Led by Dr. Garrett Harper, the Research Center provides each client with hands-on research rooted in a data-driven approach that has been nationally recognized. The Research Center’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Billboard magazine and The Atlantic, among others.

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Dr. Garrett Harper

Dr. Harper serves as Vice President of Research and Information for The Research Center, a position he has held since 1990. He has also served as Research Director for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau and for Heartland Alliance in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Harper is past president of the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association and he is a Certified Community Researcher. He serves on the National Steering Committee of the U.S. Census American Community Survey Data Group and is active in a variety of academic and practitioner organizations relating to demographics, business research, regional science, quality-of-life studies, market research, geography, and economic and international development. Dr. Harper’s work has been featured in numerous national outlets, including The Atlantic Cities, NPR, The New York Times, The Carnegie Reporter and others. Dr. Harper serves as adjunct professor at Lipscomb University, Trevecca Nazarene University, Cumberland University, Columbia State Community College and Volunteer State Community College. Dr. Harper holds the following degrees: B.A. Geography (Middle Tennessee State University); M.B.A., Healthcare Marketing (Kennesaw State University); M.P.H., Health Planning and Administration (University of Tennessee- Knoxville); J.D., Law (Nashville School of Law); Ph.D., International Economic Development (University of Southern Mississippi); M.T.S., Theology (Lipscomb University); GIS Cert, Geographic Information Systems (Penn State University); and M.S.A.N.R., Agriculture and Natural Resources (current, University of Tennessee - Martin). Dr. Harper is proficient with EMSI, REMI, Implan, ArcGIS, SPSS and a wide variety of data sources and tools.

Riley Scholer

Riley Scholer serves as Manager of Analytics and Applied Research in the Research Center of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. A native of Lake Bluff, Illinois, Scholer is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Public Policy. 

Jesse Tow

Jesse Tow serves as Coordinator of Applied Research. Before joining the Chamber, he worked in federal and state government; first as an analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and more recently as a program manager at the Tennessee Department of Education.
Jesse holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor’s in History from the University of California at Berkeley.

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