Laura Lehtikunnas entered a new phase in her career in December 2021, when she was appointed Group Legal Counsel at Nordkalk. On 1 February 2022, she joined Nordkalk’s Management Team.
“I am delighted to welcome Laura to the NKMT (Nordkalk Management Team). She has demonstrated a strong drive, competence and “can do” attitude in a number of complex situations she has worked in for Nordkalk. Given the plans Nordkalk has for the future I expect that Laura’s competence and personality will be a perfect match”, says CEO Paul Gustavsson.
Congratulations on your recent promotion to Group Legal Counsel! Please Laura, can you start by giving us a recap of your career at Nordkalk?
I started working for Nordkalk as a Legal Counsel approximately three years ago and after the first two weeks I already dived into the deep end of Nordkalk through an M&A project. The tasks gave me a thorough picture of Nordkalk Group, all functions and all regions. During my time at Nordkalk, my tasks have varied a lot and covered some aspects from all parts of Nordkalk’s operations and business! Over the last year, my responsibility area has included, among others, especially creating, managing and developing Nordkalk’s new Group Compliance programme.
How can one prepare oneself for Management Team work?
I suppose, I will know that better after a few months. However, I think it is important to be able to see the big picture and outline one’s own role and goals to the management. It is also always good to have a good mentor – I have had a great one ????
Using only one word, how would you describe your first impression when you got the invitation to join NKMT?
What will change in your work/life due to the new position?
The work will include heaps of more responsibility. I will continue working more or less with similar or same tasks than before but at different level.
What skills, connections, resources, and expertise do you have to bring to NKMT?
Compliance is an integral part of corporate responsibility and sustainability – I have brought to NKMT a strong approach to striving for greatness in that field and for building an ethical, responsible and compliant culture within the group. And hence, I will support Nordkalk’s performance. I have also experience in M&A projects as well as a wide connection network of legal professionals.
But maybe the most important thing is that I am a true team player with a humble attitude towards work and to my colleagues.
How do you stay relevant as a director?
At the moment we are facing a flow of new legislation from the EU as well as on national level. I keep myself updated on future regulations, their risks and impacts on us and give my best input for the company. I will take care of my own plot as well as possible.
What motivates you?
I have always been motivated by challenges and positivity – I want to be useful, helpful and motivate others around me too. I believe that positive spirit towards others and towards the job we do creates a circle of positive impacts.
What experiences have given you an international perspective?
I have lived abroad and worked for EU delegation and for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Finnish Embassy in Brazil. E.g. those experiences gave me strong international experience and perspective as I was working in a difficult environment with various different nationalities and people from different backgrounds. At Nordkalk, I have also worked with all our group companies in the different countries.
What makes our mission and values meaningful to you?
I really think that our contribution to the society is crucial. The values: respect, trust, courage and fairness – all support each other and enable each other to materialise. By respecting our values, we make a difference for the best of each one of us. The long history and experience, and great competence of Nordkalk employees inspire me.
If you had unlimited resources, what is the one thing you as a NKMT member would like to do for the company/employees?
I would really like to see people getting empowered and being proud of the steps we are taking towards sustainability and legal compliance – These steps, over time, are also improving our profitability.
What do we do better than anyone else in our field?
We have a long, long history and experience from our field! I think, at least in the future, that we will be the forerunner in ESG performance in our field!
Why did you decide to join Norkdalk’s Management Team?
I decided to join NKMT and take a huge leap in my career for being able to contribute, affect and influence more on things that I find important for the success of Nordkalk in the future.
How would you describe Nordkalk to a total stranger?
I would say that Nordkalk is a limestone company with more than 120 years history delivering crucial raw materials to a high variety of purposes and to different industries. And that the solutions Nordkalk produces, creates and discovers contribute for example to clean air and water. Everybody needs lime in their lives every day!
What is the most entrepreneurial thing you’ve ever done? Would you take a similar risk as an NKMT member for Nordkalk? If so, why? If not, why not?
I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset and I always work as if I were working for myself. And that will continue. My work in NKMT include identifying and assessing risks – it is then team work to decide the risk appetite and tolerance.
The biggest risks I have taken in Brazil when I was working with street children/ following their lives as part of an PhD research – I suppose I won’t face similar risks in NKMT work.
What does “success” mean to you in terms of your work as an NKMT member?
Success means a strong and effective support for Nordkalk’s operations, growth and future. I think I am succeeded if my coworkers are happy with my input and if I have impacted positively in the company’s future.
What is the best way to inspire our people?
I have always believed in inspiring by your own example and by appreciating others – giving everyone around you the means to succeed.
What one new thing have you learned in the last week?
Well, a flood of new information is going through me at the moment so I am learning something new all the time. But one specific thing from last week was that I learned more about REMIT regulation (Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency) and derivatives.
Thank you Laura!
“But maybe the most important thing is that I am a true team player with a humble attitude towards work and to my colleagues.”
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