Illinois  BEDC

BASIC Economic Development Course - established 1968

Accredited by the International Economic Development Council 

"We can see a new horizon, built on all that we have done... and our dreams begin another thousand trips around the sun. We go on."

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." 

About Dr. Robert Koepke, CEcD

Faculty Members

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

Tracey Hyatt Bosman, CEcD - Biggins Lacy Shapiro and Company, Chicago, Illinois

Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM - Ronnie L. Bryant LLC Consulting - Charlotte, NC

Hilary Burkinshaw - Small Business Development Consultant - Orland HIlls, 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

Tracye McDaniel - TIP Strategies - Austin, Texas

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

Dr. Ed Piatt - Economic Development Professional - Chicago, Illinois

​Craig Richard, CEcD, FM - ​Tampa Hillsborough EDC - Tampa, Florida

Jim Roolf - First Midwest Bank - Joliet, Illinois

Jennifer Scheri - Illinois Valley Community College - North Central Illinois

Ed Sitar - ComEd Economic Development - Chicago, Illinois

Marcel Wagner, CEcD ​- Great River Economic Development Foundation, Quincy, Illinois

* not all listed faculty members teach each year, depending on curriculum and schedule. 

Illinois BEDC is held annually in mid-October in METRO CHICAGO.   The Next Accredited Illinois Basic Economic Development Course is October  21-25, 2019                   CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Illinois BEDC Course Management Team

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

Rob French - IL Economic Development Assoc.

Ivan Baker, CEcD, AICP, FM - Course Director

Since 2009, Ivan Baker has directed the Illinois BEDC Course specifically at the request of one of his mentors,  Dr. Robert Koepke.  He is one of only 45 dual-certified economic developers and planners in the nation, and was elected as Fellow Member of the International Economic Development Council in 2015 (one of only 120 FM members worldwide.)  Baker has led economic development programs in 7 states since 1980.  With leaders in these cities, he has helped secure over $2.8 Billion in new commercial and industrial capital investments                 (9 million square feet) creating over 34,000 new jobs.   He served 4 terms on the Board of the International Economic Development Council, and has been active with the IEDC Certification and Education Committee for years.  He is also an active leader with the International Council of Shopping Centers Illinois Alliance, and CoreNet Global Midwest.  Baker is currently CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of North Central Illinois....a partnership serving 150,000 citizens in the Illinois Valley west of Chicago.   During a 13 year tenure at Tinley Park Economic Development, the organization became the  First and Only IEDC Accredited Economic Development organization in Illinois,  and was awarded "National Winner for Economic Development Excellence" by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and "America's Best Place to Raise a Family" by Bloomberg Business Week.  As course director, Baker instructs Ethics, Community Development, Management, Marketing and Professional Development.

About Us

"Exceptionally thorough overview of Economic Development, as well as a high quality instructional staff."

     Jason Berry, AICP - Lemont, IL

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.