Project Summaries

Sustainability Consulting for Family Organizations

On behalf of the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, Mr. Ferrone provides strategic planning and technical assistance to the NE Federation of Families and its affiliate organizations to assist them to achieve sustainability. The NE Federation of Families is a network of family-centered organizations that provide advocacy services for families with children who have mental health issues in Nebraska. Mr. Ferrone’s primary goals are to assist each organization to define a vision of its next level and to create a strategic plan to achieve it, as well as to assist the Federation to clarify and perform in a role that represents all of the affiliate organizations at the policy level.

Working with Leaders to Champion the Family Voice

Generally speaking, Mr. Ferrone brings a unique perspective to technical assistance and consulting for family organizations in the mental health and behavioral health fields. He has worked with family organization leaders and state leaders equally well, helping them to collaborate and to focus on the key issues that impact how well the family voice is included at all levels within a system of care: 1) The relationship between outcomes and sustainability; 2) The philosophy of collaborative advocacy which Mr. Ferrone coined while working with Nebraska organizations; 3) Fostering consensus among stakeholders as it relates to inclusion of family voice; 4) Clarification of roles, boundaries, and expectations towards the goal of attaining mutual respect among stakeholders.

Technical Assistance for the Family Involvement Center

With opportunities to grow and foster a more pervasive family member voice within the Arizona System of Care, the Family Involvement Center (FIC) was interested in receiving technical assistance from a consultant who blended business basics with an understanding of and appreciation for the family-driven voice in children’s behavioral health. Mr. Ferrone has consulted both the Board and the Staff of FIC to create a strategic plan and to enhance operational processes, respectively, with the goal of positioning FIC to fulfill its role of providing strong leadership as the System of Care evolves.

Orchestration of the Community Methamphetamine Coalition

Mr. Ferrone facilitated the creation of a Hastings Methamphetamine Coalition designed to leverage information about Meth and to position the community to identify and execute action items to fight Meth. More than 400 individuals have participated in the Coalition at some capacity. More than 30 action items have been identified and are currently being executed within the community’s Vertical Domains of expertise, a unique model conceived by Mr. Ferrone in the Fall of 2005 to create a leadership infrastructure to empower individuals to fight Meth from within their own sphere of comfort and expertise. The overall result is a holistic community approach to addressing Meth. Because of the model and approach, Hastings was acknowledged in 2007 as a National Showcase City Award Winner, given by the National League of Cities. Mr. Ferrone was selected to be the organization's first Board President.

Grant Writing for the NE Federation of Families

Mr. Ferrone wrote the response to an RFP issued by SAMHSA for statewide family services. The grant submission won, and the Nebraska Federation of Families was awarded a three year grant in the amount of $70,000 per year.

Family Drug Court Strategic Planning

Central Nebraska has a successful Adult Drug Court, and it is seeking to implement a Family Drug Court. Within the Family Drug Court model, however, the family-centered wraparound philosophy is a critical component for success. Mr. Ferrone has volunteered his time to facilitate the strategic planning meetings for Family Drug Court, helping the Adult Drug Court and Human Service professionals to see beyond their differences and collaborate. The group has recently been awarded a planning grant from the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice.

Seamless Human Services (South Central Partnership)

In 2003, the missions and objectives of various human service organizations were disparate and fragmented. Mr. Ferrone developed rapport with organizational leaders and facilitated a new vision for Seamless Human Services, founded upon a common definition of community need, and the principle that collaboration is the key to success. More than 85 organizations participate in the new model, and call themselves the South Central Partnership.

Community Grant Writing Program

On behalf of the Hastings Community Foundation, Mr. Ferrone designed and launched a Community Grant Writing Program (CGWP) to provide strategic consulting and organizational capacity-building, grant planning, and grant writing services to all grant-eligible organizations in the community. The goal is to have one Program Office that interfaces with organizations to identify community needs, foster collaborations to address these needs, plan solutions, identify funding sources, write grant applications, and assist with implementation and measurement when grant funding is received.

