Karen Aldridge-Eason

Certified Coach

Karen Aldridge-Eason is the first foundation liaison to a governor’s office in the United States, a position she accepted in 2003 as a loaned executive from the Foundation. Established through a joint agreement between Michigan foundations and the governor’s office, Aldridge-Eason assumed responsibility for the development of the new position, charged with bringing together state policymakers, foundation leaders and elected officials to explore and identify solutions to issues affecting Michigan’s children and their families. Aldridge-Eason joined Mott in 1993 as a program officer for the Flint Area team, becoming program director the following year.

In addition to serving as an administrator for a mission boarding school in Liberia, West Africa, she also held several governmental positions prior to becoming part of Mott’s staff. She served as budget director for the city of Flint and director of the Office of Health and Human Services within the Michigan Department of Management and Budget.

A graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Education, she also earned a master’s of Public Administration from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.



Bill Booth

Certified Coach

Bill is a Harwood Certified Coach. As a strategic planning consultant with for the Association of Science-Technology Centers (a group of science museums world-wide), Bill brought Rich into a planning retreat to help museums better engage their communities in their work of moving from nice to necessary community assets.  Rich’s message of Turning Outward and creating authentic hope transformed how Bill approaches his organizational consulting.

Bill immediately applied this work with museums.  To revive a science museum in Amarillo that was near closing, Bill helped the Board work on Turning Outward and conduct community conversations.  One Board member called Bill in tears after a conversation saying that in his 10 years in Amarillo he had never known both the desperate challenges and the incredible hope that he now sees.  The museum is now thriving and a significant player in building and bridging communities in Amarillo.

In addition to his Harwood coaching with a group of United Ways, Bill coaches, mentors and does master planning for science centers and children’s museums in the US and abroad. Clients include: The Exploratorium in San Francisco and The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Bill began his career as an elementary school teacher and is still an educator at heart.

When not travelling, Bill tends bees, bakes bread, and volunteers at school and church.


Marla Crockett

Certified Coach, Studio Associate

Marla Crockett is a public engagement coach from Chevy Chase, MD and a certified coach with The Harwood Institute.  She came to this work following a long career in public broadcasting, primarily in Dallas, where she worked as a news anchor, producer and news manager.  Her desire to more authentically report on local communities led to her involvement in civic journalism, a national reform movement that put the public at the center of news coverage, especially during political campaigns.  The Harwood Institute was a major intellectual influence as Marla innovated ways to help elevate community concerns and voices in local and statewide debates.   

After leaving Texas, Marla became a certified dialogue and deliberation practitioner through Fielding University in California and worked with the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, OH on projects designed to enhance the public's influence with Washington officials.  She organized and coordinated a Kettering learning exchange with public stations that wanted to utilize community engagement to improve their news coverage.  Marla served on the board of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) for six years, including three as its chair.  NCDD is a national network comprised of practitioners who work with communities on their toughest problems.  


Jan Elliott

Certified Coach


Jan is a Harwood Certified Coach. She works internationally to build capacities in community engagement and change. Her way of working reflects an evolution of her public policy and community engagement experience as a senior executive with the Government of Canada, Vice President with the national not-for-profit Public Policy Forum, and as an independent consultant.

Jan focuses on social and public innovation, made possible through dialogue and collaborative learning that leads to collective action. She builds capacity to work collaboratively across organizational and sector boundaries (public, private, and not-for-profits) to leverage resources and impact. This includes creating neutral spaces for multi-sectoral engagement about public issues, often among deeply divided stakeholders.

Rich and the Harwood approach are powerful additions to other ways of working innovatively and effectively to support communities in creating the change they hope for. The frameworks, tools, and their impact, coupled with Rich’s values and commitment inspired Jan to become a Harwood coach. She is a Canadian and works in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. 

Jan is co-founder of the award winning international Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement graduate certificate program. She also serves as Board Chair for the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution. Jan has a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems and an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jan’s life and work are profoundly affected by her practice of Zen. She loves learning, photography and traveling around the globe with her partner.

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Cheryl Gorman

Senior Fellow
Certified Mentor Coach

Cheryl Gorman is a proven leader in bringing diverse partners and sectors together with community members to create community-based programs and large-scale change initiatives. She specializes in supporting leaders and organizations to effectively manage relationships and change; develop talent strategies; build community capacity; and design, manage and evaluate community-based programs. Cheryl has supported the Institute in different roles, most recently as Vice President of National Programs. Her current role allows Cheryl to focus full-time on her passion – training and coaching practitioners in the field.

Prior to joining the Harwood Institute, Cheryl had her own consulting practice working with organizations like the national HR Council of the Nonprofit Sector, United Way Worldwide, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, and United Way of Canada. She has held senior leadership positions at the regional and national level. Examples include: Executive Director of TalentWorks, an award-winning regional workforce initiative, and Senior Research Associate with The Conference Board of Canada responsible for managing the Canadian Business and Education Forum on Science, Technology and Mathematics.

