With her attentive guidance as a consultant, facilitator and coach, and her participatory training style, Hilary works with organizations of varied sizes and stages of development, as well as with leaders from a wide spectrum of professional and life experience. These examples give a glimpse into three unique client engagements.
“Working with leaders short term on discrete tasks gives me the opportunity to set them up for independent, continued success.”
Habitat for Humanity Michigan, a statewide affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, is dedicated to building simple, decent and affordable housing. Habitat Michigan contracted with Hilary to increase board effectiveness.
Hilary facilitated a board self-assessment and then worked collaboratively with the Habitat for Humanity CEO as well as board leaders to plan and facilitate a day long retreat. The leadership team, after identifying goals for the retreat, decided to hold the event at a local baseball stadium, which created a relaxed atmosphere for a board whose members historically had little opportunity to get to know each other given the large geographic footprint of the organization.
Using the self-assessment and the ideas generated at the retreat, Hilary coached the organization through creation of a board development plan, which focused on maintaining a high level of board engagement with increased communication. The plan and its’ implementation bolstered the organization’s position as a statewide leader in the affordable housing sector.
Habitat for Humanity
NewVue Communities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating strong and healthy neighborhoods. NewVue engaged Hilary to facilitate strategic planning at a pivotal time in the organization’s life.
Working in close collaboration with the Executive Director, volunteer leaders and senior staff, Hilary helped board members from two merging organizations unite behind common goals, including a decisive regional expansion plan.
With content driven by staff, board and partners, Hilary wove together a five-year strategic plan and a corresponding operating plan organized by business line. Hilary also provided ongoing consultation to track progress against the plan, capturing both accomplishments and needed adjustments to the plan, which are key to a healthy implementation phase.
“Hilary is one of the most effective consultants that I have worked with due to her unique blend of skills. She is a highly effective communicator who is very intuitive and has a keen ability to bring people together to come to a collective decision. She also distinguishes herself from others in her preparation before an engagement which is second to none.”
— Kim Brumber, President/CEO, Volunteers of America Upstate New York
“Hilary coordinated and facilitated a retreat for our board members that led to the creation of a three-year strategic plan. She was extremely knowledgeable and prepared going into the meeting and did an excellent job during the retreat. However, what really stood out was the action plan she created after the meeting. Her follow-through helped drive us to tangible results that ultimately improved our organization.“
— Sandra Pearson, CEO, Habitat for Humanity, Michigan
“As a trainer, in addition to imparting information, I strive to draw out the wisdom, skills, and reflections of participants. Then the room comes alive, and people leave with tools and inspiration.”
The Mel King Institute for Community Building is dedicated to building thriving communities by advancing the skills, knowledge and leadership ability of practitioners and volunteer leaders. Through the Institute, Hilary trains non-profit board leaders on governance best practices in order to increase skills and engagement of board members.
Hilary has designed several training programs for the Mel King Institute. Drawing on expertise of local practitioners, as well as the energy of participants to keep classes interactive and fun, Hilary often works with class members to develop their own case studies for presentation and peer feedback.
She developed an eight-session series for board members, which included topics such as forging a constructive partnership with the CEO, diversity and inclusion, executive transitions, and fundraising. Hilary also led a five session advanced board leadership seminar, and is now collaborating with the Mel King Institute to train board presidents and emerging leaders.
The Mel King Institute for Community Building
Hilary lives her values every day by making a difference, through her work and in her own community.
Currently, Hilary is active in the Boston Latin School’s committee of Families for Equity and Diversity. This committee was formed following a year in which students brought racial issues to light at the nation’s oldest school. Hilary believes parents must do their part to make BLS a welcoming and safe place for all students.
Hilary is also a leader within YaleWomen Boston. She recently organized an event celebrating the lives of two distinguished Yale graduates, Pauli Murray and Grace Hopper, who now have residential colleges bearing their names. Both Murray and Hopper were women who changed the course of history, and Hilary believes their legacies are especially relevant today.
And finally, Hilary brings her board expertise to the Boston Nature Center, a MA Audubon Sanctuary in her own urban neighborhood. The Center supports ongoing environmental education in Boston Public Schools, and the Clark-Cooper Community Gardens which provides food as well as a green oasis for 260 local families.
Hilary brings a strong sense of purpose to everything she does, both personally and professionally.
Hilary on Her Own Time