Helping Organizations Navigate Change

Organizations continually experience change. Whether you are planning change or responding to it, attention to and care for the human element are crucial to the organization’s success.

Over the past twenty years, I have helped organizations in Alaska and Minnesota navigate change through facilitation, strategic planning and visioning. As part of this process, I often involve the whole organization in assessing, adapting and recommitting to its mission. I leave them with knowledge and tools to move forward on their own and remain available for check-in or follow-up.





As an experienced facilitator, I learn where groups are at in their thinking and tailor a productive process and safe environment for people to do their best work in addressing needs of their organization.

Needs Assessment & Program Evaluation

In addition to data collection and survey analysis, I’ve had extensive experience gathering data through focus groups and key informant interviews.

Strategic Planning

Previous experience includes health and social services, arts, education, environment, Alaska Native agencies and tribes, economic development, local and state government as well as membership organizations.

Volunteer Management & Civic Engagement

There is an art to mobilizing people to contribute their time in a meaningful way. Previous experience includes managing volunteers as well as training volunteers and the staff of agencies and schools who engage volunteers, program development, capacity building and serving on Points of Light Foundation’s initial National Council of Volunteer Centers.

Project Management

As a project manager, I monitor the interconnected elements and coordinate people, tasks and information, as well as anticipate needs and provide nimble trouble-shooting. I keep a lower profile when things are going well and step up to prevent or address problems as needed.

Conference & Event Planning

Organizing events is often added to heavy workloads. Let me help you with elements of pre-event planning, on-site management & tracking useful information for future events.  Previous experience includes state, regional, local and tribal-related conferences, symposiums and forums.


Having relocated back to my roots in central Minnesota, I continue to enjoy engaging with organizations dedicated to improving their communities and spending more time with family, the outdoors and travel.

I get nonprofits. I understand that there is rarely enough time and money for the important work that needs to be done. I’ve been an executive director of two nonprofits as well as a volunteer center and have served on many boards and commissions over the past 35 years. As a seasoned consultant, I have walked alongside dozens of nonprofits and organizations dealing with a wide range of situations and challenges.

My greatest reward is helping organizations see their possibilities, determine and embrace their direction, plan how they will assess progress and know when to adapt their strategies to reach their intended outcomes.


Brenda demonstrates extreme competencies in understanding the complex services Community Action Agencies provide as well as demonstrating the empathy and understanding of the needs of the consumers served. She was able to effectively lead us in our planning and development strategies.

Lori Schultz

LSW, Executive Director, Tri-County Action Program

“The staff, board and volunteers of Quiet Oaks have appreciated the many ways Brenda has helped guide our organization and provide improvements and enhancements to vision and process.

Brenda is well-versed in so many facets of a non-profit’s needs and has been the perfect facilitator for strategic planning and team building sessions. She is fun, fast-paced and works to gain buy-in and consensus. We highly recommend Brenda Holden if you want to inspire, motivate and engage your nonprofit leadership!”

Linda Allen

Executive Director, Quiet Oaks Hospice House

“When Brenda and her family lived in our Alaska Native village for six years, they truly became part of our community. The elders and families trusted them. After they moved to Fairbanks, I attended regional meetings that Brenda facilitated for Tanana Chiefs Conference on a variety of issues of concern to our 42 Interior Alaska Native tribes. Brenda is good at listening and gives good feedback. You can tell she puts her heart into it and really cares. I tell her that Northway will always be her Alaska hometown.”

Lorraine Titus

President and General Manager, Northway Natives Corporation, Elder Advisor to Northway Tribal Council

“As one of Charities Review Council’s Nonprofit Outreach Consultants, Brenda supported our team with building nonprofit capacity in the St. Cloud (MN) area. As a Council Consultant, Brenda was an extension of our team offering exceptional, customized one-on-one support and technical assistance through in-person meetings and phone/email communications.”
Abby Wellan

Nonprofit Services and Communications Manager, Charities Review

“During my tenure as Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fairbanks and later as CEO in Alaska, I was fortunate to work with Brenda on many occasions. We enlisted her help to facilitate staff retreats, Board planning sessions, program development and evaluations. Not only is she highly ethical, she is creative and fun to work with.

Brenda was invaluable during our expansion and the insights she provided assisted us at every level. Her own experience living in a small Alaska Native village was useful as she visited villages to learn local perspectives.

Brenda truly cares about the work she does – and it shows. She helped us navigate tricky staff situations and helped us all stay mission-focused in everything we did. Her enthusiasm and belief in the potential of people was an inspiration to us.”

Taber Rehbaum

Former CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska

“I have known Brenda for more than 35 years. She partnered with us at UpFront Consulting before we retired in 2016 and is carrying on with some of our nonprofit clients. She is a talented facilitator, building in flexibility to meet her clients where they are and to help them move forward with confidence.

Along with her focus on working efficiently and effectively, Brenda has a great sense of humor, and that comes through in client sessions, helping everyone participate openly and feel comfortable with the process and the outcomes achieved.”

Dianne Tuff

Retired, UpFront Consulting



(907) 322-8249

St. Augusta, Minnesota