Professional Development
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Shannon Pfarr Thompson

Shannon Pfarr Thompson
Vice President of Professional Development

P: (651) 290-6277

Shannon joined Ewald Consulting in 1999 and currently serves as Vice President of Meeting and Event Management, and Professional Development. Shannon has expertise in project management, strategic planning and board relations. Over the years she has served as the lead account executive for several Ewald Consulting clients. Shannon’s career includes experience as the committee administrator for the Transportation and Transit Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives and acting as a Family Services Specialist for the Head Start program. Shannon holds a B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame, and graduated with a dual major in political science and sociology. She earned her Master’s in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and in 2005 she achieved the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation.

What you don't know about Shannon...

Q. What do you love about association management?
A. I love thinking strategically with my board on how to improve the association for their members and industry.

Q. What is your favorite city?
A. I love St. Paul – its neighborhoods, ethnic restaurants, Capitol building and laid-back vibe.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not working?
A. Hang out with my family and do fun, active things like bike, run, play tennis, hike and ski.

Q. What is something most people don’t know about you?
A. Rootbeer milk is my favorite non-alcoholic drink.


Joe Flannigan

Joe Flannigan
Senior Professional Development Specialist/PD Techonology Director

P: (651) 290-7497

Joe has more than 10 years of experience with Ewald Consutling, and more than 20 years experience in the fields of technology and design.

He has helped design and implement many Learning Management systems, and has also spent more than two years consulting on instructional design for clients, as well as spearheading the production of content for Ewald University.

In addition, Joe has more than 5 years experience in videography and has been a freelance photographer for the last eight years. His production work has been shown around the globe.

He has a B.A. in Strategic Communication from the University of Minnesota.

What you don't know about Joe...

Q. What do you love about your work?
A. I like the idea of coming up with something simple that explains something complicated. Finding ways to say more with less.

Q. What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
A. I would recommend The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley. It's a factual telling of the events in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not working?
A. I attend between two and four concerts each week, taking pictures at many of them. Being able to mix two hobbies, music and photography, is a complete win-win situation for me.

Q. What is your favorite restaurant or food?
A. Favorite restaurant is Fogo de Chão in Minneapolis. Favorite food is either Italian or Mexican.


Jessica Gill

Jessica Gill
Senior Professional Development Specialist/Data Specialist

P: (651) 294-9047

Jessica has extensive experience in data analysis, marketing, website development, database management, event planning, member and committee relations, and program development for several of our association clients. Jessica is a graduate of Carroll College in southwest Montana with B.A. degrees in communications and public relations. She is involved in the Helena Young Professionals group (HYP) and the Montana Society of Association Executives.

What you don't know about Jessica...

Q. What do you love about your job?
A. I love helping to organize webinars, on-demand learning and teleclasses for our members. It’s a great feeling to help the trainers and speakers put on the best possible program to provide members with networking and education. We’ve done webinars for speakers and attendees from all across the world and it’s awesome to connect association members in a true global community.

Q. What is your favorite city?
A. Favorite city to live in: Helena, MT, which just happens to be where I live now. Favorite city to visit: Galway, Ireland.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not working?
A. A lot of my non-working hours are spent chasing my two boys (4 and 1). When they are sleeping, I also enjoy reading and of course, we spend a lot of time enjoying the “Big Sky” in the great outdoors here in Montana.

Q. What is something most people don’t know about you?
A. I am a giant fan of the TV show, Dr. Who.


Julia Renner

Julia Renner
Senior Professional Development Specialist

P: (651) 366-6084

Julia’s professional experience is in curriculum development and leading professional development seminars on instructional best practices for teachers. In her role as Professional Development Specialist, she manages continuing education credits, plans and supports education seminars, and provides Instructional Design feedback on programming within the Professional Development Department. Julia has her B.A. in Political Science from the College of St. Benedict and her M.A. in Teaching from Marian University.

What you don't know about Julia...

Q. What is your favorite city?
A. My favorite city is Washington, DC where I had the opportunity to live and intern for a summer during college. There are always so many interesting events, speakers, and people who highlight new perspectives on current issues.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not working?
A. I enjoy being active with friends and family by going for bike rides or practicing yoga. I also love spending time with my nephew, Benjamin.

