Today we take a moment and celebrate TGGer Maddie Barbera’s community support for her generous work assisting with COVID-19 vaccine outreach among vulnerable populations in our local communities. 

Prior to her career as a consultant, Maddie practiced as a pediatric nurse for 12 years and has been a licensed nurse for the past 17 years.   

Maddie often volunteers with the Red Cross of Oregon and in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she signed up to volunteer with Serve Oregon as part of the Medical Reserve Corp. 

Asked why she wanted to lend her experience to these organizations, Maddie said “I’ve always kept my nursing license active so I could be in a position to help if there were ever emergencies in the community. For me it’s a direct way to support medical professionals, local citizens, and community health needs in the state.”  

When Maddie received an email from Multnomah County inquiring about licensed medical officials willing to help administer COVID-19 vaccines to medically vulnerable populations and populations with socioeconomic barriers, she had no hesitation. Maddie saw an opportunity to lend her experience to the vaccine workforce and responded immediately.  

Maddie said, “the most rewarding aspect of the vaccine outreach and administration has been hearing patients’ stories of perseverance from the past year and their continued hope.”

“People have been so appreciative of the medical officials and teams. At times it’s even been an emotional experience for everyone involved because the community member is so grateful for the opportunity and the team’s outreach and personal service to them.”

We appreciate and applaud Maddie’s commitment to the community and for assisting the state’s most vulnerable populations.  

We are honored and proud to call her our teammate!  


I showed up nervous on my first day at The Gunter Group

That morning, my manager and I went for a walk along the Willamette River. After some getting-to-know-you chatter, I turned the conversation to the job: “What do you think my first 30 days should look like?” 

My manager, Matt Bader, considered my question for several more steps. He answered, “All I want you to do is learn. Treat every experience as a teachable moment. Just worry about that, and the rest will come.” 

All the growing I’ve done at The Gunter Group has flourished in the garden of that conversation. Every experience has been a learning experience. I’ve had the opportunity to create internal development tools, write copy, build surveys, facilitate engagement sessions, spin up a center of excellence, and support an enterprise ERP implementation. All of these experiences have been new in some way, and all have been opportunities to learn lessons that make me better at my job. 

My time as a consultant has confirmed this one truth: the only thing guaranteed in every experience is the opportunity to learn. 

I’ll pause to make an important distinction: the act of learning is different from the opportunity for learning. In 2020, TGG consultant Stephen Bacon led a series of coffee chats about change management responses in the time of COVID-19. Stephen’s most important message to professionals in the pandemic: There is no guarantee that we will learn from this. We have to be intentional. Learning is not guaranteed, but opportunity is. 

This message is timely: the pandemic introduced most of us to a new reality. We are now familiar with remote work, the shrinking pool of small businesses, chart-topping unemployment, constricting budgets, and lifelines of federal aid. The one guarantee among all these earth-shattering elements is an avalanche of learning opportunities. 

This raises the question: how do you take advantage of these learning opportunities? Here are a few pointers I find helpful: 

Foster the Right Mindset: New experiences can be hijacked by negative emotional responses. It can be easy for learning to get lost in the fog of fear, anxiety, exhaustion, rebellion, flight, etc. At TGG, “Thrives in Ambiguity” is one of the non-negotiable characteristics we look for in team members, and it is our target response in adversity. But it can require a mindset shift to see a new, ambiguous experience as an opportunity to thrive. A good approach: reframe your natural fear response by saying “this is an opportunity” every time a new challenge pops up.

Remove Obstacles: The book Atomic Habits by James Clear suggests that the first thing you can do to break a bad habit is to raise awareness of triggers and reduce your exposure to them. If fear is one of your responses to a new challenge, try to understand where that fear is coming from, and respond accordingly. Narrow your focus to the present by writing down what you can do today, and ignore everything else. This builds valuable and purposeful momentum.

Pay Attention: Do you journal? Because you should journal. The most common objection to journaling is the time commitment, a problem that is easily solved. Start small: every day before closing your computer, write one sentence about something you learned that day. Really, that’s all it takes. Months later, when you can look over 100 different things you learned, you’ll be grateful for the 10 seconds of effort you put into it each day. 

