"Miriam is a fabulous consultant. She is calm,
thorough, and strategic. She’s great at designing and implementing
processes that solicit input from a broad range of people, resulting
in expanded thinking, new approaches, and a more cohesive team. I
count on her as a great “thought partner” and highly
value her perspective. I would absolutely recommend her."
Phyllis Hoffman, Director
Chancellor’s Strategy & Alignment
University of California at Berkeley
"Nothing throws Miriam - she understands that change often does not follow a straight line and is sensitive to the challenges and issues that arise for staff seeking to promote their organizations’ mission. She scaffolds the change process…and in our case helped us realistically appraise our assets and liabilities in order to make strategic choices. Miriam always brings us back to our purpose. With her help, we are confident we can achieve our goals. "
Marcy Whitebook, Ph.D.
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE)
"I have worked with a number of strategic planning and organizational
development consultants over the years. I think Miriam is absolutely
one of the best. She organized and led a very comprehensive
strategic planning process for our synagogue which laid the groundwork
for subsequent organizational growth in a number of ways - we bought
our own building, set up new committees, expanded our staff, etc."
Ralph Silber, Chair, Planning Committee
Executive Director, Alameda Health Consortium
(for identification purposes only)
"I am very grateful to have worked with Miriam Abrams on our recent
Strategic Plan. She had been the consultant on our previous Plan and our staff encouraged me to
bring her back. She has a gift for creating clear, rational, and productive agendas and work plans.
She was always able to get the most out of each session, even with sometimes reluctant participants.
Her easy-going, non-judgmental style put the staff and board at ease and enabled them to offer
fresh ideas that, at times, went against the grain of institutional convention. Fostering a
creative mindset is one of her greatest talents. As is her dedication to keeping me, the
director, on track and on point. We are all happy with our new Strategic Plan and are very
thankful to Miriam for all that she did to bring it into being."
Larry Rinder, Director
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
"Gathering extremely busy people together, with divergent goals, and helping them synthesize a common understanding of how they can work in symphony to bring improved health outcomes, was quite a miracle. Miriam provided the structure, experience and persistence that allowed chaos to coalesce into a comprehensive strategic plan. We could not have accomplished this without Miriam. She provided the appropriate amount of listening, summarizing and direction that moved meetings forward. I highly recommend her!"
Margaret Fisher, Oral Health Consultant
San Francisco Department of Public Health
"Miriam is a skilled strategist, facilitator and trusted adviser to Shareable. In three retreats she's helped us find our way to our mission, values, goals, and more. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's her nimbleness, humility, calm and confidence that really sets her apart. She's powerful organizational medicine. I can't recommend her enough."
Co-founder of Shareable
"Miriam was invested in making our retreat a success from the very first phone call. She facilitated with such mastery and an authentic consideration and respect for all views around the table. I can't recommend her highly enough to any organization that is seeking an experienced, thoughtful, intelligent, warm, strategic and energetic consultant. She is the best! Pro Arts looks forward to working with Miriam again in the very near future."
Executive Director, Pro Arts
"It's absolutely crucial to have the right facilitator for board retreats...a lot is at stake. Miriam Abrams is that rare arts and culture breed who can assure both board and staff are energized with vision and grounded in specifics to move forward. Hire her!"
"Miriam Abrams is my go-to facilitator for any situation. Her skills, her knowledge of the sector, and her finely tuned ability to read the participants in a meeting, make her one of the best."
Chief Executive Officer
San Francisco Parks Alliance
"The combination of Miriam’s expert facilitation skills, creative thinking, and positive and encouraging can-do spirit has been critical for our work in creating San Francisco Children’s Oral Health strategic plan. Having her on our team always gave the feeling that we were in good hands. She is also a great communicator, problem solver, and effective listener. Most of all, she genuinely cares about the work and the people and populations that it ultimately impacts. She is truly one of a kind."
Lisa Chung, DDS
Co-Lead, Children’s Oral Health
San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP)
"Working with Miriam Abrams for our strategic
planning process was like working with an artist painting our portrait. Miriam
learned our agency culture, goals and mission and tailored her approach
to us, making the process painless and thorough. We engaged
Miriam for our second 5-year plan and I plan to have Miriam work
with us for the third 5-year plan!"
