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Navigating the AI Frenzy: A Fractional CTO’s Perspective (Dave Kearney)

As a fractional CTO juggling the ambitions of three burgeoning startups, I’ve witnessed firsthand the accelerating race to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into business portfolios. The AI rush, reminiscent of previous surges around blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), is different in both its potential and its pitfalls. While the allure of AI is undeniable, it’s essential for companies to maintain a clear-eyed focus on their core products and judiciously apply AI where it genuinely adds value. AI is not just another buzzword; it promises transformative impacts across industries. From enhancing customer experiences with chatbots to optimizing operations through predictive analytics, the possibilities are vast. However, this excitement often leads to a frantic, almost desperate, scramble to embed AI into every facet of a company’s operations. This is where the danger lies. In the blockchain and IoT races, many companies leaped in headfirst, only to realize later that these

FrUn Featured Member: Karen Sergeant, Fractional Chief of Staff

What is your full name? Karen Sergeant Please share a brief overview of your professional background and your current role as a fractional leader. My career chapters are wildly diverse: software product management during the heady days of the dot-com boom; counter-terrorism task-force management during the Global War on Terror (both in Afghanistan and at CIA HQ). And for the past 15 years, I've sustained a 100% referral-only, word-of-mouth business, with a 50%+ client renewal rate, acting as a fractional Chief of Staff, with a specific focus on goal-setting, decision-making, and team dynamics. My favorite clients are a best-selling anti-racist author, a socially-conscious yarn store, a performance coach to elite athletes, disruptors in early childhood education, in cannabis, and in aging-in-place — and abundant women CEOs. What do you consider your strengths? I'm a systems thinker, an adaptive problem-solver, and have an honest and direct communication style. I specialize in a

FrUn Featured Member: Marc Fuentes, Fractional CMO

What is your full name? Marc Fuentes Please share a brief overview of your professional background and your current role as a fractional leader. I use my IP to help founders and CEOs of startups achieve product-market fit and execute pragmatic go-to-market plans. What do you consider your strengths? My IP. I leverage my experience working across different industries with my expertise to help organizations communicate their unique value to their niche audience. What inspired or led you to pursue a career as a fractional leader? To educate founders and new CEOs about what marketing is, why you need it, and how to unlock its potential in their business for success. How do you determine if a fractional engagement has been a success or not? Learning | PMF | Revenue Attainment | ROI Focus | Help Hire their First Marketer Fractional leadership often involves working with different industries and teams. How do you adapt to new environments, and what have you learned from these diverse experien

FrUn Featured Member: Mark Phinick, Fractional Sales Leader

What is your full name? Mark Phinick Please share a brief overview of your professional background and your current role as a fractional leader. For Series A and B AI/SaaS startups struggling with enterprise sales, I coach Account Executives to empower their customer champions on how to effectively sell internally and manage the impact of change. The results are increased conversions, deal value, and recurring revenue, freeing sales leaders to focus on broader strategy and operations. What do you consider your strengths? Enabling founders and sellers on how to help clients improve their business. What inspired or led you to pursue a career as a fractional leader? Enterprise SaaS deals aren't progressing, denying clients increased efficiencies and vendors the revenue needed for growth. I've dedicated my "encore career" to helping SaaS startups empower their client sponsors to sell internally to win, freeing sales leaders to focus on strategy and operations. How do you

1.2% Wake-Up Call: Resourceful Employers Respond to Rising Labor Costs (Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin)

The numbers are in, and they're telling a story every employer needs to hear. Last quarter, the Employment Cost Index (ECI) rose by 1.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, putting pressure on businesses across industries. From the corner office to customer service desks, companies are feeling the squeeze of rising labor costs. But here's the thing: this challenge is also an opportunity. Resourceful employers should recognize that surviving in such environments is about investing, not cutting. What does that mean? It means investing in strategies that will drive long-term growth and success, instead of just cutting costs for short-term gain. One strategy that is gaining traction quickly is fractional leadership. Imagine being able to tap into the expertise of a seasoned C-suite executive, but on a flexible, part-time basis that aligns with your budget and needs. That's the power of fractional leadership—a terrific solution for companies looking to adapt without sa

FrUn Featured Member: Jennifer Gendron, Fractional CRO

What is your full name? Jennifer Gendron Please provide a brief overview of your professional background and your current role as a fractional leader? With a background in clinical practice and over a decade of experience in the global commercial arena, I specialize in Fractional Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) roles, particularly with startups ranging from Seed to Series C. My focus is on B2B sales within health tech. I excel in crafting tailored commercial strategies for employers, health systems, providers, and health plans. I have served as a CRO/CCO four times and have been instrumental in developing commercial strategies from the beginning. My expertise spans sales, marketing, and client success, with a unique understanding of behavioral health stemming from my clinical background. Combined with my adeptness in technology landscapes, I offer a distinctive value proposition! What do you consider to be your strengths? My strengths lie in seamlessly merging clinical insight with commerc

FrUn Featured Member: Samantha Dillenback, Fractional COO

What is your full name? Samantha Dillenback Please share a brief overview of your professional background and your current role as a fractional leader? I’m a Fractional COO who has been bringing order to chaos for more than a decade. I’m industry agnostic, though I thrive with established teams of remote-first SMBs on the east coast. My clients are all across the board - leadership development, evaluation, production, retail, legal, and large appliance repair. At the core, they’re all teams of people trying to work together effectively within a business with a mission. What do you consider your strengths? While I’m a digital native, my primary focus is people-centered systems. Leadership development, communication, and accountability are the secret to effective operations. What inspired or led you to pursue a career as a fractional leader? I fell into the fractional world. I started as a consultant while being a full-time COO. Working with a wide variety of industries and humans was an