Aundrea Wilcox, CEcD, Executive Director of The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), at the Kingsport Chamber, earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth. The CEcD exam was administered by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) on April 13-14, 2019 in Washington, DC, at the Washington Court Hotel.
In 2006, Aundrea was hired into her executive leadership role, at the Kingsport Chamber, to direct the development and execution of the organization’s strategy to assist entrepreneurs with resources/information and facilitate growth of new/existing small businesses to drive economic/job growth in the Kingsport market. In 2011, the Kingsport Chamber announced a partnership between KOSBE and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) also becoming the TSBDC at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office. In addition to an expanded service area now covering five counties (Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Grainger and Sullivan), the partnership has enhanced the operation and sustainability of KOSBE. Since taking on her role, Aundrea has contributed to starting more than 80 businesses, creating 579 new jobs, assisting 927 distinct clients, helping raise capital formation over $32 million for local companies, and assisting several clients with applying for minority, veteran, and woman-owned business certifications resulting in these companies achieving certifications and securing new contracts totaling more than $15 million.
The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession. Candidates must pass a comprehensive and rigorous proctored examination, which has three parts and spans two days. The exam tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the following key areas of economic development:
• Business Retention and Expansion
• Finance & Credit Analysis
• Marketing and Attraction
• Strategic Planning
• Entrepreneurial & Small Business Development
• Managing Economic Development Organizations
• Neighborhood Development Strategies
• Real Estate Development & Reuse
• Technology-Led Economic Development
• Workforce Development Strategies
As highly competent economic development professionals, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector. Excellence in the economic development profession improves the well-being, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities. There are currently over 1,100 active CEcDs in the United States.