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Trish Karter: A Seasoned CEO Who Understands the 'Why' of Peer Groups
November 29, 2023

21 years ago, I almost joined Dancing Deer Baking Company when Trish Karter was building that industry-changing brand. Now, Trish will join Katahdin to facilitate a CEO peer group. Trish's backstory powerfully speaks to the "Why" of our effectiveness.

She recalled an excellent piece of advice from a respected colleague in a CEO forum during the financial crisis of 2009. She should have taken it but didn’t. Why not?There was discussion before moving on, but there wasn’t a process to review major assumptions, put it in operational and strategic context, surface alternatives and consider outcomes. There wasn’t rigorous vetting, and it was a “bet your company” move.

She took a different route and lost control of her board. It was the moment of inflection which utterly changed the future.

When we reconnected, I invited Trish to sit in on a CEO Collective peer group. She instantly recognized the value of our approach, where we methodically drill into the heart of decision-making with the support of a small cohort of committed CEO colleagues, all of whom are in growth mode. Collaboratively, they work through well-curated cases, and what follows is superbly thoughtful, informed feedback. With egos parked at the door, the focus is to both learn and help.

It is not a social club, and at the same time is very supportive. We only invite members who have the aptitude as well as the attitude to benefit and contribute. The result is our members knowing they've done their best possible work before making the hard calls. They’ve learned, together, to both hear and give tough but smart advice. They hold each other accountable.

This process radically reduces morning-after second thoughts of wishing you’d thought something through better with the support of wise peers who know what it’s like to be in that seat under that kind of pressure. I'm excited to reunite with Trish after all these years, in services of our CEO members.

There are spots available in Trish's group for CEOs of growing, profitable mid-market companies. If you are interested in exploring, reach out to Erin Mullen at to schedule a discovery call.

Trish built Dancing Deer, a company celebrated for product and practices and an early leader in social impact.
Trish is undefeated in the Age and Gender-adjusted Mt. Washington Bicycle Hill Climb and ranked #1 Age-Adjusted Overall.
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