Meet Our Consultants: Mike Stauff

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For 13 years ESC Consultant Mike Stauff has been transforming his community as a volunteer consultant. Mike joined ESC in 2001 and has since worked tirelessly to give back to over 50 organizations in New England. In a 2007 Business Week article he described himself as,“an inner city kid who made good” and decided to “give something back. Mike understands the challenges facing Greater Boston and this perspective has allowed him to be successful in helping nonprofit organizations become more sustainable and effective in meeting the needs of their constituencies.

After looking at a number of volunteer opportunities Mike was drawn to ESC, where he could utilize years of experience gained from his career as a Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of a startup organization that grew to approximately $250 million, and as Senior Vice President and CFO for a public high tech corporation. He says he didn’t want to volunteer on a one-time basis, he wanted to use his talent and experience to help nonprofits become more sustainable in reaching the constituents they serve, particularly in the areas of nonprofit strategic management, finance, and board governance. He appreciates and enjoys that he is able to work with a variety of nonprofits, and be exposed to different missions and causes. Among Mike’s most memorable consulting engagements are organizations that focus on family services, charter schools, health care, and day care services for both children and adults.

When asked how ESC has changed since he began as a consultant more than a decade ago, Mike believes it has evolved to be more diverse and inclusive. He speaks to the diversity of consultants, not only in race and gender but in experience, backgrounds, and consulting fields. The depth and variety of expertise ESC consultants have has continuously widened and deepened. He also speaks to how ESC has become more comprehensive and sophisticated in its services. He see this as positive and mutually beneficial allowing consultants to gain a deeper understanding and become more involved in the mission of the organization, imparting sustainable work for nonprofits. One thing however has remained the same and that is the extraordinary commitment of ESC consultants to each organization they work with. All have a genuine desire to see every organization grow and thrive, making a positive difference in the community.

Mike currently serves on the Board at Julie’s Family Learning Program. He attended Northeastern University, Boston Ma., where he earned a B.S.B.A. as an Accounting major and a M.B.A.

Meet Our Consultants: Jack Smith

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As an ESC consultant, Jack Smith has applied his expertise, acquired through his career as a senior executive with Dow Corning Asia, to more than 20 strategic planning, marketing and branding, and facilitation engagements. Jack was first introduced to ESC while he was teaching business and strategic planning at Boston area colleges. He enjoyed the idea of being able to apply what he was teaching and what he had learned both in business school and in his career to advance the organizations he was passionate about. He joined ESC in 2003 and continues to find his work consulting in the nonprofit sector challenging, energizing, and fulfilling.

Among Jack’s most memorable consulting engagements are the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Centro Latino, Saint Francis House, and the Asperger Autism Network. He was motivated on all of the projects by the enthusiasm of the staff, board, and volunteers for the organization’s mission. While some of the consulting engagements proved quite challenging, the deep commitment and dedication of the staff created camaraderie and a personal connection that made the engagement even more meaningful and his commitment to his work even stronger.

Jack believes open mindedness is the key to ESC consultants being successful. He attributes the willingness to learn about an organization, its staff, and constituency essential for a successful engagement. ESC consultants do not simply hand over a report of static recommendations, but rather seek to individualize the project as it fits the organization. There is not a one size fits all, each organization has its own intricacies, and our consultants believe it is important to address them as such. ESC builds a team from a pool of 150 consultants each with their own particular area of expertise. Jack finds working with ESC consultants as one of the major benefits of consulting for ESC.  He believes there is so much to gain by working with people who are also driven to help the nonprofit and provide a diverse and important set of experience and skills.

Over the past 11 years Jack has seen the need and demand for marketing and branding consultants go from almost nonexistent to highly sought after. As a marketing expert he worked with ESC to build this practice area, bringing in exceptional talent allowing ESC to rise to meet the demand and provide high impact work in this area. In addition to consulting, Jack is a lecturer for ESC and presents in depth professional development trainings on the subjects of marketing and branding and facilitation.

In 2011, Jack was a recipient of ESC’s Caleb Loring Jr. Award for Consulting Excellence, which recognizes an ESC Consultant who, through a significant number of consulting projects, has demonstrated innovation, excellence, leadership, energy and commitment. Jack is the former Dean of the Newbury College School of Business and Management and has taught International Business and Strategy courses at the Boston University School of Management. In the for-profit world Jack held a variety of positions, including the Director of Marketing and Sales – Asia for Dow Corning Corporation, and Vice President of Dow Corning Korea.

