Intensive Economic Development Training Course
Week 1: July 11-15, 2022 (Auburn, AL)
Week 2: September 12-15, 2022 (Auburn, AL)

A two-week course introducing participants to all phases of economic development.

The Intensive Economic Development Training Course is an annual two-week course presented by the Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI).

The course is divided into two one-week sessions and introduces participants to all phases of economic development. Program leaders and faculty have proven success in economic development practices and techniques. Instructors represent the field’s most effective practitioners from throughout the state and nation.

The first week of the Intensive Course is accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and fulfills one of the prerequisites for those who wish to take the exam for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation. It provides an intensive overview of general economic development concepts and principles.

International Economic Development Council

The second week focuses on important issues and resources and is especially valuable to economic developers and community leaders practicing in Alabama.

With 40 years of experience, GEDI is the state’s leading provider of economic development education and training.

The 2022 Intensive Course will be held at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center, located at 241 South College Street in Auburn. The first week of the 2022 Intensive Course was held July 11-15, 2022 and the second week will be conducted September 12-15, 2022.



Who Should Attend
  • Local, Regional, and State-Level Economic Development Professionals
  • Economic / Industrial Development Board Members
  • Chamber of Commerce Officials
  • State / Local Elected Officials
  • Community Leaders
  • County Commissioners
  • Utility Company Representatives
  • Community / Regional Planners

Course Curriculum

Session I Topics

  • Trends in Economic Development
  • Workforce Development and Training
  • Community Development Fundamentals and Success Models
  • Marketing and Business Attraction
  • Business Retention and Expansion
  • Web and Social Media Marketing Strategies
  • Strategic Planning for Economic Development
  • Real Estate Development and Reuse
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development
  • Economic Development Finance
  • Site Selection Case Study Exercise
  • Economic Development Ethics
  • Building and Managing Economic Development Organization

Session II Topics

  • The History of Economic Development in Alabama
  • Alabama Government and Economic Development
  • Economic Development from the Company’s Perspective
  • Alabama Education and Workforce Development
  • Recruiting Hyundai: The Montgomery Experience
  • Retail as an Essential Economic Development Strategy
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Rural Development Strategies
  • Alabama Programs and Resources to Support Economic Development
  • Alabama Economic Development Roundtable
Agenda - Week 2: September 12-15, 2022

*Click on the date to expand each panel to see the full agenda for that day.

7:30 - 8:00 AM

Grab and Go Breakfast and Coffee – Sponsored by Spire

8:00 - 8:30 AM

Welcome and Introductions

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Alabama Government and Economic Development
Joe A. Sumners, Ph.D, Founder, Wicked Solutions, LLC; Executive Director Emeritus, AU Government & Economic Development Institute

9:30 - 9:45 AM Break – Sponsored by Spire
9:45 - 10:45 AM

Alabama Rural Development Resources
Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager, Alabama Department of Commerce
Carissa Crayton, Rural Special Projects Manager, Alabama Department of Commerce

10:45 - 11:00 AM Break – Sponsored by Spire
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Working with Alabama Department of Commerce
Ted Clem, Director, Recruitment & Retention, Alabama Department of Commerce

12:00 - 1:15 PM

Lunch (On Your Own)

1:15 - 1:30 PM Class Photo – On steps across from parking deck
1:30 - 2:30 PM

Alabama Office of Apprenticeship Programs & Resources
Tawanna Robinson, Region 5 & 6 Project Manager, Alabama Office of Apprenticeship

2:30 - 2:45 PM Break – Sponsored by Spire
2:45 - 3:45 PM

Alabama Workforce Development
Bobby Jon Drinkard, Training Manager, Alabama Department of Commerce
Nicholas Moore, Education Policy Advisor, Alabama Governor’s Office of Education & Workforce

3:45 - 4:00 PM Break – Sponsored by Spire
4:00 - 5:00 PM

Know Your Community / Forum: Your Turn Discussion
GEDI Staff

5:00 - 6:30 PM Welcome Reception (Terrace Room) Sponsored by Alabama Power and Insyteful
Special Appearance by Aubie
7:30 - 8:00 AM

Grab and Go Breakfast and Coffee – Sponsored by Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA)

8:00 - 8:45 AM

Tourism as an Economic Development Strategy
Tami Reist, President & CEO Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association

9:00 - 9:15 AM Break
9:15 - 10:15 AM

Community Resources – Panel
Moderator: Jeremy L. Arthur
Gina Clifford, DesignAlabama
Mary Jackson, Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE)
Matt Leavell, Your Town Alabama
Ken Ward, Alabama Main Street

10:15 - 10:30 AM Break — Sponsored by AMEA
10:30 - 11:45 AM

Role of Elected Officials in Economic Development – Panel
Moderator: Jeremy L. Arthur
Jim Byard, Founder, Byard Associates & Former Mayor of Prattville
Marcus Campbell, Sumter County Commissioner & ACCA President
Dr. Hollie Cost, Assistant VP, AU Outreach & Office of Public Service & Former Mayor of Montevallo

11:45 AM - 1:00 PM Lunch (On Your Own)
1:00 - 2:00 PM

The History of Economic Development in Alabama
Edwin C. Bridges, Ph.D., Director Emeritus, Alabama Department of Archives and History

2:00 - 3:00 PM

Opportunity Zone Incentives Case Studies
Alexander Flachsbart, Founder and CEO, Opportunity Alabama

3:00 – 3:30 PM

Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA)
Jim Searcy, President, EDAA

3:30 - 3:45 PM Break
3:45 - 5:00 PM

Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and Alabama Innovations & Entrepreneurship
Greg Barker, President, EDPA

7:30 - 8:00 AM

Grab and Go Breakfast and Coffee – Sponsored by AMEA

8:00 - 8:45 AM

K-12 Education and Alabama Economic Development
Eric G. Mackey, PhD, Superintendent of Education, State of Alabama

8:45 - 9:45 AM

Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool
Nathan Norris, Founding Principal CityBuilding Partnership, LLC

9:45 - 10:00 AM Break – Sponsored by Sain Associates, Inc.
10:00 - 10:45 AM

Broadband: Essential Economic Development Infrastructure
Tom Stackhouse, President and CEO, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative

10:45 - 11:00 AM Break – Sponsored by PowerSouth
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Alabama’s Infrastructure Report Card and it’s Importance to Economic Development
Joe Meads, Principal and Owner, Sain Associates, Inc.

12:00 - 1:15 PM Lunch (On Your Own)
1:15 – 2:15 PM

The Role of Utilities in Alabama Economic Development - Panel
Moderator: Jeremy Arthur
Leigh Davis, Vice President of Economic & Community Development, Alabama Power Company
Warren Hicks, Project Manager, Economic Development AL Region, Tennessee Valley Authority
Mike Swinson, Director of Economic Development, Spire

2:15 - 2:30 PM Break – Sponsored by Retail Strategies
2:30 - 3:30 PM

Retail as an Economic Development Tool
Lacy Beasley, President, Retail Strategies

3:30 - 4:30 PM

International Trade and Economic Development
Brian Davis, Director, Alabama International Trade Center
Beau Lore, Specialist, International Trade Division, Alabama Department of Commerce

7:30 - 8:30 AM

Graduation Breakfast (Terrace Room) – Sponsored by Spire

8:30 - 9:30 AM

The Role of Public Policy in Economic Development – Panel
Moderator: Jeremy Arthur
Martha Roby, Senior Advisor for Government Affairs & Economic Development
Bradley Sheron Rose, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

9:30 - 9:45 AM Break – Sponsored by Spire
9:45 - 10:15 AM

Site Selection: A Local Perspective
Arndt Siepmann, Deputy Director of Economic Development, City of Auburn

10:15 – 10:30 AM

Break – Sponsored by Spire

10:30 - 11:15 AM

Economic Development Administration (EDA)
Lucas Blankenship, Area Manager, EDA

11:15 AM

Announcements & Adjournment
Thanks for joining us! Safe travels!

