Julia Classen is Principal Consultant, Partner and co-founder of Aurora Consulting, a company specializing in providing performance management and evaluation, leadership and governance, and sustainability consulting to organizations. She has been a leader on non-profit boards of directors for more than 30 years, serving organizations that are national, regional and local in scope. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and Chair of the Board of Directors of the New World Foundation located in New York City and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Children’s Alliance.
Julia has worked as a consultant in a variety of arenas, including board development, organizational assessment and capacity building, performance management, leadership development, strategic management and planning, public policy formation, and facilitation. She has conducted workshops and trainings at state, local and national conferences. Julia serves as a Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Hubert Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affair at the University of Minnesota researching and designing case studies of nonprofit organizations. In 2011, Julia served as Senior Fellow for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits developing and leading the inaugural Performance Management Leadership Institute. Additionally, she has been a plenary or keynote speaker at statewide, regional and national conferences.
In addition to her consulting, Julia is an adjunct faculty member at the University of MN, Humphrey School. Julia teaches Management and Governance of Nonprofits as a core course of the undergraduate major/minor in nonprofit management.
Julia authored Here We Go Again: The Cyclical Nature of Board Behavior in the Spring 2011 issue of The Nonprofit Quarterly. It was their second most read article that year. Julia has also coauthored with Sharon Anderson the Advocacy Leadership Vital Aging Field Book formerly used in the Advocacy Leadership for Vital Aging certificate program offered by the University of Minnesota. Additionally, she co-authored “Multi-Generational Governance: Is There Such a Thing” with Dr. Melissa Stone which was presented at The Bloch School of Business, University of Missouri- Kansas City’s biannual Nonprofit Governance Conference in 2009. In 2008, Julia authored the report: Assistive Technology in Minnesota, 2008 Status Report, Submitted by The Minnesota State Council on Disability to the Minnesota Legislature Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee House Health and Human Services Committee.
Julia Jackson is Consultant and Managing Partner with Aurora Consulting. Julia has been working in the public sector since 2005 in the areas of program design and evaluation, strategic planning, research and analysis, curriculum assessment and design, organization assessment and board development. Julia currently serves as Board Chair of the Rainbow Rumpus board of directors, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit. She is also a member of the Twin Cities chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
Julia has worked with a wide variety of organizations as a consultant in capacity building, governance, program evaluation, assessment, research and facilitation. She works closely with organizational clients to understand their strengths, needs and opportunities. Julia also leads Aurora in creating tailored tools, worksheets and reports to embed expertise in the staff, board and volunteers of the organization. Julia provides critical project management to each consulting relationship ensuring clear communication, accountability and that Aurora and the organization work together as a team.
Julia will be published in 2013 in a new book from CharityChannel Press. Her chapter on assessing governance helps to infuse the typical board assessment process with the values and processes typically seen in program evaluation. This new approach to board assessment helps boards define the purpose of the assessment, besides meeting an internal or external mandate, and use the results of the assessment to enact change. Julia also writes for the Twin Cities Young Nonprofit Professionals Network blog.
Julia received her Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School, with a focus on Public and Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Her areas of focus include nonprofit governance, capacity building, grant writing, program evaluation, strategic planning, and financial management.
Melissa Mathews is an Associate with Aurora Consulting. Melissa has served as executive director of nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities for more than 10 years. As an executive director, her leadership experiences have encompassed shared governance; strategic policy development and implementation; fund development; program evaluation and development; and fiduciary oversight. Melissa has successfully partnered with policy makers, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, private industries, and diverse internal and external constituencies.
Melissa has a Master of Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development with a specialization in Human Resource Development at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests are in governance, leadership development, and the nonprofit sector.