Meet Our Consultants: Hungwah Yu

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As an ESC consultant, Hungwah Yu has applied her experience and expertise in academic operations to numerous strategic planning and business planning consulting projects. She attributes her professional managerial experience and ability to work collaboratively with various stakeholders as a major strength she has been able to transfer to nonprofit consulting; additionally, Hungwah notes that she has been able to apply strengths such as problem-solving, writing, listening and counseling during her time on consulting projects.

Over the last two years, she has served as the lead consultant on strategic planning projects with both Boston By Foot, a walking historical tour organization based in downtown Boston, and Maud Morgan Arts, a community arts center in Cambridge. Prior to these engagements, Hungwah worked as part of a consulting team which created a 3-year business plan for Winchester Community Access Television in 2012; she also worked with the Mel King Institute, a program of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) offering trainings to community development practitioners and volunteers in Massachusetts. Her ability to manage projects, develop staff, oversee conflict-resolution processes and more—all proven abilities reflected in her professional experience—has made her a vital asset to ESC consulting teams during her time volunteering with the organization.

Hungwah is the former Director of National Programs Operations and Assistant Dean of the Adult Baccalaureate College at Lesley University. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty at Lesley University, she was an Academic Advisor at the Urban College of Boston and a bilingual Career Counselor at the Asian American Civic Association.  She holds a Doctorate in Business Administration and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. Hungwah joined ESC in 2011 and is currently a board member serving as the Development Committee Chair. She resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Meet Our Consultants: Ashok Boghani

Ashok Boghani has worked extensively in the field of consulting, first at Arthur D. Little and most recently at the Monitor Group.  After getting his doctorate in engineering at MIT, and working several years in R&D, Dr. Boghani transitioned to providing management consulting services to both public and private sector organizations.

“I have certainly been able to use my experience as a strategy consultant to look systematically at the challenges faced by our clients,” he said. “Although the organizations I work with at ESC are smaller compared to the ones I used to consult for, the issues they face are very often similar. For example, looking at the future and figuring out what decisions need to be made to correctly position themselves moving forward.”  Ashok’s specialty is helping organizations develop multiple scenarios of the future, identifying the best position for the organization in each future scenario, and developing strategies to get there from where they are now.

Although he had left his primary career, Ashok knew he wanted to continue using his experience and expertise to help others:  “ESC has allowed me to leverage my experience for causes I believe in. I was looking at potential opportunities to give back to society and at the same time provide intellectual challenges.” He continued, “I was on the board of one non-profit and helping a couple of startups in the social entrepreneur sector. However, that was not enough.  Then I found ESC I am delighted that I did and have become a part of its consulting practice.”

Working as part of a team has been of particular enjoyment for Ashok, and is seen by many consultants to be a great benefit of ESC. “I have worked with some very smart consultants from who I can learn a lot,” he said. “I have met interesting people at client organizations—often coming from a variety of different backgrounds. This is important to me, as I consider collecting experiences a more meaningful activity than collecting money. So, ESC has made me richer.”

Ashok expressed how meaningful his consulting engagements have been at ESC, saying “As an immigrant, I owe a lot to the US in general, and Boston in particular for giving me a comfortable life. Now it is time to give back!”

In addition to consulting at ESC, Dr. Boghani currently advises start-ups, both non-profit and for profit, and is actively involved with TiE, an organization devoted to fostering entrepreneurship. He is a Charter Member Emeritus of the Boston chapter of TiE and currently serves on its board.

Meet the ESC Consultants: Sue Ogle

One of ESC’s greatest assets is our ability to offer internal workshops and trainings to clients as part of any consulting project. Our trainings have proven to increase productivity among staff, build communications skills within boards, and strengthened executive teams at nonprofits of all sizes. We owe a great deal of our ability to offer such services to Consultant Sue Ogle, who joined ESC in 2002 and has made an incredible impact at our organizations and those that she consults to in the broadest sense possible.

Sue has presented as many as 75 workshops and worked on numerous consulting projects along the way. Her management experience has been built through years of work in independent consulting, higher education, social work and corporate training, and she is constantly driven by challenge. It’s only fitting that she would take on an opportunity several years ago to help expand ESC’s workshop offerings—both seminars implemented directly in consulting projects and others offered to nonprofit community members through sponsored programs.

Sue has specialized in employee burnout, succession planning, change management and many other areas helpful to nonprofit staff at all levels through her work with ESC. She has also maintained a passion for coaching both board chairs and nonprofit leaders.  One project that Sue takes particular pride in is an engagement that was initially entered as Strategic Planning but quickly turned out to be an emergency turnaround project. Without ESC’s assistance, Sue said the organization would have gone under in a matter of weeks.

