I’m a leadership coach who has specialized exclusively in working with startup founders and teams for the past 6 years.
I’m a senior facilitator at the Stanford GSB in their legendary Interpersonal Dynamics program. I’m based in San Carlos, which positions me well to work onsite with companies up in San Francisco and down in the South Bay.
My childhood home address at 2128 Sand Hill is where Khosla Ventures stands today — so you might say coaching startups was my destiny. All I know is it’s the thing I am the best at in this world. (Except maybe hosting costume-themed parties. I throw some really f-ing great costume parties.)
I’m an executive coach who specializes in working with passionate leaders and teams.
I’ve worked closely with startups in San Francisco for the past 6 years.
Like Anamaria, I’m a senior facilitator for the Stanford GSB’s decades-old Interpersonal Dynamics course. I’ve also been a coach for GSB classes on public speaking, creativity, and effective leadership and teamwork.
I co-authored The Inside-Out Effect — a book that helps leaders transform themselves as the necessary first step to increasing their impact.
One of my current aspirations is to explore living in a small (if not tiny) house.
I’m a veteran of 6+ startups, the last two you may have actually heard of: oPower and Stitch Fix.
As the founding CTO of Stitch Fix, I helped grow the company from 4 to 4,000 employees in 4 years. I currently advise and coach leaders who are looking for Product & Engineering insight.
A software engineer by training, one of my biggest passions is to bring interpersonal skills and practical advice to fast-growing product and dev teams.
I grew up on the East Coast, went to college in the South and now call San Francisco home.
I also have a strong affinity for eagles, but it’s not because of why you might think.
How We Met
We’ve known for a long time that T-groups make magic happen for startup leaders. Turns out that T-groups have also made the magic happen for Fort Light.
In early 2012, Michael and Anamaria met while training as T-group facilitators at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. (Thanks, Gary and Andrea, for taking a chance on us despite our lack of grey hair.)
We were both in the early stages of building our own coaching practices, and mentors had told us that this program would help us take our game to the next level. And right they were. Not only did we learn a powerful new style of facilitation, we — though we didn’t realize it at the time — met our future co-founder. We found someone who shared our passion for coaching hungry, hard-charging people. And for wacky-faced photos. (see below)
After a couple of years of rooting for each other as friends, we planted the next Fort Light seed by launching our inaugural T-groups for startup leaders program (there go those T-groups again). With this step, we started bringing the transformative power of T-groups to our startup leader clients and as well as to our own working relationship.
From late 2013 through early 2017, a combination of T-group retreats and group coaching programs for our startup clients continued to solidify the glue between us. By early 2017, our bond was so strong and our work so enjoyable, that we decided to acknowledge the writing that had long been on the wall. It was time to formally create the business that we’d been implicitly building for years: Fort Light.
The exact moment we decided to create Fort Light happened over dinner during...wait for it...one of our T-group weekends. And that early-2017 T-group weekend was notable for another reason: one of the attendees was a CTO/startup advisor named Jeff Barrett. His interest and experience in helping startups as an advisor and coach, his incisive facilitation skill and his insatiable appetite for 80’s pop stood out so much that we decided to invite him into the Fort Light fold. Since then, he’s been a regular member of our coaching and T-group facilitation team. We haven’t looked back since.