Need: Gaining insights, building trust for statewide professional association
Service: Comprehensive preparation, facilitation of leadership retreat
Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) is a leader in efforts to collaboratively build a statewide service system that meets the needs of providers to Ohioans with disabilities. After working with The Yunker Group to find a new CEO earlier in the year, OPRA then engaged the firm to help the organization prepare for a leadership retreat to set the association’s priorities.
The Yunker Group helped OPRA regroup after a major transition and ensure the organization was in position to serve its membership effectively while building on its excellent reputation.“Being new in the role and OPRA regrouping in a lot of ways after a long-term executive before me, it was, ‘What do our members really need? What is our board expecting of me and our staff?’” said Pete Moore, OPRA president and CEO.
The Yunker Group’s collaborative style fostered buy-in among OPRA’s Board leaders and members across the state representing nonprofit and for profit providers. “From the beginning, I talked with Jim Yunker about the importance of the OPRA team being involved in the development of the questions, giving feedback on who we needed to talk to,” Pete said. “Jim was very open to working with our team which helped build trust that it wasn’t going to be a punitive process or negative process. He was very, very open to our concerns and our requests.”
Working with a third party to conduct the research of interview and surveys generated valuable, candid feedback for OPRA’s leadership, while allowing the Board and staff to stay focused on their day-to-day responsibilities. “When you do things like this, you need to bring in somebody else, because it releases the executive director from having to run it and be a part of it,” said OPRA board leader Michael Malone.
Pete added: “It was nice to use Jim as a source of information. He was able to ask questions it would have been difficult for me to ask. He was able to garner honest responses through the process. I don’t know if I would have received those same responses. We could have just sent out surveys, but I think the way he designed it with personal interviews and surveys, we got an excellent response.”
The Yunker Group provided much more than just survey responses. They brought decades of experience to the task of analyzing the information they collected so that it could be used to maximum effect. “Anybody can collect information,” Pete said, “but Jim’s experience helped filter that information. Through conversation, he helped it make sense and helped us see how we can apply it strategically. The interpretation of it was helpful.”
Both praised Jim’s experience time and again as being vital to their successful strategic planning process. “Jim is very personable. He makes you feel comfortable,” Michael said. “And he’s been doing this for a while. He listens intently and drives the bus in the direction he hears people want to go.” Pete added, “It was one of the best strategic planning experiences I’ve been through,” Pete said, “just because of the cooperation aspect of it. We didn’t feel like we were being talked at. We were partners in this process.”
Throughout the process, Pete said, he built a relationship with Jim that goes “beyond the contract.” Because of The Yunker Group’s professionalism, strong communication and thorough reporting, Pete said he’s looking forward to working together with the firm for years to come.