In March of 2019, Colleen began her appointment as director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. She “paused” her C3 consulting activity and led the agency for nearly four years managing, conserving and protecting Illinois’ natural and cultural resources.
During that time, Colleen guided the agency through a global pandemic, which resulted in millions of visitors seeking to nurture their physical and mental health in the outdoors at Illinois’ nearly 400 state parks, natural areas, and historic sites.
Colleen oversaw efforts to develop a strategic plan for the agency, with a focus on positioning IDNR as a leader on reducing the state’s carbon footprint and mitigating the effects of climate change.
Colleen also ushered the agency into a new era of diversity, equity and inclusion, and she led the launch of Copi – a new brand name for invasive carp designed to spark consumer interest in the plentiful fish found in Illinois waterways. Since IDNR’s Enhanced Contract Fishing Program was established in 2019, commercial fishers have removed more than 9.4 million pounds of invasive carp from the Illinois River.
In 2022, Colleen advocated for IDNR to receive its largest state budget in 20 years to address long overdue improvements at state sites and to offer the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants in the history of the agency.
Also during her tenure at IDNR, Colleen was named president of the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA) and vice president of the national Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). Read more by clicking the text below.
After "pausing" her consulting activity in 2019, Colleen now resumes an active role in Colleen Callahan Consultancy as CEO.
Colleen is ready to coach clients in leadership and work with teams to discover strengths and weaknesses and how to become better communicators, presenters, and leaders. She is working on a new presentation called Leadership Begins with 'C'. Colleen will share how effective leadership incorporates the three "c's" - communicate, collaborate, connect.
Colleen's take - "I believe leadership is much like parenting. You have to be firm, fair, and consistent."
If you need to prepare for a presentation, whether it be for television, Zoom, or in-person, Colleen also offers media and communications coaching. She will teach you or your group how to prepare for an interview, learn proper techniques, and how to label yourself as an expert. Mock interviews with camera and audio equipment are also available.
If you have an upcoming event and you're looking for a prepared, public presenter, consider Colleen. She will work with your organization to identify topics and speaking points to communicate and connect at your event.
Lastly, Colleen is also looking forward to announcing the project "Audio Albums" a storytelling service intended to preserve family history and legacy. This project accompanies the audio production and podcast division at Colleen Callahan Consultancy.
If you are involved in your planning committee and would like to have Colleen speak to your group, please contact her via email or phone. She can discuss your target audience, topics, timing and speaking fees.
Our team looks forward to working with you to communicate, collaborate, and connect!