When Blaire Fernandez returned to her San Francisco tech job after maternity leave, she knew she wasn't inspired. The New Orleans native wanted different things and sought out a coach—a profession steadily gaining traction since the the early 2000s—to help her through her rut, but finding one that worked with her availability and price point proved impossible.
After her own struggles with finding a coach that met her needs, she was determined to make the process easier for others. In 2019 (and back in New Orleans), Fernandez created Marengo, a wellness company that matches clients with credentialed coaches for virtual coaching. Clients are matched with their "perfect coach" after completing a quick form that surveys their specific coaching needs, meeting availability, and any preferences.
"Where counseling is aimed at resolving issues from the past, coaching focuses on the present," Fernandez says. "The coach guides a client to establish goals, identify blockers, and develop a plan to achieve the desired outcome."
Not only is Marengo simple for clients, but it simplifies the process for coaches. No longer responsible for sourcing their own business, coaches can dedicate 100% of their attention to coaching. Coaches meet with clients for about 50 minutes on a biweekly basis. Memberships range in time commitment and price, and are available across the country with expansion plans for 2021.
The website offers three types of coaching. Life and Career Coaching, which pairs clients with coaches credentialed through ICF (International Coach Federation), is for anyone that feels like they are stuck in a rut. "Most of our clients have been inspired at some point in their lives...they know what is out there." Executive Coaching pairs clients with the best in class performance coaches who are all certified through the Columbia University Executive Coaching Leadership program (a natural partnership as Fernandez is a Columbia Business School graduate). Executive Coaching ranges from ongoing one-on-one coaching for a leadership team to a one-time team off-site. Academic Coaching is for clients who are about to be diagnosed or already diagnosed with ADHD, with coaches who are credentialed through ADD Coach Academy. "It's a great complement to medication," Fernandez explains.
Fernandez operates Marengo from her home and employs an intern from Tulane University. (Fun Fact: Marengo is named for Margeno Street, the street she was living on when she first had the idea.)
While life is currently far from normal, Marengo is doing its part in the COVID-19 crisis. "On the executive coaching side of the business, we're proud to offer one month of pro bono coaching to any leaders in the healthcare space," Fernandez told Adore. "These leaders are positioned to make a profound impact, but to do so, they need to show up. I've been reflecting on Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote around people being like teabags: you don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water...We're honored to coach them through this crisis so they can perform their best."
More information on Marengo can be found here.