A Spirited Team
We are your partners in positive change. With diverse backgrounds, a collaborative spirit, and a passion for strength-based work, we came together in 2014 and remain united in a commitment to our clients’ success.
Barbara Lewis is widely respected for her award-winning organizational and community engagement skills. She has 35 years experience designing and facilitating creative processes for diverse stakeholders and helping corporate, nonprofit and government entities collaborate on everything from water resources to sustainability planning. In 2000, experiencing first-hand the authentic connections, joyful experience and shared commitment produced by Appreciative Inquiry, she made AI the primary model of her work. Barbara’s AI clients have included the city of Boulder, Denver, Longmont, and Fort Collins and Adams 12 Five Star Schools and Santa Maria High School as well as several non-profits including the Adoption Exchange, Eastern Region of Food Banks and Denver Museum of Nature & Science. She is co-editor of The Promise of Appreciative Cities: Compelling the Whole to Act, an edition of the Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner. Her work has been recognized with multiple awards–most recently the Greater Good Award from the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) for her contributions to the field.
Known For: Intuitive sensitivity to the needs and imperatives of others. Observant and insightful nature. Unflappability.
Passion Project: Writing a book to help family members dealing with younger onset Alzheimer’s.
Where You Might Spot her: Feeling free riding her bicycle with her dog Zelda in the basket.
“What Barbara does to calm an angry mob is nothing short of magic.”
–Chuck Sisk, Colorado Springs Utilities
Amanda Trosten-Bloom brings twenty years of experience to RMCPC as a widely acclaimed consultant, trainer, speaker, and pioneer in the use of Appreciative Inquiry for high engagement and whole system change. She’s helped leadership from corporate, nonprofit and government sectors build stronger partnerships in support of strategic planning, culture change and organizational excellence. Amanda founded and ran two different consultancies before joining Corporation for Positive Change in 2000 and starting RMCPC in 2013. Past clients include Hewlett-Packard, the Unitarian Universalist Association, IHS, ACT, National Security Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, and The Denver Foundation. She co-authored the best-selling book The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change (Berrett-Koehler) along with three other AI books, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen articles, book chapters and publications.
Known for: Balancing task with inspiration. Middle-of-the-night ahas. Ensuring everyone in the group finds their place.
Devoted to: Lakota ceremonies. The I Ching. Meditation. Great fiction. Family.
Where you might spot her: Singing (in the shower or in Carnegie Hall). Walking, hiking or bicycling on a western trail.
“As my AI teacher and mentor, Amanda helped me raise my own Appreciative Inquiry game and work ambitiously with this process. She walks her talk, offers her advice generously, and is a great ambassador for a relational way of working that deserves to be so commonplace, it becomes the new status quo.”
–Paula Downey – Partner
Downey Youell Associates
Kara Schmitt brings 20 years of nonprofit leadership and consulting experience to RMCPC, including program development, strategic planning, team-building, mediation, and fundraising. She has worked directly with youth and families experiencing homelessness, immigration and mental illness and believes that all members of our community should have an active voice in strengthening communities. Kara has a Masters in Social Work, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and serves as adjunct faculty for the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Kara is a Certified Dare to LeadTM Facilitator, based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. Her past clients include Mile High United Way, Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative, the Colorado Department of Human Services and Thornwell Family Services
Has Been Called: A strategic optimist and compassionate disrupter with a passion for positive change.
Passions: Kara sits on the board for the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, and is an active volunteer with the Mountain Backpack Program.
Where You Might Spot Her: Driving between lacrosse fields, at the grocery store trying to keep two teenagers fed, running and hiking trails with her rescue pup.
“I’m so thankful for Kara’s willingness to dig in, say the hard things, and be flexible. The AI process is objective and unifying. I love the big picture approach that drills down to actionable, valuable steps to move the team forward, together.”