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We are strategic planners with deep multi-industry experience. We train, coach and guide business and not-for-profit leaders to develop and implement strategic plans for growth.

Value Proposition

Using a fun river-rafting metaphor, with all your key players gathered together (in-person or virtual) and with your critical issues on the table, you'll work as a team to develop or update a growth plan for your organization. This plan will be strategically solid, even if you've never stopped to do a strategic plan before. It will reflect customer and constituent needs and motivations, your current operational priorities and your best opportunities for growth. 

You plan will be concrete, action-oriented, and signed off by every member of the management team. 

And it will get implemented. 

  • The River Trip℠ is easily customized for any not-for-profit organization, for a product or service business, for your funding sources, your competitive environment, geographic scope of operations and distribution channel.

  • The strategic plan which you develop will have the forward-looking scope of a strategic plan, along with near-term objectives which lead directly into operational plans and budgets.


Our experience at Growth Management Center spans more than 40 industries, in most sectors of the economy and 15 countries. These are some of the recent and past clients whose logos you might recognize.  Click below to see a more complete listing of our strategic planning collaborations.

Consensus on strategy  •  Implementation on time

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President and Principal Planning Facilitator, Growth Management Center

During four decades as a strategic management consultant and planning facilitator, Rob has assisted hundreds of boards and management teams in more than 40 industries and 15 countries to plan for the growth of their organizations. 
Rob’s career began as director of a camp for children who were blind or deaf.  He then joined Procter & Gamble’s marketing team at Cincinnati headquarters, worked for nearly a decade in the grocery and consumer products industries assisting Carnation International, Citicorp, US West, Harrah’s, Jack Daniel’s, Holiday Inns and other American corporations with their marketing and growth planning.
In 1986, Rob and his wife built and operated for 20 years a strategic management planning center on Donner Lake, in the Tahoe area, primarily serving privately-held businesses and not-for-profit teams to plan the future of their organizations. He has also co-founded several and supported dozens of not-for-profits to address their services and fund raising challenges.
Rob and Ryan now use their combined professional experience to train others who want to lead strategic and marketing planning teams in their own organization or for their clients.
Rob lives, fishes and mountain bikes in Southwest Montana, and hikes in the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest.  His background includes a B.A. (economics) at Santa Clara University; an MBA (strategic marketing) at the University of Southern California; with postgraduate work at UCLA.
“Work/life balance has never been easy,” Rob says, “but I’m still working at it. Grandchildren are helping the cause.”



Vice President, Senior Planning Facilitator & Graphic Recorder

With roots in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Ryan comes to Growth Management Center with an outstanding business education from California State University Monterey Bay and a first career in the outdoor recreation industry.  He joined Growth Management Center in 2007, and since then has been a consultant to more than 30 businesses and not-for-profits, in fifteen industries and six countries.

His business passion on the strategic side is consumer brands that are genuine, and business scalability is his primary interest on the operations side.

Ryan was instrumental in developing both editions of the Growth Management River Trip℠ process map series, bringing his agenda development experience and his graphic recording skills to the new planning process design.

After work one can find Ryan, often with Buster his silver Labrador, fishing one of Montana’s rivers or hunting up an isolated gulch. He lives across from the Missouri River near Townsend, Montana.

“I am really most passionate about fly-fishing,” he says, “which connects me to our shared ecosystem in a meaningful and impactful way.”

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Client Service and Technology Manager

In 1990, Cathy joined our firm to manage our corporate planning center on Donner Lake. Since then, she has brought us to email, onto the internet, from floppy disks and CD-ROMs onto the cloud, then into e-commerce and videoconferencing.

In addition to keeping our technology infrastructure functional and up-to-date, Cathy is our front line for communicating with clients, whether routine interaction or more urgent communication during a planning session. She finds answers and gets information to the right folks at the right time.

Cathy is a Humboldt State University graduate and active alum, a gardener extraordinaire, and has made 20 San Francisco Giants opening days. She also has parking privileges in the same lot as Willie Mays, just a few steps from the stadium.

Cathy’s commitment to responsive client service is as strong as Ryan and Rob’s commitment to visual, collaborative strategic and marketing planning process leadership.

