Planning in Turbulent Times

These are indeed turbulent times. We are experiencing simultaneous crises in health, the economy, politics, climate change, and social justice—a combination few of us have experienced in our lifetimes. For some in our communities, survival is a daily challenge. And for others, recovery will be a long and difficult road.

But it’s important for those of us in leadership positions to pause and think beyond recovery.

As a firm, we have been fortunate to work in the strategic planning space for 25 years. We have helped communities and workers recover from many disruptions, including economic downturns, employer layoffs, natural disasters, military base closures, and industry realignments.

We design strategies that will support your community’s vision for the future.

Offices in Austin, Seattle, and Boston

Our Work

The Theory Into Practice (TIP) planning model combines rigorous data analysis with the latest thinking in economic development, workforce training, and community-based principles.

Year Founded





Our Mission:

To engage and inspire community leaders to help the people they serve thrive economically, financially, and socially

Our Services

Strategic Planning

TIP’s core offering of strategic planning for economic development includes a full suite of associated services. Our strategic plans range from statewide initiatives down to small scale sites, business districts, and corridors. We spend a lot of time in US suburbs and exurbs, areas we know well. And our clients often return, giving us high marks for our attention to implementation, quality of our products, and depth of our engagement process.

Organizational Development

It is one thing to develop a multi-year strategic plan. It is quite another to launch a new organization, restructure an existing board, align coalitions for mutual goals, or successfully execute an educational awareness campaign. TIP offers advisory services tailored to guide clients through these challenges.

Talent Strategies

Tight labor markets motivate employers. Slack labor markets concern workforce development agencies and policymakers. Regardless of where we are in the business cycle, talent development is always a concern. TIP has a long track record and depth of expertise in successful workforce planning, particularly in the alignment of goals across multiple stakeholders.

TIP Strategies Blog

Jon Roberts Speaks at the 2022 IEDC Leadership Summit

TIP managing director, Jon Roberts, recently spoke at the 2022 International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Coachella Valley, California. During the invite-only Leadership Roundtable, Jon outlined 10 trends that will affect economic development in...

TIP is looking for a Summer 2022 Economic Development Intern

As part of its ongoing commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the economic development profession, TIP Strategies is seeking qualified candidates to serve as a Summer 2022 Economic Development Intern. Our engagements focus on economic development,...

Field Notes: Coordinating Economic Disaster Recovery in Idaho

Field Notes is a series of TIP Strategies interviews with leaders across the country exploring pressing economic, workforce, and community development issues. The sharp downturn in economic activity precipitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic brought the need for...

Geography of Jobs

National economic cycles have their ups and downs. But locally, these shifts may play out differently. In your own hometown, you may have witnessed economic patterns that were out of sync with those of the nation. Perhaps the timing of the downturn or recovery just felt different? Maybe the intensity of the expansion or recession was greater? You’re not alone. It’s no surprise that Miami’s economic base is unlike Modesto’s, or that Scranton’s job cycles don’t mirror San Diego’s. To put local economies in better context, TIP Strategies developed the Geography of Jobs map. This interactive data visualization tracks net job gains and losses across US metropolitan statistical areas since 1999. Check it out and see how your location compares to the rest of country.

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Jon Roberts and his team were truly amazing. They were masterful in working with our CEOs and community leaders. By leveraging their experience and knowledge, we were able to develop a holistic comprehensive plan that inspired our community members to cohesively come together and create our road map for prosperity.

President & CEO, Greater Green Bay Chamber (WI)

I want to thank you for a job well done. You guys did great and thorough work and I appreciate the patience in working with a large group to build consensus through the end of the report.

City Manager, City of Fort Worth, Texas

There isn't an industry or an environment Tracye can’t handle. She brings a spirit of innovation, creativity, and powerful execution to every endeavor.

President, AT&T Texas

[TIP] worked collaboratively with our CEOs and stakeholders throughout Delaware to ensure that the end product—the Delaware Growth Agenda—was not only data-driven and substantive, but politically sensitive and respectful to the varied interests in our state. The result was a plan that was on time, on budget and on point.

Executive Director, Delaware Business Roundtable

We’ve very much enjoyed working with [TIP] throughout this entire process. From the discovery work to site visits to this week’s presentation, you’ve been every bit as good as advertised.

President/CEO, Bismarck-Mandan Development Association

Tracye is the best of the best. Her ability to navigate sophisticated partners makes her a powerful advocate and a strategic phenom.

CEO, Texas Association of Business

Jon Roberts and [TIP] worked diligently for our city. Their work was comprehensive and very instrumental for the future of our city. TIP helped us put our plan in writing and set us on a course to achieve our goals.

Mayor, City of Waxahachie, Texas

From the outset, TIP delivered on the promise of their proposal and their interview. They helped us understand national trends and how they could impact our efforts… Most importantly, they exhibited a skillful balance of moving us in the right direction without attempting to “tell us what was good for us.”

Project Lead, VISTA 2025 Project, Chester County Economic Development Council (PA)

Like a skilled craftsman, Tracye always know the right tool for the job. She leverages powerful resources to achieve powerful results.

Chairman and CEO, Wakefern Food Corp.

Not only did [TIP] meet our expectations during the project period, we continue to call upon them as we move through implementation…. Our experience with them has set a standard we hope can be met by other consulting firms.

Chairman (former), Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership (NY)

Both the document and the process that you guided us through will serve us well for years to come and provide much needed vitality to our local economy.

President, Maricopa Economic Development Alliance

Tracye McDaniel has brought an incredible focus to the task of reducing red tape for businesses and cutting taxes that impede expansion. Having worked in Texas, she is familiar with pro-business climates. She understands the need for conveying that message to companies. She is a force on this issue.

Governor (former), State of New Jersey

TIP works to stay on the cutting edge of economic development nationally, and we rely on them for their insights and their diligence to get things right.

Executive Director (former), Racine County Economic Development Corporation