Coaches

XXcelerate has recruited a dedicated team of coaches/mentors with deep experience and a commitment to helping womxn entrepreneurs. To learn more about joining our coach team go to the "Get Involved" tab.

Ashley & Lindsey Butler

Co-Founders, Brown and Carter Management Group
CPG Strategy, Operations and Organizational Leadership Coaches

Ashley and Lindsey focus on helping people. They work to scale operations and build capacity to meet growing market demand. Utilizing a multi-sectoral approach to lead strategic change and build resilient business systems that assess all operational and human aspects of the brand.

Ashley is an experienced business executive with over 20 years in corporate leadership.  Ashley focuses on continuous improvement, product quality, and active collaboration. Through process and collaboration, Ashley will work with the business owner to improve business efficiency and define new streams of revenue.  

Lindsey is focused on the human side of making new strategies work inside the business.  Lindsey connects with the business owner to define metrics and construct angles that will advance the business’ trajectory.  With over 18 years of Food System Management in the public and private sectors, Lindsey helps identify key sales and assessment data to bring your business from current state to future state.  

Ashley and Lindsey are known for their business partnerships with Fatsquatch PDX, Shady Pines Vegan Food Court, and The Bow + Arrow Coffeehouse. Together, Ashley and Lindsey help to position people for growth.

Bobbie Parisi & Tressa Yellig

Brand Strategists, Parisi Consulting
Brand Strategists

PARISI CONSULTING is a strategic consulting agency which creates business, brand and marketing strategies for new or small businesses in order to build an enduring brand. Founded in 2017 by brand strategist and marketing innovator Bobbie Parisi, this progressive consumer centric collective focuses on articulating Brand Roadmaps, developing solid business strategies and shaping go-to-market launch plans through a wide range of marketing efforts. Tressa Yellig joined Parisi Consulting in 2018 as an entrepreneur, product developer and writer. Together they lead highly curated teams to support the needs of both startups and well-established brands in becoming and staying relevant in a competitive and ever changing marketplace.

Carla Titus

Founder/CEO of Wealth & Worth Within
Financial & CFO Coach

Finance expert with over ten years of corporate financial planning, analysis, strategy, and startup CFO experience. She has applied that expertise to businesses, helping them grow by creating simple yet effective systems to improve cash flow management and bottom line results. She provides virtual on-demand CFO services and financial coaching to business owners. The company’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs to take control of their finances and become the CFOs of their company and their life. Wealth & Worth Within is dedicated to imparting financial knowledge in order to harvest the potential from within to properly manage money and achieve positive financial results.

Cathy Kemnitz

CEO of Cathy Kemnitz Consulting LLC
Financial Coach

With her 25+ years in accounting roles, in start-up, mid-sized and mature companies, Cathy is putting her experience to work helping other minority owned businesses succeed.  She brings her love of organization, data and planning to small business owners to give them the foundation they need to build the company of their dreams.  Cathy’s specialties are budgeting, cash flow forecasting, financial/revenue modeling, developing KPIs, and due diligence for investors. Cathy is creative, thoughtful, and knows that the business operations should drive the financials, not the other way around.  Most recently, she was the Director of Finance for a company who grew from $0 to over $170M in revenue, while funding growth with Series A financing, several rounds of Strategic funding and a round of Private Equity funding.  She embraced this rapid growth by empowering her team and mentoring them through the struggles of success.

Cathy serves on the board of the Portland Chapter of Financial Executives International.


Celese Williams

SEO & Marketing Expert
Marketing Strategy Coach, Small Business

Celese Williams is a Portland native and single momprenuer, with over 10 years experience in the service based business industry. She is the owner of Mystique's Fancy Faces, Portland's #1 face painting service. There she manages a team of 10+ artists, and together they service over 100 events per year. Through marketing and SEO strategies her company is ranked #1 organically on Google, which has allowed her to connect with big name clients such as Disney, Netflix, and Hulu. She also does private marketing consulting and volunteers with Mercy Corps NW, where she facilitates various seminars and serves on the Oregon Women's Business Center's Advisory Board.

David Hill

Founder and President of Food Methods
Food & Beverage Compliance, Safety & Finance Coach

David is the founder and president of Food Methods, a Portland-based firm that helps food entrepreneurs conquer the most anxiety-inducing challenges to running a food business. David provides elegant solutions for food safety and regulatory compliance to numerous firms as well as costing and financial management. Along the way he has worked in an ice cream factory, was a chemist in a food lab, prepared taxes at a CPA firm, and has developed software.