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Research-Based Processes

The River Trip℠ is our latest update of the Growth Management Process™, which we originally developed in the early 1980’s. It was based on proprietary research to determine what strategic planning processes were actually used by growing businesses because they worked, not because they were developed by academics or sold by consulting firms.

A Deregulating Economy

When the US economy was deregulating in the late 1980’s, we made it more customer-centric for management teams who never had to compete for customers before.

Global Business

Mushrooming global trade in the 1990’s triggered more focus onto supply chains and international markets.

The Internet

As software and the internet developed at the turn of the century, we needed technology roadmaps and learned to include social media in the marketing mix.

Market Segmentation​

During the following decade, industry concentration and segmentation of markets influenced our planning process designs.

Post Pandemic

Although we have been using videoconferencing for many years, the pandemic and the geographic dispersion of management teams has made the efficiency of video meetings acceptable to every organization. Strategic objectives have a broader time frame now, from relatively short term to longer term.

A Proven Planning Approach

Over the years, we have supported hundreds of management teams using the Growth Management Process,™ across most sectors of our economy and throughout the free world.

Our latest process update, The Growth Management River Trip℠, incorporates a visual, high-involvement, more agile approach for today’s uncertain economic environment. It incorporates our learning into the process design, in a way that others can benefit from the best practices that we have distilled from our professional experience.

Welcome to leading-edge strategic planning for today’s quick-paced, always-connected world.


"In both companies where we partnered with Growth Management, they were a catalyst for positive change. Their process distills complex issues into actionable programs that drive significant value."

Bruce Rowe

Senior VP for Strategy, Bally Gaming

"This was the single most profound and successful initiative I've participated in during my professional life, delivering exactly what was promised: aligning the entire organization around a simple cultural change of meeting the needs of customers. You're a small but excellent consulting firm. You roll up your sleeves and work with clients to deliver results equal to or better than the big guys."

Jim Czesak 

40 years a senior officer for insurance brokers HCM, ABD & Lockton

"We always achieved good results with Rob and the Growth Management process throughout my career. It required people to open up, talk things through and work collaboratively. Getting plans right is not easy, but this approach worked every time."

Robert Miller

Senior Marketing Officer for Harrah's Reno, FedEx the Americas, Delco, Tele Atlas, Popular Demand

"Rob and Ryan guided our planning for a decade. We've grown consistently every year, with objectives that evolved as our markets, our competition and our staffing evolved. Their process works!"

Larry Duncan

Chairman, Duncan Enterprises (privately-held, selling to creative consumers)

"We are light years ahead of where we were prior to working with GMC. Our 'fire fight' approach is now a more logical process, involving more team members to get through our industry's day-to-day crises. This process has also helped our business transition smoothly from one generation to the next."

Eric Harrison

CEO, J. Reneé

(privately-held, high fashion shoes)

"I worked with Growth Management at my previous hospital and here in Southern Humboldt. Ryan and Rob work with the board and management, leading us to create written as well as visual plans that everyone can understand. They follow up, making sure the goals and actions are attainable. I really enjoy working with them."

Matt Rees

CEO, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District

"When we founded TradeCard, we were early-in to the SAAS space. The customer journey phase of the Growth Management Process™ guided our rollout of global support, and contributed to onboarding and customer loyalty as we scaled to 100,000+ users in 78 countries. And it helped my team to gel as a team."

Guy Rey-Herme

Citibank, Bank of America, Co-Founder & COO TradeCard (merged with GT Nexus then Infor)

"This process has enabled us to grow revenues, focus expenses onto an expanded mission and bring tighter accountability to our partnerships. It's a highly-effective planning approach."

Liz Bergeron

CEO, Pacific Crest Trail Association (public-private partnership, with a 30+ year planning horizon)

"You provided an essential strategic framework, which allowed senior leaders and junior managers to gain confidence and commit to achieving their individual and team results. Our plans are working documents - not ornaments on the shelf; the results prove that good planning combined with sound goal setting will deliver solid growth."

Grant Halverson

Managing Director, Diners Club Australia (Franchisee)

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