Michael is the founder and president of Economic Vitality Group, LLC. He has both private and public sector experience in economic development, including positions as the business development manager for the City of Seattle and a similar role with the City of Tacoma. Michael has been recognized as a leader in economic planning, creating strategies to grow industry sectors, business recruitment and retention programs, and city branding and marketing. He frequently speaks at regional, national and international conferences.
Michael’s education includes a law degree from Seattle University (cum laude) and a B.A. in politics from Western Washington University. He was also a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar where he worked on economic policy while in Australia.
Matt has ten years of GIS experience and has conducted analyses for a variety of non-profits and government agencies. He specializes in cartography, spatial analysis, demographic analysis, conservation planning, and spatial data creation and management. Matt’s past clients include numerous cities, counties, parks departments, and Congressional offices. He has extensive experience with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the U.S. EPA, The Nature Conservancy, and Cascade Land Conservancy.
Matt earned a Master of Urban Planning at the University of Washington where he focused on GIS, regional planning, and natural resource management issues.
Jeremy manages and creates websites for EVG clients. He was the founder of XMS, Inc., a multi-media company in the Seattle area, where he spent six years developing websites for a wide range of companies. With EVG, he has designed websites that are specifically tailored for a city’s economic development needs. Jeremy also developed the City of Newcastle’s entire city website and improved communication, efficiency and access for and with the city’s residents.
Benjii has frequently worked with the EVG on specific projects. He has worked on community and economic development projects in communities of all sizes, from the Southeastern U.S. to the Pacific Northwest. He is widely recognized as one of the country's leaders in leisure tourism and placemaking. He previously worked for the City of Tacoma, where his emphasis on downtown redevelopment involved opening new museums, a light rail system, hotels, and the facilitation of many private commercial, residential, and mixed-use projects. His work in business recruitment resulted in attracting new headquarters. He was part of a team responsible for rebranding and marketing Tacoma and other smaller jurisdictions. Benjii is a frequent panelist and keynoter at regional, national, and international conferences.