Our distinctive approach to management consulting is driven by a desire to solve challenging business problems. Working with our clients as partners, we combine evidence-based analytics, creative insights, and a strong operational focus to create actionable, elegant solutions that make a lasting impact.
- Since 2007, we have developed growth strategies for large and mid-sized companies, startups, non-profits, and global universities. We specialize in four practice areas: Education, Healthcare, Service Businesses, and Information & Media. Our tailored approaches and custom solutions are carefully designed to fit the unique needs of each client. We support our clients’ growth and development through a broad range of capabilities.
We take an integrative approach to strategy, helping clients create competitive advantage through analytics, problem solving, and a fresh perspective on operating processes.
Our approach to research focuses first on how the research results will be implemented. This allows us to provide our clients with actionable research findings directly aligned to key managerial decisions.
We specialize in supporting better, cheaper, and faster product and service development at every level.
Effective operations are critical to continued growth. By applying analytics and practical approaches we help our clients generate significant and sustained performance improvements.
Diligence & Acquisitions
From diligence to acquisition integration, we help our clients make sound investment decisions and optimize their business results.
Marketing & Sales
From analytics to storytelling to pricing, our approach helps clients optimize their marketing and sales efforts through the generation of actionable and authentic customer insights.
We tailor our work to each client’s unique position, goals, and mission. Our team combines rigorous analytics, design thinking, and focus on downstream operations to ensure that solutions are actionable and meaningful. We work in close partnership with our clients to develop insightful perspectives, inventive approaches, and scalable solutions.
We work in four primary practice areas:
We have a deep knowledge of the education industry both in the United States and abroad. Our work spans pK-12 to graduate education in both the public and private sectors. Our team is passionate about education, viewing it as critical to both individual and societal growth.
Past education casework includes:
For a leading university, we performed demand discovery work to assess the viability of its proposed degree programs from the perspectives of employers, students, and university partners.
For a business-to-consumer (B2C) education company with customers in over 90 countries, we conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative research to understand key concerns and insights from promoters, detractors, as well as prospective customers that choose not to buy their product.
For a brand name K-12 company, we redefined their brand architecture and positioning of key product suites.
For a national K-12 after-school tutoring provider, we conducted vendor selection to identify, vet, and select a blended learning curriculum provider optimally suited to address their needs and the needs of large urban school districts.
For a US-based higher education technology provider, we conducted a market scan, marketing sizing, and competitive analysis of an international market.
For a private education services provider, we analyzed 24,000+ Pre and Post Reading and Math assessments as well as operational data to develop a system to isolate and address performance issues at the local education agency, building, classroom and individual teacher level.
For a business-to-government company that provides curriculum and instruction to public schools nationwide, we conducted extensive price research and contract analysis.
For a national K-8 education provider, we envisioned, planned, and developed their entry into the high school market. This included research, instructional development, and curriculum development. We developed a unique Learn, Use, Teach (TM) methodology based on best teaching practices and neurobiology of learning principles. This blended learning methodology is designed for both virtual and brick & mortar implementations.
For multiple K-12 and higher education providers, we provided enrollment & retention analytics and operational support to increase new and returning customers.
For a non-profit education services provider, we supported the application, development, and launch of two charter schools.
The healthcare industry is undergoing unprecedented change worldwide. Shifting demographics, new technology, regulatory changes, and an increasing use of big data and evidence-based practice are all radically changing the healthcare environment.
As the healthcare sector evolves, IT, electronic health records (EHR), and Data Interoperability will be critical for healthcare institutions to improve quality of care and maintain profitability in an environment of decreasing reimbursement. Changing industry dynamics will also pressure hospitals to reorganize into true health systems through vertical (service/product expansion and acquisition of private practices) and horizontal integration (hospital acquisition). In addition, new technologies will continue to disrupt the industry, challenging traditional approaches and players, and creating both new operational efficiencies and problems.
Tuscany Associates works with private sector, hospital, and research university executives to provide analytical, communications, operational, and financial support.
Our past healthcare casework includes:
For a California-based home health care provider, we developed and instituted a balanced scorecard of Key Performance Indicators.
For the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, we conducted a market scan of point of care tests for STIs and identified potential product development partners.
For the University of Maryland, Institute of Human Virology, we developed a community outreach communications strategy culminating in the production of annual documentaries highlighting key programmatic features.
For the Specialized Services Division of a new health care provider, we developed and helped to launch a telepractice platform to deliver Speech Language Pathology services.
For a mid-Atlantic health services company, we conducted a market scan of the Autism environment focusing on legislative, competitive, insurance, and reimbursement issues.
