Past Community: Richardson Economic Development Partnership
CEcD Coursework: IEDC
CEcD Since: January 2016
Time to CEcD: 5 years
What most surprised you about the certification process:
To be honest with you, I didn’t feel like there were any surprises. We were told through IEDC mentors at the primer that the test is pretty straight forward, that if you study the material, if you read the books, you’ll be prepared. And that turned out to be true. There really is no just skating by. There’s a lot of material and you frankly need to read it all. And that’s what I did and I felt that the test, after preparing for it like that, was manageable. It was straight forward. I didn’t feel like I was being tricked or misled. I thought that there really were no surprises. You put the work in and you should be successful.
If you could choose one thing, what is your most successful economic development tactic?
I’d say for me, it’s the external facing engagement that we do as economic developers. So it’s engagement with brokers and forming a relationship with the real estate community. We had these quarterly events called Broker Developer Luncheons where we would invite the Dallas-Forth Worth commercial real estate community out to have lunch and listen to a speaker at a vacant or an available Richardson property. And so it benefited the property owners by creating some awareness for that building and creating some visibility. And it helped the brokers community by seeing the inventory that we have in Richardson. And then also just professional development of meeting their peers, hearing from thought leaders. And then it helped us because it helped us create that relationship with commercial real estate brokers.
I would tell them that yes you really need to read the books. I have a feeling that the pass rate is as low as it is because people don’t believe that you actually have to read all that content. And I understand that it seems a little overwhelming at first. Those books are pretty thick. But my advice is that yes, you read the bullet points, make note cards, know the material. You need to know it.
It’s worth the investment because it makes you more marketable, more competitive as a candidate. And it helps add credibility for our profession to make it a recognized field. I would do it. It’s worth it. It proved being worth it to me.