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Karen Gaides

Senior Management Consultant

Karen Gaides joined MAD in 2014, bringing expertise in project planning and implementation, group facilitation, process improvement, program evaluation, and quality/performance measurement. Karen has experience in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Her previous public-sector experience was at the Department of Human Services, where she led data, evaluation, and quality projects in early childhood education. In the nonprofit sector, she was a program manager at Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties, as well as an internal process excellence consultant at Blue Cross Blue Shield. Her private-sector experience includes a variety of management and consulting roles at Percepta, Xcel Energy, and Supervalu Stores. Karen also served as a volunteer English teacher in the Costa Rican public schools, teaching ESL to 3rd and 4th graders.

Consulting focus

Karen focuses on organizational development consulting, working with organizations on projects such as strategic planning, facilitation, and organizational assessments. She brings an approach of being strategic, resourceful, organized, and collaborative to projects. 

Karen enjoys the variety and constant new challenges with consulting and making clarity out of complexity. She loves to learn about all different aspects of public sector work and really appreciates the many ways her clients and their organizations contribute to the well-being of Minnesotans. 

Client and project highlights 

Karen’s projects have included facilitating workgroups and focus groups on complex topics, designing and managing large research and evaluation projects, and using qualitative methods and analysis with stakeholder input.

Since joining MAD, Karen has consulted for a variety of clients with the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, Human Services, Natural Resources, Transportation, Labor and Industry, and Agriculture, Minnesota IT Services, Minnesota Office of Higher Education, and Minnesota Housing.

Educational background

Karen holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior and management from the University of Michigan, a certificate in process management from Colorado State University, and a green belt in Six Sigma. 

Karen Gaides
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