The Center for Strategic Governance, LLC

10 Old Mont Vernon Rd. Amherst nh 03031

million public infrastructure improvement project for one of these Districts in West Peterborough.

Previously, Carol served for 14 years at the Southwest Region Planning Commission in Keene, NH and for the NH Office of Strategic Initiatives (formerly the Office of State Planning). During her tenure with the RPC, Carol developed several model ordinances, regulations, and handbooks for specific topics, including cell towers, earth excavations, and subdivision and site plan review.  With other staff, she developed the first state-wide handbook and training program for New Hampshire’s regional planning commissions as they embarked on a new effort to develop local hazard mitigation plans.  

Carol has wide-ranging expertise in developing local master plans, and she has participated in and/or led master planning processes for every town in the southwest region of New Hampshire as well as for Moultonborough.  She is a 30+-year member of the New Hampshire Planners Association, which honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award upon her retirement from the Town of Peterborough. 

From 1999 to 2015, Carol taught the class on Selectmen’s role in land use planning and enforcement for Antioch New England’s Selectmen’s Institute.  In addition, she has served as an adjunct professor at Antioch NE teaching a course on Land Use and Community Planning. 

Carol received her B.A. from Keene State College and her M.A. in Sociology and Policy Planning from Kent State University.  She lives in Gilsum, NH with her husband, both of whom served on the Planning Board for many years, and where she currently serves on the Board of Adjustment. 

Carol has more than 30 years of experience in land use planning, which she draws upon to provide planning services to communities throughout New Hampshire. She recently served as Director of Community Development for the Town of Peterborough for 10 years where she was responsible for the day-to-day planning operations covering processing land use applications, ongoing updating of the Master Plan, and staff support to numerous citizen committees and planning board subcommittees. She managed the Capital Improvement Program, developed and maintained the Town’s first Hazard Mitigation Plan, and administered three Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts adopted by the voters.  She was instrumental in facilitating a $2.3

Prior to Nashua, she served in Amherst, and Milford, NH. As Director of Community Development in Amherst, she was instrumental in introducing strategic governance to the Planning Board and other commissions as the selectmen were implementing it across town departments. She also helped align the capital improvements planning process that effort.

Since joining the planning community in 2005, Sarah has spearheaded a wide-range of projects including the first mandatory inclusionary zoning ordinance in the state; a sustainably funded affordable housing trust fund; a comprehensive rewriting of subdivision and site plan regulations as well as public works standards; zoning ordinance amendments including form-based codes, wetlands/watershed protection, sign ordinances, small wind energy systems, and accessory dwelling units; development of storm water management ordinances and code enforcement ticketing process; annual capital improvements planning and master plan updates; and complete project management for grants and infrastructure projects.

In 2022, Sarah was elected to the American Planning Associations AICP Commission for Region 5 and serves as the Professional Development Officer of the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association (NNECAPA) (having served as president from 2015 to 2021). She also serves on the Executive Committee of the New Hampshire Planners Association (NHPA) as Federal Legislative Liaison and served as President from 2010-2014. In 2019, Sarah was appointed to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) Board of Directors. In 2018, she received the Professional Planner of the Year by the NH Planners Association and the Planner of the Year award from NNECAPA in 2018.  Sarah holds a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and an M.A. from the University of Connecticut.  She lives in Brookline, NH with her husband and two children.   

innovative and inclusive systems and programs that benefited all students. Not only was he commended by his staff for his commitment to honesty, integrity, and trust, he was also acknowledged for his work as the 2021-2022 Principal of the Year for the state of New Hampshire. 

Rick received his B.A. from UCLA and his Masters from Northeastern University and brings a collective wisdom from a combined 25 years in the private and education sectors where he has helped organizations leverage their strengths to achieve desired outcomes.  

Pat Casey

Mike has over 40 years of experience in applying strategic planning, marketing, communications, and management to help organizations prosper.  He has served as head of marketing and on management teams of companies specializing in decision support, analytic software, electronic publishing, and marketing/branding. As VP at a strategic communications firm, he consulted on branding, marketing, and change management for such clients as Joslin Diabetes Center, Raytheon Company, HP, Harvard University, Boston College, Fleet Bank, and United Asset Management as well as other corporations, non-profits, schools, and government agencies at all levels.

