How long have you been in business? since 2005 (17 years in November)
What is your Primary Business Activity Leadership and Organizational Development Training and Executive Coaching
What is your background?
Prior to setting up her own consulting practice, Dr. Crystal served as a grant administrator with the U.S. Department of Education (TRIO Programs) establishing and administering federal grant programs at colleges and universities. These programs assisted low-income first-generation students to navigate the collegiate experience from admission to graduation at universities and colleges in the Midwest and the southern United States. In 2005, Dr. Crystal, with a $1,000 gift from her family, established CJD Consulting Solutions, LLC to assist small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations understand and navigate the federal grants-making process. Using her skills and education developed in almost 20 years in higher education, Dr. Crystal leveraged her talent to help businesses and organizations obtain the much-needed grant funds for their organizations. Dr. Crystal has written successful winning grants for over 20 years raising over 10 million dollars for colleges and universities and for private clients. Crystal holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kansas State University, an MHR in Human Relations (summa cum laude) from the University of Oklahoma, and a Doctorate in Management specializing in Organizational Leadership (magna cum laude) from the University of Phoenix. Crystal is the author of three books, Leading from Within: The Spirituality of Servant Leadership (2014), Servant Leadership and Followership: Examining the Impact on Workplace Behavior (2017), and Bloom Where You Are Planted: Reflections on Servant Leadership (2018).
What sets your business apart from your competitors? CJD Consulting Solutions, LLC stands apart from its competitors in that its differentiators include teaching, training, speaking, coaching, and writing exclusively from a Servant Leadership mindset. Servant Leadership invites individuals, teams, and organizations to lead from the heart and put other’s first. As a Certified Coach, Teacher, and Speaker with the John Maxwell Team, Crystal brings an “others-centered” approach to helping leaders create new conversations to achieve organizational goals, inspire meaningful change, and to create a leading with values culture. After receiving her doctorate degree in Management specializing in organizational leadership in 2014, Crystal shifted from grant writing to teaching Servant Leadership as a professional development trainer. Since then, Crystal has helped hundreds of organizations and its people to lead from an authentic and transformative space in the workplace.
How is your business involved in your community? Through her company, Dr. Crystal has committed to over 10,000 hours of community service in the Junction City/Geary County, KS area as well as having volunteered to serve as a grant reviewer on the state and local level for many years. Some of her recent community and civic engagement include: Grant Reviewer, United Way Allocation Grants, Junction City, KS 2017-Present Grant Reviewer, Department of Justice Grants (JAG grants), Topeka, KS, 2018 Grant Reviewer, Kansas Statewide Homeless Coalition (HUD grants), Lawrence, KS, 2015-2019 Grant Reviewer, Kansas Volunteer Commission (AmeriCorps Grants) Topeka, KS 2019 Board Chair, Servant Hearts, Inc., Junction City, KS, 2017-Present Board Director, ULEAD, Goshen, IN, 2018-Present Board Director, Junction City Juneteenth Community Association, Junction City, KS, 2016-2022 Board Secretary, NAACP, Junction City, Kansas, 2022 – current Board Secretary, Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills Association, 2021 – current Chair, Fresh Start Back to School Bash (2015-2019, 2022)
What is your business philosophy/mission statement? To teach, inspire, and equip individuals, teams, and organizations engaging in transformative change in the workplace.
Tell us an interesting and fun fact about your business.
Two fun facts for CJD Consulting are that as a solo parent, it is important to me that my son understands entrepreneurship and Servant Leadership. He is my number one cheerleader and has introduced me at many of my keynote speaking engagements. I want to make sure he gets the exposure and opportunity to meet other business owners around the state of Kansas. He now attends Bethany College and runs track! My son attended the awards banquet with me in Topeka, KS and he got to meet and chat with Governor Laura Kelly. He went back to school (Junction City High School) and told all of his friends and teachers and as a result he won the #Thrivein475 award for leadership and promoting JCHS in the state of Kansas! I am super proud of him! My second fun fact is that I serve as an adjunct instructor at Cloud County Community College, and I get the wonderful opportunity to teach my students about Entrepreneurship and Business! I have always loved teaching and inspiring young people and connecting with students will always be a part of my life’s calling!
What do you like about doing business in Kansas? CJD Consulting Solutions, LLC has been extremely fortunate to work with organizations and businesses in Kansas and through the assistance of Office of Minority and Women owned businesses (Kansas Department of Commerce), CJD Consulting has made invaluable connections to businesses all over the great state of Kansas. I appreciate that the Kansas Department of Commerce offers a plethora of programs and services to assist small businesses with their growth and development. It’s the Servant Leadership way!
What inspired you to start your business? Helping organizations and leaders all across the State of Kansas to continue to operate from the Serving Leader mindset inspired me to start my business. Organizations and businesses are seeking out professional development training that offers their leaders a different and more authentic way to lead its teams and employees. Kansas businesses and organizations get it. The truth is servant-led businesses outperform their competition. The ability to align team and individual goals across all levels of your organization is a necessary skill in a diverse world. I am here to help Kansas businesses do just that!
What was the biggest “win” in your business’ history? The biggest win for CJD Consulting is three-fold. First, having been a successful woman-owned business in Kansas, CJD Consulting was selected to participate with a leadership consulting firm in a two-year change management program for nationwide rollouts of directors and clinical management teams. I was fortunate to travel to 46 cities in the United States and provide Servant Leadership training. This contract generated additional revenues for CJD Consulting. Second, in 2021, CJD Consulting was fortunate and grateful to be awarded the Kansas Minority-Owned Business of the Year – Professional Services Firm. This award validated the idea that CJD Consulting has made impact in training Servant Leaders in the 21st century in Kansas. And finally, CJD Consulting was awarded Spark Funds that has helped the firm to re-brand the company and build an eLearning platform, CJD Servant Leadership Academy, whereby companies and organizations can take Servant Leadership courses on-demand to prepare leaders to upskill their Servant Leadership competencies. The eLearning platform is set to launch in November 2022. All of these wins gave me the confidence that the work that CJD Consulting in doing in the State of Kansas is important to the state and businesses and organizations in Kansas.
What’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned that you would share with other business owners? One valuable lesson that I’ve learned that I would share with other women and minority-owned businesses is to keep going. It takes a lot to run a business. I have been fortunate to work with SBDC, PTAC, and the Office and Women and Minority-owned Business to understand many aspects of running a business in Kansas. You have to be willing to seek the help you need for your company’s growth and development. Entrepreneurship is a rewarding and tough space and there is a plethora of services in Kansas for small businesses. Take advantage of them and learn as you go. Have fun and enjoy the journey!
Helping organizations and leaders all across the State of Kansas to continue to operate from the Serving Leader mindset inspired me to start my business. Organizations and businesses are seeking out professional development training that offers their leaders a different and more authentic way to lead its teams and employees. Kansas businesses and organizations get it. The truth is servant-led businesses outperform their competition. The ability to align team and individual goals across all levels of your organization is a necessary skill in a diverse world. I am here to help Kansas businesses do just that!
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