CEO Binary Tree
Kay came highly recommend to me by a very successful business owner in the IT industry and was brought on for a strategy/business model assessment and corporate governance assessment at Binary Tree. She met with our entire senior leadership team both individually and in groups to get an understanding of what we do and how we do it. I was very impressed with her ability to drill down on what was important, run executive meetings and keep us focused on the tasks at hand. Kay later came back to us with sound findings and advice on areas for improvement and re-engineering. She identified several opportunities for improvement for company operations and strategy. The findings, guidance and recommendations were well received and we are already seeing ROI from implementation of many of her suggestions. We were doing well before her recommendations, and now we’re going great! I would not hesitate to contract with Kay again and would highly recommend her for anyone seeking a management consultant.
Deloitte Associate Partner
Kay is one of the sharpest strategy consultants that I have worked with. She has great energy and excellent client presence which leads to high quality discussions with detailed actions. She is able to help craft the vision and then drive the required execution details. She understands the marketing space and in particular the Digital Front Office (DFO) extremely well. I worked with her on a Brand strategy engagement for a client and we landed on a solid new sub category path for the client. She is a great asset to any organization and I would welcome the chance to work with her anytime.less
Mentor to CEO’s. Middle market restructuring expert. Interim CFO/CEO executive
Kay provides her clients with a combination of unique insight, grounded experience and high-octane, get-it-done now sense of urgency. The combination is incredibly effective and the results are beyond measure.
CMO Starrett Company
Once again , thank you for all of your help. Everyone was very pleased with the outcome of the retreat. Much of the success was a direct result of your excellent facilitator skills. I enjoyed working with you.
Entrepreneur and Board member
Kay and I serve together on a board focused specifically on providing business analysis, expertise, mentoring and feedback for entrepreneurs. Kay is especially talented/gifted in evaluating new business concepts. She consistently listens to new business or market ideas, and after asking a short set of strategic questions, Kay often suggests an even greater/different opportunity than was originally imagined. Her insights and understanding of business models, market positioning, and company creation are outstanding, She’d be a terrific advisor to new and/or existing company leadership teams as they define and evolve their business models to position for sustainable success.
I strongly recommend Kay
Board Chair, Reality Changers
Kay’s experience in working with non-profits, knowledge of alternate paths to growth, understanding of the importance of aligning all areas of the enterprise, and dedication to digging into our people and processes to facilitate that alignment were invaluable in arriving at a strategic framework all levels of the organization could enthusiastically take ownership of; exactly the outcome we wanted!
Board member (First Business Bank, Wall Enterprises, among others)
I’ve worked with Kay as the facilitator on numerous strategic planning processes for multiple companies. She managed the planning process beautifully, kept everyone on task, brought out the best in the participants, and the results were a significant improvement over prior years efforts. Her vast experience was invaluable.
Owner, Acme Industries
Our customer’s new parent company totally gets our Beyond Precision business model. They intend to go back and recommend to their CEO and board that they make an investment in the equipment we need to satisfy their growing market potential. That should play its way out in a month or two and we will see how much of a ramp up in business they want to do with Acme.
You’ve guided us well, Kay. Thanks again for helping us see how we differentiate ourselves and to be able to put it into a value promise for our customers.
CEO & Founder, Valicom Corp.
I have worked with (Mary) Kay for several years now as she has served as an Advisor and Business Consultant for my company. I’ve also read her book, Beyond Price, and used her software, Reinvent your Business Model. She worked with and inspired our executive leadership team as we worked through the principles and exercises in the process of reinventing our business model and transforming our company from a managed services business to a solutions/software company entering new underserved markets with innovative solutions. The results were nothing short of amazing. We have grown in revenues and profitability through this transformation and are now implementing the process once again as we continually innovate and reinvent ourselves. I would recommend (Mary) Kay for all companies who are looking to become leaders in their industries by challenging the status quo and innnovating their business models.
Rick Boelter, Boelter Companies
As a 3rd generation leader of a growth oriented, family owned enterprise with diverse business units, I find Kay to be a terrific strategic planning partner for our leadership team. She brings a sharp mind for economics, sustainable business models, organizational structure, and help distilling our sessions down to a few clear priorities and action items.
John Davis, Great Northern Corporation CEO (Appleton-HQ manufacturer)
“Kay did a terrific job capturing the current state of our culture and our marketing message, and then creating a case for change in light of the forces of commoditization. The group continues to have conversations about the nature of our value promise. They want more! In the past we have developed value propositions around our business units and some of our products with good results. However, Kay’s presentation positioned the concept of a GNC value promise as a much more compelling reason for our customers to buy from us.”
Steve Jagler, Milwaukee Biz Times Editor and now business page editor, Milwaukee Sentinel
“Over the past few years at the BizTech Conference & Expo, we’ve had quite a few dynamic and informative speakers. However, Kay’s speech on business model reinvention could not have been more timely or well-received by the audience. Her message about the dangers of commoditization connected with business executives who needed to hear it. I can highly recommend her as a speaker!”
