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Meet the Founders

Updated: May 28

Imagine it is 2010. Barack Obama is President of The United States. Starbucks and McDonalds have just begun offering free WiFi to their customers. Prince William and Kate Middleton just announced their engagement. Owners of The New Arena (est. 2022) have not yet met each other. Kelsi Cottle is the Managing Partner at her law firm and I have just begun a new position as Supervisor at a behavioral support provider. Both of us are leading our teams forward with innovation, accountability and compassion.

In 2011, the friendship between Kelsi and I formed from adversity. On my 31st birthday, a common friend invited Kelsi to attend my party. I was not enthused to have a stranger celebrating with me and distracting everyone from my main event. In order to break the ice, Kelsi suggested we take a shot at the bar. I suggested that shot be Jameson. Kelsi hates whiskey, but in order to solidify what would be one of the most important friendships of our future, she takes the Jameson anyway (like a champ... she says) Since July of 2011, we have seen each other through marriages, families growing, holiday celebrations and the difficult times in life. It wasn't until the fall of 2020 that we started working together professionally, when Kelsi invited me to take on the role of Director of Administration at the law firm. Kelsi has owned a law firm since 2008 and prior to that was integral in the management of other firms. My background has varied between multiple industries, but always had a focus on human resources, leadership and management.

As we have moved into our 40s, and began working together professionally, we began to realize the potential for a partnership in business. We have such a long history of supporting one another through the ups and downs of our lives and now realized that our vision for corporate culture is in sync with each other as well. The more conversations we had about our dreams and visions for the future, we started to develop a plan for a consulting firm.

The New Arena, Co. is founded with the singular vision to redefine corporate culture in America, in a way that anticipates the inevitably changing demands of the business arena. We want to assist business owners with audits of their organizational structure as well as human capital investment. Our definition of human capital is the view that our workforce is one of our greatest assets and as business owners we must continually seek out new ways to invest in the wellness, development, diversity and total rewards for our employees. We are seeking to help business owners develop, implement and maintain structures within their company that protect both employer and employee, increase transparency in communication and invest wisely in organizational and human capital.

We are a cooperative connection of one experienced business owner and one experienced HR manager/administrative director.

Our individual expertise complements each other to give us unique abilities to appeal to other business owners and entrepreneurs. Lastly, we are both driven by a combination of empathy and accountability. We both believe there are great lessons to be learned through failing and having the guts to dare to invest our time and money in what we believe can bring great change to the world. I will leave you with the quote from Theodore Roosevelt, which drives us and is the inspiration for the name of our company. "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

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