Q. What is something most people don’t know about you?
A. I was a college track and field athlete and still apply my competitive nature regularly during family game nights.

Q. What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
A. I would recommend Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez, which is about Rodriguez’s time in Afghanistan as she started a training facility for Afghani women in 2003. She worked to empower her students to become employed beauticians and breadwinners for their families.


Jessica Truhler

Jessica Truhler
Senior Professional Development Specialist

P: (651) 288-3436

Jessica brings more than five years of professional development experience to Ewald Consulting, including three years in a health care setting. She has been involved in areas such as new hire onboarding, learning management system implementation, continuing education events and employee mentorship programs. Jessica has her B.A. in Political Science from the College of Saint Benedict.

What you don't know about Jessica...

Q. What is your favorite city?
A. Washington D.C. or Seattle. I love the political climate and history of D.C. and Seattle just is beautiful!

Q. What do you like to do when you are not working?
A. Traveling and spending time with my family. I have a little daughter so spending time with her and getting to experience everything through her eyes is just the best!

Q. What is something most people don’t know about you?
A. I am a second degree black belt in karate and owned my own company (cleaning company) when I was 14 years old.


Larry Bell

Larry Bell
Professional Development Specialist

P: (651) 366-6087

Larry has worked for Ewald since 2014. He specializes in online hosting of eLearning sessions and provides detailed training for presenters.

Larry has extensive experience in client and customer relations. In addition to hosting more than 100 webinars each year, he also provides support in learning development in Ewald’s Learning Management Systems.

He has a B.A. in Graphic Design from The Art Institutes International of Minnesota.

What you don't know about Larry...

Q. What do you love about communications and graphic design?
Any opportunity to communicate creatively to and for our clients is what I love most. I am also always curious about the latest technology that can make the creative process much more exciting for us on the back end and the user.

Q. What is your favorite city?
Amsterdam wins hands down, right now. I love their art, architecture and BEER. I’m an artist and DJ/musician so I gravitate towards places that inspire me, and Amsterdam does just that. There’s a pulse that runs through the city and it can be electrifying if you surrender to it. The Dutch are easy going people who live with a sense of freedom that we seem to lack here in the states. It is a very liberating and inspirational city, again if you allow it to be. I love it and it’s my favorite so far.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not working?
Travel and make music are two things I love to do more than anything. Binge watching movies and my favorite TV shows (sci-fi, fantasy and horror fan, here). Immediately followed by playing recreational sports (softball, bowling and volleyball), and lately I’ve been getting into hosting parties and small gatherings.

Q. What is something most people don’t know about you?
That I’ve lived in five other cities including Honolulu and San Francisco.


Rachel Dicks

Rachel Dicks
Professional Development Specialist

P: (651) 290-6297

Rachel has six years of experience managing professional development, continuing education credit administration, meeting planning and association experience. Rachel works with clients to manage and oversee their educational programs and help clients maintain their educational and professional licenses in various areas of expertise. She has her A.A. in Administrative Management.

What you don't know about Rachel...

Q. What do you love about your job?
A. I love being able to execute events effectively through thorough preparation and planning. Seeing it all come together is one of my favorite things about my job – all the hard work goes toward that moment!

Q. What is the best professional advice you ever received?
A. Do what you love and let WHY you do it propel you to do better and better.

Q. What is something most people don’t know about you?
A. I played soccer in college and it was the first time I had ever set foot on a soccer field to play a sport, I was terrible but it was one of my favorite college memories! I have no idea how I made the team…

Q. What is your favorite restaurant or food?
A. Any restaurant that is known for their crème brûlée.


Lily Mahan

Lily Mahan
Professional Development Coordinator

P: (651) 290-7493

Lily is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a BA in French and Francophone studies. She joined Ewald Consulting in early 2018 as the Professional Development Assistant. As the PD Assistant, she helps manage certificate databases, as well as working with our specialists to complete projects.

What you don't know about Lily...

Q. What is your favorite city?
A. Paris, France.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not working?
A. When not working I enjoy reading, snuggling with my cat, watching Netflix, swimming, downhill skiing, and if I’m really lucky: scuba diving.

Q. What is something most people don’t know about you?
A. Most people don’t know that I have dyslexia.

Q. What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
A. Mischling by Affinity Konar.

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