Arizona Association for Economic Development Executive Director Carrie Kelly Named as One of Arizona Capitol Times’ 2021 Leaders of the Year

(PHOENIX – Oct. 11, 2021) – Carrie Kelly, executive director of the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED), has received a 2021 Leader of the Year Award from Arizona Capitol Times. Kelly joined AAED amidst the pandemic to lead the organization and its members through the safe and effective economic growth. AAED-supported efforts under Kelly’s leadership included virtual educational opportunities, advocating for public policy measures and facilitating collaboration between Arizona communities.

Working alongside a volunteer board of directors, Kelly has ensured that AAED has seen great success in bolstering public policy through numerous efforts including the introduction of the Economic Development 101 for Elected Officials series which gave government officials statewide an inside look to better understanding current economic development efforts.

During the last legislative session, Kelly utilized AAED’s collaborative network to help pass the Angel Investment Tax Credit and the Qualified Facilities Tax Credit, the latter of which directly led to Intel’s billion-dollar investment in Chandler. Kelly also debuted the new e-newsletter, “Where We Stand” that connected AAED members and partners to economic development efforts at the statehouse.

“This past year has shown us how resilient Arizona communities are and it’s an honor to be recognized for the work we have done in advocating for a better quality of life for our residents,” said Kelly. “I want to thank all the economic developers, legislatures and officials that have worked together to help us build back a stronger economy in Arizona.”

Kelly also advocated for the state to recognize Economic Development Week in Arizona, resulting in Gov. Ducey proclaiming Economic Development Week from May 9-15 in 2021, an economic development roundtable discussion and a policy impact celebration to recognize the works of the state legislators who contributed to the economic growth of the state during the last year.

The Arizona Capitol Times Leader of the Year Awards are presented each year to recognize the people and organizations that have made great contributions in the growth of Arizona. Winners were selected from a pool of peer-nominations and represent varied industries including arts and culture, associations, COVID-19 response and management, economy, government, law and public safety.

About the Arizona Association for Economic Development

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona’s unified voice for responsible economic development through professional education, public policy, and collaboration. For more information on AAED, visit or call (602) 240-2233.



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at Oct 11, 2021

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