Release Date: October 30,2019

Press Release: International Downtown Association Awards Top Industry Honor to WDI

IDA Presents Awards Recognizing Innovative Achievement in Urban Place Management


[Wilmington] – During its 65th Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Baltimore, MD, the International Downtown Association (IDA) recognized Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) with the Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award for its work and initiatives related to the OverFlo Hurricane Recovery Campaign. 

Each year, IDA recognizes outstanding projects as winners of the Downtown Achievement Awards which identify improvements to urban centers by dedicated organizations around the globe. The industry’s highest recognition, the Pinnacle Award, represents the most creative and inspiring innovations in urban place management. WDI won in the category of Leadership and Management.


“Being selected as a top project in the world is a prestigious and humbling honor,” said WDI President and CEO Ed Wolverton.  “Our OverFlo campaign engaged the community and the region in a meaningful way during a time of crisis and was only possible because of the dedication and involvement of dozens of volunteers, the WDI Board of Directors, WDI staff members and Downtown business and property owners,” he said.


The OverFlo Hurricane Recovery Campaign started as an effort to prepare and respond to Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Pre-storm, WDI worked to minimize damage in Downtown from wind-blown objects, collected emergency contact information for over 75 property owners and obtained information about federal and state financial aid programs.  The project also bolstered Downtown’s defenses against potential flood damage by obtaining and disbursing free sandbags for area property owners. 


The campaign adeptly transformed after the storm to become a month-long marketing and special event program to communicate that most Downtown shops, restaurants and attractions were open for business and to raise money for nonprofits serving area residents in immediate need.  Thirty-seven merchants developed specials or activities to donate to the campaign.  WDI led a variety of events including a free benefit concert featuring local musicians, an arts auction, a golf tournament and co-produced a benefit concert featuring Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real.  The OverFlo campaign ultimately raised and donated over $137,000 to the Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Nourish NC, the Good Shepherd, Cape Fearless Challenge and the Harrelson Center.


“WDI’s innovative project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The OverFlo Hurricane Recovery program has made an impact on its city and the people who live, work and play in the community, and demonstrates the continued commitment to champion livable, vital and thriving urban centers.”


Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. WDI is the urban place management organization representing the interests of Downtown property owners in Wilmington, NC.


IDA’s members have a proven track record of creating collaborative public-private partnerships to tackle weighty issues. More than 2,500 downtown management districts exist in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Place management organizations affect significant change in every major metropolitan area throughout North America in an industry that is growing rapidly around the globe. Place management work touches every discipline of city building, including economic development, leadership, marketing, events, public space management, policy, planning and infrastructure.

The 2019 Downtown Achievement Awards are sponsored by Sky Connect Networks. All projects were honored at the 65th Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Baltimore, Maryland on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Additional information on the Pinnacle award winners can be found online at


About Wilmington Downtown Incorporated

WDI's mission is to promote the economic growth and development of Downtown Wilmington.


About IDA

IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit Learn more about the 65th Annual Conference & Tradeshow at