The Prager Team has vast experience from the corporate, government and nonprofit worlds. We are battle tested with a toolset derived from multiple disciplines, including workforce, real estate, banking, logistics, hospitality, education and site selection. We have applied these skills in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America.
Adam Prager is the founder and President of Prager Company. He has over 25 years experience in economic development as an adviser to leading organizations and as a State Government practitioner. Additionally, he is versed in facility site selection, previously as a member of Fantus Consulting, the nation's oldest corporate site selection firm (now a part of Deloitte Consulting).
Since 1998, Mr. Prager has managed Prager Company and delivered lasting value to clients on hundreds of projects. Organizations formed by Prager today are models of stellar economic development. Prior to launching Prager Company, Mr. Prager was a leader of Deloitte & Touche Fantus Consulting's Economic Development Services. He joined Deloitte to create the firm's economic development practice and subsequently led its activities in the Midwestern U.S. and Asia.
Mr. Prager has advised national, state, regional, county, city, utility and real estate organizations on myriad strategic issues, including: organization formation and improvement, revenue generation, operating climate enhancement, business attraction, business expansion, workforce development, industrial park creation, industry clustering, data mining, investment incentive utilization, international promotion, entrepreneurship, economic impact and cost-benefit analysis, and policy development.
Mr. Prager has consulted government and private entities in North America, Europe and Asia. He has led assignments in Canada, Denmark, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, including those for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. And he has served on corporate site selection teams in regions throughout the United States. Prior to entering private consulting, Mr. Prager was head of Marketing Resources for the State of Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development.
Mr. Prager has published articles for economic development and site selection magazines. He also has written a book chapter for the International City and County Management Association, penned “how to” guides for location marketing and development, and been a guest speaker on economic development for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and many development organizations. Numerous news outlets have interviewed him on an array of economic development topics, including the Washington Post, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Tampa Tribune and the Charlotte Observer. Mr. Prager holds a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning and a Masters Degree in Public Management both from Ohio State University, and has a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Delaware.
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John Evans has almost 20 years of experience in Asia in the areas of business development, market entry, site selection and economic development. In 1995, Mr. Evans founded an Asian business services firm known as Tractus and opened its first office in Bangkok, Thailand just as South East Asia was becoming a prime destination for foreign investment. Under the direction of Mr. Evans, Tractus subsequently opened offices in China, India and Vietnam to help businesses expand into these emerging markets.
Mr. Evans spends the majority of his time in Shanghai overseeing business development activities in China and managing a business incubator largely for western firms. During his nearly two decades in Asia, Mr. Evans has gained the practical, on-the-ground knowledge necessary to assist companies in developing and executing their Asian strategies. He has worked in a variety of sectors, including chemicals, automotive, food processing, minerals, manufacturing, electronics and construction. In the public sector, he has provided advice and guidance to economic development and investment promotion organizations across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East and in North America. Mr. Evans has overseen projects for companies involved in mergers and acquisitions, wholly foreign-owned enterprises, manufacturing start-ups, joint venture partners, service organizations, and those in sales and distribution.
Prior to forming Tractus, Mr. Evans was the Asia Regional Manager for AMCOL International’s Volclay division. In this position, he launched and managed mining and manufacturing operations in China, India, Japan, Korea and Thailand. Mr. Evans also served as Country Manager in Thailand for Fantus Consulting’s Corporate Location Advisory Services practice, where he honed his Asian site selection craft.
Mr. Evans has been interviewed by CNBC Squawk Box, Asia Times, Reuters and numerous U.S. periodicals. He frequently publishes articles on conducting business in Asia and was an author of the Handbook for Setting Up Business in China. He regularly gives related lectures and workshops around the world. Mr. Evans served as the chairperson and moderator for the First China Industrial Real Estate Conference and has spoken at conferences hosted by The Economist; the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; the Minnesota, Nebraska and Washington State Trade Offices; the Asia Business Forum; and the World Freezones Organization. Mr. Evans earned a BA in East Asian History and studied Economics at Princeton University. He is fluent in Thai.
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David Hanson has more than 15 years of experience within the public administration sector. He has held numerous senior leadership positions in Government, primarily in the City of Chicago, and in each position has demonstrated results in organizational change, program implementation, performance monitoring and measurement, and fiscal and human resources management. Mr. Hanson has expertise and passion for workforce development paired with a profound understanding of how it inextricably links to economic development.
