Partner Spotlight: Introducing Nancy White

We invited our team partner, Nancy White, to introduce herself in this week’s blog. We at Koné Consulting look forward to our ongoing projects with Nancy and are so thrilled that we have her as a valuable asset to our team.


If there is learning, community and dark chocolate, count me in. Hi, I'm Nancy White and I'm having fun partnering with Koné Consulting because they seem to love these things as well. I'm a long term free-range consultant. That means my work stretches and peeks around new bends in the road, all the while focusing on helping groups be successful. That may mean straight forward facilitation of events, building self facilitation capacity, or all the way into being a learning and doing partner in the thick of really getting work done. 


I bring a diverse set of group process practices, most recently deeply engaged with Liberating Structures with a twist of graphic facilitation and the application of any group process in a fully warm electronic online context. My practice over the past 20 years has been mostly in the non profit and NGO world, with a lot of work overseas in international development contexts where I realized how much I don't know about the world. Always a learner.

I used to write a LOT about my practice on my blog at but my life these days is also filled with raising granddaughters, gardening, and of course, eating dark chocolate. You can still find a post or two...

Happy to be in the circle!

Nancy White

Our Community: YWCA and ESD

Erika Larimer, Koné Consulting and  Alicia Crank,  YWCA Corporate Relations Officer and  candidate for Edmonds City Council  meet at YWCA’s temporary housing site to exchange donated bags. The site features 28 apartments, a small playground and garden and gives women and their children a safe haven while awaiting permanent housing.

Erika Larimer, Koné Consulting and Alicia Crank, YWCA Corporate Relations Officer and candidate for Edmonds City Council meet at YWCA’s temporary housing site to exchange donated bags. The site features 28 apartments, a small playground and garden and gives women and their children a safe haven while awaiting permanent housing.

We had the pleasure last month of hosting a networking event designed to kick-off summer and bring together women in our community, including those running for our local city council. What a great opportunity to get to know those who are working hard to help shape a future which recognizes everyone’s right to live healthy, safe and equitable lives in our town.

Thanks to our guests generous donations, we were able to donate food and hygiene items to our local food bank as well as over two dozen handbags to our local YWCA for their upcoming Women Rise Career Workshop. Attendees will learn how to take their careers to the next level through resume and interview skills workshops. To learn how to support your local food bank, visit Feeding America. If you are interested in volunteering for YWCA Women Rise Career Workshop, contact Alicia Crank, corporate relations officer, at 206-490-4372 or

In other news, Koné Consulting was recognized at a luncheon for businesses which partner with the Edmonds School District’s job training program for students with disabilities – our annual holiday calendar and card mailing are prepared by students in the Work Experience program. Although the event was designed to thank businesses, we know WE are the ones who benefit from this partnership as the students do an exceptional job!


Our View this Week

Shout out to our Senior Lean Consultant, Brian Kerr, who’s representing Koné Consulting in Colorado this week with his pals from Public Consulting Group and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. They’re visiting locations across Colorado to help counties and medical assistance sites improve the services they provide to people across the state (read here for more information).

Brian says, “It’s a pleasure to spend time with folks who do such important work every day, and to take a Lean perspective where every problem is an opportunity to try some improvement.” 

And when he’s not on the job? Brian’s hotel is directly across the street from the Eagles Nest Wilderness area where he was enjoying a walk to take in the beautiful scenery. Take a look!


 What’s your view this week?

Partner Spotlight: Introducing Francisco Salinas - Independent Inclusive Excellence consultant

We have invited our partner and fellow collaborator, Francisco Salinas to introduce himself in this week’s blog. We at Koné Consulting look forward to our ongoing projects with Francisco, and the Inclusive Excellence he brings to our team and clients.

Hello fam!  


My name is Francisco Salinas, from Boise State University where I am currently working full-time as the first Director for Student Diversity and Inclusion. When my schedule allows, I am excited to share the insights and expertise from my professional experiences through my recent partnership with Koné Consulting. I am committed to Inclusive Excellence through systemic and structural change, and have created a tool called the “Inclusive Excellence Inventory” to help undertake this work.

A first generation college-graduate, my professional life in higher education has been spent advocating for the growth and success of under-represented minority populations on campus, with a number of administrative posts in both Washington State and Idaho, including the University of Idaho, Washington State University, Spokane Community College, Skagit Valley College and Yakima Valley Community College. As an instructor, I’ve taught a variety of classes ranging from Chicano Studies to Civic and Ethical Foundations, and hold the proud distinction as the founding advisor for both the first Latina founded sorority and the first Latino founded fraternity in Idaho. I was also recently honored by Boise State University’s Black Alumni chapter as the first recipient of the award they have named the “Francisco Salinas Commitment to Inclusion Award.”

