Q. Is membership in MEDA corporate or individual?
A. All memberships in MEDA are by individual.
Q. Can someone in my company attend a MEDA function at the member rate if I am the member?
A. Member rates are reserved as a benefit for our members. A nonmember rate is available for those who not members.
Q. Can I transfer membership to someone else to use for an event?
A. Membership is not transferrable.
Q. How long does membership last?
A. Members are inducted at either a quarterly meeting or at the annual meeting. Membership begins with your induction and ends on the first June 30 that follows your induction, unless you are inducted in April or June. In that case, your renewal is not required until the second June 30 following your induction.
Q. What is the cost of dues?
A. For the first year, dues are $200. Every renewal year, dues are $175. Please see the website for student rates.
Q. Do I get membership in any other organizations through my MEDA membership?
A. Membership fees cover MEDA dues only. You can, however, attend IEDC courses at the IEDC member rate for any courses offered in Maryland. This does not include any IEDC conferences. Please speak directly to IEDC about their process for receiving this benefit.
Q. How many conferences does MEDA conduct each year?
A. There are three quarterly conferences (one in each January, April, and September/October) and our Annual Conference in late April/early May.
Q. Where are the conferences held?
A. MEDA conferences are always held in the state of Maryland. The Program Development Committee and Board of Directors make every effort to conduct the meetings in different counties and cities of the state in order to make attendance convenient for everyone.
Q. What does it cost to attend a MEDA conference?
A. Currently, cost for the quarterly conferences is $65 for MEDA members and $85 or $100 for nonmembers, depending on location. The Annual Conference is currently priced at $375, which includes meals.
Q. What is “certification”?
A. Certification, or CEcD, is a designation given to someone who is a Certified Economic Developer. Someone who is certified has completed a course of study in the field of economic development and passed a two-day exam that includes written and oral tests.
Q. Who gives certification to an economic developer?
A. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the organization that oversees the conveyance of the designation.
Q. What courses do I have to take to achieve certification?
A. There are required courses and electives that together allow you to accumulate a certain number of credits which, when completed, prepares you for the exam. All the courses are listed at the IEDC website.
Q. What’s the “Basic Course”?
A. The Chesapeake Economic Development Basic Course (Basic Course) is a five-day course of study in the topics covered by any economic developer in his or her profession. Two-hour classes are conducted throughout the five-day period in subjects such as business attraction and retention, marketing for economic development, finance for economic development, small business development, etc.
Q. I don’t have a travel budget and can’t go out of state to take courses. Are there any other options?
A. Yes! MEDA leadership has arranged with IEDC to conduct at least three courses in Maryland every year. In addition, members can apply for a Lofton Scholarship to pay for the tuition. Please see the MEDA website’s Professional Development page to find out which courses are being offered this year.
Lofton Scholarship Fund
Q. What’s the Lofton Scholarship?
A. The Lofton Scholarship is a grant program designed by MEDA leadership to pay tuition for MEDA members to attend qualified courses. The grant is named after Michael S. Lofton, CEcD, former deputy secretary at DBED, former executive director of MEDA, MEDA life member, and MEDA Hall of Fame recipient.
Q. How often can I apply for the Lofton Scholarship?
A. MEDA members can receive one scholarship per year.
Q. What qualifications do I have to have to get a scholarship?
A. You have to be a MEDA member in good standing.
Q. Do I need to submit any paperwork to be awarded the scholarship?
A. Create an email that indicates your interest in receiving a scholarship for a particular course along with the date of the course. Attach your resume and a letter from your supervisor stating his or her support of efforts toward certification or professional development enhancement. Make sure the letter is on letterhead and that it is signed. You can scan it and attach.
Q. Can I use the Lofton Scholarship if I am not interested in certification?
A. Yes. The fund was created to assist MEDA members with their professional development.
Q. How can I get involved with MEDA leadership?
A. There are a number of ways to become involved with MEDA. However, we recommend that you serve on a committee that best suits your talents. There are six committees, and each has a commitment level, knowledge requirement, and attendance schedule. The committees are Membership, Program, Awards, Professional Development, Business Development, and Marketing.