Meet Our Consultants
Becky's varied career and volunteer experiences have enabled her to develop a wide range of skills including:
EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT as vice president of three university departments and executive director of two regional United Ways.
COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT success with capital campaigns, annual giving programs, major gifts, endowments, planned gifts, corporate underwriting, sponsorships and public and private grants.
MARKETING including stakeholder and market research, rebranding initiatives, comprehensive strategic marketing initiatives, website and collateral development, public relations, public speaking and excellent writing skills.
STRATEGIC PLANNING including the turnaround of a Benedictine liberal arts university, the comprehensive realignment of the community roles of two regional United Ways and the creation of several community initiatives.
PUBLIC ADVOCACY including the creation and coordination of an award-winning, five-county coalition to refocus youth development strategies; establishment of an independent living facility for severely handicapped adults and founding a sexual assault prevention and victim support program.
Freya Bradford has worked for nearly 20 years to help organizations, governments and networks increase their capacity to learn from and adapt their work to make a greater social impact. She has been a member of the NorthSky Consultant Network since 2008 and served as the Rotary Charities Learning Officer since 2014. Most often she consults with clients wishing to develop theories of change or measurable goals and action plans, evaluation and learning plans and data collection tools, or analyze results and uncover actionable patterns and themes in data. Freya also has a long history in working with clients to secure government and foundation grant funding.
Lucille Chrisman, CPCC, Certified Executive Coach, with over 30 years experience working with leaders, management teams, and organizations, helping them gain clarity, focus and action in reaching personal and professional goals.
As Vice President of Public Affairs and Executive Director of Development, at Saginaw Valley State University, along with Associate Director of Philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy, Lucille has a deep understanding of challenges of nonprofit leaders. In addition to her nonprofit leadership, she also experience as a for-profit leader, conducting customized corporate trainer programs within the US through the American Management Association. Lucille has been a full time professor at CMU and SVSU, teaching Effective Communications, Business Communications, Small Group Communication and Organizational Leadership.
Lucille is a certified coach from The Coaches Training Institute and is a member of the International Coaching Federation. She holds a Master of Arts from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts from Northern Michigan University.
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Tim Ervin is a consultant to the Alliance for Economic Success, Trustee of the Manistee County Community Foundation, Board member of Crystal Mountain Resort and representative of the Michigan Land Use Funders Group, an affinity group of the Michigan Council of Foundations. He was involved in the start up of the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College. He was formerly CEO and Board Chair of Plymouth Wayne, Inc. and Advanced Robotic Concepts. He held various posts in Michigan State Government in the areas of environmental protection, economic development and employee training and served as a gubernatorial appointee running two statewide employment and training programs. He has served on Boards for Illinois Tool Works, Praxair, Inc., Miller Electric Mfg. Co and other organizations.
Pamela Evans has over 30 years of experience working with nonprofit and public sector organizations in strengthening business and team performance. She partners with organizations to crystalize their strategic focus; develop their team (board, staff and volunteers), and strengthen their funding and operations. Over the past 10 years, she has worked with over 160 organizations throughout northern Michigan on strategic planning and assessments, fund development, succession planning, collaborations, and leadership development.
Pam has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University. She served in executive management at Mercy Health Services and Trinity Health. She has a certification in fundraising management from Indiana University/ Purdue’s School of Fundraising and has completed advanced training as a consultant through Board Source, LaPiana (succession planning and organizational restructuring) , and Deloitte Consulting in the “What’s Next for Community Philanthropy”. She is a certified DiSC administrator. She currently chairs the West Shore Healthcare Foundation.
Mary Bevans Gillett
Mary Bevans Gillett, MBA, MA, CFRM, offers extensive expertise in arts administration, advocacy, fund development, grant writing & administration, marketing communications, strategy & business planning with niche expertise in small organizations. She has administered the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs Region 2 minigrant program for NorthSky since 2008, providing grant management & technical assistance to arts organizations & community cultural projects throughout Northwest Michigan. She is co-convener of the Northwest Michigan Regional Arts & Culture network and chairs the Traverse City Arts Commission. Ms. Gillett teaches graduate fundraising courses for Central Michigan University’s Global Campus; & grant writing, administration & management for Northwestern Michigan College’s Extended Education Services (EES), in addition to individual consultation, workshops & training. Ms. Gillett holds Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts & Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, as well as designations as a Certified Fundraising Manager, Community Arts Leadership Fellow, & Certified SCORE Business Mentor.
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Heidi Gustine has over 15 years of experience in planning and development. She excels in helping groups and organizations articulate their visions and goals (be it strategic direction, organization development or programmatic implementation) and then walks in partnership to make it actionable and real. Heidi’s expertise includes strategic planning, environmental analysis, business development, program development and evaluation, capacity and needs assessments, management, project management, training development and delivery, collaborative development, facilitation and team building.
