Mary Lou Michael

Mary Lou Michael began her professional career in public education, working as teacher, administrator and subsequently as a project director for a model program she created. Michael Sales was a consultant to this project in the late 1970s. To broaden her experience in organizations, Mary Lou went to work for UnumProvident Corporation, a disability insurance company headquartered in Portland, Maine. There she held positions as Human Resource Representative and Division Director. In 1986, she founded her own organizational consulting firm, Mary Lou Michael and Associates, Inc.

Over the past 16 years, Mary Lou has worked with a broad range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, from schools and universities to government and non-profit agencies. In addition to her own clients, she is a professional member of NTL Institute and a senior consultant to Power & Systems, Inc. and she has regularly staffed their residential leadership programs since 1990.

The focus of Mary Lou's consulting and training practice is on learning, and a distinctive aspect of her work in recent years is to help clients when they are in a place of opposition with others, especially on issues involving fundamental values. She is skilled in creating environments that are safe for self-disclosure and risk-taking. As a result, clients have learned how to express deep differences without severing relationships, "how to build bridges when before I built walls."

Mary Lou holds a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College (1968), an Ed.M. in Organization Behavior from Harvard University (1980), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Human and Organization Development from The Fielding Institute (1994, 1996). She is an assistant professor at Lewiston-Auburn College, University of Southern Maine, teaching a course she created called "Consulting in Organizations."