Charisse Fontes is the CEO of The Culture Circle, a culture coaching company that builds strong cultures at startups. With 13+ years of taking care of others, her obsession with people and culture developed from her experience as a single homeless mother with two young boys. Living in motels and shelters exposed her to all types of people from different walks of life. What pained Charisse the most was seeing others stuck and hopeless.
She noticed a similar theme in the workplace. Employees were feeling stuck and hopeless in their day-to-day jobs. She was inspired to help change that.
While working at a startup, she quickly learned how company culture was a major factor in solving that feeling.
Charisse worked for one of the first startups to revolutionize mobile advertising called Kiip. It was led by one of the youngest CEO’s to get VC funding at the time, Brian Wong. She single-handedly ran a thriving culture while managing the operations of the startup, along with supporting the CEO. Then something dramatic happened. This thriving culture took a huge turn when we hit a 54% attrition rate in less than a year. During this hard time, Charisse was given the opportunity to put her passion into action, and turned the culture around.
Charisse knew she had tapped into something and wanted to replicate with other startups that valued culture. In 2016 she started The Culture Circle to coach startup companies to a stronger culture. In addition to helping cultures thrive, Charisse leads motivational workshops and coaches people who are looking for more out of their career and life.
Charisse cares about people and quality of life. Since we spend over 30% of our lives working, she wanted to help make that time more meaningful, one culture at a time.
In her free time, she runs a BBQ business, hangs out with her four cool kids, feeds the homeless and takes care of a small farm (w/ eight chickens, two bunnies, and a garden).