IVY Planning Group (IVY) is a full-service management consulting and training firm. IVY provides strategy, change management and leadership development. Founded in 1990 by three Ivy League core business management consultants with diverse backgrounds, IVY has received numerous awards and developed a distinguished reputation with Fortune 1000 companies, large non-profits and government agencies. See our selected list of clients.


Janet Crenshaw Smith is cofounder and President of Ivy Planning Group (Ivy), a 32-year-old consulting and training company that specializes in diversity, strategy and change management. Ivy has been recognized as one of the Top 50 minority-owned companies by DiversityBusiness.com; Black Enterprise Magazine Emerging Company of the Year Finalist; and received the Working Woman magazine Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. Ms. Smith was honored as one of the Top 25 Consultants of 2011 by Consulting Magazine, 2011 Diversity Executive of the Year by the Minority Enterprise Advocate magazine, “Diversity Pioneer” by Profiles in Diversity Journal. Minority Business & Professionals Network, Inc. named Ms. Smith one of “Fifty Influential Minorities in Business”. Profiles in Diversity Journal featured her in its Women of Initiative issue naming her one of “47 Women Worth Watching.” She has testified before U.S. Congressional Subcommittees as an expert on performance, diversity and inclusion.


Ms. Smith is author of two best-selling books - 58 Little Things That Have a Big Impact: What’s Your MicroTrigger? and The Diversity Action Book: 143 Things To Go Do. Smith is an engaging speaker and is frequently quoted in national publications on the topics of leadership, diversity, and change management. She and her husband are profiled in DreamMakers: Putting Vision & Values to Work, a book that chronicles how leading edge organizations are able to succeed and realize their vision andvalues. Janet and Gary Smith, founders of Ivy Planning Group, are profiled for building a premier strategy firm - one of the leading Black-owned consulting firms in the country.

Ms. Smith works directly with corporate CEOs, executive teams, agency administrators, and senior officials to build strategies, provide executive coaching and strategic thinking, facilitate challenging discussions, and achieve the organization’s vision. Ivy has worked with clients including Comcast, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, MetLife, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Sony Pictures, International Paper, L’Oreal, Black Entertainment Television (BET), HBO, Deloitte Consulting, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, Aurora Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Way, Associated Black Charities, American Red Cross, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Reserve Board,Consumer Finance Protection Board, FINRA, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Intelligence Agencies. She holds a security clearance.

A native of Chicago’s south side, Janet earned her Bachelor's degree from Harvard University in Psychology and Social Relations. She started her professional career at IBM Corporation where she held a number of marketing and management positions including Manager of Executive Consulting Services.


Ms. Smith serves on the Board of the League of Black Women (LBW), Governing Group of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), served as Vice Chair of the National Women’s Business Center, Association of African American Harvard Alumni (AAAHA), strategic planning board of the Rainbow PUSH/Wall Street Project, Vistage, SHRM, American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), VisArts Metropolitan Center for the Arts, the International Society for Strategic Management and Planning, Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), National Association of Women Business Owners, and President of the Potomac Valley Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.


Ms. Smith lives in Maryland with her husband and business partner, Gary A. Smith Sr. They have three adult sons. She is a member of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. where she is Chair of their college readiness foundation.

Gary A. Smith is cofounder and Senior Partner of Ivy Planning Group (Ivy), a 32-year-old consulting and training company that specializes in strategy, diversity, leadership and change management. Consulting Magazine honored Mr. Smith as one of the Top 25 Consultants of 2007. Profiles in Diversity Journal named him a Diversity Pioneer. Minority Business & Professionals Network, Inc. named Mr. Smith one of “Fifty Influential Minorities in Business”. He has over 25 years of strategy, technology, management consulting and executive coaching to large private sector and government organizations. He has led numerous engagements to develop core business, technology, diversity, and marketing strategies leading to improved revenue performance, mission-critical improvements, and more effective customer service. Mr.

Smith assists clients in solving problems. His skills in management, marketing, and information technology allow him to synthesize data to meet his clients' challenges. He has worked directly with corporate CEOs, executive teams, agency administrators, and senior officials to build strategies, facilitate challenging discussions, and achieve their organization’s vision.


He has worked with Senior Executives at Comcast, Viacom, Sony, HBO, MetLife, Nike, BET Networks, L’Oreal, Lockheed Martin, Deloitte Consulting, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Verizon and Bank of America. His work with non-profits includes Special Olympics International and United Way.


He has worked at the Senior Executive Level with the Federal Reserve Board, Consumer Finance Protection Board, FINRA, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Departments of Justice, Treasury, Labor, State and Intelligence Agencies. He holds a security clearance.


Mr. Smith’s clients benefit from his ability to quickly synthesize and to apply best practices across sectors and industries.


Mr. Smith co-founded Ivy Planning Group after a successful career managing sales, marketing, and technical organizations including IBM where he held Marketing and Technical positions; Amdahl Corporation as Account Executive; Masstor Systems as Director of U.S. Operations; Comdisco Inc. as Director of Federal Marketing; and Technical Software Services as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.


Mr. Smith is a member of the Yale Club of New York City. His board service commitment

includes the Boards of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Lakewood Country Club, the Capital Chapter of Strategic Leadership Forum, The International Society for Strategic Management, and the Strategic Planning Board and Treasurer of Florida Avenue Baptist Church. Mr. Smith received the distinguished Torchbearer’s Award for Community Service from the Greater Washington Morehouse College Club.


A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Smith was educated in the District’s public school system. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Yale University. He lives in Maryland with his wife and business partner, Janet Crenshaw Smith. They have three adult sons.


To be recognized as a pre-eminent entrepreneurial consulting firm and viewed as catalysts of organizational change who enhance client’s understanding of the positive and critical relationship between strategy, diversity and the bottom line.

A Select Group of IVY Employees

A Select Group of IVY Employees


IVY is a world-class provider of management consulting products and services, designed to assist clients in strategic thinking, tactical planning, organizational change, and creative problem-solving.


Our roots are in strategy development – core business management consulting that gathers quantitative and qualitative data, and synthesizes and creates plans and paths to organizational excellence.


Our passion is balancing strategy, diversity and the bottom line by leveraging differences in the workforce, workplace and marketplace opportunity. Everything we do is designed to enhance our clients’ ability to implement diversity.


Our commitment is to the bottom line – products and services that bring exceptional value to our clients.


Our objective is big: To ensure that every organization that makes a diversity decision is aware of the capabilities of IVY Planning Group.


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