Manatee Economic Development Manger receives national accreditation

  • Mar 5, 2015

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 5, 2015) – On the day Manatee County Commissioners learned their incentive package has helped create or save more than 3,700 quality local jobs, they heard another piece of good news about the County’s Economic Development Manager.

 Karen Stewart has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth. 


Cheri Coryea, director of Manatee’s Neighborhood Services Department, delivered the news to Commissioners Tuesday and said Stewart’s efforts have “significantly impacted economic development projects that have resulted in thousands of quality jobs being created or retained in Manatee County.


Manatee County’s incentive package was launched in 2009 in an effort to create high paying jobs in Manatee. These projects will create an estimated 3,424 jobs over a five-year period and retain another 334.The average annual wage is $47,778 or 32 percent more than the county average.


“With this achievement, Karen has put Manatee County in a better position to be a place where site selectors will look to relocate companies,” Coryea said. “Her range of skill and knowledge working with all county departments on behalf of the customer is second to none.  She is highly respected by her colleagues and in the community, region and now within the IEDC for her expertise in economic development.”


The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession.  Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive three-part, two-day examination, which tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of economic development. Stewart took the CEcD exam, and recently learned of the accreditation.


As highly competent economic development practitioners, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector.  Excellence in the economic development profession improves the wellbeing, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities. 


To learn more about Manatee County’s economic development incentive package, visit  For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.