Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Steward Wise Story

Steward Wise is a boutique consulting firm started by me, Andrea Chmielinski, over the summer of 2017.

I could give you a summary of my resume and experience*, but that’s not the story I tell people when they ask, how did you get into this? Its much more personal. Environmentalism and business have been intertwined around me since I was a child.

My parents are successful business people. My mother is a trained Chartered Accountant with years of executive management experience. I am lucky to have such a great mentor to me as a young woman. My stepfather is a CPG marketing guru, and my father is a sales executive. All three of my parents taught me the value of a dollar, the virtue of hard work and “how the world works” from an economic perspective.

The environmentalism comes in from my grandparents' influence. All my life they have been a constant and steady presence. My grandfather babysat me after school while my mom worked late to achieve her career goals. Little did she know he was influencing my thinking – there is something more to life than the almighty dollar, and ultimately, to always act as good stewards to the natural world around us. My grandparents are environmental activists in the truest sense of the word. I grew up attending protests with them, whether it was in front of city hall or at an overnight camp-out in the Red Hill Valley (now a massive high way). They are both professional photographers, using their art as a medium to reveal the ugly impact that economic progress can have on this world.  (See left)





I ended up somewhere in the middle:

I have a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Wilfrid Laurier University and was in the co-op program. I tried a marketing co-op in university, it was a great opportunity but something was missing for me. I am driven by doing good. Luckily, “sustainability” had become enough of a buzz word in the corporate world that Wilfrid Laurier started offering it as a specialization, right along with accounting and finance. I knew it would be perfect for me.

After working the corporate world and seeing how sustainability efforts have evolved, I had great opportunities to continue down that path. But I have also spent the last seven years specializing in stewardship compliance and reporting. I have a knack for optimizing reports and ensuring the processes are in place for long term success. 

I hope we have the opportunity to meet one day. I would love to bring my experience to your organization.

Please feel free to email me at andrea@stewardwise.ca

*Here is a summary of my resume and experience:

I’ve spent the last seven years working in corporate sustainability. My last role was as a Stewardship Operations Analyst at Hudson’s Bay Company. Before that I worked as Canon Canada’s sole environmental specialist, running the toner return program, ISO14001 and all the regular stewardship compliance reports.

At Wilfrid Laurier I was in the co-op program, which I cannot recommend enough. It is invaluable in terms of gaining experience before launching a career. I worked 4 month stints at Kao Brands, Panasonic Canada and Pepsico Beverages. I dipped my toe into marketing at Kao, but it was my experience with corporate sustainability at Panasonic and later Pepsico that drove my decision to specialize in Sustainability for Business in my last year at university.


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