About 26 Letters
26 Letters realizes that these are uncharted times in the workplace. For the first time in history, four generations will be working side-by-side. A growing minority will soon be the majority. More women are entering the workforce than ever. A massive leadership vacuum leadership is being created at Baby Boomers leave the workplace.
And new data shows that employees are more engaged and more productive when they can bring more of their authentic self to work. At 26 Letters we work with you to create cultures where everyone can thrive.
26 Letters was formed when its co-founders, Caroline Karanja and Josh Thelemann, found that regardless of where they worked, similar issues seemed prevalent. Leveraging their skills, knowledge and background, the two created a SaaS solution that leverages data and analytics to drive a more inclusive and engaged workforce.
26 letters reaches beyond diversity and toward strong strategies for a sustainable culture change that uphold inclusion in the workplace and beyond. At 26 Letters, we are passionate about facilitating inclusion to improve work environments for everyone, and to help companies build amazing things and provide outstanding services.
Caroline Karanja is a designer, developer and cultural architect. She is the founder of 26 Letters, a SaaS e-learning solution that helps companies understand and incorporate, diversity and inclusion. Her deep experience working with engineers to build products in the technology space gives Caroline a unique perspective that has helped define and refine 26 Letters’ approach. Prior to founding 26 Letters, Caroline guided culture and inclusion initiatives at fast-growing startups, with a focus on virtual companies. Her academic background is rooted in cultural and social studies and its application in the private sector.
Josh Thelemann, co-founder of 26 Letters, leads business development. His work building and fostering relationships across many communities began when he found his first non-profit, Save Our Schools, in 2011. Since then, Josh has helped start New Leaders Council - Twin Cities, which is a cross-sector, leadership institute for young professionals; he has founded two other entities in the private sector. He has served on several for-profit and non-profit boards and committees with a bevy of focus areas. In wearing these many hats, Josh has witnessed first-hand the need for growth in Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion in the public, private and academic arenas.
Our partners have decades of experience training, coaching and facilitating workshops around improving company culture. From Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion (DEI) and Cultural Competency to Leadership Development and Change Management, our partners have experience working with individuals and small teams as well as Fortune 500 companies.
Victor has dual degrees in Political Science and Psychology from Drake University and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He brings experience in economics, strategic planning and local policy, as well as analytics and data analysis skills. He is passionate about providing opportunities to disadvantaged students and has experience working with high school students as both a debate coach and a college admission counselor. Victor has also planned multiple conferences to help college students prepare for, apply to, and finance graduate school.
Dr. Ramon A. Pastrano IV
Dr. Ramon Pastrano, graduate of the US Naval Corps, has over 25 years of experience in leadership among many different cultures around the world. Ramon founded ImpactLives in 2003 to create a dual model of transformational leadership and social innovation. Ramon believes that in order for individuals and organizations to solve the world’s most challenging problems, they must reflect critically on themselves while also exploring the social, cultural and geopolitical structures that affect or confine or them. From that framework, Ramon helps to develop and re-train leaders, thereby implementing lasting social innovation.
Kyle Parsons is trained as a group facilitator, trainer and coach; his primary focuses include race, millennials in the workplace, and how to understand and accept difference among colleagues.This expertise stems from his work at The MN Historical Society, where he worked to transform a field traditionally steeped in elitism (museums) into contemporary spaces that engage and collaborate with the community members they seek to serve. Kyle has experience implementing both internal and external inclusive best practices for and his work reaches beyond solely working with organization to implement best practices to the undergraduate level where he has educated and trained undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds on this same work as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Katherine Guettler, formerly an Organizational and Change Development Lead at Best Buy and Sr. Consultant at Appirio. In her previous roles, she focused on Strategy Development, Change Management and Sustainment by designing and aligning high-performance teams and individuals to deliver differentiated value and performance results. Katherine also supported leaders in creating, executing, and sustaining actions to improve organizational and team performance. Katherine brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to 26 Letters. She is passionate about developing people and helping them achieve their goals; it is woven into every aspect of her work. Her greatest satisfaction comes from working with others to help them grow both personally and professionally. She does this through listening, coaching, mentoring and teaching.