EDC Director named one of the state’s first Certified Economic Developers – The Stanly News & Press


Stanly County Economic Development Commission Director Candice Lowder was one of five members of the North Carolina Economic Development Association to be named North Carolina Certified Economic Developers.

They are the first in the state to receive the designation, according to a NCEDA press release. The program’s inaugural class was recognized at an event at the NCEDA Annual Conference.

Each member of the inaugural class completed 84 contact hours to achieve certification, including courses in data and analytics, innovation and entrepreneurship, retention and expansion, and the legal framework, between others, according to a press release from NCEDA.

The NC Certified Economic Developer program is a partnership between NCEDA and East
The Carolina University Academy of Economic Development, which was launched in 2018.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the first group of certificate recipients,” Lowder said in an email.

EDC Director Candice Lowder. Photo courtesy of Matt Smith with East Carolina University News Services.

Lowder mentioned that the program “offered a range of courses to enhance students’ understanding of economic development theory and best practices in the state of North Carolina” and that it also provided “networking opportunities to broaden and strengthen our peer network with seasoned professionals across the state. “

In addition to teaching hours, each member also had to complete a wrap-up project relevant to their own community in order to complete the program. Lowder’s project “assessed the need and potential for renting a state-owned specification building in the Riverstone Industrial Park.”

Classes began in the fall of 2019, but due to the pandemic, Lowder said, the management team moved to an online platform in early 2020.

“I would like to sincerely thank the leaders of the North Carolina Economic Development Association and the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at ECU for providing the support needed to complete the program in a virtual environment,” said Lowder.

Founded in 1966, NCEDA’s mission is to be “the voice of North Carolina
economic development community – offering professional development, networking
opportunities and advocacy to secure the economic future of the state, ”according to the press release.

The other four NCEDA members who received the designation are:

  • Cathy Barr, Director of Economic Development for Ashe County;
  • Cliff Brumfield, executive director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association;
  • Will Carter, Director of Economic Development for Stokes County; and
  • Mark Lawson, Vice President of Economic Development at the Cary Chamber of

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with SNAP since January 2019. He graduated from the State of North Carolina and received his Masters in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national newspapers via the AP wire.

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