Rose Johnson, Executive Director
Davis Street Family Resource
"Miriam facilitated our strategic planning process for Oral Health in Alameda County
which included over 100 stakeholders, whole day and half day retreats, 5 workgroups and a steering committee.
Unlike so many strategic planning processes I have experienced in my 38 years in the field of public health
this was truly a game changer. The Plan has been institutionalized as part of the work of the County Public
Health Commission and now serves as a blueprint for real implementation. Several new action based demonstration
projects are already being implemented in the first year. Miriam is a gifted professional. She assessed our
needs quickly and aided us in shaping a fantastic product. The Plan is not only the envy of the Department
but also of Counties throughout the region. The product represents a living process and an extraordinary
blueprint to guide our infrastructure and development for years. "
Dr. Jared Fine, Dental Health Administrator (retired)
Alameda County Public Health Department
“I’m so very grateful for the energy, work and thoughtfulness Miriam put in to make our retreat so successful. She led us all with great spirit and inspired real discussions. What a privilege to work with her.”
Artistic Director, Opera Parallèle
Miriam's analytical, yet compassionate, approach to strategic thinking and facilitation enabled our organization to make important strategic decisions relative to our mission, theory of change, and program focus. She has the skills to create and facilitate agendas that got us there in a remarkably timely fashion. Our diverse team members enjoyed working with her.
Diane Del Signore
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Miriam has a wonderful ability to make productive and clear agendas and create realistic and empowering work plans. I was enormously impressed with her facilitation skills - clear, purposeful and respectful. She really understood our organization and easily integrated multiple perspectives into a cohesive voice. Our staff and trustees were able to come to agreement on areas of focus, develop measurable outcomes for our goals and determine next steps for our areas of priority. Most importantly, we developed excellent working rapport between trustees and staff. I am thankful and grateful to Miriam and would not hesitate to call upon her again.
Doris Fukawa, Executive and Artistic Director, Crowden Music Center
"Miriam Abrams and Kayla Kirsch provided support
to the Alameda County Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership to
include community members and educators in a year long strategic
planning process. The broad based community experience was iterative,
visual, thoughtful and resulted in a comprehensive three year
strategic plan. This plan is now being enthusiastically implemented
by stakeholders and collaborators as a result of good communication
practices suggested by our facilitators during a year of planning
and development. We carry around the implementation plan - and
it amazes us how much gets done when you have a plan that everyone
knows about, has bought into, and can refer to as the work unfolds.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to these amazing facilitators
and wise, caring friends that mid-wifed us through a comprehensive,
and what might have otherwise been overwhelming, process."
Louise Music, Coordinator
Alameda County Arts Learning
Alameda County Office of Education
"Not only did Miriam lead us through a thorough
strategic planning process, she helped us navigate through the
retirement of an executive director and the hiring of a new one,
half way through the process. Both our external and internal
environments were changing significantly and Miriam’s calm,
encouraging, and motivating leadership style allowed us to look
carefully at ourselves, not only reaffirming our strengths but
revealing the tremendous additional potential of the organization. Her
knowledge and ability to bring the best out of an organization
was amazing. We look forward to working with Miriam in
varying capacities for years to come."
Murphy, Board President,
Youth in Arts
"Miriam Abrams worked ably with our staff of more
than 300, making sure that no voice was lost. She drew out the staff’s
primary goals and gently but effectively kept them on track. Her
encouragement of creative thinking and moving past old issues was
particularly welcome . From the library veterans to our newest staff
members, Miriam won respect and warm feelings."
Thomas C. Leonard, University Librarian,
University of California, Berkeley
"Working with Miriam was very helpful. Her ability to
ask great questions, listen attentively to responses, and reflect back what she
heard, helped me clarify the vision and strategy for my organization. I highly recommend
Miriam to all who want to articulate the past, present and future of your organization. "
Angela Zusman, Executive Director