Campfire Kinship Logo that says "Campfire Kinship" with fire on top and "storyrelling hearth 2 heart" tagline underneath.

Founder's Story

Gayathri wearing a blue engineering uniform with a helmet in a parking lot.

Engineer in training at Fort McMurray, 2005. As you can imagine, being an engineer in northern Alberta, what I do now at Campfire Kinship wasn’t exactly my first calling.

Dear Reader,

Ever faced the daunting question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For some, the answer comes easily, while others spend a lifetime searching. 

Raised in an immigrant family, I was guided toward a “safe” career in engineering. I often found myself as the “only” in this career, which came with the painful experience of navigating biases and trying to “fit-in.” This of course led me down a path of struggle…until I discovered the power of empathy, and the perfect medium to harness empathy: storytelling.

What began as personal journaling evolved into a tool for better understanding myself and others, which revealed a crucial insight: diversity is a strategic asset, IF we know how to harness it. 

By embracing my unique strengths and building trusting relationships, I’ve achieved milestones I once thought out of reach: earning credibility in a male-dominated field, leading teams founded on trust, completing an MBA focused on social impact, and eventually reinventing myself as an entrepreneur. Today, I’m privileged to impact thousands of leaders through storytelling initiatives designed to enhance empathy.

Campfire Kinship started as a passion project at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. I certified in the evidence-based guided autobiography method and began hosting workshops, which allowed me to leave my corporate life behind and formally establish this company in September 2021. (I share more about this journey on my podcast, Hearth 2 Heart.)

Why the name “Campfire Kinship”? It symbolizes a hearth where sharing stories ignites a sense of purpose and belonging – essential as we tackle today’s challenges together.

Explore our site, dive into the stories – and if you’re inspired to bring storytelling to wherever you live, work, or study – I’d love to hear from you!

Warm regards,


Gayathri wearing her black convocation robe standing on a staircase and smiling at the camera.

MBA graduation at Queen’s University, 2019. (while simultaneously juggling a full-time job and parenting two young kids).

Gayathri’s professional background includes:

  • Professional Engineer with an Executive MBA
  • 17 years of technical and management experience in the energy industry, most recently leading digital strategy and innovation programs in energy and mining
  • Author and Project Lead – Landed: Transformative Stories of Canadian Immigrant Women
  • TD Fellow for Financial and Economic Inclusion, Public Policy Forum, 2022-2023
  • Board Director and Committee Volunteer, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, 2019-2022
  • Guided Autobiography Instructor Certification, Birren Center of Autobiographical Studies
  • Human Centered Design Certificate, Overlap Associates
  • Exponential Coaching Certificate, Nine Lions
  • Advanced Communicator Bronze, Toastmasters
  • Social Impact Certification, Queen’s University
  • Trauma-Informed Coaching, Center for Healing
  • Narrative 4 Facilitator Empathy Training
  • Top 75 Immigrants of Canada, 2022
  • Nominee for City of Calgary Community Advocate – Individual Award (2022)
  • Nominee for City of Calgary Arts Award (2023)
  • Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal
  • For further details, find Gayathri on LinkedIn
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Campfire Kinship Logo that says "Campfire Kinship" with fire on top and "storyrelling hearth 2 heart" tagline underneath.