Our Staff

Ann Crews Melton

Executive Director

Ann joined Consensus Council in March 2020 as the organization’s third executive director. She previously served as an editor at the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Be Magazine, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, and as a reporter and community columnist at the Bismarck Tribune.


Ann first used the consensus model of decision-making as co-moderator of the National Network of Presbyterian College Women, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). She staffed national committees for PC(USA)’s Women’s Advocacy Office and later served as communications manager at Temple Israel Boston, a Reform synagogue. A Texas native, she holds degrees from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and Emerson College in Boston.


A 2015 graduate of the Women’s Leadership Program at the Center for Technology and Business, Ann is a member of Centurion Toastmasters, ND Professional Communicators, and a Bridges of Hope mentor at the ND Youth Correctional Center. She is a former board officer of Humanities North Dakota and a strong proponent of civic engagement, civil discourse, and forming more just and equitable communities.


Contact: 701-224-0588

Email: amelton@agree.org

Karla Buzick

Business Manager

Karla joined Consensus Council Inc. in January 2013. She has a degree in Information Processing from Bismarck State College and is MOS certified in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.


Karla is a 2011 graduate of the Bismarck-Mandan Leadership Program. She has been involved with a number of non-profits over the years, including Dakota OutRight from 2011-2017, the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition from 2011-2017, and the Bismarck Human Relations Committee from 2011-2012. She was a grant reviewer with the PFund Social Change grant committee and also has been a member of the statewide LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee through the ND Department of Health & the ND Women’s Network.


Contact: 701-224-0588

Email: kbuzick@agree.org

Elizabeth Hilt

Program Director – Restorative Justice

Elizabeth “Elle” Hilt was first introduced to Restorative Justice as a criminal justice student at Minnesota State University-Moorhead in 2006. She immediately connected with the philosophy and practices and over the course of 15 years has implemented Restorative Justice values in a variety of professional roles. In 2011, she received a master’s degree in criminal justice emphasizing restorative practices for youth from St. Cloud State University (MN), and has worked with justice-involved youth and families in residential treatment facilities, probation services, and in programs offered as an alternative to court. Additionally, Elle has worked with victims in advocacy and through pre-sentencing procedures in the Minnesota adult court system. 


Since 2018, Elle has proudly led North Dakota’s statewide Restorative Justice program in partnership with the ND Juvenile Court system. She believes that restorative practices are important strategies to engage people in building and repairing relationships, and to provide people who have experienced harm a meaningful voice in the justice process. Elle lives in Fargo with her partner, Mark, and five children. 


Contact: 701-224-0588

Email: ehilt@agree.org

Joel Friesz

Strategist – Restorative Justice

Joel has worked with communities across North Dakota for 16+ years to implement restorative practices into schools, the juvenile justice system, adult corrections, and other community entities. In recent years, Joel has conducted trainings in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Canada.  Joel provides training and coaching on subjects such as Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices in Education, Circle process, Implicit Bias, Bullying prevention, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence prevention, and LGBT+ advocacy.


Joel currently serves on the North Dakota Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group, a position he has held since 2013. In 2016, Joel completed the Reducing Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program at Georgetown University. Joel is a nationally certified Green Dot Bystander Intervention Community Instructor for reducing power-based personal violence and served for three years as a Facilitator of Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy for North Dakota State University.


In June 2017, Joel was elected to the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) Executive Team.  In 2020, Joel completed a yearlong formation course to become a member of the Fargo chapter of Presentation Associates, an international group focused on peace and justice in partnership with Sisters of the Presentation. Joel received his bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University (NDSU) and holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from University of Mary. A native of Flasher, ND, Joel has resided in Fargo for over 20 years.


Contact: 701-799-3795 (mobile)

Email: jfriesz@agree.org

Sonia Ostlund

Program Assistant

Contact: 701-799-3795 (mobile)

Email: sostlund@agree.org

Rose Stoller Legacy Scholarship


Rose served as the Executive Director of the Consensus Council from May 2003 to November 2019, when she unexpectedly passed away.


Rose devoted her life to making the world a better place for those who were disadvantaged in any way. To honor her lifelong commitment to bettering the lives of others, an annual scholarship fund has been established through the Bismarck Public Schools Foundation.


For more information on how to donate or apply for a scholarship, please check out the following link: BPS Foundation