Graphic with the title "Becoming a co-op member: perspective from a new IG co-op member." There are colored dots around the edge of the graphic
May 30, 2024 - 12:05pm

Alice Markey headshotI became a worker-owner of The Improve Group Cooperative in April. Although I had to wait until I had been at IG for 6 months before I was eligible to join the co-op, my journey to becoming a member started right when I joined The Improve Group (IG).

Graphic with the words "IG-ology" in front of a blue background. There are symbols overlaid on top of the text. colorful symbols over the  Beneath the title, there is white text that reads "writing a super-short survey"
April 10, 2024 - 1:18pm

Trinity Alexander headshotHi! I’m Trinity Alexander, an associate consultant at IG. One way I support projects is through providing survey expertise. We design surveys for many projects; winnowing down the length of a survey is always a goal.

Graphic with the words "Dispatch from the first IG Co-op general assembly: perspective from a team member considering worker-ownership" in front of a blue background. Beneath the title, there is a yellow circle on the right and a graphic of three people talking at a table.
April 10, 2024 - 10:48am

In mid-March, I logged into a virtual meeting on a Monday afternoon. In some ways, this meeting felt like an ordinary all-staff meeting—a well-planned agenda, breakout room activities, a brief visit from a colleague’s adorable baby, and the thoughtful discussion I’ve come to expect from my team at IG. This was not an ordinary staff meeting, however. This was the first general assembly of The Improve Group worker-owned cooperative.

Graphic with the words "IG co-op corner" on a teal background. there are icons overlaid on top of the text.
April 10, 2024 - 10:34am

As of April, The Improve Group has officially been a co-op for 8 months! Over this time, our team has been adapting and learning as many of us transition to our new roles as worker-owners. Lots of exciting things have been happening over the past few months:

Graphic with the title "our work with the child care field." below the heading there is an image with five children smiling. There is a purple background.
February 22, 2024 - 1:45pm

We all know families with young children. In addition to all the joys of raising a child, families are facing more and more difficulties finding accessible, affordable, and high-quality child care—an issue many Improve Group clients have been working to address. We pair our growing knowledge of this topic with the creative, tailored approach we take in every project to support clients working to improve the quality and accessibility of child care across Minnesota. Here are a few lessons we have learned from our work reaching and engaging with various stakeholders.

Graphic with the words "Thank you for a great 2023!" in front of a blue background. Beneath the title, there is a yellow circle on the right, with the words "See you in 2024, refreshed and recharged for the new year!" On the left, a circular image of Improve Group owners. from left to right, Maria Moeller, Katherine Lymn, Sara McGarraugh, Becky Stewart, and Kia Her. Sara is signing a paper and all are smiling and laughing.
December 20, 2023 - 10:36am

2023 was one for the books at The Improve Group. As we reflected on the year in a recent staff meeting, we shared both concrete accomplishments as well as areas we made progress and continue to pay attention to. As an evaluation firm, always working to get better feels just about right.

Through all the changes, we had the support and well wishes of our awesome network of hard-working clients, dedicated partners, and loving family and friends. Thank you!

In case you missed it, here are some highlights from our year:

December 1, 2023 - 3:21pm

St. Paul – The Improve Group, a St. Paul-based evaluation firm, became a worker-owned cooperative over the summer, worker-owners announced today.

The Improve Group is an evaluation, research, and strategic planning consulting firm based in St. Paul. As a co-op, the organization’s 21 employees have the opportunity to own the company. Becoming a co-op continues The Improve Group’s work toward its long-time vision that mission-driven organizations will effectively develop more resilient, equitable, and thriving communities.

Images of Anne Flueckiger traveling in the wild and a headline that says "partner spotlight: Anne Flueckiger, Olmstead Quality of Life Survey Interviewer"
December 1, 2023 - 2:47pm

Anne Flueckiger is a longtime partner of The Improve Group who supports various projects with a focus on community engagement. Anne first partnered with us as an interviewer on the baseline Olmstead Quality of Life Survey and has worked with us on the subsequent follow-up surveys.

August 11, 2023 - 1:59pm

For more than two decades, The Improve Group has evolved to meet the needs of staff, our clients, and the communities that serve to benefit from evaluation. Today, we’re excited to announce we have become a worker-owned co-operative.

An image quote that says: "During the 20th century, we lost a lot of language and traditions. Youth were forced to attend boarding schools where Dakota language was forbidden. Children grew up fearing to speak their language, practice their traditions, and did not want to pass these things on to their kids. In the last 10-20 years, we have seen a revival of language and traditions. Language is the heartbeat of our tribe, and it could be our answer for getting back a lot of our old traditions."
May 5, 2023 - 4:02pm

The Santee Sioux Nation is the current home to many descendants of the Wahpekute Band of the Dakota Nation, on whose land our office is located. Kameron Runnels, Vice Chairman of the Santee Sioux Nation Tribal Council, kindly gave his time to answer questions in an interview with Improve Group Chief Practice Officer Becky Stewart. Check out Part II below.