Library, Information Literacy and Entrepreneurialism

Over the course of 10 months, Mr. Ferrone led an effort to transform the local library into a more proactive change agent in the community. Mr. Ferrone challenged the library entities to reinvent its role in the community, develop a vision, and pursue it. In facilitating the development of this vision, he assisted the library to recognize that it should be a more prominent player in the realm of economic health, vitality, and development, and that the niche that the library should fill is to elevate the community’s information literacy skill set and entrepreneurial culture.

School District Vision

Mr. Ferrone consulted a large Indianapolis school district as it attempted to reinvent itself. Although the school leadership was strong, stakeholders within the district were fragmented, and the community was not on board with respect to the vision of transforming the district’s educational process into a more personalized approach to learning. Mr. Ferrone was able to listen to the various perspectives of key stakeholders and fashion a vision and approach that fostered consensus. He then used this information to write a grant application on behalf of the district that won $5.6 Million to underwrite the transformation.

Successful Census Challenge

Hastings is a rural town with a 2000 population of 24,064, and a regional population of 55,000. The July 2004 estimated census showed a decrease in population. Mr. Ferrone obtained a Census Challenge application, gathered the required data, packaged the information with supporting rationale, and submitted the application to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The official result was not only a reversal of the estimated decline, but an additional increase to an estimated 25,107 people, a significant milestone for the community. The total difference between the original estimate and the new estimate was more than 1700 people.

Nurse Home Visitation Mental Health Strategic Planning

Mr. Ferrone led a strategic planning effort to design a nurse home visitation program enhancement that would train home visitation nurses with a new mental health early intervention skill set. The planning process was part of a juvenile justice grant application, and it required the orchestration of multiple resources. Mr. Ferrone also wrote the grant.

Methodology Development

As a creative thinker and leader, Mr. Ferrone was chosen by Deloitte Consulting to represent one of 14 global regions to spend 6 months on a team to develop a methodology for the firm’s Change Leadership Practice, which focuses on assisting people to make effective transitions when faced with change. He completed this role and assisted with the firm’s rollout of the methodology.

Large Scale Systems Integration

As a Senior Consultant with Deloitte Consulting, Mr. Ferrone led a team of multi-agency state users to design a quality assurance subsystem for the state’s human services eligibility and management system. Mr. Ferrone then managed a team of technology professionals to implement the design. The result of this $1.2 Million enhancement was both the prevention of a $52 Million Federal fine to the State of Indiana, but the creation of a proactive system capable of enhancing the state’s accurate delivery of the Food Stamp program. Indiana subsequently begin competing for Federal incentives rather than racking up fines.

Business Improvement District Strategic Planning

Local leaders invited Mr. Ferrone to facilitate a community outreach initiative to gather input as to the future of the downtown center, and then to synthesizes the information and lead a strategic planning effort to identify goals and objectives to enhance the downtown center. At the project's completion, several key focus points had been identified and discussed, resulting in a grouping of actionable initiatives that leaders have been able to manage to completion.

Venture Forum Program and Community Entrepreneurial Support

With Mr. Ferrone’s project leadership, community leaders launched a Venture Forum Program designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurial ventures and angel investors. He also pursued and won a grant that provides for technical consulting services to micro-enterprises in the community, with the hope of building more businesses that will offer higher paying jobs. Also within the realm of new business development, Mr. Ferrone authored a white paper regarding the need for and corresponding strategic approach to launching a business incubator program.

Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)

The CVB was frustrated with its own lack of vision and sense of purpose. Mr. Ferrone assisted the Board and Directors to examine its current role and to redefine what impact the CVB should have in the community. The result was the creation of a vision and the establishment of milestones and accountabilities for both the Board and the Director.

"The essence of John’s approach to facilitating self-awareness and change within organizations encompasses both creative persistence and patience.  He unified our leadership to craft an integrated road map that genuinely reflected the goals and mission of our organization in a motivating and meaningful way."

Laurie Ellington, Clinical Consultant 

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Grant Writing for the NE Federation of Families

Mr. Ferrone wrote the response to an RFP issued by SAMHSA for statewide family services. The grant submission won, and the Nebraska Federation of Families was awarded a three year grant in the amount of $70,000 per year.

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