Be Honest: It’s easy to make mistakes, but even easier to make excuses. “It wasn’t my fault, I just ran out of time,” or “We couldn’t have predicted the curveballs we had to face.” The more you make excuses for mistakes, the harder it is to learn from them. Radical honesty can help. When something goes wrong, it’s actually better for your career if you own up to the mistake and learn from it. Otherwise, all you learn is the skill of shifting blame away from yourself at all costs. 

Take Risks: Access to more opportunities means access to more learning. Volunteer for that internal project, raise your hand to own that action item, throw your hat in the ring for that new job. Expose yourself to new challenges, new colleagues, new activities; this will not only expand your skill set, but also your appetite for growth. 

Like most other habits, learning is not a talent: it’s a skill. A skill you can cultivate, and with a little time and patience you’ll start to reap the benefits. 

A great place to start is by reading some other articles on our TGG blog! Here are three of my favorites: 


Last week, a panel of seasoned consultants from The Gunter Group were invited to provide their insights into the field of consulting to members of The Oregon Consulting Group at The University of Oregon. 

The Oregon Consulting Group was founded in 2014 through The University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business with the mission to help students gain valuable real world experience, while solving tangible problems for companies and non-profit organizations. The Oregon Consulting Group consists of 35 students, across 20 academic disciplines who complete 18 projects every year. 

During the event, The Gunter Group team had the opportunity to analyze and advise on 3 consulting projects focused on a diverse range of topics including: 

Conducting an impact analysis for a regional post-pandemic economic recovery plan.

Developing a digital learning solution in order to to improve the effectiveness of telemedicine.

Creating a mindfulness-centered mental health curriculum for middle-school students.

Additionally, to assist The Oregon Consulting Group members as they embark on their careers in the consulting industry, The Gunter Group team shared 5 success pillars for new consultants:

1. Curiosity – With every client engagement develop a curiosity for what clients do and what they need to reach their potential. Consultants have a valuable opportunity to be fresh eyes on a situation or problem, and doing so with genuine curiosity lays the groundwork for authentic engagements focused on client success.

2. Creativity – When working to solve client problems, one size does not “fit all.” Different problems require different tools. Utilize different vantage points and perspectives when diagnosing problems and identifying solutions. Investigate with ingenuity in order to further develop a creative mindset.

3. Flexibility – Be agile. Avoid falling into the trap of being locked into one approach for the situation at hand. Consultants should be prepared to morph and adapt to the client’s needs. This flexible mindset maintains the overall mission of “providing tangible value” to the client and maximizing results.

4. Growth – In the absence of professional experience early in their career, consultants should be resourceful in ways they can provide tangible value to their team and firm at large. It’s important to “know what you don’t know” and as a result, seek out opportunities to foster new skills and knowledge.

5. Communication – Be a diligent listener to teammates and clients. Focus intently on the words people use and commit to being fully present. When presented with an opportunity to share, be succinct and purposeful with commentary.

At the conclusion of the event, TGG Senior Consultant, Stephen Bacon shared the following:

“The chance to give back to a group of aspiring consultants was a privilege for our entire team. Hearing students’ fresh perspectives on client problems was a learning opportunity for all of us and we can’t wait to see what these student leaders accomplish in their careers ahead.”

Our consultants are grateful for the opportunity to share our experience and expertise with the bright and talented members of The Oregon Consulting Group. We wish the students success in all their academic and professional pursuits!


On the evening of February 6th 2016, The Gunter Group will proudly sponsor a table at the Holy Cross Catholic School Auction at the Portland Expo Center.

Lindsey Swinehart is a Senior Consultant at the Gunter Group and is one of the co-chairs on the Holy Cross Catholic School Auction Committee. Lindsey is a passionate community volunteer and is actively involved supporting education. Lindsey says, “I am very proud to be part of such an amazing team putting together this event. My number 1 goal is to help make the school the best it can be for my children and the other children who attend Holy Cross”.

Mike & Ashleigh Gunter, Co-Partners of The Gunter Group, have established a culture of giving back within the firm and our local communities, and were happy to support this event. Ashleigh said “We are happy to support Lindsey and the Holy Cross Auction.  The benefit for us is two fold, one we get to support a valued employee in what she is doing and second, we get to support education which is the foundation of our future.”

Holy Cross serves a broad population.   Holy Cross is a socio-diverse Catholic school, where 60% of families receive some tuition assistance and 38% qualify for reduced/free lunches. All funds from this auction will benefit tuition for the Holy Cross Catholic School.

