We provide a continuum of services tailored to your needs, ranging from analysis and research to identify regional and/or industry strengths and opportunities, to hands-on technical support to train, coach, and mobilize civic leaders and teams. We help you move beyond studies and plans to action and results.

Our passion is building teams of civic entrepreneurs - individuals who combine the passion and persistence of a business entrepreneur with the vision and commitment of a civic leader - who can turn ideas into action, transforming their communities, regions, and states. We act as your strategic partner, combining our talents with yours to create breakthroughs that would not otherwise be possible. We are promoting next generation thinking and action in these four major areas:


Industry-led partnerships that engage business leaders in helping to design and implement economic development and workforce strategies


Clean economy research and strategies that promote both economic and environment benefits in communities


Innovation strategies that measure progress and catalyze action that transform regions


Regional stewardship that mobilizes leaders to promote effective economic and community strategies


Collaborative Economics has a strong track record of producing results and a long list of satisfied clients who regularly refer others to us.  Learn more about our projects and results in the four major areas of work.

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We act as your strategic partner, combining our talents with yours to create breakthroughs that would not otherwise be possible.

Research and Analysis

Collaborative Economics incorporates multiple schools of thought, data sources, and innovative methodologies tailored to your needs to create better ways of understanding complex trends and to set the stage for breakthrough action. Products and services include:

  • Comprehensive assessment of industries
  • Cluster analysis
  • Benchmark comparisons with other regions
  • Documentation of best practices
  • Identification of supportive public policies and actions
  • Identification of economic and workforce trends

Technical Assistance

Collaborative Economics has the unique expertise and a verified methodology for engaging private sector employers and public partners to collaboratively advance regional economic and workforce priorities.


With over 20 years of combined facilitation experience focused on understanding, connecting and aligning the public sector’s response to the needs of industry, Collaborative Economics has trained regional conveners, partners, and stakeholders on this approach for effectively engaging employers, eliciting commitment-oriented opportunities to grow local industry, and building sustainable partnerships of local stakeholders.


We design and implement a series of technical assistance offerings tailored to your needs, including:

  • Customized coaching
  • Hands-on technical support
  • Peer learning and support networks
  • Regional profiles and dashboards
  • Customized process design
  • Guidance materials
  • National institutes

Our approach is nationally recognized as a model for engaging industry and advancing both workforce development and economic development priorities. These collaborations have targeted a wide range of industry sectors, including:

  • Food/agriculture
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Tourism
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Construction and engineering
  • Technology
  • Natural resources
  • Bioscience
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Doug Henton | Chairman and CEO

Doug Henton has more than 30 years of experience in economic and community development at the national, state, regional, and local levels. Doug is nationally recognized for his work in bringing industry, government, education, research, and community leaders together around specific collaborative projects to improve regional competitiveness. Doug founded Collaborative Economics in July 1993 after a decade as assistant director of SRI International’s Center for Economic Competitiveness. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Yale University and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

John Melville | Co-CEO

Over the past 30 years, John and his partners have worked with public and private leaders in over 50 communities across the U.S. and abroad, helping them launch concrete, collaborative initiatives to improve workforce development, economic development, regional innovation, and quality of life. John is recognized nationally for his approach in building industry-led, community-supported coalitions that drive action in these fields.  He has worked extensively with leaders of private sector organizations, such as chambers and EDCs, as well as top state and local officials in workforce and economic development.  John co-founded Collaborative Economics in July 1993 after a decade as a senior policy analyst with SRI International’s Center for Economic Competitiveness. He holds an B.A. with honors in Political Science from Stanford University, and has co-authored two books on civic entrepreneurship.

Francie Genz | Senior Consultant

Francie Genz is a senior consultant for Collaborative Economics where she advises practitioners and policymakers on workforce and economic development strategies. Francie specializes in developing industry-led sector partnerships that strengthen regional economies and align workforce development and economic development efforts with the needs of key industry sectors. Working in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and California, Francie has designed and facilitated trainings on “next generation” industry engagement strategies and coached practitioners on strategies for launching and sustaining regional, industry-led sector partnerships. Prior to joining Collaborative Economics, Francie helped immigrant professionals re-build their careers in the US at Upwardly Global, a national nonprofit organization. Francie holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies from McGill University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Bridget Gibbons | Information Design Manager

Bridget Gibbons has more than 12 years of design experience, including information, logo, identity, graphic and web design. As COECON’s Design Manager, she helps translate complex ideas and data into graphic visual representations for our clients. She has designed and managed the overall look and feel of such projects as the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project, Clean Economy Solutions, the Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy (which included a companion web portal) and the California Economic Summit. Bridget holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Janine Kaiser | Senior Project Manager

Janine Kaiser is a senior project manager at Collaborative Economics, and has been with the company since 2012. She has nearly a decade of experience designing, directing and leveraging data analysis as a tool for catalyzing and tracking progress. Since coming to Collaborative Economics, she has also worked extensively with private, public and civic stakeholders in industries such as manufacturing, clean technology and transportation to build and execute action strategies to strengthen regional economic competitiveness and workforce. Janine holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Spanish and International Studies from Case Western Reserve University, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Renae Steichen | Clean Economy Practice Manager

Renae Steichen manages the Clean Economy practice area at COECON, bringing energy and environmental expertise to economic strategy, policy analysis, and workforce development projects. She has led the research, analysis, and writing for a number of reports at Collaborative Economics, as well as providing technical assistance by working directly with cross-functional teams in California regions and organizations across the country. Previously, Renae worked for five years in Washington, D.C. as a sustainability and policy analyst for private and public organizations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and Environmental Policy from Drake University and a Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University.


We are proud to have worked with the following organizations.

Accelerate Long Island

Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Arizona Commerce Authority

Bay Area Council Economic Institute

California Community College Chancellor's Office

California Council on Science and Technology

California Forward

California Regional Economies Project

California Workforce Investment Board

City of Phoenix

City of San Jose

Clean Economy Solutions

Colorado Workforce Development Council

Columbus Chamber

Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County

Environmental Defense Fund

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Greater Northhampton Chamber of Commerce

Greater Phoenix Chamber

Heinz Endowments

Hewlett Foundation

Innovate Philadelphia

Irvine Foundation

Irvine Company

Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation

Maricopa Community College District

Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture

Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

Metro Atlanta Chamber

Morgan Family Foundation

National Governors' Association

Next 10

NGA Center for Best Practices

Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development

North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership

Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development

Packard Foundation

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

Potomac Conference

Rauch Foundation

San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Solano Economic Development Corporation

Sonoma Innovation Council

State of Alabama

State of Delaware

State of Massachusetts

State of Minnesota

State of Montana

State of West Virginia

St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association

The Cleveland Foundation

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Think Long Committee of California

U.S. Department of Labor

Washington State Economic Development Commission

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