Message from NCEDA President Patricia Mitchell

Message from NCEDA President Patricia Mitchell

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
– Abigail Adams


Economic development is both a profession and a process, and it has grown increasingly complex in recent decades. Businesses navigate a complicated maze of factors on their path toward profitability, and economic developers are tasked with helping guide them. In this role, we are joined by attorneys, engineers, curriculum designers, transportation planners, utility personnel and other specialists. The room gets crowded, but when this technical talent comes together, communities win jobs and investment.


As a college professor, students expect me to instill knowledge they can readily apply through the course of their careers. But it’s amazing how much I learn from them in return. Education, more often than not, is a two-way street. Sharing insight, whether as instructors or learners, leaves both sides with a firmer understanding of the subject matter.


NCEDA provides the platform for both formal and informal interactions that enhance our understanding of what success requires. Our conferences and professional development events gather brainpower from around the state and beyond. Complementing that outside expertise are the practitioners in the trenches whose perspective also needs to be heard. That means you!


We hope as you plan for the coming 12 months you’ll engage NCEDA’s professional development programs, which are designed and executed by a committee of seasoned practitioners in touch with the latest trends and challenges. Equally valuable learning opportunities are also available through our partners like the NC Rural Center, The UNC School of Government and ECU’s Economic Development Academy.


Knowledge is key to success in economic development, and that involves actively engaging professional development programs. NCEDA is the ideal portal for doing that. As teachers or learners, we all must work to ensure North Carolina’s economic development network is as well-informed, well-trained and well-equipped as that of any state in the country. For professionals across our field, education is an opportunity and obligation that never ends.


Best wishes,
Dr. Patricia Mitchell, CEcD