What they say...
“Baird Straughan and Lead Green facilitated our new organization's challenging planning session and we all left feeling confident on pursuing our well-defined areas of focus. As the Director for this start-up organization, I routinely refer to the document that was developed at the session to help keep me focused and on track. In addition, Baird expressed (and still does) a genuine strong interest in our work and went beyond just facilitating our planning session. It is obvious that our issues are of personal interest to him and I know I could call him at any time to discuss our progress and he wouldn't hesitate to provide his useful insights. Baird is more of a partner in our work who also happens to be a fabulous facilitator! I would recommend Lead Green's services to anyone who is looking for a professional facilitator and a passionate advocate.” – Kirsten Bryant, Executive Director - Alabama First
“Board members had nothing but high praise for Baird Straughan and Lead Green. They were particularly impressed by the process that he created to make sure that their time was valued and their voices heard. Our board will approve the strategic plan next month, and I already have recommended Baird to two other organizations.” – George Dusenbury, Executive Director, Park Pride
“La experiencia de Baird en el diseño de campañas y su sensibilidad personal para lograr la empatía con los participantes lo hace un facilitador extraordinario. Su conocimiento de diversas metodologías y apertura para aplicar nuevos métodos le permite encontrar la manera de obtener resultados de acuerdo a las necesidades del grupo.” María de los Ángeles Carvajal, SUMAR – Voces para la Naturaleza, Guaymas, México.
"Over my years at the Ohio Environmental Council, I attended many of Baird's workshops. We often talked, when he would ask me for feedback or when I wanted advice or just a good listener. His counsel was solid. He has a good grasp of the structures and processes that make a nonprofit work, and of the political realities within it. What was probably most helpful was his ability to listen and reflect my different choices back to me, in a way that helped me step back from the crisis of the moment and see my choices in terms of the development of my organization, and in terms of my own path in life." - Vicki Deisner, Advisor for Environmental Policy, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, Ohio.
“Looking back on it all now, I can only say Thank God we had someone of your experience and knowledge to guide us. I hate to imagine what it might have all been like if you hadn't been there to get us pointed in the right direction, then kept us on track, always moving forward. - And all in a very very short time frame. Your extreme calm and patience with us throughout, even when you yourself must have felt under the same (or greater) pressures than we felt, is and was so much appreciated. I recall I said to you several times, I could not do your job! - The Advance, bringing together so many disparate personalities and mix of members and non-members, was as successful as it was not only because of the preparation work, but your own calm and steady persona while there, laying it all out in the beginning, scheduling each part, then letting us go on, while all the while keeping us on track. - And now the “after” period, a bit less stressful, but also absolutely essential to have a timely follow through, to capture what we gained. Thank you for helping us with that too.” - Brock Evans, President, the Endangered Species Coalition, Washington, D.C.
“I worked extensively with Baird Straughan to build the skills necessary to serve as Executive Director. In particular, he worked with me to develop my skills related to strategic planning, working with a board of directors, major gifts fundraising and leading an organization through a difficult transition. Baird is very good at teaching the techniques necessary for completing tasks related to these duties, but what I like best about his approach is his attention to mastering the attitude necessary for success. Thanks to his coaching I was able to take a young organization to a new level of professionalism and win some significant conservation victories along the way. I also appreciate the extensive research that he has done on small and mid-size organizations. He really knows his stuff! - Sarah Hodgdon, Deputy Field Director, Sierra Club, Richmond, Virginia.
“Your best work was helping us organize the ADEM Reform Coalition (ARC) in 2001. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has been dominated by industry over its life span, and you helped us level the playing field and have profound reform. We have received many awards and a lot of recognition for our work. You deserve much of the credit. ARC is the largest and most diverse environmental coalition in the history of Alabama. We still exist and are still effective. We asked you to help us organize because of your previous success in Alabama. We were not disappointed. Your facilitation enabled us to be strategic, communicate well, strengthen our individual organizations, and celebrate our many successes. You were tireless in your efforts and always well prepared. I have worked with many consultants and you generated more results than any other did.” - Mark Johnston, Executive Director, Camp MacDowell, Nauvoo, Alabama.
“Working with Baird Straughan over the years has been both an absolute pleasure and incredibly productive. Not only did he help Dogwood Alliance develop a comprehensive and meaningful strategic plan, he also helped us develop the organizational resources in terms of development and sustainability that turned the plan into a reality. Our organization has benefited greatly from his gift for strategy and full systems thinking and we will continue to turn to him in his new role for support and guidance.” Scott Quaranda, Director of Campaigns, Dogwood Alliance.
Your great assistance with our campaign planning last year also was a major factor in our success. Once we had won the right for the public to speak at EMC meetings, you helped us figure the best use of that opportunity. Our strategy for diverse grassroots groups to bring ADEM “horror stories” to the EMC at every meeting has been implemented very successfully. It has highlighted for the Commissioners the consequences of ADEM's widespread failures - the harm caused to communities and people as well as the environment - and created a drumbeat of media stories and editorials throughout the year, from all over the state, calling for change at ADEM. In the wake of Warr's dismissal, the media have had an easy time recalling his many failings, to support the case for new leadership. - The strategies you helped us develop have worked because they have met the basic criteria you taught us - tailor the strategies to impact the people who can make the change and to build greater participation in the coalition. So thank, you, Baird from a satisfied student. - Beth Stewart, Executive Director, Cahaba River Society, Birmingham, Alabama.
I attended a Leadership Development seminar that Baird Straughan present at the 2005 River Rally in Keystone Colorado. At the time I was the executive director of a small watershed organization and the training helped me focus in on integrating opportunities for volunteers to take on a greater involvement in the organization. We were definitely lacking in planning for volunteer involvement and training volunteers to become leaders. Since the training the organization has improved and more volunteers are taking on leadership roles in the organization. - A year after participating in the Leadership Development seminar I took a new job that gave me the opportunity to teach this same training to other river and watershed organizations. I felt fortunate that I had experienced Baird's training style prior to teaching this training myself. He did a great job of presenting the information in a clear, organized, positive, and engaging manner. One of his methods that I remember the most is his technique to get the participants to follow through on what they had learned that day. Not only did he have everyone complete a worksheet of tasks to complete when we returned home, he took a digital picture of our worksheet, e-mailed it to us and followed up a few weeks after the seminar to see how we were doing! - Allison Werner, Local Groups Programs Manager, River Alliance of Wisconsin.