Scott Cooper, Former CMO Famous Footware and Brown Shoe
The focus of her work, her book and her talks should be the focus of every person who occupies the C Suite — creating a vision and finding ways to differentiate your company. In my work as the President of a brand marketing communication firm and as a SVP for a 4 billion dollar company, I have come to believe that the biggest danger facing companies today is giving into sameness and thus falling into the price trap. Kay’s a champion at fighting this trend and finding ways to put your company into a competitive set of one.
• Her talks are inspirational. She does a great job of helping the audience understand the pitfall and get conviction, a necessary step before any action can be taken.
• Her talks have substance and leave the audience with a path to follow. Too many speeches and key note speakers inspire but do not provide real life solutions around where to start solving the problem. Kay both inspires and provides solutions.
• Her talks are for leadership teams not individuals. The premise of her content is for anyone on a management team with a core concept around the idea that one person can’t own the strategy it has to be a team.
• Her talks are captivating because she helps people see their business in a different way. She takes extremely timely and important topics and breaks them into bite-sized chunks that can be easily understood. The sequence of thoughts suddenly turn on light bulbs and force the audience to look at their businesses differently than they did before the conversation. I say conversation because the way she presents her content engages the mind and forces one to consider the correlations and implications to their own business.
Retired Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce CEO
We had Kay speak at our Business Expo last April. The Greater Madison Chamber Business Expo had close to 150 booths and nearly 1000 attendees. The reaction to her presentation as the luncheon speaker was fantastic! She was able to very effectively communicate complex concepts in a way that was applicable, understandable and meaningful. The audience loved her. She is a smart, articulate, and charming. The content of her presentation is substantive and her delivery is interesting. You will be very happy with your choice if you go with Kay Plantes; we were. Feel free to call me if you have any questions.
Karen A Vernal, President, Vernal Management Consultants, LLC
“Your presentation … was exceptional! You have the ability to engage your audience through compelling client stories… your authentic passion captivates your audiences. You inspire us to take the courageous leap to re-invent our businesses to create long-term success and viability.”
Joseph Boucher, Neider & Boucher, S. C.
I am writing to endorse Kay as the keynote speaker for your upcoming BizTech Conference. I have heard her speak. She is terrific. She spoke to a group made up of some of our clients and others. They are all small business people or small business advisors. They were really impressed with her. I would have her back to speak to our clients and others any time.
Tom Walters, Owner Tasty Catering
Dr. Plantes was a speaker at the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth’s author series held at McDonald’s World Headquarters. She presented her topic in understandable English using understandable comparisons. That is quite an accomplishment for a respected economist. After the presentation we (the business people at my table) commented on how we were able to apply Kay’s economic points to our businesses. Some of our takeaways follow:
• The danger of commoditization and how to look beyond price
• What else is contained in our value proposition that would influence buyers
• A lasting impression that if you are not Wal-Mart, don’t be Sears.
• She suggested some action steps that were very beneficial to the emergence of our company in Q3 and Q4.
Dr. Plantes also spoke at one of my client’s events. Karen H., one of our staff members was in attendance. She has a degree in education. She mentioned the Dr. Plantes made economics understandable for the first time in her memory. During this past September, Kay moderated a panel of economists at an ACG business forum. She asked probing, relevant questions that kept the economists on track with meaningful dialogue.
Dr. Plantes will have a lasting, positive impact on your attendees.
Barry Fleck, CEO A.L. Patterson
Jeanan Yasiri, Executive Director, UW Center for Nonprofits
I have known Kay and admired her work over many years. More recently, our Center for Nonprofits hosted a “Communiversity” session which is part of a series of dialogues intended to bring community nonprofit executives, board members and campus based professionals together to explore key issues impacting the nonprofit sector. Kay presented at our November 12, 2009 session to a group of over 100 attendees. The title of her talk was “Differentiating Your Nonprofit In Ways That Really Matter.” Two months following her presentation, I’m still receiving positive comments from attendees as well as hearing from others who wish they had heard her presentation.
We survey our participants following each session and Kay received exceptional reviews. Here were some of the specific comments that participants registered following Kay’s talk:
• “Kay’s presentation was mind-bendingly thought provoking. “
• “In addition to a wonderful presentation, she fielded questions so well too. The powerpoint she presented was exceptional also. Overall, Kay did a marvelous job.”
• “Bring in other speakers of Kay’s caliber. She was terrific.”
• “Kay did a dynamite job!”
Kay mixes a beautiful complement of business savvy with research knowledge while inserting interesting questions and examples that keep her audience engaged and wanting more. For our session, her presentation and Q&A session ran approximately 90 minutes and it could have continued well past that as so many hands were in the air wanting to learn more from her.