Cheryl holds an M.A. in Organizational Management and Development (specializing in large-scale system change) from Fielding Graduate University, an Honours BA from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, a Teacher’s Certificate from the Province of Ontario and a Principal’s Certificate from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is a committed volunteer and has served on local and national nonprofit boards. 


Dr. Michelle Lucas

Senior Fellow

Dr Michelle Lucas is the Executive Director and Founder of CMM - Social Change. Dr Lucas has worked for 20 years designing, implementing and refining a collective approach to address complex social challenges throughout Australia and Asia. Dr Lucas has also held the role of Founding Executive Director of Opportunity Child, a national collective impact initiative to address childhood vulnerability across urban, regional and remote Australia. Prior to that, Dr Lucas was the Executive Director of Collective Impact at Desert Knowledge Australia, working specifically with remote and very remote communities across 85% of the country’s land mass. Throughout her career, Dr Lucas has worked with a diversity of communities, including extremely remote aboriginal communities, vulnerable urban settings, communities of newly arrived immigrants to Australia and within culturally pluralist contexts. 

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David Moore

Senior Fellow
Certified Coach

David is an accomplished executive with over 20 year of experience in the education sector who leads project teams and organizations to consistently produce results. David has been both an effective leader within nonprofit organizations, as well as a trusted advisor and consultant providing strategic leadership, facilitation and project oversight. Throughout his career David has been focused on the intersections among organizations, community and in particular public education.

From early in his career as a Research Assistant at the Kettering Foundation (1993-1995), through partnership development in Cincinnati and into five years on the staff of The Harwood Institute, David built a deep sense of commitment to the role of citizens in democratic practice and the intersection with institutions.  He has continued to work as a consultant with local community organizations and national networks to strengthen their commitment to community engagement, partnership development and improved education.

David serves as a facilitator of Harwood Institute Lab’s and as a consultant to the Institute on tools and projects.


Carlton Sears

Senior Fellow
Certified Coach

 Carlton is a Harwood Certified Coach with 40 years experience leveraging the assets of public institutions to strengthen communities.  The Harwood Institute came to his attention while Executive Director of a 200–employee non-profit corporation that operates a library system.  Harwood’s insights to the underlying conditions of change resonated immediately with Carlton’s years of experience in non-profit and governmental sectors in New York, Alabama, North Carolina, and Ohio.  Those insights found their way into his organization’s strategic plan and the rest is history.  The library successfully transformed into a trusted community asset and annual income doubled.  Carlton retired from the library system in 2011 to become a full-time Harwood coach – supporting others desiring to make good on their urge to do good.

Carlton’s embrace of the Harwood approach led to speaking engagements across the United States and national recognition – he received the Urban Library Council’s Urban Player of the Year Award in 2005 and the Alumni Citation from Wittenberg University.  In addition to a Master’s in Library Science, Carlton is a graduate of the Kellogg Leadership Institute, is President of his Village Council and a hospice volunteer.

Carlton exercises regularly, enjoys woodworking, kayaking and golf, and writes of insights gained through Turning Outward.


Brian Smith

Certified Coach
Asia-Pacific Representative

Based in Australia, Brian Smith serves as The Harwood Institute's Asia-Pacific Representative.

Brian works with organizations and local communities to include the voices and experience of those who are not heard, marginalized or dismissed as alien or “other” in the shaping of understanding, policy and action. This consistent thread has motivated his focus on organizational and community change in diverse leadership roles within the Uniting Church and the non-government sector in Australia and generated a record of innovation, unconventional thinking and bold action.

As Executive Officer of the Local Community Services Association in New South Wales, Brian became an internationally recognized Results Based Accountability practitioner. He conducted the first RBA training in China with the Beijing Vantone Foundation in 2014. That year he was also instrumental in bringing the Harwood Institute to Australia to conduct the first Public Innovators Lab in the southern hemisphere. He believes the Institute’s insights into the way communities function and its practice of deep listening, engagement and understanding are particularly relevant to Australia at this point in its social and political journey.

Spending time with his wife Sue and adult children Stephen David, and Michael, Michael’s wife Monica and their daughter Nicole, is his constant priority. In addition, he follows his passion for gardening, cooking and photography and, convinced that understanding between the West and China is a 21st century essential, is currently attempting to learn Mandarin.

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Susan Taylor Simpson

Certified Coach

Susan is a Harwood Certified Coach. For more than 30 years, Susan was a public policy analyst and urban planner working with communities and representing their interests in provincial and local government.  When Susan left the public sector to establish her own consulting practice in 2006, she hoped to use her knowledge and experience to help bridge the gap between public policy and community development. 

Although she had “success” as a consultant working with school boards, local government, non-profit organizations and community groups, Susan still felt many collaborative efforts fell short of real impact.  When Susan learned about turning outward and how aspirations drive community change, she knew that the Harwood approach was the missing ingredient in her work. Since becoming a Harwood Certified Coach, she has continued to learn more about how change spreads in communities and how to help others become Public Innovators.

Susan has an Honours BA in Political Science from York University, a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Queen’s University; is a Certified Teacher of Adults; a retired Registered Professional Planner (RPP)/ Member of Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP); and former Coach and Senior Associate at Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement.

