Co-Founder and Partner
Dennis G. Coleman, CEcD FM HLM
As Founder and Principal of CED Solutions, Denny Coleman assists clients with overall project visioning, strategy, leadership, and consultation, utilizing his four decades of local and national experience to help them realize their goals. Mr. Coleman’s reputation as one of the leading economic development professionals in the United States, combined with his deep knowledge of development strategies, enables him to bring progressive ideas and forge effective networks among multiple and diverse stakeholders to advance the most complex initiatives.
Between 1990 and 2015, Mr. Coleman served as Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis County Economic Council, which eventually merged with the City’s St. Louis Development Corporation, under his leadership, to form the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Over the course of his tenure, he has guided a national best practice model to help the region’s economy recover after losing 59,000 jobs and $4.4 billion in wages in defense-related jobs. He was instrumental in the acquisition and development of the World Trade Center St. Louis, the Metropolitan Education Training Center, Foreign Trade Zone expansion, a regional network of business incubators, and major projects such as the 550-acre NorthPark business park, an $882 million development in Lemay, and the Buzz Westfall Plaza/Northland Shopping Center redevelopment. In 2013, he completed the first St. Louis City and County joint strategic plan.
In all, Mr. Coleman’s leadership has helped generate and/or retain tens of thousands of jobs in the region and attracted in excess of $2 billion in public and private investment. Furthermore, his vision and dedication has helped imbue the local economy with a spirit of innovation, claiming the number one spot for startups, a booming biotech cluster, and fastest growing tech job market.
On a national level, Mr. Coleman has served as chairman of the International Economic Development Council. He has testified before Congress on several occasions and continues to be a highly respected national authority on economic development issues and policy, including the economic impact of immigration, solutions for income and equality and the interface between talent development, job training and economic development. For his efforts, he has been recognized four separate times by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the “Most Influential St. Louisans,” and has received numerous other local, state and national awards and commendations, specifically including the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Economic Development from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).