Moon Shadow Consulting, LLC Founder Wendy Brown Helmkamp is committed to helping organizations strengthen their organizational health while creating inclusive and equitable environments. Through her consultancy, she provides strategic planning, organization development, and culture change support that integrates diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I).
She recently presented and participated in Starting Your Journey to Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, a panel discussion hosted by the MetroHartford Alliance and the Racial Equity and Economic Development Committee, where she noted that at the beginning of their journey “organizations need to ask: How can your organization more equitably distribute power? Who do we choose as our strategic partners or vendors?”
MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Wendy about launching her consulting business in the Hartford Region.
NAN PRICE: When and why did you launch out on your own?
WENDY BROWN HELMKAMP: I’ve been a consultant my entire career, which spans more than 25 years. I’ve worked for small boutique firms and large consultancies. At the last firm where I worked, I felt like I was stagnating. I began to reflect on the type of work I really wanted to do and realized I wanted it to be more purposeful work that was more aligned with my values. That’s why I started Moon Shadow Consulting in 2017.
NAN: How have you been marketing and building clientele?
WENDY: Before I started Moon Shadow Consulting, I was predominantly doing consulting in the for-profit sector. One of the changes I made when I launched my own business was to do more work with purposeful organizations dedicated to having a positive impact on society and with people, like social enterprises and nonprofits. In some ways, that required me to recreate my network and rethink my approach.
Also, much of the work I was doing before was national and not a lot was in Connecticut. So, part of my challenge in going off on my own was to create a local network and to find collaboration partners in the area.
The nature of my work is pretty consistent. It’s still strategy, organization development and design, and culture change. Another shift for me, which was also a significant change from what I was doing most recently, was to start weaving equity and inclusion into my consulting practice.
NAN: You mentioned collaboration. Do you find that that helped as you’ve been developing your business?
WENDY: Absolutely. In fact, even before I started my firm, I started talking to different people to test the market and find out if what I have to offer, my experience and my background, was something people would be willing to buy. The relationships I’ve made connecting with people from the beginning have been great. People have been willing to introduce me to others, not only as collaboration partners, but also to potential clients. In terms of collaboration, Hartford is a very generous and supportive region.