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Woodstone Consulting opens

Darin Olde, Sierra Sun

Businesses across the region have experienced a multitude of growing pains, from finding enough staffers to simply beefing up production.

To help make those growing pains more manageable for businesses based in Tahoe and beyond, a new consulting company has set up shop in Truckee.

Woodstone Consulting Company, originally from Steamboat Springs, Colo., has recently expanded by adding a new division in Lake Tahoe run by five-year Truckee resident Michael K. Fitzpatrick.

Woodstone Consulting focuses on streamlining business relationships, eliminating barriers and attaining higher performance.

The company offers four primary consulting services: executive transitions, executive coaching, customized leadership training programs and behavioral based team effectiveness seminars.

“We are really proud of the effectiveness seminars of late because of (our) recent clients, the U.S. Ski Team’s Combined Division,” said Fitzpatrick. “The ski team elevated more athletes to the World Cup Tour than any other time in U.S. World Cup skiing, and they credit their success to the effectiveness of the team building seminars and the Woodstone Model.”

The team effectiveness seminars last for two days. They teach executives how to create personal partnerships among senior staff members. Leadership, accountability and superior performance are also topics in the seminar.

The executive coaching service teaches upper level managers how to create greater accountability, overall team performance and effectiveness. The coaching service lasts between six months and one year.

“It’s good to have an executive coach – there is no one on the planet that knows all there is about a given job,” Fitzpatrick said. “Sometimes it’s threatening to go to a peer or your boss and say ‘how do I do this.'”

Woodstone Consulting was created by Ed Margher, a former vice president of human relations for a division of PepsiCo, about eight years ago.

It was during his tenure with PepsiCo that Fitzpatrick, who was then serving as vice president and general manager of a $750 million division of PepsiCo, first met Margher.

“He learned that I was (available) and thought I would be perfect for the job,” explained Fitzpatrick, who, when Margher approached him, had since left PepsiCo and was in the process of selling his chain of restaurants based in Northern California.

Woodstone Consulting has served about 300 clients including Gateway Computers, Level 3 Communications, Compaq Computers, UNOCAL Corporation, Cendant Corporation and Boston Chicken, Inc.

Several of Fitzpatrick’s clients have been food businesses because of his national and international experience managing food-related companies.

Among his accomplishments, Fitzpatrick was involved with obtaining the first wholly-owned foreign enterprise license for both retail and manufacturing by the People’s Republic of China. Ironically, Fitzpatrick sold “Western flavored” Chinese food and delivered it to schools and businesses. By the time he decided to leave the company the food manufacturing business was delivering several hundred thousand meals a day, said Fitzpatrick.

“One of the things we ask our clients is ‘who could you become if you had no fears,’ and ‘what are you afraid of?’ The biggest thing people say is fear of failing. We try to eliminate those fears,” he said.

Currently Fitzpatrick is also an adjunct professor at the Business School of Sierra Nevada College.

For more information about Woodstone Consulting call (530) 562-2684 or e-mail mfitz@ltol.com.


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