I live in Boise, Idaho with my partner Nichole, who is a mental health counselor specializing in the treatment of sexual abuse recovery and trauma. I have three adult children and am a grandfather to a beautiful grandson who I travel to see every chance I get. I am a garage sale treasure hunter and a consumer of all things musical. I love live music and love road trips to any body of water. My indoor pursuits include playing foosball and scrabble and cheering on Nichole for her amazing Karaoke prowess. 

What I most love about working with the Koné Consulting team is the opportunity to face new challenges and settings with a group of folks whose creative energies are unbound by the constructs of a traditional single setting environment. The value of diverse experiences and perspectives is nourished and allowed to blossom in an organic way that only the sunlight, the weather and a complete absence of walls can afford. The world needs advance along the axis of equity and it will take the best of us to step up and meet this challenge! I am pleased to be working with some of the best to advance this work.

I look forward to the possibility we may spend some time together.  - Francisco

For more on Francisco’s work at Boise State University, visit:

Keeping The Dream Real

BUILD Program Trains Boise State Staff in Diversity and Inclusivity

Navigating Race Strategizing Space 

Find Francisco on LinkedIn.


Travel With Purpose

Service, Learning and Leadership Webinar

Saturday, June 22 at 9 am PST

Join us to learn more about our New Year’s trip to Côte d’Ivoire and how you can partner with us.

Register for the webinar here 

Empowering women, making gender equality a reality

Today we are spotlighting one of our Travel With Purpose hosts and service partner, Women Entrepreneurs & Leaders (WEL), a non-profit (NGO) organization based in Côte d’Ivoire dedicated to creating a world where women can live free from poverty, violence and inequality. Through grassroots efforts, WEL builds the skills of hundreds of women and girls so together the story and the stereotypes surrounding women's abilities are changed for the good.

2018 visit, Alicia and Sekou observed WEL in action during a workshop as part of WEL’s Impact My Community campaign held at the American Corner in Bouaké.

2018 visit, Alicia and Sekou observed WEL in action during a workshop as part of WEL’s Impact My Community campaign held at the American Corner in Bouaké.

 Madame (Mme) Kouadio, Co-founder and President of WEL explains how the idea for her organization was born. “During my adolescence, I noticed that women are fragilized (easily broken or destroyed) in their family home because of lack of means,” she continued, “my own auntie - a mother of 10 children - suffered in her marriage, frequently beaten by her husband and when he did not give her money to cook for the family, she and her children would stay hungry.” Mme Kouadio’s own mother helped the family as she could, however, this was not enough to ensure the children could attend school, which in Côte d’Ivoire can mean the difference between jobs and housing, or homelessness.

In addition to this formative memory, Mme Kouadio began her professional journey working with a non-profit fighting against HIV AIDS. “In poor communities and rural areas, women are incredibly vulnerable – the most affected and impacted by HIV AIDS. And most of the time they have no support for the education of their children,” explained Mdm. Kouadio.  

“Why? Why women?” Mme Kouadio would ask herself, “Why are women so far behind? Are women aware of their potential?”

Studying women’s issues a few years ago, Mme Kouadio discovered some grim statistics:

  •        Women and girls make up 70% of the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty

  •        Some young girls still can’t access education in Africa

  •        16% of the world’s population is illiterate, of which two-thirds are women and girls

  •        During armed conflict, out of 40 million refugees, 75% are women and children

  •        In sub-Saharan Africa, 61% of people living with HIV are women

  •        Each year, approximately 22 million unsafe abortions occur when women are sexually abused

  •        Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth

 Active since 2016, WEL strives to empower the next generation of women leaders by focusing on Leadership, Excellence and Innovation – teaching economic independence and leadership, as well as programs related to agriculture, green environments, health (HIV and pregnancy), technology, and digital solutions.

“My vision for the future is a new generation of young female leaders, aware of their potential, who contribute to a world where women are free from poverty, and one Africa where we have no gender inequalities – where women are equals in making decisions,” said Mme Kouadio. 

