Trailbridge LLC | trailbridge
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We are changing the world through our clients.

At TrailBridge LLC, we empower high-growth companies, especially women-led, minority-led,and mission-driven organizations, to achieve maximum positive impact through a collaborative and strategic approach. 

The TrailBridge team works with organizations in the areas of strategic growth, marketing + sales, business development, operations + logistics, finance, organizational development, and talent management. Our goal is to be the first call any business owner, who is facing a challenge, opportunity, or issue, makes.

What’s on our minds now…

Change is hard. And changes in evolving companies impact everyone.

Luckily, we’ve seen it all. And we want to share with you what’s worked and what hasn’t, so you can avoid some of the same pitfalls. Read our blog posts for ideas on how to handle some of the common challenges that befall growing companies. And, if you still can’t figure it out, give us a call.

What we do…

Growth & Strategy

TrailBridge helps our clients grow, so that they can expand their reach and increase their impact. We work with them through our three-step strategic planning process, to help them figure out how to expand their reach, determine the best way to diversify their products and services, and decide what other resources, like additional people or capital, they need to promote sustainable and profitable growth.

People & Organizations

Having the right people in the right places can make or break an organization. TrailBridge works with our clients to figure out the best organizational design to meet their growth goals, focusing on the right reporting structures, roles and responsibilities, and communications strategies that drive people to work together across the organization. We help you decide which roles are missing and work with our partner recruiting agency to hire the right people for your company. It’s expensive to find good talent, so we help clients retain their existing employees and train so that they grow alongside your company.

Marketing & Sales

What do people think about when they hear your name? TrailBridge works with our clients on the evolving storyline of their companies. Through marketing and brand strategies, customer insights and segmentation, and customer experience strategies, we can help you craft the right messages that resonate with your audiences. Once you have that message, we then help you integrate that into your business development and sales activities. We can work with your team to identify new sales channels, form strategic partnerships, and conduct consultative sales training for your team.

Corporate Development & Finance

Growth is an investment, but if done strategically, with a plan in mind, the financial risk can be mitigated. TrailBridge works with our clients to help them create a solid, realistic financial strategy and forecast for growth. Through this process, we help identify the resources the company will require, and help them budget and plan for the timing of those expenses (e.g., when a certain revenue target is achieved). TrailBridge also advises clients on value creation and company performance.

Operations & Supply Chain

TrailBridge works with companies to help their businesses run more efficiently and more effectively. For some companies, this may mean reducing their payroll expense through talent engagement optimization. For others, it may be looking at IT integration between their HR, operations, and supply chain. TrailBridge’s consultants have a blend of strengths across these functional areas, to be able to take a more integrated approach for our clients.

Impact & Sustainability

Our clients are unique in that they are just as concerned with hitting their targets for impact, as well as their profit goals. We work with our clients to benchmark their impact against other organizations in the market, provide customer and stakeholder feedback, and convene stakeholder groups. On the metrics side, we work with clients to identify key metrics and create processes that allow for efficient measurement and tracking.

Who we are

We are a team of extremely capable practitioners who share a passion of working with small and mid-sized companies that have a social bent. Small and mid-sized companies are often the drivers of job creation and true community impact within their regions. We believe these organizations are at the heart of economic development and community improvement, and we work closely with them to help them grow and increase their overall impact.

We care about helping people, and we want to work with companies that care about helping people, too. If we can help them grow, our communities and world will be a better place.

We also work closely with a national executive search firm dedicated to placing exceptionally talented leadership at mission-driven organizations.

Michelle Macaux, MBA, Founder & CEO
Strategic Growth & Business Development

Michelle leverages her expertise in strategy and organizational development to help growing companies identify, understand, and overcome their unique challenges. Michelle’s experience spans a variety of industries, from global product companies to local software developers, from the U.S., Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Michelle has 15+ years working in strategic growth, marketing and business development, with a special emphasis on working with minority and women CEOs. She received her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she wrote her master’s thesis on the roles of leadership and organizational process in the successful growth of small and mid-sized businesses. Michelle also holds a B.A. cum laude in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mark Snipe, MBA
Finance & Operations

Mark’s 20+ years of experience in corporate and entrepreneurial environments, has instilled in him extensive experience in corporate finance, operations, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and financial analysis, logistics and business management. His background cuts across various industries, including retail, investment banking, consumer products, media, fashion and healthcare. Additionally, his time operating his own business and his involvement in other entrepreneurial companies makes him keenly aware of the challenges these ventures encounter. Mark earned a B.S., in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell University and an M.B.A., in Finance and Accounting from N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business.

