Our Work

The leadership of VisionFirst Advisors has been directly involved in working with communities and companies of all sizes to development implementable efforts that provide real results.

VisionFirst has worked with a myriad of clients in 23 states representing some of the top names in business as well as local, regional and state economic development entities. An abbreviated listing of our work includes:

  • Amazon.com
  • Aerospace Alliance
  • Entergy Mississippi, Inc.
  • Enterprise Charlotte Economic Council
  • Firehawk Helicopters
  • Florida’s Great Northwest
  • FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance
  • Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission
  • Intersect Illinois (Illinois’ Public-Private Partnership for Economic Development)
  • Opportunity Florida
  • Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality
  • Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
  • Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Rayonier/Raydient Places and Properties
  • Vicksburg-Warren County Partnership
  • Valdosta-Lowndes County (One Valdosta-Lowndes)
  • Weyerhaeuser, Inc.

Learn more about a few of our clients below.

Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality

Economic Development Strategic Plan and Collaborative Structure to Drive Economic Development Efforts and Marketing

Tallahassee-Leon County is asset rich with a myriad of supporting organizations, partners, community stakeholders and planning bodies each with its own set of approaches that often directly and indirectly influence economic development. Without a common definition of economic development and agreed-upon direction, the community found itself unable to effectively make progress in economic development. Aligning the disparate stakeholders, strategic partners, public and private entities that impact economic development across business recruitment and expansion, business formation, technology transfer and commercialization and the creative economy was critical for the organization to be able to achieve forward momentum in becoming competitive and in promoting the county and region.

VisionFirst gathered input from more than 50 face-to-face meetings, strategy sessions, public listening forums and an online community-wide survey to integrate the voice of more than 1,100 community members as part of a comprehensive strategic plan for implementation over the next five years and beyond.

Once delivered, the Tallahassee Democrat Editorial Board noted, “…the strategy documents produced by Gray Swoope’s consulting firm VisionFirst Advisors are thorough, strategically driven and flat-out impressive.” View the entire strategic plan.

Opportunity Florida

Evaluation of Methods To Reverse Regional Labor Force Population Declines

Readily available data shows the nine-county rural region (Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington) served by Opportunity Florida has a declining labor force as well as a declining number of employed individuals that reside in the region. Understanding the importance of well-trained and engaged workforce, CareerSource Chipola, requested a detailed review of the declining workforce in the nine-county economic development region and recommendations for actions to be taken on a regional level to reverse the trend.

VisionFirst, along with the staff of the Opportunity Florida, outlined its plan of work to include more than 50 in-person interviews, facilitated discussions and a research trip to the Golden Triangle in Mississippi to gather key stakeholder input. Following the community input process and refinement of findings, the firm undertook research and data analysis to better understand the situation in the counties, to gain a historical perspective and to better project what the future might look like for the region. Emphasis was placed on workforce shifts and impacts, ability to be competitive for jobs and economic growth, non-traditional means of creating community/regional prosperity, and better alignment of assets and resources towards positive action. VisionFirst Advisors reviewed previous plans commissioned for the broader region as well as a myriad of data pulled from numerous sources. Following the research and analysis, VisionFirst provided reasons for the population shifts as well as strategies to begin to chart a new course for the region’s future.

Madison County Economic Development Authority

Organizational Assessment combined with an Initial Program of Work and Subsequent Executive Director Search

For more than 40 years, Madison County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) experienced economic development success as the home of Nissan. But with a change in leadership, there was an opportunity to conduct a strategic assessment of the organization. VisionFirst conducted more than 50 in person and phone interviews as well as an online survey which garnered more than 300 responses to gather key stakeholder input from local leaders, community advocates and business executives. Conducting the assessment with an open dialogue with various private and public-sector leaders and stakeholders provided context as VisionFirst developed the assessment of the organization and the recommended strategies for a program of work. VisionFirst provided an organizational assessment including staffing recommendations, opportunities for collaboration with stakeholders as well as a suggested program of work to enhance the organization’s overall competitiveness in economic development. Read the assessment executive summary.