Mme Kouadio’s experience and vision provided her the opportunity to become part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a U.S. – African merit-based program for young African leaders. In 2017, she was selected among 18,000 applicants from all over sub-Saharan Africa to take part. Held at Appalachian State University, N.C., the six-week Leadership Institute offered a host of academic sessions, professional networking, leadership training, community service and cultural activities.  

mme kouadio.png

Mme Kouadio has a Master’s Degree in Organizations Management and is driven by her passion to assist vulnerable populations and create awareness among women about their potential to positively impact their community. Inspired by black American women including Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, Mme Kouadio has over 10 years’ experience in development projects and United States Government (USG) Funds grants management. In addition to her work with WEL NGO, she is the Grants Manager of international NGO Health Alliance International (HAI). She resides in Cote d’Ivoire with her husband and infant son.

 “Go girls! Aim FAR, raise your standards. Make your dreams come true!” Mme Kouadio and WEL say, “Be the next generation of leaders!

Come work with Mme Kouadio and WEL!  

Join Us in Cote d’Ivoire

Dec 2019-Jan 2020

Travel With Purpose

New Year’s Tour

Sign up for our webinar or register now!

Reminder that space is limited!

Libraries, Housing & Homelessness

Housing and homelessness continue to be top newsmakers around the country – and in particular in the Pacific Northwest, where rapid population growth is putting pressure on the housing market, increasing housing costs, and putting people at increased risk of displacement and homelessness.

Koné Consulting recently conducted a homelessness assessment for Edmonds, WA, a town just north of Seattle, as part of a Homelessness Response Project. This Monday, June 3, consultant Karin Ellis will be a panelist at the Edmonds library in a community forum called “Issues That Matter” to discuss the outcome of the assessment. The Sno-Isle Libraries forums are meant to encourage community conversations on high-profile topics and are free and open to the public. This year the topics focus on four broad themes related to regional growth, which are environment, transportation, employment, and housing. Monday’s forum is called “Looking forward: Housing – Where Will We All Live?”  

Blokable project at Edmonds Lutheran Church featured in the  Everett Herald .  Photo credit: Lizz Giordano/The Herald

Blokable project at Edmonds Lutheran Church featured in the Everett Herald.

Photo credit: Lizz Giordano/The Herald

The relationship between libraries, housing and homelessness makes sense to Karin, who has been a long time lover of the library, taking after her mother who is a retired elementary school librarian. When Karin provided outreach services to people who are homeless she developed an informal connection to the library due to it being a public space that provides free access to the internet to search for resources like housing and jobs. Not only is the library a refuge from cold and rain, it is an mechanism for equity – providing programs, services and opportunities to people who could not otherwise access. Seattle Public Library has formalized the connection to services providers through a partnership with DESC (where Karin used to work) and now has a Community Resource Specialist position at three branches. This allows patrons of the library to also meet with outreach workers and case managers, complete housing assessments and get resources for food and shelter.  

With over 15 years’ experience working in health and human services, specializing in mental health, substance use and homelessness, including managing the supportive housing program at a community mental health agency, we are fortunate to have Ms. Ellis in our ranks. For her thoughts on mental health, see our May 15th blog, highlighting Mental Health Awareness Month.

The Issues That Matter forum will be moderated by Teresa Wippel, Founder and Publisher of My Edmonds News and in addition to Ms. Ellis, will feature Aaron Holm, Co-CEO at Blokable, and Mindy Woods, Formerly Homeless Advocate.

Looking Forward: Housing – Where Will We All Live?

Monday, June 3rd • 6:30 pm – 8 pm

Edmonds Library

650 Main Street - Edmonds, WA


 Follow these links to see our report on Homelessness in Edmonds, WA, or for more information on the Issues That Matter series.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month


Did you know May is mental health awareness month? This year marks 70 years since Mental Health America started mental health month to raise awareness. We’ve learned a lot in 70 years about mental health, the people experiencing mental health conditions, and which treatments are more effective. For example, we know that one in five adults in the U.S. experience a mental health condition in a given year and factors such as poverty, housing, race, education, gender and even zip code - the social determinants of health - play a role in the development of both mental and physical health conditions.  

Most importantly, we know we have more work to do to help people experiencing mental health conditions. Suicide is preventable with effective care and yet it is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Suicide rates are rapidly rising, especially among teens, young adults and veterans. Most people can experience relief from mental health symptoms through support, recovery and treatment, and yet less than half of the adults in the U.S. get the help they need and deserve. Prevention, early identification, intervention and integrated services work, so what stops people from getting help? Common barriers include the cost of mental health care and insurance, structural barriers like transportation, and prejudice and discrimination. 

Click to enlarge or download from NAMI.

