A Kamloops economic developer has received an international award that recognizes young professionals.
Colin O’Leary, who recently left Venture Kamloops to form O’Leary and Associates, a consulting firm, was presented with the award this week in Jacksonville, Florida.
The 40 Under 40 Rising Stars awards are the only ones of their kind recognizing young talent in economic development.
An independent six-member selection committee evaluated and chose the winners based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry. The awards program is managed by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing.
“I’m incredibly happy, to say the least,” said O’Leary in Florida where he was recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) at the IEDC Leadership Summit.
“Economic Development is a part of my DNA and I really enjoy the work I do with our clients to help them thrive in business. To be recognized for the work I do is such an honour.”
O’Leary was chosen from among candidates from as far away as Zürich, Switzerland, to be one of the top 40 honoured at the leadership summit. The Top 40 Under 40 Rising Stars are named every two years, and O’Leary is one of only a handful of Canadians to ever be recognized.
“The people chosen by the selection committee represent a bright future for the economic development world,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI.
“They are a new breed of results-driven place makers. We’re very pleased to see Colin among the winners.”
“I was impressed by the energy and dedication of these developers,” said Zach Patton, executive editor at GOVERNING Magazine and 40 Under 40 selection committee member.
“Their passion for good economic development really stood out in their smart innovations, thoughtful programs, and cool ideas.”
DCI officially announced the winners Tuesday at an awards ceremony.