Invested in our new reality

with Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh

This dynamic podcast features honest conversations with Ottawa’s entrepreneurs and business owners. Every episode features an intimate one-on-one conversation with a local leader. Guests honestly discuss their experiences, including hardships and triumphs, as they champion their opportunity to Move Ottawa Forward. What’s next? Subscribe and listen in to find out.

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Fellow: revolutionizing meetings and productivity for companies across the globe

November 12, 2021 | 20 minutes


More episodes

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S6 E7

Nick Quain: Creating a solid foundation for Ottawa's entrepreneurial ecosystem

November 5, 2021 | 31 minutes

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S6 E6

Alida Burke: re-thinking our local food supply with hydroponic systems

October 29, 2021 | 13 minutes

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S6 E5

GameStrat: revolutionizing the way players and coaches strategize

October 25, 2021 | 12 minutes

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S6 E4

Kirsi Maharaj: HR in the modern world

Kirsi Maharaj is the Manager of People at Rewind, a company that builds apps that protect critical SaaS and cloud data. Kirsi joins Shavonne on the podcast to chat about the growing importance of human resources in the modern world, and how companies can strategically adapt to the future of work to cultivate increased mental and physical wellbeing of employees as well as foster equitable and inclusive internal work cultures.

October 15, 2021 | 22 minutes

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S6 E3

Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah on creating a more inclusive Ottawa

Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah is the Executive Director at the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), a national 2SLBTQ+ organization that focuses on empowering gender and sexually diverse people through education, research, and advocacy. Debbie joins Shavonne on the podcast to chat about how Ottawa’s business community can create truly progressive, inclusive, and equitable workplaces that make our broader community better for everyone.

October 8, 2021 | 20 minutes

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S6 E2

WarnerMedia Ottawa: Changing the future of streaming

Don Liberty, GM at You.i TV (now WarnerMedia Ottawa), joins the podcast to chat about the company’s growth and what it means for the future of streaming. You.i TV, now WarnerMedia Ottawa, is an Ottawa-based technology company that prides itself on helping media companies build better streaming apps and enhance user experience. Having recently been acquired by WarnerMedia Ottawa, Don chats about the company’s transition and what the acquisition means for the future of WarnerMedia Ottawa and the streaming industry.

October 1, 2021 | 17 minutes

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S6 E1

Turning the tables: an interview with Shavonne

We’re turning the tables on our hardworking host, Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh, for an extra special episode. Michael Tremblay, the President and CEO of Invest Ottawa, takes the mic for a one-on-one interview with Shavonne herself. We look back at the many Invested in Our New Reality milestones and guest highlights since its inception.

September 24, 2021 | 22 minutes

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S5 E9

Siemens Healthineers and Ottawa's health sciences sector

Mathias Ganzmann, Vice President of Manufacturing with Siemens Healthineers, talks about the company's planned expansion of its Ottawa, Ontario manufacturing facility. He explains what makes Ottawa the ideal place for such an expansion, what it will mean for the company and the local economy, as well as his hopes that some effects of the pandemic continue on in the future.

July 9, 2021 | 16 minutes

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S5 E8

Lisa Aucoin: springing into digital solutions

Lisa Aucoin is the CEO of Spring: Cheer, Dance & Tumbling an international instructional cheerleading company and choreography business. In this episode Lisa tells listeners about how her business’s transition to digital and adoption of creative and practical solutions helped them leap forward during COVID-19.

July 2, 2021 | 15 minutes

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S5 E7

Cassy Aite: adapting your business in unprecedented times

Hoppier, began in 2016 as a platform to provide healthy snacks to workplaces across North America but recently Hoppier reinvented its business model to account for unexpected changes in consumer behaviour brought on by COVID-19. In this episode Hoppier CEO, Cassy Aite, joins the podcast to chat about how his business was able to adapt during these unprecedented times.

June 25, 2021 | 17 minutes

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S5 E6

JAMZ Drone Delivery: flying into the future

This week’s guest is taking food delivery to the next level, literally. Mohammad Abu-Shaaban is the Technical Lead at JAMZ Drone Delivery, a food delivery service which aims to provide high-frequency fully autonomous delivery via drone drop off. In this episode Mohammad chats about how he will be working with Area X.O to test and validate the company’s very first 21st century solution.

