Past Chairmen of the St. Clair County Economic Development Council Board gather at the annual meeting to honor Chairman Award winner Ed Gardner, Sr.  (center). Pictured (l-r) Tommy Bowers, Bill Weathington, Ed Gardner, Sr., Joe Kelly, Sr., and Lyman Lovejoy. Photo by U. Glidewell

The St. Clair County Economic Development Council (EDC) presented Ed Gardner, Sr. with the Chairman Award at their annual event on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Mathews Manor in Springville. 

For the past five years, the St. Clair EDC has been presenting a Chairman’s Award  to a non-elected official who “has an instrumental affect on the county and is involved in making the move forward,” said EDC Executive Director Don Smith.

Ed Gardner, Sr. was the first director of the St. Clair Economic Development Council when it was implemented in 1998. The mission of the EDC is “to create jobs, increase wealth, and improve the quality of life for St. Clair County residents.”

said Gardner, “He (Gardner) put us on the map very quickly,” said Joe Kelly, Sr., president of the EDC Board of Directors.” The Board of Directors still maintains a standard this man set.”

“Thank you for the biggest surprise of my life,” said Gardner. “This is one of the greatest honors tonight and it’s not a result of anything I’ve done. The county has some of the greatest people I’ve been around.”

Community leaders, elected officials, and graduates of Leadership St. Clair County were in attendance.

“Not many counties have a group of citizens, business owners, elected officials that all work together,” Gardner said. “They made it happen.”

“We want to be a unified voice for the county,” said Don Smith. “St. Clair County has a good reputation for being honest, safe, and one of the fastest growing counties in the state. We work together across city lines to build the county.”

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