(Fairfield, LA) – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) has once again been recognized as a premier economic development organization accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Originally accredited in 2008, the organization was reaccredited by IEDC following seven successful years of activity as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) member. Only 46 economic development organizations out of approximately 3,000 international IEDC members currently hold this prestigious recognition.
The AEDO program is a comprehensive peer review process that measures economic development organizations against commonly held standards in the profession. The reaccreditation consists of two phases: a documentation review and an onsite visit. Each phase is designed to evaluate information about the structure, organization, funding, program, and staff of the candidate economic development organization. Earning the AEDO accreditation tells the community and prospective businesses that JEDCO attained a measure of excellence. Maintenance of the AEDO status is required every three years and is accomplished through documentation submission and an onsite visit by a team of the AEDO subcommittee.
“JEDCO displays the professionalism, commitment, and technical expertise that is deserving of this honor,” said IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle.
JEDCO shared this important achievement on Thursday at its Annual Luncheon, the organization’s largest event of the year. JEDCO also announced the recipients of its 2015 business award winners in front of hundreds of Jefferson Parish business and community leaders.
Boscoli Foods, Inc. received the 2015 Small Business of the Year award. This iconic food manufacturer is headquartered in Jefferson Parish. Founded in 1992, the family-owned business produces olive salad and other related products distributed to grocery stores across the country. The company also has an international reach in Mexico and U.S. military bases overseas with plans to enter a new international market in coming months. In recent years, Boscoli has experienced high growth in sales and employees, while also introducing a number of new products into the market. In order to meet the capacity of its sustained growth, Boscoli Foods plans to add 8,500 sq. ft. of warehouse and additional office space to its existing manufacturing and bottling plant. Boscoli is also heavily involved in local business and charitable organizations, giving back to the community that has helped to foster its growth.
Each year, JEDCO selects an agency, organization, business, or individual who has been instrumental in the retention and expansion of Jefferson Parish businesses. This year, Mike Quigley, the Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Kenner, earned the JEDCO Business Retention and Expansion Award. JEDCO has had a long-standing and successful relationship with the City of Kenner through a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement. Over that time, Quigley has been an effective ally in promoting business growth in the city. Quigley’s quick responses to business concerns and questions helped the City of Kenner to retain several major manufacturers and spurred expansion of others.
JEDCO’s 2015 Chairman of the Board, Paul Rivera, presented Ashton Ryan, the President and CEO of First NBC Bank, with the Chairman’s Champion Award. Ryan has been a long-time fixture in the banking industry and an active supporter of the entrepreneurial movement in the region. Through his role with First NBC Bank, Ryan has supported many JEDCO initiatives, including title sponsorship of the JEDCO Challenge, a Jefferson Parish-based pitch competition held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, and the Jefferson EDGE, the parish’s long-term economic development strategic plan to promote sustainability, investment, and job growth in the community.
“Through JEDCO’s role in the community, our team has the unique opportunity to connect with many remarkable individuals and businesses every day,” says JEDCO Executive Director Jerry Bologna. “This group of award winners represents the highest quality of business dedication, reliability, innovation and growth. Through their hard work and commitment to excellence, they are enhancing the business climate in Jefferson Parish. Their contributions to our economy keep our community competitive on a global scale. We are proud to work with them and proud that they choose to call Jefferson Parish home.”
The JEDCO Annual Luncheon provides an opportunity for the organization to recognize and show support of Jefferson Parish businesses while also highlighting the year’s economic successes. The event took place at the Hilton New Orleans Airport on Airline Drive.