They care about people. Not just who and how they hire, but how they think about their clients. I always felt in the past we were too concerned with the client project and not concerned enough about the people involved in the project. I thought we were leaving a lot of opportunity on the table trying to stay the course and close out to meet deadlines. We could have done more. We could have inspired the people behind the project and accelerated the process, learning more, educating more, and winning more along the way.”Get in touch.
We call it leading with heart. I feel like I joined not only a company, but a close-knit team that is willing and able to step in and help each other at a moment's notice, without any ego mixed in or expectations in return. Our culture also supports meeting our clients where they are at, by employing empathy for the difficult situations they find themselves in as they lead challenging, yet purpose-driven change efforts that will have a positive impact on the world. Who could ask for anything better than that?"Get in touch.
Not only is a team mentality encouraged and fostered, everyone I have worked with is also incredibly talented. The consultants meet the clients on both a business and personal level, adjusting approaches to fit the client. Future State understands that ambition does not mean a lack of compassion or a lack of an empathic culture. Instead they care about who their clients are, where their clients are at, what their clients do and where they want to go."Get in touch.
We are passionate problem-solvers with a reputation of excellence, compassion and innovation. We've been helping clients since 1982, and we are proud to work with some of the best-known brands in the world. We're also proud to have gathered a group of some of the world's best talent—100 strong and growing.Discover our clients.
We are a diverse group that has traveled many paths. All leading us here. We love people and have a passion to use our knowledge and expertise to help people and companies use business as a force for good.
Future State CEO Shannon Adkins is committed to living and working at the intersection where colossal business success meets passion, purpose and meaning. Shannon spent 15 years driving internal innovation and seeding and developing external collaborations for major global companies including Wells Fargo, Intuit and Odesk. Shannon returned to Future State—one of the first places she’d worked after college—because it was where she felt most able to contribute her full self—something that became a top priority after she became a mom.
An expert facilitator known for supporting and aligning teams as they develop and implement innovative strategies, Shannon is quick to understand the complexities of any business and identify tangible opportunities for value creation. Shannon’s ability to connect the dots and make sense of seemingly unrelated factors helps her identify creative solutions that solve for more than just profitability, but that also help build strong and deep business cultures that value the integrity of people, communities and the planet.
Shannon challenges herself to always ask “why,” and to make sure the answers contribute to creating a world that works for everyone. An eternal optimist, Shannon believes the right team of people can find a radical solution to any problem. Weaving together the opportunity, the business needs and the collected wisdom of its shareholders, these solutions become clear and executable strategies that lead to continual success.
Kathy is passionate about helping clients and team members reach their biggest goals in meaningful ways. Kathy delights in engaging the challenges and puzzles that emerge in complex business environments and working with her team and clients to find ways forward. A longtime consultant and former recruiter, Kathy aims to be a partner to all in solving problems big and small, achieving success in ways that support companies, teams, communities and the planet.
Kathy is also passionate and active in the world of women’s leadership, where she sits on the board and volunteers with multiple nonprofits. She finds joy in using her love of learning to help create opportunities for all people to grow and be inspired to great things.
“Bring your brain, your heart and make sure you know WHY you are doing something. It is not about money and returns—it is about outcomes that you want to see for yourself, the company, your team and the world. Purpose creates focus and pulls the team together. It sets priorities to reach the goal.”
Future State Chief Solutions Officer Leila Lance is part magician, part architect: a specialist in creating something out of nothing, a master of seeing patterns and connections to build solutions that make people and organizations work better.
Growing up in a migrant-working family and one of 12 children, Leila was born into complexity and change. As a first-generation everything, Leila learned to be calm amid chaos, to feel comfortable in uncharted territory—skills that served her well in her 20 years of consulting with major global corporations, public institutions and nonprofits.
Today, at Future State, Leila brings her skills to bear for her clients and recruits: analyzing connections; understanding how seemingly unrelated factors tie together; quickly seeing the path forward; and knowing how people fit into the puzzle to make it happen.
