Abby Straus, Principal

Abby is passionate about helping people identify and create the future they want to live. She partners with individuals and organization as a facilitator, workshop leader and coach, helping people develop plans of action and methods of interaction to collectively create their desired outcomes.

Abby is a master networker, supporting cross-pollination of ideas between sectors, so everyone achieves more. A wide range of organizations have benefited from collaborating with Abby, including libraries and library systems, non-profits, educational institutions, communities and their economic development organizations, and the private and public sectors, including defense.

She has a BA in cultural anthropology from Hampshire College and an MDiv from Gauden University. Abby is the President of the Board of the Northeast Economic Development Association (NEDA). She is also the proud mother of a twenty-six-year-old son and an avid yoga practitioner. She lives in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts.

John Findlay, Principal

John’s mission is to help people and organizations transform how they think, act and interact in order to deal with the impact of accelerating change. An Australian native, he brings an international focus to our work. He has over 40 years of experience in strategic planning, community consultation, futures forecasting, organizational transformation, politics, infrastructure and new business development on multiple continents.

John also has a passion for helping communities work well together create new knowledge and well-being. He has a deep interest in education, helping teachers help children learn to design and facilitate their own learning activities; and in libraries, to help them become change agents in their communities. He is the creator Zing, a collaboration platform that M&B uses widely in its activities.

John is a digital nomad, who mostly resides in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Wollongong in educational psychology and an MBA from Southern Cross University.

Jane E. Darling, Associate

Jane brings over 20 years of experience in libraries, having most recently been co-director at the Copell, TX library. Her experience includes developing comprehensive strategic plans which enable libraries to reach their full potential.

As a facilitator, mentor, and coach, she helps libraries and librarians discover expanded possibilities, allowing them to set challenging, yet achievable, goals in uncertain and rapidly changing environments. In addition to guiding her library through multiple strategic planning processes and a major building renovation, Jane served as an active member of the 2015-2016 Strategic Planning Task Force of the Texas Library Association.

Jane is a member of the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, the Texas Library Association, and the Florida Library Association. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Montclair State University and a MLS the University of South Florida.

An enthusiastic supporter of the performing arts, Jane enjoys singing, playing the flute, and ringing handbells. She and her husband live in Ocala, Florida.

Ben O’Shaughnessy, Associate

Ben joins our team with some 8 years in the public sector, having worked in higher education, the executive branch at the state-level, and defense. He has cultivated a strong emphasis in training development and facilitation, having spent several years developing curriculum to prepare emergency personnel to respond to complex and evolving threats.

A strong believer in national service, Ben currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Civil Affairs specialist. He recently returned from an operational deployment to Northern Cameroon, where he worked as a liaison between the U.S. military and civilian partners. During that time, he helped coordinate numerous humanitarian civic assistance projects, including a collaboration with several nongovernmental organizations and local partners to strengthen schools and libraries in vulnerable communities.

Ben is dedicated to health & wellness and self-development, which he uses as a foundation in coaching leaders and organizations. He is building on this foundation by working on certifications in both yoga and mediation. He has a BA in Political Science & World History and an MPA, both from the University at Albany, SUNY.