June 18, 2021 | 13 minutes

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S5 E5

Julie MacDonell: uplifting women entrepreneurs and securing capital

Julie MacDonell is the Co-Founder and CEO of Heirlume, an online self-serve trademark search and registration service that prides itself on being “better than the best lawyer.” In this episode Julie shares her advice for underrepresented entrepreneurs, chats about her experience as a business owner, and provides advice on how to navigate the red tape when it comes to business.

June 11, 2021 | 28 minutes

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S5 E4

Canadian Bank Note Company: 125 years of innovation

In this episode Alexander Schmidt, VP of Marketing at the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN), tells listeners about the strategy at the core of CBN’s almost 125 years of success. From global online immigration systems to lottery tickets, CBN is a leader in creating functional and customer-centric IT solutions.

June 4, 2021 | 29 minutes

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S5 E3

Jessica Lim: Supporting small, adopting digital and filling market gaps

Jessica Lim, Owner of Hippie Mylk, started her business to fulfill a personal need. Living with severe allergies, Lim was struggling to find a plant-based milk alternative that aligned with her dietary restrictions. This led Lim to develop Hippie Mylk, which prides itself on being all-natural, locally made, and free from carrageenan, fillers, and synthetic additives. On this episode, Lim walks us through her Hippie Mylk journey, tells listeners about her experience going digital in the Digital Main Street program, and how customers can support small even when economically strapped.

May 28, 2021 | 20 minutes

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S5 E2

Manny Otero on making Ottawa a leader in biotechnology

Manny Otero, CTO at Turnstone Biologics, uses innovation and science to develop practical and pragmatic clinical research that results in breakthrough cancer technology. In this episode Otero tells listeners about the up-and-coming biopharmaceutical industry in Ottawa and makes the case for fostering biotechnology hubs in a growing tech city.

May 21, 2021 | 23 minutes

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S5 E1

Dimple Thomas on diversity and inclusion in tech

Dimple Thomas, Engineering Manager at Ericsson, discusses the importance of empathy, diversity, and inclusion when it comes to new tech.

May 14, 2021 | 14 minutes

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S4 E8

David Bell: How to futureproof your business

David Bell, Author of Location Is (Still) Everything and Co-Founder of Idea Farm Ventures, breaks down the three crucial steps for future-proofing any business. COVID-19 has meant more consumers are online and in turn, more businesses are developing an online presence, but Bell explains why it’s often still critical to maintain a physical presence for consumers as well.

April 6, 2021 | 23 minutes

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S4 E7

Women in business: a conversation with Jennifer Francis

Access to capital is a major hurdle for female entrepreneurs. Capital Angel Network Chair and SheBoot Co-Founder, Jennifer Francis, is using her lifetime of expertise in STEM to help other women access the mentorship and funding they need to succeed. In this episode, she talks about SheBoot, an Ottawa-based 6-week entrepreneur bootcamp, that helps more women access the tools, network, and knowledge they need to pitch their businesses successfully.

March 23, 2021 | 18 minutes

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S4 E6

Jean-Sylvain Sormany: from start-up to global growth in the world of gaming

Jean-Sylvain Sormany is the President and Co-Founder of Snowed In Studios, an Ottawa-based company that specializes in game development and software solutions. During COVID-19, Snowed In Studios grew exponentially and recently celebrated passing the 100-employee mark—taking them from small start-up to full blown industry leader. In this episode, Sormany explains how Snowed In Studios’ collaboration with Invest Ottawa, has helped them recruit top talent, foster their growth and expertise, and expand globally.

March 16, 2021 | 11 minutes

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S4 E5

Brad Rollo: disrupting the delivery market

Brad Rollo is the CEO and Co-Founder of GoFor an Ottawa-based company that helps North American businesses of all sizes get their products into the hands of customers faster. GoFor delivers any package — no matter the size — locally within three hours. In addition to their speedy services, GoFor has also recently announced that they will be providing delivery services for COVID-19 vaccines across North America. Simply put, GoFor is making waves in the delivery industry and they’ve got the numbers to prove it, this year alone GoFor saw a 500% growth in revenue. In this episode, Brad Rollo gives listeners the inside scoop on the company’s success.

March 9, 2021 | 22 minutes

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S4 E4

Mandela SH Dixon: Diversity, inclusion, and representation in tech

Founder Gym is the first online training program designed specifically to help underrepresented tech start-up founders raise money to scale their start-ups. Founder, Mandela SH Dixon is paving the way for underrepresented business owners to find a path to success through advisement and expertise. In this episode we find out how Mandela has created a community where ALL entrepreneurs can thrive.

