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Released September 5, 2003


HATTIESBURG - The University of Southern Miss Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) has announced the hiring of Mark Goodman as director.

Goodman brings nine years of experience in applied economic development to the position. Prior to assuming his new role at the center, he was director of the undergraduate Community Planning and Development (CPD) program at Southern Miss.

"Mark provides us with a perfect balance of practitioner's experience and researcher's expertise," said Dr. Angeline Dvorak, vice president for Research and Economic Development at Southern Miss.

"The center will continue to grow and enhance its role as a clearinghouse and resource for economic development professionals, communities, elected officials and other stakeholders."

Goodman takes over the CCED at an exciting time. The center is in the process of strengthening its mission of providing decision-making support to the public and private economic development entities it serves.

"We are in a unique position to be considered a staff member to each of these economic development entities," Goodman said.

Professional economic developers spend a great deal of their time recruiting new companies, helping them get off the ground and retaining them. They rarely have the time and resources needed to conduct the background analysis needed for strategic planning.

"What the center is going to be able to do is provide that basic, applied information, to allow them to make more informed decisions," Goodman said.

Another immediate goal of the CCED is to expand its focus from the local to the national level, while still serving the core local economic development groups comprise.

"We need to transition to a national perspective," said Dr. Ken Malone, chair of the Department of Economic Development at Southern Miss. "There really is a very strong opportunity for the center to grow."

Yet another of Goodman's priorities as CCED director will be to draw together the many different outreach programs Southern Miss makes available to businesses, and to most efficiently utilize their resources.

Goodman, who holds a master's in economic development from Southern Miss, as well as the International Economic Development Council's "Certified Economic Developer" (CEcD) designation, will be well served in his efforts by a diverse background in the field of economic development. His career began with three years working for Lamar County in the area of economic impact and retail analysis.

"Hattiesburg had just annexed into Lamar County and Turtle Creek Mall was really taking off, so it was a target rich environment," Goodman said.

Goodman then took a job with the State Department of Economic Development, which later became the Mississippi Development Authority. There, he was a project manager with the Small Business Assistance Division. After that, Goodman came back to Lamar County to work as a commercial retail developer. After working with Lamar County for nearly a year and a half, he took the position in Southern Miss' CPD program.

Established in 1989, the Center for Community and Economic Development at Southern Miss is a university center program of the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The center serves as a building block for a university-wide focus on economic development service and research which contributes to job generation and income growth for the state of Mississippi.

Editor's Note: Graduate Assistant Mark Brickey contributed to this release.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM