JumpStart Employee Spotlight: Christina Pelachyk

JumpStart Business Development Associate Christina Pelachyk spends her time working with communities to understand their entrepreneurial and economic development aspirations and connects them with specialists who can help.

Her experience identifying clients’ needs and finding the best solution to achieve their goals is built upon a decade spent in the wine industry where she managed customer and distributor networks in both New England and the Midwest for the E&J Gallo Winery.  She came to JumpStart after a career break where she volunteered as a pro-bono business consultant in countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam and India.

Recently, we sat down with Christina to ask her five questions about her life and career thus far:

What is your favorite JumpStart memory?
I’ve only been at JumpStart a few months so I’m still working on making memories, but I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s creativity, costumes and families at our 2015 Halloween party.  It was a good example of how imaginative and motivated my fellow colleagues are—especially when a little friendly competition is involved.

What JumpStart value resonates most with you?
Collaborative.  I’m constantly humbled by the variety of quality perspectives amongst my team members when we’re working on a project.  When we constructively work together to integrate these viewpoints, it always produces a stronger result than anything I could do by myself.

If you could have a meal with any person, who would it be and why?
When I was in India, I became dear friends with a woman who has a very hard life (she’s a widow in rural village struggling to raise three boys by herself).  We worked together for months on a humanitarian project and grew very close, even though we couldn’t speak one another’s languages.  Despite her hardships, she is one of the most compassionate and good-humored people I’ve ever met.  If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be with her and we’d be fluent in each other’s languages so I could express how much I admire her, learn more about her life and be able to share in more of her funny jokes.

What is one key lesson you have learned so far in your career?
It’s less of a lesson and more of a mantra: “exit your comfort zone.”  If I find myself getting too comfortable, I’m probably giving in to complacency, not taking enough risks or not exposing myself to enough new situations.  The beauty of this mantra is its relevancy in both long term goals as well as the day-to-day.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself?

This post is part of JumpStart’s “Employee Spotlight” series, a monthly feature introducing you to a member of our passionate, talented team.