OUR FABULOUS STAFF

Council Oak staff have a passion for good government. With an eye toward maximizing effectiveness, we bring a mix of strategic planning, neutral facilitation, policy analysis, internal and external communications and training to our clients. We have been privileged to support some of the most innovative and transformative activities currently underway in the federal government.

LINDA MANNING

President & Chief Acorn

Linda always has an eye on the big picture. From community engagement to policy development, she will help you understand the why – so you can effectively manage the what and how. No matter your focus – local projects, team dynamics, or national policies – Linda will help you fill in the details to create your masterpiece. In her downtime, Linda can be found at the rink, in the garden, or painting crew oars.

ERIKA WETTERGREEN

Senior Facilitator & Orchestra Conductor

Successful collaboration is like a symphony! Erika is tuned into each person involved in a project, so all voices are heard. She composes group processes that meet the desired tempo, express creativity and encourage harmony.  When Erika is not making music, she enjoys being outdoors with her family, solving jigsaw puzzles, and renovating her home.

SARAH HELINEK

Analyst, Facilitator & Resourceful Generalist

Need scientific or technical information translated into language that can be consumed by a wider audience? Looking for someone to guide your workgroup through developing a product or planning a meeting? Look no further than Sarah. When she’s not at her computer, she can be found planning her next trip, volunteer refereeing on the soccer field, or heading to a concert in DC.

LIZ RETTENMAIER

Senior Facilitator & Jill-of-All-Trades

Do you wonder how a certain policy or process can lead to better decisions or outcomes? Liz loves helping teams meet their goals, and will do anything she can to help. When she’s not doing that, she can be found exploring her home state of Maine’s mountains and waters, supporting the Girl Scouts, on a conference call, or in the garden.

SARA HILBRICH

Facilitator, Policy Analyst & Lover of Complex Problems

Have a gnarly policy problem you need to untangle? Looking to stand up a new program? Sara would love to work with your team to efficiently and inclusively create solutions. When not facilitating or writing, Sara is most likely to be found dancing, cheering on her favorite little BMX rider or making pie.

HEATHER CAMERON

Facilitator, Policy Analyst & Detail Diva

Heather is the person you call when you need someone to manage the details.  Having successfully planned and carried out hundreds of meetings, everyone is confident when Heather is at the helm.  Heather also brings her paralegal training to bear in researching and articulating program and policy options for her clients.  When Heather is not busy with Council Oak, she is busy with her 3 kids.

NICK BRUBAKER

Policy Analyst & Complex Information Translator 

Struggling to get organized to develop or finalize a deliverable? Nick will help your team convert ideas into decisions and actions, then assemble various pieces of writing into a consolidated, consistent, and comprehensive communication product. When not at his desk, Nick is likely hiking with his family in the northern California hills or taking a very long time to design and build a simple piece of furniture.

GREG FREY

Policy Analyst, Facilitator
& Problem Solver

The saying “still waters run deep” comes to mind in describing Greg’s approach to helping his clients achieve better results. He actively listens, puts together the right team, and helps communicate complex data in plain language. Away from work, Greg enjoys seeking out the best tacos in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, taking his dog for walks in the rain, and tending his fledgling bonsai collection.

CINDY MARCOTTY

Creative Guru & Graphic Designer

If you need to organize information visually and creatively – Cindy is on the job! With more than 20 years at the helm of her own business, Marlin Design, she has partnered with Council Oak in their mission to make information make sense. When she’s not on the hunt for the illusive “magic” graphic, Cindy enjoys cooking, snuggling with her dog, traveling and spending time with her ever-frenzied family.