With an eye toward strengthening the alliance that forms the organization’s foundation, Northstar is working to engage in a new strategic planning process that will be underway later this fall. “I think this is a good time to revisit what we’re all about and to create focused goals that we can all agree on as we move forward,” says Susan Sheridan Tucker, who became Northstar’s new executive director in August.

An integral part of the process will be to understand the interests of Northstar stakeholders and members of the alliance. “Each person or organization connected to Northstar has a reason for being involved,” says Susan. “Understanding and listening to the varied voices of the alliance will help us to develop a cohesive plan that best supports and meets Northstar’s mission, and strengthens our position as a preeminent resource for the problem gambling community in Minnesota.”

Input will be sought from as many stakeholders as possible. This includes treatment providers, therapists, researchers, state legislators, members of the recovery community, casinos and the gaming industry. “It’s important we get buy-in not just from our board, but other stakeholders as well,” says Susan.

There will be numerous opportunities for participation in the process. Information will be obtained through surveys, retreats and meetings. Collecting feedback from stakeholders is critical to this interactive process.

“Once initial input is obtained, we’ll look for themes and start to formulate ideas,” says Susan. “At that point, additional feedback will be sought before organizational goals are mapped out. This process will likely generate some aspirational goals (very long term), as well as those that can be accomplished within 3-5 years.”

Susan emphasized that development of the strategic plan will be a very transparent process. Periodic updates will be posted on Northstar’s website and social media. The process is expected to begin in November. The goal is to have a working strategic plan by summer.

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