Consulting on Collaboration

Building relationships is vital to making change. At HQ, this means building relationships with members, with young people in the community, with our supporters and neighbors, and with local businesses doing good work to make an impact. We take building relationships very seriously and trust that this focus creates opportunities for unique partnership. 

A local business that has made a huge impact at HQ is The Vantage Group, Inc. Darrell Crawford, the Managing Partner at Vantage, was first introduced to HQ through his work with current board president, Carl Erikson. Carl had been utilizing Darrell’s services as a professional coach for some time, and the two bonded over their passion for helping young people. Darrell spent many years mentoring young people at the Kent Career Technical Center. After being introduced to HQ, Darrell was inspired by the work and mission.  He was determined to find a space to provide support. 

Darrell is a talented professional coach and leadership consultant. Vantage is a business that works with some of the biggest names in West Michigan and beyond, providing consultation, coaching, and training to help executives and leaders navigate challenging situations, develop their skills, and increase their capacity. 

A component of the work Vantage does in the community is called the 100 Lives Project. This project aims to provide free training and coaching to nonprofits and community organizations that are working to create meaningful social impact. Through the 100 lives project, Vantage is working to create a robust pool of future leaders that have the skills to address the needs of our communities. 

It was through the lens of the 100 Lives Project that Darrell found his perfect fit. Darrell offered his Executive Coaching services to Shandra, HQ’s Co-founder and Executive Director, at no charge. This was a game changer for HQ and Shandra happily accepted! 

Shandra and Darrell spent a year working together, building capacity and helping navigate crucial decisions. Through their time working together, Shandra and Darrell built a professional relationship centered around growth for Shandra and the best possible outcomes for the youth HQ works with. Shandra’s work with Darrell touched upon HQ from policy development, to staff hiring and more.  Services like professional coaching can be difficult for a small nonprofit to come by, but the effect of this support is almost impossible to quantify.

This vibrant impact has had ripple effects. Through his work with HQ, Darrel was connected with Missy Jackson, HQ board treasurer. Darrell was inspired by Missy’s passion and insight. Through connecting over the course of a few months, Darrell recognized something bright in Missy, and asked her to consider joining Vantage Group alongside him. Missy accepted and over the next few months she and Darrell worked to transition Missy into her current role as a Managing Partner of the business. HQ was so excited to see this relationship bloom and to be a part of opening doors to growth for our board and further opportunities for collaboration.

When asked what this type of collaboration means to him, Darrell said, “It boils down to understanding the organization on a deeper level and discovering where I can plug in to help them reach their goals.” Darrell certainly has found his perfect place to plug in at HQ, and we are so grateful for everything he has done to move the organization forward! 

Learn more about The Vantage Group, Inc. at