Mr. Hanson served as Commissioner of the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development for five years. In this capacity, he spearheaded the transformation of the Department from social service programming to a delivery agent responsive to both the diverse needs of business as well as individuals seeking training and job placement. During his tenure, he launched two industry sector workforce initiatives that are becoming urban models nationwide – the Chicago Workforce Center for Manufacturing and Chicago LEADS (Leading Economic Advancement, Development and Sustainability). In addition, he established lasting public-private partnerships to identify and address critical industry skill shortages. Mr. Hanson has been recognized for his ingenuity applying federal and state funding, philanthropic contributions and Tax Increment Financing to workforce development and job generation. As Commissioner, he oversaw a 65-person staff and a budget in excess of $40 million.
Prior to joining the Workforce Development Department, Mr. Hanson served as Commissioner in Chicago for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. In this role, he designed and implemented citywide strategies to create jobs and economic opportunities for people with disabilities. He also oversaw the re-write of Chicago’s zoning and building codes for greater accessibility and devised compliance incentives for developers.
Mr. Hanson has over 15 years experience in the fields of construction and architectural services. He has received Bachelors-level education and training at DePaul University and Roosevelt University.
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Don Iannone has been a fixture in U.S. economic development for over 35 years. He has built a national and international reputation for his ability to prepare nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, educational institutions, businesses and Indian tribes to accomplish their economic and community development goals.
Since 1986, Mr. Iannone has worked for more than 300 clients in 42 states and several countries, including those in Europe and Asia. Through his work, he has helped clients influence their business or economic future by launching strategies to achieve this goal. His specialty is helping clients prepare and implement performance-based strategic action plans that map how to compete for new economic opportunities. Prior to entering consulting, Mr. Iannone served as Managing Director of Cleveland State University’s Economic Development Institute, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center, Executive Director of Lake County Ohio’s Economic Development Center, and Director of Business and Economic Development for the Greater Cleveland Growth Association.
Mr. Iannone has managed and conducted numerous policy studies for national constituencies, including the National Council for Urban Economic Development, American Economic Development Council, American Chamber of Commerce Executives, National League of Cities, International City and County Management Association, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. Iannone has published 29 professional and academic journal articles, four book chapters and co-authored a book on economic development incentives. He holds a Masters Degree in Management and Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and a BA in Social Science from Cleveland State University.
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Cathy Katona has 15 years of experience providing program design, project implementation and training to non-profit, governmental and institutional entities. She focuses on bridging the gap between planning and implementation of strategy by working with clients in capacity assessment, organization building, best practice benchmarking, group training and one-on-one mentoring. Ms. Katona’s area of expertise is community and regional development, establishing creative approaches to empower those in need.
Ms. Katona has led consulting engagements in many U.S. cities and overseas, supporting organizations in Europe, Africa and New Zealand. She has worked closely with local and regional leaders of public-private organizations and government entities to implement business, community, economic and workforce strategies.
Ms. Katona has worked extensively with associations in organizational development and program design. She has assisted civic groups at all levels, from small institutions in the start-up phase to long-established statewide entities. By calling upon exemplary models of success, she guides organizations through processes to strengthen their programs and service delivery systems. Her eclectic work spans that for the Washington D.C. Chamber of Commerce to economically-challenged neighborhoods in urban Chicago to country-level support in African nations. Ms. Katona is an avid traveler, having visited more than 40 countries.
Prior to entering consulting, Ms. Katona served as the Vice President and Senior Director of Professional Development at the International Economic Development Council. There she designed and managed the professional economic development training and certification programs that are currently used as the benchmark for practitioners throughout the U.S. and beyond. Within the first four years of establishing the IEDC education program, over 2,500 professionals attended at least one of the ten courses developed and managed by Ms. Katona. She holds a Masters of Arts in Brain and Behavior Neuroscience from Michigan State University and a BA in Music from Smith College.
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Mike Kirchhoff has over 20 years of economic development experience in strategic planning and organizational reengineering and management. He has served in many capacities at the county, state and regional levels. His economic development background includes positions with Illinois State Government, Illinois Power Company, the Indianapolis Partnership, Jacksonville and Tuscola, Illinois, and with the city of Kansas City, Missouri. In Indianapolis and Kansas City, Mr. Kirchhoff served as Vice President overseeing location promotion and business development. While he has considerable urban experience, Mr. Kirchhoff is particularly versed in economic development support to rural areas.
