Sparta resident recognized by global economic development industry

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:41

    SPARTA — Gene DePrez of Sparta was awarded the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Economic Development by the International Economic Development Council for his outstanding dedication to economic development. The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Monday, Sept. 19 during the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference, in Charlotte, N.C. DePrez is a past President and Trustee of Lake Mohawk Country Club. He and his wife Patty are 25 year residents of Sparta and live on Oakwood Trail. “The Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Economic Development honors an individual who has consistently exemplified the highest standards of professional excellence throughout his or her career in the economic development field,” said Denny Coleman, IInternational Economic Development Council chair, and CEO of St. Louis County Economic Development. “Mr. DePrez is a stellar example of just such an individual and is undeniably deserving of this prestigious award.” DePrez builds strategic alliances that lead to successful collaborations and substantive outcomes. He now focuses much of his time advising economic development organizations, universities, and science parks and is an invaluable asset and thought leader in this role. DePrez served for several years as Chief Innovation Officer at Creativesheffield in Sheffield, England, the UK’s first comprehensive city economic development company. Focused on sector development, DePrez championed innovation and collaboration throughout the city-region. Helping the area transform its economy from the remnants of its industrial heyday, DePrez encouraged collaboration among stakeholders including two major universities, businesses, city and regional agencies, and emerging entrepreneurs. He also spurred creative entrepreneurial development by guiding the launch of the new Sheffield Digital Campus, an incubator and accelerator focused on collaboration across the digital industries. DePrez and his team were the key catalyst for commercialization and community uses of the Digital Region, Europe’s most advanced high speed broadband public network. Before being recruited to the UK, DePrez was the Co-Global Leader of IBM’s Global Location Strategies practice. He advised global companies as they chose locations for headquarters, R&D, manufacturing and operational centers. Prior to its acquisition by IBM in 2002, the Global Location Strategy practice operated within PricewaterhouseCoopers. DePrez led the two consultancies for 11 years combined and previously held consultant executive positions with other major firms. Earlier he was chief executive of a national Washington based development clearinghouse affiliated with the White House, the National Association of Manufacturers, United Way and other national associations. DePrez has been a longstanding and active member of the International Economic Development Council. He served on the Board of Directors for 12 years and as Co-Chair of it Economic Development Research Partners, and was recently named a visiting Senior Fellow. He has been a frequent speaker at IEDC and other international conferences and also serves on the Executive Committee and as a trustee of Partners for Livable Communities, a Washington based organization of government and civic leaders.