RITZVILLE — Stephen McFadden, Adams Council Development Director, received the 2019 Emerging Professional in Economic Development award last week from the Washington Economic Development Association. McFadden was nominated for the award by Jonathan Smith, former director for the Grant County Economic Development Commission and current Executive Director for the Yakima County Development Association.
McFadden has worked as the Adams Council Development Director since June 2014. Before that, he was a journalist for 28 years. In September of last year, McFadden earned the Certified Economic Developer designation from the International Economic Development Council.
In 2007, while working for the Ritzville-Adams County Journal, McFadden and 20 other representatives from government, business, industry and the community started the Adams County Development Council.
“We brought a group of individuals from across the county to talk about what they needed,” said McFadden. “I wanted to find a way to grow the community while still in private business.”
In 2014, the Adams County Commissioners approached McFadden about a full-time position they felt they needed to create to help businesses in Adams County grow. He applied for the position and was selected. Since then, McFadden has been helping communities all across Adams County build businesses, get good workers and receive funding for museums. He also helps entrepreneurs with things like writing business plans and finding sources of funding.
“My job is to attract new jobs and new private investment, McFadden said. “As a result, they increase the tax base, which allows local government to provide more to its citizens.”
The Emerging Professional in Economic Development award “recognizes an individual who is new to the Economic Development Profession or someone who has made a significant change in his/her role. The individual will exhibit the qualities that best exemplify the professional attributes needed to be successful in the field of economic development,” states the official language for the presentation of the award. “The Emerging Professional Award will be given to a person who has made a significant contribution to his/her community, is a promising future leader in the industry, or who has become an integral member of his or her community, creating significant support for economic development.”