Heidi has worked with non-profit, faith-based and educational institutions. Prior to creating Flack Consulting, LLC Heidi served in healthcare leadership roles. She is an Adjunct Faculty member with Spring Arbor University instructing courses in Adult Development and Family Life Education. Heidi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Management of Health Services and a Master of Public Administration.
John R. Iacoangeli
John brings to Northsky considerable local government experience as a former public sector administrator, elected official, and private sector consultant. He enjoys working with communities and non-profits on strategic planning, economic and community development programs and projects, capacity building and mentoring. Collaboration, partnerships, and the ability to bring diverse stakeholders together to solve problems are his strengths. His educational background includes a B.S. in Resource Management and Planning from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Administration from Northern Michigan University. He currently services as a Board member on several non-profits.
Martie has a BA in Education from U of M and an MA in Child Development/Administration from EMU. In Ann Arbor, Martie served as the first director of Community Day Care and Child Care Center, which continues today as a prototype of early childhood quality and innovation. Martie was then an early staff member of Community Mental Health as the new service delivery system with the downsizing and eventual closing of the Traverse City State Hospital. In those innovative years she developed the volunteer services component and managed a day program for adults with severe mental illness. In 2013 she retired after six years as director of The Father Fred Foundation where she further developed the Board, committees and staff infrastructure, improved the marketing strategies and created a diversified funding base.
Martie’s areas of expertise include entrepreneurship, community organization, infrastructure development and collaborative designs.
From nonprofit start-ups to established organizations, Amy provides training and consulting in the areas of; organizational development, fundraising and information systems. She works closely with the Salesforce platform as a database used to manage and monitor organizational information.
Much of her work involves analyzing existing capacity, and guiding individuals and their respective organizations in architecting efficiency and responsiveness into organizational systems, ultimately serving the individuals within it, and building capacity in projects and programs. This is accomplished through keen attunement to each organization’s needs, good planning, as well as an understanding of the patterns needed to foster a healthy, whole system.
With a background in public education, experience working with a wide-variety of nonprofit organizations, and an entrepreneurial spirit, Amy brings with her an ongoing and insatiable zealousness for discovery and learning, and is constantly making connections both in and between organizations, increasing the integration, efficiency, and responsiveness of all involved. She holds a Master Degree from Michigan State University in Educational Technology, a certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University, and is a Certified Salesforce Administrator, as well as co-leader of the Traverse City Salesforce Nonprofit User Group.
Colleen Masterson-Bzdok began her career as a research scientist and progressed into leadership roles in education and nonprofit management. She has over 15 years of experience working with area nonprofits as a staff member, board member, volunteer and consultant.
Colleen delights in learning about organizations and the people that make them successful. She is available to support a variety of organizational needs, including training and curriculum development, strategic planning, fund development, grant writing, teambuilding, program development, project management and board development. She is adept at creating internal systems to ensure that staff, board members and volunteers are able to work toward their mission efficiently and effectively.
Colleen has served as Education Director for Inland Seas Education Association, Education Coordinator for NMC’s Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, Education Director for the Grand Traverse Conservation District, and as an Adjunct Science Instructor at NMC. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Great Lakes Studies from the University of Windsor, a Bachelor of Education in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Science in Environmental Geosciences from Michigan State University. She has also participated in a wide variety of professional development opportunities related to nonprofit leadership, volunteer and staff management, fund development and board governance.
John Noonan has spent more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector, beginning as an attorney at Olson, Noonan & Bzdok, where he had numerous nonprofit clients. For many of these he walked through the corporate formation process, designed their governance structure, and advised through their startup phase.
During his 12 years as Executive Director of the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, he refined his skills in nonprofit compliance, organizational development, capacity building, fundraising, and program management. He is adept at working closely with teams of people, using clear communications, humor, and compassion.
Over the years, he has developed the ability to quickly assess and diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of a nonprofit organization. John’s legal training and abilities, combined with years “in the trenches,” give him a unique capacity to identify and understand an organization’s current challenges and ultimate potential, while helping to build a stronger and more resilient organization.
With degrees from the University of Michigan Law School and James Madison College at Michigan State University, John has the needed training in critical thinking, strong writing skills, and a fine attention to detail.
Ashima Saigal Salesforce MVP and a Certified Salesforce Developer, Sales Cloud Consultant and Administrator and founder of Database Sherpa, a consulting firm that specializes in guiding nonprofit organization through managing transitions to Salesforce. Salesforce is a flexible database platform which can be used by nonprofit organizations to track their donors, donations and other income, clients, volunteers and any other data an organization might desire to track and understand.
