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Our Team

Dean F. Whittaker

Founder & President

Dean F. Whittaker is President/CEO of Whittaker Associates Inc., a data analytics company providing target marketing research and trend analysis to economic development, real estate, and corporate clients. They specialize in identifying business opportunities by predicting corporate behavior through the use of their propriety predictive analytic algorithm.

With 30 years of experience in economic development at the city, county, and state levels, Mr. Whittaker brings insight and perspective to regional economic development issues. He also provides an understanding of the trends impacting our possible, probable, and preferred futures.

Mr. Whittaker is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma and has taught there for 30 years regarding the application of information technology to Economic Development. He is a certified economic developer by the International Economic Development Association and holds a certificate in Innovation Methodology from the New North Center for Design in Business. His academic credentials are from Illinois State University and the University of Illinois.

He has served as the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Resources and Applied Research at Ball State University as well as the Director of the Economic Development Academy prior to founding Whittaker Associates, Inc.

Mr. Whittaker is a frequent blogger (author) and speaker on the trends impacting economic development and how communities can prepare for the future using innovation and design. He is also a founding partner of the Pro Learning Laboratory, a collaboration of firms dedicated to providing monthly webinars about important topics to economic developers.

Jami Gibson

Office Manager & Research Analyst

Since April 2005, Jami has been a part of the Whittaker Associates team. As a research analyst her responsibilities include gathering and examining company information, industry trends, and growth patterns to provide business intelligence to professionals in the business services, real estate, and economic development fields. With information and technology changing at a rapid pace, she has discovered new and innovative ways to conduct research.

Jami also maintains the company financials, manages office procedures, and contributes to and compiles our monthly newsletter, the Whittaker Report. In addition, she has assisted with several presentations and webinars put on by Whittaker Associates, most notably presenting material at the Holland Chamber of Commerce’s tech talk and the Economic Development Institute.

Jami received her bachelor’s degree in finance from Grand Valley State University, where she was a member of the Seidman Investment Portfolio Organization.

Vidhan Rana

Director of Research

Vidhan finished his Bachelors degree in Business Management and Economics in 2008 from Hope College in Michigan, USA. After graduation he started work at Whittaker Associates. In his role as a research analyst, Vidhan worked with several state and local economic development agencies. He provided guidance and support to small businesses and medium-sized enterprises on issues of employment generation.

Vidhan established a research division for Whittaker Associates in Nepal in October 2010, and Biruwa Ventures in July 2011 to support aspiring entrepreneurs in fulfilling their dreams of starting their own ventures. At Biruwa, Vidhan is responsible of setting the vision and direction for the company. He also leads the company’s serviced office space division. Through Biruwa, Vidhan has mentored over 100 entrepreneurs and invested in three start-ups.