Croixstone Welcomes Stephanie Burke in the Newly-Created Role of Director, People Experience

We are growing! Croixstone is excited to announce that Stephanie Burke has joined the Croixstone leadership team in the newly-created role of Director, People Experience.

People are at the center of our firm. Reporting to our CEO, Patti Weber, Stephanie is responsible for fueling Croixstone’s ongoing focus on putting people at the center of our firm. Her responsibilities include spearheading onboarding, empowering consultants to cultivate and amplify their personal brands, curating impactful professional development opportunities, and fostering consultant engagement initiatives.

Great experience to serve our team. Stephanie brings tremendous experience to the firm that will greatly benefit Croixstone. She joins our team with more than a decade of experience in global HR leadership, change management, process excellence and executive influencing.

Stephanie’s background includes diverse leadership roles at:
• Bank of America (VP, Talent Acquisition Program Manager and VP, U.S. Retained & Contingent Search Program Manager)
• Syneos Health (Associate Director, Contingent & Direct Hire Vendor Management)
• Prudential Financial (Senior Project Manager, Strategic Sourcing)

Stephanie lives in the Raleigh, North Carolina area with her husband, Josh, children Amelia and Archie, and dog Cooper.

Click here to review Stephanie’s LinkedIn profile.


Building an AI Foundation for Growth

“Artificial intelligence and generative AI may be the most important technology of any lifetime.”
– Marc Benioff (Chair, CEO and Co-Founder – Salesforce)

Taking AI to the Next Level: Like many other organizations, Croixstone has launched a journey to harness the full potential of AI and to drive its value creation. Last week, three of our leaders (Ed Ritter, Brandon Morgan, and Mark Weber) participated in the second of a three-part AI educational series hosted by the Charlotte Chapter of the Private Directors Association (Croixstone serves as a sponsor along with Gold Sponsor Charlotte Business Journal and fellow Bronze sponsors GreerWalker and Essex Richards).

AI Speakers: Last week’s AI educational session featured a diverse panel of speakers including Jeremiah Grant (President, Chief Information Security Officer – EverOak Solutions), Lisa Weil (Board Advisor – Quinnipiac University School of Nursing and former Senior Managing Director, Head of Experience Product Management – TIAA), David Phillips (Founder – Faster Glass) and moderator Carolina Ko (Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager – Bank of America).

AI Key Messages: We appreciated and strongly aligned with the following key messages delivered by the panelists regarding the AI journey:

  • There is a call to action for EVERY organization when it comes to AI.
  • Focus first on your employees and their concerns and potential resistance to AI.
  • Allow for experiential learning to drive AI training.
  • Organizations must have solid foundations rooted in clean data strategies, great controls environments, and solid governance to support their AI journeys.
  • Organizations should “right-size” their governance of AI.
    Board members need not be AI techies, but rather they should be asking foundational and strategic questions related to AI.

Wondering about how to best launch your organization’s AI journey? Reach out to Mark Weber, Croixstone’s Managing Partner and Co-Founder here.

Learn more about the Private Directors Association. Founded in 2014, the Private Directors Association is dedicated to improving private companies’ growth and sustainability through governance that adds value. Learn more here.


Congrats to the SEED20 Class of 2024

“We distributed awards totaling over $41,000! With Wells Fargo’s generous match, our fundraising total surpassed $60,0000 (a new SEED20 record!) and continues to grow.”

– Social Venture Partners Charlotte (Host organization of SEED20)

What a night! On Tuesday, March 26, ten leaders from local Charlotte region nonprofits took the stage at the annual SEED20 pitch contest hosted by Social Venture Partners Charlotte (SVP), the unique nonprofit organization that hosts this annual program to identify, spotlight and support the Charlotte region’s most innovative ideas for tackling pressing social issues.

An electrified atmosphere. The SEED20 Class of 2024 took the stage at Central Piedmont Community College’s New Theater and captivated us with their inspiring narratives on how they are transforming the greater Charlotte area for the better. Our very own Mark Weber (Managing Partner and Co-Founder) also took the stage to share the story about his personal involvement with SEED20 and host organization SVP. Mark is a former board member with SVP and he and Patti Weber (our CEO) are long term Partners (donor volunteers) with this innovation-centric nonprofit.

Congrats! Croixstone extends a hearty congratulations to the SEED20 award winners.

Wells Fargo People’s Choice Grand Prize of $20,00: Day Services Program at Children’s Attention Home
Second Place Prize of $7,000: Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats
The Brand Building Shop’s Brand Narrative Package valued at $8,000: Rooted Hearts Ministries
The Professional Video Production Package valued at $3,500: Siloam Educator Institute at the Charlotte Museum of History
Coaches’ Award of $2,000: Our Daily Bread Foundation
Community Vote Prize of $1,000: Day Services Program at Children’s Attention Home

Learn More. Click here to learn more about the SEED20 Class of 2024.