For Johns Hopkins Hospital, we developed multiple documentaries to highlight Hopkins’ leadership role in developing the academic research university model.
Our work for service businesses combines our extensive experience in the service world with a strong understanding of the implications of digital technologies on the service industry. Service industries will continue to undergo radical change driven by globalization, digitization, social publishing platforms, and pervasive analytics. Overall, new entrants that integrate digital information into their core services offerings are radically redefining the nature of services.
We have experience launching new companies and new business divisions, helping firms grapple with the dilemma of innovation driven cannibalization, and reorienting firms from an internal to a customer-centric focus.
Past Service Businesses casework includes:
For a mid-sized private business, we integrated the marketing, sales, customer service, and technical support systems to create a comprehensive, integrated view of each individual client. We also remapped the firm's accounting GL codes from an internal perspective to a customer activity based perspective.
For a national services provider, we conducted qualitative prospective and current customer research through extensive interviews and quantitative survey research to develop the firm’s product roadmap.
For a private, mid-sized business, we conducted big data analysis, derived actionable KPIs, and instituted a role-based reporting system that replaced the firm’s high-end but ineffective dashboard system.
For a Silicon Valley technology startup, we provided segmentation, targeting, and positioning analysis, developed an investor roadshow presentation, and created key messaging.
For a franchise based services company, we developed and tested a new within-center and out-of-center customer experience for a novel product introduction.
For an online services company, we developed a comprehensive view of the industry including marketing sizing, competitive analysis, and labor sourcing strategies.
For a variety of funds, public companies, and private firms, Tuscany Group has conducted due diligence across a wide ranges of industries. Our rigorous, evidence-based approach helps our clients make informed, well structured decisions.
We also have extensive experience managing the integration of new acquisitions into parent companies. Our clients value both our collegiality and ability to focus simultaneously on the big picture and the details that can be a barrier to successful integration.
The last decade has seen dramatic changes in the publishing, music, film, and information industries. Whole industries have been invented, disrupted, and reinvented with blistering speed. Large consolidated media companies have been challenged by unbundled content, an explosion of user generated content, and web-enabled mobile services, all working together to change consumer behavior and expectations.
The next decade will see equally disruptive change for both established players and new upstarts. The next wave of innovation can provide new sources of differentiation for established players seeking to remake their service offerings.
With a strong grasp of a changing macro environment, we support media production companies, textbook, magazine, and online publishers, content management platforms, communications firms, and arts institutions.
Past Information and Media Casework includes:
For a business-to-consumer product company, we geo-plotted their customer base, analyzed operational, sales, and social media data, to create a state by state expansion plan.
For a custom publishing firm, we developed a digital pricing system (mobile compatible) that allows the client to create accurate, custom-priced solutions on the fly.
For a content management platform, we constructed a big data analytic tool allowing managers to filter and interpret complex client data.
For Tutor Our Children, a DC based education advocacy group, we produced a 30-minute documentary and advocacy campaign highlighting the need for legislative changes to support low-income students.
For the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, we created a documentary on the art of Toshiko Takaezu. The documentary is archived at the Smithsonian.
For the Denver Museum of Art, we supported a go mobile experience providing contextual videos associated with individual artwork, all accessible via smartphones for a personalized, interactive experience.
Information & Media
Founding Principal & Partner
David is the founding principal and partner of Tuscany Strategy Consulting, LLC, a Baltimore-based consulting firm with four primary practice areas: Healthcare, Education, Consumer Goods and Services, and Information & Media. Since 2007, David has led over 200 North American engagements spanning demand discovery, due diligence, operations, marketing and sales, and product development. Building on his twenty five years of experience as an entrepreneur, corporate manager, and strategy consultant, David and the Tuscany team are building an innovative approach to consulting that integrates strategy, data analytics, and lean start up techniques.
Prior to Tuscany, David served as a corporate Vice President of Business Development, and Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Laureate, Inc. Prior to Laureate, he launched what became the nation’s largest provider of Supplemental Education Services under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, for Sylvan Learning Systems. Prior to Sylvan, he served as Vice President Product Management for Mindsurf, Inc. a venture-backed wireless technology company.
David holds a Masters of Management from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelors of Arts in philosophy and mathematics from St. John’s College, Annapolis. David is also on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering.
