"In the fall of 2013, Mary Jo facilitated a 'world cafe' conversation with over 160 faculty and staff at Ridgewater College. The conversation focused on what energized employees and motivated their best work; what could be done to improve the experience of students; what stood out from their experience as learners and teachers. As employees rotated through the small group 'cafe conversations,' Mary Jo encouraged and challenged the participants and at the end, brought the group back together to synthesize the key learnings from the conversations. It is not easy to engage large groups, let alone to synthesize the results. Mary Jo not only accomplished both of those tasks, but she did so on an authentic and personal level that connected with and motivated the participants. The value of that work is perhaps best measured by the fact that it continues to be a topic of conversation and action at the college." Dr. Douglas Allen, President of Ridgewater College - Hutchinson and Willmar, MN
"I have worked with Mary Jo in various settings for over twenty years. Whether it be training, facilitation or administration she has always provided a thoughtful, steady hand through any of the challenges faced.
Mary Jo’s primary strength lies in the unique combination of being an extraordinarily effective listener without losing the imperative of a commitment to time bound results. Whether running Blandin’s poverty program or working with the RED group she has excellent inclusion skills yet is always focused on the pragmatics of creating a better future."
Bill Mease, Mease and Trudeau, Inc. - St. Paul, MN
“Mary Jo’s rare gift of understanding the dynamics of rural communities shined as she eloquently facilitated conversations to help us develop a shared vision for our community. Through her passion and knowledge, she helped renew our sense of ownership and provided the tools necessary to help us strengthen our community."
John Weyer, Data Systems Coordinator/Leadership, Blandin Foundation - Grand Rapids, MN
"I have had the opportunity to work with Mary Jo Wimmer for 14 years in my work with the Blandin Community Leadership Programs. During that time Mary Jo has been a key consultant, working across the state of Minnesota with many rural communities. As a consultant she leads design, organizes community groups, and trains and facilitates a number of our leadership programs.
Mary Jo has a very practical approach to design and facilitation which many rural leaders look for and appreciate when tackling tough community issues. Although the design may be practical she has a lot of out of the box ideas that get participants moving and engaged in the work. She can move a group from vision to action while working to building the trust and relationships between them that are needed to create and sustain the changes they want to see.
The work we do in rural communities is complex and sometimes a bit contentious. Mary Jo has the ability to do this work with grace and get results that communities and organizations are proud of."
Malissa J Bahr, Sr. Training & Curriculum Design Mgr., Blandin Foundation - Grand Rapids, MN
"Mary Jo has demonstrates an extraordinary capability to:
· Deeply comprehend the needs of the group she is charged with serving;
· Design appropriate and practical agendas and processes to meet those needs; and
· Deftly move participants through these processes, fostering fruitful and frank discussion and facilitating widely understood and supported conclusions and commitments.
Finally, Mary Jo’s foremost skill may be her unusual ability to subtly and powerfully build the relational bonds between group members and a positive group identity as a foundation for long term effectiveness. In this respect, Mary Jo will not only see you effectively through the meeting of the moment but build an enduring group capacity to be more effective together far into the future."
Jim Williams - Duluth, MN
“Mary was contracted to re energize, reengage, and assist my organization’s leadership to envision the possibilities. I highly recommend her.”
Brendan L. Ashby, MBA, MPH, CHES
“I looked forward to working with Mary Jo because I knew every minute I was there would be filled with food for my brain and spirit. Mary is the right kind of moderator/facilitator.”
Sandra Session-Robertson, President and CEO, KSMQ Public Service Media Inc. - Austin, MN
"Mary Jo has been a rich blessing for our church congregation, council and staff. In recent years, she has led our congregation through a 'Vision to Action' event that helped us bring to focus and put in motion an exciting plan of mission and ministry for our faith community. More recently she facilitated a staff team-building retreat which helped us better understand and function more effectively as a ministry team. Mary Jo is a gifted and talented (and fun!) facilitator and coach; one who carefully listens and communicates, and understands healthy community, leadership, process and the mission of the church."
Rev. Paul J. Mattson, Immanuel Lutheran Church - Crosby, MN
BOARD DEVELOPMENT, TEAM BUILDING, TRAINING AND DESIGN, STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
Copyright 2013. Mary Jo Wimmer Consulting. All rights reserved