The Meadowlark Institute works with a network of Partners highly skilled in leadership training, convening and planning. We have worked extensively with each member of our Partner Network. Our approach is to bring to our clients the best team to meet their needs


Dave Ellis

Dave Ellis / / 612-250-7342

Dave is a freelance host practitioner whose work has taken him through the worlds of corporate, governmental and nonprofit organizations. He is a resident of North Minneapolis' Hawthorne Community and community leader skilled at working with groups large and small on conversations that matter. His current focus is in communities that want to make true and substantial change on large scale issues like disparities in healthcare, education and criminal justice; youth concerns; and culturally specific issues. Dave has done considerable work in leadership development, diversity and inclusion, network building and community engagement. He is a newly named Steward of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations That Matter. Dave has also recently recieved a Bush Foundation Fellowship.



Kathy Jourdain / Shape Shift Strategies Inc. /

The shape of the world is shifting.  It is constantly shifting but never more so than now.  Kathy Jourdain's work, through Shape Shift and the Art of Hosting community, is in co-creating the conditions for active participation in shaping the future of the systems, organizations and communities that we feel passionate about – that are near and dear to our hearts. This work requires clarity of purpose and intentionality of action to guide our steps.

What if the spark that ignites the flame of transformational change is ignited by individuals who know that the way we are doing things just isn't working, who gravitate together to co-create an emergent future we are only just beginning to envision?  What if participative leadership and hosting is the way to elicit, hold and nurture the sparks so that more and more people begin to sense the possibility, fan the flames and move to wise action.





Barbara (Bob-e) Simpson Epps / / 952-288-3540

Barbara (Bob-e) Simpson Epps has spent a lifetime working to enhance the operations and effectiveness of organizations in both the public and private sectors. Deeply committed to strong, healthy and resilient communities, she has used her expertise to build and sustain diverse environments. Believing in the richness each voice brings to any conversation, situation or need she creates space for each individual to show up while engaging all in conversations leading to the extraction of knowledge, wisdom and reflection of self and others.

With more than 25 years in public health she has focused on issues of trauma, historical, multi-generational and intergenerational trauma of African Americans, HIV/AIDS, equity/inclusion, policy and early care and education. Bob-e is Master trainer of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), journalist and speech-patholigist/audiologist. She is an Art of Hosting steward.



Joe Bartmann

Joe Bartmann

Co-Designer at Rural Weaver LLC / Montrose, South Dakota / Email: / Call/Text: 605.941.2708 / Web:


Joe is a group process artist, rural community coach, and co-designer/facilitator with Rural Weaver, a community innovation design shop. His work lives where radical ideas, rural life and culture-shifting dialogue run together, and he finds the greatest lessons while immersed in the wild, whether it's in the woods and prairies, on the family farm, or at a town hall meeting. Joe has spent the past decade working to help resilient communities help themselves. He is still growing up in rural South Dakota, where he lives in a tiny town with his high school sweetheart and their four amazing daughters, along with several thousand compost worms. He's an experienced Art of Hosting practitioner, and a co-founder of Meadowlark Institute, design:South Dakota, Sioux Falls Green Drinks, Arts Idea Exchange and other projects shaping communities.






Warrior of the Heart™ /  

Warrior of the Heart presents experiential seminar/trainings in developing individual and organizational capacity for centered and wise actions. Contact: Bob Wing at,




Tenneson Woolf / /

Tenneson is a practitioner of change and group process artist. He is dedicated to what is possible when we explore the heart of our work and the edges of our communities. He uses participative leadership methodologies, maps, and models as strategy to create helpful meetings and inquiries. Tenneson has hosted interactive processes at large conferences, worked with many teams, and coached many individuals in diverse organizations – from hospitals to financial planning associations, from universities to faith communities, from corporate clients to labor unions. He is a steward of two communities of practice: The Art of Hosting and The World Café. He works locally with The Salt Lake Center for Engaging Community supporting and designing local dialogues on living in healthy community.


Katie Boone



Katie Boone /


Katie is a host who comes from an extensive background in non-profit, community, and academic worlds. Throughout her career, she has worked on strengthening social systems, communities, organizations and programs to help improve the quality of life for all people. She has worked extensively on creating communities where everyone feels they belong and can contribute, from conversations within immigrant and refugee communities, to youth and intergenerational leadership, to early childhood, healthcare, health and well-being, to creating a healing journey for returning veterans, and building resilient communities for the future. She creates a safe and welcoming space for emergence to happen. Her passion is working with groups in complex systems to help build off of the collective wisdom and move towards wise action. She is a steward in the Art of Hosting and a passionate community builder that follows her heart.






Linette Harriott



Linette Harriott /

Linette is an experienced counsellor/trainer/educator/coach with 28 years of work in the field of welfare services, specialising in young people, sexual assault and family violence victim/survivors including counselling, service provision, leadership and management roles. Her work ensures every voice is heard and encourages groups and individuals to explore the intersections of power and self-determination in relation to gender, age, sexuality, ability, culture and class through a human rights framework to uncover the collective wisdom and support structural changes in society. Linette is a steward of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter and is based in Melbourne, Australia.






Dawn Ellison Image


Dawn Ellison / / 612-839-4662


Dawn Ellison, MD, a practicing emergency physician and Art of Hosting steward recognizes the potential of collaboration in the work she does in the ER as well as organizations and communities. She equips participants with communication skills and creates the ecosystem for meaningful conversations about tough situations, so wise action can be discovered. Dawn has worked with Healthcare innovators across the state to create new ways to attain the "triple aim" in healthcare. She has facilitated a diverse community in the discussion around welcoming all students in schools where there was a lawsuit about how LGBTQ students were not safe. Dawn works towards collaboration on many levels. She coaches individuals who are building capacity in others, small groups that are working towards resilience and neighbors connecting for health and wellness in their community. Dawn understands the issues and brings her passion for a better way to your challenge.





deana defoe


Deana DeFoe

Known for her bold, but practical approach to helping organizations, communities, and individuals, Deana's work centers on the belief that authentic dialogue sparks innovative thinking and collective wisdom, enhancing the web of life for us all. After 15 years working in large and small organizations in the public and nonprofit sector, Deana founded FiveFold, LLC in 2010 to tailor learning experiences to leadership and organizational priorities. An experienced educator, process designer, facilitator, trainer, and coach, she specializes in strategic planning, fund development, developing/delivering trainings and retreats, and hosting candid conversations that support change.


Stephen D

Dr. Stephen Duns has a passion for helping individuals, organizations and communities identify their potential, and then supporting them to achieve it. Stephen believes deeply that a strengths-based approach, storytelling and systems thinking are key factors in human emergence. Stephen is a trained coach and experienced mentor. Stephen is currently partner at Synergistiq and his career experience includes several Chief Executive Officer and general management roles in health and community services in Australia and the UK. He has also worked extensively as a consultant, focusing on social justice and human rights. Stephen is an Honorary Fellow of the School of Psychology at Deakin University, Senior Fellow of the Australian Graduate School of Leadership and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds a Doctorate in Business Leadership, a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), Bachelor of Letters (Psychology) and Master of Business Administration. Stephen's current voluntary interests include Trustee of the Save Sight Foundation, Director annecto, Director Australian Graduate School of Leadership and member of the HubMelbourne Wisdom Council. Other recent interests include Chair of Austin Health's Human Research Ethics Committee, President and Chairman of the Board of Parkinson's Victoria and Parkinson's Australia, Chair and Director of Merri Community Health Services and President of a community radio station.