McFadden earns national recognition

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RITZVILLE — Stephen McFadden, Adams County Economic Development Director, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth, according to the International Economic Development Council, which administers the certification.

The CEcD exam was administered by the IEDC on Sept. 29-30 in Atlanta, Ga.

McFadden has served as Adams County’s economic development director since June 2014. He was the publisher of the Ritzville Adams County Journal from 2004 to 2014. During that time, McFadden led an effort to form the Adams County Development Council and served as its charter chairman.

For seven years, he has been a Big Bend Community College Trustee, and he was recently re-appointed to the position by Governor Inslee. He is also member of the North Central Workforce Development Council Board of Directors.

The CEcD designation recognizes qualified practitioners in the economic development field and sets a standard of excellence for the profession, according to the IEDC. Candidates must pass a comprehensive examination, which has three parts and spans two days. The exam tests the skills necessary for an economic developer, involving best management practices that lead to business retention and expansion, including marketing, strategic planning, and others.

Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members 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, according to the IEDC.

There are currently over 1,100 active CEcDs in the United States, but McFadden is the only one currently serving a county in the Columbia Basin, McFadden said.

The IEDC is a non-profit organization the works to serve and nurture economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.

Despite some promising development in Othello, Adams County largely needs a concerted effort to spur growth, McFadden said, and his role as an advisory member of the Adam’s County Economic Development Council positions him to help deal with the challenges the county faces.

— Staff Report

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