As a first time Executive Director, Heather’s coaching helped me see how I was worrying too much about what could go wrong instead of working to make things right. Now I don’t let fear get in my way. When something happens I can focus and move forward, not panic. I learned that all of who I am comes with me to work so I have to figure out how to use my unique personal make-up to move the organizatoon forward. Finding my power from within has allowed me to be more vulnerable and, as a result, more effective.
C. Marie Henderson
Heather and her team were professional, well organized, well informed, and sensitive to our organizational culture. They delivered an outstanding final product on time and on budget and were a trusted partner in this difficult journey. Heather’s ability to actively listen and respect the opinions of all parties, but also efficiently get down to business to address the heart of the matter was essential to our success. She has made us stronger and more cohesive with a specific plan and roadmap for change. What more could I ask for?
Deputy Executive Director
Co-chair of Chapter-National Relations Task Force
Bread for the World
Heather has been an invaluable resource for Bread for the World as we have wrestled with organizational change. Over the last several years, she’s worked with us on separate occasions to address various opportunities and challenges. She led our management team through a process of organizational assessment and transformation. She helped us deal with issues of diversity in the work place. She provided one-on-one coaching for some of the managers to help them work through difficult issues. She designed and facilitated a consultation with a group of our organizational partners to develop a common policy agenda. We keep engaging her because each time we do, we become a better organization!
Heather’s background and experience made it easy for her to understand the issues we were dealing with and ask the kinds of questions that helped us move forward. Her great facilitation skills and personal creativity encouraged our management team to talk with each other in new ways and envision fresh options for action. She combines a sense of humor and personal engagement with keen intellectual and conceptual clarity. She is focused and flexible, adept and adaptable. She doesn’t come with cookie cutter packages of solutions. She comes with an open mind, a listening ear, and a willingness to engage, encourage and challenge.
Rev. James L. McDonald
Vice President for Policy and Program
Bread for the World
Center for Leadership and Org Development
You couldn’t find an organizational and diversity consultant and coach with more wisdom, integrity, and strength than Heather Berthoud. Heather is honest in a caring, compassionate and thoughtful way. She is not afraid to get groups to reflect and push themselves to a place of true growth. The Center for Leadership and Organizational Development has hired Heather on several occasions and we and our audiences (ranging from fellow consultants and academics to political and non-profit leaders) have been extremely impressed with her skill, her precision of thought and use of language, and her authenticity. Heather brings her deep wisdom from years of experience and a dedicated commitment to self-growth. Her diversity work and her coaching are transformative for organizations and individuals. I would bring Heather back to do diversity workshops, organizational and team development work, and individual coaching in a heartbeat. She gives her all to understanding her client systems and to meeting her audience members at the place from which they start and bringing them to the place to which they can go.
Vicky Foxworth, Director
Center for Leadership and Organizational Development
University of Maryland
American Rights at Work
When our organization needed help with figuring out how to prioritize and sequence our work, I called Heather. I called her again when I needed a trusted counselor to help me clarify my direction as a leader. When we needed to sort out our management structure, I called Heather. I have found her to be a clear thinker and deep listener. She got us to see ourselves more clearly and to make informed choices. Her patience and persistence allowed us to develop clear work plans, a more reasonable division of labor, and helped me lead with more confidence.
Mary Beth Maxwell
Former Executive Director
American Rights at Work
NARAL Pro-Choice America
As the Chief Operating Officer at NARAL Pro-Choice America, a national political and advocacy organization, I’ve had the pleasure to work with Heather Berthoud over the past three years.
We initially contacted Heather to assist our organization in achieving its five-year strategic plan goals around diversity. What we quickly discovered is that Heather brings a profound understanding of the intrinsic correlation between internal organizational health, culture, and operations, and external programmatic outcomes. As a result, Heather has been instrumental in helping us to develop a Diversity Initiative that is as much about organizational development and program effectiveness as it is about individual learning, cultural competence, and inclusion.
In her work with us, Heather has coached us in addressing the dimensions of organizational diversity work – this has helped NARAL Pro-Choice America develop a Diversity Initiative that is being methodically integrated throughout our organization’s processes, systems, and programs, and includes the role individual staff play in advancing the initiative.
With her keen interpersonal skills, sharp facilitation abilities, her honesty, clarity, intellect, humor, and collaborative style, and her investment in our success, Heather quickly gained the respect and trust of our leadership team and staff. She has been instrumental in assisting me and our President in providing leadership skills-building for our Management team, guiding us in our planning processes, advising us in chartering our Diversity Team, facilitating Diversity Team meetings, and conducting diversity trainings for our staff.
Chief Operating Officer
NARAL Pro-Choice America
I cannot express how impacted I was during our last class together. It impressed me over the course of the weekend, but in writing this paper I have realized just how much the course has affected my life. I truly appreciate this assignment (and all the other assignments you had us do) but I also appreciate your flexibility. I know this paper is not what you had planned to give as an assignment, but without it I don’t think I would have reached the level of clarity that I now possess.
Writing this paper was both easy and difficult. It was easy because it was honest, but sitting with that honesty right now is very difficult. Despite my questions about myself and my passion, I am grateful to at least be wrestling with the Truth rather than continuing to put forth a dream I’ve never dreamt.
The Interfaith Alliance
Heather is the first person I think of when I am asked to recommend an expert in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development, and leadership coaching. She helped the Interfaith Alliance navigate a critical time of transition. In guiding us through a strategic planning process, she helped the organization to become more focused and effective in mobilizing grassroots activists and raising public awareness around the tricky topic of religious freedom. By facilitating several staff retreats, she assisted us in clarifying roles and lines of authority, and made a great contribution toward improving our interpersonal communications and office culture. As I have pursued my own studies in organizational behavior and group facilitation, I have frequently turned to her as a mentor and role model.
Senior Director of Development, Save Darfur Coalition
Formerly Vice President, The Interfaith Alliance
Most of what I know about training and facilitation, I learned from Heather. Her relaxed style, candor and good humor make any meeting productive and fun. I’ve asked her to help me train trainers, craft strategic plans, and lead sessions on change management — all in widely divergent contexts with widely diverse audiences — and she’s done so with aplomb every time. When I needed big thinking about how to implement big ideas with small resources, Heather got it — and she helped craft a workable approach that met our challenge and put the organization on the road to success.
I have worked with Heather as a consultant for several years. It is a rare to find a facilitator who is adept at listening to and synthesizing social justice work yet can “balance” all voices. Few are better than Heather at doing that. If your organization is committed and ready to move the work forward, I would recommend her highly and without reservation.
Laura M. Chambers
Former Vice President of the Advocacy Institute