March 2, 2021 | 25 minutes

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S4 E3

Impact and intention: a conversation with Naomi Haile

Naomi Haile, intrapreneur, QuakeLab consultant, and host of ‘The Power of Why’ podcast talks about what she has learned about impact and intention and how they play into a sense of fulfillment and a path to success.

February 22, 2021 | 29 minutes

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S4 E2

Spartan Bioscience: rapid testing in the age of COVID-19

Roger Eacock, CEO of Spartan Bioscience talks about Spartan's remarkable hand-held COVID-19 rapid testing technology. Spartan recently received authorization from Health Canada for their made-in-Canada solution but the journey wasn't always easy. Eacock takes us through their story and walks us through the ins and outs of rapid testing.

February 16, 2021 | 11 minutes

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S4 E1

Digital Main Street: Kevin Bourne on music, marketing, and making diversity a business priority

The pandemic has impacted all of us but for racialized and marginalized communities the adverse effects of COVID-19 have been disproportionate. As a result, there has been an increased focus on championing and supporting diverse businesses and entrepreneurs. Kevin Bourne, Chief Executive Officer at SHIFTER Magazine and well-known PR and marketing whiz, seeks to bridge the business barriers that many members of the Black community face — specifically Black artists struggling to navigate the industry — by advising and providing them with a platform to market music, draft content, and build their business. Kevin’s story is one of leadership, talent, and dedication.

February 8, 2021 | 26 minutes

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S3 E8

Digital Main Street: Steve Georgopoulos on bringing small businesses back into focus

Focal Ottawa is a student-led initiative dedicated to promoting and supporting local Ottawa businesses. By now we all know too well how COVID-19 has adversely impacted small businesses throughout the Ottawa community. While Ottawans across the city are working diligently to support the businesses they love most, a group of students took it upon themselves to create awareness about local businesses and amplify their message using web traffic. Steve Georgopoulos, sits down with Shavonne Hasfal-Mcintosh to explain how the initiative was born, and discuss the role that leadership, education, and inspiration play in bringing small businesses back into focus. 

January 25, 2021 | 21 minutes

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S3 E7

Digital Main Street: BIAs and a Shift to Digital

Mark Kaluski, Chair of the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas (OCOBIA), talks about the challenges small businesses have faced since the pandemic began, and how critical the shift to digital is for survival. He explains why some government programs are too complicated for business owners to consider, and others are met with skepticism. Digital Main Street, he explains, is the real deal which is why he's decided to become an ambassador and champion the program.

January 18, 2021 | 16 minutes

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S3 E6

Digital Main Street: Marie Pierre Faye on breaking into a crowded market

Breaking into the food and beverage industry is difficult during the best of times. With the added challenges of COVID-19, it can prove to be exceptionally more difficult. Despite these challenges, Marie Pierre Faye has adapted her beverage business, Faye Beverage, swiftly to successfully continue serving customers the exotic flavours of hibiscus flowers and fresh fruits from West Africa. Thanks to a strengthened digital strategy and a passion for sharing all that her West African culture has to offer, Marie has managed to build a successful and delicious juice business. Marie’s story is one of adaptability, courage, and enthusiasm.

January 11, 2021 | 8 minutes

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S3 E5

Digital Main Street: Justin Assaly of PerfectPRO Painters on taking the family business online

Since the pandemic, home improvements and renovations have been booming. In this episode of Invested Pod, host Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh speaks to Justin Assaly of PerfectPRO Painters about how the Digital Main Street program helped enhance their online presence and streamline their digital assets to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic and beyond.

December 14, 2020  | 12 minutes

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S3 E4

Digital Main Street: Lina Jimenez on taking her spa business online

Personal care businesses have taken a hit during the pandemic, at a time when we could all use some relaxation and self-care. In this episode, we speak to Fifth Ave Spa owner and recent Digital Main Street graduate, Lina Jimenez about how she’s shifted her services and created a more cohesive online presence. She also shares her personal story of navigating her small business during these trying times, and what she believes entrepreneurs should keep in mind when they are working toward success.

December 7, 2020  | 12 minutes

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S3 E3

Digital Main Street: Karen Marcotte on using creativity to adapt to changes

As a relatively new entrepreneur, Good Eats Cafe owner Karen Marcotte has learned a few things in a short amount of time. Leaving a stable career in mechanical engineering to take a chance on a café, she knows all about risks. Having faced many challenges which forced her to shift her business model before the pandemic, she's now navigating her business through COVID-19, Karen’s story is one of resilience, staying creative and embracing change.

