Dr. Robert Koepke, CEcD, (1936-2011) helped found and lead the Illinois BEDC with his mentor and friend, Dr. Howard Roepke, professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Upon Howard's death in 1985, Bob Koepke directed the Illinois BEDC program, and helped insure its accreditation, growth, and national reputation.
Dr. Koepke was Graduate Professor of Geography at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He was recipient of the Chairman's Award for Economic Development Leadership from the International Economic Development Council, and Richard Preston Award for Educational Merit. Dr. Koepke was Editor of the Economic Development Review and Practicing Economic Development, and past Chair of the American Economic Development Council Educational Foundation. His lifetime passion was to improve the economic development profession and professional as a mentor, a teacher, and leader.
Dr. Koepke told his friends and family, "Helping people help themselves become more capable is what my 'job' in life was all about."
BASIC Economic Development Course - established 1968
Accredited by the International Economic Development Council
Illinois BEDC is held annually in mid-October in METRO CHICAGO. The Next Accredited Illinois Basic Economic Development Course is October 16-20, 2017 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Jason Berry, AICP - Blue Island, IL
Nancy Norton Ammer - Grundy County Economic Development Council, Morris, Illinois
Bernie Anderson - Nicor Gas Economic Development, Bloomington, Illinois
Ivan Baker, CEcD, AICP, FM - Economic Development Corp. of North Central Illinois
Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM - Charlotte Regional Partnership, Charlotte, North Carolina
Tracey Hyatt Bosman, CEcD - Biggins Lacy Shapiro and Company, Chicago, Illinois
Hilary Burkinshaw - CP 504 - Mokena, Illinois
Winsley Durand - Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Omaha, Nebraska
Josh Ellis - Metropolitan Planning Council, Chicago, Illinois
Rich Frampton - Illinois Finance Authority - Chicago, Illinois
Lisa Franklin, CEcD - KCP&L - Kansas City, Missouri
David Gay, CEcD - Small Business Development Center - College of Dupage, Illinois
Chris Gary - NAI Hiffman - Oak Brook, Illinois
John Greuling - Will County Center for Economic Development - Joliet, Illinois
Vicki Haugen - Vermilion Advantage Economic Development - Danville, Illinois
Christine Jeffries - Naperville Development - Naperville, Illinois
Larry Johnson, SIOR - CB Richard Ellis - Oak Brook, Illinois
Michael Kearney, CEcD, EDFP - Ameren Economic Development - St. Louis, Missouri
Jim Kinnett, CEcD, FM - Kinnett Consulting Group - Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Abe Lentner - DevelopmenTopia - Chicago
Diane Lupke, CEcD, HLM, FM - Lupke and Associates - Newton, Wisconsin
Chris Manheim, CEcD - Manheim Solutions, Elgin, Illinois
Ken Marino - Grobar Real Estate Investments - Barrington Hills, Illinois
Amy Murphy - Joliet Junior College Business Training Programs - Joliet, Illinois
Vic Narusis - Illinois Department of Commerce - Chicago, Illinois
Dr. Ed Piatt - Economic Development Professional - Chicago, Illinois
Jim Roolf - First Midwest Bank - Joliet, Illinois
Ed Sitar - ComEd Economic Development - Chicago, Illinois
Alan Tio, CEcD- Northeastern Indiana Partnership - Fort Wayne, Indiana
Ivan Baker, CEcD, AICP - Course Director
Ed Sitar - ComEd Economic Development
Mike Kearney - Ameren Economic Development
Bernie Anderson - Nicor Gas Econ. Development
Jeremy Sowders - Hoosier Energy Econ. Dev.
Cindy Cobetto - SIU-E
Mike Lane - Illinois Economic Development Assoc.
In 1968, the Illinois Basic Economic Development Course was founded by Dr. Howard Roepke, acclaimed national economic development leader and professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Dr. Robert Koepke, CEcD, assisted in the implementation of the program, and led the successful BEDC from 1985 to 2009.
Over 1,600 professionals have graduated from the Illinois BEDC, which is now the second oldest economic development training program in the nation. The 5-day course follows the guiding principles of Dr. Robert Koepke, CEcD, with 32 hours of national-curriculum training. Accredited by the International Economic Development Council, the Illinois BEDC is sponsored by Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, ComEd an Exelon Company, Nicor Gas, Ameren, Hoosier Energy, Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative, and Illinois Economic Development Association. The course is held every October at Nicor Headquarters in Naperville, Illinois. Completion of an accredited BEDC course is a requirement for CEcD Certified Economic Developers.