When it comes to thinking about what the Kanata North Business Association could be, Amanda Gordon has always been able to see the big picture.
She joined the Board of Directors at KNBA in 2017 and helped with the recruitment of a new president when Jenna Sudds announced she was leaving to pursue her career in politics.
Gordon then recruited current president Jamie Petten, whose bold vision for the KNBA has transformed the association into what it is today – and the big plans for where it will go next.
In a fun twist of fate, Gordon is now Petten’s chief of staff – the first time the association has had such a role.
“I swear I had goosebumps. To be able to work with Jamie side-by-side and really dig into this project. It’s been like a project of my heart for a long time. That was so exciting,” she says, from one of the small, private sound proof pods at Hub350.
“I feel like I’m going to emerge as Super Girl from here,” she says with a laugh.
Time for change
Timing is everything, and Gordon says that it’s crucial for KNBA to dig into the ‘what’s next’ – not only for the community association but, what’s going to happen in the park.
Having an internal chief of staff is a big part of that as it will help Petten and the KNBA look at the association’s strategic vision and what is needed.
And, with so many exciting projects and developments on the horizon, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
In her first week with the organization, Gordon says she simply dedicated her time to meeting with team members, finding out who they are and how they see the impact they can make on the KNBA.
“It’s kind of like scaling a business where you reach that stage when you really need to focus on how you work, really cleaning your processes, introducing systems to make you more efficient. This was one of the key roles that Jamie felt she needed… somebody that is her right arm, that is really digging in on the incredible team that she has built.”
Gordon’s background in recruitment and talent management will also come in handy as the KNBA continues to scale up its team to meet demand.
A senior human resource leader for the past two decades, Gordon has always had a hand in helping a company flourish by growing its team to match its business objectives. As well as recruitment, she specializes in executive coaching, mergers and acquisitions support, employee value propositions, as well as branding and communications experience. As a partner at Boyden executive search, she led the company’s global tech arm. Before joining KNBA, she was vice-president, people at Rewind.io because, as she writes in her LinkedIn bio, “I am a builder.”
Building is a big reason why Gordon is excited about her new role at KNBA. She says that with Hub350 continuing to grow and industry partnerships in the park flourishing, it will be all hands on deck in Kanata North.
And, as Gordon puts it, things are set up for a major shift at the KNBA this fall, including some key strategic events in the pipeline, such as a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with business associations there to see how they’ve built up their organizations.
“It’s beautiful from a chief of staff perspective to be looking at what our goals are short term, medium term, long term – and building workplans and making sure we’re building smart, so that we can see how it all fits in and we can really maximize success of all of those things,” she says.
The KNBA will also be focusing on its member businesses as work continues to evolve post-pandemic. “We need to consider programming and how we can best support a community that is increasingly in hybrid or remote work models,” Gordon says. The team will be learning as they go – which events are successful, which ones don’t bring the response they would have had before.
From a personal perspective, Gordon is excited to work in her “backyard,” having lived in Kanata North for decades. She says her boys have gotten used to people coming up to say hi when they’re at the grocery store or a local restaurant.
“I drove into the park on my first day here, and I swear I had one of those unicorn moments. I just felt: I’m home. I love this place.”
By Melanie Coulson