Hrishue Mahalaha

Chief Economic Advisor

Hrishue Mahalaha is the Chief Economic Advisor at Innovation Economy Partners. Hrishue supports an array of domestic clients and helps define, assess and deliver solutions that help improve and develop economies for communities across the nation.

Hrishue has more than 14 years of experience working with the management consulting firm Accenture.  During this time, Hrishue worked closely with a variety of domestic and international, public, private and governmental organizations.  Hrishue also has launched a variety of entrepreneurial ventures that spanned from medical devices to a restaurant.

Hrishue holds an MBA from Columbia University and a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. Business Management from Case Western Reserve University.

Hrishue lives in Cleveland with his wife and three children.


Dave White

Director of Workforce Technology Solutions

Dave White is an experienced problem solver and strategic thinker. He spent eighteen years in the Army’s Special Operations Command before retiring in 2021. He then transitioned into the workforce development world and led an organization that focused on community talent retention and attraction strategies. Under his tenure, this organization was awarded three awards from the International Economic Development Council for innovation.

Dave is a doctoral candidate in business at Case Western Reserve University, holds an executive MBA from Ohio State University, executive education from Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor’s of Science from American Military University.

Dave lives in Huron, Ohio with his wife and two children.


Jim Trutko

Research and Development

Jim Trutko has over 25 years of  Economic Development experience.  Jim’s specialty is in the area of economic data research & analysis, economic dashboard architecture and developing intelligent data visualizations.  Jim is a veteran and brings a vast array of cross-industry experience.

Jim holds an MA in Economics from Case Western Reserve University and an MA in Political Science from Kent State University.

Jim lives in Cleveland with his wife and two sons.


Lee Pettijohn

Community Advisor

Lee Pettijohn loves making order and sense out of chaos. With over a decade of experience in website development, Lee has a passion for seeing other people’s dreams of being more digitally organized a reality. He is a self-taught programmer in languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and jQuery.

Lee has worked with numerous different companies across the country and world. From Disney to the local coffee shop down the street. Each client brings a new opportunity to see a vision and help make it a reality.

In addition to his love of working in code and helping other small businesses, Lee has a couple entrepreneurial adventures of his own. He currently owns and operates a treehouse business in the cute little town of Hermann, Missouri. He also is a founder and board member of a local non-profit organization developed to support the youth in Hermann.

Lee Pettijohn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with an emphasis in Mathematics and also a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Marketing. He lives in Hermann, Missouri with his beautiful wife and three kids.