About MNToP

INTERNATIONALLY DEVELOPED, LOCALLY ENGAGED

MNToP, LLP provides facilitation training and services that support engagement and growth for individuals, organizations, and communities. Our team takes a comprehensive approach to facilitation and commits to the highest standards of quality each time we step to the front of the room. The unique contributions of our leaders and trainers continually bring the ToP methods to life.  Learn more about us below.

 

Linda Alton, CTF

Managing Partner,
ToP Community Support & Mentoring
ToP Qualified Trainer & Mentor
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612.281.6556

Linda brings extensive experience to the team, having worked globally with individuals, communities, and organizations over the last 40 years to bring new voices, new options to “stuck” situations. Linda has worked with the evolution of the ToP approaches with the Institute of Cultural Affairs most notably in Kenya, The Philippines, and Belgium, as well as years in Denver, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis as MNToP (for 20 years!) living with her family in each situation building structures of participatory processes.

Linda currently specializes in participatory strategic planning, community building and leadership development. Her passion for providing learning and professional development environments include supporting the monthly Community of Practice gatherings for all facilitators, and ensuring a robust Mastery of the Technology of Participation program, now in its 19th year.

Linda is an avid gardener, and is a fan of her neighborhood association, The Lyndale Neighborhood Association. She finds compost to be an excellent metaphor to bring to the table in facilitation!

 

Irina Fursman, CTF

Managing Partner,
Client Relations & Business Development
ToP Qualified Trainer & Mentor
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763.232.2338

In Irina’s training and facilitation work she brings both mind and heart to the collaborative learning process, where thoughts and ideas are used to create a harmonious movement toward action that will have a transformational impact. She primarily serves public sector and service organizations, including non-profit professional associations and for-profit businesses in the professional service industry.

Irina is a doctoral candidate at St. Thomas University focusing on leadership in systems where collaboration is required to accomplish results. She graduated from Tavrida National University in Ukraine with the Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, and a B.S. in Education.

Irina is co-founder of two non-profit organizations (ICA Ukraine and Global Synergy Group), which exist to build capacity for change in individuals, organizations and communities through expriential learning, service, and exchange programs.

 

Beth Glommen, CTF

Managing Partner,
ToP Training Program
ToP Qualified Trainer & Mentor
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763.443.6940

Beth works with clients to align their actions with mission and values, to strengthen their organizational processes, and to build cultures of innovation and empowerment. Her clients range from for-profit to non-profits, as well as faith-based communities and volunteer organizations.

Beth previously worked in Health Care Information Technology for 19 years. During that time she worked on implementing an automated medial record system. She was a Training Coordinator, Change Support Specialist, Process Integration Lead, and Project Manager.

Beth has a B.A. in Psychology from Concordia College, Moorhead MN. She enjoys her two dogs, running in dog agility, and doing creative embroidery projects.

 

Stephanie Ahles, CTF

Board of Directors,
ToP Qualified Trainer
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612.387.0782

Stephanie works primarily with governmental agencies to assist with increasing engagement and participation by using impartial structured processes that result in high quality, action orientated outcomes. She also manages the registration database for Minnesota ToP courses, works closely with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, and is an active member of the ToP Network.

In addition to Stephanie’s MNToP work she is a full-time analyst for Hennepin County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCCR). In her work at the County she specializes in project coordination, facilitation, and managing department initiatives. She is a facilitation steering committee member and an active facilitation mentor. She also contracts with the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute (UCCI) as an assessor and trainer.

Stephanie enjoys traveling, trying new adventures, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Laura Johansson, CTF

Board of Directors,
ToP Qualified Trainer
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612.802-3203

For 25 years Laura has helped organizations and communities realize their strategic visions. Presently, Laura is a facilitation and organizational development consultant, specializing in effective engagement around change initiatives. She works with non-profit, for-profit, and public sector clients. Laura has extensive leadership experience having served as executive director of two Minneapolis organizations. She is knowledgeable in the areas of education, community development, cross-cultural community building, and organizational development. She enjoys sharing innovative, systems thinking to help clients realize their goals.

She holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and earned a Master of Science degree in Organization Development (MSOD) from American University.

She loves her time with her husband and two middle-school children, especially when they are off on an adventure somewhere together.

 

Cheryl Kartes, CTF

Board of Directors,
ToP Qualified Trainer & Mentor
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612.998.1201

Cheryl specializes in strategic planning, virtual and face-to-face, collaborative projects, graphic recording, and the human side of teamwork, using creative, participatory and experiential methods. Cheryl is a graphic facilitator and trainer. She captures insights and reflections with words and images. As a map maker for the journey of the group, she provides a visual gestalt of the key ideas within the session. Clients include non-profit, government, and business sectors, locally, nationally, and internationally.

Cheryl has provided leadership for MNToP, MFN, and the National ToP Network. She served on the ICA Board of Directors. Nationally, she is an Assessor for the Certification of ToP Facilitators. Cheryl has also served as an Executive Director for Artspace Projects, Inc.

Cheryl loves to inspire creative session planning. She has worked nationally on the development and refinement of many ToP courses, including ToP Strategic Planning, Power of Image Shift, Approaches to Environmental Scanning, Facilitating Conciliation, Facilitation Graphics, Facilitation for Innovation, and ToP Virtual Facilitation Methods.

If you catch Cheryl daydreaming, she is likely in her mind sitting on a deck, watching the birds fly and sing, the images in the sky shifting quickly and the water splashing gently on the rocks.

 

Sue Laxdal, CTF

Board of Directors,
ToP Qualified Trainer
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612.275.7015

Sue’s expertise is in organization change, including strategic and operational planning, transition management, management development and organization analysis. She facilitates planning, organization design, conflict management, negotiations, problem-solving and learning opportunities. She has designed curriculum for team-building, managing conflict, effective leadership and project management

Sue was with an internal consulting group in Minnesota State Government, Management Analysis Division, from 1987 until January 1999. Before that she was with an international consulting organization, where she performed a variety of training and executive functions for 17 years. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Metropolitan State University and also studied at the Academy of the Institute of Cultural Affairs. She was a 1996 Bush Leadership Fellow and completed a Master of Science degree in Organization Development at Pepperdine University in the George L. Graziadio School of Business, Culver City, California. Her thesis research was on Success Factors in the Implementation of Strategic Plans.

 

Continuing Education Credit Information

Want to learn how to gain continuing education credits for taking a MN ToP course? 

 

 

Contact Us About

Registration Help
Stephanie Ahles
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Training Information
Beth Glommen
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Facilitation Requests
Irina Fursman
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Testimonials from our participants


It [ToP Facilitation Methods] was more than I imagined it would be. It’s something I can use in my personal life as well as in the workplace.
- Kristie S.
This course [ToP Facilitation Methods] was incredibly helpful at demonstrating how effective, planned facilitation can create action, focused conversations and build consensus. I can’t wait to practice these skills!
- Eve L.
MNToP welcomes the learner to a continuous cycle of theory, practice, and reflection that broadens and deepens capacity and commitment.
- Claire C.