Bentley Story Receives Certified Economic Developer Designation

 July 01, 2021

Bentley Story has been awarded the Certified Economic Developer designation by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The CEcD designation is the most prestigious honor of its kind, recognizing excellence in the economic development field. The certification denotes mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment, and a commitment to personal and professional growth. 

Story is the Director of the Business Development Division at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). In his role, he oversees a team of project managers and international representatives who recruit new businesses to Arkansas and help existing businesses grow.

He joined AEDC in 2007 as a project manager and was named division director in 2012.

Since 2012, AEDC’s Business Development Division has shepherded numerous projects into Arkansas, resulting in more than 25,000 jobs and more than $13 billion investment in the state. Notable companies that have located or expanded in Arkansas since 2012 include Sig Sauer, J.B. Hunt, Simmons Foods, Lockheed Martin, Carvana, Hytrol, Amazon, Nice-Pak, Emerson, Fiocchi, Gerber, and Structurlam.

A University of Arkansas graduate, Story holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration and graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

“Bentley’s commitment to excellence has proven to be a valuable asset for our team at AEDC and for the economic development community in Arkansas. As a Certified Economic Developer, Bentley is well positioned to continue to serve as a leader in the field of economic development,” said Clint O’Neal, AEDC Deputy Director and Executive Vice President of Global Business.

O’Neal received the CEcD designation in March 2021.

Candidates for the CEcD designation must demonstrate knowledge and experience in the economic development field and complete a multi-part test. The rigorous, two-day examination focuses on business retention and expansion, finance, marketing, strategic planning, real estate development, workforce development, foreign direct investment and other critical economic development topics.