Appetizers will begin at 6:30pm.  A plated dinner will be served during the live auction at 8:00pm along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that will be available for purchase.  If that wasn’t enough, the live music starts at 9PM. This truly will be a wonderful evening supporting a great local cause!

Additional details about the Holy Cross Auction are as follows:

Location: Portland Expo Center, Hall D2

Date: February 6, 2016

Time: 6PM- 11PM

The silent auction begins at 6PM and the live auction will start at 8PM.  Some of the packages include:

Raffle tickets are $10 and only 2,500 raffle tickets will be sold.

About The Gunter Group
The Gunter Group is a management business consulting firm in Portland, Oregon, led by a team of experienced professionals with a track record of delivering practical consulting services. We provide operational and project-based consulting services that help our clients achieve tangible business results. We do this by pairing the deep experience with a “get things done” approach and energy from our associates. We are a results-oriented firm with experience across a number of industries including retail, healthcare, public sector, financial services, and manufacturing. Please visit for more information.


In November The Gunter Group (TGG) was proud to again serve as a corporate sponsor for The Dougy Center’s “Portraits of Courage” luncheon held at the Sentinel Hotel.   The purpose of this annual “friend-raising” event is to increase awareness and financial support for The Dougy Center which provides services to grieving children and families coping with the loss of a family member or loved one.

TGG Partner Ashleigh Gunter serves on The Dougy Center Board of Directors and invited her teammates to the event.  Most of our local team attended to offer support and hear personal stories of grief and triumph from people who have benefited from this unique organization.   TGG is very proud of Ashleigh’s work and involvement with The Dougy Center and we feel fortunate to participate on a professional and personal level.

“This was my second year attending the Luncheon,” said Sally Davey, “It’s such a meaningful event, and a nice way for our team to reconnect and show our support.   Ashleigh is a great leader and mentor; I think her work with TDC is very indicative of her generosity and willingness to help others and make a difference.  I’m really grateful to work for a company that recognizes its employees’ charitable endeavors and the importance of giving back to our community.  Looking around the luncheon I was struck by the energy, emotion and enthusiasm from TDC staff and Board members.  It felt good to know that Ashleigh and TGG have contributed to its growth and positive impact.”

More than 300 people attended the Annual Fall Fundraiser, and the event raised over $65,000 for programs to help grieving children and families.

The Dougy Center provides a safe place for children, teens, young adults and their families who are grieving a death to share their experiences.  They offer peer support groups and vast resources to ensure that everyone gets the help they need.  They also offer support and training to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children in grief.  It is supported solely through private donations from individuals, foundations and companies. The Dougy Center does not charge a fee for its services.  Due in part to the success from this annual fundraiser, TDC can continue to provide support and training locally, nationally and internationally to build awareness and ultimately bring hope and comfort to those who are coping with traumatic loss and grief.

Please visit to earn about the work, mission and impact of this incredible organization.

About The Gunter Group

The Gunter Group is a management business consulting firm in Portland, Oregon, led by a team of experienced professionals with a track record of delivering practical consulting services. We provide operational and project-based consulting services that help our clients achieve tangible business results. We do this by pairing the deep experience with a “get things done” approach and energy from our associates. We are a results-oriented firm with experience across a number of industries including retail, healthcare, public sector, financial services, and manufacturing. Please visit for more information.


On the evening of August 13th, The Gunter Group (TGG) will once again proudly sponsor the annual Checking for Charity Beef & Beer Event at the On Deck Sports Bar & Grill in the Pearl District.

Checking for Charity is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to changing the world through competitive hockey events. TGG Associate, Matt Bader started Checking for Charity in 2009 while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force in New Jersey. An avid hockey player since childhood, Matt wanted to create an organization that combined participants’ passion for hockey with a desire to raise money and awareness for worthy causes. Upon returning from a deployment to Iraq, Matt decided to move his family back to Portland, Oregon where he quickly expanded Checking for Charity to the west coast. Every year, each team that enters the tournament declares a charity to represent. The combined proceeds from the Beef & Beer Event and the tournament are then donated to those charities. To date, the organization has raised more than $194,000 for 169 different charities and the list continues to grow.

This year’s Beef & Beer Event will feature beer (of course), a variety of foods, silent auction, prize drawings, and a 50/50 raffle. Adults and children of all ages are welcome to attend – it will be a fun and festive evening with something for everyone to enjoy! There will be a variety of raffles and auction items as well as several participating charities on hand to raise awareness about their unique causes.