Greg Barker
Greg Barker
Executive VP of Customer Services, Alabama Power Company
Phillis Belcher
Phillis Belcher
Executive Director, Greene County IDA
Tedra Cheatam
Tedra Cheatam
Director of Business Development, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
Mo Collins
Mo Collins
New Economy Specialist
Sheldon Day
Sheldon Day
Mayor, City of Thomasville, Alabama
Phillip Dunlap
Phillip Dunlap
Economic Development Director, City of Auburn
Haitham Eletrabi
Haitham Eletrabi
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Tennibot
Jay Garner
Jay Garner
President and Founder, Garner Economics, LLC
Randy George
Randy George
Former President, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
Waymond Jackson
Waymond Jackson
Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA)
Sandra Koblas
Sandra Koblas
Director of Human Resources, Austal USA in Mobile, AL
David Mixson
David Mixson
Associate Director, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
David Rumbarger
David Rumbarger
President/CEO, Community Development Foundation
Jennifer Ryan
Jennifer Ryan
Communications Manager, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
Jim Searcy
Jim Searcy
Executive Director, Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA)
Steve Sewell
Steve Sewell
Executive Vice President, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA)
Deborah McGill Smith
Deborah McGill Smith
Vice President, Industrial Brokerage & Consulting Cushman & Wakefield/EGS Commercial Real Estate
Amelia Hall Stehouwer
Amelia Hall Stehouwer
Research Manager, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
Amy Sturdivant
Amy Sturdivant
Director of Business Recruitment, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
Joe Sumners
Joe Sumners
Executive Director, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
Mike Swinson
Mike Swinson
Director of Economic Development, Spire
Galen Thackston
Galen Thackston
Regional President, Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood (GMC) South
Laith Wardi
Laith Wardi
President, ExecutivePulse, Inc.
Jason Wilson
Jason Wilson
Founder and CEO, Back Forty Beer Company
Tess Winningham
Tess Winningham
CEO and Co-Founder, Alignment Simple Solutions
Sharon Younger
Sharon Younger
President and Founder, Younger Associates, LLC

Registration Fees:

  • Week 2 only fee: $700.
  • Final deadline to register for Week 2 is September 2, 2022.
  • Register


Intensive Economic Development Training Course – Week Two

  • Dates: September 12-15, 2022
  • Location: The Hotel at Auburn University, Auburn, AL – Map/Directions
  • Hotel Reservations:
    • Our host hotel, The Auburn University Hotel & Dixon Conference Center, is now full.
    • The Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau has a helpful tool to assist you with finding and booking available rooms.
    • You can access this tool here

Attendance and Participation: It is the policy of the Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI) and IEDC that the entire course must be taken in order to receive full credit and/or qualify to take the exam at the end of the class. All program attendees are encouraged to benefit fully from the course by asking questions, relating experiences and thoughts, and otherwise ensure that they understand and can apply techniques and ideas offered by the instructors.


Registration/Cancellation Rule:

Provided that space is available, receipt of the registration form, email or online enrollment constitutes registration. Written cancellations, received fifteen (15) working days prior to the beginning of the program will be honored with a partial refund of the registration fee, but will be assessed a $50 administrative charge. Due to commitments to instructors and meeting facilities, late cancellations or non-attendance will not be refunded, and full payment is required. Substitutions for registered participants may be made at any time.

If you have questions about enrollment, invoices or payments, or cancellations for the Intensive Course , please email GEDI@auburn.edu, or call 334-844-4782. Thank you.

Certificates and Attendance Policy:

Session I participants will receive a certificate of completion for the IEDC-accredited Auburn University Basic Economic Development Course. Participants who attend both Sessions I and II will receive a certificate of completion for the Intensive Economic Development Training Course. Only illness, a family emergency, or a business emergency constitute an excused absence.

Attendance and Participation: It is the policy of the Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI) and IEDC that the entire course must be taken in order to receive full credit and/or qualify to take the exam at the end of the class. All program attendees are encouraged to benefit fully from the course by asking questions, relating experiences and thoughts, and otherwise ensure that they understand and can apply techniques and ideas offered by the instructors.

Thanks to our Partners:

Spire Gas logo

Insyteful
Alabama Power


Break Sponsors:

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority
Retail Strategies
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative - A Touchstone Energy Cooperative
Sain Associates
Southeast Gas

For more information about the course, please contact:

Email: gedi@auburn.edu
Phone: 334-844-4782
Fax: 334-844-4709

Last Updated: August 31, 2022