King County Executive Dow Constantine and DigiPen Founder Claude Comair Recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Economic DevelopmentPosted by heather on January 11, 2013
Seattle, WA – January 11, 2013 – The Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County (EDC) honored King County Executive Dow Constantine and DigiPen Institute of Technology Founder and President Claude Comair as the region’s Economic Development Champions for 2013 at its 41st Annual Economic Forecast Conference yesterday. Recognizing that the work of both the public and private sector are essential to the development of a diverse and dynamic economy, the organization annually credits leaders from each sector for their significant contributions to the development of the regional economy.
“These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding leadership that Dow Constantine and Claude Comair have provided and recognize the key initiatives that each of them has contributed to the region,” said Jeff Marcell, president and chief executive officer for the EDC.
In his role as King County Executive, Dow Constantine is a recognized public-sector leader in our community. He has been credited with running the County like a business—meeting budgets, always looking for efficiencies, inspiring employees, and treating his constituents and local businesses like customers. His contributions to our region’s economic development efforts include the creation of the King County Executive’s Small Business Awards to honor hard-working small business owners; the establishment of the King County Aerospace Alliance to support the construction of the Boeing 737 MAX; and the revitalization of Pioneer Square through mixed-use development.
“Dow has given the business community a sense of predictability and instilled confidence that the County is under sound, responsible management—he has set the stage for great things to happen in this economy,” said David Allen, incoming chair of the EDC’s Board of Directors.
Claude Comair is the founder of DigiPen Institute of Technology and a co-founder of the Nintendo Software Technology Corporation in Redmond, Washington. DigiPen was the first university in the world dedicated to computer and video game development. Comair founded DigiPen in 1988 as a computer simulation and animation company. In 1990, DigiPen began offering a 3D animation program and collaborated with Nintendo of America to create a post-secondary program for video game programming. Since then, their offerings have grown to include a full suite of Associate, Bachelors and Masters degree programs. Under Comair’s leadership, DigiPen has developed youth programs that offer opportunities for elementary, middle, and high school students to improve their knowledge of core academic subjects such as art, science, and math, as well as enhance their critical thinking abilities through “real-world” applications in gaming, art, and engineering.
“Claude exemplifies what a successful international entrepreneur is, having worked and lived around the world,” said Marcell. “Our region has been incredibly fortunate to have him because he could run his business anywhere, but chooses to be a part of our community. Through his leadership, DigiPen is the cornerstone of the talent pipeline that fuels our local interactive media industry.”