Martha Stewart and Leonardo da Vinci? They have more in common than you know.

Leonardo da Vinci.
Andy Warhol.
Walt Disney.
Martha Stewart.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Two weeks ago, our Managing Partner and co-founder Mark Weber returned for a command performance to LOOM Coworking, Gallery and Event Space in Fort Mill, SC to share insights on the common thread that ties these five, highly accomplished professionals together.

The common thread?

Each of these famous people built a “portfolio career”, a style of working where a professional combines multiple streams of income to earn a robust living. Think of a portfolio career like an investment portfolio whereby you derive income from multiple streams that you professionally manage with a high degree of care, strategy and intentionality.

Portfolio careers are booming. In a recent article published by Ben Legg, the former COO of Google Europe, it was noted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (based in Paris) in its Future of Work study that an estimated 50% of developed country workforces would be gig workers by 2030. Similarly, Ladders published a story that featured a forecast from Statista, the market research firm, that freelancers will make up more than 50% of the USA’s workforce by 2027.

So why are portfolio careers growing?

For starters, more and more professionals are realizing that they have the right and power to veer from the traditional career script. Many of the most skilled and intelligent workers crave both variety and challenge in their careers, and they find it fulfilling to meet their needs outside the traditional career path.

For these professionals, there is often a greater sense of purpose, clarity, and flexibility that accompanies the building of a portfolio career.

Respected thought leaders including Harvard Business Review and Forbes are publishing a growing body of articles and videos that are providing legitimacy to those attracted to the concept of a portfolio career. Additionally, a growing number of employers, including Croixstone Consulting, are intentionally building and diversifying their workforces by designing and implementing talent strategies focused on portfolio professionals.

Visit Croixstone Consulting’s Linktree to find a variety of links to learn more about the benefits and rewards of building a portfolio career.


Croixstone Consulting Turns “6”

The Croixstone Consulting team is celebrating its sixth business anniversary this month! Patti Weber and Mark Weber launched Croixstone as a boutique management consultancy in 2016. Their vision was to offer the world a highly differentiated business model in management consulting that would transform careers and businesses. The two entrepreneurs powered their vision by using their superpowers in strategic networking and relationship-building to connect the brightest minds.

In honor of the firm’s sixth business anniversary, here are six fun facts about Croixstone Consulting.

#1) Our name. Rivers are a hugely important part of life that connect humans in so many ways. 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 Patti and Mark) and Minnesota (where the firm’s founders each began their careers).

#2) One more thing about our name. The correct way to pronounce the company’s name is “kroy-stone.”

#3) Our garage was a loft. Many of the world’s best known start-up companies were launched in garages. Croixstone launched its business in 2016 in Loft 309 of the former Lance Crackers building on South Boulevard in Charlotte’s booming South End Neighborhood. Not a garage, but a very cool loft to build a very unusual company.

#4) We LOVE constructive nonconformists. Business mavericks. Rebel talent. Call them what you will. One of our core beliefs is that these are the people who drive innovation in companies.

#5) We also LOVE portfolio professionals. We believe portfolio careers are the future of work. And so do many other thought leaders and futurists.

#6) Curiosity. One of our core values. We practice intelligent exploration and intellectual humility. We apply the best of our professional life experience, but always stay focused on what’s left to learn. From space exploration companies to solar farm developers to fintech unicorns, our curiosity has fueled Croixstone’s ability to build a truly unique client portfolio over the past 6 years.


Reimagine the Way You Give

Almost 7 years ago, our co-founders Patti Weber (CEO) and Mark Weber (Managing Partner) were seeking a new way to put their skills and interests to work in a meaningful way to give back in their home city of Charlotte, NC.

That search led them to an exceptionally unique nonprofit called Social Venture Partners International (SVP), an organization with a network of 3,400 philanthropists in more than 40 cities around the world. These philanthropists, called “Partners”, help those out to do good to do better – by bringing together donors, nonprofits and social enterprises so together all can make a greater collective impact.

SVP Partners practice what is called “engaged venture philanthropy.”  Venture philanthropy is a type of impact investment that takes concepts and techniques from venture capital finance and business management and applies them to achieving philanthropic goals. SVP Partners invest money, time and skills in promising, up and coming nonprofits in their local communities.

The Charlotte Affiliate of SVP is seeking to welcome new Partners who relate to the concept of engaged venture philanthropy. Learn more about SVP Charlotte here, and/or reach out to Mark Weber, who volunteers on the SVP Charlotte Board, at mweber@croixstone.consulting.


We Have a Passion for Purple!

In addition to sharing a mutual passion for consulting, our three senior leaders (Patti Weber, Grace Lynch, and Mark Weber) are known for their passion for creating awareness for pancreatic cancer.

