You owe it to yourself, your team, and the world to bring it without burnout. It’s First by Five’s mission to help you do that.


First by Five partners with people-centric entrepreneurs to lead with conviction, execute what matters, and grow people and business so everyone wins. We delight in serving service-based businesses with growing teams through the intersection of strategy, people, and operations through our Good Growth Pathway™. 

‘”Sonita’s outcomes-oriented approach and attention to detail are simply outstanding. I could not have asked for a better partner to help us take our organization to the next level!”Eric Lecky, EVP & CMO at SageWater”Sonita is a great listener that seeks to understand your business and struggles before seeking to find solutions for you. She has a vast skill set that offers you many opportunities to better improve your business.”Babette Arnold, Logos Academy“First by Five is an invaluable resource. Sonita’s depth and breadth of experience, combined with her sound judgement and analytical skills, mean that we can rely on her to deliver great results across a range of projects.”-Z. McGinnis, Strategic Communications Consultant”Sonita is caring and patient while asking you the hard questions a business owner needs to deal with. She’s also extremely knowledgable and helps you take the small details and organize them for the big picture.”Head of School, K-8 Private School and Non Profit
Sonita Reese - It is well with my soul - First by Five - About

Hi, I’m Sonita, First by Five’s Chief Encouragement Officer and Lead Consultant . I get up every day to help entrepreneurs and leaders rise above daily demands and lead with vision and empathy to create results that enable people and businesses to win.  

After 18 fast-paced years in the corporate and non-profit worlds with too many destructive life-work tradeoffs, I jumped off the bullet train to burnout. Now my passion is to help business leaders like you grow with more impact and less stress.

My real-world business experience has been a collection of firsts: from being the first Chairwoman to lead my high school’s annually anticipated Model UN Conference, to building a strategic partner function for a global conservation non-profit, to leading the communications rollout for the first international acquisition of a $1B company.

By embracing my experiences supporting people and activating results for organizations ranging from private schools to Microsoft, I’ve come out better equipped to support leaders like yourself as you figure out your “firsts” — solutions that will champion your people and increase your business impact while avoiding burnout.

On a personal note, I love coffee, dawn is my favorite time of day, and I adore being the odd woman out in a family of two soccer-loving sons and a husband. We live outside Washington DC and enjoy finding everyday adventures.  I believe life – like business – is an adventure, and the journey is better when you can laugh along the way.

First by Five believes:


We live and work with purpose and integrity and believe that work is a noble pursuit but should not crowd out living life. We set and honor boundaries for the important things like faith, family, and health. And we work wholeheartedly and with focus to produce results that matter.

We value the dignity, uniqueness, and diverse perspective of each individual we interact with and take a relational approach to business. We enjoy working with our clients, partners, and team and support their whole-person success.

We believe a leader holds a position of responsibility and an opportunity to serve and develop others. We lead with optimism and purpose, celebrate successes, and take accountability for outcomes. We expect those we work with to do the same.

We aim for constructive two-way dialogue. We start with listening, are respectful and candid in our communication, and don’t shy away from having difficult conversations when needed.

As lifelong learners, we seek to continually improve our services and ourselves. We use a growth mindset to experiment, fail, and adjust. As we innovate, we strive to find better ways to channel our energy and resources.

Ready to start the conversation?