Mr. Kirchhoff specializes in strategic planning, targeted business attraction, program development, business retention, funding and fundraising, and community coalition building. He is a frequent public speaker on these topics and is the author of a wide range of articles, handbooks and related literature.
Mr. Kirchhoff is a seasoned economic development leader, having served as Executive Director for two economic development corporations in Illinois. As Executive Director of the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation, Mr. Kirchhoff revolutionized the way this organization performed economic development, formed creative financing tools, and received national awards in the areas of marketing and business attraction.
Mr. Kirchhoff serves in a leadership capacity for several economic development associations, including Board Member for IEDC. He is a Certified Economic Developer with a BA in Economics and a BS in Business, both from Eastern Illinois University.
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Susan Kleinman has more than 20 years experience in the fields of economic development and finance. Her area of specialization is program development and oversight of complicated public and private financing mechanisms.
Ms. Kleinman worked for five years coordinating regional economic development operations throughout Indiana for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. In this capacity, she designed, implemented and managed the Indiana Microenterprise Partnership, a statewide network of programs to educate and lend seed money to those with limited economic means. She also created and oversaw the State’s Regional Economic Development Partnership program, designed to spark creation of regional organizations and enhance the business operating capacity of locations they serve. While with the State of Indiana, Ms. Kleinman fashioned an approach to leverage gaming tax for economic development purposes and oversaw the use of these funds for a regional organization for which she received the highest award of accomplishment from Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor.
Prior to joining State service, Ms. Kleinman spent 16 years with Bank One as Vice President of the Funds Management Department and Manager of Special Financial Projects. In those positions she led efforts to enhance banking operation efficiency and resolve merger and acquisition issues. Ms. Kleinman also served as a Financial and Research Analyst for Eli Lilly and Company on matters associated with Lilly’s global business operations.
Ms. Kleinman taught macroeconomics as an adjunct faculty member of Butler University’s College of Business. She holds an MBA from New York University and a BS in Occupational Therapy from Boston University.
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Bill Luttrell has over 25 years of senior level experience in corporate real estate, site selection and economic development both domestically and overseas. He has managed investment projects for such major corporations as BP, Disney, Fidelity Investments, Fujitsu, GM, HP, Merck, Monster.com, NEC, Nestle, Panasonic, PepsiCo, PNM Resources, Solvay, Texaco, Western Digital and Westin Hotels International. His expertise includes C-Level strategic planning, supply-chain analysis, site selection screening, due diligence, incentives negotiations, and project management oversight and implementation.
Mr. Luttrell has managed more than 175 site selection projects with heavy emphasis in the U.S., Mexico, Asia and Eastern Europe. Among his current responsibilities is providing senior location strategy for the global clientele of Werner Enterprises. Mr. Luttrell was a Vice President with Jones Lang LaSalle’s Strategic Consulting Group, where he was responsible for their Global Location Solutions team’s industrial and international projects. Previously, he was Senior Manager and Western U.S. and Asia-Pacific site selection lead for Deloitte & Touche Fantus Consulting. Mr. Luttrell began his site selection consulting career as Director of Corporate Site Selection with John Brown Engineering and Construction of London.
Mr. Luttrell has extensive international economic development experience. He was Director of International Business Development for the Texas Department of Commerce. He subsequently served as that State’s representative in the Asia-Pacific region running its investment offices in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. More recently, Mr. Luttrell was a Senior Investment Promotion Officer with the World Bank, where he provided investment promotion and business retention consultation to state and national governments in 29 countries around the world.
Mr. Luttrell earned a BA in Asian Studies/International Business at the University of Texas in Austin and attended Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. He is a frequent speaker at global forums regarding Foreign Direct Investment, corporate site selection strategy and economic development, and has written several articles on these subjects. Mr. Luttrell is a member of CoreNet Global and IAMC, both corporate real estate organizations. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy on surface and submarine platforms as a member of Naval Intelligence (Russian Linguist/Analyst - TS-SBI Clearance) and is fluent in Russian and Japanese.
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Phil Schneider has over 25 years of management consulting experience in corporate global location strategy, site selection, incentives negotiation and economic development strategy. He spent seven years with Fantus Consulting, followed by 18 years with Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy & Operations practice. He currently provides strategic advisory services independently and in a teamed fashion.