He holds a BS in Food Science & Technology from Texas A&M and is a graduate of the Accounting program at PSU. In addition he completed the Better Process Control School for manufacturing acidified foods and is also a Preventive Controls Qualified
Individual (PCQI) as defined by the FDA. He is a contract CFO for multiple food businesses and is an instructor for the popular Getting Your Recipe to Market program.

Elizabeth Nathan

Founder and Owner, Eb & Bean
Brick & Mortar Strategist

Elizabeth is the founder and owner of Eb & Bean, Portland’s nationally recognized organic frozen yogurt shop. Building on 10 years of sales and marketing experience in publishing, she’s developed a loyal following while scaling operations to three brick and mortar locations.

She’s excited about aiding womxn in scaling their own retail operations, with an emphasis on refining systems and building teams for stability and success. She’s particularly interested in community engagement and partnerships as a strategy for authentic brand building.

Gabrielle Giscombe

Financial Mindset & Planning Coach

Gabrielle Giscombe has a passion for working with small business owners who are women and those in underserved communities. She started her career working in Fortune 500 companies, particularly in the banking industry in roles of credit underwriting and operations. She has also worked at Mercy Corps Northwest as a Small Business Financing Advisor helping business owners in the Oregon and SW Washington communities.

Her coaching focuses on growth business planning for early stage small businesses, early stage financial planning and forecasting, and building financial self-efficacy through managing personal and business finances.

She earned her Masters of Business Administration from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and her Bachelors degree in International Business from The University of North Florida.

Gloria Coleman

Founder/Organizational Development Consultant, Four Forces Inc
Organizational Development Coach

Passionate about creating sustainable solutions centered around strategic planning, human resource development, and organizational structure, Gloria combines her 13+ years of experience in IT, healthcare, and financial operations to streamline business processes. She capitalizes on her propensity to analyze situations from a different perspective by providing strong project methodology techniques through roadmap visualizations.

After working extensively with Nike, Gloria decided to start her own business to provide HR services in line with strategic developments of business in a sustainable manner. One of her specific specialties, succession planning, puts training around diversity and cultural issues front and center. In the meantime, she counts Urban League of Portland, PHRMA, and Clark College, among others, as her clients.

Certified in PHR, SHRM-SCP, PMP, and PSM, Gloria is determined to share the mental wealth of her knowledge with others and create that better workplace environment for all.

She is also proud to be a summer solstice millennial and an Oregon Native.

Hannah Hardersen

Commercial Lines Agent, Ward Insurance
Risk Management Coach

Hannah is an insurance agent with a passion for educating new and existing businesses about their insurance needs. She feels that insurance should be a topic that business owners feel comfortable approaching. Hannah owned and operated a small business and learned firsthand the challenges that owners face and the importance of strong business relationships. Her main focus with XXcelerate will be to give businesses the tools to ask the right questions to help them successfully navigate the confusing topic of insurance. In her free time, you can find her with her toddler, husband, and two dogs, running, drinking wine, or playing outside.

Hannah K. Kullberg

Holistic Business Advisor & Connector
Food & Bev Small Business Coach

Hannah is a food startup ecosystem catalyst and connector. While co-founding and scaling The Better Bean Company from farmers markets to national distribution, she intimately experienced the barriers to success. Since exiting from the company in 2018, she has become a business consultant and advisor. As a business advisor to the Small Business Development Center’s “Getting Your Recipe to Market Program” she helps new food companies launch into the ecosystem every 6 months. She has taken steps to make this next phase more navigable. Her first project is a Google Group for founders and leaders of Pacific Northwest Packaged Food & Beverage companies. It is now an active and growing community of over 260 members who are taking collective action to solve their shared problems.

Jackie Seto

Principal of Side People Consulting LLC
Strategic Coach, Tech and Software

Jackie Seto provides leadership and business advising to non-profit and tech companies, with a strong focus on helping next-generation women leaders. Prior to Side People, Jackie spent 22 years at Lam Research. During her tenure there, she led the research, product development, marketing and product operations for many groups including the Clean Product Group, Reliant Products, and Emerging Businesses. In her last position as Group Vice President and General Manager of the Clean Product Group, she spent 5 years with her family living and working in Villach, Austria. In 2010, she founded the technical women’s group at Lam to help women better navigate their careers and be successful in traditionally male roles.

