We’re a team that’s passionate about giving our clients the confidence to move forward on ideas that actually work. No shiny objects here, just strategies that play out in a predictable and data-informed way.
We each have a mix of operating and consulting experience, so we get what’s practical and what’s academic. Many of us started our careers working with and learning from leading large enterprises like McKinsey, Y&R, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clark, Pfizer, Visa, AT&T, and Comcast, and have since become focused on applying our skills to the middle market.
Who are we?
- We’re problem solvers, detectives, experimenters. We like cracking the case and love diving into the data.
- We are teachers. Just as important as solving problems is helping clients build capabilities inside so they don’t need outside talent.
- We’re Renaissance Men and Women. We crave knowledge. We consume information and begin every idea with fact-finding, diagnosis, and actionable ideas.
- We pass the famed “consultant test,” which means you wouldn’t mind being stuck at an airport with us.
Our Leadership Team
Rob Ristagno, Chief Executive Officer
Rob Ristagno, founder and CEO of the Sterling Woods Group, previously served as a senior executive at several digital media and e-commerce businesses, including as COO of America’s Test Kitchen. Starting his career at McKinsey, his focus has always been on embracing digital technology and data science to spur strategic growth. He has served companies big and small, including Visa, Pepsi, and Comcast.
At the Sterling Woods Group, he and the team are passionate about helping clients grow sales organically by applying data science.
Rob is the author of A Member is Worth a Thousand Visitors and is a regular keynote speaker at conferences around the world. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and Digiday.
He holds degrees from the Harvard Business School and Dartmouth College and has taught at both Harvard and Boston College.
Rob lives outside Boston, MA with his wife, Kate; daughter, Leni; and black lab, Royce.
Patrick Hereford, Chief Technology Officer
Patrick Hereford has spent his career combining business acumen with technological innovation. He has experience building software, integrating technology, and performing advanced analytics for companies of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises.
He has served in leadership roles at a number of companies, spearheading engineering efforts for Forward Financing and America’s Test Kitchen. He also has a background in developing marketing campaigns and designing and implementing market research.
He holds a degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.
Rebecca Donohue, Client Services
Rebecca Donohue is a sales and marketing expert with more than 22 years of experience on the agency side, including stints at FCB Chicago and Y&R/Wunderman.
Her clients have included corporate titans like AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Pfizer, Huggies, The Container Store, and Kellog's. Her areas of expertise include business services and software; retail, e-commerce, and CPG; and healthcare and biotech.
Dick Ryan, Business Development
Dick Ryan is a seasoned executive, with over 40 years of experience in the publishing and media industries. He has served in leadership roles at Publishers Press, The Magazine Channel, LSC Communications, Crain Communications, and The IDEAlliance.
His chief area of expertise is in helping companies with audience and database strategy, content, and sales growth.
Michelle Rosen, Client Marketing Director
Michelle is a marketing specialist with over a decade of experience in digital marketing, marketing automation, and marketing analytics.
She has implemented and maintained marketing campaign analytics, written content for award winning websites, designed and executed email marketing strategies, coordinated webinar series, and administered CRM systems.
She has a BA from Cornell University.
Nichole Williams, Client Services
Nichole Williams comes to the Sterling Woods Group with over 17 years of experience in sales and marketing on both the client and agency sides.
She has worked with globally recognized brands such as McDonald's, KFC, Neutrogena, and Long John Silver’s. Her areas of expertise include retail, e-commerce, and CPG; business services and software; and healthcare and biotech.
Amanda Rodhe, Research and Content
Amanda Rodhe has nearly a decade of experience in marketing writing and content creation. She has worked with B2B and B2C clients across industries as diverse as small business lending, investment banking, positive psychology, marketing, and career consulting.
Jeremy Spurr, Advisory Board Member
Jeremy has 15 years experience in leading product design for startup companies.
Primary Industry Experience
- Media and Information Services
- Business Services and Software
- Consumer Goods and Retail
- Financial Services
- Healthcare / BioTech
We are committed to hiring problem solvers.