Connect the Grey's multi-disciplinary team is rooted by our connections to rural communities, farming and agriculture, urban areas, community organizations, nonprofits, education, and government systems. We have the experience to work with complex institutions that cross the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Our core team

Janie Hanson
Founder & CEO

Janie Hanson is both an analytical and innovative thinker, with skills and passions that span art, science, and business. Her experience includes time working for John Deere in renewable energy development, and at GE in energy finance and enterprise risk management. She maintains a studio art practice in sculpture and photography, and previously co-owned the gallery Lu Magnus in New York, where she helped curate shows and manage artist relationships. Janie is the founder and CEO of Connect the Grey, which uses creative problem-solving and constructive dialogue to help businesses and organizations create impact. 

Janie's superpowers: Financing projects, finding patterns and connecting the dots among complex information


Katie Boone
Learning & Innovation Lead

Katie Boone is a community builder and facilitator whose work includes economic and small business development, convening community stakeholders, and leading groups through creative and strategic processes. She is professionally trained in collaborative facilitation methods including The Art of Hosting, and helped 20 small businesses launch while leading the collaborative Envision Lab in Mankato. Katie combines an entrepreneurial mindset with a complex awareness of impact, giving her the ability to develop innovative programs for positive and lasting change. 

Katie's superpowers: Helping teams through tough conversations, big-picture thinking about complex systems 


Pam Coughlan
Business Development Manager

Pam Coughlan assists people and businesses in making positive changes in their work and lives. She brings 30 years' experience in corporate and community fitness and 25 years as a lecturer and classroom instructor to Connect the Grey, where she builds and nurtures relationships and coordinates corporate communications. She has provided occupational health training and resources for companies in healthcare, manufacturing, ethanol plants, construction, and education systems. 

Pam's superpowers: Building relationships with genuine care, preventative health knowledge and coaching 


Colleen Powers
Storytelling Lead

Colleen Powers is a writer and editor with experience in copywriting, journalism, and strategic content planning. She uses her communications skills to celebrate artists, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and innovative projects and organizations, and to support collaboration across sectors and industries. Colleen leads Connect the Grey's storytelling efforts to clarify complex issues and ideas, highlight our collaborators, and share examples of successfully navigating the grey areas of work and life. 

Colleen's superpowers: Clear and concise writing, harvesting key information from content and conversations

See our team's latest news & ideas: