Hello, Portland startup community! I’m Kristen Gallagher

Kristen-0004 - Kristen Gallagher


Kristen Gallagher is an organizational strategies and learning designer. She is the founder and CEO of Edify, (www.edifyedu.com) a consultancy that solves for scale through onboarding and learning & development strategy. She has architected and delivered onboarding programs for companies bringing on just one person a quarter to 100+ people a quarter. Specializing in onboarding systems, manager development, and knowledge management, Edify delivers programs that are designed to evolve and scale with rapid changes. She brings over eight years of learning and development and business partnership experience to Edify.

Kristen’s background is sort of a funny story… she studied museology and art history at Meredith College in North Carolina then applied adult learning theory to nonprofit education programs. Born in Virginia, she’s an east coaster in Portland and has loved the city for the last four years. (She’s partial to St. John’s!) She curated the first regional exhibition on encaustic painting in the South, led Meredith’s very first TEDx event focused on educational and economic sustainability, and studied trauma and art in Cambodia. She’s also the host of the business and people operations podcast Up Right & Better (www.uprightandbetter.com). For the past three years, she volunteered with and managed ChickTech‘s Advancing the Careers of Technical Women conference. She’s currently active with Business for a Better Portland and the XXcelerate Fund.

Kristen has presented research, workshops, and facilitated experiences at conferences and events of all sizes for over six years, focusing primarily on art history, museum, and education topics. She has experience presenting for a variety of audiences, though she prefers to focus on adult learning and treats “presentations” as learning experiences rather than show-and-tell sessions. Effective, efficient programs, events, and strategies are what motivate her, and in every project, she strives to engage teams and stakeholders to uncover the solutions for their needs (and often solve problems they didn’t know they had!). If you really need something from Kristen, get her a gin & tonic from Liberty Glass.

What are you up to?

Aside from Edify and corralling our retired racing greyhound and German Shepherd puppy, I’m focused on creating more time and space to continue my sculpture practice. I used to show encaustic and found object sculptures in North Carolina and would love to re-enter the art world here someday.

Within Edify, I’m working on trying to figure out — and break out of — the agency model. Edify’s seen some crazy growth in 2017, and I’m building sustainable systems and products within the company to support both me and my team.

I’m also devoting time to two organizations whose missions I couldn’t agree more with – Business for a Better Portland and XXcelerate Fund. Oh yes, and the other thing… I’m launching my first independent conference, Human.School in February 2018.

Why Portland?

Ahh… Portland! I moved her without ever having stepped foot in Oregon in 2013. I was choosing between D.C., Boston, Seattle, and Portland, and from afar, Portland looked most affordable and most “learnable.” Before my first job here, I was writing and teaching curriculum for an economic development nonprofit as an AmeriCorps member. I had a few weeks free, so I just got on buses and learned the city. I even got confused about the #4’s route and accidentally ended up in Gresham on the last bus of the day. It took me 3 hours to get home.

Since then, though, I’ve lived in St. John’s, Sunnyside, and Goose Hollow, and I’ve visited most of the neighborhoods. Yet, I still find something new everyday. I love the use of space, the variety of architecture, the diversity of small businesses, and the way neighborhoods just flow into one another. Some of my favorite spots are Liberty Glass (for the G&T’s), Olympic Provisions (for, well, meat), Tea Chai Te (for the ginger tea), and the Thai and Ethiopian food spots on Killingsworth. Not to be forgotten is the Lan Su Chinese Garden — one of my all-time favorite places to breathe.

I’ve been so honored to have met the people I have in this short time. I could list hundreds of people who have generously helped me get settled, start my business, meet more people, get connected with the community and great causes, and so much more. I have always felt that this town is generous with time, ideas, and collaboration.

I also love that there is SO MUCH GOING ON! That can be the bane of my existence sometimes, and as an introvert it’s definitely hard to pick just one or two things a week to do, but there really is a spectacularly rich spectrum of stuff to see, learn, try out, and do here.


Talk soon 🙂

Interested in being featured?

Silicon Florist introduces one person, each day of the work week, to the Portland startup community. If you’re interested in being one of those folks, please let us know a little bit more about you and you’ll be selected at random to be featured.