First Nation Procurement Inc
“A Transformatory Leader”
Laura Owl is the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer for First Nation Procurement Inc. She brings tremendous knowledge with over 22 years of experience in management positions, working with companies and First Nations government and administrations. In 2018 Laura graduated from the prestigious Queens University with her Masters In Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Since graduating, Laura has used her education to do brilliant transformations and has been extremely successful in working with First Nations and companies to implement quality management systems into their operations and has successfully worked with many First Nations and companies to implement ISO 9001 certification.
When Laura began her career in 1999, she was still very young. “Initially, I felt the need to get the work done, learn from others, and often failed to recognize the strengths I was bringing to the companies I worked for,” she says. “Recognizing this, I had to make changes around the work I was doing and most importantly, how I viewed myself and the contributions I was making.” But the most significant barriers Laura has faced as a female leader have been that often the work she was doing was being overshadowed by her male counterparts, and her work never seemed to be fully recognized.
“Looking back, I see both experiences as game changers for me because it helped to build my confidence. Over time, I became more vocal, asked more questions, learned more about the work we were doing and slowly began to build my confidence and in many ways shaped how I conduct business practices of today,” elucidates Laura. “Now I see it as a blessing in disguise because in learning about processes and people, organizational behaviours and transformatory change, it forced me to look at my own work experiences and have since taken on a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to managing people and companies.”
As an indigenous female Chief Operating Officer, Laura is a huge advocate and support system to female business owners trying hard to establish themselves. She understands the challenges of owning and starting a business and how important it is to be surrounded by supportive people. “In supporting female business owners, I have made myself available for reviews of proposals and other pertinent documentation, participated and coordinated workshops around entrepreneurship, networked on behalf of female owned businesses, and have provided ongoing support as they become operational.”
Going forward, Laura says she would love to see more female entrepreneurs emerge, which is an area she would like to continue to focus on. “Additionally, it's an area I would like to see incorporated into First Nation Procurement Inc.”Laura has unique talents when it comes to working with people in any workplace, and she is often revered for her abilities to inspire and empower team members. Through ongoing encouragement, mentorship, and confidence-building in the people she works with, Laura is proud that she has and will continue to work with and inspire our great leaders of tomorrow.
As Laura enters her new position as the Chief Operating Officer with First Nation Procurement Inc., she has already identified plans to incorporate internships and employee engagement. She sees First Nation Procurement Inc. as a leader in creating opportunities for Indigenous people everywhere and will be focusing more efforts in this area because we need more leaders!
“While I have gained tremendous experience and developed my skills over the last 22 plus some years, I am remiss to say I have found success. One because traditionally success has been based on two things, objective and subjective success,” she adds. “If I could give any advice for success, I'd say that understanding yourself as a person, and the unique qualities you can bring to any table will set you apart from others. But more importantly, understanding, appreciating, and validating your employees are where the true success happens because people who feel appreciated will do more.”
As Laura enters this new position, employee engagement and satisfaction will be key in understanding how they can drive improvements and opportunities for First Nation Procurements Inc. She has learned a lot of leadership lessons that are unique to being a female leader, but the one that stands out the most can listen to others and make connections with personnel. She sees this as a vital leadership lesson because it builds relationships and promotes an inclusive workplace that gets work done. WL
First Nation Procurement Inc
First Nations Procurement Incorporated (FNPI) is 100% owned and operated by First Nations people. Our long term goal is to become the preferred manufacturer and wholesaler of Canadian made FN-N95-508, FN-N95-510 & FN-N95-2020H Respirators, Surgical 3 Ply, Level II & III Disposable Face Masks to organizations across North America. For maximum protection, FNPI/DENT-X CANADA offers the Face Shields.