Chamber President Earns Prestigious Certification

The president and CEO of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce  has earned a prestigious certification.

According to the Camber, Renee Duxler, has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). This certification demonstrates Duxler’s exceptional technical expertise, comprehensive
conceptual knowledge, and mastery of economic development skills and strategies.

Duxler currently holds a bachelors degree in social work from Kansas State University, as well as a masters degree in social work from Newman University. She has been with the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce since August of 2020, working as the organization’s director of economic and workforce
development. Duxler served as the interim president and CEO for the Chamber of Commerce from January through April of 2023, when she was officially named the new president and CEO.

Duxler has been heavily involved in building the Chamber’s community marketing initiatives, strengthening its entrepreneurial outreach, supporting housing and childcare initiatives, and innovating workforce development collaborations with community partners.

“I’m proud of this designation because it not only serves to strengthen my skill set as a professional, but it also continues to add credibility to the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce and our capacity as a catalyst for economic development and growth,” Duxler said.

IEDC is the world’s largest membership organization for economic development professionals, with thousands of members. As a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization, IEDC offers the CEcD designation to strengthen the field with subject matter experts and provide economic developers with
opportunities to broaden their skillsets, with a community of more than 1,200 fellow CEcDs.

As the most prestigious credential in the field, it provides designees with, on average, $25,000 more in annual compensation, with knowledge to transition into higher visibility or more senior roles, a competitive edge in the hiring process, and opportunities to branch into new sectors of economic development.

The CEcD designation establishes an industry benchmark of excellence and signifies the world’s most knowledgeable and dedicated individuals in the field of economic development. It sets the gold standard for professionals who are steadfastly committed to fostering innovation, attracting investment, and
driving economic growth and prosperity within their communities and around the world.

To attain this designation, candidates are required to successfully complete all prerequisite coursework and pass a rigorous and thorough examination that spans two days and consists of three distinct parts. This examination evaluates a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency, judgment, and critical thinking skills
across a range of essential economic development subject areas, including:

• Accelerating growth through entrepreneurship-led economic development
• Business retention and expansion
• Entrepreneurial & small business development
• Finance & credit analysis
• Foreign direct investment & exporting
• Introduction to entrepreneurship-led economic development
• Managing economic development organizations
• Marketing & attraction
• Neighborhood development strategies
• Real estate development & reuse
• Strategic planning
• Technology-led economic development
• Workforce development strategies

Certified Economic Developers serve as catalysts for change within their local communities, bridging the gap and fostering collaboration between public officials, business leaders, and community members.

With an unwavering passion for championing innovative strategies and initiatives, they propel transformative economic growth and elevate community well-being. Their unparalleled expertise and dedication to excellence position them as trailblazers at the forefront of shaping the economic development landscape. Duxler is now one of over 1,200 active CEcDs throughout the world.