Professional & Organizational Development

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Cedar River Group, LLC

John A. Howell

John A. Howell, Principal


Cedar River Group focuses on projects in the public interest, dedicating our work to improving the lives of people and enhancing the environment of the Pacific Northwest. We are partners in change to help public and private sector innovators, communities and government agencies create solutions that last.


  • Strategic Planning
  • Facilitation of small and large groups
  • Mediation, negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Community outreach
  • Retreat facilitation
  • Grant writing


  • Strategic Planning. Cedar River Group offers substantial experience in facilitating strategic plans for nonprofit and government agencies, with the aim of enabling leadership, staff and other interested parties to gain consensus and develop a plan that offers the best opportunity for unified and cohesive future actions. Our clients for strategic planning have included Burke Museum, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Harborview Medical Center, Marsha Rivkin Center, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle Art Museum, Washington State Department of Early Learning, and Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance.
  • Facilitation and Negotiation. Cedar River Group has organized and facilitated numerous community meetings, negotiations, board retreats, stakeholder processes, and meetings within and between organizations. Examples include: City of Seattle Income Inequality Task Force recommending a $15 minimum wage; Connecting Washington Task Force (Washington State Dept. of Transportation) recommending a statewide transportation investment strategy; and City of Bellevue–Sound Transit Collaborative Design Process to resolve issues related to East Link Light Rail.
  • Community Outreach. Cedar River Group offers substantial experience in developing and implementing community outreach, information and involvement programs, including soliciting input from a wide variety of sources and synthesizing it into a usable format for developing strategic and business policies. Examples include: City of Seattle Education Summit (19 community meetings, citywide summit, online survey), Seattle Neighborhood Workshops on affordable housing (16 workshops), and Tacoma-Pierce County Clean Air Task Force (stakeholder group).
  • Grant Writing. Cedar River Group has significant, successful grant-writing experience, with grant awards ranging from multi-million dollar grants from federal agencies to smaller grants from local funders. Examples include a $16 million federal and a $762,000 state grant award to Seattle Children’s Hospital; a $25 million federal grant award to Public Health – Seattle & King County; and a $150,000 foundation grant to the Smart Buildings Center.


  • Education: Masters in Public Administration, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; BA Community Development, Rutgers University
  • Community Service: Chair, Board of Directors, Burke Museum Association (2012–Present); Board member, Washington Green Schools (2013–16), Past Chair, Board of Directors, Cascade Land Conservancy (now Forterra) (1992–2011), Board member, Northwest Small Cities Services (1987–2007), Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Pacific Medical Center (1993–97), Chair, Board of Directors, Fremont Public Association (now Solid Ground) (1987–89)
  • Award: Lucius N. Littauer Fellowship, awarded for outstanding academic achievement, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1986


  • City of Seattle
  • Pierce County
  • Washington State Dept. of Transportation
  • Children’s Home Society of Washington
  • Marsha Rivkin Center
  • Rainier Valley Community Development Fund
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