Being of service to people and communities has been the most important value of my life.
I began volunteering with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity about 30 years ago through my church. In 1995 I left a sales and marketing job for Americus Georgia to be a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity International's headquarters. In 1997 I became a full-time employee of Habitat as a regional Affiliate Support Manager, assigned to Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota.
After multiple promotions I finished my service with Habitat as an Organizational Development Consultant supporting many of their core programs. I created and led Habitat's evaluation of their Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative in partnership with NeighborWorks America's Success Measures platform. I helped author operations and capacity building manuals and was a subject matter expert in Family Selection and Support. I presented workshops at dozens of Regional and National Habitat conferences.
I founded gmars Consulting in 2013. I've built a strong practice, with repeat engagements, and many referrals from satisfied clients. I maintain strong partnerships with Habitat Affiliate State Support Organizations and statewide nonprofit associations.
I enjoy working with small and mid-sized nonprofits often in rural America. I focus on housing, homelessness, the environment and social services. I've served as an interim Executive Director, and held a contract in 2018-19 as staff for a homeless HUD Continuum of Care coalition. I continue to support Habitat affiliates. I enjoy being a talented trainer and acclaimed workshop presenter. I've been honored to participate in conferences locally, regionally, and nationally.
In 2015 after decades in the Upper Midwest, I moved to Sisters, Oregon. Now in 2023 I am enjoying adventures throughout the US, consulting virtually with a national client base. Wisconsin serves as 'home base' and I spend time in Florida, Colorado and Oregon each year.
I've served on the board of directors for nonprofits for several decades, as well as social justice committees or as a deacon at church. Boards have included KFAI community radio, Bethlehem Inn Homeless Shelter, the Zeitgeist new music ensemble and others.
In 2016, I was honored to join the board of directors of Bethlehem Inn, the largest homeless shelter east of the Cascade mountains. In 2019 we completed a $10M capital campaign to rebuild the campus. In 2017 I helped establish a cold-weather shelter in Sisters, and continue to advocate for the homeless..
After the death of George Floyd in 2020 I became involved with lcoal social justice protests. These were some of most impressive community building experiences I have witnessed. It has heightened my understand of the need of equity and inclusion to create a sense of belonging. We make our world better together.
George and his "assistant" Lola
Macalester College, St Paul MN; BA with Honors in Music Performance and Composition; Core concentration in English, and a broad liberal arts education.