Regional Wealth Creation Case Studies

In 2016, the NADO Research Foundation released the Regional Wealth Creation Case Studies.  These case studies feature three regions working on economic development initiatives that build multiple forms of wealth, root economies in place with local ownership and control of assets, and intentionally include people at the margins of the economy as beneficiaries of economic development work.

A trainer from University of Minnesota Extension demonstrates making a healthy recipe using local foods
Courtesy Region Five Development Commission

These efforts are working to build social, political, cultural, built, intellectual, individual, financial, and natural assets, without harming community assets by identifying demand for a products that can be produced or developed within a region.  Value chains, or networks of people and organizations working together on a market opportunity, are a tool for building an economy that is rooted in a place.

Learn more about the rural wealth creation framework at, and read the NADO Research Foundation Regional Wealth Creation Case Studies:


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Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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