May 25 Women to Watch: Kristin Pardue
There are few people who can successfully build a for-profit company and a nonprofit organization simultaneously, but Kristin Pardue is certainly in that group.
After 18 years of working in Fortune 500 companies, including Carlson Cos. Inc. and GE Fleet Services, Pardue started her own consultancy, Rêve Consulting.
The company, based in North Minneapolis, is named after the French word for “dream.” Her vision was to create a unique type of strategy-based consultancy, with robust methodology and plenty of heart.
The business focuses largely on giving social organizations direction so they can take their own leaps from dream to reality. Profitable since its inception, the company has seen revenue grow by 500 percent in just three years. Clients include Capella Education Co., Caribou Coffee Co. Inc.,Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.
She didn’t leave behind her passion for meaningful nonprofit work, though. Rather than just increase her volunteer commitments, Pardue decided to create Rêve Academy, an innovative program that provides a pathway for North Minneapolis middle and high school students to pursue digital marketing careers. Its first class was so successful that Pardue envisions the program expanding significantly in the future.
— Elizabeth Millard, contributing writer
What color paint best represents you and why? Our own Rêve blue which symbolizes calm, expertise, and dreaming.
How do you inspire kids to get interested in a digital-marketing career? You present them with an opportunity to create from their dreams and convey who they are in a digital medium, like a website.
What’s something about you that would surprise people? My husband and I have built two homes together in the last decade and I can’t wait to build another one.
What’s the biggest perk of your job? To be able to build something from scratch with an amazing group of people who want to work with you.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a pediatric surgeon practicing at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
I know it’s a good day when… I know I have impacted someone in a positive way.
Who’s your go-to person when you need help? I tend to go to people based on what I am facing. I have a wise family and a tremendously talented group of women friends and advisers who I go to based on the need.
What’s the best way to network? I have found that it is easier to meet people through shared interests and experiences. Put yourself in a place where you can meet new people.
I am always fascinated by… Transformation
My favorite place to enjoy a meal is… On our deck while watching the sunset
Saturday night or Sunday morning? Sunday morning with coffee, the Sunday paper (via my iPad) and my family before going to church.
You can read the entire article on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal website.