Dynamic Talent, Trusted Advisor
I aim to deliver outcomes that take hold and make change. My energetic and engaging approach helps me to get to the heart of what matters. My methodology is based on understanding and overcoming challenges, and recognizing and respecting the people that make it all work.
The man behind the mark
I am a business strategy expert working at the forefront of applying creative business thinking to real-world challenges. In 2001 I founded Sievers & Co., a business strategy consultancy with a reputation for innovative solutions. I have lived on three continents and worked with a diverse amalgam of clients across many industries.
I taught as an adjunct professor of business for five years, and spent three pioneering years at Microsoft developing strategic programs to improve the agility of its former Business Division. In 2011, I returned to my Midwest roots to make Chicago my home and to co-found Marc-Ryan Group, a publishing, media, and advisory company. Following Marc-Ryan Group's successful launch I spent two years as a program management leader at Redbox, an Outerwall Inc. company. Today, I am a principal at Slalom with the Business Advisory practice. I work hard to be a sought-after and trusted advisor, coach, and speaker, advancing the very best business strategy thinking and practical application. I received my BA in Anthropology from Iowa State University, and my MBA in International Management from the United Business Institutes in Brussels Belgium.
A little history
I earned my undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree at Iowa State University, with a major in Anthropology and minors in Design Studies and International Studies. During my undergraduate studies I also dabbled in the nascent World Wide Web and began hand-coding "1.0" websites, and blogging (before we had the word blog). I discovered early on that I could market my skills in website design as an extension of graphic design. This helped me to fund some of my college expenses and gain a great deal of experience and understanding for providing business services.
My undergraduate career also included a number of other institutions I attended in order to expand the scope of my studies and experience. I attended Harvard University for an architecture program; the Japan Center for Michigan Universities to study the Japanese language and culture in Hikone, Japan; and perhaps the most adventuresome college credit I earned was through a joint archaeology program between Iowa State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, which took me to Managua, Nicaragua for an archaeological dig where I unearthed and documented, with my academic team, numerous ancient burial treasures of the pre-Columbian Niquirano.
Following the award of my BA, I continued on with graduate studies at the United Business Institutes, a small prestigious international university in Brussels Belgium. There I earned my Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with an emphasis in International Management. During my graduate studies at UBI, I continued to do freelance design work and attracted my first large corporate consulting contracts. Those few companies were the first clients of what would become Sievers & Co., my consulting firm that I founded in 2001. These early professional experiences put me on a solid—though not always linear—track as an entrepreneur and creative thinker in the business world.
The start of something big
During my MBA studies I experienced a significant realization that would fuel my passion and the guiding purpose for my consulting firm. My insight centered on the realization that every business has three inextricably connected and driving functions: Business strategy, marketing communications, and project management. Most importantly, the successful coordination of those functions has a direct correlation to the success of that business.
My experience demonstrated that those three business functions drive the real mechanics of a company’s ability to achieve success. From my first few clients, and throughout my career, I observed that business strategy, marketing communications, and project management frequently go uncoordinated within an organization. This often leads to a cascading series of problems and failures that are detrimental to a company’s performance, both internally and in the market place.
I was wholly confident that my business concept of providing top-tier consulting services that satisfied the needs of clients facing business challenges by coordinating those three core areas of focus had come at just the right time. In the Autumn of 2001 I launched Sievers & Co., based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to take advantage of a high-growth small and mid-sized business market, as well as the industrial and banking Fortune 500 based there.
From theory to reality
In addition to consulting, I also enjoyed presenting his real-world business experience and wisdom to today’s students—who I view as tomorrow’s business managers and leaders. In the Fall semester of 2003 I began teaching a series of business courses as an adjunct professor in the Business Management department at the Allegheny Campus of CCAC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
I developed dynamic, real-time, group-interactive curricula, for the principle subjects of Finance, Management, and Marketing/Advertising. My courses have been regarded as highly innovative and an extremely valuable academic learning tool for college students by providing a bridge from classroom theory to business reality. I first introduced this concept, I coined as “theorality,” in 2005. With it, I more effectively transferred classroom learning for students to real-world capability.
My passion for education is deep and a constant driving force whether interacting with students or clients. At the very heart of my professional drive is the belief that the better we understand ourselves and the various environments in which we participate, the more likely we are to successfully navigate the risks, uncertainties, challenges, and ultimately the decisions that come before us in life and in business.
The evolution of my consultancy led me into many different industries and business experiences. The compounded result of which enabled me to not only successfully and deftly navigate the challenges of the business environment for my clients, but also to develop my own innovative business strategy theorems that have kept my work at the forefront of business management thinking and application.
In 2008, fortified with nearly a decade of business consulting experience, I was approached by Microsoft, the world’s leading software maker. At Microsoft I spent three pioneering years directing an internal consulting effort to improve the internal processes, team building, and leadership in the (former) Business Division. While at the software conglomerate, I was able to apply my skills and expertise to hone the agility and performance of various teams and functions in the Microsoft Business Solutions group.
In 2010, I partnered with my husband-to-be to develop and launch Marc-Ryan Group, an advisory, publishing, and commercial services company. We headquartered our venture in Chicago and claimed the Windy City as our home and business epicenter.
Following the successful launch of Marc-Ryan Group, I joined the Strategy & Analytics team at Redbox, an Outerwall Inc. company, as a program management leader and team development expert. Then, in the Spring of 2014, I joined the Delivery Leadership practice in the Chicago office of Slalom where I design and execute strategies and programs to help my clients solve some of their most complex and interesting business challenges.
More than ever, I continue to push the boundaries of my own knowledge and understanding of business today so I may continue to be a sought-after trusted advisor, coach, writer, and speaker working to drive better outcomes for my clients and readers.