Jackie is a Non-Executive Director for Ultra Clean Technology (UCTT) and serves on the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse Oregon (PCAO) and Mastersranking.com and on the Board of Trustess for Oregon Museum of Science and Technology (OMSI). She is an Executive in Residence for the Technical Association of Oregon (TAO).

Jennifer Hardnett

CEO/Director of Outreach of Four Forces, Inc.
Strategic & Financial Coach

Jennifer has a background of more than 10 years in partnering with entrepreneurs and small businesses to reach their financial dreams. She has also provided sales coaching for several billion-dollar West Coast corporations. Jennifer’s consulting expertise includes strategic financial business planning, boosting diverse corporate culture, planning for a culture of health in business, inclusive and equitable processes for womxn, and operations efficiency.

Jennifer co-founded Four Forces Inc, a company that bridges the gap between various communities, governmental agencies, and businesses to translate actions into real change and achievements. 

Using her holistic and integrative capabilities, she enjoys guiding folks into a wealth mindset, advocating for communities, listening to actively understand, and being a mom.


Jillian Cohan Martin & Jeffrey Martin

Co-Founders, Clarity Content
Content and Storytelling Coaches

After two decades as journalists for regional and national news outlets, Jill and Jeff founded Clarity Content to help entrepreneurs, small businesses and mission-driven companies more effectively identify and telltheir stories.

As consultants, Jill and Jeff help clients cut through industry jargon and zero in on the real value of their brands. Clarity’s approach encourages founders to market their businesses by communicating clearly, consistently and authentically.

Jill and Jeff also host a podcast, “Managing Partners,” in which they interview other married couples in business together. Guests have included XXcelerate alums like Genevieve Brazelton, who runs The Bitter Housewife with her husband.

Jude Gerace

Principal Jude Gerace Consulting
Small Business Coach

Jude Gerace founded and sold Sugar Wheel Works, a purveyor of hand-built bicycle wheels.  In her ten years of ownership, Gerace created a team of builders taking the standard for her craft to a higher level honing skills in lean manufacturing and leadership. She sold and successfully transitioned her business in 2019. Gerace is a champion of manufacturing and main street businesses. When Gerace isn't coaching clients, she serves in the community as vice-chair for the board of directors at The Street Trust and as a board member for the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance.

Karen McKeon

Owner and Accountant of 11HundredWays
Accounting and Bookkeeping Coach

Mixing her numbers background and detailed eye with her creative side that was nurtured over a decade through writing and metalsmithing, Karen offers a down-to-earth and warm accounting experience. (Really!) Her favorite thing is helping small creative businesses get friendly with their numbers and set their sights on growth.

Kate Gaertner

Founder and CEO of TripleWin Advisory
Strategic Coach, Sustainability

Kate brings 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience to bear on her passion for and focus on corporate sustainability. Kate specializes in developing strategic and financial sustainable business cases, partnership identification, and new technology assessment. Kate has held digital marketing management positions at XM Satellite Radio, Ziff Davis Media, and Time Inc., worked as a strategic consultant to Fortune 500 companies developing go-to-market business cases, and founded a sustainable women’s activewear manufacturer and retailer, OMALA. She holds a Masters of Science in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, and an A.B. from Dartmouth College in Government and Economics.

Kim Allchurch Flick

Founder, Mightye Epiphyte Consulting LLC
Sales & Marketing Strategist, Social Impact Coach

Kim Allchurch Flick is founder of Mightye Epiphyte Consulting LLC. A connector and collaborator who catalyzes good business by bringing knowledge, strong relationship building, confidence and the ability to guide companies to great business and community outcomes! Growth Wheel Certified, experienced as a profound generalist with experience in large corporate expansions and  local startups. An advocate for local, community entrepreneur support with strengths in marketing, sales, operations and social impacts. Business Advisor at SBDC and Global Trade Management at Global Trade Center. Values matter, my value constant is weaving equity and social enterprise values into everything every day!

Lori Spencer

Founder/Principal, Lori Spencer Consulting
CPG Strategy, Leadership / Marketing / Business Development Coach

Lori has more than 20 years of proven success in the consumer products industry – mostly in food and beverage. Her well-rounded expertise in marketing, sales, operations and overall business management have enabled her to lead teams focused on start-up, scale, and growth enterprises in retail, wholesale, direct and manufacturing. As one of the founders of Oregon Chai, Lori was a principal catalyst in the brand’s growth, from its inception in 1994 through its $75M acquisition in 2004. Lori has been a consultant, advisor and mentor to many emerging consumer product companies.

