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Chris Adams, President

Chris has worked in public policy and facilitation for over 25 years. His work has focused primarily on health and health care, but he has also supported policy development in education and natural resources. Prior to founding Engaged Public, Adams was Director and Associate Director of The Center for Ethics and Social Policy in Berkeley, California. He has published more than 40 essays in publications including The Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, The Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle and many others. He is a past speaker at the distinguished Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado, delivering five presentations on the theme “Values and Ethics in a Fragile World.” Adams is the former president of the board of Denver Urban Gardens, a network of more than 100 community gardens. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Colorado.

Brenda Morrison, Partner

Brenda is best known for her role in creating several of Colorado’s state-wide public engagement campaigns on complex public policy issues for clients such as The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, TBD Colorado, and Colorado’s Future. She brings extensive experience in public policy development and implementation both on the state and local levels given her past experience with community development organizations, as the Associate Director of the Bighorn Center for Public Policy, and as the founder of the Bighorn Leadership Development Program. Brenda is a sought after trainer in public engagement and has taught workshops in such locations as Jordan and Tunisia. In addition, she has extensive expertise in the non-profit sector having spent 15 years in the non-profit sector. Brenda, a graduate of the University of Colorado and he University of Denver, has published several articles on women’s history, social movements that demonstrate the intersection of Colorado history and public policy.

Nelsie Birch, Senior Consultant

Nelsie is a strategic and proven leader focused on driving excellence in local government. She is specifically skilled in the areas of city management and operations; budget analysis, development and execution; public finance and credit analysis; and performance management. Her innovative approach to problem solving, along with her ability to translate complex issues and drive performance, led her to many high-profile positions around the Washington, DC region and beyond. She is a Senior Fellow with the George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership and teaches leadership and financial/budgetary management courses. Nelsie is the founder of BIRCHbark Strategic Consulting. Prior to that she was the director of agency operations/chief of staff to the city administrator for the District of Columbia; director of management and budget for the City of Alexandria; assistant to the city manager for the City of Greensboro; principal analyst for the City of Baltimore's director of finance; and associate director/credit analyst for Fitch Ratings.

Larry Schooler, Director of Community Engagement and Consensus Building

Larry is an award-winning mediator, facilitator, and public engagement consultant. He established the first public engagement division for the City of Austin, Texas, where he created and refined innovative tools for involving the public in decision-making like Conversation Corps and the Televised Town Hall Meeting. Larry has worked with public administrators from around the world, and his work has been recognized by (among others) the National League of Cities, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Harvard School of Government, and the German Marshall Fund. Larry also served as president of the International Association for Public Participation (U.S. affiliate) and has been an adjunct faculty member in public policy dispute resolution at Southern Methodist University and Northwestern University. He is a senior fellow at the National Civic League and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at University of Texas at Austin; a subject matter advisor for 100 Resilient Cities, and a senior advisor for the Divided Communities Project at Ohio State University. Larry holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale and a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova Southeastern University, where he is completing a doctorate. He is the author of a forthcoming book on the use of truth and reconciliation in North America as a public engagement strategy, and of a manual entitled “Keys to an Effective Public Meeting.” Larry first came to the attention of Balancing Act staff when he wrote “It’s Your Money. Where’s Your Say?”

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Michael Rich

Product Design

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Project Managment

Rick Sharp