Vern is an accomplished facilitator, consultant and project manager with a 30-year history of success with public and private organizations. His energy and positivity have helped transform organizations, establish new governance structures, address wickedly complex challenges and strengthen nationwide conservation, construction and transportation partnerships. He has been a partner since 1994.

In addition to his work at Group Solutions, Vern is a founder of FORO, a technology partnership that leverages the strengths of group process, machine learning and expert review to reveal new insight from unstructured information that lead to breakthrough time and cost saving results.

Federal Government Experience

  • Provided design and facilitation for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) mega-project partnering workshops for client, contractor and construction teams for relocation of a $1.75 billion Defense Mapping Agency. (2016-2023)
  • Planned and delivered USACE partnering workshops that have delivered a decision making matrix and conflict resolution process for clients, contractors and construction teams for construction of a $100 million replacement hospital at Fort Leornard Wood MO. (2020-2023)
  • Designed and delivered a national outreach process that included over 700 U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS) staff and stakeholders for updating the Migratory Bird 10-yearStrategic Plan. (2018-19)
  • Planned and facilitated USFWS species workshops and forums for red wolf, gopher tortoise and manatee management teams that provided opportunities for stakeholder input, improved population modeling and management decisions. (2002-2019)
  • Inter-agency governance creation for South Atlantic, Gulf Coast & Ozark, Appalachian, Peninsular Florida & Caribbean LCCs. (2011 to 2018)

IT & Machine Learning Experience

  • INDOT: Facilitated creation of a machine learning algorithm for highway construction project bundling that identified a projected 4-year savings of over $100 million. (2020-2023)
  • Delivered a local project bundling study for the Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization (2021)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology IT: Facilitated development of integrated governance and operations models for technology and data across student, faculty and leadership groups. The process produced recommendations for a first-ever shared investment approach across the Institute. (2020)
  • Facilitated USFWS Data Management Conference (2016)

National and Global Project Experience

  • Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management organizational assessment (2021).
  • Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies: Facilitated an international review and multiple revisions of AFWA’s strategic plan that included state and provincial input. Due to COVID requirements, all member meetings were conducted via Zoom. The final plan was unanimously accepted by all members at the annual meeting in September. (2020)
  • North Carolina Department of Wildlife Resources: Designed and delivered a highly interactive scoping process that included a survey of more than 30,000 State Game Land users, regional listening sessions and three regional focus groups. Hunters and non-hunters worked together to deliver a set of compromise recommendations to WRC for Sunday Hunting on State Game Lands. (2020)
  • The Carter Center Board of Trustees: Facilitated an international review of staff issues and strategic direction for a $1 billion philanthropic organization. The review included interviews with global visionaries to spot long-term threats and opportunities. A formal briefing was presented to the Board of Trustees. (2019)
  • Facilitated a stakeholder-based process for structured decision-making and adaptive management for managing river flows on the Tallapoosa River that included local property owners, river users, Auburn University and Alabama Power. (2000-2015)
  • USACE Mississippi Coastal Improvements Process. Facilitated a stakeholderbased process that resulted in Congressional funding for 15 of 15 proposed coastal restoration projects after Hurricane Katrina. (2012)

Additional Highlights

  • USACE Kansas City Levees
  • John Cochran VA Hospital Partnering
  • Ft. Riley DPW/USACE Partnering
  • Tennessee Valley Association
  • CDC Consultancy Forums
  • Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles