About CREC

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded to provide policy-makers from around the world with the information and technical assistance they need to formulate and execute innovative, regional, job-creating economic strategies.

Our staff members come from around the globe, bringing with them diverse backgrounds, and world-class skill sets.

CREC fellow

Ron Coan
Senior Fellow
Editor, The Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development


Ron is the Editor for the Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development and an adjunct Research Fellow for the Center of Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC). Ron earned a Ph.D. from Miami University of Ohio in Political Science and Public Administration and has taught at Truman College and as a tenured faculty member at Canisius College. At both institutions, he was Program Chair for Urban Studies/Public Administration. Since retiring in 2005, Mr. Coan spent a year teaching with the graduate faculty at Marist College in New York City, and he currently is an adjunct in the Anne Arundel Community College Washington, D.C. metro area.

As an economic development professional, Ron was an Assistant City Manager (part-time) in Kirksville Missouri, a neighborhood and housing activist during the early 1980s, a member of a team which elected the first ever (and only) Democratic County Executive in Erie County, N.Y.; an Economic Development Coordinator and First Deputy Commissioner for the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning, CEO of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency Group (six separate corporations), County Executive’s CETA/WIA Coordinator, Vice Chair and Acting Chair of the 1993 World University Games, decade long member of Erie County MEP Board of Directors, and finished his career (quite literally) as CEO of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation (which also included an Tourist Promotion Agency, an Economic Development Zone, and Industry Councils (including a Semi-conductor Tech Council led by IBM). During this time Ron served on the Board and a Chair of the New York State Economic Development Council and served for a decade on the Boards of the Council of Urban Economic Development/International Economic Development Council. Ron has successfully achieved CEcD certification and served for five years on its Certification Committee; he has participated in numerous special CUED/IEDC community task forces, the latest in 2008 being New Orleans.

Professionally, Ron has extensive experience in Industrial Revenue Bonds (issuance in excess of $5 billion), PILOT agreements, RLF loans (over 1100 loans), a micro loan fund, established a venture capital investment corporation (whose track record today includes two publically traded corporations), managed nearly 2 million square foot of real estate, eminent domain, brownfields projects, professional hockey, Triple A Baseball and University of Buffalo football stadium construction management/and ownership (Hockey & Baseball),foreign trade zone, creation of a 500 acre industrial park, associated with the Export Import Bank (from which several hundred million dollars of export insurance and loans were achieved), founder of an 100,000 sq ft Advanced Training Center, operator of two short line railroads, a proud manager of sewer lines, an incubator, and several trade missions (including a reverse trade mission). Internationally Ron has been the recipient of a MITI grant for economic development study/travel in Japan, member of a four member World Bank/Inter American Development Bank team to Colombia (leading to establishing the first secondary market in that nation) and as Vice Chair and Acting Chair of the 1993 World University Games (127 nations over 7000 athletes/coaches) Ron accumulated a great deal of foreign travel/experience over a seven year period.

Ron is currently partly retired, and apparently somewhat restless, working on the definitive book on local economic development (with C2ER support and involvement), and a consultant/workshop presenter for the American Planning Association as well as his Editorship of the Journal.

< Back