PCI Crane Consulting is now The CraneWorks

Our company has evolved and our name has too. When I started PCI Crane Consulting over two decades ago with specialties in corporate product development and enterprise projects, I had to get specifics on forming and growing a consulting practice from books and a few generous people. There was no support or published work about how a woman of color might build an independent consulting business integrating finance, technology and program management.

Educated as a research librarian, my role models are authors and anyone who dedicated themselves to recording and sharing knowledge with others. Over the years, I kept all my work documents and illustrations in the hope that these collected works would be useful to others especially other pioneering women, people of color and unique individuals. The CraneWorks will develop and widely distribute the most relevant and valuable content, services and products to businesses that want a repeatable process for growth at a pace they set. 

My husband Steve Crane, Dean of Presidio Graduate School and Chief Financial Officer of
​PCI Crane Consulting, is an advisor and contributor to future products and services. Steve’s expertise in sustainable management and finance complements my work in marketing, product development and steady growth.

Our new logo evokes the voyagers of the Pacific Islands who sailed immense distances to discover, settle and stay connected. The twin sails of the Islanders’ traditional catamaran represent the love Steve and I have not only for my home state of Hawaii but our respect for island cultures and passion for the value local businesses of many sizes and industries bring to communities.

We look forward to helping your company thrive. Welcome!

Darlene Crane
President, The CraneWorks

Figure out your path to business growth—learn from the experience of Santa Cruz-based entrepreneurs  

I have been working with companies across the Bay Area for many years. Santa Cruz has had four companies—run by very independent thinking and talented business owners—come through my PROPEL Small Business Growth Programs. One of them is Sara Isenberg who publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat (SCTB). I just wrote an article in in SCTB that I think will be useful for very independent-minded entrepreneurs–check it out here.  

There are many routes to growing a business. Being a tech entrepreneur and creating your own startup is big in the Bay Area. But there are many routes to growing a business. One owner is Julia Gaudinski, Founder of MobileRanger, who recognized that she wanted an accessible process designed for someone who was not from the technology or business industries.

If you’re looking for a more accessible way to grow an independent or privately held business, visit my signature group program called Business Growth Studios here.

Welcome to The CraneWorks

The purpose of our blog is to present the individual perspectives, relevant comments of the principals of The CraneWorks on their areas of specialty and links to other relevant articles, publications of partners and other authors. We may also include other fun and interesting things we like—and that we hope you will too.
I’m launching this blog with this dedication to my advisers and professors from Pitzer College: Allen Greenberger, Professor of History; Werner Warmbrun, Professor of History; and Lucian Marquis, Professor of Political Science. Before Pitzer began accepting men in 1970, I was a member of the one and only exclusively female class from 1966–70 when the school’s mission was to serve as a social science college and develop modern education for women.

It was not until years after I graduated from Pitzer that it became clear the ways in which these men—committed to the educating women to recognize their value to society and develop as professionals—would shape my career and life. My professors encouraged me to have ambition and to take risks, and to build on my life experience in Asia and the Pacific. They encouraged me to spend my junior year studying in Japan by finding a university and giving credit for the courses. Allen Greenberger in particular helped me get into University of Michigan to earn a Master’s Degree in East Asian Studies with a specialty in Japan. 
When years later, working in San Francisco’s banking industry, it became clear that a banking career was not for me, my experience at Pitzer gave me the courage and inspiration to move on. I knew I could trust my decision to take a different route and that I would be successful so long as I clarified my goals, made a plan and kept moving forward. And when I periodically needed a boost of encouragement, it helped tremendously knowing I could write or call Allen up.

Werner and Lucian taught me how to research and gain insight into history and the human experience. This skill has been invaluable in consulting and advising clients. Their acceptance of my need to compare western and eastern cultures, history and political strategies was reaffirming to me as a woman of multi-cultural heritage. 

I may share more reflections on Pitzer periodically, and what I experienced and learned from my mentors in particular. And always, I will help women, minorities and non-traditional leaders learn how to break through their own limitations to succeed beyond their wildest dreams.