Meet the Co+Host Collective Team
Co+Host is made up of consultants Kara Sievewright, Allison Smith, Jennifer Dysart, Lindsay Seegmiller and Caitlin Blewett. “We started the collective because we saw a need for local facilitation,” explained Co+Host team member Allison. “Many organizations hire off-island facilitators for strategic planning or organizational development, which can be costly and often times the facilitator doesn’t have a sound understanding of the local context.”
“Alternatively, organizations will use an internal staff member to facilitate difficult conversations," added Lindsay. Co+Host believes that having people external to the group who design and assist the conversation enable clients to see new trends, new connections and new opportunities.
After identifying a need in the community, the team saw an opportunity to better serve the needs of businesses, non-for-profits and community organizations and together they founded Co+Host.
The Co+Host team loves working on Haida Gwaii because they know their work has a positive impact on the local community. “It’s rewarding facilitating meaningful conversations, and helping communities to move forward, tackle their challenges and rejoice in their successes,” said Caitlin.
Co+Host has a wealth of experience and education including organizational development, visual arts, international development, community economic development, engineering, business, public health and more. Most importantly, all members share an interest in their community. “Some of us are self-employed full-time, others have a combination of employment,” explained Lindsay, “each of us has created a work-style that works best for our needs.” Being a part of Co+Host means that each individual can create a work and life-style that works best and allows them to live, in and contribute to, a place they truly love – Haida Gwaii.
The consultants of Co+Host appreciate how easily they can immerse themselves in the wilderness and enjoy natural spaces. “We all have a diversity of passions and interests,” said Jenn, “knitting, biking, kayaking, camping, hiking, cooking, illustrating – you name it and one of us probably loves to do it or would like to learn to do it.” All Co+Host team members have a shared curiosity for learning and professional development.
Allison feels that being an entrepreneur is empowering and rewarding. She admits it is challenging but their team loves a challenge. “It’s incredible being able to work with a talented, diverse group of facilitators and, might I add, women that care about their community,” said Allison, “it’s invigorating to be surrounded by strong, independent women.”
Participatory. Collaborative. Locally-Minded.
Co+Host is a Haida Gwaii based facilitator’s collective that provides strategic planning, organizational development and community engagement services. Co+Host draws on the wealth of local wisdom, skills and experience to address complex organizational challenges, and to provide real-outcomes. As a collective, they are built on the foundation of inclusion, community, collaboration and accountability.
Their team offers skills in co-facilitation, graphic recording, strategic planning, visioning, organizational development and business development. They are skilled in community engagement and event planning.
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