About Us

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Jean Howard

Jean Howard has been working with corporations and small businesses for the last two decades offering training and individualized consulting and coaching. She works directly with owners and directors to grow capacity through personal and professional development by empowering them to bring their own authenticity into the workplace integrated within the community ecosystem. She guides her clients to growth and sustainability through engaged strategic planning, informed financial management. She works with her clients to create monitoring systems using key performance indicators, and as needed, financial and marketing systems and controls. She is an experienced corporate trainer and offers executive and group coaching. At the heart of her services is the fundamental belief that each of us is unique and as a result, every person brings valuable skills and contribution when operating in our area of giftedness. 

Ms. Howard served at two universities, building entrepreneurship programs for students and community members, creating opportunities for students and community leaders to get to know each other (resulting in career opportunities) and facilitating the launch of dozens of start-up businesses. At Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business Administration she launched the Fordham Accelerator for Business serving entrepreneurs across the campus, and organized an Energy Forum bringing leaders from around the world to discuss the status of renewables and future innovation and direction. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in the Lally School of Management and Technology, she managed the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and was the initiator of the community/student seminar on energy which she co-taught.  She created the winter break intern program with local non-profit organizations for graduate business students. She established the Tech Launch Pad, a boot camp for aspiring entrepreneurs. Finally, she grew the Severino Interest Group, a monthly professional group for students and community, focused on energy and entrepreneurship, tenfold over a period of two years.


Ms. Howard combines a background in financial analysis, entrepreneurship, renewable energy, with a focus on community and education. After starting her career in financial management at Dun and Bradstreet where she worked directly for the CFO in various divisions, she moved into developing decision support systems and consulting with companies on the strategic use of data. She worked with Christies, the global auction house, to create databases that support both the acquisition and sale of works of art. In addition, she managed several large projects with Ameritech designed to utilize customer information for superior service. She trained corporations on Oracle’s products offering both conceptual and mechanical guidance to all levels of users. Her commitment to the environment gained her a position as CEO of a small solar energy company looking to revolutionize energy sourcing in the commercial sector and later served on a NYSERDA grant to educate communities on alternative energy opportunities.

Ms. Howard received her BA from Occidental College and an MBA from Cornell University, Johnson School of Management in Finance and Systems. She has studied both education and theology at the graduate level. She is a certified coach through an International Coach  Federation certified training program. Ms. Howard currently sits on the Board of New York Interfaith Power and Light and the Van Rensselaer Garden Club, and previously on the boards of The Arts Center of the Capital Region and Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County. She is a Master Gardener and a volunteer usher at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. She resides in Brunswick, NY with her husband.

Jean has provided consulting and coaching to business owners for over 20  years.


Effective Presenter and Trainer

“I attended Master Gardener Jean Howard’s wonderful presentation “Making Long-lasting Choices: Sustainable Practices.” Mrs. Howard has the rare gift of speaking from her heart especially about important ecological issues. She has the unique ability to make complex concepts easy to understand. Sustainable gardening is of vital concern and has global implications. As a long-time gardener, she describes clear and tangible ways for gardeners to be guardians of the earth. Jean Howard encourages: asking big questions, supporting local nurseries, planting natives, and avoiding invasives. Her smooth and easy-going delivery wants you to embrace all of her ideas.”
~Bob Matthews

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Our Affiliates

A custom team of experienced professionals is assembled to tackle each new consulting project.  Experts in strategic planning, project and process management, human resources including  training, technical writing, marketing and public relations are trusted partners and experienced  collaborators.

Carol Durant

Carol Durant

Carol is an accomplished grant writer and Social Media expert. Carol has both a Bachelors and Masters from SUNY Albany in African Studies. However, her real love is in keeping current on cultural trends and spinning tales as a language gymnast! She offers clients insight into their target markets with strategic and novel marketing approaches. In addition, she is a key member of any grant application process.

“Meeting, listening, focusing, researching and creating a pathway towards a client’s professional victory is a rewarding endeavor. I look forward to working with you.” 

Elizabeth Barrett

Elizabeth A. Barrett

Marketing, Strategic Planning, Public Relations

Elizabeth brings a rich background in marketing, financial analysis and management consulting.   She started her career in investment banking then moved into management consulting specializing in marketing. She worked in international advertising in New York and London. Subsequently, she worked with marketing research think tanks and as a creative marketing consultant, focusing on understanding consumer trends for Fortune 500 companies. She developed innovative market positioning for brands, products and organizations. She has lead the Marketing/Communications functions for particular units within several universities. Ms. Barrett has also worked with smaller enterprises in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors to develop and implement marketing, budgeting, and strategic business plans and processes.

Ms. Barrett received her BA from Harvard University and an MBA from Yale School of Management. As a Rotary International Foundation Scholar, she also received a Diplome d’Etudes Francaises from the University de Grenoble in France.  Ms. Barrett has served on the Board of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and is an alumni interviewer for Harvard University Admissions.

Business and Network Builder, Leader and Team Player

“Jean definitely raised the visibility, reputation, and positive impact of the Severino Center for  Technological Innovation in the NY Capital Region, nationally, and internationally. She  conceived, designed, and implemented numerous valuable programs connecting RPI and the  Severino Center with the business communities. She has been extremely successful in mentoring  students and business owners alike to achieve their goals. Jean is a leader and a team player. She  would be a valuable asset to any organization, as an employee, a leader, or a consultant.”
~Ray Patterson

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GF partners with experts in the field to bring the most current trends, opportunities and guidance through its training programs. Portfolio courses include: 

  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Strategy and Governance with Cinderella to CEO founder, Cary Broussard
  • Diversity, Equality and Inclusion with Cinderella to CEO founder, Cary Broussard
  • Productivity Tools and Strategies: Full Focus Certified Pro [insert logo]
  • Successful Financial Management for the Solopreneur 
  • Creating Viable and Dynamic Business Models
  • Key Performance Indicators as Early Warning Systems and Management Decision Tools
  • Developing Affiliations for Success
  • Business Etiquette for the 21st Century 

Please contact us to talk about your specific needs.

Trusted Advocate and Negotiator

“Jean initiates and pursues activities leading to the success of her endeavors with energy, creativity and determination. I found that I could fully trust Jean to represent my fiduciary interests in the negotiations for which I hired her..”
~Harriet Warnock-Graham