FIRST WORD: Making The Call

Jack Rogers, Editor in Chief, Business Facilities

From the January/February 2013 issue

It’s become very stylish to have animals pick the winners of major sporting events. After Germany’s Paul the Octopus wrapped his tentacles around soccer’s World Cup a couple of years ago, all sorts of creatures got into the act. As this is being written, Princess the Camel is vying to make Super Bowl history by snorting at five winners in a row.

Here at Business Facilities we think relying on our four-legged (or eight-legged) friends to make the tough calls is a cop-out. So we make sure our top awards are the result of a comprehensive vetting process involving industry experts and valid metrics.

The quality of the big-ticket projects that went head to head in our 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition forced our blue-ribbon panel of judges to bring their A-game to the scoring. If there’s a common thread running through the winning projects, it’s the transformative potential of each of them.

Our Gold Award winner, Baxter’s $1.3-billion investment in Georgia, moves the Peach State into the front ranks of bio/pharma players; Sasol’s petrochemical complex in Louisiana, our Silver standard-bearer, is a huge bet on the future of gas-to-liquids energy conversion; and Apple’s decision to put its global Ops Center in Austin, our Bronze winner, cement’s the Texas capital’s growing rep as a high-tech hub.

As always, we congratulate the winners and encourage everyone to get a head start on next year’s contest by using our handy online nomination form at

Jack Rogers

Editor in Chief