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Phil Santer Receives 2019 Economic Development Industry “40 Under 40” Award

January 28, 2019 Press Releases
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Phil Santer, Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president and chief of staff, receives award.

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Phil Santer, vice president of business development and chief of staff at Ann Arbor SPARK, has been selected as a winner in the economic development profession’s 40 Under 40 awards, the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development industry.

“In the past year, Phil’s accomplishments include leading a collation of public, private, and academic leaders that worked to attract KLA Tencor to Ann Arbor – a project that will result in the company investing $70 million and creating 500 jobs in our community,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “The region’s economy directly benefits from Phil’s talent and drive, and his contributions as part of the team at Ann Arbor SPARK.”

An independent five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 170 qualified candidates based on their exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the economic development industry. The award’s program was managed by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing, and Jorgenson Consulting, a leading national executive search firm serving organizations in economic and community development industries.

Phil Santer (right) pictured with Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO, along with other award recipients from Michigan.

“The 40 Under 40 Award is designed to identify the economic development profession’s rising stars. These young economic development professionals represent the future of our industry,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “The selection committee had a challenge selecting only 40 winners, but we are delighted by the smarts, initiative and game-changing mindset represented in the awardees.”

DCI and Jorgenson officially announced the winners last night at an awards reception during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and will feature profiles of each on the awards website.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 winners, visit


About Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit