Testimonials

Our organization hired Amy in 2009 to complete a Readiness Assessment prior to beginning organizational capacity building work. Amy’s findings were “spot on” and to this day, we regularly go back to her results to guide our organization in capacity building projects. Because of Amy’s recommendations, we have completed projects on Human Resources, Development and Board Governance. Amy is knowledgeable and a joy to work with. I would highly recommend her to organizations interested in broaching capacity related issues.
Traci Dunne, MSW, Executive Director at Elderday Center
Amy brings a great deal to the table with her strategic planning process. She excels at guiding teams to express ideas and constructively discuss various approaches to execution. She has a very rational approach that is flexible yet structured enough to drive positive outcomes. In general, Amy is personable, engaging and upbeat; a great facilitator and addition to any team. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her on the strategic plan for the Chicago Artists’ Coalition and look forward to another opportunity to work with her. She is an A++ individual.
Juli Bark, Chief Marketing Officer at GE Healthcare
I frequently refer RRF grantees to Amy when they are looking for someone to help build organizational capacity, plan for the future, or maximize opportunities for growth. She has a great way of connecting with nonprofit leaders and helping them navigate realistic paths through complex situations. Amy’s unique mix of skills, perspective, and creative thinking has helped many nonprofits move forward.
Mary O’Donnell, Senior Program Officer, The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF)
I’ve engaged Amy with two very different organizations — one at the board level, and one working with staff. Her great experience gives her deep perspective on the challenges facing non-profit organizations today. She’s a fantastic listener, perceptive about people and exceptionally diplomatic – she knows how to frame difficult conversations in a positive way. She’s candid but tactful, and gets right to the heart of the issue while still creating space for a process where everyone feels heard. I trust her and value her good counsel.
Catherine Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Chicago Public Library Foundation
Amy Wishnick was outstanding. She provided our organization with vital guidance during a board development process and helped us all navigate a leadership transition. Her clear information, framed as best practices in the field, helped build consensus around change. She was also a wonderful mentor and sounding board to me personally, giving me advice and reassuring me throughout the project.  I would work with Amy again without hesitation, and would recommend her to any group seeking a consultant to help with board projects and other large strategy or policy implementation programs.
Heather Hartley, Executive Director, Audience Architects
Amy expertly facilitated our Strategic Planning session, not only providing a helpful structure for discussing our organization’s goals and objectives but also asking the right questions to get to the heart of the issues we wanted to address. Amy prepared us well for the session, encouraging us to brainstorm key issues on our own beforehand so that we could hit the ground running when we met. during our meeting Amy guided us towards clearly defining our strengths and opportunities as well as identifying our biggest challenges. With direction from Amy, our group was able to not only analyze our present situation but also successfully define our goals and objectives to ensure our success and sustainability as an organization.
LaShunda Gonzalez, Choice Neighborhoods Director, Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc.
My Board and I worked with Amy over several months to craft a comprehensive strategic plan for Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth. She was a great critical friend to us and the organization – exerting the right mix of questions, feedback, constructive criticism, and best-practice advice.
Genita Robinson, Executive Director, Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth
Teatro Luna has selected Amy Wishnick of Wishnick & Associates, LLC to facilitate our planning process. We were impressed with the research, level of detail and commitment to excellence that were evident in Ms. Wishnick’s proposal, and by her warm and direct yet intuitive communication style during our initial meetings. We are confident that she will skillfully guide Teatro Luna towards the achievement of its goals.
Alexandra Meda, Managing Director, Teatro Luna
Amy is one of those rare consultants who is a fountain of knowledge and yet begins her work with a tabula rasa. She comes to engage, to learn, to dignify the work of her clients. She starts from their perspective and their world view to build a strategic plan.
Jose E. Lopez, Executive Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center
A million thanks again for the time and energy that you invested in the session [The Art of Planning: Today and the Future] – I learned from your intelligence, sense of humor, and deep caring of others.
Jessica Balboni , Director, Orchestra Leadership Academy, League of American Orchestras
Amy was a calm, guiding force that helped bring clarity and refinement to the Board as we tried to determine the organization’s priorities. An excellent listener and blue-sky thinker, Amy truly captured everyone’s varying points of view and helped us focus. She was exactly what we needed!
Lynndah Easterwood Lahey, Executive Director, Escorted Transportation Services Northwest
As the new staff leader for a strategic planning process that was well underway when I came to the task, Amy’s guidance, counsel, and extensive experience were very helpful. Her steady direction aided in creating a planning process and structure that led to a solid, achievable Strategic Plan that all Board members and staff leadership could fully endorse.
Les Inch, PhD, Vice President, Performance, Planning, and Policy, SGA Youth & Family Services
Since 2005, we had had the pleasure of working with Amy Wishnick on a number of different projects ranging from staff development to overall institutional strategic vision. The work Amy has brought forth has advanced the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) and helped us to achieve greater clarity on the mission of the organization. This has redefined the scope of each staff member and improved their understanding of how best to work together on a daily basis. Amy has provided guidance and support for a number of key transitions, including a change in board structure which has led to greater engagement of individual board members. She has coached individual staff members through difficult decisions and the resultant outcomes. I cannot imagine how we would have been able to have undertaken growth in the myriad of areas that we have, without her experience and wisdom and I am truly grateful.
Holly Hudak, Executive Director, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
