The Program: Different By Design


The AEDL program was years in the making. The level of experts and educators, coupled with core classes that are taught in an immersive, experiential setting, make this the most advanced program of its kind. The program goal: to enhance and expand the skills base of today’s economic development professionals. This is the only program that is sponsored by four leading universities—The University of Alabama, Clemson, TCU, and Southern Mississippi—all working together to deliver the most dynamic, hands-on training program for economic developers.

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Program Advantages

  • Alliance of four major institutions of higher learning
  • Experienced and expert faculty – site consultants, experienced EcD professionals, academic and subject experts
  • Dynamic curriculum designed to meet the challenges of competitive EcD
  • Innovative hands-on, collaborative teaching sessions
  • Smaller class size to ensure active learning (40 people per session)
  • Convenient two-week program—divided into separate weeks

Advanced Training For Today's Mid and Senior Economic Developers

The four universities spent four years researching, analyzing, strategizing, and developing a program specifically designed to meet the needs of a dynamic, fast-paced industry that is continually evolving. Our goal is to expand the skills of today’s leaders so that they will be fully prepared to meet the exciting challenges and opportunities of contemporary economic development.

-Neal Wade, University of Alabama

Our Instructors

The Advanced program faculty includes some of the nation's best and brightest thinkers, strategists and implementers. We have assembled a collection of esteemed economic development educators, consultants, visionaries and practitioners—well-versed in the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the profession.

Robert Hess

Robert Hess

Vice Chairman, Global Strategy Team Leader
Newmark Knight Frank

As a preeminent, sought-after service provider and respected leader in corporate location strategy and site selection, Bob has conducted over 250 assignments around the world. In the Advanced program, Bob coordinates teaching and project competition exercises during the second week.

Hartley Powell

Hartley Powell

Director
South Carolina's Department of Revenue

Recently retired from KPMG as National Practice Leader of the Global Location and Expansion Services practice, Hartley was appointed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley in 2017 as the state’s Director of the Department of Revenue. Hartley’s passion is education, having served as chairman of ACT’s National Workforce Solution Advisory Board. Hartley will lead the “Talent is Today’s Currency” session during the first week.

Dr. Bill Smith

Dr. Bill Smith

Economic Development and Marketing Departments Professor Emeritus
University of Southern Mississippi

Well known and loved by graduates from USM's Economic Development Master's program, Bill will lead the session “Evolving Job Creation Strategies: Thinking Five Years from Now.” Bill stresses application and believes in the ‘back to basics’ approach to improve marketing performance.

David Rumbarger

David Rumbarger

President/CEO
Community Development Foundation, Tupelo/Lee County, Mississippi

With 16 years leading Tupelo (a somewhat Mississippi rural area) to exceptional growth, David has learned unique lessons about leadership in a complex, regional environment. Employing professional and personal lessons, David teaches the session “Leadership in the New Age of Economic Development.” He also serves as mentor-in-residence for those who want to explore leadership lesson applications in their individual situations.

Clark Gillespy

Clark Gillespy

Senior Vice President – Economic Development
Duke Energy

With twenty-five years economic development and site selection experience in the U.S. and Europe, Clark is imminently qualified to lead “The World is Flat: International FDI and Trade in this Changing World” session. His Duke Energy team is responsible for identifying and attracting new and expanding industry to their 7-state service area.

Alex Leath

Alex Leath

Partner
Bradley Law Firm

One of the nation’s foremost experts on project financing and incentives, Alex lead’s the session “Project Financing Options – Outside the Box Thinking.” In addition to a thriving economic development legal practice, Alex has been and is involved in some of the country’s major site location project—Volkswagen, Tesla and Amazon HQ2.

Dr. Rita Kosnik

Dr. Rita Kosnik

Professor
Management and Negotiations, Texas Christian University

With an extensive background in negotiation strategies, Rita leads the “Effective Negotiation Strategies” session. She has won several awards for excellence in executive teaching and is a trained mediator for the State of Texas and a corporate trainer in dispute resolution and negotiations.

Gregg Fraley

Gregg Fraley

Consultant, Trainer, Facilitator, Speaker

Author of Jack's Notebook, Gregg Fraley will lead the class discussion and exercises on Creativity, Innovation and Job Creation. He is a much sought-after speaker having recently addressed the Site Selectors Guild.

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Kate McEnroe

Kate McEnroe

Kate McEnroe Consulting

As one of the country's foremost advisors and consultants on geographic and market position strategies/tactics, Kate will lead the team teaching for “Talent is Today’s Currency” session. As an expert in the process of designing high impact business cases for workforce asset, Kate will help the class examine effective education and workforce principles.

Alexa Chilcutt

Dr. Alexa Chilcutt

Director of Public Speaking
The University of Alabama

Dr. Adam Sharples Brooks

Dr. Adam Sharples Brooks

Assistant Director of Public Speaking
The University of Alabama

Woven into the Advanced program is an interactive session on public speaking and communications. Alexa and Adam are experts in public speaking and lead the class through an effective communications session featuring class presentations and analysis. Public speaking and presentations are central to today’s successful professional and the Advanced course focuses on delivery, mass communication and rhetoric.

Ken Haseley

Ken Haseley

Senior Counselor
The Ammerman Experience

Media relations and effective communications with the media are essential in today’s economic development environment. With Sunshine laws and media transparency, the professional must be able to converse in an effective and understandable format. Ken will lead a half-day interactive media training session.

Karl Kelly

Karl Kelly

Director of Operations
Center for Human Genetics, Clemson University

As a successful entrepreneur, professor, consultant and innovation guru, Karl combines his thirty-five years’ experience to teach a class-book session that examines the impact advanced technology and artificial intelligence has on today’s and future job creation.

Dr. Ed Nichols

Dr. Ed Nichols

Certified Emergenetics
ERI Services Associate

Ed’s energetic and engaging opening session focuses on the class’ individual personality and professional traits and how to use them in economic development. Emergenetics is a leadership, planning and communications tool used in twenty-two countries. Ed’s engaging approach has everyone in the class asking for more.

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Space is limited to 40 participants!

The AEDL program is one-of-a-kind. It is also selective, with applicants needing at least five years' professional economic development experience and a basic certificate. Please apply now to reserve your spot at this exciting two-week program that is becoming the standard in the industry. All economic developers who successfully complete this class will earn a Master Practitioner credential from the four partners universities.

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