Kearns & West Welcomes Larry Schooler as a Director in Austin, TX

Larry Schooler is a Director/Senior Facilitator at Kearns & West with an extensive and diverse background in public participation, mediation, and conflict resolution. His early career included eight years as an award-winning reporter and news anchor at NPR, taking him across the country and abroad. It was this experience that fostered in him the significance of public policy-making beyond the world of politics and the importance of convening conversations that allow all voices to be heard, informing the decision-making process. This experience — which included his covering the first “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in the United States in Greensboro, North Carolina — proved pivotal to his professional migration to that of mediator, facilitator, public engagement consultant, and educator, working with agencies around the world to resolve disputes, build consensus, and involve the public and stakeholders in decisions that will affect them.

Larry has worked with municipal, county, state, and federal government agencies, as well as nonprofit and faith-based organizations. He specializes in land use mediation, strategic planning, and visioning and has extensive experience in a wide array of issues including energy, water, community and regional planning, transportation, housing affordability, health and human services, and technology.

Notably, Larry established the first public engagement division for the City of Austin, Texas — one of the first of its kind nationally — where he designed innovative and award-winning tools for involving the public in decision-making, such as Conversation Corps and the award-winning reverse town hall broadcast series “A View from You.” His work has been recognized by the National League of Cities, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Harvard School of Government and has earned him awards such as the Peacemaker Award from the Austin Dispute Resolution Center for his efforts on a longstanding community conflict. In addition to holding an MS/PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Larry also earned a certificate in public participation from the International Association for Public Participation and served as the president of its United States affiliate. He is on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches Facilitative Leadership and Conflict Resolution and serves as a senior fellow at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. Larry is the author of a manual entitled “Keys to an Effective Public Meeting” and a forthcoming book based on truth and reconciliation commissions, Truth Talks

Kearns & West welcomes Angela Jo Woolcott as a Senior Director serving the Denver/Rocky Mountain Region

Angela is a strategic communications and collaboration expert with broad experience in public affairs, strategic planning, and leading highly collaborative stakeholder engagement efforts. She has facilitated complex, multilateral planning processes for both the private and public sectors and is skilled in designing and implementing innovative communication processes that foster meaningful and long-lasting results. An example of her recent work includes a project with Denver Water in which she helped them navigate an unprecedented regulatory approval process — with an emphasis on community outreach and education — for their proactive Lead Reduction Program, later approved in December 2019 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

Prior to joining Kearns & West, Angela worked for a variety of well-known consulting firms, developing and implementing equitable public processes alongside clients and community leaders in the areas of water, transportation and infrastructure, public health, and natural resources, among others. Angela’s transportation practice has taken her around the region and has afforded her the opportunity to work on several large-scale, rewarding and transformative planning and design efforts. She has a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

 

Kearns & West Welcomes Charles Harvey as a Senior Director in Sacramento, CA

Kearns & West welcomes Charles Harvey as a Senior Director!  Charles brings his experience as a Legislative Representative with the League of California Cities, where he managed a public safety portfolio of issues that include emergency response, wildfire policy, police use of force, and emergency medical services.

In this previous role, Charles worked with the League’s 50-person public safety committee comprised of fire chiefs, police chiefs, city managers, and local elected officials—to reach consensus on pending legislation, regulatory proposals, and proposed resolution language—helping them to make informed policy recommendations for consideration by the organization’s Board of Directors.  Charles routinely advocated on a variety of issues in the California Legislature and the Governor’s Office through written arguments, meetings, and oral testimony during legislative policy committee hearings.  In addition, he delivered presentations to member cities on active public safety legislation and bills recently signed into law.

Prior to joining the League, Charles served as a legislative advocate in the Office of Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and held legislative staff positions of increasing responsibility in the California State Assembly.

Charles double majored in Business Administration and Spanish at Morehouse College and earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.  He is a member of the California State Bar, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and New Leaders Council — Sacramento Chapter. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his young family, salsa dancing, and playing soccer.

A New Plan for Oregon State Forests — Protecting Endangered Species and Timber Harvests

This month, the Oregon Board of Forestry unanimously voted to continue developing the Western Oregon State Forest Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) — a 70-year plan that balances the protection of endangered species and timber harvest. Over the past two years, Kearns & West led all of the stakeholder engagement and policy- and science-level facilitation for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) as it explores options to both promote financial viability and conserve endangered/threatened species in Oregon’s state forests through the development of an HCP. Kearns & West staff Deb Nudelman, Sylvia Ciborowski, and Michelle Bardini worked alongside ICF and Oregon Consensus in this effort.

We congratulate ODF on this major milestone as the HCP moves forward with the aim of providing improved management of Oregon’s state forests. Learn more here: https://oregonforestry.wpengine.com/2020/09/23/odf-develops-draft-habitat-conservation-plan-for-western-oregons-state-forests/