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Reports from the Field

Here are a few updates shared by our CCT project managers during the consulting project process.

Boston Harbor NowNo, seriously, there are islands out there.
And they’re spectacular!! Boston Harbor Now (BHN), an organization working to reestablish Boston as one of the world’s truly great coastal cities, reached out to CCT for help assessing opportunities to increase earned revenue from new and existing programs centered around the 43 Boston Harbor Islands, 47 miles of Harbor Walk, and the Boston Harbor Island Welcome Center situated on the Greenway. The CCT team interviewed internal staff and government agency partners to review BHN’s existing earned revenue streams (e.g., ferry service, concessions, engagement programs), conducted interviews with peer organizations to gather best practices, and developed an “opportunity assessment framework” to help BHN evaluate and prioritize an ever-growing list of proposed earned revenue ideas.

Doc Wayne Youth ServicesDrafting a Game Plan
Doc Wayne Youth Services, an award-winning nonprofit reimagining therapy through the lens of sport, asked CCT to help identify the key criteria to evaluate locations for potential expansion to bring their services to more children. The team has been interviewing peer organizations who have grown within a geography as well as across state lines to identify best practices and lessons learned. The team has also been working in close collaboration with Doc Wayne to identify the key steps required for expansion to a new site in order to understand the necessary investments from a human resource and financial perspective. The goal is to provide Doc Wayne with easy to use tools to verify and prioritize key opportunities for future expansion.

Mill City GrowsGrasping for …. Carrots?
Mill City Grows addresses food justice in the Lowell community by increasing food access and providing food education. The CCT project team is specifically focused on assessing their school food education programs. The work has included interviews with Lowell Public School decision makers and influencers, comparable organizations, and board members and staff. The next phase of the project will focus on developing and testing potential school program redesign options and associated value propositions. Mill City Grows project volunteers enjoy a well-earned team dinner after delivering their midpoint report to the client.

North Shore Community CollegeIn the trenches to clear North Shore’s pipeline
With a decline in the population of high school graduates, increased competition from online institutions, and a strong economy, community colleges all across the nation are facing the challenge of declining enrollment. North Shore Community College (NSCC) is no exception and has hired CCT to help it evaluate its enrollment pipeline. Starting at the top of the funnel and continuing until the first day of classes, our team is examining the school’s current organizational structure and communication strategies to identify opportunities for improvement. Team members are interviewing administration officials, students and peer institutions, and devising strategies that align the organization and focus the communication on a better enrollment process, all with the end-goal of increasing the number of applicants that matriculate at NSCC. North Shore Community College team project manager, Trevor Henry offers options to the client at the Interim presentation on April 3.

Samaritans Have you seen the Samaritans signs on the MBTA?
In addition to its 24-hour helpline and textline, Samaritans, Inc. provides suicide prevention education to high school students and offers grief support services to those who have been impacted by suicide loss. The CCT team is determining how widely available these services are throughout Massachusetts. Should they identify areas with service gaps, their findings will help inform Samaritans on steps they can take to address these shortcomings and provide suggestions on potential collaboration partners.

The Wade Institute for Science EducationBeyond financial modeling
The Wade Institute for Science Education offers professional development courses focused on helping teachers more effectively teach science with hands-on, inquiry-based approaches. One of the goals of Wade’s 3-year strategic plan is to develop a realistic and sustainable financial strategy. CCT is building a financial model to help Wade reach that goal. CCT has interviewed Wade’s internal and external stakeholders to gather information for the model. Besides producing a model, the team has generated a SWOT analysis and gathered feedback and recommendations from collaborating organizations, all of which will help the Wade team make more informed choices about how


Volunteer Profile - Jeff Caplan

Current CCT Role:  Co-Project Manager for North Shore Community College - Our project focuses on admissions, and steps NSCC could take to get more applicants to enroll.

Volunteer Since:  2014. On my fifth project and my third as a PM.

MBA:  Wharton

First CCT Project:  All Hands & Hearts, a volunteer organization addressing the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters.

How Did You Discover CCT?:  I read a notice about CCT in the Globe, of all things.

Describe Your CCT Experience:  I get to work with a mix of (mostly) MBAs of all ages and all specialties, and part of the experience is to get to know them and learn from their perspectives. The business questions clients ask are genuinely challenging, and inevitably at some point in the project it feels as if we’re not going to provide a satisfactory response. But we always seem to figure it out and the clients are always very appreciative.

