About
Tack Advisors

Meet Our Team

Meagan Strout

Founding Partner, Chief Executive Officer

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What energizes you?

I’m an extravert. More specifically, I’m an ENFJ and an Obliger, which means I genuinely love helping other people and exceeding their expectations! I enjoy any opportunity I have to help others learn, grow, and become more successful. This actualizes in both my personal and professional life - whether I’m helping my family move, volunteering at a local non-profit, or partnering with Executives to hire and develop an amazing administrative professional. 

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

No doubt, my move from Florida to San Francisco in 2016 was the best and most influential decision I’ve ever made. After over a decade of service in luxury hospitality management with iconic brands that include Four Seasons and The Ritz-Carlton, I was ready to transition out of organized corporate environments and dive into the unstructured world of startups. The shift from East coast to West coast and from corporate to small business was invigorating, educational and overall fun! I was able to draw from my many years of operational and sales knowledge and build processes and procedures at a small company that helped us scale and set everyone I worked with up for success. Furthermore, it gave me the experience I needed to be a true advisor to my clients and candidates who were going through similar challenges. 

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

“Buy yourself time.” Too often, we feel the need to act immediately which often leads us to say or do something that is incorrect, inefficient, or unthoughtful. I’ll spare you the details of how I learned this lesson (it’s pretty cringeworthy), but trust me. Next time someone asks you a question that you do not have the answer to, or to do something that you are unsure of, respond with “That’s a great question. May I get back to you in X amount of time so I can look into this for you?”

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

I am regularly coaching my clients, candidates and internal team on the importance of “buying yourself time.” For example, when I’m preparing my candidates for interviews, I remind them that it is OK to ask “May I take a moment to think about this question?”, then take a deep breath and gather their thoughts before giving their answer. It is better to provide a thoughtful, well-organized response than to ramble off a lack-luster answer just to fill in dead time.

Al-Husein Madhany

Founding Partner, Chief Strategy Officer

 

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What energizes you?

Nothing energizes me more than being a conduit through which executive assistants maximize their impact. Whether that means finding you a career you love with an amazing salary and benefits package that launches you into the future or coaching you to greatness by unblocking your subconscious mind. Catalyzing transformative experiences for you through life and career coaching gives me tremendous joy and energy. My candidates’ and clients’ life-changing transformations nourish and feed my service heart every day, and I believe I have become addicted to this natural high.

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

Hands down, the two most important decisions I made in my life were 1) deciding who I would choose as my partner (now of over 20 years) and 2) choosing to "lean in" to my wife's career by prioritizing it over my own. While this individually was an easy decision for me two decades ago, I understand how difficult it may be to digest from a cultural perspective, even today as most Americans find it unfitting for a man to marry a woman who earns more than him. But that single decision has resulted in creating the most optionality for us collectively, as well as for our children and even for our aging parents. So my advice is that by being deeply intentional, singularly focused, and yet highly pragmatic about building both an emotional and financial nest egg, will yield maximum emotional and financial freedom in this often-challenging, yet deeply-fulfilling journey, we refer to as life.

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

"You don't know what you don't know. So be open.” I have found that close to 50 percent of the time we think we know what will happen in any given situation, when in fact we actually have no idea what future will emerge. Our preconceived notions about the world around us do protect us and guide us, but when left unchecked, can easily shut out opportunities for growth—both professionally and personally. Whether it is about something personal or professional, more often than not—even at this stage of my career—I am surprised by how a situation will turn out, not only because my assumptions were wrong, but because there were many more variables at play which I could never have known. Therefore, I have found that the best thing to do is just remain open and engaged.

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

Most people's preconceived notions about what and who an executive assistant is and is not, only limits their growth and opportunities. Had I not been open to the possibility of being wrong about what it means to be an executive assistant, I would never have ended up at Facebook, which was the best career decision I ever made. Indeed, increasingly more and more executive assistant candidates come from untraditional backgrounds who exhibit a few critically important traits, in addition to “being open.” I have found that the best candidates are not limited by a business title or boxed in by a job description, but rather when they see opportunities for business impact in their companies and their careers, they seize them. The best assistants show up with a growth mindset, not on autopilot simply focused on the core role, but rather yearn to learn new skills and immerse themselves in the business or even the personal lives of their principals. They do so because they too believe that they don’t know what they don’t know. They too desire to be challenged—not by the known, but the unknown. This kind of attitude transcends the core functions of the role and is the future of the new executive assistant.

