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Changing The Staid, Regulated Canadian Banking Industry

It’s hard to create a splash in the staid, regulated Canadian banking industry, but that’s just what ING DIRECT CANADA did. Management built a winning brand and thriving business - and they did it entirely through innovation. As Peter Aceto, the company’s President since 2008 says, “We were trying to reinvent and re-examine every single thing that we possibly could.” ING DIRECT CANADA’s incredible long-term record of innovation is why…
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What If You Spent A Third Of Your Week Paying Attention To New Possibilities?

Hal Gregersen, Senior Affiliate Professor of Innovation and Leadership at INSEAD Hal Gregersen issues a challenge: “What if you spent a third of your work week paying attention to new possibilities? What if you took an intellectual step back to uncover what growth opportunities you might find? What would you do next? Are you always keeping your eyes open, looking left and right to see what’s there?” That’s how Hal Gregersen previewed his…
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Lisa Kimmel | Part 1 - Career Path, Blog 1

Early years: An entrepreneur’s daughter with high ambitions Lisa Kimmel grew up in Ottawa in an entrepreneurial family. Her dad, Arnold Kimmel, right out of school, opened his first convenience store the year Lisa was born, and today employs more than 300 people with a strong presence in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. “My father encouraged me to get into business and would have liked me to get involved with the family business,” says Lisa.…
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Lisa Kimmel | Part 1 - Career Path, Blog 2

Entering agency life Lisa started out initially at a small Canadian Ad agency called Griffin Bacal Volny, which was subsequently acquired by DDB. She reflects it was an excellent training ground. There was the VP of PR and Lisa, as an entry-level PR person, she was exposed to advertising and other critical elements of the PR mix. “Since it was just the two of us, I really had to step up and the person that I worked for was a true creative genius,”…
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Lisa Kimmel | Part 1 - Career Path, Blog 3

Discovering Edelman The particular person who interviewed Lisa at the other firm came over to lead, and essentially rebuild, Edelman’s consumer practice. Interestingly, Edelman was consumer PR’s pioneer and originator but that wasn’t the case in Canada at that time. He asked her to help build a consumer practice, appealing to her entrepreneurial spirit – the idea of building something new was incredibly attractive. She ultimately became the…
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Lisa Kimmel | Part 1 - Career Path, Blog 4

Becoming Edelman’s first Toronto general manager Lisa became Edelman Toronto’s general manager in 2009. Previously, the position didn’t exist in her office.  The CEO for Canada oversaw the Toronto office until that time. As the office grew, there was a realization that to continue to grow, it needed someone specifically focused on that branch of the firm – Lisa became that person. “The opportunity came as a surprise,” she remembers.…
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Lisa Kimmel | Part II - Industry Perspective, Blog 5

New competitive landscape Lisa explains that the PR industry has changed and continues to change over time. “What keeps me here, drives me forward, is that as the industry evolves we continue to evolve our offering,” she says. “I’ve seen consolidation and convergence over the years – industry consolidation in PR and from a convergence standpoint, clients look for the best idea, regardless of where it comes from.” There’s increasing…
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Lisa Kimmel | Part III - Peer Group Involvement, Blog 6

PEO perspective A former PEO member suggested Lisa get involved in the organization. She was looking for an opportunity to consult, get counsel from and seek advice from peers outside the firm. After having met Leon Goren, he convinced her to join. “PEO provides a crucial sounding board for key decisions I need to make – both for the business and personally speaking, for my own professional growth,” she explains. “I appreciate that the members…
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Lisa Kimmel | Part 4 - Personal Time, Blog 7

Balancing work and life During her time off Lisa likes cooking, reading, fitness and cottaging. “I think it’s invaluable to carve out time for yourself and so I make sure I do. Fitness is important to me, and I love going to the gym,” she says. “I see a trainer twice a week and have recently incorporated yoga into my routine. Yoga is a godsend for me, I also run, so I’d say I work out four or five times a week.” Lisa ran her first half…
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