Illinois BEDC BASIC Economic Development Course - established 1968

Accredited by the International Economic Development Council 

Your Guide to Becoming a Trusted Economic Developer

Join over 1,600 alumni

Illinois Basic Economic Development Course

"This course is great....providing
the professional economic development education I need to best serve my community."

Illinois Basic Economic Development Course
Illinois Basic Economic Development Course

The Illinois BEDC Course is in person at Nicor Gas Headquarters

Next Course:

Four Day Course, October 16 - October 19, 2023

Nicor Gas Headquarters, Naperville, Illinois

Nationally Accredited BASIC Course for Early-Career Economic Developers, Planners, City Managers, and Elected Officials

Our goal is simple

To provide a comprehensive accredited Economic Development education for professionals with LESS than 10 years of experience, and individuals dedicated to expanding their economic development knowledge.

Since 1968, the Illinois Basic Economic Development Course has been a leader in economic development training for professionals from around the country. The course follows the curriculum guidelines for accreditation by the International Economic Development Council and the principles of educator, national economic development leader, and mentor, Dr. Robert Koepke, CEcD, who managed the program for over 25 years. The course is also approved for APA AICP CM points.

Illinois Basic Economic Development Course

Your Faculty

The nationally renowned Illinois Basic Economic Development Course is instructed by 20 experienced and successful Professionals. First-hand knowledge is shared by practitioners (each with at least 15 years of experience) who have worked in several different states around the country. You will learn from professionals that are certified CEcD economic developers, AICP Planners, and SIOR Real Estate executives.

Chris Manheim, CEcD, MA, President, Manheim Solutions

Patrick Hoban, CEO, Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

Diane Lupke, CEcd, FM, President of Lupke and Associates

John Greuling, President & CEO, Will County Center for Economic Development and the Will County Chamber of Commerce

Winsley Durand, Executive Directorof the Reach Initiative at the Greater Omaha Nebraska Chamber of Commerce

Kim Ewoldsen, Director of Regional Economic Development and Illinois Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College

Amy Lambert, Executive Director Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance

Brad Fletcher, Vice President, Illinois Finance Authority

Ed Sitar, Manager of Economic and Busienss Development for ComEd

Nancy Norton Ammer, President and CEO at Grundy Economic Development Council

Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM, Founder and Lead Consultant at Ronnie L. Bryant, LLC

Jerry Szatan, Szatan & Associates

Mike Kirchoff, CEcD, FM, President and CEO of North Central Illinois Economic Development Corporation

Chris Gary, SIOR, Senior Vice President, NAI Hiffman

Pamela Lopez-Fettes, Executive Director of Growth Dimensions

Cheryl Welge, Economic Development Manager for Ameren Illinois 

Matt Frank, Director of Economic Development for the Village of Schaumburg

Bernie Anderson, Manager, Community Relations and Economic Development for Nicor Gas

Michael Cassa, Economic Development Director, Village of Sugar Grove

Rich FramptonExecutive Vice President of Capital Project Financing at the Illinois Finance Authority

Pete FullertonAssistant Director for Commercial Properties & Development at the Illinois Finance Authority

Brian GayPresident & CEO of Invest Aurora

Alyson GradyActing Deputy Director for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Regional Economic Team

Sally HanleyDirecor of Business Assistance/Foreign-Trade Zone, Greater Peoria Economice Development Council

Christine JeffriesPresident of the Naperville Development Partnership

Jennifer ScheriDirector, Dislocated Workers' Center at Illinois Valley Community College

Chuck FaushDirector Economic Development, Nicor Gas

Teresa NortilloPresident and CEO, Nortillo Consulting Group (NCG)

Illinois Basic Economic Development Course

Our Staff

Chris Manheim, CEcD, MA - Course Director

Chris has more 45 years of experience in state and local government, education. In 2008 he formed Manheim Solutions, Inc., working with small suburbs and rural community economic development programs across the country.  A second specialization is workforce development job skill assessment consulting, working closely with education, workforce boards and businesses. Chris became a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) in 1996 and an ACT Authorized WorkKeys Job Profiling Consultant in 2009. For 25 years, he managed economic development organizations including The Joliet Jr. College (IL) Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Grundy County Economic Development Council and the Economic Development Department for the Elgin (IL) Area Chamber of Commerce.

Manheim is the new Director of the Illinois BEDC, specifically at the request of Ivan Baker, the outgoing Director. Like Ivan, Chris was mentored by Dr. Robert Koepke, who invited him to be a presenter in 1997. Since 1984, Manheim has been active with the IEDC in various volunteer capacities, including the Certification and Education Committee.  He served as the President and as a of the Mid-America Economic Development Council from 1993-1994, and a Board member from 1989-1993 and 2000 -2003. A member of the Illinois Economic Developer Association (IEDA) since 1988, Manheim was on its Board of Directors and served on various committees.

He has also been active with the International Council of Shopping Centers Illinois Alliance, CoreNet Global Midwest, AIRE Brokers, SIOR, and many other advisory and working committees.

Cindy Cobetto is the administrative coordinator for the Illinois BEDC.

Cindy is a Coordinator in the  Office of Online Services and Educational Outreach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. For registration questions, contact Cindy at (618) 650-2164 or


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