Red Thread Good Coffee-Sag Harbor, NY

Having initially resolved to work as a lawyer at a Wall Street firm for a “few years” after law school, in order to “gather some foundational training and then leave to change the world,” Vivian engaged Katzman Consulting after decades of successful corporate practice to reconnect to and ultimately develop a strategy for achieving her lifelong mission to ensure inclusion and respect for all. The advisory work began by strategizing ways Vivian could achieve system change while working within the established enterprise of her firm, and the legal profession, leveraging her legal expertise and the respect she had garnered over the years. As chair of her firm’s diversity program she introduced initiatives that shifted the field’s approach to inclusion, designed to produce a cascading impact through the entire vendor chain.

At the same time, Vivian began building her personal brand, preparing for her “next chapter.” Recognizing the importance of her voice in shifting public debate, Vivian became more purposeful in pursuing speaking and writing opportunities. Ultimately she decided she would not only speak about, but would indeed launch a novel line of consumer products and services, promoting a new way of doing business and provoking more conscious consumerism. Vivian left her law firm and captured the coherence of her wide-ranging interests, and her personal brand, in an entity she has called Red Thread Good, to signify the new web of connections defining her purposeful, versatile and flexible life. We continue to work with Vivian as she refines the Red Thread Good business ventures to support her continuing goal of changing the world and living her dreams.

“As I strive to live a life examined, and have greater focus on what is meaningful to me, Melanie has been the most insightful advisor. She is a fellow traveler on the road to changing the world for the better, and has been invaluable in helping me define and express my mission, and tie together what I had previously experienced as disparate interests. At a time of career transition and personal loss, she enabled me to shift my mindset from upheaval to possibility. As a result of our work, I am integrating my capacities as an attorney, artist, activist, philosopher and entrepreneur to model new ways of doing business , promoting possibilities for many while pursuing a profit and changing the perspective of people.”

VIVIAN POLAK, Founder Red Thread Good Dewey & LeBoeuf: Partner, Global Chair of Diversity, Global Co-Chair of Technology and Intellectual Property Department


We advised Lisa Moran through several career transitions which reflect the many expressions of her interest in providing strong educational opportunities through established and innovative means, always leveraging her legal background to insure a safe and respectful environment.  Lisa began her career as an attorney in large corporate law firms, first at Willkie Farr & Gallagher and then McDermott, Will & Emery. Interested in working in a more entrepreneurial and dynamic environment, she joined the educational start-up Edison Schools during a period of rapid and much-publicized growth.  Lisa advanced quickly from an employment counsel position in the Office of the General Counsel at Edison to become Senior Vice President of Human Resources and then ultimately Senior Vice President of Corporate Compliance and Global Business Practices.  During this time Lisa became increasingly active as a board member of the NYC Outward Bound Schools, applying the lessons of her professional career in public education to a growing not for profit.

 Lisa furthered her interest in providing expert council to organizations that increase individual and collective success when she accepted a position at the International Rescue Committee, a New York-based non-profit that “responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.” Following the birth of two children, Lisa launched Employment Practices Group which advises clients on Human Resource and employment law matters including strategic human capital issues, recruitment, HR management and termination issues.  At different inflection points, KC provided trusted council to Lisa, formulating career solutions that allowed her to make a difference to her clients and community while staying true to her priorities and passions.

“My ongoing work with Katzman Consulting helped me to never forget my ultimate goal, to lead a full life filled with enriching relationships while actively applying my talents to create fair and motivating opportunities for the people I work with. After leaving a large corporate firm for a dynamic and expansive start-up, raising a family and working in the non-profit arena, Katzman Consulting provided the emotional and tactical resources that supported me from concept to completion, as I launched my strategic consulting firm. Employment Practices Group is poised for rapid growth, allowing me to satisfy a market need while maintaining a lifestyle that brings out the best of my talents.

LISA MORAN, President, Employment Practices Group; formally SVP of Corporate Compliance and Global Business Practices, Edison Schools

The Francis Company

Initially an attorney overseeing News Corporation’s global intellectual property, we began advising Michelle at a point in her career and personal evolution when she was aspiring to operate more independently.  Our work helped Michelle articulate the lifestyle and the professional path she wanted to pursue.  Together we developed a plan that merged her commercial expertise and intellectual property law skill sets with her personal mission to work more closely with clients to enable them to develop, protect and truly profit from their ideas.

Over the last four years, Michelle has successfully built a boutique business and legal strategy firm advising on the effective ownership and use of intellectual property. The Francis Company now services a wide range of clients from international brands such as Mars, to established fast growing enterprises such as SoulCycle, and emerging entrepreneurs with truly novel products, such as StickerGum.

We helped Michelle solve life and work style implications inherent in the shift from in-house counsel at a Fortune 100 multi-national business to entrepreneur and supported her development of a business plan. We assisted in creating her professional visibility strategy that has broadened her clientele and the boundaries of her career and helped structure roles for her staff.

“Without the business acumen, psychological insight and entrepreneurial expertise that Melanie Katzman of Katzman Consulting delivered in support of my personal and professional transition from corporate lawyer to successful small business owner, I might never have made the leap in the first place – much less survived and succeeded at creating the professional and personal life I’d hoped for years, but never thought practical or attainable.”

MICHELLE FRANCIS, founder and principal, The Francis Company, past Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for News Corporation