Sponsoring and participating in the Beef & Beer Event has become somewhat of a tradition for The Gunter Group. Along with their families and friends, TGG teammates are amongst the many people that look forward to attending this annual summer fundraiser. Founding Partner, Mike Gunter has built a community consultancy that takes great pride in supporting a variety of charitable endeavors. The firm is particularly involved in causes that are important to its employees, and as a Portland-based company TGG is thrilled to support a local cause that benefits so many great non-profit organizations.

When asked about The Gunter Group’s financial support and participation Matt Bader said, “I feel so lucky to have TGG sponsor an endeavor that is so meaningful to me and so many others in the community. An employer that not only supports, but, also encourages community and charity involvement is truly special. Having my TGG family come out to support us every year really speaks to the caliber of people in our organization. We have a well-rounded and engaged team that wants to be part of something special both inside and outside of work, so it feels really great to have them come together to support Checking For Charity.”

“Our company is built on relationships,” said Founding Partner, Mike Gunter, “Getting our team involved in fundraising efforts not only helps others, but, it also provides a great opportunity for us to spend time together and include our spouses and kids. Matt has devoted so much of his time, energy and passion into Checking for Charity, and the annual Beef & Beer Fundraiser is a total blast. I’m glad we are part of something that is personally significant and fulfilling to Matt.”

If you are interested joining The Gunter Group for the annual Checking for Charity Beef & Beer Fundraiser, please visit to purchase your tickets and learn more about the organization.

Beef & Beer Event Details

When:   Thursday, August 13th from 6:30-10:30PM

Where:  On Deck Sports Bar
               910 NW 14th Ave.
               Portland, OR 97209

Auction Items & Prizes Include:
1.     The Gunter Group Beer, Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Basket
2.     The Gunter Group Baby Basket
3.     Twist Yoga Gift Basket
4.     Remedy Chiropractic Gift Basket/Massage
5.     CCM Hockey Sticks
6.     TaylorMade Golf Clubs
7.      Boston Bruins Merchandise Package (shirts, jackets, hats)
8.     CCM Tampa Bay Lightning Pro Hockey Gloves
9.     Oregon State vs. San Jose State Football Tickets (2)
10.   Leupold GX3 Range Finder
11.    Leupold GX4 Range Finder
12.   Big Green Egg ‘MiniMax’ Smoker & Grill
13.   Budweiser Charcoal Grill
14.   Lanphere Suite at Winterhawks Game
15.   Full Vehicle Detail
16.   Dosha Salon and Spa Gift Package
17.   Oregon Zoo Gift Package
18.   OMSI Gift Package
19.   Skin Care Package from Dr. Rajani
20.  One-Night Stay for 2 with Comedy Show Tickets at Chinook Winds
21.   Foursome of Golf at Gearhart Golf Course
22.  Flat Screen TV

About The Gunter Group
The Gunter Group is an emerging business consulting firm in Portland, Oregon, led by a team of experienced industry professionals with a track record of delivering practical consulting services. We provide operational and project-based consulting services that help our clients achieve tangible business results. We do this by pairing the deep experience of industry veterans with a “get things done” approach and energy from our associates. We are a results-oriented firm with experience across a number of industries including retail, healthcare, public sector, financial services, and manufacturing. Please visit for more information.


On November 11th multiple members of The Gunter Group, LLC (TGG) team were present at the Dougy Center’s Annual Fall Luncheon held at the Sentinel Hotel. TGG served as a proud supporting sponsor of the annual ‘friend’ raiser luncheon where the theme was Portraits of Courage. The luncheon featured a number of speakers who highlighted the amazing work the Dougy Center is currently doing to support grieving children and their families.

Ashleigh Gunter, Partner at The Gunter Group, serves on the Board of Directors for the Dougy Center and was the co-chair for the event with Karen Chong.  Ashleigh said “ I was really excited to be able to support the Dougy Center by  working on the Fall Luncheon.  When I hear the stories that the families share about losing a mom, a dad or a child, I feel like it is the least I could do.” Vivian Dhadli-Robinson,  an associate with The Gunter Group who attended said, “It was a wonderful event and inspiring to hear about the folks who have helped to make the Dougy Center a success. Also, it was absolutely  tear-jerking to hear the stories of those who have been impacted by the loss of a loved one and how this safe haven has welcomed them in their time of need, allowed them to grieve, feel safe and renew their spirits”.

