City of Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) commissioned Keen Independent to conduct a workforce disparity study. The study examines hiring, retention, recruitment, membership and termination practices, of KCMO Metropolitan construction contractors, labor organizations and non-labor organizations. David Keen and Annette Humm Keen, Keen Independent Principals, are leading this assignment. They are joined by LMG Professional Services, […]
Keen Independent Research tackles big issues with powerful ideas.
After many years leading other consulting firms, Annette Humm Keen and Dave Keen formed Keen Independent Research in 2011 to provide focused assistance to businesses, non-profits and government agencies. We now have almost 20 professionals throughout the country.
Our tools include economic and market research, statistical modeling, policy analysis and business strategy. We find the story behind the numbers. Because our work is always about people, what we learn in one assignment sparks ideas in other fields.
The firm works with small start-ups to large organizations, leading projects from $10,000 to $2 million. We craft a working relationship, budget and performance timeline that fit each client. The common thread is independent advice that combines creativity, passion and brutal honesty.
Keen Independent is conducting the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) DBE Availability and Disparity Study. This study examines HDOT’s contracting and subcontracting policies, procedures and practices relative to the solicitation of, and participation by DBEs in USDOT funded contracts. David Keen and Annette Humm Keen, Keen Independent Principals, are leading this assignment. They are joined […]
Annette Humm Keen and Dave Keen presented the Draft 2018 City of New Orleans Disparity Study results at the Mayor’s Conversation on Economic Equity in New Orleans. Landrieu-Minority businesses in New Orleans still face obstacles
In the News … Keen Independent releases one of the nation’s largest disparity studies ever conducted! Draft disparity study reports are posted for nine participating entities in Minnesota including: State of Minnesota Department of Administration, MnDOT, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Hennepin County, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Metropolitan Council […]
Keen Independent is working with the Transportation Research Board, Federal Highway Administration and state departments of transportation to learn more about the most successful and competitive Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and what state DOTs have done to help them. The results of this research may be published and made available to USDOT, state DOTs and […]
In September 2017, David Keen and Annette Humm Keen presented research results to the work2future board of directors from Keen Independent’s study on issues of poverty and workforce development in a county where the dichotomy in incomes and opportunity are extreme. As part of this study, Keen Independent examined paths to emerging from economic distress […]
Nine state and local government agencies in Minnesota have come together to analyze whether there is a level playing field for minority- and woman-owned firms in the local marketplace. Participating entities include the State of Minnesota, City of Minneapolis, City of St. Paul, Hennepin County and the local transit and airport authorities. The study launched […]
Louisiana Weekly reports on Keen Independent Disparity Study. Read the article here.
Keen Independent completed an innovative, supportive services web portal for the Arizona Department of Transportation and 11 instructional videos to increase capacity of DBEs and MWBEs.
Keen Independent expresses heartfelt wishes to our friends in Houston and New Orleans as they recover from Hurricane Harvey.
Keen Independent’s presentation for WASHTO: Using Disparity Studies to Improve DBE Programs [PDF] http://washtocr2017.com/
Keen Independent is conducting the City of New Orleans Disparity Study. The study is examining procurement of construction, professional services, goods and other services. David Keen and Annette Humm Keen, Keen Independent Principals, are leading this assignment. They are joined by Dr. Silas Lee of Dr. Silas Lee & Associates, Cleveland Spears of Spears Group, […]
Keen Independent recommended new membership structure and pricing for the New England Aquarium. The Aquarium wants to expand its membership base, increase average revenue per member and improve the Aquarium experience for members and non-members alike. As the Aquarium has many different types of visitors that value different types of experiences, Keen Independent collected and […]
Longwood Gardens implemented a new membership program based on Keen Independent’s recommendations. After more than tripling the number of member households since introducing membership in 2007, Longwood Gardens is seeking to provide more membership value and increase membership revenue. Based on extensive quantitative and qualitative research, Keen Independent recommended a new Premier membership, new higher […]
Fulton County Commissioners unanimously approved a new Small Business Enterprise Program on October 5, 2016. Fulton County SBE Resolution After reviewing best practices of small business programs for cities and counties across the country, Keen Independent recommended a program tailored to County contracting practices, local market conditions and Georgia state law. Once we completed this […]
Through its Research: Art Works program and its new Research Labs, the National Endowment for the Arts funds research that promotes creation of art, public engagement with art and understanding about the contributions of the arts. The NEA Office of Research & Analysis has selected Dave Keen to serve on its panel evaluating competitive grant […]
