Patrice Keitt

The backstory

I believe that a successful, satisfying career is as much a product of self-awareness, determination and resiliency as it is of talent and technical skill. I’ve been a student of the process for over 25 years and as my story demonstrates, a clear path is not necessarily a straight line.

From childhood, I wanted to be a lawyer and pursued that goal assiduously, beginning my career as a corporate associate at a leading international law firm. Although I would not trade that experience for the world, after several years of practicing mergers and acquisitions, I found the work uninspiring and frustrating. I yearned for a more creative and entrepreneurial endeavor.

To reinvent myself, I enlisted the help of a career counselor, read every book on the market from “What Color is Your Parachute” to “I Could do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was” and decided to combine my entrepreneurial nature, my appreciation of fine product and my love of the French language and culture to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

Through focused networking, I met the owner of a start-up company that was developing the US retail market for an Austrian luxury fashion brand. So I packed up my pride and my six-figure salary and began working as a salesperson in the company’s Madison Avenue boutique to learn the business from the “ground up”. Within six months, I was moved to the corporate office and was made COO two years later.

Several years later, I was approached by an up-and-coming French designer seeking to break into the US market. I became her partner and the CEO of the US company, taking it from a limited presence to a network of boutiques across the US in five years. It was an exciting time – I traveled to France regularly, oversaw all aspects of the business and, most importantly for me, built and mentored a team of dedicated, professional managers throughout the country.

However, I still longed for more. Throughout my corporate career, I was always drawn to techniques to alleviate stress, improve performance and promote a balanced lifestyle. So when the opportunity to sell my interest back to my French partner arose, I decided again to turn towards my vision.

I immersed myself in the study of mindfulness, yoga and meditation, becoming a certified instructor. During this process I realized that the mind/body techniques I was studying were transferable to the workplace and that my unique experience allowed me to combine an understanding of the demands of the corporate environment with the benefits of these transformational disciplines.

Today, I work with clients on issues relating to wellness and peak performance, including stress management, mindfulness, resiliency, emotional intelligence, leadership, team building, work/life balance, career transition as well as yoga and meditation. I regularly conduct corporate seminars and workshops and have the pleasure of working with individuals across a wide range of industries helping them to build rewarding careers and to find their clear path.

The resume

• Partner, Clear Path Executive Coaching
• CEO and Principal, Anne Fontaine USA
• Vice President and COO, The Wolford Boutique
• Corporate Associate, Shearman & Sterling and Davis & Gilbert
• Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher
• NYU Center for Spiritual Life Mindfulness Project
– ISHTA Yoga
– The Yale Club
– Corporate and private clients, including Macy’s, Christie’s, JP Morgan Chase, Warner   Music, Citibank, Cravath Swain & Moore, Schultle Roth & Zabel
• JD, cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1989
• BA, summa cum laude, Political Science and French, Hofstra University, 1986

Career consulting and coaching academic affiliations

  • The New York University Stern School of Business Leadership Development Program
  • ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking

Professional affiliations and certifications

  • Institute of Coaching, Harvard University
  • The Coaches Training Institute (CTI)
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment
  • Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher

Fun facts

• Am a Francophile who is fluent in French and studied and worked in France
• Love dogs, especially my two Westies, Emma & Wrigley
• Love books and always have a stack to read on my nightstand
• Myers-Briggs type: ESFJ
• Am a die-hard New Yorker who recently relocated to Lexington, Kentucky, coming back to NYC regularly
• Studied acting and singing at HB Studio and The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute and appeared in independent films, commercials and local theater