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A Little About Us

What makes community building so complex is that it occurs in an infinite number of small steps, sometimes in quiet moments that we notice out of the corner of our eye. It calls for us to treat as important many things that we thought were incidental. An afterthought becomes the point; a comment made in passing defines who we are more than all that came before. If the artist is one who captures the nuance of experience, then this is whom each of us must become.

Peter Block
Community: The Structure of Belonging

Our Story

In the summer of 2021, Beth Ellen and Anna spent the day on a beach at Lake Michigan talking about all the barriers to equity and the systems that perpetuate them.   While it’s not the most relaxing beach conversation, it’s all we talk about when we are together.  We realized that our theory of change (for everything) starts with a culture of belonging.

We spent the last seven years working together towards achieving a sense of community with staff, volunteers, and in Together Women Rise chapters all over the country in the pursuit of global gender equality.  Beth Ellen was the CEO of Together Women Rise and Anna volunteered to lead national efforts there while pursuing a masters degree in social justice and serving as VP of Business Development of a $35m community development organization. Somehow in these busy times, we connected deeply in our desire for trusting relationships in community impact organizations.

Now we are using the depth of experience in our careers  to create a business that fosters the sense of belonging we crave and to help social benefit organizations become communities of belonging unto themselves.  We believe this is the requirement for the justice, equity, and inclusion we all seek in our work in nonprofits, but also for ourselves.

We look forward to working with you,

All of us at The Hive Collective.

The results of our program exceeded expectations. The program content was what we needed to inspire and re-energize our Board as a more cohesive team of dedicated volunteers. With a better understanding of our governance strengths and opportunities and a renewed commitment to the values of belongingness, diversity, equity, and inclusion, we were ready to take on our challenges with a deeper understanding of where we are and where we wanted to grow. Thank you, The Hive Collective, for being a supportive member of our team as we navigate these challenging times.

Stand Up Placer Board of Directors, Auburn, CA

[The Hive Collective] is amazing and very knowledgeable about governance systems, boards and CEO. In my opinion [they] brought a sense of enlightenment to the group because focusing in the future is so needed.

Sherman College of Chiropractic, Spartanburg, South Carolina

I highly recommend [The Hive Collective] for their outstanding work in developing a successful fundraising plan and updating the mission and vision for our community action organization…and creating a comprehensive plan that is enabling us to secure the necessary funding to continue our vital work in the community. [The Hive Collective] was able to quickly assess our needs and develop customized solutions that were tailored to our unique circumstances.

Jen Trowbridge, CEO, Northwest Indiana Community Action Network

Our Core Values

Question the whole shebang.

We believe that questions are transformative. Did you know that research shows that brainstorming questions is much more powerful than brainstorming ideas and answers? We ask why like two-year-olds.

Disrupt oppression.

We pursue deeper understanding of our own complicity in maintaining inequitable systems and act to disrupt oppression. We understand leadership as a function that is always available to every individual and invite others to express their leadership at every opportunity. We make it our business to understand how power is concentrated and utilized to marginalize voices and communities.

Own it.

We take a stance of ownership in every interaction; we take responsibility and learn from our stories. We are committed to the good of the whole in every engagement. We show up with excellence and achieve exceptional results. We hold ourselves accountable for the commitments we’ve made.

Courage over fear.

We choose courage over fear always. We take big risks and adapt. We practice vulnerability, transparency, and authenticity even when it’s difficult. We learn and try new things constantly. We care about feedback.

Community is everything.

We believe people when they describe their experiences and we endeavor to understand the meaning and importance of each story they share. We create the experience of belonging in every room we enter, practicing radical hospitality that welcomes whole authentic people into the room and never demands that they be anything other than themselves.

We are here for the long haul.

We take care of ourselves so that we can be present for our clients. We respect our own limits and commit to prioritizing rest, health, and self-care.

Our Team

Anna Schoon

Senior Consultant

Jenine Jenkins

Consultant and Facilitator

Patti Agard

Client Coordinator

Lisabeth Medlock, PhD

Consultant

Marcela Paola Acuna

Bilingual Associate

Keith Albury

Financial Model Consultant

Past Clients

Stand Up Placer | Utah Disability Law Center | Utah Architect Association |G.Wiz Science Museum | Power Stories | San Ysidro Foundation | Northwest Indiana Community Action | The Nickelodeon Theater/Columbia Film Society | Sherman College of Chiropractic | Reach Out and Read Utah | Utah Community Associations Institute | Weilenmann School of Discovery | Norwegian Outdoor Exploration Center | Wild Utah Project | Lucina Foundation | Pay It Forward Media | KNSJ Radio:  San Diego, CA | Red Cross of Sarasota County |Area Five Agency on Aging & Community Services | Community Action of Greater Indianapolis | Community Action Program of Evansville and Vanderburgh County | Dubois-Pike-Warrick Economic Opportunity Committee Inc. d/b/a TRI-CAP | Northwest Indiana Community Action | Indiana Community Action Association | Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance | Prosperity Indiana | Indiana Association of Adult Day Services | National Community Action Partnership | First Peoples Worldwide | International Planned Parenthood Federation | Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance | The Bulb