David has extensive marketing and general management experience in the sectors of consumer packaged goods, higher education and K-12 education. He began his career at the Quaker Oats Company working on the Gatorade Sports Drink brand team. He worked for eight years in the U.S. and U.K. for the Colgate-Palmolive Company, holding positions of increasing responsibility in brand marketing for the Hill’s Pet Foods division, including marketing manager for US marketing, director of marketing for Europe, and managing director/general manager of northern Europe for the Science Diet and Prescription Diet product lines.
David worked for over 15 years at Laureate Education where he served as President and CEO for 13 of Laureate Education’s international universities in 9 countries. These schools offered hospitality management, business, engineering, art, architecture and design. He was the founding President of eSylvan, and Vice President of marketing for Sylvan Learning Centers worldwide. Just prior to joining Tuscany Associates, he served as Regional Managing Director of North America at Nord Anglia Education, Inc. David has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, both at Northwestern University.
Alexander (Sascha) Cocron
Sascha Cocron has extensive background in corporate strategy and in entrepreneurial venture development. He was a founding member of two successful venture-capital funded technology start-ups, including Applied Predictive Technologies, a big-data analytics software firm.
Sascha has for the past 20 years worked with companies to develop growth strategies, focusing primarily on intellectual-capital intensive industries. A former partner at Mercer Management Consulting, he has advised senior executives of Global 1000 companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Australia, and Canada. His past casework experience includes strategy development and M&A advisory work in numerous industries including information services, high technology manufacturing, telecommunications, professional services, and process industries.
Sascha holds an M.B.A. with honors from The University of Chicago and a B.A. in philosophy and mathematics from St. John's College, Annapolis
With over twenty-five years of experience leading innovative marketing and technology businesses in B2B and B2C as well as start-up and enterprise environments, Dianne Conley has an exceptional record of defining and driving strategic initiatives to deliver measurable business value, often in “hasn’t been done before” contexts. As VP of Marketing at K12 Inc, she led the enterprise’s CRM and Marketing Automation initiatives, established the Social Media Center of Excellence, and spearheaded the effort to bring Agile methodologies to the Marketing Department. Formerly, Dianne was SVP at DoublePositive Marketing Group, where she ran the internet marketing firm’s operations; a Principal at the marketing consultancy 4Thought, Inc.; and SVP at emagination network, where she led delivery of solutions for the interactive firm. Dianne received her Bachelor’s degree in economics summa cum laude from Bucknell University.
Katrina Stevens, the former Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology, has extensive experience in multiple roles in the ed tech ecosystem: teacher, administrator, startup cofounder, consultant, professional development facilitator, grant writer, advisor, angel investor, journalist and community organizer.
As OET Deputy Director, Katrina led the work for rapid cycle tech evaluations, Future Ready, ed tech developer outreach, and education innovation clusters. Previous to working at the U.S. Department of Education, Stevens served as the EdSurge Summit Director and Founding Executive Director of EdTech Maryland. In both roles, Stevens fostered collaboration among educators, edtech startups, researchers, and community leaders. In her role at EdSurge, Stevens oversaw the development of the Tech for Schools Summits around the country, which brought together 30+ companies with 500+ educators to create better tools for schools. She also wrote extensively about ed tech issues internationally.
Before working in central office in Baltimore County Public Schools, Katrina spent three years working with the Ministry of Education in Bermuda for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth to launch a lab school and gifted program for students from across the island.
Michael Schnell is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Economics. Michael began at Tuscany Strategy in 2015, working as an Intern, Analyst, and now Senior Analyst. During his tenure, he has worked on engagements spanning new market entry, marketing and operations, site selection, differentiation strategies, spatial mapping, regulatory analysis and blue ocean strategy development.
Previously, Michael served as the Chief of Staff and a Research Assistant for Professor Steve H. Hanke, who is co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University. He has also worked as a Baseball Writer for the Sports Quotient.
Thomas Reilly has recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Science in Engineering Management. During his studies, he has undertaken voluntary research for the Affordable Housing Institute, worked as a teaching assistant for graduate and undergraduate courses in business strategy and culture, and completed an internship with Under Armour working in the fields of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Before attending Johns Hopkins, Thomas lived in Western Australia and worked as an environmental advisor for BHP Billiton Iron Ore focusing on mining and infrastructure operations. He earned undergraduate degrees in engineering and commerce from the University of Melbourne, and during his studies also completed internships with the Australian Department of Finance and Deregulation focusing on deregulation policy development.
Andy Ingersoll is a student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a B.A. in International Studies and Global Environmental Change and Sustainability, with a minor in Islamic Studies. Previously he has worked for a tech startup in Silicon Valley, as an organic farmer in Oregon and West Virginia, and for the Hopkins Recycling Department.