The Dougy Center is exclusively funded through individual and corporate donations and they do not charge a fee for their services. Since 1982 they have helped over 30,000 children, teens and families and have set up workshops to replicate their model in over 250 locations around the world.

When asked why she got involved with the Dougy Center Ashleigh said, “I lost a close friend when I was in high school.  Shortly after I left home to go to college.  I felt very isolated and overwhelmed by my grief.  I know that if a Dougy Center had existed at that time for me, it would have made an incredible difference.  I want to work to ensure that fewer children and young people have to experience loss without the support the Dougy Center can offer.”

The Gunter Group has been active in charitable endeavors since the company was founded in 2008 and is continually looking for ways to support causes that are important to the team. So far in 2014 the company has supported The Dougy CenterChecking For CharityThe Wounded Warrior Project, & Everyday Warrior and the Portland Children’s Museum. When asked why participation in charitable organizations is important to the firm, founder Mike Gunter had the following to say, “Our company is built on relationships, and this is such a great way to get involved and connect with people in our community.  As individuals, we all have causes that are valuable to us, so it also provides a unique opportunity for team unity and collaboration.  We’re gaining exposure to different charities that are meaningful to people on our team, and getting to know each other better in the process.  So by helping others we are benefiting personally and professionally – it’s a win-win for everyone.”

For more information about the Dougy Center, or to volunteer or donate visit


On September 24th three members of The Gunter Group LLC (TGG)  gathered at Golden Valley Brewery in Beaverton to share stories and a couple of drinks.  TGG consultants Matt Bader, Jim Calko, and Tony Schweiss sat together on the front patio enjoying the conversation but they weren’t alone. The three mingled with other Portland area military veterans at the September Vetwork PDX event. Matt, Jim, and Tony are three veterans (Air Force, Army, and Navy, respectively) that are now proud to be part of The Gunter Group’s team of consultants.

The organization that brought the group together on this September evening, Vetwork PDX, was founded by TGG associate Matt Bader in 2013 as a simple but effective way to give back to the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed Forces.   The group is dedicated to building lasting and meaningful relationships within Portland’s veteran community.  Jim Calko, another TGGer, has been a mainstay attendee at Vetwork PDX over the course of the last year.

In addition to providing a social connection for veterans in Portland, it has turned out to be a great way to network professionally.  Ashleigh Gunter, Partner at The Gunter Group had this to say: “Vetwork PDX has been a great way for us to meet some amazing talent.”  Founder Mike Gunter said “The veterans in our company have been fantastic additions to our team.  We actively look for team members with backgrounds that are not always typical for consulting, and their experiences and diverse skillsets have allowed them to thrive in our firm. The critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in the armed services translate well into the world of client service, where emotional intelligence, adaptability, and practical solutions are critical”.

The Gunter Group also recently hired Vetwork PDX attendee Tony Schweiss. Tony, an ex-Navy officer, was working in the construction industry and looking for his next career move when he connected with the group. Tony recalls, “As I transitioned out of the Navy, I saw clearly that the leadership and team building programs I had the opportunity to direct while serving as an officer were unique when comparing myself to my peers in the private sector.  The Gunter Group has a record of recognizing the value of my experience, and Vetwork PDX was an engine to foster the relationship between The Gunter Group and me.”

The Gunter Group is an emerging business consulting firm that has sought to build a different type of consulting firm from the very beginning of its existence. The firm has always believed there is a better way to continually deliver high value client service and in turn has looked to recruit and hire talent a bit differently as well. Veteran recruiting is an area in which the firm has been actively involved since 2011, and to date roughly 20% of the company has some form of active duty military experience.

When asked about his thoughts on The Gunter Group and the future of veteran hiring, Matt Bader had the following to say: “Portland is an amazing city and a great place to live, but isn’t known for having a significant military presence or an active veterans’ community. I faced a ton of challenges transitioning out of the military and into a career that I loved. I feel so lucky to have landed with an organization that not only recognizes the skills and experiences I bring to the table as a veteran but that is also open to growing the number of veterans within the organization. I truly see our willingness to bring on vets as a competitive advantage within the consulting industry.”

For more information on career opportunities at The Gunter Group please visit

For more information on Vetwork PDX and upcoming events please visit