Outstanding Consultants Honored at 20th Annual Meeting this week

SAN DIEGO, CA — The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC), the leading global association of independent consulting professionals, today announced the winners of the Corrie Shanahan Memorial Award for Advancing Consulting. The awards were presented at the 20th annual meeting of the organization, held in San Diego this year with a virtual option to allow global participation. other solutions will be required. Four-day workweeks are more attractive, so that employees can achieve work-life balance. Leaders will have to step up to figure out how to position their companies for the future instead of dictating the past.”

The Consultant of the Year was awarded to Christian Milaster of Annapolis, Maryland. There are two recipients of this year’s award for Creativity & Innovation, Mark Cioni of New Hartford, NY and Heather Lenz of Cleveland, Ohio.

“Consultants continue to play a critical role in helping clients navigate the everchanging economic environment,” said Linda Popky, co-executive director of SAC. “We’re excited to be able to again honor the best-of-the-best with these awards.

“This year, in addition to honoring the outstanding consultant of the year, we are also recognizing two SAC members who each displayed outstanding creativity and innovation—both in their own practice, as well as in how they work with their clients,” she added.

About Christian Milaster

Christian Milaster is passionate about enabling the sustainable delivery of extraordinary care. He is driven to increase the personal satisfaction medical professionals by applying systems thinking principles and implementing systems solutions..

Rooted in German engineering and systems thinking, Christian and his team optimize care delivery by designing and implementing pragmatic improvement and optimization solutions, drawing from a wide range of disciplines, including agile, lean, Baldrige, design thinking, requirements engineering, servant project management, change management, and many more.

He is the founder and CEO of Ingenium Digital Health Advisors, a boutique consulting firm focused on accelerating the adoption of digital health innovation, and of Ingenium Healthcare Advisors, focused on guiding healthcare leaders to get the results they want. Ingenium Advisors now comprises a 16-person team and a consortium of over a dozen expert advisors.

Born, raised, and educated as an Engineer in Germany, Christian started his career at IBM Global Services in Germany before joining the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he worked in various roles for 12 years before launching Ingenium in 2012. His team is spread across seven countries as well as throughout the United States.

About Mark Cioni

Mark Cioni has consulted globally for over 35 years to a wide variety of clients in private industry and government. His deep expertise in domains, including information technology, cyber security, enterprise architecture & organizational change management, helps to maximize client value derived from decisions, operations & performance.

Mark has worked recently to improve the security, resiliency, and reliability of critical infrastructure and helped clients to exploit customer experience & improvement opportunities at the convergence of artificial intelligence, analytics & machine learning & enterprise automation.

About Heather Lenz

Heather Lenz is pioneering the field of social impact consulting with innovative, data-driven strategies that provide real-time insights about social change for clients. Her approach combines the fields of organizational development, design thinking, and data and evaluation with the field of social work. This has led to measurable reductions in some of the most pressing issues of our time, like structural racism, workplace psychological safety, and more—redefining the way organizations approach their missions and drive change for the betterment of people and communities.

With a vision to revolutionize the trillion-dollar social impact industry in the U.S., Heather emphasizes accountability and effectiveness by helping organizations build outcomes-oriented intelligence systems. She is at the forefront of integrating AI and open-source tools into consulting practices, working toward a future where technology seamlessly enhances the nonprofit and government consulting fields, ultimately creating a more impactful and dynamic approach to social change. Her firm, Sangfroid Strategy, has invented new ways to conduct market research on the nonprofit sector, spearheaded innovative solutions for the field of philanthropy to put the commitment to racial and gender equity into practice, and created organizational operating systems to improve the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.

The Advancing Consulting Awards

The awards are given to independent consultants who have done the most to advance the profession in the previous year. They’re named in memory of Corrie Shanahan, a SAC member who passed away in 2019. Corrie Shanahan was an expert in rapidly strengthening organizational performance, productivity, and corporate culture, and the author of Do it, Mean it, Be it: The Keys to Achieve Success, Happiness and Everything You Deserve at Work and in Life.

“We are excited to recognize consultants that symbolize the “best of the best” in the consulting profession,” said Lisa Anderson co-executive director of SAC. “Just as Corrie exemplified a zest for continuous improvement and achieving outstanding client outcomes, our nominees stood out above the crowd.

“This year’s pool of nominees again was highly qualified,” she added. “In a year of volatility and business change, we were pleased to see so many consultants innovate and thrive. We greatly appreciate the award committee, led by chair Vanessa Khan, for all their hard work to review submissions and evaluate applicants based on a set of pre-defined criteria.”

“Our commitment to create superb value for our clients is a core value for SAC’s consultants. In a world where technological advances, societal evolution, and political shifts result in uncertainty and rapid change, we cannot stand still—we must advance, we must evolve, we must innovate,” stated Christian Milaster.

“To be recognized this year by my peers for having contributed to the advancement of the consulting profession is a true honor—and equally a strong encouragement to continue to do so,” he added. “I’m grateful for the continuous inspiration and support by my fellow SAC members and past award winners that motivated me to reach new heights. I’m thankful for the volunteers who created and coordinated this recognition in honor of an outstanding consultant, Corrie, and I’m humbled by the testimonials of my clients and references that confirm my approach to consulting demonstrates my deep commitment to creating superb value for clients.”

Mark Cioni noted, “I’ve been able to engage more actively with SAC since 2019 and want to thank the entire membership for welcoming me into their community. I’m grateful to receive their guidance and for the opportunity to contribute. This journey was entirely unexpected and I’m humbled to know that the community recognizes my Creativity & Innovation.

“Although I never got to meet or know Corrie Shanahan, I am well aware of her legacy. I can only hope to face my own adversity with a fraction of the courage, tenacity, and joy that Corrie embodied and, if I do, I will count myself a success!” he added.

Heather Lenz adds, “Innovative thinking is at the cornerstone of reimagining the social impact sector. As consultants in this sector, we must help our clients leverage new technology and ways of thinking to transcend conventional boundaries. As a society, we have waited long enough for the ecosystem of organizations set up to improve the lives of people to work well.

“At this moment in time, we have the resources and the technology to transform our social services landscape into one that creates lasting, meaningful, and measurable impact on the lives they serve—and it is our duty to do just that,” she noted.

About SAC

The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) is the premier association for independent consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and provide significant consulting results among their clients. Founded by Million Dollar Consulting guru Alan Weiss in 2003, SAC offers a series of in-person and online programs to help consultants share best practices and learn from industry experts and thought leaders in the business world. SAC today has members in 14 countries around the world.