City of Mesa News Article
City of Mesa receives international award for Higher Education Initiative
By: Kevin Christopher
09/8/14 5:30 PM

Sep. 4, 2014
Office of Economic Development
Contact: Kim Lofgreen


City of Mesa receives international award for Higher Education Initiative


The City of Mesa’s Office of Economic Development has been honored with the International Downtown Association (IDA) Award for the City’s Higher Education Initiative. The IDA announced the award on Sept. 4, 2014 during its 60th Anniversary Conference and Tradeshow in Ottawa, Canada.


The Higher Education Initiative was entered in the category of Economic and Business Development. Submitted projects and initiatives in this category come from those organizations working to further their city centers by accomplishing the following:


·        delivering successful programs and strategies that have recruited new businesses or improved retention efforts in downtown

·        recruiting new sectors of the economy to downtown

·        creating or enhancing economic development efforts through creative financing, unique operating strategies, or public-private partnership


The Higher Education Initiative was a strategic effort to recruit legacy institutions of higher education to downtown Mesa. The initiative resulted in the City’s recruitment of Albright College, Benedictine University, Upper Iowa University, Westminster University and Wilkes University, and the adaptive reuse of two downtown buildings as campuses for three of the institutions.


“The City of Mesa’s project received the IDA Award for delivering excellence in downtown management,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “Each year the IDA Awards Jury recognizes organizations that utilize best practices in our industry.  Mesa Higher Education Initiative is a shining example of excellent downtown management delivering real value to the city.”


“I’m proud of our team’s hard work in successfully implementing one of our key economic development strategies,” said William J. Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa. “Recruiting quality, legacy institutions of higher learning to Downtown Mesa is an important step in making Downtown a vibrant economic center for the City.”


The Washington, D.C. based International Downtown Association (IDA) is a champion for vital and livable urban centers and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates. With 500 members and thousands of friends, IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.



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