Tamra Chandler had just bought into a partnership and lost all of her equity when the firm experienced a forced closure. Tamra responded by building a successful organization elsewhere and has continued positively impact the lives of colleagues and clients. She’s now on a mission to reboot feedback.
Tamra Chandler was born in LaGrande, a small town in eastern Oregon. Her family moved to Montana when Tamra was three. As a result, she grew up in Kalispell, situated in the beautiful northwest corner of Montana, near Glacier National Park. Tamra is an only child of young parents, so she’s known to say that she and her Mom and Dad grew up together.
Both of Tamra’s parents were business owners before they reached the age of 30. Her mother owned a popular women’s clothing store and her father launched a series of start-ups over the years. Today Al, Tamra’s dad, still sits in his CEO seat of a successful company he founded more than 20 years ago. As such, it’s probably not a surprise that Tamra is also the founder and CEO of her own company. It just took her a little longer to get there than her parents.
An entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic run deep in Tamra’s blood, driven by years of witnessing her parents’ hard work and passion. She began working in her mother’s store while in middle school. Once she was old enough to collect a paycheck, she worked a smattering of jobs through high school and college, including as a lifeguard and swim instructor, office store cleaner, and cherry sorter.
Armed with an Electrical Engineering degree after college, Tamra began her professional career as a Boeing engineer. Truth be told, engineering was never her true calling, and after three years she returned to school at University of Washington. MBA in hand, she never looked back.
Grad school led to a consulting job at United Research, where she learned the trade from some of the best professionals in their fields. In those early consulting years, she gained skills, know-how, and techniques that have been key to her success and continue to be part of what differentiate her and her team today.
In 1994 Tamra joined a fledgling team of consultants in Arthur Andersen’s Seattle office. In 1998, she made partner at Arthur Andersen and soon after stepped in to lead the Business Consulting practice for the Northwest corner of the U.S. That fledgling team grew from 20 in 1998 to 225 by 2002, when things took a sudden turn. Despite thinking she’d found her place, Tamra was uprooted by the Andersen-Enron debacle, and soon found herself leading 375 consultants, along with a few fellow partners, to Hitachi Consulting as a safe harbor. Tamra dedicated six years to Hitachi and established a thriving practice. While continuing to support clients, Tamra wore many other hats while at Hitachi, including Chief People Officer and Strategy Lead. Inspired by the work she was doing to differentiate Hitachi in the field of global consulting firms, Tamra saw the need for a strategic consultancy in the people, organization, and talent space. Armed with this insight and a vision of what could be, Tamra made a friendly departure with six colleagues in tow to launch PeopleFirm in 2008.
This year PeopleFirm celebrated its 11th anniversary and was recognized (again) as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top Consultancies in the U.S.
Tamra takes pride in having created so much positive change on a human-to-human level. Some of the impacts have been big, some small, but all are meaningful. Tamra has been in the fortunate position of being able to provide opportunities for people to do amazing work in areas they feel passionate about, and they have shined. She notes that there’s no better feeling that seeing someone blow your mind with the work they do and the impact they’ve had, and knowing you had a little part of their success.
At an organizational level, PeopleFirm is Tamra’s legacy. She had a vision of a different kind of consultancy, and with all the amazing people who have been part of the PeopleFirm tribe during the past 11 years, they’ve brought that vision to life. She’s immensely proud of what they’ve built in a short time and she’s grateful for the many industry honors the PeopleFirm team has received.
Tamra lives in Seattle, Washington. (However, a recent home purchase in France is bringing her that direction more often these days.) She is happily married to Jeff Mosier, her partner of 33 years. Tamra and Jeff have two children: Ivy, 23, a visual artist, and 19-year-old Wilson, who just completed his first year in Economics and Management at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Tamra and Jeff’s house is typically full of dogs, although Tamra says there aren’t enough at the moment, as only Perry and Luna Fox are in residence today.