“As a facilitator nothing excites me more than the cross pollination of information and knowledge in the trainings.” The variety of perspectives at Mel King Institute trainings and the participants’ enthusiasm echo the reasons Maria Latimore started her own consulting business.
Maria Latimore is a Mel King Institute facilitator who brings more than thirty years of project management experience to her work in the community development field. She graduated from Simmons University with a degree in business management and started her career directly out of college. During her time in the private sector, she worked on a variety of areas such as information technology, financial services, DEI work, health care, health care insurance in companies of all sizes. In 2014 she decided it was time for a change and she left the corporate world to start a consulting company in 2015.
Maria was very intentional with her consulting company and set out to work with mission-based companies. Prior to starting her company, she took a year off to think about her direction for what she wanted to do next as she wanted a change from the bureaucracy of large organizations. This led to her working almost exclusively with nonprofits and moving away from IT. This focus and change in direction led to her connecting with Mission Based Massachusetts and becoming an MKI facilitator. Since her transition, Maria has broadened her focus to include organizational development, strategic planning, and DEI work in addition to project management. Her students appreciate her diversity of skill sets, and experiences, with one student saying that they were “introduced to frameworks for organizing complex problems and processes that will be really helpful to me as I work through challenges on projects in the future” and while another valued Maria’s diverse background as it gave her unique ways to connect with the group.
In addition to her solo work, Maria partners with other consultants and is an affiliate with the Interaction Institute for Social Change. She thrives on the flexibility and variety of her work as a consultant and loves working with the network that has grown from her business. She finds her work connects her to the community, especially through her time on the board of Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation. Maria brings the philosophy of “seeing the value in each other and the skills everyone brings to the table” to all her work. Her consulting work and community connections have been both personally and globally meaningful. Maria especially treasures that people from MKI trainings she has facilitated sometimes reach out more than a year later to reconnect and let her know how much the training has helped them.
In addition to her consulting work and facilitating MKI trainings, Maria feels that her work with MKI and other nonprofits has deepened her connections to people and her local community. Maria facilitates an introductory training on project and program management. She enjoys the ability to reach out to people and connect on shared issues and projects to gain multiple local perspectives on her work. These local networks give her a sense of what is going on and bring her to ground level as “the connections between people and across projects opens conversations and makes the work tangible and real.” This is further emphasized by the cross section of participants in her trainings from CDC people to cities, towns, and people from the private sector.