Susan lives in Dundas, Ontario, Canada; enjoys spending time with her husband and grandchildren, travelling, hiking and mastering the art of botanical drawing.  


Michael Szafraniec

Certified Coach

Michael is a Harwood Certified Coach with 20 years’ experience in public administration and community development internationally. During his working career Michael has been at the forefront of shaping dialogues between institutions like the United Nations, and the European Union and the citizens they serve.

Michael is a qualified Population Health scientist with post graduate studies in Change Management and Leadership. Michael has extensive experience in leading change in public administration regularly contributing to the World Public Sector Report and facilitating outcomes through the World Summit on the Information Society.

Michael became aware of the Harwood Institute whilst working to create platforms for engagement that had meaning for all citizens. Since being trained and certified in the practice Michael has used public innovation to shape the model of service delivery for his current organization and to foster a greater understanding of how to create impact and change in community.

Michael continues to use the practice to enhance his learning about people and populations and acts to support and lead change wherever he can. 

Michael lives on the South East Coast of Australia and loves nothing more than spending time in and around the ocean, surfing, fishing and sailing. He hopes one day to be lucky enough to sail across the Pacific Ocean.


Brad Turner-Little

Brad Turner-Little is the Senior Director of Strategy for Goodwill Industries International (GII). In his second stint with GII, Turner-Little now leads the organization’s strategic engagement initiatives through developing collaborations with public and private partners, proactive visioning, strategic leadership, and technical support for 164 local Goodwill member agencies across North America.  

Before serving in this role, Turner-Little was an Assistant Vice President of Government Relations for Easter Seals Office of Public Affairs, where he represented Easter Seals’ interests in workforce development policy issues, as well as veterans issues and public policy development related to non-profit operations, governance and charitable giving incentives. Prior to that, Turner-Little worked for GII as a National Workforce Consultant as well as in their public policy unit, where he focused on policy areas related to the employment of people with disabilities. Turner-Little began his career as a job developer for Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina.

Turner-Little is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.



Samantha Wigand

Certified Coach

Samantha Wigand is committed to working with communities to ensure that all children have equitable opportunities to mature into healthy, well-adjusted, productive citizens. As a partner with Moore Strategic Consulting, Samantha leads comprehensive initiatives on early learning, community impact and community change. She is a skilled strategist, project manager, facilitator and analyst. 

Samantha became familiar with The Harwood Institute while at United Way Worldwide, headquarters for the global United Way network, where she led a variety of national education projects.   Samantha worked with communities to produce population-level change using a collective impact approach: engaging a broad-cross section of the community; listening to formal and informal partners and community members to facilitate the development of a shared agenda; using public knowledge, national research and local data to set strategy; mobilizing communities to action; continuously monitoring progress, and sharing results back to the community.  Samantha has accomplished this work by cultivating learning communities that include virtual learning and knowledge sharing as well as individual on-site technical assistance, cohort technical assistance, and peer-to-peer learning via state, regional and national meetings.

As a certified coach with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Samantha has empowered communities to engage not just formal partners – service providers, government, donors, etc. – but also to meaningfully engage families, parents and neighborhoods around the issues that matter most to them.    

Samantha has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a master's degree in social work (Administration and Community Practice) from the University of Tennessee. She lives with her two sons in Nashville.


Tyrone Thompson

Certified Coach

Tyrone Thompson is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada raised in the historic West Las Vegas Valley View Neighborhood. He earned his public education through the Clark County School District graduating from Valley High School in 1985 as Student Body President. In 1989, he graduated from Northern Arizona University (NAU) where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. In 2000, he received his Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. In October 2017, he was inducted into NAU’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Hall of Fame.

Tyrone is a retiree of the Public Employees Retirement System where he served for over 25 years in the Health, Human and Community Services fields. He is proud of his next chapter as the CEO & Success Coach of Thompson Career Solutions which takes pride in connecting aspiring job seekers to careers; building capacity and vision with organizations; and coaching emerging professionals for upward mobility. He’s ecstatic to join the Harwood Institute Team!

Tyrone Thompson was first appointed to the Nevada State Legislature by the Clark County Commission on April 16, 2013 as the Assemblyman in District 17. During the 79th Legislative Session in 2017, he served as the Chairman of Education where he and his peers strove to ensure every student had the resources and opportunities to earn a quality education. He was also a member of the Judiciary and Health & Human Services Committees.

Of the many highlights in his career and life experiences, Tyrone is proud of serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA); graduating from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce (now Las Vegas METRO Chamber of Commerce) Leadership Las Vegas Class of 2003 as well as being inducted into the LLV Hall of Fame in 2018; and graduating as a Council of State Governments (CSG) Henry Toll Fellow, Class of 2016—the premiere leadership academy for public servants in the three branches of government.

Tyrone is deeply rooted in the community, family-oriented to the core, and takes pride in serving as a dedicated Usher In-Charge at Victory Missionary Baptist Church in historic West Las Vegas.