Joe Sobieralski Recognized with 40 Under 40 Award in Economic Development by DCI

January 31, 2023

BATTLE CREEK, MICH – Joe Sobieralski, President & CEO of Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU), has been announced as a recipient of the 2023 Economic Development 40 Under 40 Award, the biennial award recognizing rising stars under 40 years old in the economic development industry.

The awards program is hosted by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based integrated marketing firm that works with economic development and travel organizations around the globe, and Jorgenson Consulting, a leading national executive search firm serving organizations in non-profit, economic, and community development industries. An independent selection committee of six economic development leaders and site selection consultants evaluated nominations based on demonstration of strong leadership, commitment, and innovation every day in the workplace.

“The purpose-driven work of economic development plays a vital role in communities around the world, and much of it is led by young professionals,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “These 40 rising stars are contributing their creativity, dedication and leadership to make a tremendous impact in their communities and our industry as a whole, and I so look forward to what lies ahead in their careers.”

Sobieralski remarked, “I am honored to receive this award. It is a testament to everyone on the BCU team, our Board of Directors, and our community partners near and far who support our efforts. We have accomplished a great deal in the past few years and even bigger things are on the horizon.”

“The economic development industry continues to evolve and these rising leaders are stepping up to the challenge,” said Todd Jorgenson, managing director and principal of Jorgenson Consulting, Inc. “Congratulations to these 40 winners – and to the communities that are lucky to benefit from their expertise.”

Erick Stewart, Chair of the BCU Board of Directors, said, “On behalf of the BCU Board and its affiliated entities, we would like to convey our sincere gratitude and appreciation to DCI and Jorgenson Consulting for honoring Joe. Battle Creek is fortunate to have such a dynamic and forward-thinking economic development leader. This award is well deserved and speaks to Joe’s commitment to make everything that he is involved in ‘world-class.’ Joe always comes to the table with solutions that create meaningful outcomes and growth for our region. As we celebrate this achievement, we are grateful that under his leadership, Battle Creek is positioned for continued prosperity and growth well into the future.”

Sobieralski joined BCU as a Vice President in December 2015 and was named President & CEO in November 2016. He oversees all aspects of BCU’s operations including domestic and international economic development and its strategic plan for positioning Battle Creek as the premier location for businesses to develop, expand, and relocate utilizing the unique asset of the Fort Custer Industrial Park. Focusing on generating investment and job growth, Sobieralski works closely with the City of Battle Creek, Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, local community stakeholders, and business owners to achieve these goals. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University.

Award winners were announced last night at a reception hosted by DCI and Jorgenson at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2023 Leadership Summit, the only conference held exclusively for Certified Economic Developers and senior managers in the profession.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 awards program and this year’s winners, visit

BCU President & CEO Joe Sobieralski poses with his 40 Under 40 Award.



Established in 1972, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) is a private, non-profit corporation which serves as the economic development arm for the City of Battle Creek and manages the Fort Custer Industrial Park. The Fort Custer Industrial Park is home to over 80 businesses, including 25 international companies, and employs over 13,000 people. BCU’s mission is to build a strong community by driving strategic investment and job creation. Visit for more info.


Development Counsellors International (DCI) is the leader in travel, economic development and talent attraction marketing. Since 1960, DCI has worked with more than 500 cities, regions, states and countries, helping them attract business investors, visitors and workers. DCI has offices in New York and Denver. For more information, visit or follow @aboutDCI on Twitter.


Founded in 1992, Jorgenson Consulting has worked diligently over the past 29 years to establish itself as a premier national executive search firm. With a focus on the fields of non-profit, economic and community development, we partner with our clients to help them identify and secure the highest caliber of executive talent. Our goal is to develop a thorough understanding of our clients and leverage that knowledge with our own expertise and resources to source executive talent that can truly serve the organization by yielding economic benefits while also contributing to a community’s competitive advantage.


Joe Sobieralski, President & CEO

Battle Creek Unlimited

TEL 269-962-7526

Julie Curtin, President, Economic Development


TEL 303-627-0272



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