John Karras has spent more than 15 years working as a national economic development strategist in communities across 30 US states, as well as Mexico and Canada. In addition to his national strategic consulting portfolio, John has built a reputation as a leading thinker on urban revitalization trends and their impact on economic development. In his role as vice president of business development, John focuses on building and maintaining TIP’s client relationships. In this work, as in his consulting engagements, he channels his keen understanding of the factors that drive urban vitality to empower economic development professionals and civic leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to make their communities more vibrant. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, John founded urbanSCALE.com, which introduced the first comprehensive measure of how urban a city is on a scale of 1 to 10. Before entering the economic development field, John worked at the New York City Department of Transportation’s Division of Planning & Sustainability and as an urban planning/GIS specialist with AECOM. He holds a Master of Science in Community & Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Texas State University in San Marcos. John lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and son, where he lives out his obsession of finding and tasting the world’s best tacos and barbeque.