April 26, 2016
Coalfield Development CEO Brandon Dennison is in Durham, NC, this week as part of a team of six community leaders representing Huntington, WV, in the America's Best Communities Competition. Coalfield Development's West Edge Factory project is a key part of Huntington's application to the competition.
"There is such great energy and creativity buzzing in Huntington right now," said Dennison. "The rest of the nation is starting to feel it, and being a semi-finalist is evidence of this. I'm very humbled to be part of this dynamic team and I'm honored a Coalfield project is such a central part of a big, national effort like this."
The Huntington Team is led by Mayor Steve Williams and also includes Foundation for the Tri-State Community President Mary Witten Wiseman.
Earlier this year, Huntington was selected as a semi-finalists in the competition, which allows the city to continue competing for the first place prize of $3 million. More than 350 communities nationwide entered the competition after its launch in 2014, and 50 were selected as quarterfinalists in April 2015. Each of the 50 was awarded $50,000 in seed money to develop a Community Revitalization Plan and were paired with a major Corporation that served as a strategic advisor as part of the competition’s Adopt-a-Community Program. From this class of 50 quarterfinalist communities, the fifteen with the best plans — those with the most innovative ideas being effectively executed — were named semifinalists.
The America’s Best Communities semifinalists are: Lake Havasu City, Arizona; Charleston, West Virginia; Statesboro, Georgia; Valley County/Meadows Valley, Idaho; Chisago Lakes Area, Minnesota; Huntington, West Virginia; Portsmouth, Ohio; DeKalb, Illinois; Fort Dodge, Iowa; Darrington/Arlington, Washington; Valparaiso, Indiana; Tualatin, Oregon; Wenatchee/East Wenatchee, Washington; Madison, Indiana; and Angola/Fremont, Indiana.
Sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, the America’s Best Communities competition has dedicated $10 million in prizes and other support to spark economic revitalization in small towns and rural communities across the country. The fifteen communities now advancing into the semifinals have crafted innovative solutions designed to transform their local economies and improve the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.
All 15 semifinalist communities are attending the America’s Best Communities Summit today and tomorrow, April 26-27, in Durham, North Carolina, where they will present their proposals to a panel of expert judges and executives from the sponsoring companies and compete for additional financial support. At the end of the summit, eight communities will be named finalists and awarded $100,000 to bring their plans to life.
In April 2017, the top three communities making the largest impact and showing the greatest potential for achieving sustainable revitalization will be selected as the grand prize winners. The first place community will receive $3 million, the second place community $2 million, and $1 million for third. To explore the communities’ revitalization strategies and for additional information on the competition, visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.