Volunteer Profile - Amy Casher

Current CCT Role: Board Member, Client Development Committee Co-Chair  

Volunteer Since: 2006

MBA: Yale School of Management

First CCT Project: ImprovBoston. It was a Growth/Expansion project, focused on their corporate training business.

How Did You Discover CCT? I first learned about CCT through the Yale SOM alumni network. While I had done both for-profit and nonprofit strategy consulting professionally, I was seeking ways to use my MBA skills to give backvto the community in a meaningful way. I attended a CCT information session in Boston, and the rest is history.

Describe Your CCT Experience: I have just completed my seventh CCT project over a span of 12 years. In addition to leading and working on teams, I have also enjoyed working on the Client Development Committee, now as Co-Chair, recruiting and educating clients about CCT, helping to select which organizations will receive our pro bono consulting services, and nurturing client relationships over the long term.

Volunteer Profile - Bill Sones

Current CCT Role: Project Manager                                                                                                                                                                                   Volunteer Since: I first worked with CCT in 2003.  Work and life events have led to a couple of brief hiatus periods but it’s been 15 years since I first worked with CCT.
                                                                                                                          Projects and Roles for each: Recent projects include Children’s Healthwatch and Minuteman Senior Services as PMs.  Others include Conservation Law Foundation and the Women’s Crisis Center as a team member, and I have also worked on the Volunteer Committee.

MBA: Yale 

How you discovered CCT:  There was outreach to local Yale alumni and it sounded like a great organization.

Describe your CCT experience:  I have found CCT to be a tremendously rewarding experience on so many levels.  First and foremost, it’s always so rewarding to have an opportunity to help so many organizations that are dedicated to great causes.  But it’s also always great to meet like-minded professionals in the area that are also drawn to helping these non-profits.  I’ve met so many people with varied backgrounds that I would not have had a chance to get to know otherwise.

Volunteer Profile - Lisa Coney

Current CCT Role: Site Visit Coordinator for Client Development 

Volunteer Since: 2012

Projects and Roles: WalkBoston, Project Manager (PM); Emerson Umbrella (now, The Umbrella), PM; Root Capital, PM; The House of the Seven Gables, PM; Roca, PM; EVKids, PM.

MBA: University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business

How She Discovered CCT: Lisa had taken a couple of years away from the workforce to take care of her mother’s affairs and was looking for some interesting volunteer opportunities. A former colleague who was a Wharton MBA shared an email she received regarding CCT and Lisa followed up. She completed an application, “…and never looked back.”

Volunteer Profile - Lorri Veidenheimer

Current CCT Role: Board Member and Co-Chair of the Client Development Committee

Volunteer Since: 2015

First Project: NEADS Service Dogs

MBA: Kellogg (Northwestern University)

How You Discovered CCT:

After moving to Boston about nine years ago, I was trying to make new friends and do some professional networking. I discovered a wonderful woman who went to both my undergraduate college and graduate school so I asked her to meet for coffee. She was a long-time CCT volunteer and suggested I get involved as well. It took me a couple of years before I signed up - wish I’d done it earlier.

Describe Your CCT Experience:

Volunteer Profile - Aish Agrawal

Current CCT Role: Project Manager for Charles River Conservancy

Volunteer Since: 2013

First Project: Cristo Rey Boston

MBA: Fuqua (Duke) School of Business, 2011

How You Discovered CCT: An email to all Fuqua grads from Duke’s Boston chapter

Describe Your CCT Experience: CCT has been a rewarding experience in many ways - honing my skills, meeting and working with folks from different industries, learning about the nonprofit world, and more importantly, working for clients who would otherwise find it challenging to get some of their critical projects off the ground. At one point or the other, each project became demanding and the teams worked together to deliver the project on time for clients who were always pleased not just with the outcome but the passion that the teams brought to the project. In every project, I have seen the client have at least one “Aha” moment, demonstrating the value CCT teams bring to the Boston area nonprofits.

What Don’t We Know About You? I learned I was claustrophobic when I stepped into the Great Pyramid of Giza. I made people behind me in the line turn around so I could get out. Some were not happy.

Volunteer Profile: Carol Krauss

Current CCT Role: Advancement Chair

Volunteer Since: 2009

How She Discovered CCT: Carol Krauss responded to an email from her alma mater, Tuck School at Dartmouth, about a small all-volunteer nonprofit that did consulting for other Boston nonprofits. Having worked in management consulting before business school and then afterwards for Arthur D. Little, this seemed like a natural fit.

First CCT Project: In her first project in 2009 for NEADS Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, she connected so much with the organization that she became a long-term volunteer Weekend Puppy Raiser raising two dogs for veterans with PTSD.