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Solid Fire Consulting

Building Vibrant Non-profit, Social and Philanthropic Communities

What Folks are Saying

What folks are saying about Solid Fire Consulting’s…

Click here to see a list of clients and partners

Planning and Design

“Alissa is as effective and reflective a consultant as I have ever worked with to process difficult issues. She is the primary consultant that we have worked with over the last year as we have wrestled with growing into our new equity mission.”

David Addams, Executive Director, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

“I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been a part of Alissa’s strategic planning sessions. Having the opportunity to ask and explore the ‘big questions’ about my department’s mission, vision, values, and beyond proved to be an invaluable professional education. I not only have a clearer vision of my department’s big picture and my role within it, but of organizational principles that will remain relevant regardless of where I work.”

Naomi Dubin, Program Manager, 92nd Street YM-YWHA

“Alissa facilitated our first ever strategic planning process. Beyond producing a high quality product, it was her skill and ability to listen carefully and synthesize volumes of information and ideas that really stood out. Alissa’s intuitive listening skills, ability to provide new perspectives, and commitment to meeting us where we were gifted us a strategic plan that we can all believe in and that will help us achieve our goals far into the future.”

Linda Saleh, Board Member, New York Abortion Access Fund

“Alissa creates conversations that bring people together in creative ways. She inspires people towards thinking in new ways to problem-solve, and to develop new ideas for themselves, their organizations, and their communities. Alissa uses interpersonal skills, creative techniques, and a bit of magic/symbolic work to connect people and organizations to their visions and goals. Her work can move a person, organization, or community through a stuck period to a place of renewal and growth.”

Wendy Cole, Director, Maple Street School

“Thank you for facilitating our Have Art: Will Travel retreat. You created a wonderful space for our Advisory Group to discuss the Theory of Change, and you did it in a fun way that promoted intimate bonding among all of us.”

Linda Stein, President, Have Art: Will Travel

“I found very useful the way the whole retreat was planned, and how we moved the discussion from the general to the specifics of our organization. One of the most helpful things was to learn how to approach a situation and how to deal with time while discussing important concepts/issues. We learned a format that we will be able to use again in different situations (i.e. decision-making, planning, grant applications, etc.) Thank you!!”

Advisory Group Member, Have Art: Will Travel

Program Evaluation

“Alissa conducted an evaluation of our Immigrants and Opportunity Initiative at The Opportunity Agenda, which was immensely helpful and informative for organizational learning and planning purposes, and was well-received by key stakeholders. Perhaps more valuable than the end product was the process of working with Alissa. From the beginning and throughout, she provided insights that immediately informed and richened conversations we were having around the work, our strategy with partner organizations, ideas for changing how we measure our impact, and efforts towards organizational branding.”

Alan Jenkins, Executive Director, The Opportunity Agenda

“Thank you again. Your work has been giving us a lot to think about, and has been incredibly informative and helpful. We’re already having rich discussions about how this informs our work and strategy – with partners, with ideas for changing how we measure our impact, and with branding/organizational identity efforts. I think the fact that the whole team is so engaged with it really speaks to how helpful it is. Thanks so much for putting so much thought and effort into it. You can rest assured that your work will have an impact!”

Jill Mizell, Research Associate, The Opportunity Agenda

Participatory Facilitation

“Thank you so much for your help. It has made a big difference to the outcome of this effort. The creation of good questions means a lot and can have a huge impact. I’m glad to have had you model that for us.”

Pete Karp, Principal, Institute for Collaborative Studies

“Thank you for all your good work. Everyone found the retreat very productive, and I cannot be happier with the dynamics you created and the level of engagement of the Board members.”

Jose Cheo Oliveras, Director, Teatro Circulo

“Thanks again for fabulous facilitation and herding us towards outcomes. It was a very, very productive gathering for all of us.”

Aliza Mazor, Executive Director, Bikkurim: Advancing New Jewish Ideas

“I want to thank you, deeply, for the sharing, learning, space, and intention that you brought to our founding cohort of Cultural Agents. I can see in their communiques since that the Open Space technology has really opened up new ideas and possibilities for many of them. Delightful, exciting things are emerging and you played an important role in shifting the tone of our conversation.”

