Robert founded the Janus Forum in 2009 and the Janus Institute in 2011 as a way to contribute to the economic development profession and help communities in new and innovative ways. “Economic developers have a wealth of information about creating jobs, stimulating the local economy and moving the community forward. The Forum and Institute are a focal point for this knowledge and experience. Our mission is to apply and expand it.”
For over 25 years, Robert has provided consulting services to corporations, states, communities, development agencies and similar organizations in the U.S. and abroad. He is an acknowledged expert and widely published author in the areas of business location, community and economic development, real estate, market analysis and related fields.
Robert has been named a “Top Ten Consultant” by Southern Business & Development magazine and an “Outstanding Leader in Geo‐Economics” by Site Selection magazine. He is quoted by news media including Cable News Network, British Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Wall Street Journal and numerous local media, and he has made over 150 presentations at conferences and seminars in the U.S. and abroad. His published works include over 50 professional journal articles and two books, including Introduction to Community Development, named by Oxford University Press as one of the top two books in the field.
Prior to founding the Janus Forum and Institute, Mr. Pittman held a number of executive positions in the industry including:
- Founder and Managing Principal, Janus Economics (2009-present)
- Director of Business Location and Economic Development Consulting, Lockwood Greene (an international engineering and consulting company acquired in 2005 by CH2MHill).
- Deputy Director, International Development Research Council (now CoreNet, the leading professional association of corporate real estate executives).
- Executive Director, Community Development Institute, University of Central Arkansas.
- Executive Vice President, Homer Hoyt Institute (real estate research and consulting).
Mr. Pittman has completed projects for private sector clients including American Express, Eclipse Aviation, Dole Food Company, Coca‐Cola, Boeing, Southern Company, American Electric Power, Entergy, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Public sector clients include state departments of economic development (e.g. Tennessee, Louisiana, Michigan, North Dakota); regional/local economic development agencies (e.g. Jacksonville FL, Los Angeles CA, Asheville NC, Sioux City IA); and economic development organizations in various countries (e.g. New Zealand, Germany, England, Trinidad & Tobago).
He holds a BA degree in economics from Emory University and a PhD degree in economics from Northwestern University.
Anita’s 35 year career as a CPA advising entrepreneurial businesses and their owners prepared her well for a world of volunteer activities and her encore career. Active in Janus Institute and Forum activities from inception, she enjoys making fresh baked cookies to kick off each Forum, sharing time with Janus guests and spouses as they explore off the beaten path treasures in Rabun County, Georgia and other Forum venues, and developing long lasting relationships with Forum attendees. Behind the scenes, Anita manages the Institute’s finances, contributes to Forum planning and communications, and brainstorms with her husband about moving communities forward through the Institute’s affiliation with Piedmont College, its community assistance programs, and the Janus Forum experience.
Cindy has over ten years’ experience in higher education administration and programming at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia and Morningside College and Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. Since she began working at Piedmont College in 2010, Cindy has assisted several departments through special assignments and projects. She began working with the Janus Institute in 2016, and she looks forward to learning more about community and economic development. She and her husband Steve were born and raised in central Illinois and lived for over 25 years in central and northwest Iowa before moving to beautiful northeast Georgia in 2009. They live in Habersham County with their two dogs Jethro and Bailey.
Amanda Lilla has been in the community and economic development field for over 10 years. She has extensive experience in working with people to achieve goals that affect change for the betterment of their communities. She has most recently held a director’s position at a company that specializes in peer and cultural development. Her work with Janus Institute specializes in economic development, community assessments, industry analysis, and strategic planning.
Ms. Lilla’s consulting experience includes a variety of work with regional and local economic development agencies and organizations. Her work has included assessments for multiple communities, and strategic planning for community development projects.
Projects she has completed as part of the Janus consulting team include:
- Haralson County, Georgia 5-Year Strategic Plan (Project Manager)
- Granbury, Texas Community Assessment and Target Industry Analysis
- Opp, Alabama Community Assessment and Target Industry Analysis
- Chattooga County, Georgia Community Assessment and Target Industry Analysis
She holds a Bachelors Degree from Brenau University.