(916) 481-4488 [email protected]

Stephanie Ahles


Stephanie Ahles is a trainer and facilitator with more than 20 years of experience in county government. She specializes in leadership and organizational devleopment, change and project management, and strategic planning.

Stephanie works with clients to build capacity and improve outcomes. She is dedicated to helping organizations align activities with mission and values, strengthen processes and increase engagement by building a culture of innovation, equity and empowerment. Her unique ablity to motivate and inspire groups through participatory processes consistently delivers great results.

Employment History

  • Chief Learning and Development Officer – HueLife
  • Change Manager – Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections 
  • Evidence Based Practices Coordinator – Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections   
  • Policy, Planning and Evaluation Manager – Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections   
  • Corrections Institutional Manager – Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections   

Competency Areas

  Leadership Development and Employee Relations

Train and facilitate individuals and teams in a variety of participatory processes, including employee engagement, effective meetings, consensus building, and project planning. Consults with clients on diversity and inclusion, communications, recruitment and hiring.

  Change Management

Guide teams and departments in change management, including readiness, culture shifts, project management, communication, and evaluation.

  Strategic Planning

Train and facilitate individuals and teams in designing, developing, aligning and implementing strategic plans for a variety of initiatives.

  Quality Assurance

Identify, coordinate and implement quality assurance policies, programs and measures for facilitation and training curriculum and delivery.

  Data-Driven Decision Making and Evidence-Based Practices

Track, analyze, and interpret data to assist clients in making data-driven decisions. 

  Meeting Design and Facilitation

Creatively design and facilitate large and small group meetings, retreats and critical planning sessions. Facilitation services for sensitive or controversial issues, team-building, mediation and conflict resolution for individual and group disputes. 

  Training and Development; Training Delivery

Leadership Development programs. Compassionate communication training (non-violent communication) and critical conversations.  Trainer of Trainers in the Technology of Participation (ToP) Facilitation Methods, Strategic Planning, and Organization Change Implementation programs.  Train facilitators to the master’s level in all aspects of meeting facilitation.  

  Project Management

Facilitator and trainer for collaborative action planning and implementation projects.  Large scale collaborations involving multiple stakeholders.


  • Master’s Degree in Public Administration – Hamline University, Minneapolis 
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology – Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work – Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma

Professional Associations

  • National ToP Trainer’s Network
  • Alliance for Innovation
  • Performance Excellence Network (PEN)
  • Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA)

Professional Certification and Awards

  • Mentor Trainer – National ToP Trainer’s Network
  • Certified ToP Facilitator –  Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA)
  • National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award

Publications and Presentations

  • Pew-MacAurther Results First Evidence Based Practices
  • Minnesota Association of Community Corrections Act Counties (MACCAC): Using a validated assessment tool, Correctional Program Checklist (CPC), to assess for reducing risky behavior and recidivism
  • American Correctional Association (ACA): Making the most of community referrals- engaging and implementing improvement plans for community recourses
  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Counties (CJCC): Correctional Program Checklist

