Keith Gillenwater, President and CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation recently obtained the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), the industry's leading economic development qualification. This standard of excellence in the economic development profession is awarded by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
“I am excited to join the ranks of some very talented and successful economic development professionals across the country,” said Gillenwater. “Achieving this certification inspires me, even more, to work hard to improve our LaGrange County community.”
The International Economic Development Council requires that an individual have at least four consecutive years of experience in the profession and complete six courses (a set of four core subjects and two electives), in order to sit for the CEcD exam. In order to pass the exam and become certified, a candidate needs to successfully complete a written and verbal exam on a broad range of topics in the economic development field, including:
· Business Retention and Expansion
· Strategic Planning
· Technology-led Economic Development
· Real Estate Development and Reuse
· Economic Development Finance / Credit Analysis
· Workforce Development
· Neighborhood Development Strategies
· Management Economic Development Organizations
· Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development Strategies
Gillenwater is a 1999 graduate of Purdue University with Bachelors of Arts degrees in Law & Society as well as History. He also holds a Master’s of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and is a 2011 graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. Gillenwater joined the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation in April of 2009, after working for the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
"Keith’s certification is of great benefit to him and to the organization," said Mark Leu, Chairman of the LCEDC Board of Directors. "It demonstrates his breadth of knowledge and expertise, in addition to elevating the visibility of our organization within the economic development profession."