Amanda Trosten-Bloom is a Principal with both the Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change and Corporation for Positive Change, and a widely acclaimed consultant, master trainer, energizing speaker, and pioneer in the use of Appreciative Inquiry for high engagement, whole system change. Working across sectors in business, nonprofit and government organizations, she builds results oriented partnerships with organizational and community leaders and teams in support of strategic planning, culture change and organizational excellence. Her clients have included: Hewlett-Packard; the Unitarian Universalist Association; IHS; ACT; Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division; National Security Administration; Goddard Space Flight Center; The Denver Foundation; and the Cities of Boulder, Denver and Longmont, CO; and Boulder County, CO.
Amanda is also co-author of the best-selling book The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change (Berrett-Koehler: 2003 and 2010), considered to be the strongest practical guide to Appreciative Inquiry on the market. Additional publications include Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization (McGraw-Hill, 2010); Appreciative Team Development: Positive Questions to Bring Out the Best in Your Team (iUniverse, 2005); the Encyclopedia of Positive Questions – Volume One: Questions to Bring Out the Best at Work (Crown Custom Publishing, 2003 and 2014); and more than a dozen articles and book chapters.
Barbara E. Lewis is a Principal with the Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change. Widely respected for her skills in designing and facilitating creative, objectives-driven processes involving diverse stakeholders, she has helped local, state and national interests collaborate effectively on such issues as water policies, transportation funding, infrastructure planning, emergency preparedness, sustainability planning, land use and zoning, waste management and community visioning and strategic planning.
Barbara is a pioneer in strength-based, stakeholder engagement processes. She managed the award-winning citywide strategic plan for the City of Longmont and has been instrumental in Longmont’s widespread use of appreciative inquiry. She designed and facilitated similar innovative approaches for:
- Community-based action planning at the City of Boulder’s WalkBike Summit
- Enhancing stakeholder collaboration on Eagle P3 commuter rail project in Denver
- Engaging the community in visioning for Denver International Airport’s Sustainability Management Plan
- Forging urban/rural connections for Fort Collins’ Community Marketplace
- Creating a shared vision for the Town of Buckeye, AZ
- Planning a environmental center of excellence for Pierce County, WA
- Strategic planning for The Adoption Exchange and Eastern Region of Food Banks
Barbara is co-editor of The Promise of Appreciative Cities: Compelling the Whole to Act, the November 2013 edition of the Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner. She also co-authored the International Association for Public Participation’s Techniques Training Manual and is a contributor to the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia of Positive Questions: Volume One: Questions to Bring Out the Best at Work (Crown Custom Publishing, 2014).
Kara Schmitt, LCSW brings 20 years of leadership and consulting experience in the nonprofit sector to her work with the Rocky Mountain Center. Her skills include: organization and program development; strategic planning; cross-sector work and partnerships; team-building; mediation; and fundraising. She has worked directly with youth and families experiencing homelessness, immigrant and refugee families, children involved with child welfare, and individuals impacted by mental illness. She enjoys utilizing her experience in direct service to strengthen organizations and systems that support children, families and the larger community.
As a facilitator and consultant, Kara supports individuals, teams, organizations and systems to operate from their greatest strengths. She believes that all members of our community should have an active voice and role in coming up with the solutions to make our communities stronger. Past clients include Mile High United Way, Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative, and Florence Crittenton Services. She has also served as adjunct faculty for the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.