INFLUENCER: INGRID CHRISTENSEN

INFLUENCER: INGRID CHRISTENSEN

Ingrid Christensen, President
INGCO International
St. Paul

At INGCO, we believe that language is a living, breathing entity. Our mission is to preserve the art of language through the careful provision of interpreting and translating words to give every person equal access to language.

What makes a good business leader?
There are a lot of qualities that make a good business leader. I most respect and value a leader who has the courage to be vulnerable and empathetic. 

Ingrid Christensen

What’s your favorite recent movie?
Because my movie-watching preferences are currently dominated by my 11-year old son's obsession with World War II, I must share my favorite recent book, Presence by Amy Cuddy.

Who inspires you the most? Why?
There is no shortage of inspiration in the world, but when I need to make a tough decision, I rely on my parents to listen and help me make strong choices. They have always been my biggest supporters and challengers. Without them I would not be who or where I am today.

You are a member of the Minnesota Chamber Board. What are the benefits for you personally and for your company? 
I have always received so much more than I have given from every board service experience. The Minnesota Chamber Board is no different; to work closely with a group of intelligent, dedicated and hardworking individuals on specific tasks is extremely rewarding both personally and professionally. I have learned about true leadership, compromise and dedication, which carries across every aspect of my life. I have also forged lifelong relationships with board members who will be friends for many years to come.

You have assisted in our grassroots efforts by testifying before legislative committees to advance business priorities. What advice can you give to others? What has been most effective for you?
When I’m presenting, I like to know my audience and tell a story. The way I present to legislative committees is different than the way I present to my son’s fifth-grade classroom, yet the method is the same. Know your audience: Who are you speaking to? What do they care about? It’s essential to tailor your words and messages to actually reach your target market. And tell a story. Numbers and stats are great, as backup material. What sticks and engages the listener is storytelling. 

What prompted you to start your own business?
I started this company with a desire to lead from a point of respect — respect for all languages and all cultures. I saw other agencies running their companies without much experience, and I knew my linguist background would serve me well. It also helped that I was in a state of sleep deprivation having decided to start the business when my son was just 6-week olds. Perfect timing!

What do you enjoy most about Minnesota?
I enjoy its natural beauty and easy access to adventure. The diverse people, food and activities make it a great place to live and work. 

What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?
I love to read and spend time with friends and family. Beyond that, traveling and experiencing the world are essential to my happiness.