Nancy E. Stetson, Ed.D., was the founding president of Company of Experts.net (COE.net), a highly successful firm she founded in 1989 primarily to serve the professional and organizational needs of colleges, community colleges, schools and universities. She and her business partner, Charles R. Miller, sold the business to COE.net principals Jim Pulliam and Kathy Becker in 2005. While mostly retired, Nancy occasionally serves as an Expert on Call for COE.net.
Since 1979, Nancy personally has provided hundreds of consulting, executive coaching, facilitating, keynoting, and training services to more than 125 organizations-corporations and businesses, educational organizations, governmental organizations, and non-profit organizations-and, within those organizations, to many groups and individuals.
Nancy has made more than 100 presentations at international, national, and state conferences. She also has published dozens of professional articles and monographs. She is the co-author, with Miller, of Appreciative Inquiry in the Community College: Early Stories of Success, published in 2004 by the League for Innovation in the Community College; and author of Stories of Positive Change in the Community College: Appreciative Inquiry in Action, published in 2008 by Company of Experts.net. Her publications also include light verse, poetry and short stories, and she is currently seeking an agent for several “picture” books for preschoolers.
While working as a part-time consultant, Nancy also worked full time from 1972-91 for several colleges, holding a variety of executive-level management positions including Vice President for Planning and Development and acting Vice President for Student Services. From 1991-97, she taught college courses full time. From 1997-2001, she taught many part-time undergraduate and doctoral-level courses in business, communications, education and leadership/management/supervision, face-to-face and online, at six different two and four-year public and private colleges and universities. She continues to be a Mentor/Assessor in Walden University’s Ph.D. in Education online program, specializing in Community College Leadership.
Jane Magruder Watkins and Ralph Kelly of Appreciative Inquiry Unlimited trained Nancy as an Appreciative Inquiry practitioner. She holds a doctorate in higher education from Nova Southeastern University, and did post-doctoral work in higher education on classroom assessment at University of California at Berkeley with K. Patricia Cross and Thomas A. Angelo. Nancy earned a Master of Science degree in individualized studies/organizational behavior from Central Washington University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and development from The Evergreen State College, and an Associate in Arts degree from Wenatchee Valley College. She also attended Swarthmore College for several years before taking a 13-year break in her education in order to be a full-time parent to her two daughters, Laurel and Nancy Lee. She is the proud grandmother of Laurel’s two sons, Connor and Brendan; and pays motherly and grandmotherly attention to some of her former husband’s children and grandchildren.
Nancy’s honors and awards include:
Jim was the Founding President of Copper Mountain College in California. In 2000, Jim hired Kathy to be the Founding Chief Human Resources Officer for the College District. Understanding that the world had changed for the employees of the college and for the community, they began to seek opportunities to engage people in new and different ways. The two soon learned about Appreciative Inquiry. Taking a great leap and trust in AI, they began planning a Summit for all college employees. They immediately saw the potential for change and collaboration. When they had the opportunity to buy the Company of Experts, Inc., they seized it.
Company of Experts → Past and present
Nancy Stetson began her work as a consultant in the 1980’s in addition to her full time job, she then began reaching out to other consultants for help. Over time it evolved into a network of people throughout the U.S. and Canada who had expertise in a particular subject area who were excellent consultants, facilitators, keynoters, or trainers. This network of consultants, primarily educators, officially became Company of Experts in 1989.
In 1992, Charles Miller became Vice-President and co-owner of the Company. From 1992 to 2005, they shared knowledge, skills, and abilities of Nancy and Charles enabled the Company of Experts to continue attracting excellent Experts on Call, as well as hundreds of clients. For 16 years Company of Experts operated out of a garage that was converted into an office. It had no employees, only independent contractors – including the corporate officers.
Nancy and Charles crossed paths with Kathy Becker and Jim Pulliam in 2001 when several employees at the college Jim and Kathy worked at were given the opportunity to participant in a two week professional development workshop. The trainers for this workshop were none other than Charles Miller and Nancy Stetson.
Kathy later heard that Nancy and Charles were selling Company of Experts and saw it as a great opportunity. The idea of making a difference excited Kathy and Jim. In January 2005, Nancy and Charles found the competition fierce to purchase the Company, Kathy and Jim were the successful new owners.
Kathy and Jim believe the Company of Experts’ strength results from a strong set of values – people first – and they continue to look for Experts on Call that believe and represent those same values. Company of Experts prides itself on being learner and community centered.
Kathy and Jim have expanded and evolved their workshops to include the use of technology which has allowed Company of Experts to offer their workshops online.
What lies ahead
Company of Experts, Inc. plans to make their recognized training and consulting services more accessible and affordable to organizations and individuals and conceded online learning as the solution. Company of Experts Inc. has teamed up with Distance Edu Learning, Inc.(Fintelo) to create a new system for organizations and individuals to, within their budget and time, further their growth and advancement through interactive online workshops.
Company of Experts, Inc., with the help of Fintelo®, now offers their renowned workshops in a variety of ways: on-site, hybrid, or online, providing users with the option to decide which learning method would work best for their organization and/or individual. Company of Experts online workshops also provides its users with the flexibility to complete their training at a time and place that is most convenient for them.