Our Next Act

Our Next Act

We’re very pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2017, Al Onkka, our Senior Consultant, and Sarah Cohn of Cohn Consulting will purchase Aurora Consulting from our founder and principal, Julia Classen.

How will our organization’s next act affect yours?

Only in the best ways possible: our evolution will broaden and deepen our ability to help you discern whether and how your organization is having its intended impact.

Specifically, we’re ramping up:

  • Our collegial, flexible, and holistic evaluation and strategic planning services.
  • Our skillful facilitation of crucial conversations and processes.
  • Our end-to-end organizational support, from environmental scans, strategic planning, and sustainability strategy to evaluation and internal capacity-building.

As always, our goal is to help our clients “think big and act practically.”

Sarah Cohn is an expert in helping clients discern their audience’s needs, think about their roles and opportunities, and build their internal capacity to measure the impact of their organizations and programs. She builds listening and reflection into all collaborations. Sarah supported the growth and development of the Science Museum of Minnesota’s (SMM) Evaluation and Research Department for nine years, most recently as the Senior Evaluation and Research Associate.

As many of you know, Al Onkka is all about using an evaluative lens to help clients learn and grow programmatically and organizationally. Before joining Aurora, Al was an Evaluation and Research Associate at the SMM and earned his master’s degree in Evaluation Studies from UMN’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development.

Sarah and Al know (and like) each other from their six-year overlap at the Science Museum. This latest partnership—in the works for the last 18 months—grows out of their shared understanding that great evaluation is both an art and a science.

Senior Consultant Lisa Zellmer is leaving to pursue new opportunities in non-profit work. We’re grateful for her contributions this past year and wish her continued success.

Finally, Julia Classen will continue to bolster clients’ leadership and governance practices, but on a half-time basis. She’s downright cheerful about reporting to someone else for the first time in thirty years. Having hand-picked them, she has complete faith in her new bosses.

We’ll keep you posted as we make this transition. We look forward to helping you grow as well in 2017.

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