Systemic change is one of the most difficult things to achieve because it requires the cooperative will of vastly diverse people and institutions. When coalitions set out to achieve systemic change, they are often overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges set before them. At best, they become sidelined; at worst, the effort is abandoned altogether.
Noble Aim Consulting was born of a desire to help coalitions overcome wicked problems. After years of analyzing the essence of collaborative partnerships and the common issues they face, our founders developed a powerful methodology that helps coalitions push beyond obstacles, stay focused on the big picture, and produce the lasting change their communities so desperately seek.
Laura Bogardus, PhD, SHRM-SCP Co-President
Dr. Laura Bogardus is one of South Carolina’s most respected authorities on workplace and change management issues.
Originally from Michigan, Laura pursued her undergraduate degree at Miami University in Ohio. With diploma in hand, she ventured south in search of warm weather and work, which she found flying the friendly skies of Delta. As a flight attendant, Laura was able to quench her passion for world travel and feed her desire to bring out the best in herself and others. What she didn’t know then but would come to realize years later, the challenge of assisting hundreds of passengers at once taught her the fine art of sincere listening and effective decision making.
In time, it became apparent that Laura’s fascination for emotional cognizance merited deeper examination. She left the airline and established herself in the fields of career development, human resources, and workforce development, all roles that brought the myriad complexities of the human condition front and center. Her passion for finding solutions to seemingly impossible problems was born, leading her to pursue postgraduate studies in the field of human behavior and conflict management.
After graduation, she was hired as Project Director for Greenville Works, a collaboration of 12 economic development, education, and workforce development organizations. The experience did much toward refining her collaborative leadership skills, but she yearned to understand how to move beyond programmatic limitations and affect larger systems change. This eventually led to pursuing a Ph.D. in International Family and Community Studies from Clemson University.
At Clemson, her perspective on access to opportunity was influenced by her studies in universal human rights. As a doctoral candidate she was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Excellence in Engagement and Social Advocacy Graduate Student Award; the Kimbrough and Melton Parents Award; and the Graduate Student Award of Excellence.
As a social psychologist, Laura has dedicated her life’s work to finding ways to bridge communications gaps within communities. Her research interests focus primarily on reducing workplace disparities, and she is a firm believer in the Universal Design Principles of accessibility, flexibility, and tolerance for error with the ability to course correct.
As an advocate for workforce inclusion, Laura has significant expertise in fair hiring practices, Veteran’s employment, and disability inclusion. She is frequently invited to speak at industry conferences, lead workshops, and provide expert commentary and opinion to journalists.
A distinguished Marano Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Sector Skills Academy for Innovative Workforce Strategies, Laura is also a Certified Senior Human Resource Professional, a Prosci® Certified Change Management Practitioner, and is formally trained in the process of civil mediation.
Mike Teachey Co-President
Achieving the seemingly impossible is Mike Teachey’s life aim. Whether helping coalitions reach high hanging fruit or crossing the finish line of an Ironman, Mike knows that while the long road to success is different for every situation, approaching it with respect and abundant enthusiasm keeps even the most formidable goal well within reach.
Led by defining core values of fairness, equality and social justice, Mike has deftly woven a lifelong passion for ecology and outdoor adventure into his career. The results have made a lasting impact on communities across the United States, from conflict resolution programs in rural Montana, to improving graduation rates in Nashville, to helping establish camps for children with cancer and physical and intellectual disabilities.
Upon graduating from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Mike landed a dream job as an Outward Bound® instructor. Leading youth and adults on months-long wilderness trips became a de facto master class in communication, teamwork, consensus building, and pushing beyond one’s perceived limitations.
Armed with new knowledge and skill, Mike headed west for an opportunity to create an outdoor adventure education program in Missoula, Montana. It quickly became a popular team-building workshop for public and private organizations and in time evolved into a conflict resolution program for schools across the state, including those on Native American reservations.
Mike’s enthusiasm for team building and its effect on youth caught the attention of a national organization called Communities in Schools. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, they hired Mike to help communities across the country connect youth with the services and support they needed to stay in school and prepare for life.
As a young man in his 30’s and ready to start a family, Mike and his wife moved to his boyhood home of Greenville, SC. He was hired by the Greenville County Recreation District to establish and lead a new division focused on resource development, marketing, and community relations. During his 8-year tenure, Mike finessed a formidable partnership with a local hospital to not only raise $8 million for a new children’s camp to be shared by kids with intellectual disabilities and kids with cancer, but also become the single largest benefactor of a 20-mile paved walking, running, biking trail designed to get the community moving. Over a decade later, the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail is one of the country’s most successful rails-to-trails projects in the U.S. and continues to add miles and upgrades each year.
Mike’s game-changing work at Greenville Rec gained widespread notoriety and he soon found himself organizing a community-wide coalition to improve access to equitable opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Under Mike’s leadership, the Collaborative Action Network – better known as Greenville CAN – has become a national model for how community coalitions can achieve common goals for the benefit of all.
Perhaps his most courageous endeavor of all though is his current training as an improv artist, which Mike says requires the same skills of building community coalitions.