WMU News

WMU exec named to national economic development council

May 25, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- William H. Cotton, a certified economic development specialist at Western Michigan University has been elected to the national board of directors of the American Economic Development Council, the nation's largest and oldest economic development society.

Cotton is director of the Office of Business Development Services in WMU's Haworth College of Business, a post he assumed in 1985. He also is director of the Michigan Economic Development Course and recently ended a term as president of the Michigan Economic Developers Association. In 1998 the MEDA presented him with its John Conboy award for outstanding contributions to the development profession. A Certified Economic Developer, Cotton earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from WMU.

An active member of the economic development community, Cotton serves on the Advisory Council for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and is past chair of the American Economic Development Council's higher education committee. He is a member of the Michigan Technology Council, the National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers and Action West: Regional Economic Development Initiative.

The American Economic Development Council serves more than 3,000 economic development professionals around the nation. AEDC helps members create sustainable local economic development capabilities that are globally competitive; gives leadership in building knowledge, forming alliances and managing key issues; and services as a career anchor for economic developers who are -- or wish to become -- leaders in the profession. The council administers the Certified Economic Developer program, which awards the CED designation to professionals who pass a three-part certification exam.

Part of WMU's Haworth College of Business, the Office of Business Development Services is an umbrella organization responsible for the administration and oversight of the Southwest Michigan Technical Assistance Center, the Women's Business Development Center, the Office of Professional Programs and the Economic Development Resource Center. These units provide Michigan businesses and economic development organizations with business assistance and program development in areas such as government contracting, workforce development and other initiatives that impact the state's economy.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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