Nicole Martin


Welcome guest blogger, Nicole Martin, founder of HRBoost, LLC.  Nicole is a delightful, energetic speaker and a consultative leader who is skilled in helping businesses meet their strategic objectives through their people.  Nicole is recognized as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institute and carries a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) with an undergraduate degree in Business and Psychology.  Nicole serves on the Advisory Board for Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ and is also a lead facilitator for the Small Business Advocacy Council’s (SBAC) Women in Business Committee in Lake County.  Nicole advises on best practices, legislative compliance, organizational effectiveness and HR’s role in strategic alignment and dedicates herself to actionable human resources, leadership and business development.

I had the pleasure of attending a Personal Best event hosted by Catalyst Ranch and my first impression as I walked into the front doors was simply unforgettable. Bright colors, easels, paint, big comfy chairs, everything about it reminded me of stepping into my son’s Montessori school; that nostalgic feeling that I do not feel often in my busy days!


It was truly captivating as Eva Niewiadomski, founder of Catalyst Ranch, personally guided me through each room. In a historical building with intriguing rooms, Eva has converted something old to something useful in modern times. What a wonderful creative idea she has brought to life at Catalyst Ranch. I would imagine any group of people would be advantaged by leaving their neutral day in and day out environments and get inspired to find the inner child in all of us in such a way that it could bring teams to collaborate, inspire and explore the possibilities out of the office. Everywhere you look at the Ranch, there is something that piques the curious mind, and the multi-cultural elements can bring diverse groups together in conversations that emerge just from observing the surroundings.

Couch group brick wall

The importance of going offsite for team meetings or retreats is truly invaluable. The way Catalyst Ranch designs their breakout rooms; you are constantly surrounded by cultural influences and conversational pieces that simply do not exist in our everyday office spaces. If a retreat is intended to allow people to gather, and yet escape the mundane, and ignite a bonfire of discussion leading to innovation and action plans then Catalyst Ranch is the place to begin.

Accountability within one’s organization is one of the first issues I see absent many of my clients. As you grow as a leader, it is important to give transparency to your team. Take a second and look at yourself and how you are doing. Do yourself and your company a favor by going offsite and putting your accountability on the table. Retreats can facilitate issue resolution, project planning, process improvement, team building, strategy, and even presentations.


As I left the group event at Catalyst Ranch, I truly felt energized and thus I am eager to return. I have planned my own team’s retreat for July, and look forward to introducing a client to the space this week! I encourage every individual considering a retreat, a venue or meeting for the team to consider the Catalyst Ranch. Rally and go!