About the Catlin & Cookman Group

Building a community of CEOs who are growing great companies

In today's fast-paced world, CEOs have the toughest job of all. While it's both exciting and rewarding, it can also be extraordinarily challenging. Where do CEOs turn for guidance? Since 1989, CEOs of emerging-growth companies have come to the Catlin & Cookman Group for our unique expertise and resources — proven methods and frameworks to plan for and manage growth and change. Our sole focus on the CEO experience sets us apart, and the highly targeted resources we offer — CEO forums, consulting processes and practical tools — are developed exclusively for CEOs who are committed to growing great companies.

Catlin & Cookman Group Partners

Katherine Catlin, Founding Partner

Katherine Catlin has helped CEOs grow great companies for over 20 years. With a unique set of proven processes and practical tools, she addresses the full range of growth issues, including helping the CEO clarify vision and values and define the company's strategic and annual plans, while building the executive team, infrastructure, management process, and cultural environment critical to achieving aggressive growth strategies.

Always focusing on the CEO's unique role, she created and leads High-Growth CEO Forums, where CEOs meet regularly in small groups to grapple with critical business challenges, exchange ideas and develop best practices for growth. In 1989 she created Building the Profit Spiral®, now a proven, growth-planning process that guides CEOs in producing winning growth strategies, avoiding typical pitfalls, building a cohesive management team, and establishing processes for gaining company-wide alignment and commitment to implementation of growth goals. She also developed the CEO Performance Evaluator™ based upon her experience in helping numerous CEOs define the critical responsibilities of an effective leader in growing organizations. In addition, she has established The CEO Exchange, a Web site for CEOs that provides articles, ideas and information on growth issues.

With her expertise in leadership, innovation, executive teamwork, and the CEO's role in planning and managing growth and change, Catlin has been a featured speaker at the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Young Entrepreneurs Organization, Inc. Magazine's Conferences on Growing the Company, JP Morgan Partners, and Women Presidents' Organization. She created and led the 7-part “Growing Your Company: The CEO's Challenge” series for two years for the Massachusetts Software and Internet Council.

As a thought leader for CEOs of emerging growth companies, Catlin has written two books, Leading at the Speed of Growth: Journey from Entrepreneur to CEO and Building the Awesome Organization: Six Essential Components that Drive Entrepreneurial Growth with co-author Jana Matthews in conjunction with the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Published articles include The Profit Spiral: A Practical Guide for Leaders Committed to Growing Their Organizations, Secrets of Innovation, CEOs Drive Growth with Innovation, and Peer Groups Help CEOs Succeed in Today's High Risk/High Reward Environment.

Catlin is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Sweet Briar College and received a Masters degree from Lesley College in Cambridge, MA.

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Bouzha Cookman, Partner

Bouzha Cookman has over 25 years of operational and consulting experience working in and with high-growth, venture-backed companies.  Catlin & Cookman Group (CCG) partner for the past ten years Bouzha’s focus is on streamlining the fast-growth trajectory of investor-backed, technology companies.  Cookman runs the company’s consulting practice, leads two of the company’s High-Growth CEO Forums™ and is driving CEO Forum expansion to the Bay Area and Europe.  Since 1998, CCG client CEOs have created over $2.7 billion in liquidity value and the High-Growth CEO Forum community comprises over 100 investor-backed CEOs worldwide.

Cookman’s consulting and CEO Forum leadership role is informed by strong, diverse and successful senior management positions held in companies from start-up through post-IPO stages.  Employee number 20 at Avid Technology she grew a sales organization from $1.5 to $20 million in revenue over a two-year period; directed a product marketing effort that increased revenues from $51 million to $110 million in one year; and was responsible for Marketing Communications and Business Development for a $280 million business. Under her direction the company produced an Academy Award-winning digital film editing system.

Having experienced the issues fast-growth organizations face, Bouzha's goal is to help CEOs build sustainable companies that innovate, thrive, and provide winning environments for all stakeholders.  Cookman is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and was honored to be selected by faculty to tutor first-year students.  Currently, she is loving raising Alexander, her 9-year old son, singing in a community chorus, taking a break from town service after 10 years on the Concord MA Zoning Board of Appeals and on the BoD of a technology start-up.

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Nikki Fisher
Leader – High Growth CEO Forum™

As a member of leadership teams at industry pioneers in long distance telecommunications, cellular telephony and Internet consulting, Nikki Fisher has learned through hands-on experience what it means to be at the center of the high-tech/high-growth whirlwind. As a result, she brings to the Catlin & Cookman Group a unique ability to provide practical insight and support to CEOs striving to build not only fast-growing but also sustainable and profitable enterprises.

For the past eight years, Fisher has been President of The Fisher Group Consulting, LLC where she specializes in helping high tech companies grow profitably by improving the customer focus and integration of their sales, marketing and service functions. Strategic projects include helping a global technology company develop the vision and plans to transform itself from a product to a services/solutions business, helping a software startup use deep customer research to determine its next breakout product, and coaching a CEO and his team to successfully bring a 30-year-old direct marketing company online.

Fisher began her career as employee #379 at an upstart company called MCI where, after writing the company’s first annual reports, Congressional testimony and marketing materials, she led the in-house litigation support group for MCI’s antitrust suit against AT&T. After the initial suit was won, she was asked to lead the interdisciplinary team that created MCI’s first cellular applications to the FCC, then became the company’s first female VP, heading up marketing, customer service, procurement, human resources and IT for MCI’s newly-formed paging and cellular subsidiary.