November 27, 2020  | 16 minutes

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S3 E2

Digital Main Street: Soloman-St. Lewis on staying sustainable during these times

If there’s one thing entrepreneur Resa Soloman-St. Lewis has taken away from 2020, it’s that nothing is guaranteed and you have to be ready to adapt to change. Learn more about how she pivoted her popular Ottawa restaurants Baccanalle and Capital Fare Café over the course of this pandemic and why she became a Digital Main Street Ambassador.

November 24, 2020  | 17 minutes

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S3 E1

Digital Main Street: helping you future proof your business

Season 3 of Invested in Our New Reality will focus on Digital Main Street, a new program to help businesses reach new customers, build or improve their website, create a marketing campaign, and find innovative ways to boost revenue - all at no cost to the business owner. It's Invest Ottawa and the provincial and federal governments' ways to help businesses make it through these difficult times. In our first episode, Paula Hopkins explains more about the program and what it can do for entrepreneurs.

November 16, 2020  | 12 minutes

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S2 E10

Area X.O: driving the future of Ottawa tech

Invest Ottawa President & CEO, Michael Tremblay, joins Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh to talk about Area X.O, Ottawa's futureplex of innovation and collaboration. Find out how the facility will help Canadian SME's and attract multinationals to our region as well as drive the development of future tech.

October 23, 2020 | 16 minutes

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S2 E9

Komal: developing resilience and investing with impact

She’s an interviewer, impact investor, and resilience educator. In this episode, Komal Minhas talks about how she has grown in the face of adversity caused by the pandemic, lessons learned through the people she interviews, and offers concrete advice for women looking to start their own business.

October 2, 2020 | 23 minutes

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S2 E8

Keeping networks fast and secure: Gigamon

With so many workers shifting to a work from home model, digital transformation during COVID-19 put networks to the test. Gigamon, a worldwide leader in network visibility, analytics, threat detection and response, is helping companies and organizations respond. President and COO, Shane Buckley, talks to Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh about how COVID-19 has affected Gigamon's business and explains why the company is expanding its international footprint into Ottawa with a new R & D centre.

September 18, 2020 | 13 minutes

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S2 E7

The push for a COVID-19 vaccine: VBI Vaccines

Jeff Baxter, President & CEO of VBI Vaccines talks about research being done in Ottawa toward the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, and how companies and governments around the world are working together in unprecedented ways as the world anxiously waits.

September 11, 2020 | 20 minutes

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S2 E6

Causing disruption through gender, race and tech.

Ellie Ardakani, an accomplished geoscience advisor and award-winning energy-tech entrepreneur, talks about disruption. How her company is disrupting the way the oil and gas sector uses data, how the pandemic disrupted the company’s path, and how she is tackling the realities of being a woman in a male-dominated field, and an immigrant facing systemic bias.

August 28, 2020 | 20 minutes

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S2 E5

How COVID-19 changed market research.

Erin Kelly, CEO of Advanced Symbolics Inc., talks about how market research changed during the pandemic, how her company is disrupting the way it's done, and how entrepreneurs can use the insights they have to decide when to stay the course and when to pivot.

August 21, 2020 | 19 minutes

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S2 E4

#NavyInnovation.

The Royal Canadian Navy has existed for over 100 years, but technology and innovation remain integral to its survival – and to the safety and security of the people who serve in it. In this episode, Shav is joined by Lieutenant Commander John Faurbo to discuss collaboration and modernization in one of Canada’s most venerable institutions.

August 14, 2020 | 17 minutes

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S2 E3

Sport, concussions and tech: How Neurovine is changing the game.

Ashleigh Kennedy, founder and CEO of Neurovine talks about concussions and how her technology aims to empower concussion patients by measuring brain health and optimizing their recovery process.

August 7, 2020 | 15 minutes

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S2 E2

Howie Kahn, Food for Thought.

Howie Kahn is a best-selling author, journalist and successful podcaster focussed on the food industry. He talks restaurant re-invention & re-opening on the latest episode of Invest Ottawa’s popular new podcast Investing In Our New Reality.

July 31, 2020 | 16 minutes

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S2 E1

Russel Coltess: I am held to the standard of not being able to fail.

