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SPARK OF THE CORPORATE

Right from her childhood, e-commerce veteran and senior global business leader, Bobbi Leach had always dreamt of being a businesswoman. By grade 10 she had made the decision to go to business school. At 25, she was a partner in a startup firm and therefrom, there was no looking back. She worked her way up to be the CEO of FuturePay and RevenueWire. She was always interested in taking the road less travelled rather than walking down the well-worn paths. She never followed the crowd or the trends. But the crowd followed her and she set the trend.

In her vast twenty five years of experience in tech world, she has a history of feats of e-business ventures – be it start-ups, software or e-commerce firms - as staff, management and advisor / consultant. Her entrepreneurial and leadership skills has attracted many awards and recognitions even at the international level. She has always been actively in the forefront for developing the tech sector of Victoria, the city she grew up in. Having found three tech startups, she is an expert in building companies from early stage ventures to profitable businesses on a global scale. She loves growing businesses, getting involved with all facets of the business and keeps looking at the next milestone to achieve.

What started off as a business developer...

Revenue Wire, a then start up which is into processing of online payments and performance marketing services serving 120 countries hired Bobbi to do business development initially in April 2009 as its eighteenth employee. But Elton Pereira, the co-founder soon discovered the leadership and managerial skills of Bobbi and did not think twice when it was time to appoint a CEO for the company. As the CEO, she aims at building a global brand of services that help businesses grow revenue online. Since she took over the position in 2014, the revenue at the company has grown nearly 500%, $200 million a year with the number of employees increasing from 12 when she started to over 75 now. Under her leadership, the company took off to new global markets with great developments in e-commerce space. It also grew its verticals from affiliate marketing to multiple verticals. Bobbi is working on her latest challenge of adding new verticals. Today she heads the group with RevenueWire Commerce, AffiliateWire, CallStream and Constant Content under her. In 2015, for three consecutive years in a row, RevenueWire was listed as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies by PROFIT magazine. While she gives the credit to her team, all business units led by Bobbi were a huge success.

Co-founding FuturePay...

Bobbi Leach is a co-founder of the FuturePay, a business arm which RevenueWire served as the incubator. Bobbi and her team immediately dived in when they saw an opportunity in the growing industry of alternative payment options. They wanted to build something to enable online transactions without a credit card. That was something which was not in the market then. FuturePay provides buy now pay later non credit card option to allow shoppers to buy online. FuturePay has won a gold Innovator Award as the best credit innovation at Innovation Project 2016, Gold for Milestone of the Year, Silver for Company Growth, and Bronze for Company of the Year in 2017.

Early career...

After graduating from Laurentian University in commerce with a major in sport marketing, the Victoria raised young grad joined as an associate in a sports marketing start-up firm in Ottawa, when her counterparts chose big corporate cubicles. In a decade she stayed with the firm, she rose through the ranks from a marketing associate to a partner to the Vice President. While there, she became a certified consultant from Institute of Certified Management Consultants. As she left the company in later 90s, she had a feeling that rest of her career will be internet related.

In 1997, she took up the offer from The Education International as their founding employee and moved back to Victoria. She was initially responsible to grow the start up to a profitable venture, including launching new products and increasing market penetration. The management was impressed with her drive and she was moved from the role of marketing associate to the position of Executive Vice President and shareholder.

By March of 2005, Bobbi co-founded and took charge as the as Vice President of Network Development for PortoLynx, where she helped empower small businesses across North America to sell their products online. Along with leading the global market development of the network, she was instrumental in launching new vertical networks, increasing membership, driving adoption of the platform and attracting end user customers.

She then worked for the local government for a while to develop and implement the software that helps the government to automate their business processes. During her short stint as the advisor to TeamPages, she shared her expertise to this SaaS service for recreation and sports leagues. Post TeamPages days, Bobbi led the marketing division of GenoLogics Life Sciences Software as it's Marketing Director for a year before moving to RevenueWire. At GenoLogics she played a key role in development and implementation of the company's closed loop lead generation system and doubled the volume of qualified leads.

An exceptional role model and natural leader...

Bobbi never forgets to give credit to her passionate team for all that she is. She says success has been about employees. She is not into micromanagement. As a leader, she sets the table for her teams to succeed by providing direction, the resources and parameters within which they can work. Her leadership style was evolved over time as she advanced in her career. She gives a lot of space for her team and is committed to develop a second line of management with executives being able to drive their own teams independently. She is a motivational leader, valuable coach and mentor for everybody around her. She always likes to be with people who constantly challenge themselves, who aren't happy with the status quo. She is very communicative and keeps moving forward. Working in a male dominated industry, she smashes gender stereotyping and suggests parents to talk to their girls about this at home. She just thinks about running a successful company and about being the best CEO she can be.

Bobbi never shy away from sharing her failures openly. Being part of early days of startup, she has made several mistakes in management. When she falls, she gets up, dusts off and carries the lessons learnt from failures for the rest of her career.

When asked about the most satisfying part of being a CEO she said it is seeing how happy people get when they have success.

Personal life...

Bobbi loves baseball, hiking and has dreams of someday retiring in Costa Del Sol. Competitive spirit and teamwork are the lessons she brought to her career from the baseball court. Growing up, her mom is the one who influenced her the most. She draws inspiration from her working mom who instilled the notion that Bobbi can excel in her career. She was Bobbi's biggest supporter too. She is always awestruck by the entrepreneurs who cross over to massive divergent industries. Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Martine Rothblatt had inspired her in this regard.

She has done her MBA in entrepreneurial studies from Athabasca University.

Awards and accolades...

Named as 2015 Executive of the Year by the Victoria Advanced Technology Council
Awarded the Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year in Canada in 2016
Female Executive of the Year by the 2016 Golden Bridge Awards

Memberships and associations...

Board member of Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council

Quotes

The most important characteristic to a successful career in tech is your natural curiosity. Technology and markets are constantly changing, so you need to embrace the reality of continuous learning and adapting in order to survive and prosper.
Whether it’s a career in tech or starting your own tech company, you need to be passionate about what you’re pursuing. There are going to be challenges and setbacks, so you need to believe in your vision and your abilities in order to persevere.
Success in business is never achieved on your own, which is why I'd like to share this recognition with my amazing team. - On receiving Stevie Award
I love things that aren’t entirely figured out yet. I think if something becomes a bit more routine then I’m put off.
Even if something didn't work, it's still better to try new things, share the learnings and figure out the next steps.

Hope readers caught up the spark …

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