GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute
Economic and Community Development Training Program for Alabama

The GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute educates and engages economic development professionals, elected officials, and other community leaders about key issues in economic and community development.

Courses can be taken on a stand alone basis, but the focus will be to have students earn an GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Certificate* to obtain a well-rounded education. Classes will utilize economic development practitioner experts as instructors and panelists so elected officials and other program participants learn about local resources and issues and build relationships with key local/regional economic development leaders.

  • *To earn a GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Certificate, participants must complete 4 courses & attend at least one summer or winter EDAA Conference. Courses are presented by GEDI and conferences are presented by EDAA. Once an EDAA Conference is attended, please send your verification of attendance to us at gedi@auburn.edu and we will update your transcript to indicate you have met the conference attendance requirement.
  • Courses can be taken on a stand alone basis, but participants are encouraged to take multiple courses to earn the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Certificate.
  • Classes will utilize regional economic development practitioners as instructors and panelists and will be offered in locations around the state.
  • Continuing Education Requirements: two GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute courses every two years.
  • Re-certification credit: Students who have already earned their GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute certificate can attend these courses for re-certification credit as long as they have not previously attended the same course.

2024 GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Course Topics

As part of the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute, we are offering the following courses. See below for the dates and locations.

  • The Use of Data, Information, and Technology for Economic Development
  • March 6, 2024 - Virtual

  • Are you interested in leveraging technology to better manage EDO data, projects, and relationships?
  • Are you using good business intelligence research to boost recruitment, retention, and expansion efforts?
  • How can you identify industry sectors with the highest potential for local / regional economic growth?
  • Are your local companies taking advantage of VR and XR to improve workforce training?


  • 10:00 – 10:15 Welcome and & Participant Introductions
    10:15 – 11:30 The Use of Technology for Economic Development: from AI to VR and Marketing to Site Visits
    Linda Mosely
    Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer 365 Degree Total Marketing
    11:30 – 12:15 Lunch Break
    12:15 – 1:20 The Use of Data and Information for Economic Development in 2024
    Sharon Younger
    Founder Younger Associates, Inc.
    1:20 – 1:30 Break
    1:30 – 2:15 Case Studies
    2:15 – 2:25 Break
    2:25 – 3:35 Best Practices from Across Alabama

    PANEL MEMBERS:
    Matt Arnold; President/CEO, Marshall County Economic Development Council
    McCall Lugo; Economic Development Manager, Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance
    Rachel Madore; Senior Project Manager of Business Intelligence and Resources, Alabama Department of Commerce
    3:35 – 3:45 Break
    3:45 – 4:30 Your Turn
    Participants share challenges, ideas, and successes - and learn from one another.
    4:30 Adjourn

    Download Agenda (PDF)

    Upcoming GEDI-EDAA Leadership Courses:

  • Economic Development Financing and Deal Structuring
    April 10, 2024 - Auburn
  • The Site Selection Visit: Best Practices from the Pros
    June 11, 2024 - Prattville
  • Keys to Extraordinary Results in Ordinary Communities
    November 12, 2024 - Auburn



    Upcoming EDAA Conferences:

    This conference is not an Auburn University coordinated event, but attendance at an EDAA winter or summer conference is a requirement for completion of the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Program. Attendees must register at www.edaa.org. A separate conference fee applies which is paid directly to EDAA.

    Once an EDAA Conference is attended, course participants must provide GEDI with proof of attendance at gedi@auburn.edu so we may update your transcript and credit your conference attendance toward your program completion requirements. Program certificates of completion are usually awarded at the EDAA Summer Conference and mailed to those who do not attend. If you are planning to attend a summer conference to complete your program requirements, please let us know in advance so that we can recognize your achievement at the conference.

    • 2024 EDAA Summer Conference: July 21 - July 24, 2024
      The Grand Hotel Resort & Spa
      1 Grand Boulevard
      Point Clear, AL

    **Re-certification credit: Students who have already earned their GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute certificate can attend the Intensive Economic Development Training Course for re-certification credit as long as they have not previously attended.

  • Tuition for each course is $125.00 per person. Call 334-844-4782 for more information.


    Registration/Cancellation Rule

    Receipt of the registration form, email or online enrollment constitutes registration. Written cancellations, received fifteen (15) working days prior to the beginning of the program will be honored with a partial refund of the registration fee, but will be assessed a $50 administrative charge. Due to commitments to instructors and meeting facilities, late cancellations or non-attendance will not be refunded, and full payment is required. Substitutions for registered participants may be made at any time.

    *NOTE: Please be aware that there have been some changes to our online registration process and you will be prompted to enter a user name and password when registering online as a RETURNING USER. If you have taken previous GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute classes and need to be given your user name and password, or need any assistance registering, please call GEDI TRAINING at 334-844-4782 or email at gedi@auburn.edu. If you have not taken classes with us before and this is your first time registering, you will need to create an account. Contact our office to handle new account creations by phone to expedite your enrollment.

    A partnership between EDAA and GEDI to educate and engage elected officials, economic development board members, and other community leaders about key topics in economic and community development. Courses can be taken on a stand alone basis, but the focus will be to have students earn an GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Certificate of Completion to obtain a well-rounded education. Classes will utilize economic development practitioner experts as instructors and panelists.

    The program will educate and energize our leaders and elected officials so that they can play key roles in making their communities better places to work and live.

    Participation in the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute will broaden your knowledge and understanding of the economic development process; foster understanding of and teamwork between all parties involved with economic development; add to your credibility and effectiveness; give your community a competitive advantage to attract and retain business and industry and thus help to create stronger communities and economies.

    Several courses will be offered each year and the EDAA Conference is held twice a year. To earn their certificate students must take 4 GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute courses and attend at least one summer or winter EDAA Conference. Courses will be hosted by GEDI.

    You must register for conferences directly with EDAA at www.edaa.org.. Once you attend a conference you must provide us with proof of conference attendance at gedi@auburn.edu so that we can update your transcript and note that this program requirement has been met.

    Students have 3 years after enrollment to earn their certificate. Several courses will be offered each year and the EDAA Conference is held twice a year, so you should be able to complete the program in a timely fashion depending on your schedule and availability to attend classes.

    Courses will be offered in online or in person formats, depending on demand and availability. In 2024, we are offering one class in a virtual format and three classes in person.

    While it is strongly recommended that students complete Essentials of Economic Development first, it is not required that the courses be completed in any specific order.

    Tuition for each course is $125.00 per person unless otherwise noted on the registration page.

    In order to be re-certified students must complete two GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute courses every two years. Students may re-take a course they have already completed at any time, but they will not receive re-certification credit for a course completed previously.

    Absolutely! If you have a group of people who all want to train together, we will work with you to offer classes tailored to your schedule at times and locations that are convenient for you. Some minimum enrollment numbers and fees may apply and you may also be eligible for a group discount, so please contact GEDI at 334-844-4782 to discuss your options and schedule training.

    Receipt of the registration form, email or online enrollment constitutes registration. Written cancellations, received fifteen (15) working days prior to the beginning of the program will be honored with a partial refund of the registration fee, but will be assessed a $50 administrative charge. Due to commitments to instructors and meeting facilities, late cancellations or non-attendance will not be refunded, and full payment is required. Substitutions for registered participants may be made at any time.

    For more information or for group discounts please contact:

    Last Updated: February 21, 2024