Social Venture Partners Charlotte wins CATALYST 2023 Fire Award

Snapshot: Last week one of the most unique nonprofit organizations in Croixstone’s home city of Charlotte, NC scored a big, high-profile win. Social Venture Partners Charlotte (SVP Charlotte) was honored to win the Charlotte Business Journal’s 2024 CATALYST Fire Award.

What are the Fire Awards? The annual Fire Awards program honors the people, companies and organizations that keep the Charlotte area’s innovation ecosystem going. SVP Charlotte was one of 24 organizations or people nominated across 6 categories for blazing a trail in Charlotte’s innovation ecosystem.

Who is SVP Charlotte? SVP Charlotte is a nonprofit organization that passionately attacks social and economic inequality across the Charlotte region through venture philanthropy. Croixstone’s co-founders, Patti Weber and Mark Weber, are long-term Partners (volunteers) with SVP Charlotte. Additionally, Mark served on SVP Charlotte’s board for 4 years and served as Lead Partner for the organization’s annual SEED20 pitch program.

Who are the fellow Fire Award winners? SVP Charlotte is one of six blazers honored at last week’s innovation awards. As the winner in the “Catalyst” category, SVP Charlotte joins the following innovation blazers:

Learn more: SVP Charlotte is seeking Partners and Corporate Sponsors to help broaden and deepen the organization’s impact across the greater Charlotte, NC region. Click here to learn more about the SVP Charlotte story.


Get to Know Mark Lord, Croixstone’s Growth Guru

Snapshot: Last year, Croixstone welcomed Mark Lord to the team in the newly created role of Growth Operations leader. With over 30 years of experience in leading companies through change to achieve breakthrough outcomes, Mark is accelerating Croixstone’ strategic growth initiatives. Our Managing Partner, Mark Weber, recently interviewed Mark to learn more about what drives this exceptional leader.

Mark Weber: You spent nearly a decade serving as a Commissioned Officer in the US Army.  How did this experience shape you both personally and professionally?

Mark Lord: I’m at least 3rd generation military (Army specifically). Both my mother and father served. My mother joined right out of high school for 4 years when it was known as the Women’s Army Corps (WACS). There is a strong family lineage with military service, and this was a way for me to honor my heritage. This was a part of me growing up, and something I wanted to honor.  The other way it shaped me personally is that it grounds me and reminds me that I’m a part of something bigger than myself. The comradery that you get in serving gives you a special bond with the people with whom you serve.  Professionally speaking, serving was a terrific opportunity for me – -what the military provides is an immediate opportunity to lead and be responsible for a lot. Being thrown in and given early exposure while being responsible for people, and serving a mission that goes beyond normal life, really helped to shape my leadership style. In my first assignment after college, I was responsible for 30 people and several million dollars worth of assets. I relished the opportunity and it provided a great foundation build my leadership skills.

Mark Weber: Your career journey includes senior leadership roles at global companies including GE, Ingersoll Rand and Trane Technologies.  How and why did you make a career pivot into the consulting industry?

Mark Lord: Early in my career, these large companies afforded me lots of opportunities and learning. After 30 years, those large corporate cultures for me became stale. I am someone who has always sought change, and those large organizations afforded me the opportunity to play in lots of different roles. After a while, I was seeking a more dramatic change, and I reached a point in my life where moving away from where I had been was a real option to explore.

I had received feedback throughout my career that I had a gift for consulting type of work. I was interested in pursuing this as a refresh for my career.

Another motivation for me, after so many years of receiving opportunities in these big organizations, was the opportunity to give back. Making the move into the consulting industry with a focus on serving middle market clients allows me the opportunity to give, teach and consult where there is a need.

Mark Weber: What leadership qualities do you believe have contributed to your career success?

Mark Lord: I think it starts with a genuine humility. Many of the career roles I’ve had have focused on service. I have gravitated to those roles. You must leave your ego at the door because you are there to serve others. When you think about that as a leader, you are being asked to serve the people or business you’ve been entrusted to lead. I’ve never felt entitled to those responsibilities. It starts here.

Other qualities are the ability to connect with people on a personal level. I really enjoy getting to know the people with whom I work. Some of that comes from the military – the bonds I built there are something I enjoy and seek to continue to build. In growing up and in my career, I have been exposed to lots of different types of people.

Mark Weber: You earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Marketing from The University of Texas at El Paso.  How and why did you choose your course of study?

