Sunstone Management logoA focus on municipal economic development at Sunstone Management, Inc., has resulted in the creation of Sunstone Cities LLC, which empowers local governments to transform their communities through strategic economic development initiatives.

Sunstone Management CEO John Keisler announced the initiative Thursday, April 11, at the final pitch event of the second annual Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price. That event puts teams of graduate students in the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy together with five Southern California cities to develop an economic development approach supporting innovation, business attraction, and job creation for each city.

Keisler said this type of public-private-education partnership is key to developing new leadership in the economic development field – a goal close to his heart since he spent more than 20 years in city management positions before joining Sunstone. His final government position was as Economic Development Director for the city of Long Beach.

“We believe we have unique capabilities to help smaller cities that might not have the resources to staff a full economic development department,” Keisler said. “Our approach already has begun to reap benefits in Anaheim, where we have had a consulting contract since November, and in the relationships developed here at the Challenge. Sunstone Cities is ready to help create brighter futures for municipalities of all shapes and sizes.”

Sunstone’s contract with Anaheim is to develop a strategic economic development plan for that city. The City of Lakewood City Council approved a similar agreement last month.

We recognize that every city faces unique challenges and opportunities,” the Sunstone Cities website says, “and our tailored approach ensures that we deliver customized solutions that meet the specific needs of each client.”

Services include consultations and plans for: 

  • Revenue growth to fund community services. 
  • Real estate investment strategies to boost property tax revenues. 
  • Public-private partnerships to monetize public assets and reduce costs to taxpayers. 
  • Economic development plans that promote opportunities for investors. 
  • Market analysis to identify the future of your economy. 
  • Comprehensive economic development strategies (CEDs) to help secure state and federal grant funding. 

In addition to Keisler, Sunstone Cities staff includes Jayro Sandoval and Ryan Phong. Sandoval has a wide range of experience, including as staff to now State Senate Majority Leader Lena Gonzalez. He currently is an economic development commissioner for the City of Long Beach. Phong, who is in charge of coordinating the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price, has a Master of Public Administration degree from that school and specializes in analyzing federal and state funding opportunities and policies to optimize municipal economic development plans.

For more information about Sunstone Cities, go to or email

More About Sunstone Management

Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the latest Pitchbook rankings, Sunstone Management was #15 in the third quarter of 2023 nationally, and #18 in the fourth quarter.