For city councillor Jenna Sudds, the Kanata North tech park is much more than a hub of innovation – it’s where she got her first real taste of community activism as the founding director of the Kanata North Business Association.
After working in a variety of positions with the federal government, Sudds pivoted her career in 2013 in search of a role with greater meaning and impact.
When she heard whispers of a new business association forming in Kanata North, she was hooked.
“I just decided to throw my name in the hat,” says Sudds. “The rest is history.”
Working as the president and executive director of the KNBA during its first five years of operation, Sudds’ passion for the community blossomed.
As both an employee and resident of the area, she says the community’s unique character can be felt whether one is traversing the corridors of the high-tech labs, exploring a nearby nature trail or dining in a local restaurant.
“It’s always felt like the technology park has its own heartbeat,” says Sudds. “It certainly feels like you are part of something bigger than just your own mission and your own work.”
Kanata North is also a fantastic place to grow and raise a family, she adds.
With three kids of her own, Sudds is often out in the community visiting local restaurants or retailers, watching movies at the local theatre and playing rounds of golf on the greens (all when COVID-19 restrictions allow).
And, with plenty of parks and schools in the area, the community is truly a place to live, work and play.
“We’re so fortunate to have so much recreation just outside our doors, whether that’s through the NCC lands or in the various neighbourhoods,” she says. “This community offers so much for people at any point in life, whether you’re just starting out in your career, you’re mid-career or you’re thinking about your retirement years.”
Having spent several years working with the tech community, Sudds is encouraged by the fast pace of innovation in Kanata North.
From 5G technology, to the park’s recent partnerships with local post-secondary institutions, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, Kanata North is positioning itself as a leader in the global technology community.
And, with a steady stream of new companies joining the community, the tech park is always ready to welcome new residents.
“There is so much interesting work to be done here in Kanata North,” she adds. “For people who are thinking about moving here, or working here I have no doubt that you would be able to find a fulfilling career and lead a very happy life in this community.”
Sudds continues her work of community activism in her role as city councillor for Kanata North. Her passion for Kanata North, its businesses, and the people who live and work within it continues to motivate her to build a community that everyone is proud of.
By Lisa Thibodeau