Lois K. Mikkila, Founder and Principal of LKM Consulting, is the former Director of the Howard County Department of Citizen Services – the “human service arm” of County Government. Overseeing services for children and families, older adults, people with disabilities, and consumers, she developed a broad perspective of community needs and how they are inter-related. The Department also managed the County’s grants to human service nonprofits, was the lead agency for the Continuum of Care for homeless services, and provided the “backbone” support for a fourteen-partner MultiService Center, giving her a deep understanding of the systems at play in human service delivery.
Her commitment to strengthening both the capacity of individual agencies and entire systems of service delivery are reflected in her work. As Director, she oversaw the creation of the Coordinated System of Homeless Services, secured county funding for the community-based Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead initiatives, spearheaded the effort within the county to develop a nonprofit center, and instituted capacity building support for grantees. In addition, she directed development of a comprehensive report addressing the growth of the older adult population, using her familiarity with the Collective Impact model to draft its community-wide call to action.
As the Department’s Deputy Director prior to becoming Director, Lois developed the proposal creating the county’s Board to Promote Self-Sufficiency to coordinate poverty reduction efforts, conceived and directed a capacity building project to strengthen the network of nonprofits serving low-income and foreign born residents, and trained grant recipients on how to measure their program performance.
A graduate of Western Illinois University, her career began as a project coordinator with the Lake County, Il Community Action Agency. After moving to Maryland and working in the Office of Disability Operations within the Social Security Administration, she became a program manager for Maryland Works (a statewide membership organization of nonprofits providing employment services to people with disabilities) and later for Volunteer Maryland (an AmeriCorps program that trains its members to develop or grow volunteer programs at nonprofit service sites).
Lois now brings her knowledge and experience to her consulting work. She believes strongly in the value of measuring performance, the power of collaboration, and the importance of community engagement.