When Kristin Pardue left her high-profile corporate position at Carlson Companies, she envisioned starting a distinctive strategic management firm, but she also considered founding a non-profit that helps teens in North Minneapolis learn digital marketing.
Instead of choosing, she established both.
"I felt there was a great need in the marketplace for people to understand organizational purpose," she says. "At the same time, we wanted a way to give back and we thought, why wait?"
was started in 2009, and Pardue's husband, Brad von Bank, joined a year later to help round out the team. Pardue says the combination works well, since they bring different skills to the mix. Together, they offer insight to a range of clients like Capella University, Engine for Social Innovation, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Caribou Coffee.
"Clients come to us with questions about how their organizations can grow, and how their systems might be impacting the levels of their employees," says Pardue. "We encourage them to think strategically on every level, about how they're engaging their organizations."
The company is going strong, and plans to double the size of its small staff in the next year, she adds. She's especially excited about bringing more jobs to North Minneapolis, where the company's located.
For the teens in the area, there's Rêve Academy, an innovative after-school program that prepares students for careers in digital marketing. With an immersive curriculum and potential internships, the program is helping to shape the kind of leaders who could shape the local creative community someday.
"We believe this is a true pathway for these kids," says von Bank. "They're learning real-world skills that they can apply now, and at the end of the program, they make a presentation as if they're at an agency. It's very exciting."
With Rêve Consulting and Rêve Academy going strong, it's obvious that when it comes to choosing a rêve (the French word for "dream"), sometimes it's possible to go even bigger than planned.
Source: Kristin Pardue & Brad von Bank, Rêve Consulting
Writer: Elizabeth Millard