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David Petr joins Marketing Alliance as new President


David Petr, Marketing Alliance President

Leading economic developer, strategist and marketer David Petr to join Marketing Alliance as new President, growing firm’s capabilities and international reach.

Recognizing the incredible opportunity to provide current and future clients a more holistic set of services, Marketing Alliance announced today that long-time ally and business development veteran, David Petr, will be taking on a leadership role within the industry-leading firm. As President, David will be amplifying the scope, quality and character of services to better meet the evolving needs of economic development organizations, tourism entities, Chambers of Commerce, business improvement districts and private industry.

“I couldn’t be more excited.” said John Abbate, who previously served as President at Marketing Alliance and will now move into the CEO role. “David brings relevant strategic thinking, bold ideas and political acumen as the former leader of three economic development organizations, including his most recent role in the Greater Washington D.C. region. Our success at Marketing Alliance has been through anticipating and delivering upon the needs of the market, and with David on the team, we can offer additional solutions not currently found in economic development marketing.”

Marketing Alliance has grown steadily since its founding in 2001, offering creative solutions in branding, web site development, strategic digital campaigns, video production, real estate visualization, lead generation and other dynamic storytelling offerings. By focusing on measurable results and return on investment, the team has assisted 300 communities since its inception, sharing the community’s story to key stakeholders and prospects. With Petr, a deeper focus on data, strategy and a keen understanding of location decision-making processes is expected to yield accelerated growth for the firm.

“Since my pivot from traditional advertising agency owner to economic development CEO, I’ve recognized that economic development is truly about understanding a community’s value proposition and sharing that discovery in a human, unique way. With the impressive foundation set at Marketing Alliance, my talents as a marketer and as an economic development professional can be leveraged in new ways to create prosperity for existing and future clients of the firm,” stated Petr. “John’s leadership for the past two decades, plus the strength of his team, set the stage for rewarding, purpose-driven work to solve big challenges and create new opportunities for current and future clients.”

With Petr in place, Marketing Alliance now has the ability to provide strategic services in the form of Community Economic Development Assessments and Strategies, workforce studies, business development plans and outreach, location profiles, and other business/market intelligence work. As the current Economic Development Subject Matter Expert for Datastory, a global leader in location intelligence, Petr will work in concert with this innovative firm to drive solutions that break the mold of traditional reports, using visualization and mapping technology to create online, engaging experiences that are real-time and relevant. This strategic approach will influence and inspire all marketing services coming out of Marketing Alliance, delivering more impact to creative campaigns.

As an economic development CEO, Petr is responsible for over 1 billion dollars of capital investment and 10,000 jobs created. Prior to joining Marketing Alliance, David was most recently the CEO of Shortlisted, an inclusive, Austin-based consultancy firm which amplified the work of organizations across the United States with services focused on strategic planning, business retention/expansion, business recruitment, and marketing. His role as the inaugural CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation resulted in 94 projects won in three years, plus the accomplishment of putting Montgomery County on Amazon HQ2 short list of 20, which was the only county in the group of finalists.

David was named to Washington Business Journal’s Power 100, Washington’s most influential newsmakers of 2017, after just 13 months at the helm of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. Because of his time in the Greater Washington D.C. region, David is active on the global front, facilitating relationships between the United States and Vietnam, China, South Korea, Israel, Ireland, Colombia and Germany. He received his Bachelor of Advertising from the University of Illinois and his Master of Advertising from the University of Texas. His passion for customer service was born working for the Walt Disney Company during his undergrad years, and continues through today.

For inquiries related to this leadership addition, or to see how Marketing Alliance can create opportunities for your community, reach out by calling 941.347.7412 or emailing John Abbate at