Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development Reaccredited

One of only 50 accredited in the world

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

​The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) announced that the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development has once again been recognized as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) – one of 50 in the world. Originally accredited in January 2005, the organization has been reaccredited three times since.

"This accreditation validates that the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is at the top of its field worldwide," said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. "Thanks to an incredible staff and supportive leadership from the city, the department continues to be the benchmark for efficiency, effectiveness and creativity." 

IEDC president and CEO Jeff Finkle said, "The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development displays the professionalism, commitment and technical expertise that is deserving of this honor."

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

Earning accreditation demonstrates that the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development has attained a measure of excellence and increased credibility with stakeholders, including local leaders and global clients.

Maintenance of the AEDO status is required every three years and is accomplished through documentation submission and onsite visits by an AEDO subcommittee.

The International Economic Development Council is the largest membership association serving economic and community development professionals in the world. With more than 4,500 members nationwide and abroad, the council the economic development profession one source for information and professional development, one voice for the profession and one force for advocacy. For more information, visit

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2016 and is one of only 50 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit

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