By Brynn Roach
Integrity, vision, positivity, accountability—these are all qualities we recognize in leaders, and TRU alum Aleece Laird (BBA ’98) ticks all the boxes.
Laird is no stranger to accolades, having recently won an Exemplary Service Award from the City of Kamloops recognizing both her volunteer work in the business sector—she sits on the Kamloops, BC, and Canadian chambers of commerce—and her mentorship within the community.
“When I saw I had a letter from the Office of the Mayor in my mailbox I immediately thought, ‘I’m in trouble,’” says Laird.
Impact and purpose are clear motivators in Laird’s life, and both are key components of her stakeholder engagement and communications company: Amplify Consulting Inc.
Personal experience building businesses
Laird is well-versed in the challenges and risks of entrepreneurship, having built two companies from the ground up over the past two decades.
After running a successful ad agency with her co-founder for 13 years, Laird sold her shares in pursuit of a new business venture. Eager to redefine her purpose and role in the industry, she created Amplify Consulting: a boutique communications firm that works to amplify the impact of organizations through communications and stakeholder engagement.
“We help organizations define, or refine, their purpose. Why they do what they do and the impact they want to have,” says Laird. “I heartily endorse people becoming entrepreneurs.”
Laird and her team have left a unique mark by offering strategic communications and engagement services delivered through the lens of impact and purpose.
Motivation and drive as keys to success
Laird is a firm believer of giving praise where it’s due and recognizing the work of others who have given back to their communities—so much so, that Amplify Consulting created its own award series called AmpliFriday. The public recognition program celebrates individuals making an impact. In addition to recognizing remarkable people, the series also provides a $100 donation to a charity chosen by the amplified recipient.
Laird’s advice to students and professionals alike is to trade time for impact.
“You can do any job in this world for money, but you may as well do something with an impact—it’s going to bring purpose to your life,” she says.
One step to success, explains Laird, is finding what drives you.
She remembers a light-bulb moment during her fourth year at TRU when professor Deborah Lawton referred to past work on a Life Savers candy account at an ad agency in Toronto. The reference immediately opened Laird’s eyes to new opportunities and would ultimately inspire the next 20-plus years of her career.
“It was a defining moment for me. I realized I can help people sell their services through creativity and communications,” says Laird.
In addition to finding what drives you, Laird emphasizes the importance of building a robust network, getting involved and using the foundation of education as a platform for continuous growth and development.
Talk the talk and walk the walk
Laird is always demonstrating a commitment to her values—on personal and company levels. For an inside look, check out her recent exercise in accountability, which included firing and re-hiring herself at the end of 2021.
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