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The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) announces that the Hot Springs Metro Partnership has once again been recognized as one of 66 economic development organizations accredited by IEDC as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO). It is also the only AEDO within the state of Arkansas. Originally accredited 2016, the HSMP was reaccredited by IEDC following three successful years of activity as an AEDO member.

“The Hot Springs Metro Partnership displays the professionalism, commitment, and technical expertise that is deserving of this honor,” said IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized by IEDC and proud to be the only accredited economic development organization in the state of Arkansas, as well as one of only 66 in the entire county. This is a testament to the wonderful teamwork we have locally between the leadership at the City of Hot Springs, Garland County, and our investor partners, as well as our hard-working and conscientious staff here at the Hot Springs Metro Partnership,” said Gary Troutman, HSMP President and CEO.

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 economic development organization.

“Additionally we appreciate all of our community and business leaders who helped in the recent three-day site visit by IEDC, and we pledge to them our commitment to tackle the ongoing workforce challenge to help in providing more jobs, more viable candidates, and more opportunities for our community going forward,” Troutman said. “We will also continue to look for retention and growth opportunities for current businesses located here while simultaneously working to recruit new ones to start up, relocate, or add an additional location in Hot Springs and/or Garland County.”

Earning the AEDO accreditation tells the community and prospects that the HSMP attained a measure of excellence assuring that their trust is well placed and their business is in good hands. 

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

The International Economic Development Council is the largest membership association serving economic and community development professionals in the world. With over 5,000 members nationwide and abroad, IEDC offers the economic development profession one source for information and professional development, one voice for the profession and one force for advocacy. For more information on IEDC or the AEDO program, please contact AEDO Program Manager Dana Crater at 910-833-7020 or, or visit IEDC’s website at

The goal of the HSMP is to create economic opportunity throughout the Hot Springs Region.

For further information about the HSMP, contact Mara Kuhn at 501.321.1700 or

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