After nearly ten years at MCI -- during which time the company grew from $6 million in revenue to $3.6 billion, Fisher was recruited to become a member of the leadership team at Sprint’s startup cellular venture. There, after turning around an ailing sales organization, she was tapped by the CEO to lead all customer service and operations support.

After three years in the cellular subsidiary, Fisher joined Sprint’s $6 billion business-to-business long distance division where, as a VP in Corporate Marketing, she implemented industry-leading processes and systems in sales compensation and database marketing. In 1995, at the height of the “long distance wars,” Fisher was named President of a skunkworks startup that established Sprint's first non-branded reseller of long distance services to small businesses.

In 1996, Fisher joined another startup – IT services pioneer Sapient. Over the next three years, as the company grew from $49 million to $276 million in revenue, she established the first marketing, strategic planning and alliance functions. As Chief Marketing Officer, she was also a critical player in the company's highly successful efforts to rebrand itself as a full-service Internet consulting firm.

Fisher graduated cum laude with a BA in English from the University of Missouri and has completed executive education courses at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Although she has lived in a number of cities including Washington, DC, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Boston, she recently returned to her Midwestern roots, settling happily in a house near Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin.

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Susan T. Gauff
Leader – High-Growth CEO Forum®

Susan Gauff comes to Catlin & Cookman Group with extensive experience in business consulting and senior-level corporate positions. As founder of The Growth Solutions Group, Ms. Gauff has worked closely with senior executive teams, coaching leaders to put strategy into action. Recent major projects include leadership development for sales managers at an independent mortgage company, executive coaching for an IT consulting firm and team building for a start-up pharmaceutical company. She has developed an employee retention program at a public accounting firm that helped reduce turnover from 23% to 11%. She was also responsible for organization development and HR process improvement during a $100 million+ expansion at the Liberty Science Center.

Previously, Ms. Gauff was Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer with Sarnoff Corporation. During her five year tenure there she was responsible for increasing Sarnoff’s visibility and reputation as a high technology incubator for new ventures. This involved significant culture change and re-engineering programs. During her tenure, Sarnoff intellectual property in electronics, communications and bio-technology resulted in twelve investor-funded spin-offs where Ms. Gauff contributed expertise in recruiting CEOs and setting up operating policies and procedures for the new ventures.

Ms. Gauff has also been Vice President, Corporate Communications for Lexmark International where she led the communications activities surrounding the company's highly successful initial public offering. She was responsible for building Lexmark's investor relations, employee communications, corporate branding and public relations programs.

As Senior Director, Market and Corporate Communications for Siemens/ROLM Business Communications Systems, Ms. Gauff led a corporate culture change and re-engineering program that resulted in 250% profit improvement over three years. Her employee relations programs were credited with a major role in maintaining employee satisfaction at 89% during a 50% downsizing of the workforce. Other accomplishments included implementing one of the industry's earliest www sites to support business-to-business order generation and improve sales force productivity.

A graduate of Centenary College, Ms. Gauff has been awarded the Business Marketing Association's G.D. Crain Jr. Award presented annually by Advertising Age magazine for leadership in business-to-business marketing. She was the 29th honoree and the first woman to receive this award. Her other honors and accomplishments include the Silicon Valley Tribute to Women in Industry Award and listing in various Who's Who directories. Under her leadership, Sarnoff’s Human Resources function was named Delaware Valley HR Department of the Year. She is named in the 25th Silver Anniversary Edition of Who's Who of American Women, is a member of the Rider University Business Advisory Board and the New Jersey Technology Council. Recently Ms. Gauff was named “Expert Contributor” to NJEntreprener.com, a business building resource for emerging and mid-sized businesses.

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Kathryn Roy
Leader - High Growth CEO Forum™

Kathryn Roy has over 20 years of experience helping some of the most successful and fastest growing B2B companies including IBM, Avid, CA, Lotus, AT&T, Kronos, Novell, and dozens of VC-funded technology companies.

As managing partner of Precision Thinking, a marketing and strategy consulting firm, Kathryn has helped companies:

devise, execute, and leverage primary research to hone strategy, positioning, and messaging

boost sales productivity through delivery of sales enablement training and tools

evaluate and prioritize market opportunities

She also facilitates strategic planning off-sites.

Prior to Precision Thinking, Kathryn was CMO on the executive team that took Phase Forward through its turnaround and successful IPO. In this capacity, she led product management, product marketing, corporate marketing and strategic planning.

As general manager at BBN Planet (later Genuity), Kathryn helped build a $100 million nationwide Internet service by leveraging and combining the operations of three regional providers.

At Lotus, Kathryn headed up strategic marketing where she helped recharge the corporate brand, overhaul the volume sales program, restructure the channel sales system, and revamp the market research organization.

At Interleaf, Kathryn formed a team to win the company’s first multi-million dollar services contract. She then led the team to deliver the project on time and on budget as well as to sell follow-on services.

Kathryn has published in HBS Working Knowledge, Marketing Profs, Guidestar, and Mass High Technology. She speaks regularly on B2B marketing to industry groups.

Kathryn holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MS in Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley, in addition to a BA in Math from Colgate University. Kathryn is also an alumnus of the US Peace Corps, where she served in Papua New Guinea.

She is on the board of the HBSAB Community Action Partners, where Harvard Business School alumni provide pro bono consulting to non profits.

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Tod Loofbourrow, CEO,
Authoria Inc.

“The Catlin & Cookman Group has been an invaluable partner for Authoria — amazing people and processes for providing insight and pre-review, and for driving powerful ideas into action.”