Feedback from our clients...
Rev. Dr. Shari K. Brink, President & CEO, Blanton-Peale Institute & Counseling Center
“The Blanton-Peale board, and I selected PCS to guide and facilitate our planning process. We did so having talked with 9 consulting firms and interviewed 4. We were looking for the right firm for a strategic planning process that was the first such process in our 85-year history. PCS turned out to be just right for us - they knew how to help us stretch and reach, both in the process and the goals of our plan. At the end of the process, a board member who is herself a top notch organizational consultant commented on the financial plan we developed to underpin the strategic plan. It was the best she'd ever seen, the most thorough. Now in our second year of implementation, we're seeing the difference that having a well thought out strategic plan can make. I would highly recommend PCS to other organizations looking to do strategic planning in these challenging ad tumultuous times."
Evan Neff, Chairperson, Structural Working Group - Documentary Producers Alliance
“We selected PCS as part of an open RFP process to support the governance restructure of our international arts nonprofit. We chose them for their comprehensive proposal, their studied approach and their demonstrated commitment to equity, inclusion and belonging in their work. Our experience with PCS was both energizing and transformative. They brought strategic insights and proactive solutions in a process rooted in patience and respect. We would highly recommend PCS to other organizations looking for a trusted thought partner within an organizational development process.”
Rob Moore, Fmr. Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York
“By emphasizing how we wanted to do our work, how we wanted to develop the organization and our capacities around the issues we worked on (whatever they might be) we had a plan that could guide our development but still be responsive to the ever-changing priority issues we needed to address.”
Bob Jaffe, Board Member, Ensemble Studio Theatre
“PCS provided focused direction that allowed us to speak but kept us on task, both in the Planning Committee meetings and in the large organizational retreat. In general, through your positioning, from the Committee meetings through the final roll-out of the Plan, you made it clear that you would provide direction, knowledge and facilitation, but the Plan was ours.”
Edith Meeks, Artistic Director, HB Studio
“As head of an organization working through a complex transition, I needed a neutral advisor who could give me feedback on my own skills, perceptions, and blind spots, and help me analyze critical issues, obstacles, and dangers. I can't say enough about Molly's insights as a coach. She has been an invaluable partner, helping me to progress along my learning curve as an administrator, manager, and institutional steward. The process has been creatively stimulating and satisfying, bringing me new energy and helping me find the resources I've needed to stave off the perils of overwhelm and burnout. She has helped me to see myself more clearly in the role -- to trust my strengths and knowledge and to become more strategic and positive about managing my unknowns. I can think of no better praise than to say I am profoundly grateful to her.”
Organizational Development & Training
Pamela Tatge, Director, Jacob's Pillow
“Molly designed a thoughtful, Pillow-specific session that was engaging and participatory (she even challenged us to move during the breaks!) ... she really grasped the atmosphere of the Pillow during our summer festival and used that understanding to design a session that was relevant to our needs.”
Arthur Pearson, Executive Director, Roger Tory Peterson Institute
“PENN Creative Strategy is among the very best. Whip smart, flexible, adaptive and empathetic. PCS excels at turning obstacles into creative opportunities. Beyond the strategic plan itself, we are stronger as an organization for having worked with them.”
Herb Oringel, Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium
“We have recently enjoyed the pleasure of working with PENN on the difficult task of creating a Strategic Plan for a consortium of 14 Municipalities in Northern Westchester. They provided abundant skill and experience in what I am sure was an atypical engagement requiring a mixture of instruction, convincing and consensus building with a disparate audience of highly intelligent and outspoken leaders of our Municipalities. hey successfully introduced process and technique that enabled us to develop the building blocks of a Strategic Plan for our innovative Consortium in a relatively short time.”
Jennifer Childress, Fmr. Chief of Staff, Phipps Community Development Corporation
intelligent, creative, expert, and adaptable. They brings a wealth and diversity of experience to the table, and adeptly draw on it to meet the challenge at hand. When difficulties arise, they are quick to assess need and refocus the group on achieving the strategic outcome. I whole-heartedly recommend them to organizations embarking on their first strategic planning process or their fiftieth.”
Steven Brown, Fmr. President & CEO, Greyston Foundation
"PENN's assistance was invaluable in helping us focus on the core issues that Greyston will be addressing over the next five years. Their tireless efforts to help bring consensus and completion to a challenging process were accomplished with a high standard of professionalism, but also with great sensitivity to the needs of the organization."
Jody Kass, Fmr. Co-Director, New Partners for Community Revitalization
"PENN was able to harness the diverse perspectives on our board toward common areas of focus for our organization. They were extremely thorough and prepared, and knew just when to challenge our thinking. Our board was thoroughly engaged and the entire process has significantly empowered our organization to carry out its mission."
