matt cunningham, chicago

Matt Cunningham, based in Chicago, brings a wealth of specialized research tools and knowledge of best practices. Before establishing Civic Economics, Matt served a national technology-led economic development firm as Research Manager, performing economic impact studies for real estate projects and complete economic, demographic, and land use analyses for economic development projects.

In addition, he brings specialized software expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and the Regional Economic Model Inc. (REMI), and IMPLAN.

While at Civic Economics he has worked on numerous projects that have a common thread of analyzing economic impacts in a nontraditional manner. Most notably, he developed a specialty in analyzing the economic impacts of locally owned businesses. These studies of local retailers helped put numbers behind the argument to shift spending from chains to local retailers. These studies have been commissioned by various entities including governments, business associations,
trade groups, and private businesses. 

Matt earned a M.S. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Political Science from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York.




dan houston, TULSA

Dan Houston, now based in Tulsa, is emerging as a leading practitioner of progressive economic development. His firm, Civic Economics provides businesses, communities, and civic organizations with creative tools to achieve sustainable prosperity. The young firm has gained wide notice for its innovative approach to economic challenges and its dedication to citizen engagement.

Before establishing Civic Economics with partner Matt Cunningham, Dan served as Senior Project Manager for a national firm focused on technology-led economic development. There, he led strategic planning initiatives for the firm’s community clients in addition to site selection, real estate, and development analyses.

From his base in Tulsa, Dan applies varied experiences to the needs of his clients. Dan has led strategic planning initiatives in cities as diverse as Midland, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, Wenatchee, Washington, and Brownsville, Pennsylvania. He is also a frequent speaker before students, the public, and seasoned professionals, addressing themes of economic and community development.

A native of Tulsa, Dan is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Tulane Law School. As an attorney, Dan practiced in the areas of civil rights and mass torts, eventually serving as Assistant Special Master for Appeals in the largest multi-district litigation in American history. At the age of 30, he left the law to pursue a Master's Degree in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin, with an emphasis in economic and real estate development.