Our Story

Catalpa Partners came together in 2013, but its current work has roots in projects and passions that stretch back twenty or more years. We chose the Catalpa tree, which grows throughout the eastern and central US  as our emblem because it too is more than a freestanding entity, but also supports a remarkable set of mutualistic multi-specific relationships among highly varied organisms. We draw on a collaborative and highly diverse network developed over decades. This rootedness in experience and professional relationships bridging sectors gives us the ability to bring unique strengths - and teams - to bear.

Our partners have written award winning books in history and social strategies for rural development, worked as staff and on boards of nonprofits, won national prizes, innovated in harnessing technologies that allow rural communities to take charge of their own economic and cultural futures, solved problems from watershed management, housing, to urban park development in conflict-ridden areas.

We approach our work not from a technical toolbox, but from a people first perspective.


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We at Catalpa Partners know it is important to feel confident in professional partnerships. That’s why we offer free 30 minute consultations to make sure we are a good fit. 

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Our Team


Tom Hatley, PHD

Tom Hatley grew up in central North Carolina, and trained as a forester and historian at Davidson, Duke and Yale. He has worked for more than thirty years on strategies for collaborative and cross-cultural social investment in agriculture, health, and land recovery.

Tom has succeeded in finding creative new paths through intractable and embedded problems; from codeveloping a globally-recognized ecosystem services investment scheme as an alternative to failed water quality regulation in the New York City watershed, to introducing new programs that bridge embedded racial, cultural, and intellectual barriers between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Western Carolina University in his role as Sequoyah Distinguished Professor. As a writer and scholar, Tom has been acknowledged for breaking new ground through his understanding of intercultural and environmental history, as well as sustainable development and social investment tactics founded in indigenous ownership of traditional knowledge.

He has taught cross-cultural negotiation and received training from the Friends Conflict Resolution Program, RESOLVE, and the Harvard Law School Project on Negotiation.

Tom has led coalitions and non-profits to new levels of revenue and impact through building strategies based around recovering vision, values, place and tapping the energy of the people who lead and believe in their work.  As a consultant, he has worked for large private foundations, land trusts, tribes, international conservation groups, historic and cultural sites, among others. 

Tom has been a speaker and panelist at many conferences including SoCap 2013 and is an advisor to the Center for Native Health and Accelerating Appalachia.



Maggie Clancy, MA, MES, MPPM

As a project manager, executive director and consultant, Maggie Clancy has been helping non-profit organizations reach their goals for her entire career. From start-ups to older organizations aspiring to reach the next stage of growth, she brings her organizational skills and vision to guide board members and staff to develop workable pathways to sustainability.

Maggie served as a project manager for eight years with the Trust for Public Land, acquiring land for national parks and forests, greenways, watershed protection, urban parks & historical sites. Through this work, she developed technical abilities in real estate transactions and negotiation skills, finding common ground and building trust with landowners, funders and public agencies.

In Birmingham, Alabama, she was one of the founders of Ruffner Mountain, an environmental education center in a low-income area of the city. She ended her tenure there as the executive director of a stable, expanding organization, serving students in 11 school districts and protecting 1000 acres of urban woodland.

Maggie served as Executive Director of North Carolina Dance Theatre, a nationally recognized dance company. She helped resuscitate the failing organization with a four-point financial plan, and the NCDT is now thriving in Charlotte, NC. Earlier in her career, she completed feasibility studies for capital campaigns, organization and strategic plans, and ran capital campaigns.

Maggie holds degrees in plant ecology from Indiana University, a master’s degree from Yale Forestry School, and a Master’s of Public & Private Management from Yale’s School of Organization & Management.



Tim Will, MCRP

Tim Will has been involved in community and economic development since 1973 when he was a project manager designing and building vest pocket parks in urban vacant lots for the Columbus Ohio Model Cities program, while simultaneously attaining his Masters degree in City and Regional Planning.

Tim has managed projects as diverse as the design and implementation of refugee camps in Honduras, post-typhoon reconstruction in the Fiji Islands, and revitalizing and rebuilding inner city neighborhoods in New Orleans by directing two Community Development Corporations.

He guided, as Planning and Zoning Chairman (and later as Mayor), a small town resisting urban overdevelopment in South Florida. In North Carolina, he created and directed an agriculturally based Appalachian rural economic development program. The latter effort was nationally recognized, winning the Encore.org’s 2009 Purpose Prize and Hewlett Packard’s Hackborn Award for the Use of Technology in Social Innovation.  

Tim’s long career includes stints in the US Army where he learned broadband communications, and the Peace Corps where he was trained as an educator focusing on small scale, intensive agriculture and rural entrepreneurship, all of which Tim has been able to integrate into his spectrum of community and economic development strategies and solutions.

Tim is multi-lingual and is comfortable in diverse cultures, having worked and lived on four continents. He enjoys empowering clients with focused research, collaboration, strategy, and planning to transform their own challenges into solutions.