Professional Development

Basic Economic Development Course

Each year, AAED partners with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to provide the Basic Economic Development Course. This course provides attendees with a foundational understanding of economic development to grow and enhance community wealth, attract and retain jobs and investment, improve quality of life, and contribute to a strong tax base.

Your experience in this course will include the practical application of concepts through simulated case studies involving real-life challenges in real-life communities.

Who Should Attend

  • Local, Regional, and State-Level Economic Development Practitioners
  • Economic / Industrial Development Board Members
  • Chamber of Commerce Officials
  • Municipal and County Managers and Department Directors
  • Community Planners and Developers
  • State / Local Elected Officials
  • Tribal Leaders
  • Congressional Aides
  • Community Leaders
  • County Commissioners
  • Utility Company Representatives
  • Community / Regional Planners
  • Real Estate Professionals
  • Workforce Development Professionals
  • Poverty Reduction Advocates

Topics Covered

  • Organizing, Planning and Managing Economic Development Initiatives
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Ethics
  • Community Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Workforce Development
  • Real Estate Development and Reuse
  • Infrastructure
  • Managing Economic Development Organizations
  • Business Retention and Expansion

2024 Schedule

Dates: January 22-25,2024
Location: Galvanize Phoenix, 515 E Grant St

Please note: All topics listed will be covered in this BEDC course. However, while dates and times will not change, topics may be reordered to meet scheduling demands.

8:00am – 4:00pm

8:00 – 8:30am Check-in    
8:30 – 9:00am Welcome and Course Introduction Skip Becker & Katie Hurst  
9:00 – 9:30am Introduction to Economic Development Heath Vescovi-Chiordi Elective, 0.5
9:30 – 11:00am Ethics in Economic Development Richard Wilke, CEcD EDE, 1.5
11:00am – 12:00pm Tribal Economic Development Levi Esquerra Elective, 0.5
12:00 – 1:30pm Lunch & Case Study Introduction    
1:30 – 3:00pm Strategic Planning for Community & Economic Development Katherine Hutton, CEcD SP, 1.5
3:00 – 4:00pm Case Study Work Time    

8:00am – 4:00pm

8:00 – 8:30am Check-in    
8:30 – 10:00am Community & Neighborhood Development Evelyn Casuga, CEcD  CND, 1.5 
10:00 – 11:30am Marketing & Attraction in Economic Development Jack Fitchett
Serena Remy
MA, 1.5
11:30 – 1:00pm Lunch & Case Study Work Time    
1:00 – 2:30pm Overview of Infrastructure Kelly Patton
Peter Hjerstedt
Michael Boule
Elective, 1.5
2:30 – 4:00pm Finance for Economic Development Vic Narusis EDF, 1.5

8:00am – 4:00pm

8:00 – 8:30am Check-in    
8:30 – 10:00am Workforce Development Brian Wright
Joel Millman
WD, 1.5
10:00 – 11:30am Business Retention & Expansion John Saltonstall BRE, 1.5
11:30 – 1:00pm Lunch & Case Study Work Time    
1:00 – 2:30pm Managing Economic Development Organizations Kristin Stephenson, CEcD
Jeanine Jerkovic, CEcD
MEDO, 1.5
2:30 – 4:00pm Real Estate Development & Reuse Jeff Robins, CEcD
Jeremy Legg
RED&R, 1.5 

8:00am – 4:00pm

8:00 – 8:30am Check-in    
8:30 – 10:00am Entrepreneurship Victor Gonzalez, CEcD
Diana Vowels
Eric Smith
S&ED, 1.5
10:00 – 11:30am Equity & Inclusion TBD Elective, 1.5
11:30 – 1:00pm Lunch & Case Study Work Time    
1:00 – 2:30pm Case Study Presentations    
2:30 – 3:00pm Judging TBD  
3:00 – 4:00pm Case Study Feedback & Awarding of Certificates    



Ben Warren Memorial Scholarship

Ben Warren worked as an economic developer in Arizona for more than 34 years. Ben was one of AAED’s founding fathers and a charter member. He is credited as being a pioneer in the formation of Arizona’s economic development industry. He served as the organization’s President in 1978-79 and in 1984, Ben received the William W. Lampkin Long Term Excellence in Economic Development award. Ben worked for Salt River Project for 20 years before joining Arizona Public Service in 1987 where he worked as a Senior Economic Development Consultant until his retirement in 2001. Ben passed away in August of 2004 and in 2006, AAED established the Ben Warren Memorial Scholarship to honor his memory.

The Arizona Economic Development course provides intensive training in economic development basics and is designed for individuals who are new to the economic development profession including workforce developers, urban planners, chambers of commerce, community development agencies and Native American tribes.

Tim Kanavel Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Economic Development Professionals

The Tim Kanavel Memorial Scholarship Fund for Emerging Economic Development Professionals was established in 2021 as a memorial of Tim Kanavel. This scholarship is to provide financial assistance to the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) members to attend conferences and professional development opportunities offered by AAED. Donations may be made to the Fund by any donor at any time. AAED will solicit donations at least once a year in recognition and celebration of the contributions of Tim Kanavel to AAED and the State of Arizona. The amount of the scholarships will be determined at the start of AAED’s fiscal year with applications distributed to members. The Professional Education Committee will be responsible for awarding the scholarships.

For more information and to apply for any of these scholarships, contact Katie Hurst at

Scholarship Application

The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) is proud to honor one of its founding members and a past AAED president Ben Warren, and long-time economic development supporter and champion Tim Kanavel by offering the Ben Warren Memorial Scholarship and Tim Kanavel Memorial Scholarship for the Basic Economic Development Course in Arizona.

AAED will award at least two scholarships for the 2024 Basic Economic Development Course in Arizona, which is accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The scholarship will cover the full course tuition fee and meals on course days. Lodging and transportation are not included. More information on the course may be found at:

Course Date: January 22-25, 2024

Location: Galvanize Phoenix, 515 E Grant Street, Phoenix, Arizona


  • Economic development practitioners in the state of Arizona with less than five years of experience.
  • Currently working in the economic development field and includes those working for state or local economic development or workforce agencies (public or private), chambers of commerce, urban planning or community development agencies, Native American tribes, or similar organizations.


  • Potential benefit of training to the applicant’s community/organization

Please submit the following information, along with the application form:

  • Applicability to current occupation and job responsibilities
  • Cover letter addressing each of the selection criteria
  • Current resume
  • Any additional supporting documentation
  • While not required, strong preference will be given to AAED members

The deadline to apply for a scholarship for the January 2024 course is December 22, 2023 by 12:00 PM.


The deadline for the application was December 22 at 12:00 p.m.

The course is accredited by the International Economic Development CouncilThis course qualifies as a professional development training requirement needed to sit for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) examination. 

Phone: (202) 223-7800