Charles County, Maryland

Bellony-Atanga Becomes First African-American Woman in the Country to Receive C2ER Research Designation

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 12:00pm

Bellony-Atanga Becomes First African-American Woman in the Country to Receive C2ER Research Designation

Charles County Economic Development Department announced today that Claudia Bellony-Atanga, economic research specialist, has earned designation as a Certified Community Researcher (CCR) from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).  She is the first African-American woman in the country and only the second person in the state of Maryland to achieve this certification.  The CCR is the highest industry standard for recognizing excellence in economic research and demonstrates applied skills in demographic, industry, workforce, and economic analysis. CCRs are research professionals who possess the highest level of mastery of economic and related data analysis and consistently demonstrate their ability to utilize these skills in applied research applications. 

“We are a data-driven department,” said Economic Development Department Deputy Director Marcia Keeth.  “Claudia Bellony-Atanga’s excellent research skills have allowed us to set priorities and make decisions using the most up-to-date and relevant information available.  We are proud and thrilled by this latest achievement, but given Claudia’s enthusiasm and determination, we are not surprised.”

CCRs undertake a rigorous course of training, are evaluated on their portfolio of work, and are required to give a presentation on an approved certification project to a peer review panel.  Bellony-Atanga presented her research on the projected economic impacts of medical cannabis on Charles County.

“Claudia is a highly valued member of the C2ER,” said Chairman of C2ER George Harben, CCR, CEcD.  “Her certification presentation on medical cannabis demonstrated comprehensive and concise thinking combined with cutting-edge analysis.  Her work was truly groundbreaking for this industry.  She is a welcome addition to the growing CCR pool.”

“Data savvy researchers like Claudia are increasingly in demand across a range of organizations,” said C2ER Certification Committee Chair Alan Spell. “In addition to her knowledge, this certification also highlights her leadership strengths to find solutions and effectively communicate her findings.  Claudia is serving her community well, and I am so glad she will be a role model and mentor to our membership.”

Claudia will be recognized at the C2ER December Board Meeting and presented with an award at the 2018 Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in June. The C2ER Annual Conference is the primary national conference for economic development and labor market information analysts.  


About C2ER  
Founded in 1961, the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) is a membership organization that promotes excellence in community and economic research by working to improve data availability, enhance data quality, and foster learning about regional economic analytic methods. C2ER accomplishes this mission by conducting training, advocacy, and research; delivering innovative products and services for researchers; and developing professional networks.  With over 1,000 members, C2ER continues to offer innovative products and seminars for economic development and LMI research professionals. 

About Charles County Government
The mission of Charles County Government is to provide our citizens the highest quality service possible in a timely, efficient and courteous manner. To achieve this goal, our government must be operated in an open and accessible atmosphere, be based on comprehensive long- and short-term planning and have an appropriate managerial organization tempered by fiscal responsibility. We support and encourage efforts to grow a diverse workplace. Charles County is a place where all people thrive and businesses grow and prosper; where the preservation of our heritage and environment is paramount; where government services to its citizens are provided at the highest level of excellence; and where the quality of life is the best in the nation.
It is the policy of Charles County to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religious or political affiliation or opinion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other status protected by law.