Meet the Team
Alicia Koné, owner and president of Koné Consulting LLC, has over 25 years experience working with health and human services agencies to improve our national public safety net system.
As a consultant, she has worked with health and human services agencies in over half the states in the US and with several national organizations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), childcare subsidies, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. She has multiple certifications in management, strategic planning, and facilitation techniques.
Her expertise includes: transformational change in customer service delivery through Lean methods of process improvement, SNAP and Medicaid policy and operations, integration of eligibility for health and human services programs, the impact of the Affordable Care Act on SNAP programs, human services IT system design, and organizational readiness and change management.
Besides working with clients, Alicia enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons boating and picnicking in the beautiful Seattle area.
Sekou Koné, Vice President of International Affairs, is a first-generation immigrant from Cote d’Ivoire (CI), in West Africa. Sekou immigrated to New York City in 1994, and moved to Seattle in 1997 where he met and married Alicia. Sekou is a licensed nurse, and in the U.S. his career focus has been in healthcare. At Koné Consulting, he leads our international consulting practice.
Sekou maintains strong ties to Abidjan, CI, where many of his family members still reside. Over the years, as an expatriate, he has invested in the development of affordable housing and micro-enterprising lending to try and help improve the poorer neighborhoods where he grew up.
Sekou is fluent in French, English, and Mandingo. In his free time, he enjoys running and traveling with his beautiful wife and sons.
Brian Kerr, senior consultant, helps people continuously improve the value they create for whomever they serve through eliminating waste, with respect for people. He has over 10 years of experience designing, building, and supporting web applications and web-based products. Brian’s background is in collaborative software development and information science.
Brian's expertise includes facilitating lean and kaizen (continuous improvement) events, training and coaching, user experience, interaction design, software accessibility, open-source software platforms, content management systems, and web applications. Brian works with a wide variety of project teams and facilitates and coaches them towards consensus.
When he gets a chance to put down his clipboard, Brian enjoys books, games, and the company of family and friends.
Karin Ellis, consultant, has over 15 years of experience working in health and human services, specializing in mental health, addiction and homelessness. Most recently she managed the supportive housing program at a community mental health agency and has over 12 years of experience providing clinical services and supportive housing utilizing harm-reduction principles to individuals and families experiencing homelessness, mental illness, substance use, domestic violence and chronic health conditions. She is also an experienced research assistant and has worked on qualitative analysis on topics including health promotion, housing-first amongst chronic alcoholics, housing prioritization thru vulnerability assessments and domestic violence and substance use amongst Native Americans.
Find Karin on LinkedIn.
Erika Larimer, associate consultant, has more than 12 years combined experience in public relations and special education navigation, implementing strategies to increase capacity and collaboration between school districts and families, providing county and statewide workshops, and developing public relations campaigns for Seattle non-profit arts and tourism organizations such as the Seattle Art Museum, Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), Seattle Aquarium and Woodland Park Zoo. Erika has experience in Charting The LifeCourse person-centered-planning tools, and is certified by the Institute of Cultural Affairs in ToP Facilitation Methods.
In her free time, Erika enjoys spending time with family, creative endeavors, and glamping in her vintage trailer.
Find Erika on LinkedIn.
Christina Watson, Vice President - Operations and Finance, has more than 25 years of experience in providing exceptional customer service plus 10 years of front line eligibility determination and supervision, in health and human services in Washington State. Her consulting work includes assisting over 11 states in improving their business processes and delivery of support services such as SNAP, Medicaid, TANF and childcare subsidies. Christina has a ToP Facilitation Methods certification from the Institute of Cultural Affairs. Her expertise includes business process improvement, customer and support services delivery, management and facilitation.
Christina likes to spend time with family and watch, analyze and discuss anything related to football.
Find Christina on LinkedIn.
Ladji Koné, Assistant to the Vice President of International Affairs, resides in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (CI), in West Africa. Ladji joined Koné Consulting in 2018 to participate in our mission to share our expertise in social services and lean improvement through travel with purpose and cultural exchange in CI. In CI, Ladji coordinates tour logistics and is a lead guide for our Travel With Purpose group tour.
Ladji is particularly interested in non-violence efforts and education movements, and his work supports his goal for bridging communities and strengthening relationships in CI. Ladji’s background also includes agricultural food transport logistics, electrical and mechanical work, and manufacturing.
When not working, Ladji likes to spend time with his son, watching animal documentaries and cartoons, and enjoys a variety of music genres and sporting events. While visiting the US for the first time, Ladji fulfilled a dream to see a live WWE competition.
Katharina Brinschwitz, communications coordinator, is the youngest and newest addition to the Koné Consulting team. Her communication focus is on interpersonal and visual communications. Katharina graduated in 2018 with both a High School and Associate of Arts degree through Running Start, a state-wide program that allows high school students to take college classes without paying tuition. She is attending the University of Washington, Bothell starting fall of 2019 and is majoring in Media and Communication Studies, a program focusing on communications theory and how it applies to media practices. She has 5 years of experience working with Adobe Suite products — Adobe InDesign and Adobe After Effects being her most used applications. In addition, she has over 3 years of customer service experience and is currently still working at a second job as a server at Fairwinds: Brighton Court, a retirement community.
In her spare time, Katharina enjoys socializing with peers, traveling to visit family in Germany and Hong Kong, and cuddling with her cat.
Francisco Salinas is an independent consultant with an expertise in the application of the value of Inclusive Excellence. He holds a full-time appointment at Boise State University as the founding director of the unit of Student Diversity and Inclusion, which he has held since 2008. All told he has more than 25 years of experience in higher education at a variety of institutions around the Pacific Northwest.
As an independent consultant, he has offered tailored training on the concept of inclusive excellence, accessible inclusive practices and inspiring keynotes aimed at inspiring a sense of possibility. Francisco is particularly interested in helping institutions move past individual acts of inclusion to the implementation of sustainable systemic change. To this end, he has designed a tool called the “Inclusive Excellence Inventory” and has used this method at a variety of levels. He has been sought out as an independent consultant and worked for a variety of schools in the Pacific Northwest and was invited to deliver the State of Idaho’s Human Rights Day celebration keynote address in 2018.
Francisco is most proud of his partner in life, his children and his amazing family as well as the relationships he has made serving students over his years in higher education and the relationships he maintains with them as they have made their way into their places in the world. He is a voracious music fan and loves exploring new places using a forensic technique designed around garage sales, thrift stores and local music flavors.