Laura Brown, University of Wisconsin-Extension Associate Professor and Community Development Specialist, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council. Brown conducts applied research and outreach education in UW-Extension’s Center for Community and Economic Development.
Brown has served as UW-Extension Community Development Specialist since December 2010. Previously, she was the Community Development Educator in Crawford County. Before coming to UW-Extension, Brown served as the Director of Education and Community Outreach for the Hartford Food System in Hartford, Connecticut and Director of the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition. Brown earned her M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Communication & Culture from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
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 rigorous examination that tests knowledge, proficiency and judgment in economic development, including business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, real estate, strategic planning, and management.
As highly competent economic development practitioners, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership that builds upon and maximizes 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 approximately 1,000 CEcDs in North America.
The International Economic Development Council serves over 4,600 members and is the world’s largest professional membership organization providing diverse economic development services, including research and advisory services, conferences, professional development and legislative tracking. IEDC provides economic developers with the information and tools they need to build local economies and strives to draw upon and increase the collective expertise and influence of its diverse membership.