Doyenne Headquarters Update

February 2020

This year we’re going to provide monthly updates about what kind of programs are in the works at Doyenne, both at headquarters and in each of our cities. We were already planning to do this to provide more transparency to members, but it feels even more important now as you all naturally have a lot of questions about what Doyenne’s future looks like without Amy. 

On that note, we won’t be hiring anyone to fill Amy’s role until at least the third quarter of 2020. We don’t yet know what that role will look like, but we know it will look very different from Amy’s role, and that’s not just because Amy is absolutely impossible to replace.

One of the biggest things we learned throughout 2019 was how important it was going to be to separate Doyenne from the “Heather and Amy Show.” Our work throughout the year was focused on creating a repeatable, sustainable model for building entrepreneurial ecosystems that did not rely on the unique skillsets or relationships of Amy or me.

Before we left for the holidays, Amy and I had mapped out a plan we both felt really confident about for 2020. And despite the pain of Amy’s passing, we are not going to waver from that plan, except for a few adjustments to the timeline of some new programs.

Our biggest new initiative that we will be leading from Doyenne HQ this year is the Doyenne Learning Lab. Our new website provides a powerful platform for sharing knowledge. We will be working with members, coaches, and partners to develop robust courses that will equip our entrepreneurs to handle the common challenges they face as they scale their ventures. In the first half of the year, we’ll use the Learning Lab to provide education to accompany the Strategy Accelerator, to host our new Ask a Coach web series, and to streamline our new member orientation.

In the second half of the year, we plan to pilot two brand new programs for Doyenne: the Loaned Executive and the Student Internship programs. Both of these programs will only be open to our Growth Members. The Internship Program will provide leadership development training for the students who are working within Doyenne member companies, and our members will learn about hiring for new positions and first-time employees. The Loaned Executive is reminiscent of volunteer programs like Habitat for Humanity, but in our program, volunteer executives will bring their knowledge to Doyenne member companies to help build out a specific project. 

On the city level, we will be focusing on developing sustainable foundations within our first two cities.

In Madison, one of our biggest priorities for the first and second quarters is to pilot our new Strategy Accelerator, a new program that has evolved out of both our retreats and Founder Series programming of past years. We will also be working to transfer all of our members into our new membership model, train 8 to 10 new coaches to support those members with two or four coaching sessions per year, and celebrate eight years of Doyenne at our Birthday Bash in April. We also plan to hire another director within Madison to support the work we do, and also divide up the work so our current “Director of Everything,” Jasmine Timmons, doesn’t fizzle out.

In Milwaukee, our new director, Jessica Cohodes, will be getting the lay of the land with an ecosystem tour and will work to develop three strategic partnerships. We will hold our second Milwaukee 5x5x5 pitch contest during Women’s Entrepreneurship Week in May. 

A few other initiatives from HQ in the first half of the year include our second trip to the tech and entrepreneurship festival SXSW in Austin. This year, Dina Nina Martinez will join me on the trip and we will record Season 3 of the Lady Business Podcast, featuring badass women entrepreneurs from around the country. And we will also use the trip to build relationships with other ecosystem builders around the country. 

Lastly, you’ll be noticing some changes to this monthly digital magazine over the next few months. We won’t say much more, but just go ahead and make a note on your calendars for the third Tuesday of each month. You’ll want to block off at least an hour to drink some coffee (or an adult beverage) and spend some time with your favorite local magazine.  

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