Project List

  • Strategic Planning, request from Evidence Based Policy Committee – Facilitated a three-five-year strategic plan that identified key factors that are driving or influence evidence based practices in Minnesota, outlined protective patterns and created strategies.
  • Hennepin-Ramsey Joint Facility Project, Programming Committee – Facilitated a series of session to develop program criteria between two county organizations to determine the types of clients a new joint treatment facility would serve.
  • Strategic Planning, Justice Involved Women’s task force – Facilitated a 3-5 year strategic plan to understand the impact incarceration has on women and girls and create strategies and a sustainable implementation plan for the task force.
  • Action Planning; Juvenile Probation – Facilitated a work group of juvenile probation staff and stakeholders to develop a plan to redesign probation’s Gun Offender program.  The gun offender program is one of the only programs of its type in Minnesota. 
  • Community Engagement, Hennepin County and Ramsey County.  Designed, coordinated and facilitated a community engagement event regarding a joint correctional facility.  The public meeting included 150 attendees.
  • Facilitator Training; Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) – Trained more than 400 facilitators in consensus techniques, participatory strategic and action planning, environmental scanning tools and participatory event design.  Serve as an instructor for the facilitator mastery program and as a facilitation certification assessor.  Mentor trainer and a nationally certified ToP facilitator. 
  • Capabilities assessment, Hennepin County Emergency Preparedness team – Completed an in-depth assessment of five capabilities, competed a gap analysis, an impact grid and created a calendar and 90-day implementation plans.
  • Organizational Alignment; Hennepin County Family Court Services – Provided facilitation assistance to create a process for incorporating children into the ADR (mediation, Ready Response or ENE) process and guidelines to be followed.
  • Outcome measures, Minnesota Statewide Outcomes Steering Committee Data Definition team – Provided facilitation assistance to identify outcome measures to target public safety across justice systems in Minnesota
  • Leadership development and strategy planning; Hennepin County Juvenile Probation – Facilitated nine leadership meetings to create a position management plan for the organization.
  • Organizational assessment, Adult probation suburban unit – Facilitated a series of focus groups to gather input from staff and stakeholders regarding the work completed in three suburban locations.  A total of 30 staff and 40 stakeholders participated. 
  • Lego Serious Play Visioning Session, Juvenile services executive leadership team – Created a vision for correctional out-of-home placement using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology to enhance innovation and business performance.
  • Roundtable sessions, Family Court Services – Facilitated a serious of round table discussion between three government entities; Family Court Services, Juvenile Bench and Health and Human Services Child Protection to identify areas and processes for working collaboratively across all areas.
  • Statewide Collaboration, Minnesota Correctional Program Checklist Collaboration – Developed and coordinated a statewide collaborative to assess how well programs adhere to the principles of evidence based practices as it relates to corrections research.  Coordinated 14 in-house assessors and 60 statewide assessors.
  • Department policy development and action plan, paid internship program in DOCCR – Facilitated a series of sessions to develop criteria, strategies and an action planning process to develop and implement a department wide paid internship program that was created and implemented within seven months.
  • Strategic Plan, City of Saint Louis Park – Facilitated a three to five-year strategic planning process between the Police Department and the community multicultural advisory committee (MAC) with a focus on community policing in diverse communities.
  • Strategic plan, Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility – Created a three to five-year strategic plan for the adult workhouse.  Process included environmental scan of the criminal justice system, surveys and workshops with staff, stakeholder and residence of the facility.  Strategies and work plans were created including one facilitated 90-day check-in.
  • Focus Conversation, Public Sector Work Program – Facilitated a conversation to understand the genesis, history and future of the work program after being in place for ten years.
  • Action Planning, Camp Fire of America – Facilitated an action planning process on how to address staffing challenges to keep the camp open beyond a summer program.  The camp is now open for various events year around.
  • Charter development, Hennepin County Home School – worked with the case management IT group, MAIn user group, to develop a charter and process for continuing operations after the launch of a new case management system.
  • Leadership Training, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Provided a serious of leadership and effective meeting training to several leadership teams, department committee chairs and initiative coordinators across the department.
  • Service analysis of contracted provider, Corizon Medical – Interviewed individuals using focus conversations to gather information about services delivered by the provider.  Analyzed the data, developed themes and completed a report for administration.
  • Vision development, DOCCR leadership team – Facilitated a vision workshop to establish evidence based practices in DOCCR and alignment to the departments overall vision.
  • Action planning, Hennepin County Facilitation Network – Facilitated an action plan including an environmental scan to recommit and grow the facilitation network in a one years’ time.
  • Focus groups, Juvenile Detention Center – Led a series of focus groups to hear feedback from staff and supervisors regarding employee survey results.  There were five session held with 50% of the staffing compliment participating.  Feedback was compiled and presented to management and the division’s employee engagement committee for review and action.
  • Conflict resolution, Juvenile Probation and North Point Health and Wellness – Facilitated a series of conversations to identify the current disagreement and issues that were interfering with a working relationship, identified potential solutions and created an MOU with a formal mechanism for regular review.
  • Logic Model, Young Adult Housing & Supportive Services – Facilitated a participatory logic model process for 40 people from Hennepin County, University of Minnesota and 17 community organizations and foundations.
  • Operating Principles, Family Court Services – Facilitated a session with the family court services division and stakeholders to create mission, vision and value statements and created one to three year goals for the division.
  • Mission statement, Organizational Change Management Division – Facilitated a session to create the mission for a newly created division.
  • Request for proposal process, Hennepin County contracts division – Created a participatory process for RFP selection to include; RFP review, scoring and selection process.  Facilitated over 10 RFP processing using the designed model.
  • Strategic Plan, Hennepin County Home School Focus Program – Facilitated a three to five-year strategic plan with 90-day check in’s and annual updating sessions.  Followed this program for the first two years of the plan. 
  • Annual goal setting, DOCCR Strategic Directions Committees – Coordinated EBP committees for the department including; Employee Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, Workforce Development, Community Outreach.  Provided ongoing facilitation services including annual goal planning and action planning.
  • Custom Facilitation Training, Ramsey County – Create a ½ day custom training on using participatory methods for leaders across the organization
  • Curriculum Development, Hennepin County Human Recourses – Designed facilitation method modules to be delivered throughout a 12-week successful supervision program.
  • Strategic Plan, Autism Works – Facilitated a two-year strategic plan.  Completed an environmental scan to include an electronic survey, interviews and a facilitated session.  Combined all the data into a report that was used to inform the strategic plan.
  • Annual Goal Planning, Children’s Hospital of Wisconson – Facilitated a goal celebration and annual planning session for the Corporate HR division of the hospital.  The session had 40 participants to include staff and stakeholders.
  • Professional Development, City of Savage – Facilitated a workshop on ways to engage staff and encourage teamwork.  Identified areas of need with the management team and led conversations for the managers to identify solutions and suggestions for the identified concerns.
  • In-Service Training, Crow Wing County – Designed and facilitated an in-service training for the public safety division to identify ways to work together with four generations in the workplace.
  • Strategic Plan, Golden Valley Community Foundation, Facilitated a three to five-year strategic plan with the working board. 
  • Strategic Plan, Homegrown Lacrosse Organization – Facilitated a three to five-year strategic plan to grow the four-staff organization.  Facilitated 90-day check ins and annual updates.  Organization hired two new staff within six months of the plan due to growth of the organization.
  • Environmental Scan and Visioning, Homegrown Lacrosse Great Northern Lacrosse League -Identified the current reality of the program and created a unified vision with staff, coaches, officials and stakeholders.
  • Strategic Plan, Homegrown Lacrosse MN CHILL program – Created a two to four-year strategic plan including a history review, completed plan with a calendar and 90-day implementing forms for all identified goals.