Mark Lord: As I have reflected on this, at the heart of it I am a capitalist first and foremost – but an optimistic one. The capitalist in me motivated and inspired me to pursue business. Why marketing? Being on the more optimistic side, I always want to be on the side of growing and innovation and new ideas. Marketing to me is more strategic than selling, and I recognized the fact that my natural tendencies tend to be on the strategic side of things. It is a combination of wanting to serve my capitalistic desires and feeding my natural desires to focus on the strategic side of growth.

Mark Weber: It is 5pm on a Saturday.  What are you most likely going to be doing?

Mark Lord: For me, that is seasonal and depends on the time of year. In the fall season, you’ll find me in front of the tv watching both college and professional football. As we move into winter, it is about football and basketball. You’ll also find me also watching movies.  In spring, it is time to get off the couch and focus on getting projects done around the house. In summer, I am probably sitting around the pool and enjoying that.

Mark Weber: Rumor has it that you are a huge fan of live music.  What concerts have you seen over the past year, what are your favorite concerts of all time, and what performers are on your bucket list?

Mark Lord: Over the past year I saw: Foreigner / Styx / Loverboy; 3 Doors Down and Candlebox; Jason Aldean; Guns N’ Roses; Katy Perry; and U2. My favorite concerts of all time include: Pink Floyd; Earth Wind & Fire; Garth Books; and U2 at The Sphere. My bucket list includes: Santana; Metallica and George Strait.


Croixstone is ranked #28 on the Charlotte Business Journal’s 2023 “Fast 50” List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies

The big reveal! Last evening the Charlotte Business Journal hosted its annual “Fast 50” awards event and revealed the rankings of the fastest-growing private companies across the Charlotte, NC region. Croixstone’s CEO Patti Weber accepted an award for the firm’s ranking at #28 on the list. The ranking is based on average percentage of annual revenue growth from 2020 to 2022.

Our second year! 2023 marks the second consecutive year that Croixstone has landed on the “Fast 50” list. In 2022, Croixstone was ranked #2 and Patti was featured in an interview published by the Charlotte Business Journal.

2023 has been a remarkable year! Croixstone’s latest honor contributes to a remarkable year of growth-related honors for our firm.

• In February, Inc. magazine revealed that Croixstone ranked No. 11 on the publication’s fourth annual Inc. 5000 Regionals: Mid-Atlantic list of the fastest-growing private companies in the region.

• In August, Inc. magazine revealed that Croixstone ranked nationally at No. 511 on the 2023 Inc. 5000, the annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

• Also in August, Inc. ranked Croixstone at No. 8 as the fastest-growing private company in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia NC-SC metro area. Additionally, the magazine ranked Croixstone at No. 16 in our home state of North Carolina, and at No. 56 in the Business Products & Services segment.

We are grateful. Croixstone launched our firm in 2016 with a vision to lead in the delivery of professional services that transform careers and businesses. We thank our employees, consultants, executive search candidates, clients, partners, friends, and family who fuel Croixstone’s journey in fulfilling our mission.

Read our Press ReleaseClick here to read our Press Release about Croixstone’s latest achievement.


Say “Hello Pancreas” this November

We are partnering for your pancreas! Croixstone has joined forces with the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance to create awareness on behalf of your hard-working digestive organ during November’s “Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.”

Who is the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance? Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance is a nonprofit community group founded by three of Croixstone’s leaders (Patti Weber, Grace Lynch, and Mark Weber) to create awareness of pancreatic cancer on a local, regional, national and global level. The group was founded in 2020 and is a member of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. The group was founded in memory of Patti’s father (Jim Benson), Grace’s niece (Carmen Reyes), and Mark’s mother (Shirley Weber).

Say “Hello Pancreas”! The average person around the globe knows very little about one of their hardest working organs – – their pancreas. Leaning into this year’s global awareness campaign, Croixstone and the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance invite you to say “Hello Pancreas” this November to get to know your pancreas buddy a bit better.

Two Ways to say “Hello Pancreas”! Here are two fast and easy ways to get to know your pancreas this month.

• We invite you to visit hellopancreas.com as the first step in getting to better know your pancreas.

• We encourage you to read the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance’s November newsletter that features a variety of actions and events in which you can participate to build your friendship with your pancreas.


Croixstone Debuts on the 2023 Inc. 5000 List

“Our debut on the 2023 Inc. 5000 list is fueled by the incredible support that Croixstone receives from our talented consultants, employees, clients, partners and friends.”