Adam Horowitz, Director, U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (a national social change and community development movement using arts and culture as its medium)

“You were really flexible, adaptive to the group, and set a great tone. I don’t feel like anyone felt they were working. People were really enjoying themselves and felt energized.”

Caron Atlas, Director, Arts and Democracy, Co-Director, Naturally Occurring Cultural District-New York

“To have the concentrated time together allowed for conversation and thinking. It was really useful to have you there. You did a great job!”

Tamara Greenfield, Executive Director, Fourth Arts Block; Co-Director, Naturally Occurring Cultural District-New York

“What an amazing interactive [session] you facilitated. Emerging community. Exactly what I was wishing for. Thank you for your passion!”

Charlotte Holst, Board of Directors Chair, Maple Street School

“Alissa facilitated a “Building Café”, to assist Palladia’s facility and property management departments better understand often overlapping roles. She helped guide our conversation to articulate common goals and develop greater trust among staff working at our many different sites. Her nonthreatening and focused facilitation helped to relax participants and allowed for a free exchange of ideas and thoughts. Long after our session, participants continue to communicate effectively. Thanks so much, Alissa!”

Pat Johnson, AVP Asset Management and Operations, Palladia, Inc.

“I gained a lot of knowledge and insight from this meeting. I must say when I first got here, I was like ‘Oh, gosh, not another four hour meeting’, but I heard a lot of things around the room that I never thought of doing… that I will now add to my daily routine.”

Staff Member, Palladia, Inc.

Training & Workshops

“Thank you for a fantabulous workshop. We received really great feedback that the information was well presented and well received.”

Monique Denton-Davis, Director of Human Resources, Common Ground

“Thank you for some of the best sessions [Art of Hosting workshop and storytelling] that I attended at the American Evaluation Association conference. I hope to incorporate these skills in my evaluation practice.”

Victoria Carlan, Evaluation Consultant

“One of our staff attended your workshop and said it was amazing. You left her with many ideas about specific structures for facilitating discussions, but also a different way of thinking about her own communication more generally. She will no doubt benefit from what she learned. Thanks.”

Melissa McGuire, Partner, Cathexis Consulting

“In the past, I felt like my low self-confidence… was preventing me from being a leader. The workshop gave me the tools and ideas to reaffirm and enhance my approach to lead in an engaging and substantive way.”

Dow Maneerattana, Monitoring and Evaluation Program Officer

“This was a fantastic workshop! I really appreciated the approach of learning through doing and using evaluation as a topic for the tools we practiced.”

Workshop Participant, Facilitation for Evaluators, American Evaluation Association

“Alissa is a superb teacher that seamlessly/simultaneously presents topics at many levels. She brings research and evaluation to life, giving purpose to the subject. She is open, genuine, and has a light manner that engages and relaxes students by demystifying high concepts in order to have them feel comfortable with both macro and micro practice – i.e. cause and case. She also facilitates/manages real participation/discussion deftly and keeps the group alive and on topic so that the material is covered thoroughly and on pace. Her classes leave the student feeling they truly learned something which would have been impossible or unlikely without her guidance.”

Robert O’Donnell, Graduate, Columbia University School of Social Work

Coaching

“Alissa has been a great support to our efforts in program evaluation. She has a knack for pinpointing our needs, and provides valuable feedback on our data gathering efforts that has resulted in significant improvement with our analysis efforts. I’d recommend her highly.”

Nancy Strohminger, Associate Director, New Pathways, Inc.

“My experience working with Alissa as a coach has been invaluable. She gives incredibly constructive and practical feedback that is always underlined with support and guidance. I have experienced tremendous professional growth as a result of my work with Alissa.”

Sara Darvish, Manager of Evaluation and Quality Assurance, New Pathways, Inc.

“I am looking forward to having you continue to support me by asking some of your AMAZING questions and keeping me on task…. I am still reeling in excitement about our conversation yesterday…. My mood lifted after we spoke. You are amazing!”

Isabel Dennis, Individualized Masters Program, Burlington College