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Jessica Olson, MS
Talent & Organizational Development

Jessica brings deep expertise in leadership and organization development, talent management, training, and strategic facilitation. Jessica partners with clients to improve their leadership effectiveness, as well as organization and talent practices rooted in people, structures, and processes. This includes performing organizational, leadership and talent assessments, identifying key strengths and challenges, and creating targeted solutions that enhance the organization’s performance and culture, as well as support the achievement of its strategy. Jessica has worked with businesses founded and maintained in the local community, as well as with FORTUNE Global 500 companies. Jessica earned an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University, an M.S. in Human Resources Development from the University of Houston, and a B.A. in Psychology from Kalamazoo College.

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Kat Andler, MFA
Media & Marketing Consultant

Kat Andler blends her extensive marketing, design, and media technology background with her affinity for strategic growth planning in organizations of all sizes from startups to Fortune 50 companies. Her work as a Professor has further augmented her skillset to include content area expert in business entrepreneurship, agile mindset, and needfinding, all vital to business development. In addition to winning numerous international design and marketing awards, Kat has been a keynote speaker for conventions and events in design technology, teaching methods, and media. Her education includes a BS in Marketing from Boston College and an MFA from Academy of Art University.

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Bill P. Macaux, Ph.D., MBA
Executive Leadership Consultant

Bill brings over 20 years experience as a management consultant advising executives and leadership teams of companies in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Blending his background as a licensed psychologist with research in philosophy and management, Bill creates innovative tools for executive coaching and leadership development, including the first research-based assessment of Executive Presence. His most recent work focuses on the needs of Gen Y leaders and developing leaders in a diverse, global talent market. Bill is founder and managing director of Generativity LLC, and previously served as managing director for two international consultancies. Bill holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana State University, an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a BA from University of Wisconsin — Green Bay.

Client stories…

Expansion & Growth

An entertainment company's growth had become stagnant, and the company was exploring how best to grow, whether that was to expand the programs and services it offered, embrace a franchise model, or expand into new regions). We worked with the company to help them understand what options they had for growth, and to decide which of these options would be the best next steps for the company. Once they knew where they wanted to go, we worked with them to revamp their business model to support that vision, and determine the money and people they would need to move in that direction. The work we did helped lead to the financial turn-around and eventual expansion of the company.

Marketing & Sales

A consumer product company was set to quickly grow and needed to create a strategic marketing plan focused on increasing its brand awareness across the U.S. TrailBridge worked with them to create a marketing plan that outlined where they want to go, why, and the people and costs associated with following this plan. As part of the process, TrailBridge determined that their existing organizational structure did not have the flexibility and roles that would allow for this growth, so we partnered with them to restructure their sales and marketing teams, creating new positions, reassigning reporting positions, and clearly defining roles and responsibilities.

Talent & Performance Management

A professional services organization struggled with defining what “strong performance” meant and measuring it across the organization. Inconsistent performance management led to inconsistent talent, promotion and salary decisions. We conducted an assessment to understand the client’s needs, especially around talent management. We defined what the “core competencies” should be for all positions and at all levels within the organization, from entry-level to executive. We then created a custom organizational competency model that was implemented across the organization, and embedded in performance management and hiring practices with great success.

Employee Engagement and Culture

TrailBridge worked with a then-250 person technology company (now with over 1000+ employees) that was growing so quickly that it was hiring 10 people per week. Unsurprisingly, this continual influx of people dramatically affected the culture of what had been a close-knit, entrepreneurial company. The quick addition of people also led to reporting and process challenges, as people were rapidly moved into managing others, and internal communication became more complex. We worked with the company to evaluate its hiring and employee engagement processes to drive recruitment, as well as retention and leadership development.

Fundraising

TrailBridge designed a fundraising approach for a services organization that had previously been unsuccessful in securing funding from traditional sources. We worked with them to develop messaging that allowed them to successfully secure ~$1.5M from foundations, ~$2.5M from corporations, and ~$1.2M from government agencies within the first three quarters of the plan's implementation.

Why we do what we do

Small and mid-sized companies are significant drivers of job creation and community impact and are therefore critical to any ecosystem. From an economic development perspective, it is imperative that these companies are provided with the resources and tools that they need in order to grow.

Emergent companies have access to accelerators and training programs, but these do not meet the needs of larger, more established companies. And the big consultancies are used to working with large corporate clients, and do not understand the specific challenges that a small business or mid-sized business owner faces.

That’s where TrailBridge comes in.

TrailBridge’s team members have significant experience working with companies that fall into the small business and mid-sized business markets. We understand the complexities and challenges unique to these companies, and our teams focus on creating practical solutions that can be implemented quickly and effectively.

We care about our clients, and we want to help them increase their impact. If we can do that, just think of the combined impact we can have on our world.