About Ann

Ann’s vision is to see individuals, marriages, families, relationships, neighborhoods, schools, businesses and whole communities transformed through the self-awareness, compassionate honesty, empathy, trust, mutual respect and quality of connection created by the practice of compassionate leaderly communication.

Ann Wallin Harrington holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Masters degree in Speech/Language Pathology. Since arriving in Duluth in 1977, Ann gained 20 years of experience working as a Speech/Language Pathologist at Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Services, Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative, UMD’s Speech and Language Clinic and as Director of Speech/Language Pathology services at Bridge Rehabilitation. Ann is also trained as a Life Coach and is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and Co-Active Leadership Training Program of San Raphael, CA. Ann receives ongoing training in Nonviolent Compassionate Communication (NVC) and in August 2013 completed the LIFE program, a two-year course offered through the Center for Living Compassion by Robert Gonzales (living-compassion.org).

Two life events significantly shaped Ann’s professional development. First, in 2004, Ann was introduced to Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s writing and international work in Nonviolent Compassionate Communication (NVC). This work was also about ‘language’, but with a completely different emphasis. Ann describes NVC as “a way of giving and receiving understanding and respect using a set of language skills that can help to resolve conflict and rebuild trust in any relationship, personal or professional.” Her inspiration and excitement about learning and sharing this refreshing, empathy-based “language of life” model led to Ann’s decision to receive training for herself in NVC and the creation of Ann Harrington Training and Consulting and annwharrington.com website.

The second life event happened when Ann received a “bad” mammogram diagnosis which required further testing, mammograms and surgery to remove a pre-cancerous tumor. Ann decided that when she recovered, she would “do something” to make mammograms less stressful. That “something” became an invention Ann calls the CozyMamm Bucky Warmer. CozyMamm™ warms the mammography machine before the exam. In 2006, Ann was awarded 1st Prize in Whirlpool Corporation’s “Mother Of Invention” contest for aspiring inventors. In 2007, Ann’s company, Marvel Concepts LLC, was invited to become a member of UMD’s Center for Economic Development Business Incubator located in the Technology Village in downtown Duluth. In January 2012, Marvel Concepts LLC received the patent and trademark on the CozyMamm™ device.

Ann operated both businesses from this central location until it became clear that the “analog” CozyMamm device would quickly become outdated. She was disappointed to learn that it was not compatible with manufacturers new and super temperature-sensitive “digital” mammography machines. With great gratitude to UMD’s Center for Economic Development Business Incubator’s generosity for extended CozyMamm and Compassionate Leaderly Communication work space, Ann left the Technology Village location.

Currently, Ann meets with Ann Harrington Training & Consulting clients at their workplace or location of their choice. She continues to view her work in “conflict transformation” as a calling and a privilege.

Ann and her husband Steve have two married daughters, four grandchildren and and continue to love living in the Northland.

Ann’s community involvement

Ann is a former member of the Duluth Junior League and current member of the Duluth Thrives community committee and helped plan the 2023 Duluth Thrives Resiliency Summit here on 3/25/23.  The focus of the Summit this year was: How to Shift Our Brains: Practices to Unravel the Impact of Trauma & Create Community Resilience. It was sponsored by Duluth Thrives and the Junior League of Duluth. See flyer. As an additional aspect of the Summit, Ann was invited to provide NVC /Compassionate Communication Training through Duluth Community Education In May and June of 2023. For more information and registration, click here.

Ann currently serves on the Advisory Board for “Duluth for Mandela: A Northland Celebration” under the leadership and direction of Gerri Williams of Duluth.  This film is currently in production.

The northern Minnesota city of Duluth hosts iconic events during the 100-year birthday of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. In this uplifting documentary, residents experience inspiration and international cultural enrichment through their participation.

Ann was nominated for the 2023 Rosie Awards in the Leadership category.  For six years, the awards, named after the cultural icon Rosie the Riveter, have recognized the many contributions of exceptional women in the community. The Leadership Award is presented to women who represent outstanding achievement in their field of endeavor.

Ann Harrington Training & Consulting sponsors a Community NVC Practice Group. The only prerequisites for attending this group are a genuine interest in learning/practicing NVC skills and willingness to contact Ann to confirm timing and location. This group meets January through May. All are welcome!

Ann serves as Group Facilitator for “Healing Ways,” a weekly community support and empowerment group for women in crisis, sponsored by Safe Haven Shelter at the Safe Haven Resource Center (formerly Lake Superior Family Justice Center). In the past, Ann has volunteered at Safe Haven Shelter and been an NVC educator there.

Ann has completed the 30-Hr. Rule 114 Civil Mediation and Communication Skills Training. She currently serves as a volunteer mediator for the St. Louis County Court Mediation Program through the Conflict Resolution Center (CRC) Duluth.

Ann volunteered as a trainer for Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project which was an initiative of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation (DSACF) and was a resource for building civic engagement used by communities across the United States and around the world. Ann was impressed and curious when she saw the compelling Speak Your Peace posters in various workplaces in Duluth. She wanted to learn more given the clear connection between civility and NVC.  In 2015, she approached designated team leaders for Speak Your Peace, Rob Karwath and Anita Stech, and learned DSACF began this work in 2003. Ann was welcomed to join them as plans were being made to offer Speak Your Peace training in as many venues as were interested in our community. Their training team grew in this process and had the privilege of being involved with the Civility Certified Candidate Forums, the Duluth City Council, UMD’s University for Seniors and many Soup and Civility Training/Listening sessions addressing key concerns and issues in various parts of the city.

Ann was a featured presenter at the 2013 Cultivating Compassion: Empathy, Leadership and Social Change Conference, where she conducted five skill workshops throughout the day. These workshops were designed to offer an assortment of practical perspectives and skills for using empathy in everyday communication.

Ann served on a Bullying Prevention Committee, sponsored in 2012 by the Miller-Dwan Foundation, St. Luke’s Foundation and St. Luke’s Hospital. The purpose of this committee was to respond to the community request for more information and discussion of this important issue in our community. We created a 3-part Series called Bullying: Continuing the Conversation. Read more about this committee by downloading the 3-part Series flyer.

Ann was the featured Facilitator at the 2018 Talk So People Will Listen & Listen So People Will Talk: Cultivating Compassionate Communication training at the University of Wisconsin Superior’s Center for Continuing Education. She conducted two, full-day sessions designed to provide students with an Introduction to the basic model and skills of Nonviolent Compassionate Communication(NVC).

For more information or to schedule a workshop or facilitation, contact Ann.