Our Team

Sarah Marchant, AICP, joined the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, a CDFI serving low-income NH residents and businesses, as Chief of Staff in 2021.  She is responsible for business management, executive communications, and cross-organizational strategic initiatives. Previously, Sarah served the City of Nashua from 2014-2021 as the Director of Community Development, responsible for the leadership and financial management of the Division and over 70 team members across six departments: Building Safety; Code Enforcement; Planning and Zoning; Waterways; Transportation; Urban Programs; and various commissions, boards, and programs.    She was also instrumental in securing and implementing over $15 million dollars in grant funding.

Center for Strategic Governance advisors

Sarah marchant

As an educator and consultant in six school districts across two states, Rick understands the vital roles effective strategic planning and governance play in moving a school district forward. He currently serves as principal of Londonderry High School in New Hampshire.

Previously, he led Hollis-Brookline High School (NH) as principal and helped the school achieve local and national recognition as one of the best schools in New England during his tenure. For over eight years, Rick provided Hollis-Brookline High School with a number of

rick barnes

He has a strong background in education, having served as vice president of an executive-education firm training clients such as the Harvard Business School faculty and executives at General Electric, Pillsbury, and Perdue Farms in using decision support technology.  As Senior Vice President at a higher education consulting firm, he consulted with such clients as Boston College, Harvard University, Bellarmine University, Hofstra University, Calvin College, Simmons College, and UCLA. The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges has adopted his refinements to traditional strategic planning as best practices for its 1,900 member organizations and 40,000 individual members. He also served as Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Strategic Planning at Wheelock College in Boston, now a part of Boston University, where he helped create an M.S. degree program in Organizational Leadership.

He attended The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration Executive Program at Dartmouth College and holds an M.S. in Science Communication from Boston University and a B.A. from Northeastern University. He has won national and international awards for his writing and has appeared on WBUR’s Morning Edition and WGBH’s Greater Boston discussing leadership, management, and governance.

He lives in Amherst NH where, as a selectman, he helped implement a municipal governance program that has served the town well for over a decade. He has also served on the Amherst Ways & Means, Amherst School Board Ways & Means, and Capital Improvements Planning Committees; the Amherst Planning Board; and the Superintendent of School’s planning committees.  

Mike Akillian, founder & director

Having spent over four decades serving academic institutions as an administrator, consultant and trustee, Pat Casey draws upon a wealth of experience in working with schools ranging from the preschool to the graduate levels. She is a skilled listener and observer who integrates quantitative and qualitative information to diagnose challenges and to identify solutions.

Pat’s developed her administrative knowledge and skills in leadership roles she held in the Admissions offices of Boston College (MA) and Santa Clara University (CA).  Managing staff, devising operational plans and marketing strategies, and meeting critical enrollment goals

carol ogilvie

were the building blocks of her professional life, enabling her to become a credible and respected consultant.

For over 20 years Pat helped to lead the efforts of Maguire Associates, an educational research and consulting firm.  She was the lead consultant on projects involving market research, enrollment assessments, and use of a strategic leveraging model for financial aid distribution.  Her clients included colleges and universities across the country as well as overseas. 

Pat also developed a strong portfolio of K-12 clients, some of which, through her guiding efforts, elected to fundamentally change their mission and markets; for instance, in some cases, single-gender schools became co-educational, in others, 9-12 institutions added middle school grades. These extensive capabilities has made Pat a valued trustee.  Her perspective and collaborative style have enhanced her trusteeships at multiple institutions, including Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, Boston College High School, and Saint Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton, MA, where she currently serves as Chair of the Board.    

Whether consulting with Teachers College at Columbia University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Southern New Hampshire University, Colby College, or Oak Meadow Montessori School, Pat sees the need for institutions to execute a vision, tell a story, develop disciplined operations, and meet important goals.  She helps schools frame the steps needed to accomplish all this.

Pat and her husband live in Newton, MA not far from her alma mater Boston College, where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees.