Name: Christine McElhinney
Title: Senior Strategist & Writer
Current residence: Stafford/Fredericksburg, VA
Hometown: Hillsborough, NH
Fun fact: I love books and my dream is to open a bookstore someday.
Tell us about your background. How did you end up at tPX?
My college degree and early career were in graphic design, then I moved into a marketing role and expanded into communications and employee engagement. With that, I helped start my company’s philanthropy program, which led me to grow into a corporate responsibility/ESG role. Over the past decade I have worn many hats and had a broad range of experience with ESG, including strategy, communications, reporting, social impact programs and even being a student in the field, earning certificates in Corporate Citizenship Management and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Before I joined tPX, I was leading the “S” (Social) in ESG for a national real estate company, overseeing the organization’s social impact, community engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy and programs. When I learned about tPX (through my connection to Kirkland and Stewart), I felt like fate had led me here. A few months later I had the opportunity to join this incredible team!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The people! The talent, passion, collaboration, and kindness I’ve already experienced at thinkPARALLAX has been amazing. I feel lucky to be part of a team that truly cares about our work, clients, and each other, while also being dedicated to the shared mission to better the world.
Additionally, I really love bringing new ideas, programs, and stories to life. As an example, it’s always so inspiring and rewarding for me to help create an ESG/ sustainability report, as it’s not only the story of an organization, but also an opportunity to recognize and amplify the people who are driving the work and experiencing the impact.
thinkPARALLAX’s purpose is to inspire fresh perspective on sustainable business transformation. What perspective do you bring to tPX, our clients, and/or our industry?
I believe having a growth mindset is critical for doing this work. I love to learn, so I am always seeking information and insights about our work, clients, and industry. I also have a passion for driving impact through empathy and curiosity, and always try to look at things through a DEI lens, which helps ensure different dimensions of diversity are being considered throughout the process.
My experience with communications, graphic design, and stakeholder engagement help me think through the whole process and total impact of a project. Whether it’s a report, communications campaign, new program, or single touchpoint, I’m able to visualize the end product and understand how it will be received by different stakeholders.
What’s a project you’ve worked on (at tPX or a previous role) that you really enjoyed or that felt really meaningful?
Doing social impact work for the past 10+ years has been meaningful in so many ways. I really enjoy collaboration and building something that will solve a problem, provide support, or inspire action. With this, two projects stand out:
- Leading a national partnership with the American Red Cross. This allowed me to not only gain a deep understanding of humanitarian work and the impacts of the climate crisis, but to actually do something about it. This included $3 million in donations to help those affected by emergencies and disasters, 8,000+ pints of blood from nationwide blood drives and CPR/First Aid training for almost 2,000 employees, which resulted in multiple lives saved.
- Supporting the launch of seven employee resource groups. With the events of 2020, there was a need for community and support more than ever. Working with a passionate group of employees, we were able to quickly pull together these ERGs that provided connection, resources, and allyship, as well as the awareness and education that was the catalyst for driving necessary conversation and meaningful change.
What causes are you most interested in?
Literacy, public libraries, and equitable (and uncensored!) access to books; mental health support and awareness; and of course, emergency preparedness and disaster relief.
After leading a national philanthropy program for 10+ years, I’m also excited to shift my focus to local causes here in the Fredericksburg, VA area. It’s a vibrant and historic community that my family and I are proud to be a part of!
What brings you joy outside of work?
Time with my husband and son (and family), reading, cooking, volunteering in my local community, planning and going on travel adventures, hiking (and just being in nature) and the simple things, like reading a book with my son, having coffee on the front porch at sunrise or enjoying a glass of wine and laughing with friends!