Diversity Equity Inclusion & Access
Charlotte Cohen, Former Executive Director, Brooklyn Arts Council (on behalf of the 5 NYC arts councils)
"We selected PCS to help us with an assessment of the grantmaking processes of the five arts councils of New York City. PENN did deep and meaningful research into each council's processes with a lens of DEIA, civic engagement, and language justice for artists and small arts groups from every neighborhood discipline, socio-economic strata, race and ethnicity in New York. This was a complex and layered process with many constituents and we had a very good experience with PCS - they did a very good job of keeping our community's needs centered throughout the engagement. They were responsive and did a great job facilitating our meetings. We would highly recommend them to others looking to do DEIA work - their team is excellent."
Diversity Equity Inclusion & Access
Robert White, Chief People and Culture Officer, Life's WORC
"We hired PCS to help us with a DEIA retreat which was critical for our organization. They came to us with a well-developed process and were willing to adapt that process to our needs. They did a good job of keeping our employee's needs centered throughout the engagement. They were engaging, responsive and did a great job facilitating. I would recommend them to other organizations looking to do DEIA trainings or facilitation."
Yamilee Toussaint Beach, Executive Director, STEM From Dance
"We created our first three-year strategic plan with Penn Creative and two years later, it is not just a plan but a guide and tool that we actively use. This speaks to the planning process, which was thorough, thoughtful, and transformative. We are so grateful for their support in setting our organization on a journey of growth and advancement."
Katy Gaul-Stigge, President & CEO, Goodwill NYNJ
"We enjoyed the Strategic Planning approach and results with PENN. They took us through the organizational lifecycles and were expertly able to speak to the norms of the non-profit world and raise our expectations for ourselves. Their organization and project management was clear and extremely professional. The organization has a clear 3 year plan that is both visionary and achievable."
Joseph Lichterman, Communication and Editorial Director, the Lenfest Institute
“The team from Penn Creative Strategy have designed and led grantwriting workshops for the Lenfest News Philanthropy Network that have been informative, practical, and engaging. They have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of fundraising and grant writing and make the lessons interactive and compelling.”
Bethany Lampland, Fmr. COO, NY Foundling
“PENN worked with my nonprofit to assess and enhance the day to day practices and staffing structure of our complex finance team. Their team brought new ideas to the table, thoughtfully guided a diverse team through self assessments and produced a user-friendly final report that positioned us to better utilize our talent pool.”
Alissa Kesten, Fmr. Executive Director, Volunteer New York!
“From the very beginning PCS kept us on course with real focus. The very first day you forced us to narrow the areas of consideration and kept to that throughout the process. You led a board retreat that everyone left feeling productive. You made sure that the plan was one that would not sit on a shelf. Indeed, we still refer to it, update it and reflect on it as our guide to this very day.”
Stanfort J. Perry, CEO, AHRC Nassau
“We engaged Penn Creative Strategy to assist us with our strategic planning process for 2020-2023. They were very easy to work with. They listened closely to our needs, responded promptly to our questions and concerns and produced an excellent SWOT analysis report. Their leadership at the Board retreats was right on point - engaging the Board members and leadership team; helping them resolve differences; and summarizing all results in a clear and concise manner. Penn Creative Strategy was definitely an asset to our planning and I would recommend them for consideration for similar projects.”
Wendy Nadel, Fmr. Executive Director, Yonkers Partners in Education
“We continue to use our plan as our roadmap. It’s changed somewhat but we always ask ourselves whether activities that we are considering are within the scope of our strategic plan. It has created a sharp focus and enabled us to avoid mission creep.”
Steven Tennen, Fmr. Executive Director, ArtsConnection
“The board has been using your succession plan (as of course they should) as the guide for the transition. It was great to be able to give it to them when I shared this decision with the executive committee. It was reassuring to them that there was a roadmap in place and that they didn’t have to make it all up. They were all very grateful and very complimentary.”
Mark Rossier, Fmr. Director of Development, NY Foundation for the Arts
“PCS worked with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) to conduct an extensive assessment of the short and long-term impacts our key grant and entrepreneurial training programs. The team was extremely thoughtful and thorough in their approach and asked us all the right questions to ensure they were getting us the information we needed. The result was a report which we have continued to use to provide critical metrics on programs which are difficult to quantify.”
Frank Hassid, Fmr. Executive Director, Shames JCC on Hudson
“PENN was engaged to create a Business Plan to help the JCC secure bank funding for the JCC's expansion project. Working with our staff and outside resources, they continually demonstrated their professionalism, understanding of the JCC's needs and delivered a plan that was both logical and based on a strong analytical foundation. Their assistance was invaluable in our eventual landing of the needed funding to move forward.”