BATON ROUGE, La. - Today, Louisiana Economic Development announced that Skip Smart, LED's director of community development, has been appointed board chairman for the Community Development Council, a national accrediting body.
Smart, a 10-year LED employee, has spearheaded the department's community competitiveness initiative and leads the Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program, all aimed at making Louisiana's communities more skilled at business development.
The Community Development Council manages professional accreditation for community developers and advances national standards for the profession. Smart and the board of directors will provide organizational oversight and policy guidance for the Professional Community and Economic Developer certification. His appointment is active for the next year.
Smart's board oversees a certification process that identifies core skills and integrates them with professional development opportunities, certification study materials, testing of knowledge, demonstration of applied learning, and a method for recertification beyond the initial three-year period. The Community Development Council also provides curricula, marketing and training programs for five Community Development Institutes across the nation. Smart is a 1994 graduate of the Community Development Institute based at the University of Central Arkansas, and he serves on that institute's advisory board.
Smart is a certified Professional Community and Economic Developer. Prior to his LED appointment in 2001, he served 13 years as executive director of the Livingston Economic Development Council, based in Denham Springs, La. His accomplishments included the location in Livingston Parish of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, or LIGO, a $350 million project of the National Science Foundation; and the formation of the Dixie Business Development Center, a small business incubator.