Alexa Gundermann

Executive Business Partner & Marketing Coordinator

 

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What energizes you?

Creating a positive impact, no matter how big or small, I genuinely love adding value in people's lives. I am passionate about living the best possible version of myself and what I love most about Tack Advisors is, we are dedicated to supporting you along your journey of professional development.

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

Following my intuition and moving across the country, TWICE! 

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

“Never Settle!"

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

When I moved across the country for the second time, I had a long list of must-haves in my next role. When I met the team at Tack, I immediately knew this was the type of environment in which I belonged and could add value to.

Rachel Brown

Business Manager

 

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What energizes you?

I love to learn - Whether it is learning a new skill to improve our SOPs, learning a new client/ candidate's story, learning a new language, or a new cooking technique in my own time, I get fired up when I find something that I don't know and get to learn all about it.

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

When I decided to kindly decline my parents' financial help and fully supported myself through college. Although it was a grind juggling full-time work and school, an internship in SF, making tuition payments and monthly rent, this experience instilled in me the work ethic and resilience that have been instrumental in my career. It also gave me a steadfast sense of self-reliance to overcome obstacles; once I started believing firmly in my ability to do hard things, truly anything became possible.

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

Opportunities are everywhere, it is only a matter of learning to see them and being prepared to seize them.

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

Working at a thriving startup comes with its growing pains, I look at every challenge our team faces as an opportunity to improve and refine our internal procedures, as well as the experience for our clients and candidates. Instead of feeling discouraged or stumped by these hurtles, I get excited about finding a solution to solve the problem.

Daniela Otto

Talent Acquisition Manager

 

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What energizes you?

I am energized every day by the candidates and clients I work with. I love getting to know my candidates on a deeper level and helping them find their perfect role, and I enjoy making meaningful relationships with my clients by helping them find the very best talent for their teams.

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

By taking a leap of faith and leaving the hospitality industry after ten years! It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, learn new things and work with new people who challenged me in the very best way.

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

To be authentic and bring my true self to work every day.

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

Absolutely! I am grateful to work with such an incredible team at Tack that embraces and accepts individuality and diversity.

Hope Benfield

Talent Acquisition Manager

 

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What energizes you?

The pursuit of knowledge. I am a teacher by training and started my career in early childhood education. I wholly believe in the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimension.” I have an innate curiosity about the world and constantly push to find more by way of new challenges, ideas, and experiences.

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

Enrolling in University later in life to complete my bachelor’s degree and accomplish my goal in four semesters (I did it in three). I was eager to bet on myself and launch into a corporate career that would allow me to leverage my skillset outside of a classroom setting. Recruiting, consultation, and development of people became the perfect medium for me to give candid advice to an incredible population of professionals.

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

“Color outside the lines”: It’s ok to make mistakes, we are all human but take the chance to be different, have fresh ideas, and speak on them! That is what sets you apart from the rest.

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

By consistently offering a safe space for my team to share new perspectives, success stories, and market trends - I am able to unlock my team’s autonomy to think outside the box and present new ideas knowing I am in their corner. 

Shannon Nelson

Talent Acquisition Coordinator

 

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What energizes you?

Knowing that I am offering new opportunities to people where they can use their specific skill set to positively impact our client's needs. It is so rewarding finding the perfect, successful match!

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

Taking the leap to leave Chicago after 4 years, relocating to Miami where I barely knew anyone! Everything you want is on the other side of fear. 

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

Always give it 100%- what you put in is a direct correlation of what will come out! 

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

Being that this was a new field for me, there was lots to learn, but I always stayed inspired, motivated, and excited to learn what I needed to to get the job done!

Katie Hendricks

Talent Acquisition Coordinator

 

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What energizes you?

Learning new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone! I am always excited by the opportunity to learn something new, whether that is the experiences and goals of the candidates I speak to or a new hobby I am taking on in my free time. I love gaining knowledge in all aspects of life, and I love when I push myself out of my comfort zone to do so. 

What is the most influential life decision you have ever made?

Moving to Colorado with my husband in 2019. It forced me to do some hard things that I never would have imagined I would be able to do before. Because of this, I was forced out of my comfort zone and quickly learned that I was capable of more than I ever imagined.

What is the best advice you have received pertaining to your career?

"The future depends on what you do today"

How have you applied that advice at Tack?

I have applied this advice at Tack by always striving to get things done to set myself up better for the next day. What you put into your day will create what you get out of the following days, so I think it is important to work towards the long-term goal with each task I complete.