What People Are Saying

“Lael’s strategic insight and questioning makes me think she’s has a high speed connection to the soul of my organization. Capable of identifying patterns, jujitsu levers, pain points, and strengths, Lael moves quickly from assessment into action. Her focus on sustainable development has led to fundamental shifts in how my organization — its leadership, community, staff, and board – engage with each other and the organization, leading to superior outcomes, performance, and commitment. What is amazing, however, is that while Lael inevitably brings change – which is naturally uncomfortable and sometimes even messy, her demeanor and personality keeps all happily engaged from start to finish. Lael is rock star.
Elizabeth Stefanski, Executive Director, Maine Women’s Fund

“I chose Lael because she understands the complicated relationship of a woman to her business. What I loved about working with Lael was that I could stop pretending to be “all business.” The truth about my work life and personal life, and my choices, is that they blend together. It’s messy, complicated, and never separate. With Lael, I felt free to cross those boundaries again and again. She taught me to recognize that I was still a rock star businesswoman even though I turned down some clients in order to see my kids. During our calls I was able to relax, to sit on the floor in my office, and take time to think. I did not have to be the one with all the answers. That’s not say the process wasn’t hard work. Lael is tough, direct, and honest. You have to work for your results. The crazy, wild ride Lael takes you on is worth it in the end! You finish knowing you have found your way to something new, something real, and something completely yours.”
- Katie Bouton, President, Koya Leadership Partners

“When I first met Lael, I knew we would have a good rapport, I was impressed with her career history, and I had no doubt that she would be an asset to our organization. What I couldn’t have seen was that it didn’t happen in the way that I was so sure it would. We all know, or think we know, what makes a good consultant, a good fit for your organization, a successful business relationship. I thought I knew what I was looking for in that person and I was sure that I had found it in Lael. What I found instead was something very different, something much better and much more effective.  About once a month for a year, I’d head out to meet with Lael. First, I’m so glad she encouraged me to get out of my office and my work environment whenever we met. I realize now that meeting in a physically different space made me feel comfortable and safe enough to talk freely. I never before realized just how important it would be to have that freedom. You begin to understand, especially if you are in leadership and even more so I think if you are overseeing a small organization or company, that there’s pressure on you (real and imagined) to always be capable, composed, articulate, smart, patient, kind, thoughtful…. And then, when you start to work with someone like Lael, you know you can trust her right away, and that she is someone with whom you can be inarticulate, clumsy, un-composed, tongue-tied, and positively brilliant! You can talk, yell, draw, scribble, throw your hands in the air, pace, high-five, clench your fists, sit on the floor and completely drop that wonderful/awful facade we carry as “leaders.” Instead, you can trust in Lael to let you be yourself, let you change your mind, let you struggle to answer questions, let you ask all sorts of questions, and I guarantee you, somehow, because of her guidance and leadership, because she’s smart and you trust her, because she knows exactly what she’s doing (even when she tells you she doesn’t :-)), that you come to a place where you achieve clarity, direction, more confidence than you’ve had before. And you begin to realize that you can be your composed, articulate, smart, thoughtful, patient, kind self because you are more “there” than you’ve ever been before. This is the best leap of faith you’ll take, so let yourself leap, and at some point weeks or months later, you’ll know exactly what I mean.”
– Donna Galluzzo, Executive Director, Salt Institute

“Working with Lael has been refreshing and energizing for our entire organization. She has worked with us individually through coaching, has facilitated us in small groups, and led our full Board and Staff through our most recent annual retreat. Her preparation is thorough, her delivery articulate and her follow through impressive. Lael’s dedication and passion are ever present, she listens skillfully, helps us clarify our goals and objectives and facilitates our arrival. She offers challenges, questions and opportunities to grow, and is sure to balance the hard work with just the right amount of celebration. And finally, she is, in short, a human onomatopoeia. Splash! Bang! Whoosh! There is no shortage of personality with Lael and upon conclusion of working with her, you are left looking forward to the next opportunity.”
Pam Erickson, Executive Director, Coastal Studies for Girls

“I started my business over 4 years ago and never had a formal business plan.  I always had that ‘should’ hanging over my head about getting a business plan together, so I approached Lael to help me with it. The first thing we did was get rid of the notion that the plan had to be rigid in its format and approach – and this took a big weight off me.  Instead, we started with some visioning work about what I wanted my life to be, how I want to feel when I do my work, and who my perfect customer is. This really helped me focus on what I love doing, and even helped me build the goal of getting exercise at least 5 days a week into my business plan (because it helps me feel confident and strong when I’m working with clients). The end result is that I have a business plan that has much of the usual construct – mission, vision, focus areas and goals – but the process of getting there was much different than I had expected and really opened my eyes to what’s important in my life and my business. And the best part of doing this work is that because I put my energy into defining things like the perfect customer, more of them are coming my way!”
- Johnna Major, President, Cornerstone HR

“Our time with Lael was a rewarding experience and continues to inform our growth process. Her ability to name the places where we were stuck, ask the right questions, and to pull out of us the answers we were seeking was just what we needed at a tough transitional period in our organization’s growth. Lael’s passion for and commitment to smart organizational growth makes her a natural leader in the strategic visioning process and an incredible asset to organizations like Hardy Girls Healthy Women.”
Megan Williams, Executive Director, Hardy Girls Healthy Women

“Lael is able to embrace the issues in organizations to shed light on where structural changes can lead to higher performance and greater innovation. She gives that “outside-in” look which legacy structures and positions may disguise. Lael took me through a process which included her observations, insights, intuition and her ability to challenge me and my organization to find where we were out of sync with company goals. By doing so she had a profound impact on bringing meaningful change to a very successful company”
Art Aleshire, SVP Corporate Development Hannaford Bros. Co.

“Lael’s expert help was instrumental in guiding Ruby Slippers through a challenging transition as a company. She created a comfortable, safe and courageous space for us to explore difficult interpersonal issues. She kept us focused, moved us toward a clearer corporate vision, and managed the process with a combination of confidence, thoughtful insight, and emotional support. It was a transformative experience for us, both as individuals and as a company.”
Susanna Liller, Partner Ruby Slippers

“The way Lael asked questions and made suggestions helped me start strategizing and planning for next steps and future projects.  She helped me to organize my thoughts as the Executive Director and prepare for our annual board retreat.  In addition to being adding a lot of value,  I found working with her to be a pleasure!”
Susan Kring, Executive Director, Dress for Success

“In our quest to find a retreat consultant who is both supportive and sensitive to the particular issues facing our organization, it is clear we found the right person when selecting Lael. Lael spent considerable time in preparation for the retreat by working with the executive director, the chair, and officers to understand the full extent of our mission, the dynamics of the group, and our goals for the day. Lael is an extremely effective listener with the unique ability to absorb volumes of information and quickly crystallize the data into a clear synopsis. She is vigilant about keeping everyone engaged, building consensus and ensuring the decision-making process leads to enriching outcomes for all.  She is respectful of multiple voices, establishing the structure and ground rules for thoughtful conversation, while remaining flexible with the agenda to respond to needs and concerns of the group. She proved to be a truly invested partner the day of the retreat, assisting us in refining our mission and creating a vision-directed action plan to best address the pressing issues facing women today.”
Laurie Chandler, Chair, NH Commission on the Status of Women