Vanessa has over three decades of C-suite experience in professional services, non-profit management, human resources, financial management, administration and operations. She is a catalyst for developing leadership talent that embraces empathy and clarity through frequent communication as the foundation for executive presence. As a transgender woman, Vanessa offers a rare perspective from experiencing both male and female gender roles as an employee, manager, executive and business owner.
Vanessa spent her formative years in the International Division of The Control Data Corporation, working as an accountant supporting 160 country managers from around the globe.
Adhering to the entrepreneurial call from within, Vanessa joined a small consulting engineering firm called Michaud Cooley Erikson in 1986, as Director of Operations. She began structuring the firm for growth and expansion and spent the next 32 years as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer and finally Chief Operating Officer taking the firm to $22 million in annual revenue. In 2017 Michaud Cooley Erikson became the 61st largest consulting engineering firm listed in the United States, according to the Engineering News Record (ENR) Giants for Mechanical Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) Engineering.
Vanessa began her latest career iteration in 2018, as a Business Operations Consultant, adding certification as an Executive Coach in 2020.
Education, Qualifications, Professional Memberships
• Individual Team Coaching Accreditation (ITCA), Global Team Coaching Institute
• Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation & Member of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC)
• Accredited/ Certified Facilitator in DiSC®, EQ-i2.0/EQ 360 Emotional Intelligence, Five Behaviors®, Hogan Assessments, Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI) and Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment
• Professional Executive & Organization Coach (3CP), Columbia University, Teachers College
• Graduate Level Certificate in Business Excellence, Columbia Business School
• Advanced Careers Fellow, Life Course Center, University of Minnesota
• Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Society of Human Resource Management
• S. Business Administration, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
• Member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)