On behalf of the Executive Board, I want to express our appreciation for the excellent job you did on the comprehensive assessment of our synagogue management and operations. We could never have undertaken such a project internally. Your expertise and objective, “outsider” status inspired trust, gave you access to information and insights that might not have been shared with our own professionals or lay leaders, and lent necessary credibility to the resulting report. Finally, I want you to know that as the congregation’s main point person on this project, I felt a true partnership in our working relationship. Your ability to listen and process information helped us identify the core matters, and your open-mindedness and willingness to engage in back and forth dialogue helped us work through tough issues and ensured that the project was tailored to address our unique needs.
Betsy Lassar, President, Congregation Solel
Like no one I have had the opportunity to work with, Amy Wishnick hit the ground running in a challenging assignment to rapidly design and then facilitate a 3 day strategic planning retreat for 30 people of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly National Board and staff. Her totally professional demeanor and ability to work with strong personalities were exactly what we needed to successfully manage this difficult project. She made it seem easy. Amy’s organizational skills and experience shone through from the moment of first contact. She readily grasped the nature of our organization, including its internal struggles, and moved effortlessly along with us in laying the foundation for a successful and enjoyable retreat. Amy’s summary observations and feedback were a plus. I look forward to working with her again.
William H. Hammett, Vice President, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly (National), Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
We have enjoyed working with Amy Wishnick as she is personable, competent, and readily builds trust. We invited Amy to develop a program for non-revenue generating staff and were pleased with the results, so asked her back to consult on issues of change in the workplace. Amy brought her friendly presence and diverse employment background to the table and initiated conversation among employees from all levels of our organization. She skillfully facilitated group discussion highlighting the positive accomplishments of our organization – while recognizing our need to voice opinions about aspects that needed attention. In the end, Amy broke important ground for us as an organization by allowing us to talk freely about change in the workplace – how it happens and that without change, there isn’t growth. Working with Amy was a positive experience, and she is also a delight to be around. We look forward to partnering with her again in the future.
Carol Nelson-Cheng, Vice President, Foundation Operations & Advancement Services, Childrens Memorial Foundation
Amy was a consultant for our nonprofit at a pivotal point in our organization when we became a stand-alone 501(c)(3). She guided our very apprehensive board and staff through a careful review of our strengths and weaknesses – all the while encouraging and supporting us. The result was a document and vision that laid out a path for growth, development and even serenity! – that we continue to use to this day. I happy to say that our organization flourished in no small part due to her careful and supportive collaboration with us.
Barbara Sittler, Executive Director, Senior Connections NFP
Amy’s assistance in facilitating the year-long process that was needed to develop the CYSO’s first Long Range Plan was invaluable. She worked closely with CYSO’s Executive Director and me behind the scenes as we collaborated to build the basic structure of the plan that enabled the Long Range Planning Committee to pursue its deliberations. It was a laborious, tedious and, at times, boring process for all involved, but Amy’s guidance, encouragement and knowledge helped us to prevail. The result was a comprehensive roadmap that engendered much pride within the committee and was unanimously approved b CYSO’s Board. A job well accomplished — thanks, Amy!
J. Laurence Costin, Chairman, Long Range Planning Committee, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
You did an outstanding job planning and facilitating our weekend board retreat. You helped develop an agenda that addressed our unique organizational needs as well as our specific goals for the retreat. Your flexibility and intuitiveness about when to deviate from the planned structure were exceptional and contributed to the success of the retreat. With your help we were able to articulate our priorities and craft a stronger mission statement.
Kay Berkson, Founder and Past Board Chair, Changing Worlds
Amy has acted as a sounding board when I’m making decisions so that I’m not working in a vacuum. Having no partners and being too small to have an HR department, it is helpful for me to have someone with a lot of real-world experience and good insight to talk to. When I veer too far toward just being a nice guy, Amy steers me back toward being a good employer — not always the same thing!
Ted Lowitz, President, Talisman Tiles
Amy Wishnick was hired to improve team work and productive sharing among paraprofessional peers. Some of the trainees were more experienced than others, and some had more seniority with the organization than others, making trust and collaboration more difficult. Amy assessed the situation and figured out a method to bring people together by communicating their goals, experiences, and problems in a safe group environment. She raised the employees’ consciousness levels as to the differences in their work styles and skills, and extracted a group desire to share and grow together. She performed this service for our firm efficiently and within budgetary guidelines.
Audrey Rubin, Rubin Solutions, COO Consulting
We sought out Wishnick & Associates to do a special recruiting project for us because we had worked with Amy in the past. She always invests the time necessary to understand where our business is at the time and discover the chemistry of the staff. Amy’s skills produce results, providing our firm with qualified employees who stay.
Burt Gutterman, Chief Executive Officer, Sangamon Trading

 

Amy was hired by our board of directors to assist with hiring an executive director for the non-profit agency that we support. We (the board) had not been in a position to conduct an executive search, so we needed professional guidance on development of an end-to-end process. Amy diligently worked with the board to identify qualified candidates, conduct interviews and evaluate the candidates until we found the perfect fit. Her advice during the process was invaluable. She kept the board focused on the primary objective of the search – finding the right candidate for the organization, which we did. Amy was encouraging when we were discouraged and celebrated with us when we made our final decision.

Amy also worked with us to assess board development and to begin the process of growing the board. Amy facilitated board discussions to identify our current and future needs. Based on her invaluable assistance we have successfully identified several highly qualified candidates and have on-boarded new members.

I appreciate Amy’s professionalism, discretion, non-profit expertise and passion for the work that she does. She helped make an extremely stressful situation easier to work through. I enthusiastically recommend Amy Wishnick and Wishnick and Associates as a non-profit consultant.

Nancy Bonner, AVP, Business Process Consultant at Zurich North America