Phoenix Advantage is a Virginia-based economic development and business building consulting firm, featuring principals with deep experience in a wide range of issue areas that are critical to local success. Between them, Partners Miles Friedman and Michelle Coe have more than sixty years of hands-on work with governments at all levels and with businesses from microenterprises to multinational corporations.
The team has extensive experience in and outside of Virginia and offers a series of packages designed to help local economic development programs explore key issues, assess their readiness, and address opportunities and challenges in an affordable way. They believe that every local agency, whether a small one with limited resources, or a large one with a substantial and growing array of responsibilities, can benefit from experienced outside help, targeted to current and future challenges and flash points.
The Phoenix Advantage Team offers solutions designed to produce relatively swift and affordable results. Their methodology calls for starting with an analysis or exploration of a given issue area, which could then be followed with a comprehensive project to design and implement effective solutions.
- Starting and/or Enhancing a Local ED Program on a Modest Budget
- Creating a Small Business Resiliency Program Using American Rescue Plan Funds
- Conducting an Economic Development Strategy Assessment and Identification of Needs
- Completing a Performance Measurement Review (types of measures used and how they are used)
- Creating or Expanding an Entrepreneurship Program (e.g., business incubator; virtual support system)
- Assessing, Strengthening or Creating a More Demand-Driven Workforce Development System
- Developing Your Local Brand
- Revamping and Expanding/Fine Tuning a Marketing Strategy
Miles Friedman has more than 42 years of economic development experience. During that time, Friedman has traveled to 49 of the states, executed economic development engagements in 37 states and worked with government at all levels, and in all sized communities. He has helped create new slates of programs in states like Washington and Montana, has helped create an all new economic development structure and program in states like North Dakota, developed economic development strategies in communities like Manassas and Herndon, Virginia and established new small business development programs in places such as Fauquier County, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. He spent 25 years as president of a national economic development group, assisting communities all over the country in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating economic development programs.
Friedman served as Director of Economic Development for Fauquier County from 2013 to 2021, during which time he accomplished numerous firsts for the county. He opened three business incubator/accelerators, sited the first three data centers in county history, assisted numerous local businesses (large and small) to expand, added programs in workforce development, small business financing, training, incentives, green development and community revitalization.
Friedman has lived in Prince William County since 1978 and has been active in local and regional business groups, including Chambers of Commerce, downtown associations, the Prince William Parks Foundation, workforce initiatives and several community colleges. He is Founder and Chair of the Quantico/Belvoir Regional Business Alliance. This business group has helped numerous businesses gain work from the military while assisting the local installations in becoming more active members of the community.
Michelle Coe has worked with businesses and government on branding, web design and marketing for more than ten years. Coe has worked with more than forty companies, several not-for-profits and government agencies to clarify their brands, improve their marketing efforts and optimize their use of technology.
She is also the President and Senior Creative Director of BlueSkyPhoenix LLC, a brand and marketing strategy and technology solutions firm. With more than 25 years of experience, she consults with public and private sector clients to create organizational growth and resiliency strategies, build strong brands, and craft effective, results-driven marketing strategies. Her experiences in the business, government and nonprofit sectors give her an understanding of the people, processes and workflows that generate greater efficiencies. These insights enable her to offer a unique perspective, facilitating positive outcomes to a wide variety of challenges. With experience in business, brand & marketing strategy, design, project management, event coordination and instruction, Michelle easily relates and adapts to meet the individual needs of each of her clients.
Current and past clients include the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Vanguard Inspection Services, PC Perspective, Barrel Oak Winery and Farm Taphouse, Golden Rule Builders, Hero’s Bridge, Capaldi Reynolds & Pelosi, P.A. and Hammerhead Performance.
Michelle also serves as Vice President of the ClassicPress Initiative, a nonprofit providing funding and oversight of the ClassicPress project, a community-led alternative to WordPress for website design.
Coe has significant standing in the regional business community, helping to organize and lead the Fauquier Chamber Micro Enterprise Council and serving as 2022 Chair of the Fauquier Chamber.
Ann Marie Maher, CDME
Ann Marie Maher has more than 25 years of experience in Tourism Industry executive leadership, sales, communications and marketing roles. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in Travel/Tourism Management, Ann Marie has held leadership positions
in the tourism industry for nearly 30 years with various agencies. She served in Communications, Sales and Marketing roles for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and the tourism offices for Boston Massachusetts, Providence Rhode Island, and Valley Forge Pennsylvania. Most recently, Ann Marie directed Prince William County, Virginia’s Tourism program for 11 years from 2010 through 2021.
She chaired the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership (a consortium of the five tourism agencies that make up Northern Virginia) for two years and sat on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Restaurant Lodging Travel Association Bull Run Chapter and Prince William Chamber of Commerce. Career milestones include earning her CDME (Certified Destination Management Executive) from Destinations International in 2020, leading a successful Civil War Sesquicentennial event with more than 20,000 attendees in July 2011 and receiving the Prince William County Executive Award in 2018. Under Ann Marie’s leadership, various tourism teams and programs she led received two national awards and five state awards.
In her spare time, Ann Marie enjoys spending time with family, scuba diving, volunteering, hiking and writing poetry.
The Phoenix Advantage team generates compelling results for their clients through strong partnerships with professionals and firms that add value and expertise in a variety of areas. Some of our partners include:
P3 Innovation Strategies
Internationalization, New Market Entry Analysis/Support, and “In-Country” Representation Services
P3i has significant experience supporting business growth on a global basis, including new market development, relocation to another country, and improvement of your existing global trade program. Working directly with business leaders and entrepreneurs, P3i ensures that your business objectives for internationalization will be achieved.
We work with emerging and high-growth companies to enter new geographical markets as well as provide support for internationalization efforts – including investor pitch and business “soft-landing” services such as company registration, market research, staffing, marketing, site selection, and incentive package negotiation. We often assist companies by making B2B and B2C introductions and developing other critical meetings tailored to the needs of that particular company – meetings with potential partners and product distribution channels, outsourcing relationships, and/or potential investors. At times, P3i provides these services as a package to a group of companies in a technology park or similar organization – both domestically in the U.S. and globally – lowering the cost of these important services for each participating company. P3i has worked extensively with several Teknoparks in Turkey on ICT B2B delegations to both Canada and the United States.
Similarly, we lead company formation and commercialization of intellectual property (IP) discovery from both research-based institutions of higher education and business, including joint venture creation.
Keith Segerson, CEO / P3i
Innovation/Entrepreneurship, FDI & Lead Generation
After more than 35 years working in global corporations and higher education, Keith founded P3 Innovation Strategies. Bringing his expertise in information technology, global economic development, business, entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystems, and public-private partnerships, Keith and his senior leadership team and global partners are well positioned to provide exceptional client consulting services for small and medium enterprises, large corporations, municipalities and government agencies, as well as all levels of academia.
Keith’s work in global business and economic development extends from Europe to Asia to North America. With a special focus on internationalization and innovation consulting, Keith has worked with large corporations, SME’s, local, state and provincial governments to build sustainable regional economies. Additional expertise is centered around the support of global joint ventures, “soft-landing” programs, lead generation, market representation, and foreign direct investment (FDI) initiatives.
Prior to founding P3 Innovation Strategies, Keith served most recently as AVP for Research & Economic Development and before that as Executive Director of University Computing and Information Systems at George Mason University (USA). His work provided him with a keen global perspective, an eye toward innovation, and an expertise in IT, investment and trade, and business.