Samantha S. Sannella, President & CEO, the Design Exchange, joins growing list of Canadian Community Leaders calling for the Innovation Nation
July 17, 2007

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance

Samantha S. Sannella, President & CEO, the Design Exchange, joins growing list of Canadian Community Leaders calling for the Innovation Nation

"Study after study has demonstrated that good design is synonymous with innovation. To remain competitive this country must recognize the value of design and develop the creative policies that will brand Canada as a world innovation leader," says Design Exchange President & CEO, Samantha Sannella, in regards to achieving the core planks of the Innovation Nation Campaign.


"Setting the Gold Standard" - Technology and Educational Agenda for Growth

Ottawa, July 17, 2007 -- CATAAlliance announced that Samantha S. Sannella, President & CEO, the Design Exchange, with a vision to establish Canada as design leader worldwide, has endorsed the call for the adoption of the CATAAlliance Innovation Nation Platform, as a compelling model to improve Canada's competitiveness and prosperity.

Ms. Sannella joins a growing list of business and community leaders, including Terry Matthews, Chair of March Networks, Rod Bryden, President & CEO, Plasco Energy Group, Lionel Hurtubise, former CEO & Chair, Ericsson Canada Inc., Dennis Melnbardis, Lead Partner, Communications & High Tech, Canadian Practice, Accenture, Micheál J. Kelly, Dean of the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Rob Ashe, President & CEO, Cognos, the Hon. John Manley, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Mike S. Zafirovski, President & CEO, Nortel and Chris Fawcus, President & CEO, Aon Reed Stenhouse to call for the adoption of the Innovation Nation Platform.

"The award of national prosperity will go to those countries that lead the world in the design, development, production and distribution of goods and services," says Ms. Sannella, "These countries will attract and retain investment and talent. For nations to prosper they must become leading innovation nations; we all need to do our part to get there. Canada and the U.S. are natural business partners in the quest to respond to global competitive challenges and achieve gold performance standards."


Samantha S. Sannella
President & CEO
Design Exchange

Ms. Sannella is currently the President and CEO of the Design Exchange, Canada's National Design Museum. The Design Exchange is a non-profit, registered charity that educates the public about the critical link between design and business initiatives. Her organization also focuses on education and research programs that cross all design disciplines.

Ms. Sannella is a former professor of Interior Design at Ryerson University. Prior to teaching, she was the practice leader for HOK Consulting Canada. Her expertise includes strategic planning, architectural and interior design for Fortune 500 companies. Her knowledge also includes facility and construction management for the public sector. As part of her career, Ms. Sannella has been instrumental to organizations through fundraising, public relations and community involvement.

Ms. Sannella has an undergraduate degree in Interior Design, Magna Cum Laude from Louisiana Tech University and a Master of Architecture from University of Houston. Ms. Sannella is on the advisory board at IIDEX/NeoCon and the advisory board at the Humber School of Industrial Design and the Sheridan School of Interior Design. In 2007, she was named one of the most inspirational women in Canada by the Women's Post. She is a frequent guest lecturer on the topic of generations in the workplace and trends in design. She is married to Robert Sannella, an architect with HOK Canada, and has two boys, Francisco 6 and Umberto 2.

Innovation Nation Core Planks

Among the core planks in Innovation Nation are developing a national brand for Canada based on regional advantages, creating an industrial strategy based on strategic approaches to government procurement and global supply chains, adopting best innovation tax credit (SR&ED) practices, removing trade barriers as part of responding to the flat world and attracting and training and retaining the best talent.

CATA is also looking for measures that would advance executive leadership and promote the adoption of high technology tools in government and the private sector.

John Reid, CATAAlliance President, concluded, "We are living through an economic revolution created by technology, global interdependence and increasingly open markets" adding, "Canada is already a leader in many business sectors. But to maintain and grow this leadership, we have to expand our markets and be the best in the world. We are calling on all Canadians to work with us to create the necessary entrepreneurship, innovation, risk taking, and public policies for the Innovation Nation."

Action item

Executives interested in assisting CATA with its Innovation Nation Campaign and/or who have recommendations to add should contact CATA President John Reid at or call 613-236-6550.

Please circulate the communiqué internally and also send to your business, media and community network of contacts as part of mobilization behind the Campaign.