No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. -- H.E. Luccock
Why I do it.
I developed a strong interest in governance and facilitation while working as an administrator in higher education. In part, my interest grew out of my frustration with ineffective meetings and witnessing a paralyzing lack of communication between colleagues. I began training as a facilitator and learned that effective communication and decision making is possible when approached systematically with a focus on inclusiveness and clearly-stated goals. Unfortunately, many people haven’t yet had the opportunity to approach it in this way.
I find working as a facilitator exhilarating because I’ve witnessed how collaborative decision making not only moves an organization efficiently towards its goals, the process itself builds authentically respectful relationships between colleagues. It ultimately strengthens the fabric of a community when individuals to have their voices acknowledged and valued－this in turn, increases their desire to contribute.
My role in administration afforded me numerous opportunities to act as a facilitator. Within the college, I worked with students, staff and faculty towards creating a learning environment supportive of a diverse group of stakeholders. Externally, I facilitated a group of organizations during the process of developing a shared public campus. This was a particularly exciting and challenging process because it included for-profits, not-for-profits, government agencies, colleges, vocational schools, and museums. The gift was learning about the organizations’ differing infrastructures and policies and figuring out how they could still work in conjunction with each other. I’ve also volunteered my facilitation skills to the City of Port Townsend and the Port Townsend Arts Commission through a two-and-a-half year public art process. I was responsible for facilitating volunteer arts commissioners, working within the parameters of city policies and procedures, and ensuring transparency and public participation in the process.
In addition to ample on-the-job training, I’ve received formal education in leadership and facilitation. This includes: Dialogue Education with Global Learning Partners, Intentional Communication with the Third Ear Project (based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-violent Communication); Dynamic Governance with Governance Alive; Coaching for Results with Beroz Ferrell; Facilitating Youth Empowerment Through the Arts offered by Power of Hope; and most recently I’ve started a certificate program in Equine Facilitated Learning that has challenged my thinking on what it means to offer unhindered support of clients developing their own solutions. Please see my curriculum vitae for a more complete work and training history. I’m happy to share contact information with clients who can further discuss my skills.
What I offer.
I’m available as a facilitator for strategic planning, board meetings, staff retreats—situations that will benefit from the skills and insight of a trained professional to lead and support productive communication. I welcome the challenges and benefits of diverse stakeholders. (I often think of the proverb: The strongest steel is forged through the hottest fire.) As a facilitator I value and strive for: inclusiveness, concise communication, transparency, realistic action items, accountability, and commitment to cultural competency.
If you are interested in how my skills could benefit your organization, I suggest a phone conversation so I can begin to understand your needs and goals. I look forward to hearing from you.
As the Executive Director of the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, I worked closely with Erin when she was Director of West Coast Strategic Relations and Partnerships for Goddard College at Fort Worden between 2009 and 2013. We developed the partnership between our two institutions and together we laid the foundations for the Partner Organizations in the Life Long Learning Center at Fort Worden.
I have come to admire Erin greatly - she is wise, compassionate, insightful and great fun. Erin is highly organized and very responsive. Since leaving Goddard Erin has worked as a consultant and facilitator helping our School develop a 5-year strategic plan and fine tuning our marketing narrative.
Port Townsend School of Woodworking