This is a story in our People of SFU series, where we celebrate the unsung heroes of SFU – those who go beyond the call of duty to build community, advance SFU’s mission, and make the university a great place to work and learn. You can read more stories here.
By Taylor Assion
Few people embody the welcoming spirit of SFU as fully as Peter Lisiecki. You’ve seen him at events on campus, forging face-to-face relationships with students and faculty who shine in his dedication to making our Spirit Shop the best and most accessible service possible. With a winning smile and a unique position between the administrative and student communities of SFU, Peter is ready to make a huge difference in campus life.
A story at SFU
Lisiecki’s passion for SFU shines through every time he talks about his time on campus, which began long before the founding of the Spirit Shop. In 1994, while the bookstore was still inside the library, he hired as an in-store marketer and put his visual merchandising degree to good use for 10 years, helping to develop the bookstore and the Spirit Shop in their current form. He eventually left to start his own business, but found himself drawn to SFU as a buyer, a position that evolved into his current supervisory role, where he deals with merchandising, purchasing, outreach. and more.
Beyond the bookstore
Lisiecki remains busy championing a variety of projects, each of which highlights his passion for SFU.
Lisiecki is a member of the Re-Use for Good committee, working with ancillary services to review SFU’s reliance on single-use plastic products. He worked with the Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance and Ban the Bottle to find alternatives to disposable plastic water bottles for our stores and vending machines.
Speaking of the environment, Lisiecki also collaborates with SFU’s sustainable development and fair trade initiatives. It eliminated plastic bags and renewed Spirit Shop’s commitment to stocking fair trade and locally sourced products at every opportunity. Lisiecki explained her community spirit with the enthusiasm of the brand:
“I really think the Bookstore should be part of these initiatives — we’re all SFU! We represent the spirit of the university, so I think we need to be proactive.
Lisiecki’s proactive nature shines in her third project, #MadeBySFU. The Spirit Shop has partnered with Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection to host a competition for SFU-based entrepreneurs, with winners marketed directly through the Spirit Shop. One of those successes, MalaTheBrand, now sells its soy candles to Indigo and Nordstrom.
Looking forward to
Of course, the pandemic presented its share of challenges. For Lisiecki, this meant innovating at record speed: in a matter of weeks, the Spirit bookstore and store had moved to a Shopify storefront that made it easier to order faster and more efficiently and allowed them to completely rebuild their component online. Busier than ever, they now ship to China and Bombay!
Lisiecki closed our interview with the same optimism and enthusiasm that he brings to the bookstore and spirits shop every day:
“I really love being on campus, it’s great to be a part of it. Over the past two years, we have come out with a better and more diversified operation. I am very grateful, this has motivated a lot of changes, technologically and logistically. We’re still in uncharted territory, but I’m excited!
Thanks to Peter Lisiecki for sharing a brief overview of his world of work as part of VPFA’s ancillary services. The VPFA provides leadership in fundamental and day-to-day operational and administrative support services to meet the needs of students, staff, faculty and the broader SFU community on all three campuses. You can learn more by visiting the VPFA website: www.sfu.ca/vpfa.