about ME

Catherine Jones Transaction Coach headshot
Your Transaction Coach

I’m not just a coach. 

I serve as your coach, mentor, and strategic advisor, helping you find balance in business.  After my path of self-discovery, I’ve found tools to stay calm in the eye of the storm.  I guide you through deals using those tools and my own knowledge of deal flow and creative solutions.  I base my approach on key values: authenticity, transparency, connection, and joy.

 I center my coaching approach on three key areas:

  • helping you find clarity amidst the chaos of conflicting priorities, 
  • staying true to their end goals and values, and 
  • maintaining steady leadership throughout the emotional turbulence of a deal.

Some of the craziness I’ve dealt with in deals:

  • Debt restructuring with two injunctions filed to stop the deal from closing
  • A Coup d’etat and counter-revolt in the middle of a debt restructuring
  • Closing a financing round while worrying if a small shareholder would sue to stop the deal before we could close
  • Tracking down a shareholder at a house party in France to get a necessary signature
  • A potential 20% investor doing acquisition-level diligence and deciding when to say no more.
  • An international IPO that failed at pricing.
  • Debt restructurings in the middle of a Latin America crisis when you don’t know what the government will do next.
  • Analyzing whether your disclosure in a prospectus could affect the presidential election of an island country.
  • Assisting a co-founder in walking away from his startup.

Hi, I’m Catherine Jones, your transformational transaction coach and strategist. I have 20 years of experience advising on transactions as a lead negotiator, general counsel, finance lawyer, and startup advisor. I bring all that expertise to the table. Throughout my career, I've advised on hundreds of deals that have ranged from modest sums to staggering billions, totaling over $72 billion. I’ve seen almost everything. I've navigated economic downturns and governmental upheavals. I've weathered pandemics and made tough decisions during market fluctuations.

I’m a recovering deal junkie.  I know the difficulties of negotiating deals.  I’ve felt frustrated, exhausted, and certain all my deals were cursed.  As an executive, I’ve felt isolated. I had no one to vent to, to discuss issues with, or to help me see what I was missing.  I’ve felt lost in the woods with too many paths and options and unsure which decision to make, and I’ve seen friends feel the same way, and so I came up with a solution.  

I’ve also noticed a common issue. People often focus on details and scenarios over the people involved.  They overlook their motivations, emotions, and approaches.  And yes, the transactions affect the company in the end.  But humans make up that company and lead it.  Trust me as I’ve seen it.  Emotions, motivations, and egos drive more business decisions than you think.  

 As a lawyer and executive,  I was in my element in the negotiations, discussing legal risks and focusing on the wording.  But I saw too many people letting their emotions and egos sway them.  I explored other options: leadership coaching, management consulting, and many paths in my dark woods.  I found a missing niche in transactions.  Transaction Coaching.  It combines my ICF coaching training, my mentoring experience, my legal and business advising, and addresses the frustrations common to high-stakes deals. 

My unique skill is guiding you through decisions and sharing insights on deal terms.  I’ve advised on both the legal and business aspects of numerous transactions.  With the benefit of my coaching, deep knowledge, and experience, we collaborate on terms, explore options, and solve overlooked issues.

Legal & Professional Background

I employ my skills and knowledge developed as a coach, business advisor, former executive and GC, and a corporate lawyer to support you in your transaction journey.

Brief summary of my experience:

  • General Counsel of a travel technology company through two financing rounds
  • General Counsel of a Latin American telecom through 7 financing transactions and 3 strategic partnerships
  • SVP, Associate General Counsel, and Compliance Officer of an international hotel manager and operator through multiple financing transactions and a debt restructuring
  • Corporate Associate at a Florida office of a national law firm where I advised on multiple IPOs, financings, and M&A transactions
  • Capital Markets and Project Development Associate at a NYC office of an international firm where I advised on numerous financing transactions as bank and company counsel
  • ICF Trained Coach
  • Mentor for multiple cohorts of Babson’s College WinLab accelerator

Education

I completed my undergraduate education at Wake Forest University, where I double-majored in Politics and Spanish. I am fluent in Spanish and had an internship on the Supreme Court of Argentina while in law school at the University of Michigan Law School. I was also as an editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law and organized a conference on Post-Cold War International Security Threats: Terrorism, Drugs and Organized Crime.

Associations and Interests

Outside of work, I currently serve on the Advisory Council for the Wake Forest Center for Entrepreneurship and as a mentor for start-ups at SCAPE in Durango. I also presented at West Slope Startup Week in August 2023. 

I served as Executive in Residence/Mastermind Coach for Babson College’s Miami WINLab (an accelerator program for Female Founders) for two years.  I also was President of her Condo Association Board for five years, as well as a member of the Wake Forest National Alumni Council.

I became a digital nomad two years ago after selling my condo in Miami Beach, FL.  So far I spent time in Asheville, the Puget sound area, Lake Tahoe, Sedona, Santa Fe and am currently based in Durango, Colorado.

You know your business, but you don't always have experience in these high-stakes transactions. You need someone that can help you understand what is normal and what is unusual. To explain terms and tell you that yes the deal may feel like its going to fall apart multiple times - that isn't unusual. Too many founders and executives don't know what a typical transaction looks like and how to use their various advisors. That's my goal. To help you succeed.