Our Team

Thayr Richey, Ph.D.

Thayr Richey is president of Strategic Development Group, a firm that specializes in community-based economic development.  SDG has been helping communities, regions, and businesses develop innovative strategies since 1991.

Thayr has had a wide range of experience in both the government and the private sector.  He has served as executive director of the Indiana Department of Commerce, the director of economic development for Hoosier Energy, the executive director of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, and the director of the Governor’s Initiative on Economic Development.  Thayr has worked on projects throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Japan.

Over the past two decades, Thayr has been involved with hundreds of business locations and expansions.  Thayr has spoken on community and economic development to a variety of audiences in the United States and abroad.  His writing on economic development includes the topics of planning, work force development, new business recruitment, retention & expansion and export promotion.

Thayr and his wife live in Bloomington, Indiana.  Thayr’s hobbies include music, tennis and chess.

Thayr can be reached at 800-939-2449 or at trichey@sdg.us.


Scott Burgins

Senior Project Manager, received his Masters of Public Administration from Indiana University. He has been with SDG since 1996. Scott has led projects throughout the state including work on downtown revitalization, economic development planning, affordable housing and community visioning. He was the project manager for the 39-county Southern Indiana Rural Development Project. Some of the arts, heritage and cultural projects he has headed up include helping design a tourism campaign that centers on the town of Vernon’s links to the Underground Railroad. Scott also serves on the Bloomington Plan Commission and teaches journalism at Indiana University.

Contact Scott at: sburgins@sdg.us


Brian O’Neill

SDG regularly partners with O’Neill Research  on planning and research projects. Brian has over twenty years of experience in strategic planning. He holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University. He is a nationally recognized writer and award-winning teacher. He is also past President of both the Monroe County Commissioners and Plan Commission and understands the interplay between education, community development, and local government. He has facilitated strategic plans for a broad range of organizations including urban enterprise associations, municipalities, libraries, schools, and local economic organizations.

Contact Brian at: boneill@sdg.us