Blount Partnership Receives International Economic Development Council Accreditation

Maryville, Tenn. -- Joining an exclusive worldwide group and the first in the state of Tennessee, the Blount Partnership has received accreditation by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO).

The accreditation is the result of a yearlong evaluation requested by the Partnership which not only serves as the economic development agency for Blount County, but also does tourism development though the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority and houses the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, also a five-star accredited organization by the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber Foundation.

The Partnership is the first organization of its type -- one which houses four internal entities – to receive this honor from IEDC.

“This is a proud day for the Blount Partnership,” said Blount Partnership President/CEO Bryan Daniels. “Not only does it reflect well upon our staff, but also our community stakeholders and elected officials who entrust us to use our resources to bring out the best Blount County has to offer.”

The AEDO program is a comprehensive peer review process that measures economic development organizations against international standards in the profession. The accreditation consists of two phases: a documentation review and an onsite visit. Each phase is designed to evaluate information about the structure, organization, operations, funding, program offerings, and staff of the economic development organization seeking accreditation.

Earning the AEDO accreditation assures the community and the development community that the Blount Partnership attained the highest measure of excellence in the profession and assures clients and stakeholders that they will receive a high standard of ethical behavior and professionalism. The Blount Partnership model will be used as a benchmark in the worldwide profession.

“The accreditation process measures the Blount Partnership versus the best in the business,” said Daniels. “To earn the accredited designation through an international economic development leader and practitioner peer review is a tremendous honor. This is the reassurance that Blount County remains best in class in all economic development lines of service.”

Maintenance of the AEDO status is required every three years and is accomplished through documentation submission and/or on-site visits by a team of the AEDO Committee.

The International Development Council is the largest membership association serving economic and community development professionals in the world. With over 5,000 members nationwide and abroad, IEDC offers the economic development, one voice for the profession, and one force for advocacy.

Photo cutline: Blount Partnership Joint Operating Committee Chair Bryan Cable accepts award from IEDC's Joanne Crary.