– Patti Weber (CEO and Co-Founder, Croixstone Consulting)


We have big news to share today: Croixstone is excited to share the following news as announced this morning by Inc. Business Media.

• Croixstone is debuting at No. 511 on the 2023 Inc. 5000, the annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. This ranking puts our firm among the top 10% of the fastest-growing private companies in the USA.
• Croixstone is debuting at No. 8 as the fastest-growing private company in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia NC-SC metro area.
• Croixstone is debuting at No.16 as the fastest-growing private company in our home state of North Carolina.
• Croixstone is debuting at No. 56 as the fastest-growing private Business Products & Services company in the USA.

Learn more about the Inc. 5000 List: The 2023 Inc. 5000 list ranks the top 5,000 privately held businesses in the U.S. by three-year revenue growth.

View the complete list here.

Read our press release: Click here.

Explore our digital library: Click here.


We are one week away from sharing big news.

“On the heels of celebrating our seventh business anniversary in June, I am thrilled to launch our countdown as we prepare to share big Croixstone news on Tuesday, August 15.”

– Patti Weber (CEO and Co-Founder, Croixstone Consulting)

The countdown begins today: The Croixstone Consulting leadership team is exceptionally excited to launch a 7-day countdown beginning today. The firm is preparing to share some big news with the general public on Tuesday, August 15.

Get social with us: We invite you to follow and engage with Croixstone on our social media platforms as we countdown to Tuesday, August 15. The sharing of big news that happens to be great news is always a happy occasion. Our social media presence is sure to reflect our excitement, and we welcome you to join in our enthusiasm.

• LinkedIn
• Twitter
• Threads
• Instagram
• Facebook

Learn our news on Tuesday, August 15:  Join our mailing list if you aren’t already a subscriber. Read our blog. Follow our socials. We plan to be here, there, and everywhere on Tuesday, August 15.


Croixstone Consulting Celebrates 7th Business Anniversary

“On our lucky number 7 business anniversary, I offer the deepest thanks to our consultants, search professionals, clients, leadership team, business partners, friends and family to whom we owe the ongoing success of our unique firm.”

– Patti Weber, CEO

Where it began: 7 years ago this month, our founders Patti Weber (a former leader with Accenture and public school educator) and Mark Weber (a serial entrepreneur, consulting industry veteran, and former staffing industry executive) launched Croixstone Consulting in a former photography studio loft in Charlotte’s vibrant South End neighborhood.

The inspiration: The conventional consulting industry is notorious for recycling PowerPoint decks and burning out its consultants. These practices, along with other systemic issues in the consulting industry, contribute to the delivery of subpar services to clients. The Webers believed there was an opportunity to build a high-performing, boutique firm around consulting industry mavericks (known as constructive noncomformists) who could deliver their expertise and passions in a better way, while concurrently fueling innovation and solving problems for clients.

The name: Rivers are an indispensable part of our lives, and they are wonderful gifts from nature that have the power to teach us. The inspiration for Croixstone’s name is the St. Croix River (French: Holy Cross), a tributary of the Mississippi River that forms a border between the states of Wisconsin (the home state of the Webers) and Minnesota (where the firm’s founders each began their careers).

The right way to say our name: “kroy-stone.”

Our achievements: We’ve packed a lot into our 7 years in business. As a small but mighty firm, we not only survived, but thrived, amidst the global pandemic. We owe a huge thank you to all those who believed in our ability to deliver a differentiated business model for our consultants, clients and internal leadership team. Here are some of our key achievements over the past 7 years:

• 2016 – Croixstone was launched in Loft 309 of the former Lance Crackers building on South Boulevard in Charlotte’s trendy South End neighborhood.

• 2017 – Inspired by a future of work conference that Mark Weber attended in NYC, Croixstone relocated to the One South tower in Uptown Charlotte and is a founding member of the Industrious coworking community.

• 2019 – Croixstone launched the firm’s human capital and executive search practices.

• 2020 – Croixstone received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Greater Women’s Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Additionally, Patti Weber was accepted a part of a competitive application process into FORTUNE magazine’s “Rebuild Program.”

• 2021 – Patti Weber was selected as one of only 25 women in the USA to participate in the “Accelerated Growth Program” sponsored by Wells Fargo and hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners. Additionally, Patti was also named to The Charlotte Ledger’s 2021 “Forty Over 40” list in recognition for her contributions in making Charlotte a better place to live, work and play.