Croixstone is named to Inc. Magazine’s List of the Mid-Atlantic Region’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

We Did It Again: We are celebrating some big news today! For the second consecutive year, Croixstone was named to the Inc. 5000 Regionals: Mid-Atlantic list as one of the region’s fastest-growing private companies.

Our Ranking: Croixstone is ranked at #83 on this year’s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies based in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The 2024 Inc. 5000 Regionals are ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2020 and 2022.

“We are thrilled to land on the Inc. 5000 Regionals list for the second consecutive year,” said Patti Weber, Croixstone’s Chief Executive Officer. “This achievement is fueled by the passion of our employees and consultants to fulfill Croixstone’s vision to lead in the delivery of professional services that transform careers and businesses.”

Learn More About the Inc. 5000 Regionals: Complete results of the Inc. 5000 Regionals: Mid-Atlantic list can be found at inc.com/regionals/mid-atlantic.

Read Our Press Release: Click here.


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 is named to the Charlotte Business Journal’s 2023 “Fast 50” List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies

We did it again! For the second consecutive year, the Charlotte Business Journal named Croixstone as one of the Charlotte region’s 50 fastest-growing private companies. The publication announced its 2023 annual list of “Fast 50” companies on Tuesday, October 31.

What companies are eligible? Eligible companies must have completed three full years of operation by the end of 2022 and logged sales of at least $1 million that year. They are privately held corporations, proprietorships or partnerships – not subsidiaries or divisions – that are based in the greater Charlotte region.

How are companies evaluated? Eligible companies provided financial documentation that was evaluated by accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen, which ranked participants based on annual growth over three years.

What is Croixstone’s ranking? We don’t know yet! The Charlotte Business Journal will reveal the 2023 Fast 50 rankings during an awards event on November 30, with a special report to be published by the publication on December 1.

2023 has been a remarkable year. This latest news contributes to a milestone year of growth-related honors for Croixstone.

• 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.

It takes a village. Founded in 2016, Croixstone’s remarkable 7th year has been achieved thanks to the amazing support and contributions of our employees, consultants, executive search candidates, clients, partners, friends and family.


Application Period for SEED20 2024 is Now Open

About Croixstone and SVP Charlotte: Croixstone is a proud Community Partner of Social Venture Partners Charlotte (SVP Charlotte). This unique nonprofit organization provides a way for passionate and committed individuals and companies to collectively invest their money, skills and time to nurture and support some of the most promising nonprofit organizations attacking social and economic inequality within the greater Charlotte region.

What is SEED20?: SEED20 is the nonprofit pitch contest hosted annually by SVP Charlotte. This high-profile program provides a terrific opportunity for innovative nonprofits to tap into professional development around messaging, gain access to high quality marketing assets, benefit from incredible community exposure, and build their social capital.

Spread the word: SVP Charlotte announced yesterday that the application period for the SEED20 Class of 2024 has officially launched. Please share the following link with your professional network and help us spread the word: https://tinyurl.com/applytoday4Seed20

Save the date: You don’t want to miss the SEED20 Class of 2024. Join us to watch them take the stage on Tuesday, March 26 at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.


Learn About Exit Planning for Privately Held Companies

We are an Event Sponsor for PDA’s next in-person event: Along with GreerWalker LLP and Essex Richards, P.A., Croixstone is excited to serve as an Event Sponsor for the next in-person event hosted by the Charlotte Chapter of the Private Directors Association (PDA), a professional association with a purpose to enable and enhance the value, growth, and resilience of privately held companies through effective governance.

Event details: The event is taking place on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 from 5pm – 7:30pm at Croixstone’s offices located at 101 S. Tryon Street, Suite 2700 in Uptown Charlotte, NC.

Topic: The program will focus on “how to and why” privately held company owners should initiate an exit plan well before owners are ready to execute on such a strategy. From a private company governance perspective, the discussion provides for multiple alternatives in seeking the best outcome for shareholders while educating all involved on the process.

Subject matter experts from GreerWalker and Essex Richards will address the following topics:

• Exit strategies – when should a private company begin the planning process and what are the strategic options to consider?
• Who should be involved (owners, board members)?
• Independent board members role in the planning process
• Preparation and expectations – issues and potential pitfalls

Interested in attending? This is an in-person event with no virtual option to participate. Members of the PDA can register for $25 by logging into their member accounts here. Non-members interested in attending as a guest of Croixstone can do so by emailing Grace Lynch, Croixstone’s Director of Business Operations, at glynch@croixstone.consulting.