who is candice blansett-cummins?

Candice Blansett-Cummins, Founder of the Wishcraft Workshop in Chicago, employs her creativity to help others solve problems and create opportunities large and small, globally and locally. Following careers with Gap, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company, Candice was appointed Vice President and Divisional CIO of Sony Pictures Television International. With 15 years of IT experience and ITIL Certified in 2006, Candice has led large-scale change initiatives including restructuring, systems implementation, strategic sourcing, shared services, mergers, and regulatory compliance, in addition to developing flourishing small businesses in Chicago. As a speaker at UCLA Anderson School of Management Creativity & Innovation in the Organization program, Candice has shared her learning with executives from around the world.  During her tenure with Sony Pictures, she fostered an innovative inter-disciplinary creativity program, motivating partnership at all levels.

As part of a commitment to her community, Candice is a member of the Chicago Children’s Theatre PlayCirlce Auxiliary Board, the Board of Directors for Girls Rock! Chicago and a Luminary Circle member of the Step Up Women’s Network in Chicago as well as a mentor with Step Up’s Professional and Teen mentoring programs. Candice volunteers her time and artistic energy for the benefit of local Chicago schools and students, in addition to leveraging the Wishcraft Workshop to be nice around town.

Candice is a parent, artist, thinker, teacher, student and a (very) concerned global citizen. She believes that serious business sometimes needs serious fun to get it done. Let’s make it happen.

 

why work with me

Consulting and coaching takes more than training and a certified piece of paper. It requires experience, wisdom and a healthy dose of intuition. To make a change, to really make it happen, takes urgency, alignment and purpose. Candice brings C-suite experience, small business success and an intense personal transformation story to your personal and professional change goals. If you’re just stuck, or unsure of where to take your business to increase profitability, morale and innovation, she will help guide you to quickly unlock your creativity and the potential of your ideas and team.

Examples of Candice’s experience with companies large and small:

  • Develop business concepts; launch companies rapidly and help them grow smartly
  • Coach entrepreneurs through the nerve-wracking start-up phase and “productivity panic”
  • Design and facilitate team meetings
  • Facilitate definition of business processes to increase productivity, employee satisfaction and utilize right-size technology solutions
  • Design change programs in support of strategic and tactical business initiatives
  • Design and facilitate small- to large-group meetings, including strategic planning, team-building and organizational transformation workshops
  • Design and implement optimized organizational models and systems strategies for companies large and small, including the Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Manufacturing/Production, Distribution, Operations and Finance functions
  • Maximize public awareness with nominal advertising spend
  • Cultivate community presence through strategic partnerships

Candice employs her creativity to help others solve problems and create opportunities large and small, globally and locally.

what they say

candice blansett cummins“We hired Candice to run a team building session for our very rapidly growing new company. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the process. From start to finish, Candice was a consummate professional. We asked her to incorporate our Gallup Strengths Finder assessment, and she did so in some very creative and useful ways. All team members were provided with pre-work which helped to ensure that we took maximum advantage of our two hour session. Following our session, we have seen improved collaboration and morale, and we are now able to approach our growth in an organized and positive manner. I would absolutely recommend Candice to anyone seeking a team building experience and plan to use her services regularly as our team expands.

Since our team building session, I have hired Candice for some management consultation on a challenging situation we were facing as a management team. She was available with very little notice and provided us with invaluable advice. She also provided a written roadmap to help get our team through a tough situation. I am happy to report that we came through our challenge even stronger, and Candice was a HUGE part of this success.”  -Danielle Wiley, Principal, Sway Group LLC

“Candice organized and planned a series of workshops for a group of small business owners. She has done a tremendous job facilitating and guiding the meetings so that the sessions provide value to all of us. I would highly recommend!”  –Melissa Daniel, Owner, Honey Bee Weddings

“I’ve had the pleasure of having Candice as a professional mentor. We were first introduced through the Step Up Women’s Network — lucky me! Candice is a creative, inspirational go-getter and her advice helped me solve problems and reflect on what I really wanted out of a career. She has an amazing ability to listen and get at the heart of a matter while building up the confidence for one to take action for themselves. Meeting Candice was a gift and I highly recommend her as a coach, consultant, mentor or friend — especially when making a change!”
Erika Crowell Wojcik, Principal, CTD Strategies

“It was always a pleasure to work with Candice. She was a supportive, concerned colleague who was able to address the most minute detail while keeping the big picture in mind. Candice’s ability to ask the tough questions, challenge assumptions and quickly highlight root cause and cure ensured that every plan had a thorough contingency and was successful as a result. If I had the opportunity to work with Candice again I would seize it with both hands.”  -Terri Davies, SVP, Sony Pictures Entertainment