• 2022 – Croixstone landed on the Charlotte Business Journal’s “Fast 50” list as the Charlotte region’s second fastest-growing private company.

• 2023 – Croixstone was ranked #11 on Inc. magazine’s fourth annual “Inc. 5000 Regionals: Mid-Atlantic” list, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Learn more: Checkout Croixstone’s Linktree to learn more about unique firm.


Your Ticket to Career Adventures

“The right boutique consulting partner can serve as your ticket to unparalleled consulting adventures with unique clients who are tomorrow’s economic drivers.”

– Mark Weber (Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Croixstone Consulting)


What is a Boutique Consulting Firm?: A boutique consulting firm is defined as a small or niche consulting firm that specializes in delivering specialized services and expertise to clients in specific industries or functional areas. Unlike larger consulting firms that offer a broad range of services, boutique firms focus on delivering highly tailored solutions and personalized attention to their clients. Croixstone Consulting is a boutique consulting firm that drives business outcomes by accelerating and sustaining transformations for a national portfolio of middle market and large corporate clients.

Opportunities to Apply Your Expertise in New Ways: Many large and boutique consulting firms hire for deep functional expertise in a specific industry. That said, there are firms like Croixstone Consulting which seek to hire highly intelligent professionals who have applied their expertise across a broad swath of industry sectors and company sizes. Croixstone tends to work with clients who value the expertise and diverse perspectives that can be delivered by consultants who bring new insights and best practices that can be adopted from other industries. Innovation is often fueled by this type of approach. And best of all, this approach enables consultants with a sense of adventure to apply their expertise in new, invigorating, and career-building ways.

Consulting Adventures Defined: Since Croixstone’s founding nearly 7 years ago, our consultants have applied their expertise in a variety of adventuresome ways. Examples include:

• Outer Space: We helped to stand up the HR function for a global leader in space exploration.

• The Sun: We helped to optimize operational processes for a fast-growth developer of utility-scale solar farms.

• Planet Earth: We created a technology training program for an organization that studies and documents languages around the globe.

• The Seas: We helped to lead an enterprise Payroll technology project for a global telecommunications company that delivers critical communications services to the maritime sector.

• Your Backyard: We completed market research for a market leader in fencing that is owned by one of the world’s top 10 private equity firms.

• Your Bedroom: We guided a divestiture for one of the largest USA producers of components for the bedding industry.

• Your Medicine Cabinet: We provided Interim Plant Managers to fill critical vacancies for a PE-backed global manufacturer of protective packaging for the pharma and health sectors.

If You are Seeking Adventures in Your Career: We recommend that professionals who crave adventure and continuous learning opportunities in their careers explore the pathways that can be delivered by boutique consulting firms.

Learn more: Read Croixstone’s blog to explore our career-oriented posts on topics including the boutique consulting sector, portfolio careers, artificial intelligence and the career search, the future of work, and much more.


Why the Portfolio Life is Attracting so Many

“I prefer the term “portfolio life” over “portfolio career,” but whatever you want to call it, it’s an opportunity to gain control over your life in the midst of uncertainty and constant disruption.”

– Christina Wallace (Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School and author of The Portfolio Life)

A new way to view career: In launching Croixstone Consulting in 2016, our firm’s co-founders, Patti Weber (CEO) and Mark Weber (Managing Partner), designed a business plan that placed “portfolio professionals” at the center of the firm’s universe. While the concept of “portfolio life” or “portfolio careers” was not well known at that time, the career framework is gaining increasing popularity and adoption by professionals who understand that the future of work demands a new blueprint for architecting one’s career – – and life.

A guide to future-proof your career: Last month, Christina Wallace of Harvard Business School published a fascinating book entitled The Portfolio Life. This on-point book serves as a guide to future-proof your career, avoid burnout, and build a life bigger than your business card.

Definition of portfolio career: We like the following definition of portfolio career as published by Harvard Business Review. Whereas a career path tends to be a singular pursuit (climb the ladder in one direction and focus on what is straight ahead), a career portfolio is a never-ending source of discovery and fulfillment. It represents your vast and diverse professional journey, including the various twists and turns, whether made by choice or by circumstance.

Four pillars of the portfolio life: Christina Wallace advises that the following four pillars are essential when adopting the portfolio life / career:

1. Identity
2. Optionality
3. Diversification
4. Flexibility

Learn more: Learn more about the portfolio life / career framework and the four pillars to adopt this increasingly popular career framework here.


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.