👋 Hi! I’m Abby. I help startups adapt and build resilient working cultures.
How do we balance our instinct to hang on to stability with our need to adapt to changing conditions? Sailors have managed this contradiction for millennia. Sailboats must tack, or turn back and forth across the wind, in order to stay on their ultimate course. In other words, they adapt repeatedly in order to maintain stability.
No matter its size or stage, your startup can, too. Whether it’s reorganizing after rapid growth, announcing a change in leadership, shifting to a remote or hybrid workplace, or heck, even pivoting to video, change is a skill your company can master. I’m here to make it happen for you.
Find the calmer, quicker path through your company’s chaotic moment.
The companies that win are the ones that adapt quickly when conditions change. But changing course all of a sudden creates chaos and stress for your team, costing you precious momentum, time, and runway.
I’ll work with your team to get through the present change smoothly. Then, we’ll create a framework and strengthen your company’s culture so you’ll be prepared for the next change—and each one that comes after that.
Suddenly swamped? Get help next week, not next quarter.
Rapid growth or change made you busier than ever. You don’t have the headspace to define what kind of help you need. A chief of staff, or some kind of ops leader? How do you scope the role, let alone build and run a hiring process?
I’ll come aboard on a fractional basis right away to share some of your workload. Then, I’ll use what I’ve learned from working with you to recommend long-term solutions and help you put them in place.
Give your crew tools and support for staying productive in choppy waters.
Transition moments are tough on teams. How do we stay productive when the world keeps changing around us? How can I contribute when the goals keep shifting? Why is my team so busy, but not meeting enough of their commitments?
As a coach, I provide a relaxed, practical perspective for teams in transition. I create space both to acknowledge the difficulty and to stoke the excitement of these pivotal moments.
“People tend to just work better when Abby’s around.”
-Josh Heyer, Dev Advocate, EnterpriseDB
I’ll help you and your team do your best work through any conditions. Send me an email, and let’s get to work.
In addition to calm, organized change management, I coach startups on a wide variety of topics that come with the territory. If your company could use help from someone with experience in these areas…
- Building strong remote culture and workflows
- Creating and optimizing internal communications processes
- Community leadership and strategy
- Workplace conflict mediation
- Straightforward, nonjudgmental unconscious bias training
- Psychological safety and empathetic, non-violent communication
…then I’m all ears! I’m building a creative and collaborative practice, and I’d love to discover new ways for us to work together.
I have roots in Connecticut, Chicago, and Brooklyn, and I come from a family of sailors. I studied stage management for theatre at Northwestern University, which means I graduated with a degree in helping groups of people with wildly different skillsets and personalities collaborate effectively and on schedule. That’s what I’ve done in my career ever since.
“Abby has the skills and composure to keep things cool, even in the most awkward or difficult of situations.”
-Maurice Cherry, Principal and Creative Director, Lunch
After a stint in the world of executive recruiting, I began my tech startup career at Stack Overflow. Over the course of a decade, I served as Director of Community Management, Chief of Staff for Engineering, a learning & development trainer, a technical recruiter, and host of the internal weekly fireside chat. The roles changed, but each team’s basic need for stability in times of transition was the same. Moving on from Stack Overflow to become Chief of Staff at Orbit was a natural step in following my passion: helping teams band together and weather the storms that come with startup life.
I began working remotely full time way back in 2014, and since then I have amassed plenty of strategies and tips for making remote and hybrid systems work. The flexibility of remote work let me keep my job when life brought me out west to Salt Lake City for a while. I’m now entrenched back in Brooklyn where I continue to work from home and draw on my experience and expertise to help companies build effective working cultures remotely.
Coming from a theatre background, I value play, creativity, and exploration. In our work together we may go down paths that turn out not to lead us anywhere. But if those dead ends bring us to a better understanding of your situation and give us ideas for where we might go next, then we’ve done our job well. Working with me, you can expect laughter, tangents, imaginative hypothetical scenarios, and just the right amount of irreverence. I’m also known among my colleagues for stretching a metaphor to (and beyond) its breaking point.
“Abby and I often spent afternoons chatting about the community by analogy. Her curiosity led us down many a winding path that somehow always resulted in both of us understanding the situation better than before the conversation started.”
-Jon Ericson, Head of Community, College Confidential
I’ll approach our work with empathy and curiosity. I’m not a therapist and I won’t try to be one for you, but my practice is trauma-aware and supportive of mental health and neurodiversity. My practice is also LGBTQ-affirming and anti-racist. Those terms are all pretty easy to just sprinkle into a paragraph, so I’ll write more soon about what they look like for me in action. In the meantime, the short version is that I understand that “bringing your whole self to work” isn’t always desirable, comfortable, or safe. I’ll work with your organization non-judgmentally to make sure every member of your team has a safe work environment where their voice is heard and their contribution valued.