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Career Profile

Christy Hipel

Account Solutions (Sales)
Enviro-Stewards Inc.
Christy Hipel headshot
Christy Hipel headshot
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I contact potential clients to help them understand how we can help them address their environmental problems.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born in the Greater Toronto Area. I spent about half my childhood in Northern Ontario.

I now live in: Waterloo, Ontario.

I completed my training/education at:  I did a two-year Theological Study Diploma at Kawartha Lakes Bible College (now closed). I also took Teaching English as a Second Language training at Conestoga College. Neither of these are very relevant to my current work.

What I do at work

I spend my days sharing the work Enviro-Stewards does. I call potential clients to learn what environmental issues they are struggling to address. Then I see if we can help. I participate in networking events and go to sites to help ensure that what we are offering is what the client needs. I write proposals and follow up with the client to make sure they are getting what they need. I also help the marketing teams with social media and outreach.

Because I work in an engineering company that helps solve wastewater issues, I have had to relearn high school chemistry, some physics and, of course math. Day to day, most of the skills are people skills.

I solve problems by understanding what the client needs. Then I figure out how to present it to them so that they will get approval for the project. I also make sure we have all the right equipment and staff to get the work done.

My career path is

I never knew what to answer when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was not overly academic. In high school, I enjoyed the STEM subjects, history, English, and music. I didn’t have a career that I really wanted to pursue. I didn’t feel like I excelled at anything in particular.

I decided to take a two-year Theological Study diploma. I was hoping I would find my way as I got older. I developed wonderful relationships and enjoyed learning, but still couldn’t come up with a clear choice. I spent the next five years teaching English as a second language and doing community work in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I also learned Spanish and enjoyed the culture there.

During that time, I met and married my husband, who is from Waterloo, Ontario. We moved to Waterloo, and I started trying different things. I worked as a personal support worker at Christian Horizons. I ran my own daycare business and a photography business. My husband was the photographer, and I did all the accounting, sales, culling of photos, and customer care. I spent two years working at SalesEvolve because a friend of mine believed I would be good at sales. Without his encouragement, I would never have ended up where I am today. That job didn’t last long but it was a good experience.

In 2015, the Enviro-Stewards team asked if I could do some part-time administration work. It was a good job. However, the more I learned about Enviro-Stewards, the more I couldn’t stop telling people about what we do.

During a slow season for the company, they planned a company-wide business development day. Everyone received a list of 20 potential clients and we were challenged to call and book as many meetings as possible. I was an administrative assistant, but they let me try anyway. I loved chatting with people and I booked four meetings! My co-workers were only able to book three other meetings that whole day! The company moved me into a sales role. I began with basic calling, and they have been training me up to where I am today.

I have encountered challenges and failures. Haven’t we all? I found there was so much pressure to choose “the one” career out of high school. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t failing to quit a job. It wasn’t failing to find out it wasn’t what you wanted or to simply change tracks. The world of work is not a quiz with one right answer. Every job and every stage of my life has taught me different skills, values and lessons. All this made me who I am. I use all of that now, in a job I love.

In grade 4, a teacher accused me of daydreaming. I always believed I could have done better in school or in life if I only had tried harder. I thought I was just too lazy or broken to do well. I didn’t know I had a condition that made school difficult for me. I was diagnosed with ADHD a year and a half ago. This has helped me understand my challenges and how to address them. 

There are still days when it is difficult to keep focused on the correct priorities, and remember to do some mundane tasks, and get going. I have found that medication has reduced the effort I need to put in to keep things in order. I have also learned to use the extreme focus I have some days.

Being honest with my supervisor about when I am struggling is great. My supervisor is the same friend who thought I would be good at sales, so that has been wonderful. I also exercise, meditate, write lists and create calendar events. These simple tools have really made a difference. Not perfect, but 96% better!

I am motivated by

I find joy in the thrill of the chase. I know we can help. Winning over someone who thinks I am just another salesperson is an amazing feeling. What drives me is that moment when they understand what we do and how it can help them. My passion for what we do keeps me motivated. I love meeting people and hearing their stories, and making connections that can be useful to others. Above all, I love that I help our clients make a difference.

Another reason why I love this job is that the company itself.  Enviro-Stewards all about helping people. We run a Safe Water Social Venture in Uganda to provide safe drinking water by preventing waterborne illnesses. These illnesses cause 50% of hospitalizations there. This venture also helps people in Uganda build business skills and create jobs. Through this venture, we are helping local people build strong communities. Our engineering work helps companies reduce their greenhouse gas impact on the world and save money doing it. There is no one that we don’t leave in a better position than when we started. My job is to help companies hit their sustainability goals, help them reduce their impact on the planet, and be a better company socially.

How I affect peoples’ lives

This is the part I love the most! We help manufacturers reduce their carbon footprint. We measure the utilities and product being lost. Then we find innovative ways to reduce these losses.

I don’t like the term “salesperson”. I associate it with trying to con someone into giving something they don’t want to give or convincing them to buy something they don’t need. This might be why it took me so long to find my niche. Our work helps businesses achieve their internal conservation goals. It can also help them produce more, fix their wastewater issues, and reduce their carbon footprint. As an added benefit, they can do all this while saving a ton of money. I’m not selling them anything; I’m helping them achieve their goals!

Outside of work I

Listening to music, spending time with family and friends, being in the hammock at the cottage, reading a good book, playing video games. 

My advice to others

Find a company with a great story - something you believe in!

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Geography
  • History
  • Literature and Language Arts
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Liked being given specific instructions
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Was really creative
  • Like to take things apart to see how they worked

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