Christine Biehl: Passionately Creating Change Through Learning & Talent Management

3/21/2022
“What gets me jumping out of bed in the morning is the exciting work I'm doing in learning and talent development at Opus," said Christine Biehl. “I'm a people-person and am driven by affecting change, so it's easy for me to get really passionate about this work."

As the Director of Talent Management, Christine oversees every aspect of our associate's lifecycle from recruitment through retirement. And while she may not have planned on a career in Human Resources (HR), she ranks two Opus HR projects among her top three career accomplishments to date.

Discovering What She Loves

“I have a bachelor's degree in organizational management communication," said Christine. “So, I didn't go to school thinking, 'I'm going to be in HR.' I feel lucky that I fell into a perfect career for me."


Prior to Opus, Christine spent the majority of her career at Crystal Farms, where she worked for 18 years in a variety of roles. “When an opportunity finally came up for an HR Administrator at Crystal Farms, I knew it would be a great fit because I'd get to focus on the people and the business," said Christine.

In that role, Christine supported nearly 500 people as the only HR practitioner for the retail division. “I got involved in everything," Christine said. “If it was HR-related, it was within my realm of responsibility."

In that role, Christine discovered what she loved – working in HR. “I landed in this profession by accident, but I immediately knew it was where I belong."

Furthering Her Education and Experience

With this knowledge, Christine decided to pursue a Master's degree in HR Management from Concordia University.


“I was 35 when I finished my master's program," said Christine. “I had two little kids at home – an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old. It was a crazy time in my life but also wonderful. That was one of my first big career accomplishments. There's a lot of value in getting additional education once you have some life and work experience under your belt. I would absolutely do it again."

With her degree in hand, Christine tried a few different roles, including becoming a compliance director. "Through that experience, I learned another lesson – just because I have the skill to do something doesn't mean it makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning," said Christine. 

Back to Her HR Roots

Then Christine had an opportunity to go back to her HR roots. In 2018, she joined Opus as an HR Business Partner. Once again, she was responsible for everything HR-related supporting a large group of associates in multiple locations. Three years later, Christine was promoted into her current role.


Her manager, Kelli Justesen, Vice President of Human Resources, said that Christine's passion for people and their development made her an invaluable partner from the start.

“Christine is the energy and talent behind learning and development at Opus, as well as many talent management initiatives," said Kelli. 

One of her first major projects in her director role was sourcing, selecting and implementing a new HRIS system – a massive undertaking that affects everyone at Opus.

“We created a project team of HR, payroll, accounting and IT associates," said Christine. “Together, we selected a tool, completed the discovery work and guided the build and implementation of the new system."

When the system went live in late 2021, Christine said it was one of her greatest career accomplishments. But she wasn't done yet.

Building a Leadership Development Program

During the same timeframe, Christine created and launched a leadership development program - Opus LEADS (Leadership Education Awareness Development Series).


In partnership with an outside consultant, she based the learning modules on the principles of Franklin Covey and tailored them to Opus. The program covers everything from self-awareness and leading through change, to employment law and strategic leadership topics.

It quickly became another major career highlight for Christine. 

The first cohort of leaders completed the 11-module program virtually in 2021, meeting every three weeks for two hours at a time. In 2022, more leaders will complete LEADS.

“I've been so inspired by the leaders I work with at Opus," said Christine. “They're genuine and walk the talk. They have a high degree of 'followability.' They lead with integrity and truly care about the people in this organization, as well as our clients and partners."

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Outside of work, Christine stays busy running her 13- and 11-year-old sons back and forth to hockey practice and games and volunteering for their hockey association. In her free time she enjoys – you guessed it – learning. Christine loves to read and listen to audiobooks.

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Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.​



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