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Home: Welcome

Our Team

The factors that brought three women together in West Central Minnesota in 2022 were both serendipitous and necessary. Driven to create an organization that values wholeness and wellbeing, the founding partners at Creating Community Consulting LLC came together sharing the belief that a different way of working must exist, and that they could, in fact, create it for themselves. 

This new model of working values…

  • Getting paid a fair wage

  • Flexible, remote work hours

  • Full-on investment in one’s personal and professional development

  • Prioritizing fun and joy, always

  • A schedule that allows for as much time off as desired

  • A results-based approach to community development

At the same time, it became apparent that there was an identified need for equity-focused economic development leadership. Creating Community Consulting (CCC) works to fill this gap and offer additional tools for its clients that go beyond a cookie-cutter approach to deeply understanding its clients and customizing services accordingly. While our team is physically located in West Central Minnesota, our globe-trotting remote capabilities allow us to serve the entire Midwest, and perhaps anyone on the planet.

What makes us different

Not only does the CCC team bring a plethora of professional experience and qualifications to the work, we have lived experience with the problems we are working to solve: substance abuse, mental health, and poverty, among others. We want results because we know what it means to feel them first-hand.It is the rawness of our own stories and proximity to the issues that provide an added level of realness, empathy, and grit to our work and our approach. 


In entering this partnership together, we are making the commitment to provide high quality services, ensure team wellbeing, and build equity in communities.

Home: Welcome



Proud risk-taker. Avid volunteer. Experimenter (ask my husband about my projects).


Karen is a visionary, a facilitator, a community development expert, a mom of three, a wife and bestemor (grandmother in Norwegian). Growing up in Roseau, Karen developed a love for rural Minnesota, the beautiful waters, the animals, the land, and the people. At the age of 16 she became pregnant and was involved in an abusive relationship that shaped her future with unimaginable challenges. Thankfully, with the support of family and friends she was able to navigate many years of challenges leading to beautiful opportunities to hold space and improve community outcomes while operating from a place of lived experience.

Karen navigated years of poverty, single parenting, and working in long-term senior care while simultaneously operating a dairy farm before she enrolled in college around the great recession. Following her calling, she became very passionate about improving communities to become places where all people can thrive.  She avidly completed a Bachelor of Science DegreeBachelors in Social Work, with her first professional role supporting people transitioning off of a jointly funded, federal-state program that provides income assistance to eligible low-income families, and her second role serving as a hospital social worker.   Within a year of working in the hospital, she was promoted to managing community health, which led to almost a decade of service supporting community development across West Central MN/Eastern North Dakota.   During this time she pursued her Master’s degree in Community Development and training in Result Based Accountability as she was driven to learn how to become an exceptional change leader in underserved communities.   The outcomes she was able to achieve through her work have received local, state and national standing ovations. Karen believes that every person holds incredible potential to affect change, and it’s our responsibility to tap into that potential to see communities blossom. 

Key moment in her journey to Creating Community Consulting:

During her role as Community Health Manager, Karen was mentored by Cyndi Anderson who owned a local consulting organization called Mosaic Consulting.  Cyndi was a reference for Karen’s first professional job, helped support her with grant writing and project development, and invested time in teaching her about equity and community.  Cyndi was an inspiration to many, and after she passed away a spark continued to burn in Karen to persist and honor Cyndi’s memory.  After years of service, taking time to learn and understand equity and inclusion, and demonstrating multiple successes (and learning from successful failures) it was time to fly.   Karen felt called to create something new, to expand in a creative way, and to build a foundation for an equity-based community development firm.   In 2022 she founded Creating Community Consulting LLC.   


 Master carpenter/remodeler, limitless grit and gumption, competitive game player



Adventurer. Sci-fi nerd. Party Planner.


Megan Jenson is a foodie who loves to travel and is known as a data queen who advocates for using numbers and data to reduce disparities. Growing up in rural Central Minnesota, Megan aspired to do something unusual with her life and career after high school. Earning a Bachelor's in Sports Management was her first step.  After a few years of interning with a number of professional sports organizations, Megan decided to earn her Master's of Business Administration and try out a new industry - event coordination in higher education. This unexpectedly provided an amazing experience in navigating interpersonal relationship-building between cultural and social differences. 

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Working with international students and students enrolled in work study gave Jenson a chance to support and mentor future inspiring leaders.  Her exposure to this diverse group of young adults, a struggle with food insecurity at community college, and an unexpected housing crisis following college graduation gave Jenson a glimpse of the challenges many in our communities face. These experiences pushed Jenson to find a career based in community service. This desire along with an unexpected pregnancy and loss, drove her to make both a career change and a physical move to Fargo-Moorhead in 2014.  She transitioned to an experience with a healthcare system, before Jenson achieved her goal of working for a local nonprofit. This is where Jenson found her stride in leading program evaluation, research, and data analytics through relationship building and deep learning with leaders throughout the community. Through these unique and often unanticipated experiences, Jenson found her voice in advocating for lasting, equitable change. 

