Lee Caraher is a CEO and acclaimed communication strategist known for her practical solutions to big problems. She started Double Forte in 2002 to work with good people, doing great work for good companies. Her clients span well-loved Bay Area brands including Clif Bar and CamelBak, hot Silicon Valley start-ups, financial service companies and wine and spirits companies. This is not her first rodeo, and she’s learned a lot along the way that she shares freely with others in the hopes that everyone can reduce the drama in the workplace. Now her friends and colleagues call her “The Millennial Whisperer.”
After struggling with how to work well with Millennial clients and now staffers (more than half of Lee’s staff is under 35) and then working to figure out how to make that work, Lee has written a positive and practical book about the topic, “Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work.”
Lee has a reputation for building cohesive, high producing teams who get a lot done well and have fun at the same time. She is a straight talker who doesn’t hold too many punches, although she does her best to be pleasant about it. Her big laugh and sense of humor have gotten her out of a lot of trouble.
She started her career in communications in Boston and then moved to California to work with well-known PR firm The Bohle Group and then Manning, Selvage & Lee. She moved to the Bay Area in 1995 to serve as the Vice President of Corporate and Consumer Communications at the $1.6 Billion SEGA of America. She then served as Executive Vice President of The Weber Group and Founder and President of Red Whistle Communications, both Interpublic companies. Lee is active in the community and currently serves on the Board of KQED Public Media, Grace Cathedrals Board of Trustees, and on the Board of Trustees of Menlo College, Atherton. Previously Lee served on the Board of Directors of The Marine Mammal Center, was the Chair of the Board for Community Gatepath, San Mateo County’s largest organization serving the needs of people with developmental disabilities, and was the founding Chair of the Board for the St. Paul’s Choir School. She consults with other non-profits on effective board organization and Practices.
A graduate of Carleton College, with a degree in Medieval History, which she finds useful every day, Lee lives on the Peninsula with her husband, two sons, and their blind cat Al.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- Lee’s Medieval History degree and how she transitioned from that into a career in PR
- How Lee launched her company out of her garage
- The way the kind of business Lee has taken on has changed from the beginning of her business to now
- Why clients can’t ever hear you say no
- Working with Millennials
- Lessons Lee learned about money at different stages of her childhood
- How Lee changed her life after having a special needs son
- Why Lee plans to leave her business but never stop working
- What Lee speaks about when speaking publicly
- Why Lee has no regrets in her career
Ways to contact Lee: