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Our Team

We help organizations with cultural shifts. 

 
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Krista Smith

Founder

Krista practiced labour and employment law for ten years before founding Root & Branch in 2020. 

Krista left traditional legal practice and started Root & Branch so that she could more comfortably act as third-party neutral. Rather than resolving disputes through litigation, Krista looks to earlier interventions to reduce the harm and cost of workplace conflicts. She aims to resolve moments of struggle creatively and collaboratively using principles of transformative mediation and restorative justice.

Since 2016, when Krista became a certified investigator, workplace investigations and assessments have become two of her core practice areas. Over time, she has refined her processes to incorporate trauma-informed principles without sacrificing procedural fairness. 

Another piece of Krista's heart belongs to the community sector. She has a long history of working with nonprofit Boards, both professionally and as a volunteer. In 2019, Krista stepped in as Acting Executive Director at a nonprofit child care centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to help them navigate a period of crisis, labour shortage, reputational risk and strategic transition. She is currently enrolled in the Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership at Mount St. Vincent University.

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Kim MacDonald

Strategic Partner

Kim MacDonald, founder of 13 Factors, is focused on helping organizations shift their workplace culture based on the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, developed by the Canadian Mental Health Commission.


Kim brings the latest research in behavioural science to workplaces. The underlying premise of 13 Factors is that leaders can only effect change through innovation and a deep understanding of people.


Kim marries business-strategy experience, the people side of change, adult learning and psychological health and safety. She brings a motivating, experiential-learning approach to the virtual and in-person classroom. She places great importance on creating a safe, supportive and collaborative learning environment.


Kim has a diverse and deep educational background in business, adult education, export trade and marketing, brand management, communications & public relations, economic development, and investor relations.  She is also a certified emotional intelligence assessment provider and coach.

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Emma Vibert

Researcher & Policy Analyst

Emma is a recent graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University with a bachelor of arts in history focusing on women's political participation. Having worked in a variety of industries as a precarious worker she is particularly interested in equity and social justice within the workplace. In university she worked on a variety of committees to bring equitable services to students. She was a founding organizer of the dissolve msvusu campaign which sought to dissolve the student union, whose culture had become toxic and harmful, and build a new union from scratch. From these experiences she has a deep knowledge of how toxicity perpetuates itself within many organizational structures leading to a lack of psychological safety. She uses an antiracist, intersectional feminist and trauma informed lens in her work. In particular she seeks to decouple the neoliberal ideology from discussions of personal responsibility amongst marginalized workers and feminism in the workplace. She plans to study employment law in the future.