Janis Machala, Managing Partner

Janis Machala is an experienced corporate director, CEO, and senior business executive. With over 30 years of diverse experience, she brings the best strategic thinking from myriad industries to infuse systems thinking and innovation across all levels of a company.

As a committed board member, industry and community leader, and innovator, Janis is a market visionary within the technology, higher education, and B2B software and services sectors. She brings strategic insight, a track record of success, collaboration, creativity, and people-connectedness to every role.

In 1996, Ms. Machala launched Paladin Partners to provide strategic business consulting, executive coaching, capitalization advice, interim executive services, and executive team development to start-up and growth companies.

Since then Janis has served as Interim CEO on numerous occasions, each time with the goal of replacing herself with the right long-term executive. Other interim roles have been as VP of Professional Services, VP of Marketing, and VP of Business Development.

Areas of Expertise


Conceiving vision and strategy, leveraging systems thinking, and effectively analyzing technology use for competitive advantage.


Assess and enhance – or adjust, if necessary – board and executive team makeup to maximize corporate objectives.


Operationalize company strategy by analyzing market dynamics, potential innovation, build-versus-buy decisions, and go-to-market models.


Delivering growth via market development, global partnerships, ecosystem development, and organizational change.

  • Extensive multi-industry experience including education, federal and state government, financial services, healthcare, publishing, retail, software, and services.
  • Deep technology understanding across multiple channels and service delivery models, such as B2B, B2C, numerous vertical markets, and Cloud/SaaS.
  • Broad expertise in corporate governance with private companies and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Deep experience with compensation committee requirements and activities.
  • Significant CEO and C-level executive coaching relationships.
  • Led four companies through successful initial public offerings.

Janis has extensive experience serving on the Boards of Directors of technology companies in the consumer (B2C), infrastructure (B2B), and industrial markets (OEM). Her board experience includes independent director roles with ChiliSoft, Captura, Lizard Tech, Performant, and Tidemark Computer Systems. In her role as CEO, Janis was on the board of Pinnacle Publishing.

A community and industry leader, Janis has had significant involvement in far reaching and varied professional organizations. She was recently named to the Seattle Humane Society board and chairs the finance committee. Janis was appointed by the governor to a 5-year term on the Lake Washington Institute of Technology Board of Trustees. She served 10 years on the Junior Achievement board, with 5 years on the executive committee. Janis co-founded Seraph Capital Forum (an angel funding group) in 1997 and served on the board of Washington State’s leading industry professional organization, the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA).

Janis holds an MBA with a concentration in marketing from the University of Iowa. She received her BA with a double major (completed in 3 years with honors) in psychology and English from Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois). Janis resides in Kirkland, Washington, with her husband of 32 years, David Stenberg, and two Dandie Dinmont terriers. Her passions outside of corporate and public service roles are global travel, contract bridge, and gourmet cooking.