On the Radio with Croixstone

“The power of radio is not that it speaks to millions, but that it speaks intimately and privately to each one of those millions.”

– Hallie Flanagan (American Theatrical Producer, Director, Playwright & Author)

Croixstone’s CEO and co-founder, Patti Weber, and Managing Partner and co-founder, Mark Weber, were featured guests this past weekend on The Francene Marie Show that airs on 6 top-rated FM and AM radio stations in the Charlotte, NC market.

Francene Marie Morris serves as Public Affairs Director as well as Host and Producer of The Francene Marie Show that airs on radio stations in the Charlotte market owned by Beasley Media Group. The lively radio interview with Croixstone’s leaders featured insights and perspectives on the labor market, employment trends, and job search strategies.

Listen to the interview here.


SEED20 OnStage is Back!

Join the Croixstone team (virtually or in-person) for a very unique nonprofit experience.

The big picture: The Charlotte region’s most unique nonprofit pitch contest, SEED20 OnStage, returns to the stage this month on Thursday, April 27 at 7pm EDT.

About the host organization: This signature event is hosted and produced by Social Venture Partners Charlotte (SVP), one of the Charlotte region’s most unique nonprofits that supports fellow nonprofits.

Why it matters: Innovators imagine the future and fill in the gaps. The SEED20 stage provides social entrepreneurs across the Charlotte region with a platform to share their innovative ideas that benefit our community.

How it works: 10 nonprofits will give three-minute pitches on why they are passionate about the work they are doing and the impact it is making on our community. You and the rest of the audience then vote on the grand prize of $20,000.

And there is more: After the pitches conclude, you will have the opportunity to grab an adult beverage, snacks, and then mix and mingle with the nonprofit leaders who inspired you.

Check out these links: Click and learn more. You’ll understand why you want to be in the room on event night.
Check out SVP’s pitch for SEED20: 47 Second Pitch Video
Learn more about the nonprofits: Visit the event website at SEED20 Class of 2023
Buy event tickets: Onstage Tickets! (in person are $80 and if you can’t make it in person, livestream tickets are available for $25)
Donate: Use Pledge to donate to one or all of these amazing nonprofits (no fees for contributions less than $1,000– you can reduce the tip amount all the way to 0)

Croixstone and SVP: Croixstone has served as a corporate partner with Social Venture Partners Charlotte for several years. SVP is a nonprofit comprised of Partners (both corporate and individuals) who donate their professional skills and invest their collective social and financial capital in innovative nonprofits who are tackling Charlotte’s most pressing problems.

“Innovation is seeing what everyone has seen
and thinking what nobody has thought.”

-Albert Szent-Györgyi


Lunch and Learn (Virtually) with Croixstone on April 19

“Nothing happens until something moves.”

– Albert Einstein

As organizations face the possibility of a recession, making choices on what actions to take in light of uncertainty can be difficult. And that difficulty can lead to organizational inertia. It is the responsibility of leaders to wake their teams out of inertia.

Join Croixstone Consulting for a lively “lunch and learn” virtual event to learn practical tips on how to “own the moment” and propel your organization past organizational inertia.

Event Details:

• Cost: Free with Eventbrite Registration
• Date: Wednesday, April 19
• Time: 12:00 Noon – 1pm ET
• Type: Virtual Meeting (Zoom – Interactive)
• Registration Deadline: 5pm ET on Monday, April 17
• Event Link: Click here

About the Expert

Jennifer Bowron serves as a Senior Consultant in Croixstone’s Human Capital Practice with more than 20 years of broad experience as both an internal and external consultant across growth businesses.

Jennifer’s background spans across a variety of industry sectors including: high-tech manufacturing, consumer products, financial services, healthcare, education services, and nonprofit. She has guided teams in senior Human Resources leadership roles at companies including: Polypore International, Daramic, Celgard, Stanley Black & Decker, and RR Donnelley Financial.

Based in Charlotte, Jennifer is known for her savvy leadership in helping companies to “own the moment.” Be sure to read Croixstone’s latest whitepaper, “Overcoming Organizational Inertia” (authored by Jennifer). Click here to read.


The Power of Women-Owned Companies and Supplier Diversity

The big picture: As a woman-owned and certified firm, two of Croixstone’s leaders (Patti Weber, CEO and Lisa Cahill, Senior Talent Leader) are joining more than 4,000 fellow participants at the annual WBENC National Conference taking place this week in Nashville. The conference is the largest event of its kind for women business owners, welcoming thousands of women entrepreneurs and corporate executives ready to make connections and do business.

A quick look back: In 2020, Croixstone celebrated a milestone moment in achieving national certification as a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise by the Greater Women’s Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

The power of women: According to Fundera, the USA has 12.3 million women-owned businesses, with 40% of all US businesses being owned by women. Businesses owned by women general $1.8 trillion a year to the US economy. Women are starting new businesses in droves – – they started a net total of 1,821 new businesses every day last year.

