Karen LeValliant, CEO, Motion Works Physiotherapy

Karen LeValliant
Karen LeValliant
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce choose 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs and business executives and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.


In these profiles, OBJ highlights some of this year’s recipients – their impressive accomplishments, what drives them and how they like to spend their downtime away from the business world.


See the full list of recipient profiles here and be sure to check out OBJ’s coverage of the 2018 gala here.

Birthplace: Saskatoon

Company: Physiotherapy and injury rehabilitation with one-on-one, personal, closed-door approach

Education: Master of science (physical therapy), summa cum laude, University of Toronto (2007)

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

Charitable involvement: Various local seniors homes

Biggest biz achievement: Expanding in less than two years from a small two-room physiotherapy clinic with one staff member to a group of large physiotherapy clinics in multiple locations that employs more than 40 people.

Biggest biz obstacle: Being told I would fail. When I took my initial leap of faith and left my comfortable employment as a physiotherapist to start my own small practice, I was told several times that I would fail and it was too hard to open a clinic.  

Biggest influence: My family. In my youth I learned integrity and the value of hard work from my father; compassion and commitment from my mother; and a push from my husband to follow my dreams and trust in my abilities, no matter my age or circumstance.

Biggest lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to do things differently. When starting my business, I worked for and spoke with many of the leading practices at that time. Everyone told me the only way to make profit in this business is to see as many patients per hour as possible. I envisioned something different, where patients would get extra one-on-one time with therapists. Today, we continue that vision of taking care of patients in a one-on-one setting with longer appointments.  That approach of putting patients first has dramatically increased our internal referral rates and set us apart from many of our competitors.

First job: Subway employee

Advice I’d give the younger me: Trust in yourself, your skills and your aspirations, regardless of what others might say or think of your potential at a young age. Work hard and play harder!

What’s left to do: Professionally, I plan to continue my company’s growth with new clinic openings and acquisitions across Ottawa and potentially beyond to ensure that my standard of high quality, individualized, goal-oriented physiotherapy care for the public continues. On the home front, I look forward to travelling more abroad, creating new adventures and memories with my loving husband and growing boys. I spent my childhood moving across Canada and Europe, with memorable experiences and sightseeing that I hope to revisit with my family, and include new destinations along the way.

Favourite pastime: Physical activity! I cannot narrow it down to one sport or activity, but anything outdoors, whether it be rollerblading along the canal with my boys, hiking, rock-climbing, cycling, volleyball or camping.

I’m currently reading: I just finished James Patterson’s 16th Seduction.

Favourite song: Give Me Everything by Pitbull (feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer)

Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Redblacks

Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest

Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, Linkedin

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