News from Culpeper County


Rothamel earns Certified Economic Developer designation from IEDC

April 1, 2024

Culpeper County, VA – Bryan Rothamel, CEcD, Director of Economic Development for Culpeper County, has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The multiple choice and written portions of the CEcD exam were administered on March 1, 2024, and the oral interview on March 12, 2024. This certification demonstrates Rothamel’s exceptional technical expertise, comprehensive conceptual knowledge, and mastery of economic development skills and strategies.

Rothamel has been the Economic Development Director for Culpeper County since September 2021. The past two years the county has led the Central Virginia region in expected job growth. In 2022 the Virginia Economic Developers Association named him the Rising Star of Virginia. Rothamel graduated from High Point University in 2009 and University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute in 2022. Prior to Culpeper, Rothamel led Fluvanna County’s economic development efforts. In 2021 Fluvanna led the region in expected job growth for the first time.

“Achieving the CEcD designation has been a career goal of mine since I started in economic development. I am thankful for my instructors at OU EDI, my colleagues in the field and my family for the support in achieving this,” Rothamel said. “I am especially grateful for the opportunity to be in Culpeper County. I love this community and the work we’ve accomplished.”

IEDC is the world’s largest membership organization for economic development professionals, with thousands of members. As a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization, IEDC offers the CEcD designation to strengthen the field with subject matter experts and provide economic developers with opportunities to broaden their skillsets, with a community of more than 1,200 fellow CEcDs.

The CEcD designation establishes an industry benchmark of excellence and signifies the world’s most knowledgeable and dedicated individuals in the field of economic development. It sets the gold standard for professionals who are steadfastly committed to fostering innovation, attracting investment, and driving economic growth and prosperity within their communities and around the world.

To attain this designation, candidates are required to successfully complete all prerequisite coursework and pass a rigorous and thorough examination that spans two days and consists of three distinct parts. This examination evaluates a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency, judgment, and critical thinking skills across a range of essential economic development subject areas, including:

  • Accelerating growth through entrepreneurship-led economic development
  • Business retention and expansion
  • Entrepreneurial & small business development
  • Finance & credit analysis
  • Foreign direct investment & exporting
  • Introduction to entrepreneurship-led economic development
  • Managing economic development organizations
  • Marketing & attraction
  • Neighborhood development strategies
  • Real estate development & reuse
  • Strategic planning
  • Technology-led economic development
  • Workforce development strategies

Certified Economic Developers serve as catalysts for change within their local communities, bridging the gap and fostering collaboration between public officials, business leaders, and community members. With an unwavering passion for championing innovative strategies and initiatives, they propel transformative economic growth and elevate community well-being. Their unparalleled expertise and dedication to excellence position them as trailblazers at the forefront of shaping the economic development landscape. Rothamel is now one of over 1,200 active CEcDs throughout the world.

About Culpeper County Department of Economic Development

The Culpeper County Department of Economic Development works to grow and expand the Culpeper County economy. The department does this through three main areas: business attraction and retention, small business development and agriculture development. The associated programming of these areas include Be A Culpeper Local and Choose Culpeper Farms. Learn more about the department at

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With thousands of members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development practices. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more about the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation by visiting

Filed in: Choose Culpeper