grateful for a year in which we worked side-by-side with such talented, passionate economic developers and community leaders across the U.S. All of our experiences – these 10 and many others – have helped us grow as a team and as a business. We wish everyone very happy holidays and continued success in the new year.