CEcD Profile: Devin Howland

Devin Howland, CEcD

Director of Economic Vitality

City of Fayetteville, Arkansas


Past Community: Central Arkansas Planning & Development District

CEcD Coursework: OU EDI

CEcD Since: September 2016

Time to CEcD: 10 months

What most surprised you about the certification process:

The support network around you through IEDC and through fellow CEcDs. It was a humbling experience, just going through and getting ready because I wasn’t alone in this.

If you could choose one thing, what is your most successful economic development tactic?

Caring. And it’s that simple. To me this is not an eight to five job. I truly love what I do.


You truly need to want this and you need to be willing to put in the time to absorb the material. This test isn’t easy. It’s not designed to be and it really wouldn’t have the value it does if it was easy.

Right before you take the test, take a week off work. I know that sounds crazy, but if you can take a week off work to do a full review of everything you’ve been studying, you’re going to be all right.

My advice is know the minutiae, know the whole manual. What I did was I did a lot of mind mapping and brain maps. I love those. They really helped me.

My final piece of advice would be, OU EDI, if you can go through their prep course and link up with those other people. If you have a network of people that are taking the test together, that’s great. Form study groups, that’s what we did.

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