The benefits of supplier diversity: Croixstone actively promotes the benefits that come with robust supplier diversity programs. As Harvard Business Review shared in its August 2020 article entitled “Why You Need a Supplier Diversity Program”, there are sound commercial reasons for creating supplier diversity programs. These reasons include:

• Inclusiveness is great for innovation. Diverse suppliers bring diverse ideas, viewpoints, backgrounds and knowledge to companies.

• Inclusive procurement strategies widen the pool of potential suppliers and promotes competition in the supply base, which can improve product quality and drive down costs.

• By providing more sourcing options, inclusiveness can make supply chains more resilient and agile.

• Supplier diversity delivers numerous channels from which a business is able to acquire goods and services.

• Inclusiveness allows a business to benefit from new prospects from business growth with the rise of new customer requirements based upon shifting demographic certainties.

• The “feel good” factor associated with supplier diversity programs can also reflect positively on brands.

Yes, but: There are several common obstacles that challenge companies in building and sustaining robust supplier diversity programs. Common challenges include:

• Supplier diversity professionals find it challenging to secure cross-functional buy-in from managers and senior-level executives.

• Capacity. According to one study, 54% of corporations dedicate one staff person or less to supplier diversity.

• A lack of supplier diversity data and insights.

• Difficulties in identifying suppliers who also meet procurement criteria.

• Challenges and/or inability to verify supplier diversity claims.

Moving forward: Croixstone is committed to promoting the benefits of supplier diversity, and to helping corporate America navigate the ongoing challenges and obstacles that face corporate supplier diversity professionals.

Let’s talk: To learn more about the benefits of supplier diversity and how Croixstone can help, contact our CEO, Patti Weber, at pweber@croixstone.consulting.


Croixstone’s Lisa Cahill to Participate in ENCOUNTER Charlotte

One of Croixstone’s favorite hometown nonprofits is Leadership Charlotte. This great organization has a mission to develop and enhance volunteer community leadership by providing a diverse group of emerging and existing leaders with the opportunity to increase their community knowledge, civic network, and service to the community.

Leadership Charlotte offers two programs to fulfill its mission. The organization’s core program is “Leadership Charlotte”, a 10-month program where an average of 50 participants explore current issues with a variety of community leaders. Additionally, the organization offers a scaled-down version of its core program called “ENCOUNTER Charlotte.” This program serves as an orientation to Charlotte and to community leadership over a two-day period each spring and fall.

Croixstone’s very own Lisa Cahill (Senior Talent Leader) is participating in ENCOUNTER Charlotte’s spring 2023 program. She joins participants from a diverse portfolio of organizations across the Charlotte region including: Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, Novant Health, Truist Financial, Microsoft, Grant Thornton, Bank of America, Second Harvest Food Bank, Dowd YMCA, and more.

Croixstone’s CEO, Patti Weber, and Managing Partner, Mark Weber, are past participants of ENCOUNTER Charlotte. Learn more about the organization here.


Croixstone Ranks #11 on Inc. Magazine’s List of the Mid-Atlantic Region’s Fastest Growing Private Companies

Inc. magazine today revealed that Croixstone Consulting is No. 11 on the publication’s fourth annual Inc. 5000 Regionals: Mid-Atlantic list, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing Mid-Atlantic private companies based in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“We launched Croixstone in 2016 with the knowledge that middle market companies are seeking alternatives to the traditional consulting industry model,” said Patti Weber, Croixstone’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our fast growth is fueled by our team’s ability to drive business transformation and outcomes for our middle market clients in a pragmatic, efficient, and cost-effective manner.”

All about growth: The companies on Inc. magazine’s list show a remarkable rate of growth across all industries in the Mid-Atlantic region. Between 2019 and 2021, these 142 private companies have a median growth rate of 149 percent and, in 2021 alone, they added 14,439 jobs and $3.9 billion to the Mid-Atlantic region’s economy.

“This year’s Inc. 5000 Regional winners represent one of the most exceptional and exciting lists of America’s off-the-charts growth companies. They’re disrupters and job creators, and all delivered an outsize impact on the economy. Remember their names and follow their lead. These are the companies you’ll be hearing about for years to come,” said Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. magazine.

Learn more about the Inc. 5000 Regionals: The 2023 Inc. 5000 Regionals are ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2019 and 2021. Complete results of the Inc. 5000 Regionals: Mid-Atlantic, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, metro area, and other criteria, can be found at inc.com/mid-atlantic.

Read our press release: Click here.


Here Comes the 60-Year Career

Having focused our firm’s business plan on providing career opportunities for highly experienced “portfolio professionals”, the Croixstone Consulting team applauds The Wall Street Journal for publishing last week’s business article entitled “Here Comes the 60-Year Career.”

Here’s our recap of the insightful and on-point career article.