Sweatcrew CEO Russell Coltess talks about adapting his business model through COVID-19, his experiences as a black business leader, and what has to happen to truly move the needle on racial bias and diversity in the workplace.

July 24, 2020 | 16 minutes

   
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S1 E7

Cynthia Labelle, Syntronic R&D Canada.

Cynthia Labelle, Vice President Of Engineering at Syntronic R&D Canada talks about the challenges of doing R&D during a pandemic and the key to successful communications during a crisis..

June 12, 2020  | 16 minutes

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S1 E6

Andrea Winter, Martello Technologies.

Andrea Winter, VP, People at Martello Technologies talks about the critical role of HR departments during a crisis such as COVID-19 and how organizations can put the "human" back in Human Resources..

May 29, 2020 | 16 minutes

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S1 E5

Sheena Brady, Tease Tea.

Sheena Brady, Founder and CEO of Tease Tea talks about her business journey, how COVID-19 affects women entrepreneurs, and what companies should focus on now to ensure they can thrive post-pandemic.

May 22, 2020 | 20 minutes

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S1 E4

Laura Mindorff, COO, Wicket + industrial.

Laura Mindorff, COO of Wicket and industrial, talks about the impact of COVID-19 on her companies, and what new approaches being taken now are here to stay post-pandemic.

May 15, 2020 | 15 minutes

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S1 E3

Derick Cotnam, Owner, My Catering Group.

An honest discussion with Derick Cotnam, owner of My Catering Group, about how COVID-19 has affected his business and how he plans to ramp back up when he's able.

May 8, 2020  | 15 minutes

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S1 E2

Kelly Gregoire, TryCycle Data Systems

Shavone Hasfal-McIntosh talks to TryCycle's VP of Operations, Kelly Gregoire, about how the company is helping doctors, therapists, and clinicians reach people in treatment for addiction, substance use, mental illness, depression or trauma through this pandemic.

May 1, 2020 | 13 minutes

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S1 E1

Michael Tremblay on how Ottawa businesses are tackling the impact of COVID-19.

Invest Ottawa's President and CEO talks about how Ottawa businesses are evolving in the face of the new realities brought on by COVID-19 pandemic.

April 24, 2020 | 17 minutes

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S1 E0

Invested in our new reality teaser.

Welcome to Invest Ottawa's new limited-edition podcast, providing honest observations about how leaders from Ottawa’s business community are navigating our new reality during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“Invested in our new reality” will provide a platform for business leaders to share their experience of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and offer authentic observations and practical advice on leading through this crisis.

April 22, 2020 | 32 minutes

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Shavonne Podcast Image Banner

About the host

Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh

Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh is the founder of SHM Consulting, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultancy designed to help companies implement forward-thinking DEI strategies that lead to transformational change. Shavonne is also the lead DEI consultant at Bright + Early, a small HR consultancy, known for building unique, data-driven and inclusive HR programs, and formally a Senior Lead of Diversity & Belonging at Shopify on a global scale. In addition to her roles at SHM Consulting and Bright + Early, Shavonne serves on the Board of Directors for Invest Ottawa where she acts as the Chair of their Women Founders and Owners Sub-Committee. Shavonne is also a Board Member for Manifesto, The Forum, and on the Advisory Group for Accelerate Her Future.

About the podcast

Invested in Our New Reality

Launched only in the spring of 2020, Invested in Our New Reality is a dynamic podcast hosted by Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh. The podcast features business leaders offering honest observations about navigating our ever-evolving reality. Through intimate one-on-one discussions, each episode provides a space for the Ottawa business community to speak candidly about the challenges and opportunities they’ve faced during these unprecedented times and aims to arm listeners with practical advice on how to innovate and thrive into the future.

podcast microphone and sound beats on screen

Sponsors step up

Great companies have stepped-up in this time of need, including many of our corporate sponsors and community partners.  

Explore the insights, toolkits and resources they’ve made available: 

rbc bank logoBDC logoExport Development Canada logoLoganKatz Logorogers logoHub logoCowan logo
Nelligan logoMNP logocresa LogoAvison Young logo

Sponsors step up

Great companies have stepped-up in this time of need, including many of our corporate sponsors and community partners.  

Explore the insights, toolkits and resources they’ve made available: 

rbc bank logo

BDC logo

Export Development Canada logo

Logan Katz Logo

rogers logo
Hub logo
Cowan logo
Nelligan logo
MNP logo
cresa Logo
Avison Young logo