BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development Undersecretary Anne G. Villa has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council. This recognition denotes a mastery of skills in economic development and professional attainment, and a commitment to personal and professional growth.
With eight years of direct experience in economic development, Villa administers LED’s offices of management and finance, human resources, performance management and reporting, entertainment industry development, and business incentives.
“Undersecretary Anne Villa leads many vital operations here at LED, and her commitment to the economic development profession in Louisiana is further validated by this prestigious CEcD accreditation,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Economic developers use this accrediting process to hone their skills to improve opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities. I congratulate Anne on this significant accomplishment, which reflects well on all of us at LED as we continue our work of cultivating jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana.”
The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession. Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to demonstrate leadership that builds upon and maximizes the economic development sector. There are more than 1,100 active CEcDs in the U.S.
To earn the designation, experienced economic development professionals must complete six training courses, then pass a rigorous and comprehensive examination that tests knowledge, proficiency and judgment in 11 key areas. Villa focused her efforts on business retention and expansion, finance and credit analysis, marketing and attraction, strategic planning, managing economic development organizations, real estate development and reuse, and workforce development strategies.
Before joining LED, Villa spent more than 20 years in the private sector, most recently as vice president of operations and finance for MDI Entertainment LLC, a Scientific Games company, where she managed daily operations, vendor relations, customer service, strategic planning and forecasting. She also served in the logistics industry for 10 years as a finance manager for Exide Technologies and Ryder Systems Inc. She holds a B.B.A. in accounting from Georgia State University and is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Government Financial Manager.
The International Economic Development Council is a nonprofit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, members are employed in a wide variety of settings, including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. To learn more, visit IEDConline.org.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 10,700 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.