Kay Rasmussen, interim president, Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment, and a commitment to personal and professional growth. 

The CEcD board exam was administered by the International Economic Development Council Jan 26 and 27 in Orlando. With more than 14 years of economic development experience, Rasmussen has focused on bridging a gap with municipal jurisdictions strengthening their unity and collaboration with the EDC; co-facilitated the establishment of Okaloosa's first business incubator and continues its management to support entrepreneurial growth in STEM industries; coordinated a county-wide business retention and expansion strategic plan in partnership with regional chambers and municipalities; played a major role in supporting local military installations during 2005 BRAC deliberations at the state and federal levels; and managed numerous grants supporting local infrastructure and economic development initiatives.

“This is a great achievement that took a lot of personal time and study,” said Jim Heald, EDC Fiscal Year 2013 chairman. “Not only will Kay benefit from the experience, but also that knowledge will greatly help our EDC as we move into the future.”

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 and comprehensive three-part, two-day examination, which tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of 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 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 1,297 active CEcDs in the United States.