Your strategic partner illuminating the path to success.

We partner with people to build better leaders and organizations.

Great Lakes

What we do

We work side by side with you to create an exceptional organization.

Our expertise combines operational excellence, financial accountability, and cultural development to un-tap the potential within your organization.

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Our Focus Areas

  1. Full-Service Executive Management

    We offer full-service management for small to mid-size organizations with a focus on operations, human resources, and leadership.

  2. Strategic Planning & Executive Leadership

    Our unique Empower ™ Series delivers leadership training for executives and mid-level managers, as well as organizational development and networking.

  3. Financial Management & Oversight

    We can serve as your CFO, providing day to day financial oversight, budgeting and forecasting.

  4. Strengths Center

    As certified Strengths Finder ™ coaches, we unlock people’s greatest potential to build better employees, leaders, and organizations.

Who We Are

Kate Tonjum and Lisa Sammon co-founded Lighthouse Strategic Solutions with a shared passion for helping build better organizations.

Meet Kate Tonjum
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Kate Tonjum

Principal

Strengths: Maximizer, Discipline, Focus, Individualization, Activator

Kate co-founded Lighthouse Strategic Solutions with her trusted colleague, Lisa Sammon. With expertise in human resources, operations management, and public relations, Kate is a multi-faceted business administration professional. She’s built a reputation for success by developing transformation and positive culture in organizations, driving legislative actions, and developing turn-key public relations solutions.

Kate earned a degree in Hospitality and Tourism from St. Cloud University and then launched her career with Marriott Hotels International. In 1999, Kate followed her entrepreneurial spirit by joining hospitality start-up, GrandStay Hospitality (GHS) as Director of Public Relations and Franchise Development where she helped grow the brand to national scale.

Today, Kate brings her experience and positivity to help organizations of all sizes un-tap their potential, from outside and within.   

Kate Tonjum
Kate Tonjum Strengths
Meet Lisa Sammon
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Lisa Sammon

Principal

Strengths: Maximizer, Significance, Self-Assurance, Relator, Strategic

Lisa is a leader in financial services and operations management. She is recognized for developing creative business solutions, financial models, and strategic plans to help organizations turn their vision into reality. Her experience has also led to successful change in organizational mergers, real estate development, and capital campaigns.

Lisa received a B.A. degree in Finance from the University of St. Thomas and spent the next decade plus building her career in commercial real estate lending. Next, Lisa brought her financial skills to the world of church and school administration, where she managed and navigated operations, including a successful merger.

Lisa is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach helping to unlock the best in people. She also brings her passion for financial oversight, forecasting and budgeting, organizational assessments, and strategic planning to LSS clients.

Lisa Sammon
Kate & Lisa

What people say about us

  • Lighthouse Strategic Solutions played a key role in Richie Eye Clinic’s acquisition of Northfield eye and optical. Kate and Lisa made sure that from day one everything was in place; from implementing new technology, to new marketing, and employee guidance and support. Our staff all felt super comfortable as they lead us through the transition. Kate and Lisa worked with the entire staff individually to help amplify our strengths and create a culture where every employee feels valued and has grown professionally. Even outside of the workplace Kate and Lisa are two of the post positive people that I love to be around. Lighthouse Strategic Solutions is an irreplaceable part of our team at Richie Eye Clinic!
    -Dr. Abby Richie
  • Kate and Lisa at Lighthouse Strategic Solutions are an amazing team. Since taking the reins of our team, they have completely changed our culture to one of total collaboration and cooperation in which all work for the good of the patient. Lisa is the Finance guru who keeps us on task and on budget, but she is also the Master of Running Meetings. Her agendas are relevant and interesting, keep us all engaged, and are guaranteed to finish on time. Kate is the HR wizard who deals with all the personnel issues and keeps everyone moving in the right direction.

    Together they know how to steer people into positions that maximize their strengths, resulting in staff that always feels empowered in their job, driving moral through the roof. These two complement each other nicely and work better than any team with which I have been associated. Above all, they finish what they start so my warning to you is this: If you choose to work with Lighthouse Strategic Solutions, be careful what you wish for because these two will make it a reality…Count on it.
    -Michael G Richie MD
  • Our clinic was acquired by Richie Eye Clinic in 2017, under the management of Lighthouse Strategic Solutions. Kate Tonjum and Lisa Sammon Willow have the phenomenal ability to recognize our team's strengths and talents to optimize our teams performance.

    After working with the same doctor for thirty years, it was natural to feel anxious, nervous, and torn about changing management. But, with the guidance of Kate and Lisa, I feel empowered to solve problems, build new relationships, and succeed. They are so positive and uplifting. Kate and Lisa tell me I'm a rock star at my job!

    Farewells are difficult but change brings new opportunity. Kate and Lisa are currently supporting me in my certification for Opthalmic Assistant. I love my job at Richie Eye Clinic more than ever thanks to them.
    -Donna Lauer
  • I feel privileged to have Kate Tonjum and Lisa Sammon as a part of the Southern Heights Dental Group team. They joined our office about 3 years ago and the practice has never run better in the 24 years I've been practicing there. They are an incredible team and their skill sets complement each other. There are two traits that I see that sets them apart. They have developed financial systems that enables the partners to be informed, is efficient and profitable. The other is that they are able to identify the strengths and challenges of each member on the team, including the doctors. Because of this, they bring out the best in each person, allow them to develop to their best potential and experience a satisfying career. I have known both Kate and Lisa for over 10 years and I have experienced the same level of honesty, integrity, and hard work ethic in both their professional and personal lives. It is because of this, I can recommend both Kate and Lisa without reservation for whatever your business needs.
    -Jeff Forslund, D.D.S.
  • Lighthouse Strategic Solutions is the most convincing and competent resource I have ever called upon as a Pastor and "CEO." As a corporation, our parish demands quick and clear guidance that isn't going to be doubted by our own leadership teams. We navigate the long-term needs of about 3,000 families from 5 distinct but interrelated communities. The Parish of Saints Joachim and Anne is less than five years old as a merged operation but for of the five communities has a 150+ year history and identity. Thus, we require effective collaboration and communication between about 100 employees who serve a "clientele" of incredible economic, historical, ethnic and linguistic diversity. Despite a broad and enthusiastic vision, the immediate day-today demands of our pastoral, administrative and financial affairs often make it impossible to see how the gifts of our employees can be maximized without neglecting the full load of work on each staff member's plate. Lisa Sammon and the LSS team have given us the confidence and commitment we so desperately needed to set ourselves up for success on the mission that we all love. Put bluntly, the amount of time, energy and money they have saved us cannot be over-exaggerated and we now have charted a course to success that my colleagues and leadership team never would have thought imaginable a year ago. THANK YOU Lisa and LSS. You are a brilliant light that shines brightly even in the furthest, deepest and darkest waters. LSS didn't just bring us to harbor in calm waters, you have set us out boldly on the high seas that we knew we could reach but could not see until now.
    -Father Erik Lundgren
  • I have had the pleasure of working with Lighthouse Strategic Solutions over the past couple of years, and they are absolutely wonderful! Get things done fast, and most importantly, do things right! Very personable and respectful. I would recommend them to anyone, as I've seen first hand what a positive impact they can have on an already successful business. Thanks for all you do LSS!
    -Dr. Piller, OD Richie Eye Clinic

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