Who We Are

We are entrepreneurs, former educators, mothers, board members, and authors who come from different belief and value systems—political, spiritual, and philosophical. We believe that the magic bullet to success is how you show up to connect, communicate, and collaborate across differences. If there is one thing that we know. . . it takes diversity of skill, talent, and lived experiences to truly create valuable and robust content and products that can transform business and human lives.

From the outside looking in, we appear like two opposite sides of a coin:

Republican/Democrat; Christian/Spiritual Explorer;

Executive/Creative; Conservative/Liberal;

Country/Rock n Roll; and Upper Class/Working Class.

Yet, from the inside looking out, we are simply two driven entrepreneurs who desire to understand the human experience in tandem with meaningful business practices.

Together, our collective knowledge and expertise helps seemingly different people converse and connect better so that they can lead and live richer, more meaningful lives, both at work and in community.

Meet Jennifer

Jennifer Edwards is a business and leadership advisor working with Fortune 500 companies and boards, equipping them to perform and collaborate optimally when pressure and stress hit. Her clients include top leaders at global companies, including Microsoft, and WeWork. She is a partner at Winning Streak Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund which invests in disruptive technology companies.

Meet Katie

Katie McCleary is an entrepreneur and storyteller who trains leaders, creatives, and humanitarians to launch big ideas by leveraging their social and cultural capital. She is the founder of 916 Ink, a nonprofit that has transformed over 4,000 vulnerable youth into confident authors. She is the host of “The Drive” podcast on NPR’s CapRadio with the American Leadership Forum.

Meet Katie

Katie McCleary, MFA, is a social entrepreneur and changemaker driven to make the world less lonely and more connected through her work as a community leader, writer, publisher, and innovator. She is the founder of 916 Ink and Paper Wings Creative, two impact-based companies that transform ideas and stories into tangible experiences that enrich human lives and strengthens communities. She is the co-founder and host of The Drive podcast on Capital Public Radio, in partnership with The American Leadership Forum, which showcases the personal moments and transformative stories of the Sacramento regions most visible leaders. In 2015, Mashable.com named Katie as a Real Miss America” for her work with vulnerable populations. In 2017, she won the Heart of a Hero award from Sacramentos local PBS channel, KVIE. Her work has appeared in Vox, Hip Mama, Sacramento Magazine, Sacramento News and Review, Sacramento Business Journal, ComstocksMagazine, the Tule Review, and more. In her creative life, she is working on a memoir about her body and losing 140 pounds. She lives on a hobby farm in northern California with a sociology professor, their two kids, and a feisty menagerie of furry and feathered creatures. www.paperwingscc.com or www.katiemccleary.com

What People Are Saying

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“Bridge the Gap teaches professionals how to intentionally put genuine curiosity at the heart of any working relationship where understanding, collaboration, and respect are paramount for success. Packed with examples and tools, this is a truly practical guide to being effective at work in the 21st century.”

Amy C. Edmondson, Professor, Harvard Business School; Author, THE FEARLESS ORGANIZATION (Wiley, 2019)

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“Teamwork is ubiquitous—and underappreciated. Almost every job depends not only on getting the work done, but also on getting that work done through other people. Edwards and McCleary have written a clear and timely guide for any professional who wants to build a better collaborative environment.”

Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of WHEN, DRIVE, and TO SELL IS HUMAN

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“For years I have asked ‘Why do people struggle to understand each other?’ It’s the wrong question! A better question is’ ‘How do any of us ever understand each other?” And that’s because there is a veritable chasm-the gap as McCleary and Edwards out it-keeping is in our own heads, keep us lonely and our relationships less effective than they could be. The challenge and the solution are brilliantly captured in this new book!”

Greg McKeown, author of the New York Times bestsellers, EFFORTLESS and ESSENTIALISM

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“Bridge the Gap” is ripe for the marketplace. It’s a great resource for engaging resistant employees in diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging work.”

Marilyn Tam, Former CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group, and Vice President of Nike Inc.

We look forward to learning more about you, your needs, and being with you!

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