Simplifying complex concepts so the average person gets it


Hiking in the mountains


Heifer International


Swancomm, Appirio, Symantec, Borland, Ketchum

Michelle is a partner at Tercera and is responsible for marketing and content, the Tercera advisor and portfolio experience, and guiding portfolio companies on go-to-market and brand strategies. For 20+ years Michelle has been helping technology and services companies define and grow their market presence. Prior to joining Tercera, she founded and led Swancomm, a marketing communications consultancy supporting early stage B2B companies. Prior to this, she led corporate marketing and customer experience at Appirio, one of the first cloud-focused consultancies specializing in the Salesforce, Google and Workday ecosystems. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her very patient husband, three hilarious kids, and the sweetest dog on the planet.

What makes you tick?

I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was 7 years old. While some girls were playing school or trying out makeup, I was reading Harriet the Spy, rounding up the girls in the neighborhood to play advertising, or creating some kind of business to raise money for who knows what (friendship bracelets were very lucrative). I have been fascinated by business, great stories, and building and creating since I can remember, and it’s still what gets me out of bed (in addition to my children, literally).

Why are you so passionate about helping founders?

When you build something from the ground up, you have a purpose and passion that is hard to match. It’s how I felt when I ran my own business, and why I love working with founders and their teams. I find it incredibly rewarding to help teams tap into that passion, put some structure around it, and bring it to life for the world to see.

What is a company you really admire and why?

Upwork. It has such a cool backstory (two friends living across the world from each other who wanted to work together and needed a way to collaborate), but more importantly, it’s made a huge difference in the way the world works. Millions of jobs are posted on Upwork every year, and some of the biggest companies in the world are now making independent contractors an integral part of their workforce with Upwork. It’s a mission-driven company that is constantly reinventing itself, and it has proved that you can grow a company in a non-traditional way.