To answer those questions, we met with Michael Saterman of Saterman Connect, nglccNY’s newest Silver Member. Founded in 2019 by husbands Josh and Michael, Saterman Connect is “a team of natural, instinctive collaborators with a deep-rooted passion for culture change.” Along with their newest partner, Nettie Nitzberg, they believe that many organizations are on a cultural journey, and “Saterman Connect empowers organizations to recognize ongoing cultural transformations happening in their business, move beyond ‘the way we’ve always done it,’ and evolve on their own terms.” Saterman Connect knows that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) in organizational cultures leads to better performance for those companies, especially when they include diversity in multiple forms. One particular example is when employees feel empowered and inspired to bring their true, authentic selves to the workplace. “When employees feel like they can show up authentically, they bring forth great ideas at the inception.”
Saterman Connect accomplishes this in three areas. First, working with organizations and leaders to provide executive coaching. This helps to “create a path forward to explore and develop [leaders] and teams at large,” says Saterman. Second, learning and leadership, which includes creating exciting onboarding experiences, developing leaders and managers, and preparing employees for the future of their work. Third, communication strategies. “How companies react [to world events] really speaks volumes. Leaders have to be transparent in their communications.”
Fortunately for leaders and organizations alike, Saterman Connect is led by a trio of experts. Michael, with his background in communications and brand strategy, is able to view this kind of consulting work through the internal communications and marketing lens. His husband, Josh, has two decades of experience working in the retail industry, which he transferred to Saterman Connect when they founded the business. And Michael and Josh’s best friend, Nettie, has years of professional consulting experience focused on learning and leadership development. Together, they make the Saterman Connect leadership team. “[We work] as an extension of your organization. We bring energy, vision, and a wealth of DEIB expertise.”
When thinking about 2020, Saterman Connect is reframing the conversation for businesses and their goals. “These times,” Saterman observes, “have really made companies reflect on their social goals. They are more purposeful, and there’s a lot of power in purpose.” Michael shared that employees, stakeholders, and consumers want authenticity and transparency. When organizations provide that, they are able to build trusted relationships with customers, and customers will return.
In speaking on the benefit of being authentic at work, Michael shared his gratitude for being his genuine self in his own work and being in business with his husband. Joining nglccNY has allowed Michael and his team to be part of a broader community of other LGBTQ+-led companies. It has allowed them to seek out thoughtful and socially aware potential business partners with the hope of growing together. nglccNY has also provided a seat at the LGBTQ business table. “The only way to make a change,” Saterman added, “is by being part of the conversation. We want to use our voice and showcase that we are proud of our diversity.”
Michael Venturiello is the founder of Christopher Street Tours, an LGBTQ history walking tour company. He is a proud member and Ambassador of nglccNY and sits on the Media and Communications committee.