Kyra Cole: Leading with Values and Collaboration

Embrace the essence of community-first leadership and humble determination with Kyra Cole as she emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in driving change for a more inclusive economic landscape.

In This Episode

Hosts Emily Rodger and Dave Veale welcome Kyra Cole, a renowned entrepreneur, advocate, and expert in economic development and experiential tourism onto the podcast. Kyra’s journey into her current line of work is explored, along with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on her chosen path.

As the conversation unfolds, Kyra modestly acknowledges her numerous accolades, attributing her success to supporting her clients in realizing their visions. The power of community and collaboration takes center stage as Kyra shares her community-over-competition approach, emphasizing the importance of cultivating strong support networks.

Authenticity becomes a prevailing theme as Kyra opens up about the hurdles she faced, making her the resilient and vibrant leader she is today. The hosts, Emily and Dave, praise her willingness to be vulnerable, valuing authenticity as a cornerstone of effective leadership.

The discussion takes a thought-provoking turn as they explore issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in business practices. Kyra highlights the biases present in accessing funding and applying for contracts and emphasizes the transformative potential of collaboration and open conversations to challenge the status quo.

Kyra’s expertise in experiential tourism is showcased as she explains its potential to foster community development and forge meaningful connections between tourists and local communities. She provides compelling examples of how this approach can create extraordinary experiences out of seemingly ordinary moments.

Throughout the episode, Kyra’s commitment to creating a more equitable economic landscape shines through, underpinned by her decade of experience in municipal and Indigenous economic development. Her dedication to supporting marginalized communities and promoting values-driven partnerships is evident in her work.

As the episode draws to a close, Emily and Dave reflect on the invaluable insights they gained from Kyra’s journey. Her emphasis on authenticity, collaboration, and elevating marginalized voices serves as an inspiration for leaders seeking to make a positive impact in their respective fields.

Show Notes

0-10 minutes

Emily and Dave chat about what they’ve been up to. Kyra introduces herself and her business ventures. Dave asks how Kyra got into this work and we hear about her journey into what she is doing now and how covid influenced her chosen path.

10-20 minutes

The crew talks about Kyra’s many awards. Kyra expressed that she’s flattered by the awards and humbly notes that she accomplishes these things by supporting her clients in carrying out their visions—so without their visions, she couldn’t do what she does. The group talks about the power of community and support networks. Kyra explains how she takes a community over competition approach to her work. She then describes her approach to expanding her network—aggressive friend-making. Dave asks Kyra about the source of her confidence and Kyra lets our audience know that it’s the result of a lot of hard work. Kyra gets vulnerable and shares some of the hurdles she’s faced over the years and how she grew into the strong and vibrant woman and person she is today.

20-30 minutes

Kyra continues being vulnerable and authentic, speaking about her journey into who she is today. Dave and Emily celebrate Kyra’s willingness to be authentic, which is something we highly value at the Boiling Point. The group talks about DEI and about how problematic and inherently biased certain processes can be in accessing funding and applying for contracts. They discuss the importance of collaboration, diversity, and conversation in challenging the status quo.

30-40 minutes

Kyra explains the concept of ‘experiential tourism’ to improve communities and enhance relationships between tourists and the communities they visit. Emily asks for some examples of experiential tourism and Kyra delivers. The group responds to Kyra’s statement, “What’s ordinary to you is extraordinary to someone else” and Dave talks about how what’s ordinary to him in his own backyard becomes extraordinary when he’s exploring it with non-local friends and family. Email asks Kyra about how she finds clients or how they find her.

40+ minutes

Emily and Dave share their takeaways.

Kyra Cole

Kyra Cole

CEO of KLB Consulting & Co-owner and CEO of THREESEVEN

Kyra is a serial entrepreneur, advocate, and a wellspring of creativity. Named one of Business Elite’s 2022 Top 40 Under 40 and EDCOs 2021 Top 10 Economic Development Professionals, Kyra is an Ontario-based economic development & tourism leader with a reputation as the go-to resource for grant writing, community economic development, and experiential tourism development.

Kyra is the CEO of KLB Consulting, a firm that works with First Nation Communities, municipalities, and global businesses. Kyra is also the co-owner and CEO of THREESEVEN, an Indigenous consulting firm dedicated to supporting economic, social and cultural growth of communities across the globe.

Kyra believes her clients are entitled to unfettered and equal access to opportunity and success. At the forefront of her ventures is a culture of working with values-driven clients to support community and business growth. Kyra prioritizes humility, respect, and equity, and has embraced the responsibility to serve clients in ways that regenerate and sustain these values.

Kyra’s passion to create a more equitable economic landscape in Canada is born from a decade of municipal and Indigenous economic development work. She believes that the path towards an equitable economic landscape must be centered around regenerative practices, starting with a commitment to elevating the voices and businesses of marginalized communities.