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Employment History

Independent Consultant

Sheldon Mains Consulting
Projects have included:
  • A major grant application Federal Telecommunications Opportunity Partnership) for a national collaboration by urban Native American organizations and rural tribes to use the Internet to reduce the isolation of Native Americans across the United States.
  • An evaluation of the information and communications technologies used by an international advocacy organization.
  • A technology and database plan for a local social service organization.

See the "Consulting Services" section for more information.

Director of Technology Services

MAP, the Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits, St. Paul

Completely redesigned the technology services for Minnesota nonprofit organizations:

  • Established a technology staff and pool of consultants to provide quality technology services to nonprofit organizations;
  • Developed and implemented TechTrek, a technology day of service that resulted in fifty corporate volunteers installing virus protection software on over 300 computers at almost 50 nonprofit organizations;
  • Managed a grant program for nonprofit technology;
  • Partnered with a for-profit firm to offer website design and hosting services to nonprofit organizations using an on-line content management tool that includes a secure online donation module and an email newsletter module;
  • Expanded a partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota to provide low-cost computer training for nonprofit organizations;
  • Increased annual consulting revenue by a factor of eight;
  • Increased annual foundation support for MAP's technology services by a factor of ten and obtained the first grants from foundations outside of Minnesota;
  • Created Nonprofit Tech Talk, an in-person and email user group for nonprofit tech staff in Minnesota (now over 500 members);
  • Managed conversion to a new digital phone system to improve staff and volunteer efficiency;
  • Managed the development of a new client, project, volunteer and donor management database to improve client services.

Manager of Telecommunications

MAP, the Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits, St. Paul
  • Developed MAP's Internet use plan;
  • Developed and managed a state wide workshop on nonprofit telecommunications;
  • Managed the development of MAP's on-line Free Management Library;
  • Developed programs and workshops to help nonprofit organizations make effective use of the Internet.

Assistant Professor, Master of Telecommunications Program

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Redesiged and taught master degree introductory course in digital transmission technology;
  • Developed and taught master degree introductory course on Internet applications;
  • Advisor to master degree students;


Minnesota E-Democracy
  • Incorporated the organization as a not-for-profit Minnesota Corporation;
  • Obtained IRS 501(c)(3)tax exempt status;
  • Secured initial funding,;
  • Managed media relations and the 1996 election Internet U.S. Senate debate;
  • Managed development of an online tool that allowed the public to analyze campaign contributions (the first in the nation).

Consultant, Communications and Information Policy

Various corporate, government and non-profit clients
  • Developed and produced a weekly live cable TV program for a candidate for governor. 
  • Developed and implemented Internet marketing and communications plans for two campaigns for governor.
  • Produced fundraising and marketing videos for a nonprofit senior housing provider and a campaign for U.S. Senate.
  • Produced a pilot TV program about the Internet and about telecommunications public policy in 1994.


Minnesota State Planning Agency, State of Minnesota
  • Helped create new division.
  • Developed the agency marketing plan aimed at a new governor and legislature.
  • Directed public participation for a statewide planning project (Minnesota Milestones).
  • Wrote CyberState, a report on the telecommunications and Internet policy options for Minnesota.

Special Projects Manager for Technical Issues

Minnesota State Planning Agency, State of Minnesota
  • Managed the administrative rule process for regulating the release of genetically engineered organizations including establishing and managing an advisory committee that included academic, corporate, activist and citizen members.
  • Managed the public positions of all state agencies in the public debate over Twin Cities International Airport noise and expansion options.
  • Directed the opposition to a U. S. Air Force proposal for low altitude bomber training areas in central Minnesota, over the North Shore of Lake Superior and near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Director of Public Policy and Education

Minnesota Enviornemntal Quality Board; Governors Nuclear Waste Council
  • Managed all public meetings, established grassroots organizations and promoted public participation at U. S. Department of Energy public hearings.
  • Managed production of all fact sheets and newsletters.
  • Negotiated policy issues with electric utilities, state governement agencies and activists.
  • As a special project, staff to Governor's Task Force on Victims of Torture that established the Minnesota Center for Victims of Torture, the first such center in the United States.

Engineering and Technology Coordinator

Governor's Office of Science and Technology, State of Minnesota
  • Acted as liaison with all science and engineering professional organizations.
  • Researched peer review procedures for state contracts.
  • Promoted quality and creative science and math education in Minnesota's schools.
  • Reviewed funding requests for state college and university science and engineering buildings and equipment.

Senior Engineer

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, State of Minnesota
  • Acted as translator between power line protestors and electric utility engineers.
  • Managed Science Advisor Panel to review the health effects of high voltage transmission lines.
  • Managed development of a time tracking database so the state could accurately bill utilities for billable regulatory work.
  • Wrote "The Minnesota Power-line Wars" for the IEEE Spectrum.
  • Managed public participation process for siting large power plants
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