Congratulations to Sandy Dubay, CEcD: A Sweet Success Story in Economic Development That You Could Have Too!

Recently our colleague, Sandy Dubay, CEcD, of Platinum PR, passed the exam to become a Certified Economic Developer, hence those four hard-earned letters you now see behind her name. We send hearty congratulations from MEDA, and from my standpoint, I couldn’t be any prouder of Sandy’s accomplishments in this regard and in general. To me, she is more than a colleague and partner; Sandy is also a friend. Having known Sandy since at least 1998, I’ve been there for her personal and professional growth, and I’m all the better for witnessing her achievements.

Sandy’s personal journey is hers to tell, but knowing how supportive she is, she would encourage me to use this congratulatory message as an opportunity to share with you how other MEDA members can take a page from her book to expand their own professional development efforts for singular course study or full certification. I’m speaking now to those seeking additional studies and employers/managers of those interested in economic development studies. We have noticed a growing interest in this field, and it is crucial for managers to support their staff in their pursuit of professional growth.

MEDA is here to help in that regard.

MEDA has a winning formula in place for members, and our seasoned Professional Development Committee has identified the necessary ingredients for any member who wishes to expand their course of study or to reach certification. From mentorships and scholarships to online courses and a library of study manuals; we have you covered! It’s important to note that certification may not be suitable for everyone, but if you are involved in economic development, MEDA offers abundant professional development opportunities, and if utilized effectively, our course offerings could lead you to certification if that is your goal.

If you will indulge me, the metaphor of baking a cake comes to mind as MEDA provides all the ingredients, and members (the cooks) need to mix them together to enjoy the result of the final product: Certification.

Here’s how it works:

  • Join MEDA (
  • Get connected to a MEDA Mentor (here’s a quick link to the form to sign up)
  • Work with your mentor to identify the coursework you are required to take and the electives you can opt to take.
  • Get a course of study schedule identifying when and where courses are offered. (It bears repeating that a Mentor really helps)
  • Take 4 required courses. The Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course is offered once per year by MEDA: – Take 2 elective courses
  • If Certification is your goal, take the CEcD Exam Essentials Workshop
  • Use the Lofton Scholarship Fund to help underwrite your tuition. Please note there are application deadlines. Use this link for more info.
  • Work with your mentor and others who are taking the exam to schedule your exam date. (see the link to Essentials Workshop above)
  • Study. This is where the “cook” comes in, big time. The manuals are the key to successful test-taking. MEDA has a library for you to borrow from if you don’t have all the manuals. (Manuals must be returned for the next person to use.)
  • Take the exam. While you’ll be in charge in the kitchen, rest assured that a whole committee of sous chefs provided preparation work along the way, so you’ll be well-prepared.
  • Now, put the icing on the cake and notify MEDA directly or through your mentor when you pass so we can add those credentials behind your name.

We firmly believe that professional skills development holds immense value for our members, and this belief was reinforced when the Lofton Scholarship Fund was established to support the studies undertaken by our members. Even after several years, the fund continues to thrive, thanks to our members’ support through the Silent Auction held annually at the MEDA Annual Conference. We thank all our members for their support in keeping the fund available for our members to pursue their professional development goals.

The MEDA Board made a decision to support the CEcD program for our members and to date we have 21 active members and quite a few who have retired over the years. Please also know that your privacy is very important to us. If you prefer to share your journey only with your mentor and not with others, you can approach someone directly rather than going through our system. We will be here to blow out the candles when you are ready to bring us to the table.

Congratulations once again to Sandy Dubay, CEcD, and to all who have passed the exam.

Still on the fence? Please email or call and I’ll connect you with an expert who can work with you ( or 410-347-1246)

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