Still We Rise: The Fenyx Consulting Story

I remember the day that my father died.

After a turbulent flight to southeast Asia, the plane landed clumsily on the runway, carrying precious cargo. Many aboard were coming home or were visitors, but I had come to seek understanding. The first text that came through upon my arrival came from my sister, Shannon. It read,

“He is gone.”

Warm tears welled up in my eyes, blurring my view of Thailand’s foreign landscape before traveling down the hills of my cheeks. The night was dark, and I could barely make out my surroundings other than the lights on the runway. I sobbed, face in hands, as my tears formed a warm pool of water. I processed my dad’s death alone in a country that he called home during his final tour of duty during the Vietnam War.

Upon my return to the States, I entered my tiny Oakland apartment weighed down with well-traveled luggage. In the small hallway leading into my little sanctuary, there is a turquoise frame. As I often do, I paused for a moment, peering at the picture in the frame. The faces of my grandmother, Uncle Charlie, and father all peered stoically back at me. For a moment I took in their expressions, reflecting on the silent pain that persisted beneath their almost emotionless faces. I pondered on how they ever survived.

In the weeks that followed, I continued to write and reflect, remembering the way that my father had learned to survive. He was the epitome of coolness; a man who knew how to present himself, what story to tell, when to tell it, and who to tell it to, and also when to be silent. His well curated personality was his veil; it protected him from the judgmental world. Many people knew my father, but few people KNEW him. At some point, I don’t think he knew himself through his own eyes anymore. His eyes had been taken from him long ago, and replaced with the gaze of others. My father was terribly afraid of who he truly was; a young sharecropper boy who grew up dirt poor in the Jim Crow South.

As time progressed, I was coaxed by the spirit and inspiration of my grandmother, Youla. I looked into her eyes in the photo often, deciphering the code of her story. Inside, the answer was buried deep, but as I continued my own writing and reflecting, the revelations came. One day, while studying the photo once more, the term “phoenix” came to me. I vaguely remembered the mythology around the phoenix, and took a moment to sit down on my little brown couch and look up the term. After taking a moment to process, I was reminded that the phoenix was a symbol of rebirth through the ashes of one’s ancestors.

In this moment of supreme clarity, Fenyx Consulting was born.

Throughout my career, the thing that I loved most was the thing that I had been prepared for all of my life, and that was telling compelling, powerful stories, and coaching and developing others to do the same. Branding for us means connecting you and your organization's story to the big picture. In my community, we also call it "preachin' to the choir".

What is the story that you have to tell? We are dedicated to supporting you on the journey from ideation to launch as you build a presence that is seen, heard, and felt in the hearts and minds of your audience.

Are you ready to rise with us? Visit our website at


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