Sumter, South Carolina | American Spirit. Global Edge. | 800.888.7926

Sumter’s First REWARD Class Graduates

August 27, 2009

ATLANTA, GA (August 24, 2009) The Sumter Development Board and its private-sector arm the Sumter Smarter Growth Initiative received the Special Judges’ Award at the Southern Economic Development Council’s Annual Conference held August 15-18, 2009 in Point Clear, Alabama.

The winning entries were for the allied organization’s American Spirit, Global Edge marketing campaign, a multimedia effort combining printed materials, videos, a downtown community tour and several interactive community kiosks. All entries were judged by an independent panel for graphic appeal, clarity and appropriateness of message, positioning and differentiation, and content. 

“The competition was stiff this year with over 100 entries, as economic development organizations throughout our region submitted expertly prepared materials,” said SEDC President Gene Stinson. “The entry submitted by the Sumter Development Board was outstanding and captured the attention of the judges to garner its award.” 

In all, the Sumter Development Board and SSGI won five awards:

* A Special Judges’ Award for the American Spirit, Global Edge Free-Standing Kiosk;
* A “Superior” rating in the “Electronic Multimedia” category for a DVD containing six community videos;
* A “Superior” rating in the “Thinking Outside the Box” category for the Free-Standing Kiosk;
* An “Excellent” rating for the American Spirit, Global Edge general purpose brochure; and
* An “Excellent” rating for the SSGI Annual Report. 

SSGI Chairman Jay Cox said the awards are appreciated, and show local development efforts are cutting edge. 

“To some extent I think this validates what the SSGI was founded for and what we’re trying to do,” Cox said. “One of the primary purposes of the SSGI was to help the Development Board do things that it has never before been able to do, like launch major marketing campaigns such as this.” 

The American Spirit, Global Edge campaign is a $200,000 marketing effort launched in June at the Sumter Opera House. The campaign is entirely funded with private SSGI dollars. 

The Southern Economic Development Council is a 850 member professional association composed of a broad cross-section of active and influential economic developers from business and industry, utilities, transportation, financial and education institutions, chambers of commerce, and local, regional and state development agencies. Members in the 17-state area share a common interest: the promotion and enhancement of the economic development profession. The SEDC region includes the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and the District of Columbia,Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. 

For more information about SEDC please visit our Web site at

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“It is clear that South Carolina is focused on providing quality jobs for its citizens. We especially appreciate the cooperation and hospitality provided by the state, county and local government agencies. It is great to work with people who are genuinely interested in creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.”
Gary Ricco
President and CEO, Mount Franklin Foods