Meet Marissa

My Entrepreneurial Journey

I launched my first company in 1993 after briefly working for a consulting firm owned by a man that capped my worth at $35,000. I founded my company on my core skill sets (relationship building, problem solving, and writing), education (Master’s Degree in Organizational Development and Instructional Design), and my passion to help organizations fulfill their missions through the creation of compelling communications and education programs.

Under my leadership, Information Experts won more than 80 awards for creativity & leadership and was named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for 2009, 2010, and 2011, and won the 2010 SmartCEO GovStar Industry Star Award. I was immensely proud of what I built, and especially proud of the culture and the environment we created for my employees. We were national trailblazers as a firm that valued “responsible flexibility,” which supported and encouraged work-life balance, telecommuting, and the philosophy that we work to live, rather than live to work. I ran Information Experts for 17 years, eventually reaching approximately $14 million in revenue, until I transitioned it to the leadership team I put in place to launch Successful Culture.
In 2012, I published “Built to SCALE: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth Through Exceptional Advisory Boards.” I wrote this book after a mentor suggested I implement an advisory board for Information Experts. Searching for information on how to do this, I found nothing. I invested a year of my time becoming an expert in advisory boards while building my own.

In the process, I created the SCALE Model: Select, Compensate, Associate, Leverage, Evaluate/Evolve/Exit. My advisory board drove millions of dollars in business to Information Experts because we strategically selected advisors that aligned to the company’s “holes” and “goals.” Thousands of business owners around the world have purchased my book to learn how to scale their businesses by surrounding themselves with great advisors.
In 2012, I launched Successful Culture, a leadership consulting organization that helped CEOs master the 3 most critical aspects of business growth: leadership development, strategy formulation & execution, and corporate culture creation & improvement.

I developed a global C-level coaching and consulting practice based on my own successful experience building a multimillion-dollar consulting firm, and my strength of deeply connecting with leaders to help them move beyond the barriers impeding their personal and organizational growth.
In 2012 I joined “Washington Business Report” on ABC as the region’s Small Business Expert, alongside anchor Rebecca Cooper. In my weekly segment I addressed the challenges of small business growth, and invited leaders to join me to share their business experience.
In 2014 I joined “SmartCEO Magazine” as a nationally syndicated columnist and the publication’s official “Board Expert.” My weekly column addressed questions and challenges of building high performing boards as well as success stories from business owners.
In 2015, I joined Inc. Magazine as a Leadership and Culture Columnist. My column provides leaders with actionable strategies and tactics to cultivate their own leadership skills, bring out the best in their people, build the most effective, productive, and happy environments, and help organizations reach their greatest levels of profitability.
In 2016, Women Presidents Organization (WPO) asked me to assume the role of Regional Chair for the Northern Virginia region. I was trained in the WPO model of peer-to-peer facilitation and had the privilege of facilitating monthly meetings for an incredible group of women business owners with revenues from $1 million to $50 million. It was an honor to create and maintain a safe environment for my members, and provide guidance and leadership so that they could grow into their highest personal and professional potential.
In 2017, I aligned Successful Culture with PeopleTactics, a national leader in Strategic HR Consulting to launch Successful Culture International (SCI), a global corporate culture consultancy that leads organizations undergoing significant transformation through a proven model to define, stabilize, and strengthen organizational cultures. SCI has developed a global reputation as a leader in corporate culture and leadership development & education. Using our proprietary Culture Development Lifecycle (CDL), we have helped countless companies assess, strengthen, transform, and create healthy cultures where employees feel safe, heard, & seen, and are empowered to reach their potential.

Through our Successful Culture Advanced Leadership Education Academy (SCALE Academy), we have trained hundreds of leaders on diversity equity & inclusion (DEI), unconscious bias, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, communications skills, giving & receiving feedback, conflict resolution, time & energy management, delegation, and leadership & management.
In 2017 I co-founded Women’s CEO Roundtable, a professionally facilitated year-long program for women business owners from noncompeting organizations that are committed to scaling beyond $1 million in revenue. In addition to a curriculum that addressed all aspects of business-building, we facilitated peer groups that provided members with a confidential, safe space to share their business challenges and receive guidance and feedback from seasoned business owners. For many members, our environment was the lifeline they needed to connect with others experiencing similar challenges and to receive the fundamental building blocks to scale a business.
In 2020, I entered into a strategic partnership with Lodestone Global, one of the leading global board-building organizations. Within Lodestone, I found a “home” for my SCALE Model and advisory board consulting opportunities, as well as the opportunity to provide the very best board creation expertise, and access to an unparalleled database of highly vetted exceptional board members.

The integration of Lodestone’s board-building process and its exceptional resources with my SCALE Model, my corporate culture expertise and leadership education programs has created a board-building powerhouse that stands apart from all other board-building organizations.
In July 2022, SOAR Community Network acquired Successful Culture International. This marriage integrates two organizations that are aligned in purpose, values, and culture who share a passion for raising the consciousness of leaders and organizations so that all employees feel seen, heard, supported, and emotionally safe. SCI’s work in diversity, equity & inclusion and our flagship SCALE Academy perfectly align with the comprehensive suite of solutions that SOAR brings to the market. The integration of our programs positions SOAR to be a global leader in corporate culture, DE&I, conscious leadership, and ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives across government, private, and nonprofit sectors. I join the SOAR leadership team as VP of Strategy to help define the organization’s growth path for global market penetration and continuing development of corporate culture solutions.
In August 2022, I launched Marissa International to provide a single home for a comprehensive suite of personal and professional transformation services that will transform the lives of my clients. Through the integration of my communications gifts, my 30 years of entrepreneurial and leadership experience I have acquired, and the wisdom I have cultivated along the way, I am committed to fulfilling my Lifetime Legacy Mission:

To empower 1 billion people to live their most joyful lives.
In 2023, I co-founded iConscious Leadership, a leadership education, coaching, and consulting firm, with my long-time friend Melissa Scott. Guided by a mission to elevate the consciousness of the world through leadership, I5 Conscious Leadership bridges self-consciousness and organizational consciousness for leaders that are ready to embrace higher level leadership to achieve exceptional employee engagement and business growth. I5 strengthens and elevates leaders throughout organizations to a higher level of presence, consciousness, and performance through development and strengthening of their Identity, Intention, Integrity, InSight, and Inspiration.
In early 2024, Marissa International publishes “The Little Book of Big Joy” to make the path to Joy accessible to everyone that is seeking Joy.

It is time to activate your most joyful life.

Sign up today to join us, and to receive our White paper, “7 Ways to Face Your Fears and Finally Move Forward!”