UT Center for Industrial Services Certifies 100th Economic Developer

The University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS) recently graduated the 18th class of its Tennessee Certified Economic Developer (TCED) Program.  This cohort brings the total number of Tennessee certified economic developers to 106.


“We are thrilled to have crossed the threshold of 100 Certified Economic Developers in Tennessee” said UT CIS Economic Development Director Kim Denton.  “This is a significant milestone in helping communities across the state be better prepared for economic growth.”

Graduation was held at the IPS Training Center in Nashville. Graduates presented their Capstone Projects, which is the final requirement to achieve the TCEcD designation. TCED candidates completed a week-long Basic Economic Development Course and a series of six core courses pertinent to economic and community development for a total of 92 instructional hours.  The TCED Program provides participants a broad-based knowledge of economic trends, tools and core components required to compete in today’s global economy.



The Fall 2023 TCED graduates are:


  • Kimberly Anderson, a grant writer with Monroe County Government. Her project title was Utilizing Main Street to Encourage Downtown Revitalization.

  • John Bamber, former executive director of Rhea County Economic & Tourism Council. His project title was Worth the Climb – Diversifying Outdoor Recreational Tourism in a Rural Community.

  • Kelsey Dansby, development coordinator with the Tennessee Central Economic Authority. Her project title was Economic Impact of a Port in Rural Middle Tennessee.

  • Autumn Derrick, East Tennessee regional apprenticeship director for Apprenticeship Tennessee. Her project title was Selling Your Workforce Story in a Tight Labor Market.

  • Christian Gullott, executive director for government affairs for Bridgestone Americas, Inc. His project title was Spring into Action: A Global Mobility Solutions/Manufacturing Company’s Site Selection & Strategic Investment in the Future of EVs.

  • Jordan McKenzie, former principal planner with Memphis/Shelby County. His project title was Working While It’s Day: Economic Development and the Black Church Influence in Tennessee.

  • Amy Napoli, senior economic and community development officer for the Greater Nashville Regional Council. Her project title was An Analysis of Barriers to Employment and Wraparound Services in Northern Middle Tennessee. 

  • John Rose, economic development director for the city of Kingsport. His project title was Infill Development on a Brownfield Site – the city of Kingsport.

  • Sarah Shelby, business retention and expansion specialist for the city of LaVergne. Her project title was Economic Development through Educational Partnership: Creating a Future Workforce. 


 “All of our Tennessee certified economic developers made a serious commitment to achieve this designation,” Denton said. “They now will be able to use this in-depth knowledge to benefit their communities and regions.”


New graduates will be invited to join the TCED Alumni Group, which provides continuing education and networking opportunities several times throughout the year. 

Contact: Kim Denton, CEcD, CIS, (865) 974-8464 or kim.denton@tennessee.edu

TCED Fall 2023 graduates


Tags Economic Development