Purpose and passion are drivers of the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, volunteerism and community engagement. For some, purpose and passion are discovered over time and often the journey of unearthing them is met with ambiguity, resistance and overwhelm – there are so many problems that need solving, limitless passions to pursue and it is difficult to find the intersection of where purpose meets passion. For others, purpose and passion in life are palpable and vibrant, like those people who were born to dance, born to build, born to lead. We all have a purpose – the French call it, Raison d’être, “reason for being”.
Our calling to this work comes from a strong conviction in the critical role of nonprofits, community groups, dedicated citizens and their dutiful service to the causes important to them and their communities. We’ve been fortunate to work with many nonprofits, volunteer boards, sector professionals and community members to increase their effectiveness, elevate their causes and ultimately help them achieve their goals and missions. Fair Winds Consulting was founded in honor of the juncture of where our passion meets purpose and we are dedicated to the work of charting your course to success – no matter the headwind.
“Purpose is a soft virtue — but it’s what gives you steel in your spine.”
– Rich Karlgaard
Anchored in a passion for organizational culture, our work focuses on a holistic approach to the organizational ecosystem, forging higher-performing teams driven to achieve the mission of the organization. Organizational culture is the bedrock of every business or organization; a healthy culture turns a good organization into a great one and leads to higher staff retention, happier customers, more revenue and greater impact.
Organizational culture is comprised of processes, values, behaviors, expectations and assumptions and it affects fundraising, board and community engagement, staff and executive development. Each element of culture is interconnected – mutually reactive and oftentimes interdependent. There is general agreement that organizational culture exists and plays a critical role in determining the success of an organization but it’s often difficult to articulate what culture actually is and how to change it.
Culture must evolve. We’ll work together to chart a course forward to transform your organizational culture through the development of vision, intention and strategy.
“If you don’t get culture right, nothing else matters.”
– John Taft
Meet the Team
KRISTI ACKLEY, PARTNER
Before Fair Winds: Prior to founding Fair Winds Consulting, Kristi regularly worked with more than a dozen volunteer boards simultaneously to help them accomplish their fundraising and community impact goals through her work at a regional foundation serving Central Minnesota. Her training and technical expertise ranges from creating an effective fundraising campaign to leading a highly productive board.
Before joining the nonprofit sector, Kristi served almost 12 years in the US Navy as a cryptologist and career counselor. This experience was invaluable in her leadership development, understanding of organizational structure and the importance of culture on morale and team effectiveness. She holds a degree in business management with a minor in accounting.
Excited about: A community of leaders supporting one another, building each other up and accomplishing far greater things than they would on their own. Kristi’s belief in the power of women supporting one another is what inspired her to co-found the Women’s Leadership Fund with fellow consultant, Maria Surma Manka of Two Rivers Communications.
Inspired by: Faith and family. It’s because of her deep faith that she had the courage to start her own business, why she serves her community so passionately and endeavors to make the world a better place. “My family is the source of my drive to always do better and to remain present in every moment, appreciating life’s journey.”
AMANDA WHITTEMORE, PARTNER
Before Fair Winds: Amanda’s diverse professional experience extends across the business and nonprofit sectors where she has honed her prowess in facilitation, communication and amateur comedy. Through her most recent tenure at a regional foundation, she advanced her passion for leadership discovery and development through her work training and coaching individuals from early career through retirement, empowering them to be more effective leaders and contributors.
Amanda’s passion is to leverage the inherent abilities and talents of individuals to reach their full potential and live their best life. She holds degrees in English and psychology but believes her life’s greatest lessons have come from the journey of motherhood.
Excited about: Transformational leadership, discovering untapped possibility, synthesizing data and storytelling. Amanda gets excited about working with individuals to draw out their innate and unrealized potential and the synergy of working with communities and organizations to achieve their mission.
Inspired by: The courage to row against the current, observing others create art and authenticity in the face of adversity. “My legacy will be my love of family and a lifelong commitment to servant leadership.”
Mark brings twenty-five years of corporate leadership with him in the areas of banking and finance. He’s also enjoyed/survived the joys of being a small business owner. A freelance writer and consultant, Mark brings his own brand of insight and observation, along with an ability to connect easily to people and interpret challenges quickly. When he’s not writing feature movie scripts bound for the slush pile, Mark enjoys playing the piano, attending sports and music events, hiking, meeting new people, and engaging in long winded discussions about everything and nothing. There are no strangers in Mark’s world.