Purple is the official color that represents pancreatic cancer, and the trio is known across the greater Charlotte region and beyond for their long-term advocacy for the the disease. In fact, their passion runs so deep that Patti, Grace, and Mark launched the nonprofit Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance community group last year to amplify their voices.

Shortly after forming the group, the trio wasted no time in joining the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, a consortium of nearly 100 advocacy groups from 33 countries on 6 continents.

The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition spotlighted the work of Patti, Grace and Mark in the October 2021 issue of its global newsletter. Learn more here.


Croixstone Recommends: The Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte’s “Management Development Program”

It’s that time of year again when registration has opened for one of the Charlotte region’s best professional development and networking programs – the Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte’s “Management Development Program.”

Croixstone’s co-founders, Patti Weber and Mark Weber, are both graduates of this mini-MBA course that is conducted “Harvard style.”  Taught by 26 Harvard Business School alumni from the Charlotte region, the course curriculum utilizes Harvard’s famous case study method and Harvard publications.  Croixstone’s leaders especially enjoyed the rigorous debate of real-world business challenges that are embedded in the program.

The Management Development Program classes begin September 21 for 13 consecutive Monday nights and are open to the public (space is limited).  And new for 2021, you have the option of participating in person at Queens University in Charlotte or remotely.

Learn more here.


Croixstone Consulting Turns “5”

We are celebrating!  Founded by Patti Weber and Mark Weber in 2016, Croixstone Consulting celebrates its fifth business anniversary this month.  Launched in a loft in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood with the aspiration to provide a highly-differentiated business model in management consulting, Croixstone has grown rapidly thanks to the deep expertise, talents and support of our consulting team, internal staff and partners/supporters.

As all entrepreneurs understand, the art of the start-up is filled with times of both great exhilaration and sleepless nights (hello global pandemic)!  We are fortunate in that our five-year ride at Croixstone has been one of tremendous positivity. 

Here are some of our favorite special moments over the past 5 years. 

  • Launch:  Croixstone began operations in June 2016 in Loft 309 in the former Lance Crackers building on South Boulevard in Charlotte’s booming South End neighborhood.
  • Hello Uptown:  Croixstone relocated from the start-up loft to the new Industrious Charlotte Uptown co-working community in the Bank of America Plaza tower at Trade & Tryon in December 2017.
  • TABL:  Croixstone introduced TABL, the firm’s unique culinary team building experience, with a playful social media launch in January 2018.
  • New Practice Area:  Croixstone announced the launch of its new human capital solutions practice and a new executive search offering in June 2019.
  • FORTUNE Magazine:  Croixstone announced in May 2020 that Patti Weber (CEO) had been accepted as part of a competitive application process into FORTUNE magazine’s Rebuild Program that was inspired in response to the global pandemic.
  • Hello NoDa:  Croixstone relocated into larger offices in the newly-opened Industrious Charlotte NoDa co-working community in June 2020.
  • Supplier Diversity Certification:  Croixstone received national certification in July 2020 as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Greater Women’s Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
  • Accelerated Growth:  Croixstone announced in January 2021 that Patti Weber (CEO) was one of 25 women across the USA accepted in the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Accelerated Growth Program sponsored by Wells Fargo.
  • Forty Over 40:  Croixstone’s CEO Patti Weber was named as a “Forty Over 40” award recipient by The Charlotte Ledger in May 2021.

We are Purple Podcasting!

Listen to Croixstone’s leaders on the Project Purple Podcast

For our CEO, Patti Weber, it is her father.
For our Senior Manager of Business Operations, Grace Lynch, it is her niece.
For our Managing Partner, Mark Weber, it is his mother.

To know Croixstone is to know that each of our three leaders have been touched in a very personal way by pancreatic cancer, the USA’s third leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

In January of 2020, Patti, Grace and Mark launched the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, a nonprofit community group that raises awareness for the disease.  Last week, the three leaders shared the stories of their loved ones and their new community group on the Project Purple Podcast, ranked #1 on Feedspot’s “Top 10 Pancreatic Cancer Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020.”

Listen here.


Mark Weber, Croixstone’s Managing Partner, Speaks with WBTV

On August 16th, the family of Aretha Franklin confirmed that the 18-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter died of pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer.  Croixstone leaders Mark and Patti Weber each lost a parent to pancreatic cancer, and both actively volunteer with the Charlotte Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to increase awareness of the disease and raise money for research.  Maureen O’Boyle of WBTV (Charlotte’s CBS Affiliate) recently interviewed Mark about his passion to rewrite the future of pancreatic cancer.  Read the interview here.