The City of Atlanta’s new Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) Ordinance and Small Business Opportunity (SBO) Ordinance took effect on January 1, 2016, based on a Keen Independent Disparity Study presented to City Council in December 2015. The City operates contract goals, joint venture and business assistance programs to accomplish the objectives of these ordinances. Rosales […]
The Oregon Department of Transportation now allows all DBE groups to participate in its DBE contract goals program based on the 2016 Keen Independent Availability and Disparity Study for ODOT. The Federal Highway Administration approved this change in spring 2016. ODOT also adopted the overall goal for DBE participation determined in Keen Independent’s study. http://www.odotdbestudy.org/ […]
More large transportation projects are being delivered through design-build, public-private partnership (P3) and other new contracting methods. As these projects often involve U.S. Department of Transportation funds, state and local governments need to apply the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program when soliciting proposals and monitoring awarded contracts. Keen Independent analyzed strengths and weaknesses of […]
Keen Independent completed availability and disparity studies for Arizona Department of Transportation. ADOT used information from these studies to set its future overall DBE goals for FHWA-, FTA- and FAA-funded contracts. ADOT also used these studies to make certain decisions about the operation of the Federal DBE Program for its USDOT-funded contracts. https://www.azdot.gov/docs/default-source/beco-library/2015-adot-disparity-study-report-may-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=4 https://www.azdot.gov/business/business-engagement-and-compliance/dbe-disparity-study/disparity-study-summary
The City of Madison commissioned Keen Independent to conduct a disparity study to determine if there is a level playing field for minority- and women-owned firms when competing for City public works contracts and subcontracts. This research helped the City determine if its current Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program is effective in encouraging utilization of […]
Keen Independent studied employment and small businesses, including immigrant businesses for the City of San José, California and its workforce investment board, work2future. This study made recommendations for actionable initiatives including updated services for limited-English immigrant business owners. 2015 Small Business Study Summary PDF
At the spring 2014 conference in Phoenix, Dave Keen discussed preliminary research results about DBE goals for design-build and other alternative delivery method contracts. He is performing this Synthesis Study for the National Academies of Sciences National Cooperative Highway Research Program. Keen Independent interviewed nearly every state DOT in the country about how they apply […]
Dave Keen presented the basics on disparities studies and how they help state DOTs defend implementation of the Federal DBE Program. He answered questions that state and local agencies often asked: (a) What are disparity studies? (b) What would I do with one if I had one? (c) How much do they cost, how quickly […]
“Your Business Coaching Center,” an innovative web portal developed by Keen Independent for the Office of Economic Development, received the Mayor’s 2013 Pride of San José Award for City of San José. Hats off to the eleven city department recipients that collaborated with Ms. Humm Keen on this effort, and our subconsultant Milagro Marketing! The […]
Annette Humm Keen had the unique opportunity to participate in the 2014 HERS Summit for Women Presidents and Chancellors. Hosted by Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), the Summit assembled women presidents and chancellors to discuss challenges in higher education and toHers advance women in leadership roles at colleges and universities. The Summit explored opportunities for […]
Research conducted by the Keens of Keen Independent recently received recognition in The Membership Management Report, by Wiley Brand Periodicals, Inc. of Jossey-Bass. The article highlighted a number of Keen-led studies conducted for Museum of Science Boston between 2005 and 2013 leading to new membership structure, pricing and benefits packages. Find In-depth Research Paves the […]
In December of 2013, Keen Independent Research submitted a final disparity study report to the Nevada Department of Transportation. NDOT Disparity Study Final Report Dec. 6 2013
David Keen presented Disparity Studies – Why, When and How to Make it Happen – at the 2013 AMAC Airport Business Diversity Conference in San Diego. Keen Independent AMAC San Diego 2013 presentation
On May 20, 2013, Dave Keen presented the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority disparity study to the Authority board. The Authority is using the study to implement the Federal DBE Program for FAA-funded contracts at Bob Hope Airport. Keen Independent collaborated with BBC Research and Consulting. Burbank Leader article on the study
Keen Independent believes in practicing what we preach. We offer exceptional students and recent graduates with diverse backgrounds the opportunity to participate in our Diversity Scholar Internship program. We provide opportunities to develop quantitative and qualitative research skills through real world experience. Keen Independent also hones our Interns' writing skills. It is a paid internship. Students work flexible schedules, typically remotely, as part of larger teams.
Examples of past Diversity Scholar interns include Chi Huynh, honor student at University of Wisconsin; Nicole Lang, a University of Wisconsin Psychology and Political Science student; and Michelle Vered, an Arizona State University honors graduate in Economics and Political Science. For information on our Diversity Scholar Internship contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.