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UT Shares Economic Development Principles with Local Leaders

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KNOXVILLE — Thirty-nine economic development practitioners and community leaders have completed the Tennessee Basic Economic Development Course (TBEDC) sponsored by the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service (IPS).

The course, now in its third year, is an International Economic Development Council-accredited course in the fundamentals and emerging concepts of economic development. Classes were held May 4-8 in Nashville.

UT has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) for the past couple of years to develop and deploy the course. In just three years, the course has provided training to more than 140 community leaders from Tennessee and other states on the concepts, tools and practices needed to succeed in a complex global economic environment.

“We are confident the resources and leadership of the University of Tennessee along with the TBEDC Advisory Board and other statewide partners have advanced the reputation of the program and will continue to equip economic developers across Tennessee for success,” said Hank Dye, UT vice president of public and government relations.

Sponsors for the 2009 course included Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Tennessee’s Development Districts, and local and regional economic development organizations.

IPS Assistant Vice President Charles Shoopman and IPS Economic Development Specialist Beth Phillips led the program. Both are TBEDC Advisory Board members and each has more than 25 years of experience in economic and community development.

The course — designed for those who participate in economic development at local, state and federal levels — focused on the fundamental concepts, tools and practices needed to succeed in today’s complex economic environment.

“The instructional blend of academics and practitioners, participants from Memphis to Wartburg, and topics from community development to industrial recruiting made this an engaging, stimulating and productive week,” said Dye.

Course topics included trends in economic development; marketing and business attraction; business retention and expansion; workforce development; entrepreneurial and small business development; strategic planning; community development; economic development finance; real estate development; and managing economic development organizations.

“This program means so much to building our state’s capacity to capitalize on its economic and community development potential. We’re convinced the continuing success of the TBEDC will help our state continue to develop strong economic partnerships and attract higher skilled, better paying jobs for all Tennesseans,” said Matt Kisber, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Those who completed the 2009 Tennessee Basic Economic Development Course are:

  • William Baird, mayor of Campbell County
  • Tony Barnes, city manager of Maynardville
  • Douglas Bodary, finance and budget consultant, UT County Technical Assistance Service, Columbia
  • Paul Bowles, executive director of Abbeville County, S.C., Development Services
  • Alan Bridwell, director of marketing and technical services, Johnson City/Jonesborough/Washington County Economic Development Board
  • Karen Brown, regional economic development specialist, ECD, Cookeville
  • Shelia Carroll, administrative assistant, Hohenwald/Lewis County Economic and Community Development, Hohenwald
  • Vance Coleman, mayor of Medina
  • Scott Collins, Newport city administrator
  • Melissa Cox, executive director, Crockett County Chamber of Commerce
  • Kendrick Curtis, community planner, ECD, Knoxville
  • Leigh Anne Downes, director, Life Science Business Development, Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • Christina Drones, director of economic development, Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • Wells Dunlap, economic development project manager, Anderson County, S.C.
  • Andrea Fanta, international project specialist, ECD, Nashville
  • Bobby Franklin, city manager of Lakewood
  • David Gordon, mayor of Covington
  • Julie Graham, president and chief executive officer, Union County Chamber of Commerce
  • Melia Hix, business recruitment coordinator, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Hudson, county executive, Sequatchie County
  • Lee Johnston, executive director, Covington-Tipton County Chamber
  • Kathy Knight, assistant director, Loudon County Economic Development Agency
  • Kelvin Kolheim, existing business consultant, Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • Amanda Mainord, community development planner, Upper Cumberland Development District, Cookeville
  • J.Ed. Marston, vice president of marketing and communications, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Camellia McCormick, president, Greater Van Buren/Spencer Chamber of Commerce
  • James McKinney, owner of McKinney Properties, Evansville, Ind.
  • Tracey Prince, owner of B D T Housing Services Enterprise, Memphis
  • Rena Purdy, director, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce
  • Rita Reagan, assistant director, Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce
  • Bess Rickman, economic development specialist, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce
  • Greggory Ridley, mayor of Bledsoe County
  • Becky Ruppe, county executive, Morgan County
  • Teresa Sanders, executive administrative assistant and special projects coordinator, Southwest Tennessee Development District, Jackson
  • Candace Sneed, BERO enterprise specialist, ECD, Memphis
  • Marty Spears, finance and budget consultant, UT County Technical Assistance Service, Nashville
  • Willie Spencer, mayor of Hardeman County
  • Paul Van Hoesen, director, cTechnology, Inc., Nashville
  • Anne Williams, finance director of Cocke County


Editors: Group photo available upon request.

Category: Announcements