Founder & CEO
Imagine getting to spend your time with thousands of incredibly smart, witty, generous, creative, skilled, values-driven, curious, high-impact people who are all striving to reach their highest personal and collective potential so they can leave the world better than they found it – I’ve been living that dream for more than 20 years.
Emily Sterling has served as a strategic thought partner to thousands of innovative and influential philanthropists, community leaders, social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, boards, corporations, and governments for nearly 30 years.
Emily is the Founder & CEO of Olive Grove, a Silicon Valley based firm that works internationally toward its vision of “A Vibrant and Just Society.” While Emily has provided a comprehensive range of consulting services to philanthropists, boards and CEOs (strategy, governance, scaling and growth plans, founder transitions, and more), her primary focus is working with highly innovative, paradigm-shifting projects and ideas. She partners with those who are driven to challenge historical assumptions and approaches, and who are motivated to work in collaboration with others to generate, catalyze, and test new ideas – those which will excite and challenge.
Emily is known as a trusted and knowledgeable advisor who can quickly distill complex and ambiguous information into clear patterns and options, and who supports leaders to make the right choices, not necessarily the easy ones. She thrives on new and big ideas, and has the experience, structure, and know-how to move them into action.
Emily has made a 25-year study of what actually enables change and moving from ideas to action - and what builds both impact and resilience at a personal, organizational, and systems level.
Emily is an engaging presenter, interviewer and panel participant at conferences and events with a core audience of philanthropists, entrepreneurs, CEOs, board members, and influencers. In addition, Emily has served on several prominent boards, and is open to private/corporate board placement.
Clients include: Hewlett Foundation; Helmsley Charitable Trust; Schwab Charitable; Tipping Point Community; San Francisco Opera; Nature Conservancy; Opportunity Fund; Oakland Museum of California; Surfrider; Moishe House; Education Trust-West; Jim Joseph Foundation; ODC Dance; Terra Foundation for American Art; Hillel International; Goodwill; Feeding Our Kids - Clinton Global Initiative; US Water Alliance; Legal Community Against Violence; San Francisco Parks Alliance; multiple small family foundations and funder collaborations; and hundreds of others.