Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development
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  • Yellow Wood in Transition

Yellow Wood in Transition

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I began Yellow Wood Associates in December 1985; 2015 marks our 30th year. I count myself very lucky to have been sustained in this enterprise for such a long time.  It would not have been possible without the support of you — our clients, colleagues, advisors, friends and staff.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to think, work, create and discover new development possibilities together over the past three decades.

Our most recent constellation of staff, Senior Associate Melissa Levy, Associate Samantha Dunn, and Office Manager Ginger Weil, has been the best we’ve ever had. I am pleased to report that both Melissa and Samantha plan to start their own small firms, which will be informed by the work they have learned to do at Yellow Wood. Melissa’s new company is Community Roots, LLC and Samantha’s is Samantha Dunn, LLC. We hope to work together in the future. Ginger will continue to provide me with some support long distance as she takes up a new phase of her own life in Minneapolis/St.Paul. I hope you will seek them out and support them on their journeys.

As for me, I am taking time to re-fire. No, that’s not a typo; I am going to take the time and space I need to become re-inspired, re-connected and re-invigorated — in short re-fired by life. I expect to take the last three weeks of August and the first week of September off entirely (really) and return to the office part-time after Labor Day for a six month sabbatical (my first!) during which I plan to write about wealth creation and measurement, among other things.

After my sabbatical, I will happily consider opportunities to teach, coach, train, develop training, conduct research or consult in other ways on projects that contribute to changing the way development is practiced in the United States and beyond. I will also be pleased to consider opportunities to write, speak and facilitate. I am particularly interested in sharing my expertise with a new generation of economic and community developers and social change agents. If you have a project, opportunity, or challenge that you would like to explore with me, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

I am very excited about this next chapter of my personal and professional life and I would welcome hearing from you. I will be available for phone conversations and email correspondence after Labor Day. The office phone and my email address are unchanged.

Yours in friendship and with gratitude,

Shanna Ratner

Shanna Ratner, hiking