Life @ PointClickCare: Orysia Semotiuk
As we continue to celebrate the accomplishments of women this month, we feel privileged to be able to tell you about our SVP of Legal and General Counsel, Orysia Semotiuk. To say it was delightful to speak with her would be an understatement, and we hope you will all take the time to learn a little bit more about this inspiring leader.
What is a General Counsel?
As the SVP of Legal and General Counsel, Orysia has many responsibilities, too many to write down in fact. She shared with us that because legal is often involved in many different aspects of the business, it allows her to be able to branch out and work with different teams on a regular basis. She describes her main responsibility as “being aware of, and responding to, any and all legal items that touch the company.” Taking into account the size of our organization and the number of partnerships we have, not to mention our recent acquisition, it’s safe to say that Orysia and her team definitely keep busy around here.
A Lawyer through and through
Orysia has been in the legal field for over 24 years now and the remarkable thing is that she still loves it as much as she did in the beginning of her career. “For me, the law is never boring. It touches everything we do and there is a legal aspect to everything from the house you live in to the rules of the road when you are driving. I love that with PointClickCare there is so much variety in the things I get to work on.”
The move to PointClickCare
After being in private practice for about 15 years, including as a partner, Orysia was ready to take on a general counsel position as the next stage in her career. “For me, it was about the job because it was a role I always saw myself doing in the future, but the real reason I joined the team is because it was PointClickCare.” She explains that the company itself was attractive to her because it wasn’t like other tech companies. “The kind of business that PointClickCare is in is very interesting to me. It’s essentially a technology company, but it’s also healthcare, so it brings together two areas where the law is rapidly evolving. It was also appealing to me because there is a real human element to what we do here.”
The dream team
When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, Orysia was quick to name her team as the best part of her role. “Working on a smaller team and dealing with the number of tasks that we do, it is rewarding to see how efficient our team is and how they are able to continually meet the demands of our growing organization.” She also says that it is incredibly rewarding to see the impact of her team’s work and know that they are helping so many other teams to meet their goals. “Seeing the legal team grow and become more efficient over the last four years, and to know where we are at now, is incredible. We have really matured as a department and the best part is that we all work together really well.”
Greatest accomplishment at PointClickCare
Most employees probably don’t realize this, but before the end of 2020, the legal team was involved in three massive transactions. For Orysia, this was a huge accomplishment, and she says she “still can’t believe we pulled it off!” She is of course referring to the acquisition of Collective Medical, the recapitalization of the company (which included introducing a new private equity shareholder), and entering into a new credit facility. “To be blunt, it was hard. I have worked hard in my career before, but I don’t think I have ever worked as hard as I did on those three transactions. The last part of the last deal closed at 4:00 pm on Dec 31, 2020, and I was just so grateful to my entire team for not only supporting those transactions, but stepping in during those three months to make sure all the other legal matters touching the company were dealt with. It was exciting to go into the new year having that accomplished and it was unbelievably rewarding.”
Being a nice person matters
For Orysia, great leaders are the ones who listen, those who act with kindness, and those who lead by example. Her own leadership style reflects this as well, as she believes in collaboration among her own team and works hard to implement that on a daily basis. “I’m not one to give orders and disappear. My approach is to say here is what we need to do, how can I help.” Orysia said she also tries to mentor the more junior lawyers on the team and always makes a point to be available to answer all of their questions and help them in whatever way she can. In her mind, this isn’t necessarily a leadership requirement, it’s a people requirement. “Simply put, being a nice person matters to me. I have worked with too many people who did not take that approach. In my experience, kindness and empathy garners more loyalty and a willingness to work together that results in better outcomes..”
Advice for future female leaders
As a woman in the legal field, Orysia has seen firsthand the injustices women face on a daily basis and has endured her share of gender bias. Nevertheless, her resilience and dedication to her craft made her successful in a field that has not always been welcoming to women. But it didn’t come easily. Her advice to future lawyers is simple, you need to work for it. “For the general population, becoming a lawyer is hard work. For women, you have to work even harder. You also need to make sure you are always prepared. Competence matters and you can’t wing it. Lastly, acknowledge that for most of us, a legal career is long. It will have its frustrating moments and setbacks. But usually, sticking it out will be worth it. There are a lot of career options with a law degree and a lot of opportunities available. But most importantly, you need to work hard to get there.”
To future female leaders at PointClickCare, Orysia says the key to success is that you need to speak up. “It’s not enough to go to meetings and just be in the room, you need to voice your opinion. What’s great about PointClickCare is that internal promotions do happen if you can demonstrate you’re the best person for the job. But you have to be heard, you have to put yourself out there, and you must speak up. People need to notice you in order to promote you.”
Wise words from an inspiring leader! Thank you, Orysia.
March 19, 2021