Tyler Economic Development Council (TEDC) continues to pursue organizational excellence as two more professional staff members earned their Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation. This brings the total number of Certified Economic Developers on staff to three.
Felecia Herndon, TEDC Executive Vice President, Finance and Operations, and Victor Valle, TEDC Vice President- Economic Development, received their CEcDs on March 25, 2022, after sitting for a two-day exam, which consisted of both a written portion and an oral interview. The historical pass rate on the CEcD exam is just 41 percent.
“TEDC is very proud of Felecia’s and Victor’s professional commitment toward earning this prestigious certification,” said Scott Martinez, CEcD, TEDC President and CEO. “Our goal is to eventually have all our economic development professionals certified as a commitment to providing exceptional economic development service to Tyler and Smith County.”
The CEcD is the industry gold standard for excellence in the profession, awarded by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest professional organization for economic developers with 5,000 members worldwide. Candidates must have at least four years of consecutive, paid, full-time economic development-related experience before applying for the exam.
"We congratulate the Tyler Economic Development Council’s Felecia Herndon and Victor Valle for attaining the Certified Economic Developer designation,” Texas Economic Development Council President Carlton Schwab said. “They join the elite ranks of 1,100 people worldwide who represent the very best skills, conduct, and results in our economic development profession. The Tyler Economic Development Council also is certified as an Accredited Economic Development Organization by the International Economic Development Council. These standards of professionalism demonstrate their dedication to elevating the economy of Tyler and Smith County, and we are proud to call the Tyler Economic Development Council one of our most valued and effective partners.”
The CEcD exam establishes a baseline of core knowledge for economic developers. Earning this highly sought-after certification demonstrates that the economic developer has a comprehensive knowledge base to perform at the top level in the profession.
Felecia Herndon manages our Revolving Loan Fund programs, Tax Abatement and Tax Increment Financing programs, the state-designated Enterprise Projects, and other financial incentives offered by TEDC to businesses locating and expanding in Tyler and Smith County.
“I feel honored to have received this acknowledgment from my peers,” said Herndon. “Becoming a Certified Economic Developer allows me to better serve our community, empowering me with the knowledge and the tools to work with local and state partners to promote economic development.”
Victor Valle works to recruit companies to Tyler and Smith County in his business development role. Additionally, Victor is focused on marketing the region to prospective companies, enhancing the brand awareness of TEDC, and promoting the positive perceptions of Tyler and Smith County.
“TEDC’s goal is to attract new jobs and investment to Tyler and Smith County,” said Victor. “In order to leverage our resources and effectively meet our mission, we as an organization must remain innovative and utilize best practices. By earning my CEcD, I gained more expertise to help our team continue to compete in today’s global economy.”