Desoto County News

Matheny earns Professional Community and Economic Developer certification

Photo: City of Hernando Community and Economic Development Director Gia Matheny (Courtesy photo)

City officials in Hernando announced on Thursday, March 23 that Gia Matheny, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Hernando, has been recognized as a nationally-certified Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED).  

The PCED designation is available to professional community developers who successfully enlist others, lead collaborative efforts, and utilize all available resources to increase the economic prosperity of their communities. 

Applicants must obtain points based on their education and experience, as well as pass a rigorous exam, in order to receive the designation.

“This is an important achievement for Gia and another benefit she is providing to the City of Hernando,” said Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson. 

Eligibility for the PCED exam requires candidates to be graduates of the Community Development Institute, a three-year program offered at the University of Central Arkansas and an active, paid professional in the community and economic development fields. 

Through the PCED certification, Matheny demonstrated her understanding of field content, her ability to apply appropriate methods and tools to specific community situations, and her capacity to impact economic and social development. There are six active PCED graduates in Mississippi and 158 nationally.

“I am proud to receive the PCED certification and will take back what I have learned through CDI to continue to strengthen our community,” Matheny said.

Community Development Institute (CDI) trains community leaders and economic development professionals on how to strengthen their local economies and build communities. This is achieved by developing the ability of participants to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bring communities, organizations and businesses together to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues.

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