Management Consulting Firm CEO Shares Lessons Learned From Women of Power - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Hailing from the nation’s capital, Natalie May is the principal/CEO of Chaise Management Group L.L.C., (CMG) a  woman-owned management consulting firm founded in 2013.

The business was established under the philosophy that successful businesses require smart leadership, sound management practices, and commitment to empower the economy. In August 2017, CMG was certified in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development program and continues to expand with contract opportunities.

“We’re strengthening business alliances and strategic partners to better serve our national portfolio. We envision CMG as an emerging “hands-on leader” that the business community sees as a valued commodity and collaborative partner that offers consistent market-ready solutions,” says May about the company.

May recently attended the 2019 Women of Power Summit in Las Vegas and shared her experience there.

Black Enterprise: What was your overall experience like at the 2019 Women of Power Summit?

May: The [summit] was invigorating, inspiring, motivating, and loads of fun. It’s a summit for everyone regardless of your background, profession, or industry.

What resonated the most with you?

What stood out was the sheer amount of women who represented our voice collectively. This summit was the largest to date and was filled with “women of power” from all walks of life. Next time, I want to sponsor the women in my firm to share in the experience.

Did you get the opportunity to personally meet with a (speaker, guest panelist, etc.)? If so, what was that like?

I didn’t get the opportunity to personally meet anyone, but I spoke to a few women in passing. The conference was jam-packed with great sessions, plenaries, and social events. The highlight was listening to Kamala Harris and Lynn Whitfield! Awesome speakers, extremely engaging and funny.

What did you learn from sessions that really empowered you as the owner of a progressive management consultant firm?

Continue to develop my narrative.

Be prepared and read everything.

Create win-win opportunities.

Cultivate relationships.

Walk with a level of commitment.

Be intentional and build my own development plan.

Be open to taking risks.

What was a huge “aha” moment for you—whether business or personal?

One thing was developing a written value proposition. Secondly, build a board of advisers that can include a mentor, sponsor, connector, point expert, or close girlfriend that will encourage and promote conversation, engagement, and networking. They will help to build and foster an environment of learning, empowerment, sense of community and partnership. Each person would play a different role. Lastly, was the realization that the most important brand was my own!

Do you consider yourself a Woman of Power? 

Yes, because I took a risk to explore a dream, a vision that I had for myself. I walked into my dream and vision with a strong sense of purpose of who I was and a high level of personal commitment to become something that I wasn’t. I didn’t let people define me based on what they thought my capacity or capabilities were. I invested in myself with a willingness to learn through ambiguity and began to flourish in an industry [government contracting] that I knew nothing about but I continued to master it. So, I powerfully developed my narrative.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network