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Emily Baarson, AICP

Emily Headshot

Through Emily’s twenty-year career, a common thread of her experience has been supporting organizations navigate change.  From her internship at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, where she designed a human resources analysis of a new team management structure, to her most-recent work with strategic planning at transit agencies, she has promoted adaptive thinking and embraced change as opportunity.   

As the spouse of a now-retired military officer, Emily has lived and worked in many interesting places spanning half the globe.  As many military spouses can attest, moves happen frequently – and often to unexpected places at unexpected times.  While living with constant change could seem overwhelming to some, Emily saw her family’s moves as opportunities to learn and truly grew to appreciate change.  She honed her ability to hit the ground running to make the most of each new experience – adapting quickly to new work environments and thriving in roles as diverse as managing an overseas branch of a credit union to developing and obtaining funding for innovative workforce transportation projects.   

Originally from Northeast Ohio, Emily and her family relocated to the Buckeye State in 2019.   Having experienced such a range of places and work environments, she gained first-hand knowledge of the importance of workplace policies that support adaptive thinking and life-work balance.  In an era when more women hold advanced degrees than men, Emily sees a critical need to provide meaningful and flexible ways for women who frequently relocate or have changing family needs to contribute to the economy.

Her work experience includes:

Strategic Planning

Grant Writing



Public Speaking

Economic Development and Real Estate Finance


Her current work focus is supporting effective change in organizations, addressing issues such as

Helping communities thrive by developing actionable strategies

Supporting regional vitality through innovative partnerships

Mitigating the impact of “The Silver Tsunami” in government agencies

Creating career-enabling opportunities for Military Spouses

Promoting flexible work for women with advanced degrees


Ascend provides total project management and includes a full spectrum of management and executive services to organizations.

Our topic areas of expertise include Workforce Development, Small Business Support, Youth Development and Government and Non-Profit Management

Email us today at hello@ascendadvise.com to have coffee or a phone call to talk about your needs and how we can help