Founders and Consultants:
Your messaging corps.

Need help with your core message? Below are the experts you can count on.
Notice that each has specialized focus areas, as well as experience with particular types of entities. Let this be your guide on who you should reach out to.

Not sure? Contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Michel Neray,


Advising technology companies, start-ups, and service-based businesses

Michel has been helping companies dig down to their core message for more than 25 years. He has developed unique expertise in applying core messaging for technology companies and start-ups to amplify differentiation, sales, and category leadership. An essential part of his process is the origin story. It’s incredibly useful for clarifying a core message and then communicating it in a way that galvanizes customers, investors, strategic partners, analysts, and internal stakeholders around the vision. Michel created the Essential Message D.I.G. (Discover, Identify, Galvanize) Methodology, which helps you dig deeper — to strengthen your differentiation and brand position, and become a leader in your category through category design. He also developed Inside-Out Storytelling, a process for aligning the message you want to deliver with the message that gets through to the hearts and minds of your listeners. Michel is an award-winning advertising copywriter, musician, and professional motivational speaker. He brings it all together to generate exciting outcomes for his clients.

Tamsen Webster,


Advising strategy, business development, and change-focused leaders and teams

Tamsen helps experts get audiences invested in uncommon ideas. This includes finding their core message and the “bedrock beliefs” behind it; adapting to sales and marketing, thought leadership, and public speaking; and coaching internal teams on message-building. Tamsen developed a universal story structure —  The Red Thread® — which ties the ideas people already have into a simple story their audience will understand. She formulates pioneering solutions to complex problems. Her clients include scientists, academics, and other experts, impact start-ups, and nonprofit leaders. Part strategist, part storyteller, part English-to-English translator, Tamsen honed her approach in and for major organizations like Johnson & Johnson, Harvard Medical School, and Intel, as well as with hundreds of individual founders, academics, and thought leaders. She’s a former TEDx executive producer and current idea strategist. Most recently, Tamsen was named to the Thinkers50 Radar class of 2022. She’s the author of Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible, and of (coming October 2024) Say What They Can’t Unhear: The 9 Principles of Lasting Change. Tamsen is the founder of the Message Design Institute.

Brian Miller,


Advising experts, leaders, and speakers

Brian Miller is an international keynote speaker on human connection whose TEDx Talk “How to Magically Connect with Anyone” has 3.5 million views. He’s also the founder of Clarity Up, LLC, which teaches brands and leaders how to communicate like themselves, but better. Whether it’s public speaking, writing on thought leadership, or getting your point across in high-stakes situations, Brian helps you talk less, say more, and connect with anyone. His clients have delivered viral TEDx Talks, built international movements, transformed their company culture, and become leaders in their industry. Brian also runs Conquer the Red Dot®, an elite training program for speakers that takes the guesswork out of writing and delivering a life-changing TED-style talk. Whether it’s interpersonal communication, external marketing, or presentations delivered from the stage, Brian believes that the first step is to develop a core message that is clear, understandable, and relevant. Just say the thing!®

Francisco Mahfuz,


Advising entrepreneurs, business owners, HR and culture leaders

When your communication is boring or artificial, customers don’t care, sales don’t close, your people feel disengaged, and great ideas go nowhere. It doesn’t have to be that way. Francisco helps organizations find and leverage the power of stories to create a culture that drives engagement, purpose, and performance. He serves entrepreneurs and business owners, HR and culture leaders who need to present, pitch, or create influential content. Francisco believes stories are the way to identify the core of what is happening in an organization, and the best way to illustrate and share it. He also emphasizes the importance of clarity in your core messaging. Without it, it’s impossible to properly use stories to improve your company’s culture or lead effectively. Core messaging is even more necessary for entrepreneurs and business owners. After all, you can’t tell intentional stories when you don’t know what you’re being intentional about. Francisco will help you become more interesting than Netflix — so you can engage, influence, and inspire.

Sheperd Simmons,


Advising large corporations in health care, high tech, and supply chain

Sheperd Simmons is the founder of Counterpart Communication Design, the Message Strategy Experts®. Since 2002, Counterpart has served Fortune 500 brands, including FedEx, Progressive, P&G, Teladoc, Terminix, and AARP. Counterpart’s mission is to help you create customer-centric communication that’s clear, compelling, and controlled. These are the four principles (or 4Cs) of message strategy. Counterpart employs them in all forms of marcomm execution, from branding to web, email to video, paid, print, and social — emphasizing B2B, internal, and sales enablement. Sheperd’s other proven frameworks include Position X® (to ensure a marketplace positioning that’s believable, ownable, desirable, and supportable) and Single Slide Strategy™ (to define your organization’s belief, mission, vision, values, standards, and keys to success). Effective message strategy depends on making an exceptional effort to understand. That’s how you become deeply different, and that’s the promise of core messaging.