Though I believe we should be working to address all barriers to treatment, prejudice and discrimination is the one that you and I can do something about because they are related to stigma. Navigating life with a mental health condition can be tough in itself, and the isolation, blame and secrecy that is exacerbated by stigma stops people from reaching out and getting support. Stigma is one reason it typically takes ten years from the time early symptoms of mental health present until someone gets an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Stigma is one reason why as a society we see mental illness and substance use disorders differently than physical illness and show less compassion instead of more. Stigma is what we are fighting by dedicating a month to mental health awareness. It is important that we talk openly about mental health, educate ourselves and others, show compassion and break down the portrayed barriers between mental and physical health. 

This is something that I am (obviously) passionate about and I have dedicated most of my career to helping people who are experiencing homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorders. I continue to work towards improving services for people with mental health conditions and through Koné Consulting I have worked on a statewide behavioral health assessment and on Washington State’s efforts towards Fully Integrated Managed Care. It is also why I am excited about starting a new strategic planning project with the University of Washington AIMS (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) Center - known for their nationally recognized Collaborative Care model of integrating mental health and substance use disorder services into primary care. 

 To learn more about mental health, find support or get involved in advocacy issues, please check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  

Take good care,


Small Business Week #TGIFPractice

In the spirit of Brené Brown’s TGIF, a weekly gratitude practice, and the fact that it is National Small Business week, please enjoy this quick TGIF rundown:


Trust - I trust that the “universe” will provide us with good work with existing and new clients in the coming year.


Grateful – I am so grateful for how far we’ve come as a company (especially since it is National Small Business week) and as we near our 10th anniversary in 2020 it’s amazing to see how much we’ve grown. We are grateful for all of our clients and partners who have joined us this far on our journey.


Inspired - I am inspired by the staff and managers we consult with who help tens of thousands of individuals and families in this country each day to have productive and healthy lives.


Fun - I look forward to having fun with staff at our retreat on May 31st when we are doing our own planning work and attending a varsity boys vs. girls HS soccer game benefiting the Special Olympics.


We hope you’ll consider practicing TGIF in the future.

A little timeline of some of our biggest achievements thus far (and some foreshadowing). Chart is heavily inspired by  Limina Co. ’s  small biz week graphic .

A little timeline of some of our biggest achievements thus far (and some foreshadowing). Chart is heavily inspired by Limina Co.’s small biz week graphic.

Tulip and travel talk

Hello all,

Now is an appropriate time as ever to say happy spring! I recently was able to take a short day trip to Skagit Valley, WA to visit Tulip Town, one of the main growers for Skagit Valley’s Tulip Festival. May 1st was the last day for this season of tulips so I’m glad my sudden impulse to go visit the flowers was in time. $7 per person in exchange for a relaxing walk through the tulip fields is definitely worth it! Although it is too late to go visit this season’s blooms here are a couple tips for traveling to visit the flowers in the future:

  • If you plan on taking pictures (which you should) charge your camera!

  • Bring shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, you are in farm land after all

  • Plan bathroom breaks wisely as traffic can get heavy on weekends and there are no places to stop along the two lane road (Read The Stranger’s article for more info)

  • Pack a water bottle and some snacks for the drive

  • Bring cash to avoid that annoying ATM withdrawal fee (I forgot about this one this year)

  • Don’t walk in the flowerbeds, it’ll ruin the flowers - staff have posted reminders all over the fields, so please be courteous

Visiting the tulips has me in the mood for some more adventures and reminded me of our upcoming Travel with Purpose trip to Côte d'Ivoire.

— Katharina

Registration is open now and our Early-Bird pricing ends July 5.

If you are considering going, please stay tuned for an update on our next Travel Webinar series and make your deposit to secure your spot!

We want to hear from you! If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us: | (855) 981-5663 23632 | Highway 99, Suite F #225 Edmonds, WA 98026

Calling our County Government friends!

In recognition of April National County Government Month, we’d like to honor the clients and counties we’ve had the great pleasure of working with and visiting over the past year.


Shout out to our friends in: Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco, and Sacramento Counties, CA; Boulder County, CO; Dixie and Levy Counties, FL; New York County, NY; Cuyahoga County, OH; Washington County, OR; Philadelphia County, PA; and King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, WA.


Your dedication to serving your communities, making lasting improvements, and championing social justice is one of the many reasons we love doing what we do. Your excellence in service is appreciated!


The Koné Consulting Team

This Photo  by Unknown Author is licensed under  CC BY-SA

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA