Civic Strategies is comprised of people who care deeply about communities and search constantly for ways of helping them work better. Here are some of our people.
Otis White is president of Civic Strategies, Inc. He is an authority on community decision making and one of America's most quoted analysts of civic leadership.
In his consulting practice, Otis has worked with numerous governments, nonprofit organizations, and companies, including Georgia Power Co., the Iowa State Association of Counties, the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the University System of Georgia, Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia, the city of Springboro, Ohio, the Lilly Endowment, AT&T, and many others.
Otis has conducted studies of civic leadership from Boston to Los Angeles. From 2002 to 2007, he was a columnist for Governing magazine about urban issues and now writes for Governing about management and leadership issues. He has also written for the New York Times and other publications. He has been quoted by newspapers and magazines ranging from the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine to the Christian Science Monitor and the Financial Times of London and was a regular commentator on the National Public Radio show, Smart City. He is the author of a recent multimedia book, "The Great Project," about how a single civic project changed a city.
Before starting Civic Strategies, Otis was a business journalist and magazine executive. He is a former editor and publisher of Georgia Trend, a business magazine, and vice president of Trend Magazines, Inc. In 1982, he won the prestigious Alicia Patterson Fellowship, allowing him to spend a year studying how computers were changing work in America.
Otis is a graduate of Columbus State University in Georgia and Columbia University in New York.
Jon Abercrombie is of counsel to Civic Strategies. He specializes in large-group facilitation and town hall meetings, with extensive experience in community diversity issues.
Jon has led major visioning programs for the city of Decatur, Georgia, during which hundreds of citizens were involved in what came to be known as the Decatur Round Tables. He has also managed visioning initiatives, including extensive town hall meetings, for Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia.
Jon assisted the Decatur Public Schools in drawing new attendance boundaries by involving more than 400 parents and designed a campus-wide discussion of race and diversity for Oglethorpe University. He has facilitated retreats of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners and others.
Jon is a graduate of Bryan College in Tennessee with master’s degrees from Georgia State University and the University of Memphis.
Ellen Dozier Mayer is of counsel to Civic Strategies. Her areas of expertise are community development and nonprofit management. Ellen was vice president of Civic Strategies for three and a half years and, later, the executive director of the Civic League for Regional Atlanta. Before that, she was director of communications and development for Midtown Alliance, a nonprofit community development organization in Atlanta. While there, she developed the initial three-year operating plan for Midtown’s transportation management association. She has a bachelor's degree from Auburn University in Alabama and a master's degree in urban policy studies from Georgia State University.
"The 20th century was the century of business. The next century is going to be the century of the social sector."
"Social sector organizations increasingly look to business for leadership models and talent, yet I suspect we will find more true leadership in the social sectors than the business sector."
Business management writer
"If you want to truly understand something, try to change it."
Pioneer in the field of social psychology
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