Who We Are

Ellen O’Neill

Ellen has worked in the nonprofit sector in Minnesota for more than 40 years. Throughout her career she has been responsible for program development and evaluation, fundraising and financial management, marketing and public relations, and has been the executive director of three thriving Minnesota nonprofits. She is especially known for her work with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

She has been an instructor in the UWS Nonprofit Management Certificate Program and the MN Council of Nonprofit’s Mission Series. She has staffed and served on local, regional, and statewide nonprofit boards.

She brings to her work a deep commitment to equity and years of working cross-culturally in large and small organizations. She currently is a consultant working with groups and organizations doing strategic planning, organizational change work, leadership development, narrative change work, and creating the opportunities for transformational conversations.

Sue Lawson

Sue has extensive planning experience in natural resources, the built environment, and community planning. Her education includes an undergraduate degree in Forestry and a Master of Architecture degree.

Awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship, her work centered on community building focused on dialogue, decision making, and conflict resolution. Her work was based in the cultural, worldview, and narrative aspects of conflict.

Sue founded the Center For Rural Planning, a nonprofit, in response to the growing pressures on small, rural communities to address change and to plan for vibrant, sustainable futures.

She coordinated and facilitated the St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI),  a cross-systems reform and transformational initiative.

She also currently serves as the part-time Planning Director for Duluth Township in Northeastern Minnesota.