The big picture: Because they are likely to live healthily into their 90s or longer, millennials and the generations behind them must learn to navigate 60-year careers instead of the traditional 40-year span.

“Over the course of 60-year careers, we’ll need to work and pace our careers differently.” – Laura Carstensen, Founding Director – Stanford Center on Longevity Read More


Croixstone Promotes Grace Lynch to Director, Business Operations

Croixstone is excited to announce today the promotion of Grace Lynch to the role of Director, Business Operations. Grace joined Croixstone in March 2021 in the role of Senior Manager, Business Operations.

In her role as Director, Business Operations, Grace will continue to apply her background in operational and process excellence to sustain and scale Croixstone’s internal business operations function.

“Grace has played a vital role in delivering high-impact operational services and results since she joined the firm nearly two years ago,” said Patti Weber, Croixstone’s Chief Executive Officer. “Croixstone’s success in executing a national expansion strategy amidst the global pandemic, while concurrently achieving record revenues and profits, is a testament to Grace’s skills and expertise in leading our internal operations.”

Grace’s professional background includes nearly two decades at Wells Fargo during the bank’s growth spree where she provided leadership focused on problem resolution and process optimization in the Office of the President. During her time at the bank, Grace also performed due diligence and integration activities for mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, Grace served as a leader in the bank’s credit risk area where she was responsible for evaluating credit processes, policies, and regulatory requirements for all consumer lines of business, including mortgage originations, student lending, credit card, non-real estate lending, collections, and repo and asset disposal.

As a social innovator, Grace is one of three co-founders of the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, a community group that fuels collaboration and amplifies the voices of the Charlotte region’s pancreatic cancer community.

Learn more about Grace here.


ChatGPT Fast Facts

It is nearly impossible to scan the business news over the past few months without seeing “ChatGPT” in the headlines.

Here are some fast facts to help you get to know what ChatGPT is all about.

The big picture: Many experts believe that new chatbots like ChatGPT are poised to massively disrupt technology to the same degree like Apple’s iPhone, Google’s search engine, and Netscape’s web browser proved disruptive.

“Anybody who doesn’t use this will shortly be at a severe disadvantage. Like, shortly. Like, very soon.”
– Jeff Maggioncalda – CEO, Coursera

So what is it?: ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence tool that allows a user to generate original text. It can serve up information in clear, simple sentences, rather than just a list of internet links. Furthermore, the AI tool can explain concepts in ways humans can easily understand.

ChatGPT automatically generates text based on written prompts in a manner that is much more advanced and creative than earlier chatbots. The software debuted in late November 2021, and it has generated extreme buzz.

Here’s the backstory: ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based company that was founded in December 2015. Open AI’s founders include well known technology gurus including: Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba, Elon Musk, and John Schulman.

OpenAI’s mission: The company conducts research in the field of AI with the stated goal of promoting and developing friendly AI in a way that benefits humanity as a whole.

Yes, but: AI chatbots are anything but perfect. They learn their skills by analyzing huge amounts of data posted to the internet, and they therefore can blend fiction with fact. They can deliver information that is biased along with toxic language (including hate speech).

The money train: OpenAI’s founders pledged $1B to launch the company. The company received a $1B investment from Microsoft in 2019, another significant investment in 2021, and a rumored $10B investment in January 2023. Microsoft said the renewed partnership will accelerate breakthroughs in AI, and help both companies commercialize advanced technologies.

Learn more:
OpenAI
ChatGTP

Our Sources: CNN Business, Axios, The New York Times, Microsoft, Gizmodo, Wikipedia


Croixstone Welcomes Lisa Cahill as Senior Talent Leader

Croixstone is excited to announce today that Lisa Cahill has joined the organization in a newly-created role as Senior Talent Leader. Cahill will design and execute recruiting strategies to attract experienced professionals for the firm’s consulting and executive search practices.

“Having known Lisa for over a decade, I couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the Croixstone team,” said Patti Weber, Croixstone’s Chief Executive Officer. “In her new role with the firm, Lisa will apply her advanced relationship-building skills to meet both our business and people objectives as Croixstone continues its national expansion.”

Cahill is an extraordinary connector who builds and nurtures long-lasting relationships that make a positive difference in the lives of people, organizations, and communities. In the early 1990s, she was among a few female pioneers recruited to join global pharmaceutical leader GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a male-dominated sales organization. During her more than 15 years with GSK, Cahill excelled in building relationships with primary care and specialty physicians, and she served as a sales leader and district sales trainer for several divisions of the company including a new start-up division. Her success at GSK led to additional career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry at both Abbott Laboratories and Avion Pharmaceuticals.

Additionally, Cahill spent nearly a decade in the specialty healthcare profession as a Physician Liaison for organizations including Southeast Pain and Spine Care, Carolinas Pain Institute, and Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center.

Read our Press Release here.