We often don't know our destination while taking a journey, and this was the case for Ashima before developing Database Sherpa. Her path has taken her from working for herself in an award-winning computer consulting business to a small software development company to a large manufacturing company to a small startup nonprofit to a university. The experiences along this path, combined with her ongoing education and her yoga practice, came together as the foundation of Database Sherpa.
Having lived all over the world, she eventually landed in Michigan to attend Michigan State University, where she studied Computer Science in a liberal arts setting at MSU's Lyman Briggs College. She also completed a Master's in Computer Information Systems at Grand Valley State University.
Ashima enjoys spreading her knowledge of technology to organizations and individuals around the world. Database Sherpa is not just a business for her--it's a community of people who are open-minded and eager-hearted when it comes to using technology to shape organizations.
This sense of community is rooted in Ashima's own efforts to live in the now and be a compassionate person. She is proactive and thought-provoking, encouraging dialogue whenever possible. She lives with her friend and buddy David, their daughter Zola near Grand Rapids, MI. She loves to travel, meet new people, try new foods, and play board games.
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Todd M. Sanders
Todd is a retired United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer that spent the past 15 years leading troops in peacekeeping, multinational partnering, and combat operations, as well as advising senior military, federal government, and partner nations in decision making, planning, security and stability operations, and budgetary and operations analysis. During his career, Todd had the opportunity to work with some of the best men and women in the world, as well as on some of the most high-profile, high-risk operations. Todd earned personal and unit recognition in every tour, and has mentored some of the top Marines in the service.
In his last tour, Todd advised senior Naval and Joint Commanders on combat, special, and humanitarian operations, as well as representing US interests in advising leaders of militaries and state governments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He led planning teams in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn (liberation of Libya), Operation Unified Protector (NATO assumption of Libya mission), and numerous other sensitive operations at a time of turmoil in the Mediterranean belt.
Todd had the opportunity to increase his quantitative skills through earning his MS in Operations Research and subsequent tour supporting enterprise decision making in support of supply and logistics for the Marine Corps. He was the key architect of the Marine Corps’ cost estimate to rebuild, repurpose, and reutilize ground equipment nearing end of life cycle due to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Todd and his wife, Maura, recognized that most small business owners don’t have a team of support to tackle their most difficult decisions as larger companies do. Seeing this shortfall, they started Sanders Solutions to provide expert consulting to small businesses. Planning, facilitation, analysis, and evaluation are no longer out of reach for small businesses. Todd leverages his wide and diverse network to integrate solutions for nearly every problem.
Todd earned degrees from both the United States Naval Academy (BS Economics) and Naval Postgraduate School (MS Operations Research), and is currently pursuing his MBA in Strategic Management with Davenport University. Todd is passionate about the decision making process, leadership, and analysis. He utilizes his extensive skills in decision coaching – a blend of facilitation, project management, and analysis – to produce practical solutions to the toughest problems.
Teresa J. Scollon
Teresa Scollon has over twenty years of experience working with nonprofit, for-profit and government organizations to serve and strengthen communities and organizations. She has a broad experience base in organization development, education, entrepreneurship, and human resources. Teresa is a proven leader in starting and rebuilding programs and building effective internal and external partnerships.
She has served as Diversity Director for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and as training and human resources staff for Amoco Corporation. She founded a nonprofit devoted to education in sustainable agriculture, and served with Chicago’s Business Volunteers for the Arts.
Areas of her practice include organization development, strategic planning, appreciative inquiry, management development, training and curriculum development, diversity and multicultural work, assessment, and process improvement.
A published poet and essayist, Teresa also teaches writing at Northwestern Michigan College. She has an MBA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine.
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Woody Smith is a veteran consultant with more than 16 years of helping nonprofit and for-profit clients achieve sustainable growth and success.
Smith’s consulting work includes brand strategy, marketing strategy, stakeholder engagement and fundraising/capital campaign feasibility. Some form of research – in-depth interviews, focus groups, survey research or secondary/benchmarking research – is usually involved so that “the voice of the customer” can guide strategy and execution. He works collaboratively with clients to develop effective plans and build organizational capacity for implementation.
Woody has led successful engagements for Northwestern Michigan College, DePaul University, Munson Healthcare, Hagerty, the Traverse Health Clinic, the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Land Use Institute, 3M, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Goodwill Industries of Northwest Michigan and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. Smith holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Williams College.
Leslie Starsoneck has consulted with a wide range of non-profits organizations over the last decade with an emphasis on board governance, assessment of organizational strengths, executive searches and program development and evaluation. She serves as a senior advisor to Armstrong McGuire & Associates, a full service nonprofit consulting firm, is a national Senior Trainer for Saint Wall Street, LLC in their Program Return on Investment model, and is the Program Director for Adler University’s graduate on line Nonprofit Management program. To read her blog about nonprofit-related issues, see: http://www.armstrongmcguire.com/authors/leslie-starsoneck
Leslie began her career working in non-profit organizations over 25 years ago, first in juvenile and adult corrections and later in domestic violence services and public policy. She has held executive, public policy, and program director positions with statewide organizations in North Carolina and Massachusetts.