“When we recognized the severity of the situation, we created a strategic advisory committee, turnaround plan, climate survey, and we interviewed all the staff,” she said. “Throughout the project we conducted a change workshop for staff, touched on morale issues, and did three different sections of a change workshop through lunchtime sessions. “

Sue said this project, which took over a year to complete, was successful due to the ESC team’s ability to look at the human side of the client’s situation as well at the financial. Through building close relationships with the staff, board members and volunteers, ESC consultants were able to facilitate a transition to a merger that best served the organization.

ESC is a consulting practice of experts who are engaged in continuous learning,” Sue said. “”The constant challenge at ESC, in the variety of projects and the call for consultants to always expand their capacities, is a huge benefit to clients and consultants alike”.

The contribution to the sector, varied challenges and ongoing learning are the reasons Sue cites for being a longtime consultant. Her colleagues agree—and have recognized Sue in with multiple awards for excellence in consulting and commitment to community.

Meet Our Consultants: Marjorie Bauer

When you start your nonprofit marketing consulting project with Marjorie Bauer, you can expect the highest-quality engagement—a project that isn’t rushed, and touches on every step of the campaign’s development exactly as it should. The key lesson she learned over her last 14 years as a marketing executive with Fidelity was that the best strategies are born through process.

“Clients are a little surprised by the starting point in projects where you’re best trying to communicate what they do,” Marjorie said. “It is common practice to want to begin with ‘What do we say? How do we say it?’ In reality, we have to go through a much more disciplined process.”

She notes that understanding the organization, what it stands for and other important components of a brand is an iterative process.  It is a lot of art, she said, but there is also truly a science component to marketing as well.

When it came to transitioning from her previous position as Senior Vice President of Market Research at Fidelity to an ESC Consultant role, Marjorie said it was natural since she was essentially an internal consultant in her latter years with the financial giant. Working with clients to help articulate their needs or services, conduct research, and use information was part of her executive role; these transferrable skills have been endlessly valuable in ESC consulting projects and all of the nonprofit organizations she has worked with over the years.

Marjorie said one particularly interesting boost in marketing has been the field’s boom on social media. It’s hard to browse the web without stumbling across a marketing tips blog post or a free guide on how your nonprofit can stand out from the crowd.  Marjorie believes the reason it’s such a hot topic is because the market is simply getting crowded—it’s harder to stand out than ever before, so nonprofits, for-profits and individuals alike are clamoring for information on how to be seen.

While the push for “free” marketing advice is overwhelming, Marjorie sees online activity as a means for exposure that small organizations otherwise might not consider.

“Social media has an aura about it that it’s free, where traditional marketing work you have to pay for,” she said. Because of this perception, she stated, more nonprofits have become aware of marketing and that it is feasible for them to undertake the development of a strategy because it is more affordable to carry out.

Marjorie is a lead consultant in ESC’s marketing and branding practice serving nonprofits in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. If your organization is interested in learning more about marketing and how an affordable consulting project with ESC of New England can bring your nonprofit’s abilities to a new level, please contact Ulea Lago at ulago@escne.org or call 617-357-5550.

Meet Our Consultants: John Woodard


“Working as an ESC consultant has reinforced the tremendous initiative people have taken to address issues in their own community or enhance the quality of life for others,” said John Woodard. John’s professional experience in labor and employment law may not seem like a natural segue to nonprofit consulting, but he said his expertise in collective bargaining, negotiating, and other sensitive processes has helped him to become the exceptional facilitator he is today. “As a lawyer, you learn to assimilate information about an organization and gather facts and be able to develop an overview of the situation,” he said. “You develop the ability to gather information and organize it in a way that can be useful.” This strength, and John’s interest in social impact work, was built through work with healthcare management unions, school committees and other community-based professional groups. His passion for community enrichment has also been utilized through a number of volunteer opportunities over the years in his hometown of Dedham, MA, and the greater Boston area. When it comes down to it, John knows that passion and the desire to do good are only as effective as the processes an organization uses to fulfill their missions. John has had endless success as an ESC consultant by applying hard questions like “How will certain actions impact the bottom line?” or “What is this development going to cost?”, and working with clients to facilitate understanding between staff, volunteers, donors and constituents, to conclude projects in a way that allows nonprofits he works with to produce the maximum social impact possible. John Woodard has served as an ESC consultant for over ten years. Being able to apply his expert skill in relationship management and conflict-resolution to such initiatives, he said, has and continues to be the sum of benefit of his work with ESC. As a testament to his commitment, John recently received the ESC of New England Ezra Merrill Founder’s Award, which annually recognizes one ESC consultant for exceptional contribution to both ESC and the nonprofit community at large.