For more than 30 years, the small but mighty firm led by Mary Means provided strategic planning services to public interest clients — communities, state agencies, universities, and not-for–profit organizations, helping them build bridges between plans and people. Most of these assignments enabled clients to overcome inertia and created the momentum needed for change. Mary Means & Associates (MMA) earned a reputation for blending strategic thinking, effective community engagement, and market-based reasoning to create visionary plans that motivated action and increased clients’ capacity.
Heritage Development / Community Revitalization — MMA plans tapped the power of historic sites, natural features and storytelling as economic assets by enlisting regional and local leaders in planning and implementing imaginative heritage corridor and heritage tourism initiatives. Firm accomplishments include preparing the first management plan for a national heritage corridor–the Blackstone River National Heritage Corridor—followed by extensive strategic planning work with numerous other national heritage areas and corridors, state heritage areas, scenic byways, and tourism destinations.
MMA brought similar vision to its work with numerous downtowns and urban neighborhoods in communities ranging from small towns with just a few thousand residents to major cities like Wichita and New Orleans, often helping business, community and government interests find common ground and work together. A hallmark of MMA’s work: approaching strategic planning with a behavioral sensibility so that the ways visitors and residents relate to the built environment can be leveraged to achieve desired outcomes.