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Develop This: Economic and Community Development

Feb 28, 2024

Dennis's organization, Lee County Economic Development Group, recently became an AEDO - Accredited Economic Development Organization through IEDC. Dennis is joined by Bill Murphy - President & CEO of Ardmore Development Authority in Ardmore, OK, and Jim Fram - Consultant and Economic Development Leader - of Community Growth Strategies, and they discuss the process of becoming an Accredited Economic Development Organization. 

  • What is AEDO, and why is it important?
  • How many AEDOs are there?
  • Why does good governance and organizational excellence matter? 
  • When an organization decides to pursue the AEDO designation, what is the first step?
  • Is there an area of the AEDO process that seems to be particularly challenging for ED organizations?
  • Is the AEDO process pass or fail, or does the AEDO committee provide guidance during the process?
  • The two parts of the AEDO process 
    • 1. The documentation
    • The site visit
  • Advice for organizations that are considering becoming an AEDO

William “Bill” Murphy is the President & CEO of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, Ardmore Development Authority, Ardmore Tourism Authority, and the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce Foundation where he leads a team of professionals to execute the community’s business, economic and tourism development efforts.

He has over 20 years of experience leading economic development efforts in communities and regions in Ohio, Georgia, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Prior to coming to Ardmore, Murphy served as the Deputy Secretary for the Kansas Department of Commerce where he led the state’s business development efforts through the department’s business attraction, in-state business development, international and community development divisions. He has also led the economic development efforts in Tulsa, Columbus, GA and in communities throughout Southwest Ohio. Through this work, he has helped facilitate projects with companies that have resulted in more than $3 billion in announced new capital investment and more than 3,000 jobs.

Murphy is a graduate of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio earning his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and his Master’s in Public Administration. He is a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council. Murphy has also earned his designation as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council. Finally, he has earned his Master Economic Development Practitioner designation from the Advanced Economic Development Leadership Program from Clemson, Southern Miss, Texas Christian Universities and the University of New Mexico.


Jim Fram is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) through the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) with 30+ years of successful economic development and senior-level chamber of commerce management experience in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri.

Jim led two economic development organizations to accreditation by the International Economic Development Council (Tulsa, OK, and Hot Springs, AR). He also led three Chambers of Commerce to Five Star Accreditation by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce (Lincoln, NE, Tulsa, OK, Hot Springs, AR).

He has served on the faculty at the Heartland Basic Economic Development Course and the Mid-South Basic Economic Development Course. He is a past Chairman of the Oklahoma Governor’s Economic Development Team (2007). He is an Honorary Life Member of the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) and a Fellow Member (FM) of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He is also a frequent instructor, moderator, and guest speaker at numerous economic development and Chamber of Commerce organizations, conferences, and events across the country.

In January of 2018, he fulfilled a longtime dream and founded Community Growth Strategies, LLC., a consulting firm that focuses on assisting communities as well as regional economic development efforts and chambers of commerce. His office is in his home in Columbia, MO, where his wife, Kelli, is a consultant, project manager, and instructor at Westminster College.