LIBERTY — The Liberty Economic Development Corporation received the Go Global KC Outstanding Economic Development Agency award from the World Trade Center Kansas City. Liberty is the second recipient of this award. During the inaugural award ceremony, the EDC of Kansas City received the first award.

“The award acknowledges bringing international trade to Liberty,” EDC Executive Director Ralph Boots said. “In economic development, it’s about connecting people with people. It’s about building relationships.”

Melissa Miller, senior manager at the World Trade Center Kansas City, said that in 2014, a Kansas City Metro Export Plan was created. This comprehensive and strategic plan aims to position businesses in the Greater Kansas City Region to enter into or grow existing business in the global marketplace. The plan applies market intelligence to develop targeted, integrated export-related services and strategies to connect the region’s companies to customers across the world.

In the export plan, “The region’s economic development agencies provide a local perspective and opportunity for a cooperative approach to growing exports. These agencies ... typically have a specific mission and expectations around recruitment of businesses and employment growth. A focus on exports, where and when appropriate, would align with these objectives and provide a meaningful push to job and income growth at the regional level.”

In the report, regional agencies provide connection to prospective exporters.

Boots called the recognition an honor.

“It’s nice to be recognized for our efforts and the recognition is not just for our Liberty community, but all over,” Boots said. “It’s a sort of stamp approval from the World Trade Center. There’s a knowledge that we are a community that likes to work with others and create successes.”

Miller said the award honors the work being done at the local level.

“Ralph is going on regular visits to those businesses in Liberty,” she said. “He can talk about international work and identifying export resources. The Liberty EDC has been a good partner throughout the year with client referrals and adding to those international matters. Ralph is doing things right. He is good at passing on data to businesses. If there are information meetings that can expand his knowledge, Ralph is the often the first to sign up. He is an engaged partner.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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