Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group

Choice Schools and Associates Case Study

Choice Schools and Associates is a charter school management company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With 14 charter schools and growing, the company works constantly to improve the support it provides. Its goal is to partner with school communities by equipping and empowering them to fulfill their unique missions.

Choice Schools and Associates is a charter school management company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With 14 charter schools and growing, the company works constantly to improve the support it provides. Its goal is to partner with school communities by equipping and empowering them to fulfill their unique missions.

We were driving fast somewhere, but we weren’t all headed to the same destination. Through our work with Lumen Impact Group, we were able to identify weaknesses in our organization as well as areas with great opportunity. We were able to take this insight and transform our approach to supporting schools. Now we talk about Choice Schools being in partnership with boards to be a firm, steady, consistent foundation for our leaders to count on so all other stakeholders have a smooth road.
Sarah Wildey, CEO, Choice Schools

Through Lumen Impact’s planning process, the Choice Schools team realized investing more in its organizational culture and leadership would better equip it to empower schools and create positive results for students. This belief led to an extended engagement.

Working with Lisa Diaz, Choice Schools better defined its organizational values and the expectations for how those would be lived out within the organization.

“We were working really hard, but without unity,” CEO Sarah Wildey said. “As our company grew, preserving the close family culture had become challenging. Through the culture work with Lumen Impact, we not only were able to better understand the state of our current culture, we were able to unite around values, behaviors, and expectations.”

Choice executives also participated in personalized leadership coaching with Lisa — support that continues today. Through highly tailored one-on-one coaching, Insignia challenges Choice’s leaders to explore their strengths and barriers to success.

With Lisa’s guidance, leaders dive deep into what motivates and demotivates them, the factors that influence their leadership style, and how they can leverage their mindset and approach to best support every member of their team, their coworkers, and their schools.

The initial planning process, culture, and leadership work with Lumen Impact Group put Choice Schools on a defined strategic path with a clear vision for moving forward.

“Lisa helped us grow personally and professionally. With her guidance and coaching, we became stronger leaders with the mindful influence, approach, and tools to do great things for schools and students,” Wildey said.

“Our work with Lumen Impact gave us a sense of relief,” she said. “We know where we’re going and how to get there. It also gave us great clarity on how to make decisions. I can’t imagine not having gone through this process with Lumen Impact Group.”


"Lisa did a fantastic job with our entire strategic planning team. Her process was beyond organized. As a new administrator, I was able to lean on Lisa for her expertise and knowledge of strategic planning. She did everything from meeting organization and to facilitating subgroups, focus groups and staff culture surveys. Her work with the school board and administrative team was respectful, while also filled with appropriate advice and constructive feedback. I could not imagine going through this process without Lisa. She will continue to be a trusted resource for years to come."
Jamie DeWitt
School Leader, NexTech High School
"Lumen Impact Group has been critical in supporting Bluum’s efforts in Idaho to manage our $17.1 million federal Charter School Program grant. As one of the country’s first non-profit organizations to receive federal CSP funding, the stakes for our work are very high, and our efforts to help open, expand and replicate public charter schools face scrutiny. I sleep better knowing Lumen Impact Group has worked closely with us to build our processes, procedures and playbook for managing the responsibility of directing and overseeing a significant federal grant. I highly recommend them to others. They are true pros."
Terry Ryan
CEO, Bluum
"As a family-owned and operated company, we needed to preserve our culture and define our mission, vision and values better as we grew. Lumen Impact Group helped capture a variety of diverse perspectives and hopes for the future in a way that connected everyone involved. Lumen Impact Group helped us create a clear strategic focus and for our future stabilized our culture. Lisa also coached our leadership team in supporting implementation."
Mark Smith
President, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln
"Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact provided invaluable support to Colorado Charter Facility Solutions during our start-up phase. I was the new non-profit organization’s executive director (and only employee at the time), and Lisa knew answers to questions that I did not even know to ask. She made sure the board of directors was set up correctly and that the organizational documents were in place. Lisa helped me establish the organization’s goals and ways to track progress. Lisa is organized, patient and kind, and worked quickly, thoroughly and collaboratively. She is a good listener and even acted as an executive coach/therapist at times. When necessary, Lisa can be direct, yet she is always focused on the goals of the organization and its success. I highly recommend Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact Group. "
Jane Ellis
Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions
"I have worked with Lumen Impact Group at both the individual and organizational level. As a coach, Lisa has a natural ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and to ask questions that help her clients translate insight into action. Each team member who has worked with Lisa in a coaching capacity has demonstrated visible growth that has positively impacted individual and team performance. As an organization, we are trying to be purposeful about the culture we are creating, as a means of best fulfilling our mission. Lumen Impact Group has been a tremendous thought partner along the way and has facilitated critical steps in a collaborative yet efficient and fun way. Our team was in awe at how much we accomplished collectively in a short period of time. We are moving toward our ideal culture much more quickly than I thought possible, and I have no doubt it is because of Lumen Impact Group’s guidance. "
Kasey Miller
Chief of Staff, National Association of Charter School Authorizers