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Project Management Support
Sheila was approached in 2008 by NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling, the NeighborWorks Northeast Region and the New York Department of Housing and Community Renewal to provide project management support for housing counselor trainings.
Sheila developed a project schedule that put an end to missed deadlines and eliminated client frustration. Working across departments, Sheila monitored and tracked milestones for the client’s Meeting Services, Place-Based Training and Marketing units, allowing the project to move forward with ease. Communications between the client and external partner were managed by Sheila, thus improving response time and quality leading to an improved client-partner relationship. As the onsite training event coordinator, Sheila deftly dealt with venue logistics, food and beverage, participant customer service and instructor support.
Overall, fifteen trainings were planned and delivered, 41 classes offered and 600 New York State housing counselors were trained, many receiving a professional certification. The majority of counselors considered themselves “much better prepared to assist their organization” after completing courses.
Sheila’s impact on this partnership had a positive influence on the award of a subsequent multi-year contract for the client running through 2016 that included Sheila for continued project management support.
Event and Meeting Management
SASquier Consulting has planned and managed forums, symposia, convenings, meetings, trainings and athletic events. Her work includes but is not limited to event architecture, project management, budget tracking, venue research and contracting, spatial design, food & beverage, audio visual, guest services & logistics, entertainment & speakers, marketing, staffing, on-site event management and evaluation.
The Wells Fargo Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., NeighborWorks® America and NeighborWorks® Network Organizations had formed a partnership to deliver a down-payment assistance program (LIFT) designed to advance the recovery of select cities most impacted by the housing crisis. Delivery of the program in each market included weekly Operational and Launch Planning calls, a two day Service Delivery Training and a two day Launch event designed to market home ownership opportunities in selected cities, pre-approval of first mortgages, down payment assistance and home buyer education.
Sheila’s major role was to provide event planning and support to the LIFT Launch team; she immediately began to improve efficiencies and team morale. For each Launch market, over 35 client documents required customization. Sheila developed master templates and tools to streamline the collection of information, increase efficiency, accuracy and meet printing deadlines. At the Launch events, Sheila improved the process for volunteer check-in to allow more time for training and less time on check-in. Sheila became proficient using several new tools including an online scheduling tool and proprietary client management system.
Subsequently, when a LIFT Launch team member took maternity leave, Sheila was re-hired to provide seamlessly coverage.
Customer Relationship Management
A national intermediary overseeing a network of housing counseling agencies required assistance to manage pass-through of HUD housing counseling funding to approximately 105 agencies, maintaining grant compliance and bring value-added services to the participating agencies.
Acting as the HUD Housing Counseling Program Support Specialist, Sheila has delivered focused support and technical assistance to the agencies, the intermediary and to the HUD points of contacts.
By listening to agencies’ questions and concerns, Sheila created processes and developed documents that improved compliance and freed time from grant management to service delivery.
Examples of agency products Sheila developed:
- Tip Sheet series, 14 to date, updated annually, addressing frequently asked questions thereby improving the quality and timeliness of response to questions.
- Quarterly Reporting Package to demystify quarterly reporting, assist in training new staff and improve reporting quality.
- HUD Performance Review Package of checklists and tools to support agencies in preparing for a HUD Performance Review; this improves agency morale prior to a review and increases program compliance (reduced findings).
- An excel template, meeting four HUD reporting requirements thereby decreasing the reporting burden to the agencies and increasing quality control.
To assist the client in grant management, Sheila established:
- DropBox folder to share and manage all agency application documents, work plans, quality control plans and staff listings; thereby establishing an archive of critical documents.
- 20-point quality control check list applied to each agency’s quarterly reporting documents.
- MailChimp account to improve communications.
- Written procedures for all aspects of the grant cycle from application through quarterly reporting to close-out of the performance period.
These and other innovations, along with consistent high-quality relationship management, have led to a ten-year on-going contract for SASquier Consulting.
Management of Volunteer Involvement
When their long-term volunteer coordinator decided to move on, The Cayuga Lake Triathlon Race Crew was seeking a replacement that could get up-to-speed quickly and with minimal training and support.
At the end of her five-year term, Sheila had consistently increased the average number of volunteers per race by 100, averaging 350 annually. In addition to cultivating repeat volunteers, Sheila established new relationships with a local high school robotics club, swim club and the League of Woman Rollers, to fill three historically hard to fill volunteer roles. Sheila rearranged the Volunteer Tent race-day layout for more efficient volunteer check-in and instituted tent set-up the day before the Race allowing Race Day to focus on volunteer check-in not tent set-up. By updating online volunteer registration information prior to the first race crew meeting an additional month to recruit was gained. When Sheila transitioned out of this position, she left a job description and timeline for the next volunteer coordinator.
Sheila has extensive experience with transcription, conference call facilitation and notes, formatting documents / manuals, internet research, database upkeep and data integrity.
The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC ) was serving as the fiscal agent for the Texas Foreclosure Prevention Task Force. The purpose of the Texas Foreclosure Prevention Task Force (TFPTF) was to reduce home foreclosures and the impact of foreclosure on Texas families and communities through the work of four subcommittees. TSAHC required outside support services for Task Force success.
In support of the Task Force goals, Sheila researched, compiled submissions, formatted and wrote the quarterly newsletter in Microsoft Publisher as well as doubled the content on the TFPTF website in WordPress. Sheila created and maintained contact lists for all four committees and members, ultimately designing and distributing a 29-page membership directory. Tasked with scheduling and attending committee meetings via phone, Sheila took and disbursed notes within 24 hours to committee members with actionable items identified. With Sheila’s support, the Task Force undertook two fundraising activities, a letter campaign to over 250 contacts and a fun run.
SASquier Consulting LLC
Ithaca, New York*
*SASquier Consulting LLC is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of New York state, and the United States of America. I acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.
Certified Associate in Project Management (Project Management Institute)
Certified Volunteer Administrator (Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration)
Event and Meeting Management Fundamentals certificate (Event Leadership Institute)
Emergency Management Institute's Professional Development Series (FEMA)