The Impact Story

christine sepia final2 201x300 The Impact StoryI always knew one day I would be an entrepreneur- I just never expected it would happen as soon as it did.

I have been incredibly lucky my entire career to have jobs I adored, with the most incredible companies. The Gap, Intrawest Corporation (the company that owned Whistler Blackcomb) and then Boutique Hotels & Resorts of BC. As an emerging leader I was immersed in forward thinking, entrepreneurial environments where partly due to fast paced growth my bosses trusted me to run the business unit with an “ownership” mentality.

June 6th, 2009 I got a phone call that moved my entrepreneurial journey into high gear- although I didn’t know it at the time. I was 6 months into a 12 month maternity leave (I realize we are incredibly lucky in Canada) ; The world economy had collapsed ; Massive cash flow issues had crippled beyond salvage the company I was working with. My role as Director of Culture and People Development  was being eliminated and I wouldn’t have a job to come back to.

My knee jerk reaction was to jump on the Internet and job hunt. Instead,  I reflected. I talked to my family. I came home and had a long chat with my husband. I knew that the work hours of senior corporate HR and 2 hour daily commute I would be facing was not where I was meant to be with two young children. So I spent the next two months researching and talking to mentors, my network and reflecting on what I really loved to do, and where I thought there was opportunity to turn that into a business model.

impact2 The Impact StoryLong story short, I founded Impact People Practices in the fall of 2009. My husband and I had agreed I would give it 18 months and the worst thing that would happen was that no-one would hire me, or join me in what I believed was an opportunity to make Human Resources both more “human” and more “resourceful”. If that was the case, I would fold the business and return to being an “employee” with a steady pay cheque.

I lent my company $10,000 in start up money, with the big goal of  repaying myself within 12 months.

I started from DAY 1 focused on what the BRAND of Impact People Practices was all about- from all touch points. What kind of company did I want to run? who did I want to work with? what was the work I wanted to do? what kind of work did I not want to do? What did I want to be known for? It started with the belief in some key principles and grew from there

  • That there is a direct connection between engagement and business results leadership 200x300 The Impact Story
  • That who you are is so much bigger than what you DO- and that organizations needed a big paradigm shift to get to that realization
  • That when people know what’s expected of them, when they believe they are doing their best work and have the tools to do it…. amazing things can happen
  • That DIGITAL IQ as a competency presents not only an incredible opportunity for leaders, but currently the lack of it in most corporations is preventing brilliance from emerging
  • That I certainly don’t have all the answers but pretty quickly have the ability to find the people who do- and that creating a community of experts, thought leaders and resources for leaders who don’t have the time to sift through the massive amount of content out there… makes sense.

I am 110% in the perfect place for me at this point in life. I re-paid my loan to myself within a month of the goal I had set, have THE most incredible clients who I adore and believe are doing incredible things…and every day meet more of  my “tribe” of leaders who believe as I do that creating great workplaces makes good business sense, that social media is not a “fad’ but fundamentally a game changer in how HR can help create those incredible workplaces… and that leadership is about WHO YOU ARE not WHAT YOU DO.

What I love about the IMPACT TRIBE is that it is not about a bunch of HR leaders getting together to talk HR. I love that there are CEOS, Marketing and Branding experts, authors, bloggers, employees of all ages and yes, HR professionals all excited to talk about what the REINVENTION of HR looks like; What opportunities we have to create incredible leaders at every level in every size company. What a “social workplace” looks like. What true “engagement” looks like on the bottom line. How to bring more ENTREPRENEURSHIP, creativity and innovation into what has traditionally been a very process driven profession.

me1 199x300 The Impact StorySo join me and my incredible team as we embark on year 2 and 3 and more of building not just a company, but a movement and a community. This is the year we start making things happen… and I am both honored and delighted to introduce to you the team that will lead the way with you!

Whether you hire Impact to work with, or just connect with us on Facebook, on our HR of the Future group, or other platform, have some fun and get ready to think BIG!

SO excited to help make you and your workplace one of the Best!

Now that you know a bit about our story….Meet the TEAM!

All the best, looking forward to meeting you.


  • Theodora Bredie

    Wow, great story Christine, congratulations:)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much :) I am proud of everything Impact is about, where it comes
      from and where it is headed. I feel like the journey is just starting :)

  • AppHipMom

    I always love hearing entrepreneurs share about how they started their company.  It’s wonderful how you seized the day and really reflected (with the help of your family) as to what your next steps would be. Having worked in HR for 10+ years, it never ceases to amaze me how “unhuman” Human Resources can be. And with technology moving as fast as it is, HR should leverage the technological advances & not shy away from it.  So huge props to Hyatt for embracing social media!

  • Ryan St. Germaine

    Great story Christine! It takes a lot of courage to start something and it’s always interesting to hear how people take a leap of faith and decide to go for it.

    My girlfriend Tasia had a similar situation about nine months ago when she got laid off from a job in the fashion industry. Since then, she’s used her blog – to start a sewing pattern business and she’s been killing it in her first year.

    It’s always inspiring to see someone else build something and take a chance. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and tweets so thank you for sharing. All the best!

  • Christine McLeod

    Thanks Ryan for the support… did you check out thought it might be interesting for you to either attend or even sponsor? I sent you tweet about that I think- thank you for taking the time to comment means a lot. 

  • Christine McLeod

    @twitter-253686804:disqus thanks for stopping by and commenting, funny how life is. I know I am in 100% the right place for me right now. Cool how life works!

  • canayjun

    Great story Christine. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jim

    Hi Christine,
    Very impressive path you have traveled.  I greatly admire you for that.  I traveled an entreprenural path with Monavie and just absolutely love the company, distributors, and products.  I won’t waste your time directing you to the opportunity since you are so well embedded in your own but would kindly direct you to the fabulous products including the newest RVL weightloss shakes.  I’m sitting here right now enjoying a mixed almond milk/vanilla RVL shake mix and loving every drop of it. 
    I’m taking time to tell you all of this because I care.  You were kind enough to contact me so I just want to share a very special product (out of many) with you.
    Have a great day.  Here is the RVL website if would like to look at it.
    My website to see much more:

    Jim Janssen
    Monavie Distributor #1986314
    Cell: 913-602-7812

  • Glyssa

    Hi Christine!! Your story is so encouraging. I am an HR student in San Diego, California and unfortunately, I’ve heard people tell me that I have a “fantasy idea of real HR.” I questioned that & knew it couldn’t be true. I know HR is still about the people and that a happy workforce can create a successful organization. I look forward to reading more of your articles and applying great HR practices here in California as well.

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