helping organizations, teams, and individuals take their work to new levels of success by identifying, languaging, and leveraging their strengths

about us

The ASG Team


Marty McConnell -- strategy and language maven, ASG co-founderMarty’s first job was in the mail room of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, during the summer she also learned to drive. While she has never lost her love for organizing office supplies, she did attempt to escape the family legacy of nonprofit work by spending several years as a public relations consultant and then pursuing her MFA in creative writing. Despite these efforts, she brings to ASG a decade of experience running strategy and resource development programs for nonprofits and facilitating trainings and workshops for youth and adults in positions including Director of Resource Development at Alternatives, Inc., Director of Strategic Advancement at the Partnership for After School Education, and Program Director of Urban Word NYC. 

Her interest in working with a broad range of organizations, reframing situations and perspectives to facilitate unexpected breakthroughs, led her to co-found ASG with Mariah Neuroth in 2014. Since that time, she has worked with clients large and small to create and operationalize powerful strategic plans, assess and restructure their communications and fundraising departments, refine language and shared understanding of core values and beliefs, and prepared organizations for effective leadership transitions. 

David McConnell -- financial analyst, coach and advisor, faux curmudgeon. David is a founder and Board chair of the Back Office Cooperative, a collaborative venture that leverages scale and best practices to drive down administrative and other costs for nonprofits. As Chief Financial Officer of One Hope United (OHU), a multi-state human services agency that serves 10,000 children and families each year, he restructured financial management and upgraded staff qualifications, significantly reduced costs through outsourcing accounting and related functions, simplified the budget process to increase accountability, and led the acquisition of four early childhood centers. He played a key role in the start-up of one of the first “pay for success” social impact bond ventures in the country.

Prior to joining OHU, David was the Senior Vice President for Administration at the Gateway Foundation, where he led the creation of a sustainable organizational infrastructure.  Also at Gateway, David improved processes and controls resulting in a 95% reduction in bad debts.  Earlier in his career, David was the Chief Financial Officer of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), where he introduced his daughter Marty to her future career. While at LSSI, David chaired a number of administrative/financial negotiation committees between the private sector and state government.  In his 46 years in the human services field, David has led or otherwise played a vital role in eight mergers. David’s career in social serves began in the Boston area, where he worked in a finance capacity at the local Goodwill Industries, Boston YWCA and Cambridge Public Schools. 

Mariah Neuroth -- staff development and systems guru, ASG co-founder. Mariah is the extroverted half of the ASG co-founding team. She began her nonprofit career working with refugee youth through the organization now known as RefugeeOne. She helped to build from its inception the Interfaith Youth Core, where as Senior Program Director she created curricula, managed an exponentially growing staff, and traveled the world with young people establishing meaningful connections across lines of ethnicity, faith, and background. As Chief Program Officer at Umoja Student Development Corporation and Producing Director at Young Chicago Authors, she built powerful teams and the systems to support them while developing and implementing innovative platforms for young people to grow, express themselves, and exercise their power.

Through Mariah’s work with ASG, organizations have delved deep into the questions of what allows their staff to succeed, and used that information to create systems, policies, and structures. She has led organization-wide initiatives to reduce silos among teams and departments, piloted multi-year citywide projects using the arts to bring people together, helped organizations identify and live out their core values, coached individuals into unforeseen levels of productivity and effectiveness in their work, and deepened understanding within and among teams to maximize their functioning. 

Ruby Western -- graphic design goddessRuby is a classically trained visual artist who studied painting at Smith College. After graduating, she began making graphics for friends and odd jobs. She worked as New York Timesbestselling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal's assistant and collaborator from 2013-2017, where she honed skills as a graphic artist and gained knowledge of the book world. In 2016, she began freelancing in earnest. Her fresh approach to design, talent and dedication to translating client’s ideas into visually striking, effective materials has served organizations ranging from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago to the Law Offices of Jason B. Rosenthal, from Jameson Loves Danger pet supplies and grooming to Howard Brown Health Center.