Leila believes in being intentional in everything we do, in leaving people and places better than we found them.
“We create a legacy when we create cultures, stories and results that are bigger and more enduring than we are as individuals. Our next goal is to nurture others to have the heart, skills and endurance to do the same after we’re gone.” —Leila Lance
A Director of Finance who makes strategic decisions through the lens of positive impacts for all stakeholders—from clients and team members to community and the environment—Eric Lamothe fits in at Future State by not fitting in. To Eric, being purpose-driven means focusing on something greater than financial success—a radical point of view in the world of finance.
At Future State, Eric spends his days setting strategy and direction; synthesizing complex financial and operational issues; and building processes to support every individual at the firm. In his free time, Eric can be found at Bay Area theaters, either in the audience or on stage (singing and/or improvising)—or enjoying time with his wife and cat.
“Purpose-driven means we are focused on something greater than merely financial success. We care deeply about our clients, vendors, partners, team members, community and the environment, and we make our strategic decisions with the lens of making a positive impact on all of those key stakeholders.” —Eric Lamothe
Client Portfolio Director Jennifer Riebli is a lifelong lover of learning who has more than 18 years of experience providing results-driven learning solutions using a combination of proven, time-tested methodologies and cutting-edge approaches.
With years of experience in instructional design, eLearning strategies, blended learning, competency modeling, curriculum development and organizational effectiveness, Jennifer approaches projects with the goal of getting the job done in the most effective and efficient way possible. A collaborative solutions designer, Jennifer’s methodology is to clarify the problem or opportunity, ask the right questions to understand the stakeholders’ needs, and design and execute a plan to achieve results.
Originally from Hawaii, Jennifer now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four children. On the weekends, Jennifer can be found at the yoga studio, participating in community outreach programs, watching her kids play sports, or following them around the house with a vacuum.
A people person through and through, Client Portfolio Director for On-Demand Talent Lynette Philips has built a wildly successful career upon her inherent gift for connecting and empathizing with others.
An Army brat who grew up all over the U.S., Lynette learned to make connections quickly in all kinds of circumstances. Her comfort with constant change lends her steadiness on shifting sands, and has honed her innate ability to go straight to the heart of any dynamic situation.
Lynette’s greatest skill lies in developing relationships, deeply and rapidly understanding people’s needs, skills and desires. Combining her natural love of team-building with a can-do attitude, Lynette builds passion and perseverance into every project. A foundational member of the Future State team, Lynette is an expert at holistically analyzing any project, seeing the gaps, and identifying the perfect people to round out the team and drive success.
An accomplished and results-driven leader with more than 18 years of experience, Client Portfolio Director Elizabeth Rutherfurd is a visionary who is quick to see the possible future and never gets stuck in the status quo. Whether she’s solving complex business challenges, cuddling her kids or dancing late into the night, Elizabeth seeks to fill her life with fun, meaning and purpose.
Formerly a successful independent consultant, Elizabeth is dedicated to empowering people and businesses to understand the interconnectedness of their environments and transform them for the better of everyone. She is adept at matching people to projects, mobilizing teams and rapidly producing measurable success. At Future State, Elizabeth is an inventive and candid collaborator who helps people and organizations elevate themselves to the next level of success—always with compassion and shared purpose.
“It is nearly impossible to create a future that you cannot imagine. Embrace where you stand, empower your imagination and truly connect with those around you—that is where the magic happens.”
When it comes to transformational leadership credentials, it doesn’t get much bigger than helping reform one of the largest and most complex organizations on the planet: The United States military. Nearly 30 years after famously announcing at a 1993 political rally, “I am both a naval officer and a lesbian, and I refuse to live a lie anymore” and her subsequent years of tireless work as an activist and volunteer, Client Portfolio Director Zoe Dunning stood next to President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Obama signed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
A bold, forward-thinking leader who never shies away from complexity or truth-telling, Zoe drives transformation and enablement for Future State clients using her expertise in team leadership. Zoe guides pivotal team-alignment workshops surrounding vision, mission and goals for leading global companies. Her abilities, experience and incredible client successes define her as one of the world’s pre-eminent leaders in team alignment and organizational complexity.
“Overcoming obstacles is about asking and telling. It’s about creating connections. It’s about making a difference with everyone you interact with.”
A creative strategist and masterful process engineer, Client Portfolio Director Venice Blue is a skilled designer of everything from processes and experiences to art and clothing. Combining an essential love of the creative process with a mindset based in efficiency—“everything should have a purpose or be removed”—Venice helps Fortune 1000 companies manage change, driving alignment and clarity in all she does.
Always aiming to enable better decisions and more efficient ways of working, Venice has spent more than 20 years managing teams and creating holistic designs that consider the heart, head and hands involved in every challenge and opportunity. She is equally at home in highly corporate and highly unconventional environments, and has a knack for visualizing complexity, identifying the truest essence of any puzzle.
Venice grew up the eldest of five in an artistic family where art supplies and debate were more common at the dining room table than family dinners. She attended more schools than years of school, learning to listen, observe and adapt quickly in any environment. Today, in addition to her work at Future State, Venice is a passionate volunteer who dedicates time as a survivor advocate at Highland Hospital and has worked for years with the nonprofit Project Homeless Connect. A lifelong lover of the sea and literature, in her free time Venice can be found paddle boarding in the Bay or reading on her front porch.
An award-winning change and communications consultant and creative producer, Client Portfolio Director Marady Hill leverages her deep belief in the power of people to help make ambitious organizational visions come to life by creating better experiences for people at work. For 20+ years, she’s led strategic and creative teams to see the complex whole system they’re in, develop multiple ideas to attack the problem, and examine the pros and cons of multiple scenarios, implications and possibilities. Marady helps bridge creative, business and technical goals and loves getting to the root of a human behavior challenge and telling a great story to motivate and engage people in positive action.
A lifelong learner, Marady has earned degrees and certification in Political, Legal & Economic Analysis, Environmental Studies & Integrated Waste Management, and Philosophy & Religion, and continues to study symbolism and mythology. On Saturdays Marady can be found enjoying coffee and a long breakfast, browsing in a bookstore, or baseball with her son Conner (Go Bulldogs! Go As!).
When it comes to putting together jigsaw puzzles, Future State Client Enablement Manager Ericka Ryan is your go-to gal. A master of rapidly integrating complex and ambiguous information, Ericka’s architecture degree from UC Berkeley is a testament to her ability to see how structures fit together.
The former manager of a $4 million fundraising program, Ericka is an expert project manager who aims to be a positive influence on everyone around her. An eternal optimist, Ericka approaches every situation with enthusiasm and hope.
Ericka is also a passionate activist in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, working as a support group facilitator, volunteer and fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association.
A human talent mastermind, Future State Recruiting and Talent Manager Will French knows the best people can come from unusual places. A bartender before joining Future State, Will never expected his winding path—which included studying for a teaching degree, accounting, and coaching high school football—would end up in talent acquisition.
But CEO Shannon Adkins and CSO Leila Lance saw Will’s talent for engaging and understanding all types of people—way beyond what can be shared on a resume. They knew Will would be great at recruiting and pushed him to try it.
Turns out, it’s a perfect fit. Will joined Future State as an intern and quickly rose to the head of the organization’s recruiting department. A perfect case study for Future State’s recruiting perspective, Will understands the value of a hiring process that focuses on culture fit, demonstrable skills and talents, value alignment and purpose—rather than on elite degrees and corporate experience. Today Will’s greatest strength is sleuthing out talent and assembling winning teams who drive big results.
A longtime high school football coach, on Saturdays Will can still be found on the 50-yard line, privately coaching area kids from 7th to 12th grade.
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