Staff/Technical Team PDF Print E-mail
Gretchen Nicholls
Program Officer / Corridor Development Initiative
Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Gretchen Nicholls joined Twin Cities LISC in late 2007 as a Program Officer coordinating the Corridor Development Initiative (CDI). Gretchen formerly led the CDI and its development as the Executive Director of the Center for Neighborhoods, a nonprofit organization that served the Twin Cities region as an incubator of innovation at the neighborhood level. The Corridor Development Initiative explores models of proactive planning and production of affordable housing throughout the city of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding suburban cities. In 2007 the Corridor Development Initiative received the National Planning Excellence Award for a Grassroots Initiative by the American Planning Association. From 1993 - 2000 Gretchen served as an elected neighborhood representative on the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) Policy Board. She also teaches an urban studies course at the University of Minnesota on community-based organizations, and has served on the boards of numerous neighborhood organizations and community development corporations. She holds a BA and Masters in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota.

Alan Arthur
President and CEO

Alan has served as the chief executive officer of Aeon since 1988 and has led the development of more than 1,500 units of affordable housing in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. He brings 38 years of experience in housing and real estate development, including construction, project development, lending, code enforcement and city planning. Alan has a B.A. degree in political science from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Alan teaches affordable housing development, financing and organizational governance issues to a variety of organizations, and serves on numerous housing boards and task forces in the Twin Cities.

Barbara Raye
Executive Director and Founder
Consultant, Trainer, Mediator, Researcher, Policy Analyst

The Center for Policy, Planning, and Performance is a nonprofit organization specializing in consulting and training services to public and nonprofit entities. Its mission is to build the capacity and effectiveness of individual and organizational leadership to create and sustain just and ethical environments-for families, neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities. It was founded in 1999 and has worked with over 150 local and national organizations providing consulting/training, project management, and direct mediation services. Its core competencies are organization development, mediation/conflict resolution, large group facilitation, public participation, strategic planning, cross-cultural communication, and restorative justice. The Center has offices in St. Paul Minnesota, Nairobi Kenya, and an affiliate organization in Isai Romania.

Barbara Raye is founder and Executive Director of the Center. She has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She also has specialized training in Minnesota Quality Award Criteria, Carver Policy Governance Model, Myers-Briggs Qualification, Asset-Based Community Development, the National Futurists, "Shared Participation" group process, and mediation training by CDR in Boulder, Colorado. She has had advanced mediation training in severe and violent crime and victim/offender mediation and co-trains with CDR and other mediators nationally and internationally. She also co-designed the national training and continues to serve on the national training team for the Peter Drucker Foundation and the national Train-the-Trainer for Group Conferencing used by the BARJ and other restorative justice organizations.

Barbara served as the director of the training and consulting group at Amherst Wilder Foundation working with dozens of nonprofit and public sector organizations throughout the Midwest. She also served four years as the Director of Planning, Policy and Organization Development for Ramsey County where she, among other things, coordinated a strategic planning process that included participation by over 10,000 citizens of the County. She has also served as a director of Victim Services in the Minnesota State Department of Corrections and as Executive Director of the Minnesota State Humane Society.

Barbara served for four years as an adjunct instructor in the Masters Degree Program in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management and Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her courses included a Certificate Program in Outcomes and Performance Measurement, Governance and Planning for Nonprofit Organizations, and Research and Program Evaluation for Managers. She currently provides training and consulting through the College of St. Catherine and will be teaching management courses in Kenya beginning in 2008/09 school years.


Katherine Thering
Research Fellow, Direct Design Assistance Coordinator

M.L.A. (Minnesota) B.E.D. (Minnesota)

Katherine Thering’s work at the Design Center focuses on her interests of sustainability and livability by incorporating ecological principles into the built environment. As part of the Design Center team, she will be working primarily in the Direct Design Assistance program, which provides design expertise to local communities and groups. In addition, she is interested in graphic representation and using technology as a tool for design.
Prior to joining the Design Center staff, Katie was a Research Specialist in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. Her work included using GIS to evaluate significant resources in the landscape, which was used as part of a smart growth framework for the rapidly developing suburban fringe.