The Evergy Economic Development team earned the Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) designation in 2016 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a non-profit membership organization serving more than 4,700 economic developers. Evergy is only the second utility economic development organization (EDO) to earn the coveted AEDO accreditation, which recognizes the professional excellence of local and state economic development entities, regional public-private partnerships, the economic development departments of utility companies and non-profit business associations throughout North America.
In July 2016, an AEDO review team of practicing economic developers made a site visit to Kansas City to evaluate Evergy’s internal and external economic development operations, as well as its structure and procedures in-action. During the site visit, the review team met with nearly 30 stakeholders including Evergy leadership and staff, economic development allies and community partners at the local, regional and state levels, along with key consultants and vendor partners. Those meetings were used to compose a detailed report that was presented to the entire AEDO Committee, which then voted on accreditation.
In the final report, Sharon Ward and Don Bernhard of the AEDO site review team described the Evergy Economic Development team as, “An organization with a clear well-defined strategy, a strong budget to effectively support that strategy and a well-educated and highly-skilled staff that is capable of executing the strategy. They work well with partners throughout the region and form a highly effective, multi-county, two-state economic development team. The region-wide cooperation that the review team witnessed was among the most impressive we have seen. Therefore, the review team wholeheartedly recommends AEDO accreditation for Evergy Economic Development.”
Created in 1993, the AEDO program has accredited 60 organization across the Unites States, Canada and Mexico.