News Release

March 22, 2024

AREA becomes the first economic development organization in the state of New Mexico to achieve this international level of recognition.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – March 21, 2024 – The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) announced today that the Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance has been recognized as one of only 79 economic development organizations accredited by IEDC as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO).

“AREA displays the professionalism, commitment, and technical expertise that is deserving of this honor,” said IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle.

The AEDO program is a comprehensive peer review process that measures economic development organizations against commonly held standards in the profession and recognizes the professional excellence of economic development organizations (EDOs). 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, programs, and staff of the candidate economic development organization.

Commented Don Tarry, AREA’s Board Chair and President and Chief Operating Officer for PNM Resources, “The materials required to even be considered for accreditation are significant; before the completion of our AREA 1.0 Strategic Plan we would not have had all the documents required to do this, so I want to commend and thank the AREA board leadership that pushed forward in the creation and adoption of that critical foundational document.”

Accreditation is not easy to achieve, and includes a deep dive review on organizational practices, structures, and outcomes in comparison to national best practices. Receiving this status demonstrates unequivocally that AREA is a top tier organization. It also includes recommendations for continuous improvement as part of the process.

“Leading an organization where national accreditation is critical, I know that this was a huge undertaking for AREA. This recognition validates the exceptional level of economic development service we have here in our region and confirms what we already know – AREA is best in class,” commented Tracy Hartzler, President of Central New Mexico Community College.

Earning the AEDO accreditation demonstrates to the local community and prospects and decision makers that AREA has 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.

Danielle Casey, President and CEO of AREA, commented “I am so tremendously proud of the AREA team that worked for months to compile the materials required for this peer review process and site visit, and the many board members, investors and partners who participated in meetings and discussions with the review team during their site visit.”


About AREA
The Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to lead and execute strategies designed to grow and diversify the economic base of the greater Albuquerque region, creating a prosperous, diverse and inclusive economy and elevating the standard of living for all. AREA provides confidential assistance to businesses considering the area for expansion and new investment. Since its creation in 1960, AREA has recruited more than 250 companies and more than 35,000 jobs to the Albuquerque metro area. AREA also provides retention and expansion assistance to existing industry. For more information, visit

About IEDC
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, visit IEDC’s website at

Translate »