Two MEDC Staff Recognized with National "40 Under 40" Awards for Economic Development

Kathleen Achtenberg

Monday, January 28, 2019

Two MEDC team members have been selected as winners in a national "40 Under 40" awards for the economic development profession, the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development industry.

Business Development Regional Director Valerie Christofferson and Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer Josh Hundt officially received the recognition last night at an awards reception during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Profiles of each can be viewed on the awards website.

An independent five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 170 qualified candidates based on their exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the economic development industry. The award’s program was managed by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing, and Jorgenson Consulting, a leading national executive search firm serving organizations in economic and community development industries.

“Val and Josh are extremely passionate about the work they do and have made extraordinary contributions to our organization and to the state of Michigan,” said MEDC CEO Jeff Mason. “They exemplify the best and brightest in economic development and are well-deserving of this honor.”

Christofferson has more than 10 years of economic development experience in business retention, expansion and attraction working at the state and local level throughout Michigan. She currently leads MEDC’s business development team responsible for the nine counties in Southeast Michigan. Under her supervision from 2016 through 2018, her team secured more than 150 successful projects resulting in 23,750+ jobs created and more than $7.3 billion in capital investment.

Hundt has twelve years of experience in economic development and has extensive knowledge of statewide economic development program and policy development, including playing a pivotal role in the development and implementation of the Michigan Business Development Program and the Good Jobs for Michigan Program.

“The 40 Under 40 Award is designed to identify the economic development profession’s rising stars. These young economic development professionals represent the future of our industry,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “The selection committee had a challenge selecting only 40 winners, but we are delighted by the smarts, initiative and game-changing mindset represented in these finalists. Economic development is in good hands with these young leaders.”

Two other Michigan economic development professionals were recognized as part of this class of 40 under 40: Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Business Attraction and Justin Robinson and Ann Arbor SPARK Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Phil Santer.

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