Klaus Thiessen accepts gift, honored with Impact Award.

EDC recognizes Thiessen with Impact Award

Award renamed in his honor

The EDC board of directors presented Klaus Thiessen with the EDC Impact Award during a reception in his honor Thursday. Thiessen is retiring next week after 14 years as the president & CEO of the Grand Forks Region EDC.

The Impact Award, which recognizes outstanding businesses or individuals making a positive impact on the economic growth and prosperity in the Grand Forks region. Since 2014, the award, given at the discretion of the board of directors, has been presented as part of the EDC annual meeting.

This special recognition was given to honor Thiessen’s dedication to the organization and the region and is, said EDC Board Chair Tammy Peterson, a fitting way to culminate his career.

“He is the type of leader everyone wants to work alongside and an inspiration to many. I am so honored to recognize our newest impact award recipient,” said Peterson.

“Klaus was an early champion for the creation of BRIC (Base Realignment Impact Committee) and launching the Valley Prosperity Partnership,” Peterson said. “Klaus definitely has created a legacy of collaboration and partnerships. He is greatly respected in the community as a person of integrity and action.”

During Thiessen’s tenure EDC client jobs increased by more than 60 percent and clients’ capital investment exceeded $750 million. He was instrumental in the retention and expansion of several clients, including LM Wind Power and Cirrus Aircraft.

Peterson also announced it is the final EDC Impact Award to be given following board concurrence to rename the award the Klaus Thiessen Impact Award. “Klaus leaves a tremendous legacy as a leader who collaborated with partners to achieve common goals and enhance the region. Renaming the award is our way of ensuring his legacy continues to be recognized and celebrated.”

“To signify the impact Klaus has made and the importance of his legacy the impact award is being renamed as the Klaus Thiessen Impact Award from this day forward.”

“I’m leaving Grand Forks with very mixed emotions. Because of the great people that you are. Economic development is a very exciting business and I’m going to miss that too. I thank all of you for the opportunity to serve you,” said Thiessen.

“I really believe strongly Grand Forks has a significant future. You should all be proud of what you’ve accomplished as leaders and you should all be excited for what’s before you right now.”

Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown presented Thiessen with a key to the city, recognizing his leadership and contribution as president & CEO of the EDC. “I’m proud to give you this key to the city. On behalf of a vibrant, thriving, growing city, thank you.”