As public sector consultants, The Participation Company LLC (TPC) helps government agencies manage public issues to accomplish agency objectives. Our private sector business clients are able to maintain or improve their relationships with the public and gain support for their projects.

Our cumulative experience includes 130 years designing and conducting stakeholder participation programs for an array of public agencies and private companies, in connection with well over 1,500 projects. We’ve translated this experience into progressive training courses and a wide range of custom consulting engagements.

We can plan and manage your public communication project from start to finish as public sector consultants. We’ll provide strategic advice and management of your public involvement challenges. We can train, coach, and mentor your staff and managers. Ultimately, we’ll help you build agreements and craft durable and defensible decisions so that you can move forward with confidence.

The Partners

We’re all business and public sector consultants who have spent our careers working as open-process advocates between stakeholders and decision-makers and who are at the heart of the effective public involvement movement worldwide.

We’re founders and long-time leaders of the globally-respected International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). In fact, as public sector consultants, we are:

  • An IAP2 former Executive Director (Doug Sarno)
  • A former International Training Director (Wendy Green Lowe)
  • A former International Vice President (John Godec)
  • Current and past IAP2 USA Board Directors (Lowe, and Godec)
  • Former International Board Directors (Lowe and Godec)
  • Principal developers of the IAP2 Spectrum (Sarno)
  • Principal authors and original master trainers for IAP2’s 40-hour Certificate in Public Participation course (Godec, Lowe, and Sarno)
  • A developer (with Dr. Peter Sandman) of IAP2’s course, Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation (Godec)
  • Developers of IAP2’s new Professional Certification Program (Lowe)

Our public involvement and wide-ranging experience is in the training and practice of:

  • Strategic and environmental planning
  • Stakeholder issue research and needs assessment
  • Program development and design
  • Effective public information
  • Public and media relations
  • Risk communication
  • Multi-stakeholder meeting and dialogue facilitation
  • Formation and management of citizen advisory groups and task forces
  • Employee focus groups, advisory boards, and participation programs
  • Interagency consultation
  • Collaborative planning
  • Consensus building
  • Decision support

TPC’s History as Public Sector Consultants

Five long-time public participation colleagues — each with our individual thriving practices and areas of expertise — combined our time and talent when we realized that we could be even better together. Our combined proficiencies give us the ability and capacity to serve the largest clients and the biggest projects, plus manage issues that we simply couldn’t do as effectively independently. As sole practitioners of our own successful companies, we formed TPC to take advantage of our collective synergy, strengths, and geographic locations.

The Participation Company LLC was established in 2010 as a woman-owned company with offices in Arizona, Colorado, and Washington, DC, and is now led by five of the most experienced and successful public involvement professionals and trainers in practice today.

Our skills as public sector consultants have been applied to urban and regional planning processes, natural resource management programs, infrastructure projects, Superfund sites, public policy development, National Environmental Policy Act studies, and organizational change endeavors. Most of our work involves highly-charged, controversial, and complex community concerns about proposals that affect people’s lives, make major social and infrastructure changes, and determine the long-term future of communities and organizations. For examples of our work, visit the Case Studies page.

If you have questions about our field, we invite you start the conversation.