As managers and executives at Stratford, we’ve led departments, divisions and whole organizations through growth and change. We have the “stars and scars” to offer meaningful, practical guidance or serve hands-on if that’s required.
Beyond our credentials, what sets us apart are the values we share and the ways we work. Every member of our team has a passion for giving back and helping organizations reach their goals. It’s why clients often tell us that when they met our people, they knew they wanted to do business with us.
To help you get to know us a little better, we sat down with some of our team members and interviewed them on everything from professional experience and obstacles to extracurricular activities and playlist recommendations. We thought you may appreciate seeing the personal side of our team through their shared personal insights, recommendations and hobbies.
The next team member we’d like to introduce you to is Irene Lis, Vice President of HR Consulting at Stratford.
Time with Stratford:
Area of Expertise:
City of Kingston, City of Ottawa, CMA,
DP Electric, Health Partners, Matera,
Mothercraft Ottawa, Northern Birch
Credit Union, Saskatchewan Registered
Nurses Association, Westboro Photonics
🎵 What do you like to listen to while working?
I enjoy an eclectic range of music – but when I really need to focus I listen to classical music, often cello or piano.
📚 What are your favourite business books, podcasts, and blogs?
Favourite books would be:
🌟 Who are you most influenced by?
People with “feet on the ground” who have open and objective perspectives and have been successful through hard work and perseverance – and have not forgotten their humble beginnings and treat everyone respectfully.
📝What is one piece of advice you find yourself constantly sharing with your clients?
If you could only make one investment in HR, invest in developing your managers to be strong and effective people managers.
Another often repeated piece of advice is that good communication is the most effective and inexpensive means of creating positive employee engagement. I have never heard of an organization being accused of over communicating.
🙋♂️How do you add value to your clients?
I strive to help my clients find solutions that make sense for them and are meaningful and sustainable to their unique circumstances.
I deliver an open, objective, neutral and balanced perspective with a good sense of humour.
👀 What do you think makes Stratford unique?
The consultants at Stratford bring “hands-on front line” experience, which allows them to genuinely relate to clients and their challenges & opportunities.
🤝 What is your favourite type of client engagement?
As a true generalist, I can’t say that I have a “favourite” type of engagement.
I enjoy working with all of my clients, learning about them and the unique aspects of their business and organization in order to help them find solutions that best fit with who they are and their specific situation.
✨ Do you sit on any boards or volunteer?
I am a life-long volunteer!
I have board experience with the Ottawa Regional Rewards Association, YMCA Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, Joseph Brant Hospital, Theater Aquarius, Halton Women’s Information and Support Centre, and Big Sisters.
Other volunteer experience includes Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, Invest Ottawa, HRPA Ottawa, West Ottawa Board of Trade, Burlington CHamber of Commerce, Ron Edwards YMCA, and the Literacy Group.
🎸 What are some of your favourite past times?
Cycling, travelling, outdoor work, cooking and being with friends & family!
🍿Any recommended movies or TV programs?
Burn Notice is a uniquely well done series that occupies a top spot on my favourite list.
⛰️ What’s one of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome as it relates to your career?
While completing my MBA, I enjoyed studying business in general and especially operations, statistics and human resources. Deciding which stream to follow was tough. I opted for HR with the reasoning that HR should work across the functions to be effective so I would get the best of all worlds in learning about business.
It was the right decision!
📣 Do you have any favourite quotes?
“Treat others as you would like to be treated”
I’ve always maintained that if an organization could have only one policy that this should simply be the golden rule.
❓What GIF best describes you?
🤔 If there is one thing you hope your clients gain from working with you, what would you want it to be?
Seeing the connection and impact of HR practices when they are aligned with their business practices, both in the short term and long term.
We look forward to introducing you to others here at Stratford and we’d love the chance to get to know you better too. If you’d like to connect with Irene or other members of the Stratford team, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you.