“I have been a member of Candice’s Thinking Team 2.0 for the past few months and have been thrilled. Candice is an expert discussion leader – she begins each meeting with a focused agenda, keeps time, and ensures the team operates within the mutually agreed-upon guidelines. The group members have been dynamic participants and are engaging thought-leaders. This has been one of the best working groups in which I’ve taken part.”  -Jessica Block Roubitchek, Owner, Purple Monkey Playroom

“I’m part of Candice’s Thinking Team 2.0. Meeting and working with other small business owners from different industries and sharing our business challenges in a confidential and supportive environment has been both inspiring and invaluable. I walk away from each meeting with a new perspective. It has really motivated me to focus on and improve my business practice while supporting others.  Everyone needs a business mentor. Now I have 9!”  -Jem Bahaijoub, Principal, imaginePR

“Candice is a highly organized and creative individual who empowers business owners to take charge. She does a great job facilitating and directing while still being collaborative.”  –Xza Louise Higgins, CEO, MommyCon

“Participating in Candice’s Thinking Team 2.0 has been such a positive and rewarding experience for me, personally, and my team. Candice runs each group warmly, but effectively. We get a lot of time to collaborate and bounce ideas around, with very little time for fluff. However, each member still feels valued and heard. Candice’s desire to see us all succeed shows through the ideas that she presents and the foundation she sets for the group.”  -Tiana Kubik, Owner, TK Photography

“Candice…organizes and energizes our retreats, and we know that we are much more thoughtful and productive with her expert guidance.”  -Joni Richman, previously at Sway Group, LLC

“We have hired Candice to design and lead our past three leadership retreats. Candice is creative, spunky and out of the box, while being organized, insightful, professional, and results-focused. Because of this unique skill set she speaks to all types of employees. As a start up, each time we work with Candice we bring an entirely new set of challenges to the table (she brings solutions to our previous obstacles so that we have the ability to tackle new ones for growth) and each time the work that we do together is met with a new set of creative tactics that solves both business and personnel dilemmas. I am confident that we will continue to work with Candice on a quarterly basis as we expand.”  -Allison Talamantez, President Business Development, Sway Group LLC

“Candice did an amazing job of supporting our varied needs…she was a proactive business partner who really versed herself in the priorities of her clients with great results. She is also a genuine pleasure to work with.”  -Dawn Schroeder-Telleson, SVP Marketing and Strategic Planning, Sony Picture Television International

“When I launched my new law firm in September, 2012, I wanted a fresh, accessible, and professional website to welcome clients and colleagues to my new practice. My past experiences with web designers have resulted in the creation of behemoth structures that required making three phone calls just to change a comma to a period. Candice introduced me to site development platforms that are easy to change, even for a layperson. That ability to make quick modifications (without having to pay the site designer to do the work) helps small businesses enormously. It keeps my costs down, and ensures my content stays relevant, in terms of search engine optimization. I sought out Candice’s help because I trust her aesthetic, and I did not want my website to connote “law firm” in the traditional sense. I approach the practice of family law with creativity, compassion, and efficiency—all of which I want reflected in my website. Click through to see the result—I think you’ll find the site speaks for itself.”  Mary Ann Merikoski, Principal, Windy City Family Law

“Candice helped me totally redesign my website, all in under a month’s time. First I did a one on one training with her where she taught me how to use the website theme and went above and beyond helping me modify the existing tools that I already had in order to ultimately help me customize my new site to be incredible. When I felt that I had done as much as I could do, she completed the work in just a few days at a VERY reasonable price. All throughout the process, she responded quickly and comprehensively to any of my questions and was patient (beyond what any normal person should have the capacity for) with all of my questions and challenges. Not to mention the fact that she went out of her way to provide me with major design elements that other graphic designers would have charged additionally for. I would recommend her to anyone looking to gain the skills to redo their site on their own or to have her completely create it from scratch. She has web design skills and graphic design ability all rolled into one. I highly recommend her!”  -Linda Szmulewitz, CEO + Founder, The Chicago New Moms Group

“Candice gave me and my new business the kick in my tush needed to get the ball rolling. She designed my logo (which everyone is loving) and set up all my online avenues in a blink of an eye. I definitely look forward to working with her again and again as my business keeps growing!”  Amanda Shell, Artist, Hello Amanda Shell

“Candice brings strong leadership skills, deep IT software support and development experience, organizational prowess and superb people leadership skills.”  Steve Delavan, CIO Europe, Sony Pictures Entertainment

“Candice worked with us in respectful partnership. She earned my respect for her diligence, good sense, smart decision-making and unfailing integrity. I would welcome the opportunity to partner with her again.”  Mary Becquet, VP Finance, Sony Pictures Entertainment.