Client List

Local, State and Federal Government

  • City of Bloomington
  • City of Saint Louis Park
  • City of Savage
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Crow Wing County
  • Dakota County
  • Hennepin County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Hennepin County Health and Human Services
  • Minnesota Department of Corrections
  • Ramsey County Department of Corrections
  • Washington County

Justice Systems and Departments

  • DOCCR Contracts
  • DOCCR Train, Coach, Practice
  • Evidence Based Practices Policy Committee
  • Family Court Services
  • Health and Human Services Child Protection
  • Hennepin County 911 dispatch
  • Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility
  • Hennepin County Adult Probation
  • Hennepin County Home School
  • Hennepin County Juvenile Probation
  • Justice Involved Women’s Task Force
  • Juvenile Court Bench
  • Hennepin County Sentence to Serve
  • Minnesota Evidence Based Practices Policy Committee
  • Organizational Change Management Division
  • Statewide Outcomes Steering Committee

Education Related Institutions

  • Madison Technical College
  • Normandale Community College

Professional Associations 

  • Project Management Institute

Health & Medical Institutions & Affiliated Organizations

  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Hennepin County Emergency Preparedness
  • North Point Health and Wellness

Other Organizations

  • Homegrown Lacrosse
  • Autism Works
  • Camp Fire of America
  • Young Adult Housing & Supportive Services
  • Golden Valley Community Foundation
  • Gun Lake Tribe, Michigan