What People Are Saying About Us:
Melissa M. Stone, Ph.D., Gross Family Professor of Nonprofit Management, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
With the expansion of Aurora Consulting, I now have a one-stop shop to send inquiries about governance, strategic planning, program development and evaluation issues. Each member of the Aurora Consulting team brings keen analytical skills, honed at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, coupled with deep appreciation for the uniqueness of each context. In other words, they approach their work holistically and bring their knowledge of the best current research, translated into practical approaches and tools. Especially for small to mid-size nonprofits in our community, the expansion of Aurora Consulting is indeed welcome news!
Denise Stahura, Senior Director of Planning, CAPRW
Aurora Consulting’s expertise in governance and strategic planning has been important in advancing our organization. Julia Classen’s diverse background and analytical approach to solving issues makes her a good partner in developing transparent, successful nonprofit organizations.
Mohamed Mohamud, Executive Director, Somali American Parent Association (SAPA)
Julia Jackson performed trainings that well matched our needs at the present time and future. The overall trainings greatly exceeded my expectations and the handouts were outstanding. She is a great teacher with a wonderful ability to present and respond to questions.
Connie Schmoll, Executive Director, Safe Avenues
Julia Classen’s work is awesome. We once again have a valid, updated plan for continuing our goals and work focus. Thanks for your impacting work with our team. You have helped us tremendously.
Rich Cowles, Executive Director, Charities Review Council
Because of the nature of our work, we attract board members who have an enlightened view of good governance. Julia Classen stood out in this crowd and was an effective board chair who led strategic planning that was forward looking, changing our course toward greater relevance. In addition to her deep knowledge of nonprofit governance and management issues, Julia is extraordinarily insightful about people and organizations and the dynamics of organizational culture.
Wilhelmina Holder, Executive Director, Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE)
The time with Julia [Jackson] was really beneficial as my knowledge about program evaluation increased and I feel more confident. Wilhelmina Holder, WISE
Julie Brown, Senior Program Officer, The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation
Through a capacity initiative, the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation was able to bring Julia Classen to provide agency-specific leadership transition coaching to the CEOs and boards of three mission-critical agencies in our county. I knew the coaching was going well when I began to receive text messages during the coaching sessions from participants thanking the Foundation for bringing Julia to work with their agencies! Julia also provided meaningful coaching to Foundation staff to help strategize ways that we can be supportive of local nonprofit leadership transitions, both through funding and by connection to resources. We look forward to working with Julia again next year.
Nancy Johnson, Cancer Assistance for Williams County
I gained so much insight and understanding at both of the workshops with Julia Classen (Lead with Ease, and Thinking, Acting, and Planning Strategically). I have already registered for the next workshop.
Alissa Light, Executive Director, The Family Tree Clinic
Julia Classen’s approach, communication style, ability to facilitate open dialogues and all around skills made the day for our board and staff retreat. We are excited to explore a generative model and to continue growing as a board and agency.
Christie Kurth – Willmar Area Food Shelf
The Willmar Area Food Shelf board and staff are inspired from the work we did with Julia (Classen). Thank you for facilitating a great strategic planning session! You help us to be a more focused organization giving us the ability to continue serving our community’s changing and growing needs!
Responses from training and facilitation participants:
“Wonderful speaker, easy to listen to, very knowledgeable.”
“Excellent, thought provoking, encouraging.”
“It was reassuring hearing about board development and the importance of having a strong board chair/executive relationship. I could see my organization fitting into a lot of the pieces discussed and it gave me a lot of validation seeing that we are on the right track.”
“I felt all the information was relevant and timely no matter if you are new to your job or if you have been in it for awhile.”
“Julia picked up as if we adjourned yesterday. Memory and understanding of issues are outstanding, as is the style of facilitation, which fits the culture of our organization.”
“I came away feeling rejuvenated and more connected to my co-managers. It was an extremely valuable two days for me.”