As a Director with Fantus Consulting and as a Partner with Deloitte Consulting, where he led its Location Strategy and Global Expansion Optimization groups, Mr. Schneider conducted nearly 400 engagements for clients in heavy manufacturing, high technology, headquarters, R&D, call center and shared services. He developed corporate location strategy and selection decision processes; screened and analyzed countries, states, and cities; developed operating costs and business condition benchmarking models; and led corporate negotiations for government incentives and real estate acquisition. Some of Mr. Schneider’s past clients are Amgen, Apple Computer, Bosch, Bridgestone, Caterpillar, Concentrix Solar, Elkhem Solar, Gap, Genentech, HP, Hyundai, John Deere, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, Land's End, Mattel, Michelin, Morgan Stanley, Nestle, nVidia, Pratt & Whitney, Q-Cells Solar, Raflatac, Renewable Energy Corporation, Republic Steel, Soitec Semiconductor, Synthes, ThyssenKrupp and Toyota.
Mr. Schneider has worked throughout the U.S. and much of the world. He has examined locations and business costs and conditions of nearly all industrialized countries and his on-the-ground analyses and incentives and grants negotiations includes that in: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Wales.
In addition to his corporate work, Mr. Schneider has created economic development strategies on behalf of the States of Michigan and Wisconsin; many U.S. cities including Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Tulsa; and a number of utilities. He is exceedingly well versed in international economic development, having advised the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, Ministry of Economic Development Italy, Cadilla Special Economic Zone (India), Invest Northern Ireland, Invest Hong Kong, Invest in Denmark, Japanese External Trade Organization, Enterprise Cape Breton Nova Scotia, Enterprise Saint John New Brunswick, the Greater Halifax Partnership and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.
Mr. Schneider has authored numerous articles and white papers on corporate location strategy, site selection and foreign direct investment. He regularly speaks at conferences and facilitates round table discussions on these topics, is frequently interviewed by newspapers and business publications for his expertise in these areas, and has advised the White House on the Federal Government’s role in attracting foreign direct investment. Mr. Schneider earned both his BA and Masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin after serving six years in the U.S. Navy.
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Adam Wasserman has a multi-faceted, two decade economic development career in the public and private sectors. Working throughout the U.S. and internationally, Mr. Wasserman brings a strong knowledge of business development, site selection and market analytics along with specialties in transportation, global logistics, infrastructure, regional economic strategy and project finance.
Mr. Wasserman has substantial experience in North America and Europe in infrastructure and development planning for large-scale projects connected to cargo hubs, including ports and reuse of former maritime and airport facilities. This has involved market assessments, local government agreements, planning and engineering, and financial packaging. In the ports sector, Mr. Wasserman led the creation of a fully integrated, development and logistics investment plan for a new $900 million marine terminal and 1,200 acre international logistics park. Through effective advocacy, he garnered support from the U.S. Congress and Department of Transportation. He was a policy strategy leader for the bi-national St. Lawrence Seaway and for investment in small and medium sized ports. In the UK, Mr. Wasserman led a strategy development coalition for Port Hinterland at the UK's largest trade complex. He has also held senior economic development positions in New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and in the UK. With a finance background, Mr. Wasserman understands the nexus between public sector and private investor objectives and has strong relationships with a number of property and infrastructure funds. In total, Mr. Wasserman has been responsible for delivering $2.5 billion of project investment.
Mr. Wasserman formed Global Logistics Development Partners, an international investment concern specializing in transportation logistics assets and property and mixed-use/industrial development. GLDP has senior-level expertise in Europe and North America in global logistics trends and dynamics, corporate supply chain, infrastructure planning, economic development and project finance.
Mr. Wasserman earned a Masters Degree in Environmental Planning and Finance and a BS in Real Estate and Finance both from Arizona State University. He has completed special training in International Finance from the Export-Import Bank and has earned credentials from Loyola College in International Trade. He has earned certification in Leadership from the Senior Leadership Institute at the University of Virginia. Mr. Wasserman has long been a member of the International Economic Development Council, American Association of Port Authorities, British Urban Regeneration Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (and its Maritime Committee), Coalition for America's Gateway's and Corridors, the European Development Association, and various private equity and public-private partnership groups.
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Kathy Wheeler has extensive experience in graphic design, office support, charting, cartography and information graphics. She has performed these and related professional services for a variety of businesses since 1987.
Ms. Wheeler specializes in designing and creating client deliverables including reports, presentations, maps and training materials. She excels at animation, infographics and map renderings. She has performed these functions for discerning accounting and consulting firms, law firms, and newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune. Ms. Wheeler holds a BFA and an Associates degree in Computer Graphics from the International Academy of Design and Technology, as well as accreditation from Northwestern Business College.
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