She and her husband spend their summers living on the Old Mission Peninsula.
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Dr. Tarr has consulted with the Rotary Charities of Traverse City since 2012. She has expertise in working with foundations, state agencies and nonprofit organizations on program development, evaluation and strategic planning. Recent projects include the evaluation of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District International Baccalaureate Initiative and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan School-based Pilot Study. Prior to consulting, Dr. Tarr has worked as the Vice President of Strategy and Development at Mosaic-Network, a technology and evaluation firm and as an evaluation and program director at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. She received her Doctorate in Education from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. Julie and her husband relocated to Empire Township from New Jersey and enjoy the great outdoors in beautiful Northwest Michigan.
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Andy Wolber is an independent technology consultant who has led technology strategy and planning workshops for hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout the Midwest. Most recently, he led Highway T, a program of Michigan Nonprofit Association, providing technology consulting to nonprofit organizations since 2002. He wrote the Information Technology section of the Michigan Nonprofit Management Manual published in 2010. Prior to his return to Michigan, he worked in Dallas, Texas developing Internet strategies with Fortune 500 clients for USWeb/CKS. He previously served as Executive Director of the Dallas Historical Society for four years, and board chairman of the Dallas Arts District Friends. Andy spent three years in fundraising staff roles for nonprofit cultural organizations, including Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Andy holds an MBA/MA in Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University, and a BA in Music Theory and Composition from Spring Arbor University. He resides in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife, Liz, and daughter, Katie.
Kevin Woods is the principal partner and owner of Woods Consulting Group of Normal, IL and Muskegon, MI. The firm has served clients in the areas of strategic planning, market feasibility, and market strategy development for 12-plus years. Clients are located in the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois. Kevin is a native of Chicago, the oldest son of Irish immigrants. He has earned an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Detroit and a master’s degree in regional planning from Cornell University. He has also done post-graduate work in Public Administration at Western Michigan University and in health-care administration at Ohio State University.
Kevin is a member of the Master of Management faculty at Aquinas College (Grand Rapids) where he teaches marketing and management planning. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Lincoln College/Normal (IL) teaching in Lincoln’s Health Services Administration program. He also teaches courses in Business Ethics, Marketing, and Management in the Business Department at Lincoln.
Woods Consulting Group works in a variety of markets typically serving small-medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations throughout a 5-state area. The firm’s engagements typically involve market research, market feasibility studies, resource development, and strategy development. Woods Consulting has served clients in the housing, health-care, financial services, community service, food and agriculture, and manufacturing sectors.
Kevin is married to Cindy and has two (2) adult daughters, one living in Chicago (Molly) and the other in Detroit (Colleen) plus two of Cindy’s daughters – one in Bloomington and one in Indianapolis. He enjoys running, biking, and cross-country skiing.
Lisa Wyatt Knowlton
Lisa Wyatt Knowlton, Ed.D is a learning leader with deep experience in performance management. She is a capable, ethical advisor across a broad range of both functional and subject matter areas. Strategy development, planning, evaluation, applied research, governance and organization development are passionate interests. She has cross-sector experience. Others describe Lisa as a talented educator, proficient communicator and able leader. She is adept in complex systems, whether in an international, national or community context. She is a National Leadership Fellow and holds a doctorate in Education Leadership, Master of Public Administration and B.A., in International Relations. She wrote a field text on logic models used by Harvard University, Packard Foundation and other institutions worldwide. Lisa has served organizations as CEO along with other senior executive roles. (See also: www.wyattadvisors.com) She is a Traverse City native; advocate for adoption and the Great Lakes; and avid cyclist.
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An experience and systems designer, Mark has been working in human-centered design for over 30 years. His work helps clients understand all aspects of a given customer journey, empowering staff to deliver an experience that’s clear, relevant and human.
He previously spent 13 years as president of a world class environmental graphic design firm, where he was the lead strategist for diverse healthcare, higher education, civic, corporate, trails and tourism institutions throughout North America. Since July 2016, Mark has worked as a NorthSky consultant with Rotary Charities, a design resource to the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project, and a strategic consultant to SEEDS among other non-profit clients.
He has served on executive committees of two international design boards: the SEGD and the Association of Professional Design Firms.
In 2012, Mark earned his evidence-based design certification (EDAC) through the Center for Health Design, and in 2017 became certified in Systems Practice through +Acumen. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Michigan.
Mark has been a member of the Traverse City Track Club Racing Team since 2014, and in April 2016 completed his first Boston Marathon finish.