Mia Birk

Executive & Professional Coach, Career Counselor and Business Advisor
Strategic Coach, Professional Services

Mia Birk spent 27 years leading the field of active transportation in various roles in research, advocacy, government, academia and business. Mia co-founded and grew Alta Planning + Design to a 300-person consulting firm with 30 offices, serving as COO, CFO, President and CEO. She is also co-founder and former VP of Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., which launched 10 bike share systems in North America and Australia before being acquired and rebranded as Motivate, Inc. She also led the creation of several academic and non-profit institutions and authored Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet.

Monica Borrell

Executive Coach & Founder, Monica Borrell Executive Coaching
Growth Mindset & Leadership Coach

Monica Borrell is an executive and leadership coach. Her coaching is heavily focused on mindset. She meets her clients where they are, helps them discover what they really want in their hearts, and then helps them strategize a path to get there. She works with entrepreneurs to dig deep into their mental and emotional obstacles that without support would likely hold them back.


Monica works with both individual entrepreneurs and also small teams. She facilitates workshops on leadership and culture. She has a special interest in helping teams design a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture.
Previous to becoming a coach, Monica founded 9 startups, and was part of XXcelerate’s initial cohort with her software company Cardsmith.

Rational Unicorn Legal Services PC

Team Rational Unicorn
Legal Guidance and Support

Rational Unicorn Legal Services PC is a community based business law firm.  The firm offers pay as you go legal services including but not limited to business formation, contract review and drafting, trademark and copyright applications, and conflict resolution. The firm is an Oregon Benefit Company and strongly believes in and practices the triple bottom line (people, planet, and profits). The firm's clients include small businesses, nonprofits, and artists/entertainers.

Sean Edwards

Partner at Village Family Capital
Finance and Investment Coach

Sean is an experienced finance executive specializing in strategic planning, leadership, governance, business valuation, analysis of key financial business drivers, capital structures (debt and equity), and debt financings.

Prior to joining VFC, Sean was a Senior Vice President with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (“BAML”) in Portland, and Bank of the West / BNP Paribas. Sean developed a deep background and understanding of various business models and industries, having underwritten over $5.0 billion in various credit transactions in the past two decades for those institutions.

Sean holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from Oregon State University and completed the Leadership Certification Program at Bank of the West / BNP Paribas. Sean is a licensed investment professional previously holding his Series 7. Sean is a Board member of Financial Beginnings Oregon.

In his free time, Sean enjoys golfing, running, cooking, and woodworking.

Shannon Oliver

Co-Founder of Red Duck Foods, Inc.
Food and Beverage Strategic Coach

Shannon is one of the Co-Founders of Red Duck Foods, Inc. a women-owned, mission-led business, and managed operations, R&D, and e-commerce/customer service. She and two classmates started the company while earning their MBAs at the University of Oregon and grew the company from 3 stores and 3 products in May 2013 to over 5000 stores, exporting internationally, and 11 products.  

Prior to this, she worked for a small food startup in Del Mar, CA from 2005-2008, where she had the chance to be involved in everything from distribution to marketing, customer service, R&D, and everything in between.  

Shannon also holds Bachelors Degrees in both Biology and Psychology from UC San Diego and enjoys running 100 mile trail races, hiking, fishing and just about anything outdoors with her dog Sydney.

Vanessa Washington & Michelle Gaither

Village Resiliency
Resilience Coaches

Village Resiliency is a community educator that provides strategic consultation on trauma informed care and antiracism. We seek to equip and empower individuals, businesses, and educators, to

  • Understand the role trauma has on brain chemistry and functioning.
  • Develop the ability to notice and respond to trauma induced behaviors
  • Create an inclusive and safe environment, classroom, office, and workforce
  • Appropriately respond to a colleague, student, or client who is impacted by trauma
  • Leverage the components of resiliency to prevent burnout and promote thriving

Village Resiliency was founded by Vanessa Washington, a licensed therapist and consultant on trauma informed care and the owner of Sankofa Counseling. As a biracial Black, cisgender woman and parent, she understands the struggle to find reliable and accessible information regarding healthy development. The lack of this education impacts individuals and creates barriers in communities. Village Resiliency was established to stand in this gap, and to provide a solution.  

Michelle Gaither, Village Resiliency’s DEI Consultant & Trauma Facilitator, is a licensed educator and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategic consultant. She is passionate about education, racial equity and mental well-being, and envisions a world where those exist and thrive together. Her desire to train adults in trauma informed care stems from her personal experiences as a classroom teacher.

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