“We are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness.”
– Barack Obama, 2009
At Stronger Consulting, this sentiment reflects the heart of their work. For the past three years, the company has been providing support to the education and nonprofit sectors in ways that mirror the diversity of their communities and align their programs with their values, with the overall intent of enhancing opportunities for young people in society.
The mission is personal for founder Mike Montoya. Growing up in what he refers to as not the most stable home, Montoya is grateful for the balance in his childhood–balance that came in the form of school, church, and after school programs like Boy Scouts and sports. These positive experiences, which ultimately shaped the person he is today, are also the fuel that drive the mission of his organization.
With national (and some Canadian) reach, Stronger Consulting works primarily with school systems leaders and nonprofit executives to design and manage programs for kids and youth (typically K-12 but that range extends a bit) in order to get better results for kids going forward.
Most of the consulting is done virtually, but they do have a set of coaches and professional consultants spread across the country. While most clients prefer a fair amount of touchpoints initially (either in person or via FaceTime), the bulk of the work can be handled over the phone.
The support services that Stronger Consulting provides can be divided into three main anchors: recruiting, program design, and management support. Believing that talent is the mechanism by which you can drive equity and diversity, and recognizing the challenges that typically exist in these spaces, much of the company’s initial work with clients is in the area of recruiting. The company works in a lot of urban settings, so they intentionally seek out people who can be leaders in those types of spaces.
“Our recruiting is designed so we can find those people,” says Montoya. “We spend a lot of energy and time making sure potential candidates are right for the community we’re trying to serve. We have a lot of deep networks with a lot of organizations across the country that specifically help grow leaders of color in education spaces that affect kids.”
As positions are filled, clients begin to question their program design and take a closer look at updating their management support. The company will work with clients to identify challenges, establish milestones and set up processes for continuous improvement within their program design. In the area of management support, Stronger Consulting works as a collaborator, offering interim leadership, management coaching, team workshopping, and professional development that considers the needs and goals of the client.
Additionally, Stronger Consulting works with organizations to enhance their philanthropic messaging, with the aim of engaging institutional investors and allowing organizations to continue their mission-oriented equity work.
Ultimately, the work that Stronger Consulting does comes down to having the right people in the right places. “Our thought is that great leaders make for great experiences,” adds Montoya. “We really focus on this idea of talented people doing talented things. We look for clients that are really interested in that type of approach.”
For more information, visit www.strongerconsulting.com