Key moment in her journey to Creating Community Consulting:

Jenson started her craziest adventure in 2021… motherhood! This amazing and life changing transition during COVID led her to start thinking about work differently. Megan was looking for a career that prioritized a culture of wellbeing, held flexible scheduling, and endorsed values and beliefs that are based on equity. This, paired with the desire to authentically serve in our communities in ways that use her unique skills and experiences, drove her to take a leap - landing beautifully with CCC.  Over a bowl of ramen, Karen and Megan began to talk about what partnership could look like and made plans to start dreaming bigger.


Getting stupid excited about data, jumps at the opportunity for deep conversations, capacity for continuous learning

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Old soul. Micro farmer. Word goddess.


Growing up in Lawrence, Kansas, Emily became a Jayhawk and an environmentalist from a young age. She has always leveraged limitations as opportunities and found ways to creatively fund her international travels and seven years of college through scholarships. Emily’s travels abroad throughout her education fostered a deep love for people, our shared humanity, and care for the planet. Her interests in environmentalism led her to the world of agriculture, where she found herself at home among farmers and their incredible work ethic. 

This worldliness also allowed her to further study and utilize the Spanish language as a way to understand her own bi-racial identity. Coursework in urban planning and a summer internship in rural Kansas served as turning points for directing Emily’s professional endeavors. She was led to Minnesota to complete her Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning, with a focus on food systems planning. About this time, she stumbled upon the world of personal growth and realized that she had a lot of healing to do within herself and among her personal relationships surrounding alcoholism, codependency, and abuse. She decided that her life was only limited by the adventures she could conjure in her imagination. She moved to West Central Minnesota in 2020 to work on a small-scale community supported agriculture (CSA) farm, fell in love with the lakes and the people, and decided to stay, building out her own business to serve future farmers along the way. Emily is fiercely committed to sowing fertile grounds for social equity and environmental justice by stitching together a social fabric that values complex identity and builds meaning through belonging, transcendence, purpose, and storytelling. This comes from her own complex identity as a white Mexican-American and discovering her heritage through language and cuisine. Emily is a food systems weaver and advocate for showing up as your best self. 

Key moment in her journey to Creating Community Consulting:

The first time Emily traveled abroad, she went to Mexico and it showed her that there was an alternative to what she knew as ‘happiness’ which involved nothing but people who cared for each other and had a good time. It led her to constantly pursue international travel, continue her Spanish language studies, and build a life for herself that’s reflective of this new level of happiness; a life which is much more about people and experiences than STUFF. It also fostered within her a deep appreciation for, and focus on, serving others as a core tenant of how she operates in the world. Emily’s adventures fostered within her creativity, imagination, and curiosity, which she is excited to bring to the Creating Community Consulting team. She is eager to support those she works with in similarly challenging the status quo and defining success for themselves, on their own terms.


Thriving with the 60’s generation. Incredibly intuitive. Bilingual. 

Home: About
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Katie Grindall


Problem Solver. Grammar Queen. Budding Storyteller.


Katie Grindall is a protector, helping hand, encourager, servant, and mother of five. With roots in rural Tennessee, she moved around Mid-Minnesota several times in grade school developing few lasting relationships and learning a guarded, quiet demeanor. She returned to the Frazee, MN area in middle school when her mom remarried and grew to love the stable, small-town feel of her unofficial hometown.  Katie’s first marriage proved to be a roller-coaster of destructive, codependent behavior which eventually ended after her husband struggled with abuse of prescription medications. 

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Through this experience, though, she started her own business in retail skin care and cosmetics which became a source of positivity in what was an otherwise emotionally challenging time. Katie gravitated towards a rewarding career as a senior care nursing assistant before achieving a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She enhanced communication and process improvement skills in her following role as a Client Relations Representative, positioning her well to serve as Creating Community Consulting’s Executive Assistant. Her natural compassion, ability to see multiple perspectives to a situation, ease in connecting with people and listening on a very personal level are assets that allow her to navigate the varied responsibilities of this work. 

Key moment in her journey to Creating Community Consulting:

Even after a growing number of little ones at home and a new marriage, Katie’s previous relationship had lasting effects which compounded the craziness of toddlers. In 2022 she decided that she needed to focus on her own mental health in order to truly be there for her family and feel like she was doing her best work again. This led to a new journey as she joined a couple of coaching programs to invest in herself and her business, and really dive into what she wants to do for the rest of her life. This new focus on self-care, doing what you love, and courageously making your voice heard has opened the door to so many new possibilities she can’t even believe. Because of a change in mindset, Katie said yes to new opportunities, found alignment in the values of the CCC team, and quit her full-time corporate job to be a part of something amazing. 


Compassion beyond expectation, understanding of multiple perspectives, always up for a new challenge

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