Sarah Read has more than 25 years experience in helping others work through complex issues. She has designed and facilitated collaborative processes to resolve complex regulatory issues, facilitated a range of community dialogues, helped to lead visioning and strategic planning efforts, and provided trainings on dialogue and civic engagement to several different groups and organizations. Many of the projects she has worked on required the integration of both quantitative and qualitative data with stakeholder input. Sarah’s clients have included governmental organizations, both large and small businesses, professional firms, non-profits,community groups, and educational institutions. Sarah served on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution, earned an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale Hubbell for her legal work, and has received numerous other professional awards and recognitions. As an Adjunct Professor, she has also taught the Public Policy Dispute Resolution class at the University of Missouri School of Law.
We work with other independent consultants as needed to assemble the team that meets your needs. We are also used to working with and collaborating with others in your organization as an integrated project team. Our consulting team members, shown below, have extensive experience in research, project management, and on-line tools.
For larger community matters – particularly those involving existing conflict and divisions, we maintain an affiliation with Strategic Community Intervention, which is headed by Bill Johnson, former mayor of Rochester, NY.
Dave Overfelt, the co-owner of Kolibri Associates, brings a range of analytic, research, and facilitation skills to community engagement processes. He has helped plan and facilitate large and small community dialogues on complex issues, including those relating to planning and development. Dave received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Missouri in 2010 and works for the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Dave has published a number of articles on democratic engagement and research methods and is a co-author of The Civic Health Diagnostic Workbook.Resume
Scott Christianson is the owner of Kaleidoscope Consulting LLC, and has more than 18 years of experience in project management, information technology, and videoconferencing technology. Scott has experience working with local governments as a commission member, candidate, and active citizen. His excellent communication and interpersonal skills allow him to make productive connections between education, government, business and technical worlds. He works with The Communications Center on an independent contractor basis.Resume
Christoph Berendes is a senior consultant with Public Engagement Associates.
Over the past twenty years, he has advised businesses, non-profits, and government organizations on the use of the current and emerging web and social media technology to foster public engagement. He was a project manager and trainer for online public engagement efforts for the Office of the Vice President and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the early days of the Web and has directed web development, online customer service, and grant evaluation for the United States Department of Transportation. He has designed social media strategies for numerous online campaigns and advised the Democracy Fund on the best ways to integrate the news media, public engagement and digital platforms to involve citizens who have dropped out of the political process.Resume
Dave is an attorney, mediator, and facilitator. Dave works with The Communications Center on an independent contractor basis as a mediator and facilitator. He has mediated numerous cases. Dave was a corporate attorney with the Shelter Insurance Companies serving as Associate General Counsel and Director of Claims Litigation. After retirement, Dave spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer serving as an attorney with Southern Tier Legal Services in New York. While in New York he also volunteered as a mediator with the Center for Resolution and Justice. Dave recently worked as a facilitator for the National Park Service at a gathering of stakeholders concerned with the development of the General Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. He also serves as a volunteer mediator and arbitrator for the Missouri Bar Association Fee Dispute Resolution Program. Dave is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law and Miami University. Prior to attending law school, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Flight Officer. Dave is a member of the Missouri and Boone County Bar Associations, the Association for Conflict Resolution, the Association of Missouri Mediators, and the Mid-Missouri Collaborative and Cooperative Law Association.