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.
From Boston to Cali
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 Ba 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 Cathedral’s 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.
Lee Caraher Vroom Veer Stories
- Went to High School in a Quaker all girls school and sang in an elite singing group and played field hockey
- Studied Medieval History is College and continued to sing and play field hockey
- Got her first job after her father made her write a letter to one of his friends to ask for help
- Took a job as a paid intern in Boston working in PR
- Her Boston herd of friends dispersed and she suffered from seasonal affective disorder–moved to San Francisco
- Started her own PR firm and started to only hire people with 10 years experience
- After 2008, that business model needed to change and they started hiring young people
- Lee learned quickly that she need to change her mindset and work environment to adapt to millennials: clients and staff
- Her first millennial hire showed up to work with a chihuahua, that was a service dog—hmmm…that's new
- Invited to meet with the Air Force Chief of Staff to help them deal with recruiting millennials.