The Resource leverages your efforts
to improve
civil justice, health care,
the environment...

Our clients have included national and state networks of community-based organizations including the federal Legal Services Corporation, the American Bar Association, the National Association of IOLTA Programs, the New York Community Trust, the Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Connecticut, the Project for the Future of Equal Justice, and funding and grantmaking organizations in many states including New York, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas, Arizona and Massachusetts.


  • Analysis of the key economic benefits of legal aid programs to states and local communities and application of the findings to create powerful strategies for outreach and resource development.
  • Design and implementation of IOLTA revenue enchancement programs that since 2005 have increased annual IOLTA (interest on lawyers trust account) program revenues by 100 to 600 percent in every state where we have provided technical assistance.
  • Design and application of quick-feedback evaluation methods that support organizational learning and program improvement in networks of community-based organizations;
  • Training and coaching of self-directed teams seeking extraordinary results through strategic planning and leadership campaigns.
  • Implementation of practical, real-time outcome measures for capturing results of campaigns, program innovations and demonstrations and assessing the extent to which they are successful in achieving their goals;
  • Technical and logistical support of strategic marketing efforts of community-based organizations including team facilitation, message and materials development, analysis, writing and graphics production;
  • Out-sourced support services that complement and leverage our clients' core competencies. We set up and run program assessment systems, web sites, intranets, publications and grants programs for clients wishing to have the flexibility of purchasing our highly specialized expertise and services as an alternative to recruiting, training, equipping and supervising in-house staff for functions that may be short term or require skills that are hard to find at affordable cost.

Core Staff and Consultant Teams

We assemble project teams from a network of seasoned professional consultants. We have a core staff of people who provide management and logistical support to our project teams and, where appropriate, contribute staff to the teams.

Our core staff has collectively more than 50 years' experience in management consulting, training, evaluation research and project administration. Its members currently include:

Ken Smith, President

Ken Smith, founder of The Resource, is a national leader in the design of practical, cost-effective program assessment, outcomes measurement, and revenue enhancement systems for multi-level networks of community based organizations.

From 1977 to 1983 he managed the evaluation component of a national demonstration program that linked Congress, the federal Legal Services Corporation, the American Bar Association and 300 local legal service provider agencies into a learning network that subsequently improved legal services delivery throughout the United States.

He since has designed and implemented state-based grant evaluation systems in over a dozen states including Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan and Arizona.

Since 1992, Ken has pioneered the development of strategic methods and tools for implementing “IOLTA Revenue Enhancement” initiatives across the country. These have increased IOLTA revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars annually by requiring banks to pay interest rates on IOLTA accounts comparable to what they pay their non-IOLTA customers. These have been keys to successful “IOLTA Rate Comparability” campaigns in Florida, Michigan, Connecticut and most recently, Texas, where 100 percent bank compliance was achieved within four months, quadrupling IOLTA revenue.

Ken has also been active as a volunteer coalition builder and leader in his community, serving as volunteer executive director of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council since 1986, dedicated to “Protecting the natural environment of Northern Michigan." In 1996 he co-founded the Coalition for Sensible Growth, which mobilized more than 600 businesses, town planners, local officials, community groups and grassroots environmental activists to combat urban sprawl and build stronger communities. In 2004 the Coalition and its partners persuaded local officials to drop plans for a $300 million highway bypass proposed by the state highway department and instead launch a $1.3 million, citizen-led community visioning and planning initiative which is currently underway.

In addition to his work in the non-profit sector, Ken has served a wide variety of clients in the for-profit and government sectors including Citibank, the Law School Admissions Council, the National Park Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the UAW Legal Services Plan, the American Association of Retired Persons and the University of Connecticut School of Business Administration.

A former senior engineer for General Motors, he holds bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering and a Ph.D. in Urban, Technological and Environmental Planning from the University of Michigan. Currently he is a member of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

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Kathy Garwold, Manager, Data and Information Systems

Kathy Garwold joined The Resource in 1997 and provides strategic analytical and information support to civil legal aid providers, IOLTA programs, and other statewide funding organizations in furtherance of their missions.

She plays a vital role in project planning and management, analyzing data and benchmarking, developing data collection tools and templates to facilitate desk reviews, and overseeing the processing of programs' annual reports and their translation into concise, organizational summaries and statewide overview reports. Kathy also provides technical support in a variety of other areas to the clientele of The Resource and its staff and affiliates.

Prior to joining The Resource, Kathy worked as a Child Care Director for the YMCA in Grand Rapids, Michigan, helping open a new center and overseeing policy development, enrollment, budgeting, and community relations. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Central Michigan University in 1992. In 2010 she earned an MBA from Lawrence Technological University. Kathy lives in Traverse City, Michigan.

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Kelly Thayer, Manager, IOLTA Revenue Enhancement & Legal Needs Assessments

Kelly Thayer joined The Resource in 2005. He manages The Resource’s strategic assistance to Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) programs. He helps IOLTA programs develop interest-rate comparability rules and design and implement mandatory and voluntary campaigns to spur significantly higher interest rates on IOLTA accounts. His efforts to date have helped increase legal aid funding by more than $100 million annually across several states.

Kelly also manages The Resource’s research and analysis of unmet civil legal needs. He trains legal aid programs in conducting focus groups, administering surveys (by mail, telephone, or website), and holding interviews in order to gauge unaddressed legal needs in program service areas. He also performs desk reviews using legal aid program-provided content and The Resource’s state and national benchmark data. He is an experienced researcher, writer, and community organizer with extraordinary analytical and organizational skills.

Prior to working with The Resource, Kelly was a writer and community organizer with the Michigan Land Use Institute, one of the nation’s leading state-based, nonprofit Smart Growth advocacy organizations. He has earned several regional awards for his public service and in 2006 acted as volunteer co-chair of a successful public-private effort to launch a public bus system in rural northwest Michigan.

He and his wife Carolyn served as village-based volunteers for two years in the United States Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa. He earned a Master of Arts in journalism in 1992 and a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English literature in 1991, both from the University of Michigan. He lives with his wife and two young sons in Frankfort, Michigan.

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Support and Contract Staff

Wayne Madison, Web Guru

Wayne Madison maintains The Resource’s website under contract. He is president of Madison Consulting Services, in Traverse City, Michigan. Madison Consulting Services works for diverse industry clients to solve technology-related problems. Wayne works closely with senior executives, managers, union representatives, employees, clients, and other system stakeholders. He applies technology to improve the accuracy and speed of mission-critical data that is used as a basis for key decisions.

Wayne is proficient in multiple web and computer programming languages, databases, operating systems, networks, word processors, spreadsheets, & other software applications.

Wayne earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1974 and a Masters of Business Administration in 1986, both from Western Michigan University.

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Independent Consultants.

Our network includes individuals with professional experience in health services delivery, legal services for the poor, education and environmental protection. The range of skills we offer include executive coaching, strategic planning, marketing and resource development, program management, team facilitation and teambuilding, training and leadership development.

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