People on the Move: Amanda Gordon leaves KNBA to join CLV Group

Amanda Gordon headshot
Human resources executive Amanda Gordon has joined the CLV Group as its chief talent officer. Photo by Lindsey Gibeau

At first glance, human resources expert Amanda Gordon’s leap from the world of tech to her new job at real estate firm CLV Group might seem like a bit of a head-scratcher.

After all, software developers and housing developers don’t have a lot in common on the face of it. 

But Gordon, who just finished an 18-month stint as interim president and CEO of the Kanata North tech park’s business association, sees a direct link between building world-class tech companies and building new apartment complexes where decaying government offices once stood, as CLV is doing in downtown Ottawa right now.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

One of Gordon’s tasks at the Kanata North Business Association was overseeing the drafting of the organization’s new five-year strategic plan. In helping craft the document, she did a lot of research into what makes a “vibrant community” that attracts the best and brightest engineers, software architects and other highly skilled tech workers.

She came to realize that a strong tech ecosystem goes “beyond just people working.” If a city doesn’t bring other attributes to the table besides great career opportunities – think top-notch restaurants, cultural attractions and nightlife – it will lose the global battle for talent more often than not.

“It’s not just about Kanata North,” says Gordon. “It has to be about our whole offering … and that includes downtown Ottawa. The core needs help.”   

So when Mike McGahan, the head of the CLV Group, called Gordon last fall to ask if she’d be interested in taking on the role of chief talent officer at his company, she knew she’d found her next career challenge.

It helped that McGahan and his team had been Gordon’s clients during her tenure as a partner at executive search firm Boyden from 2019-21.

But the HR guru – whose other career stops include Nokia, Stratford Managers and software firm Rewind – also saw an opportunity to play a leading role in a business she believes is  helping to reshape Ottawa’s future.

As city leaders look for ways to bring some swagger back to the capital’s ailing core, office-to-residential conversions are often touted as a major piece of the puzzle. CLV has been at the forefront of Ottawa’s nascent conversion movement by launching projects aimed at turning empty office towers into residences teeming with vibrant, young professionals.

The enthusiasm in Gordon’s voice is palpable as she discusses the work that McGahan and CLV’s partners such as architect Andrew Reeves are doing at developments like The Slayte, an upscale rental apartment complex in an 11-storey former government building on Albert Street that was completed last year. 

Next up for CLV is converting another vacant former government office, the Narono Building at 360 Laurier Ave. W., into 139 rental apartments. Gordon says projects like these have the potential to change the way people think about the National Capital Region – and make it a more attractive home for workers of all kinds, including the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

“I thought, ‘This will actually give me the opportunity to really lean in on Ottawa,’” says Gordon, who splits her time between homes in Stittsville and Chelsea. “If I’m going to be building great teams … I’ve done it in the tech space, and this would be a stretch for me to come over to the development side.

“Mike is an incredible leader and I respect him. The culture and his values speak to me. It was an easy decision to come over and join (CLV).”

Gordon, who joined the company earlier this month, admits she faces a “huge” learning curve in getting up to speed on the ins and outs of the real estate business. But it’s a challenge she’s clearly embracing. 

“I feel like it’s a pinch-me moment for sure. I can’t think of a more exciting chief talent officer role in the city, in the province, in Canada, frankly, right now because of the project that’s in front of us.” 

Other people on the move across Ottawa

Environmental services contractor Inflector announced that Matt Rinfret joined as chief operating officer Jan. 8, bringing 25 years of experience in the Canadian construction industry with him. The company said his addition marks “a pivotal moment” in its growth across the country. Rinfret’s background includes a 17-year tenure with a major Canadian general contractor, overseeing large-scale projects and operations in Ottawa and Montreal. As COO, the company said Rinfret will play a key role in advancing operational efficiency and spearheading strategic initiatives. 

Sarah D’Angelo, former director of people and culture at Warner Bros Discovery, recently took on a new role as vice-president of people and HR operations at JSI Telecom. A former OBJ Forty Under 40 recipient, D’Angelo brings over 15 years of experience as a business partner and HR leader, with previous roles at You.i TV, Giant Tiger and BreconRidge. She will report to CEO Sacha Gera, who joined the company last June. In a news release, JSI said D’Angelo and Gera will “make a formidable team,” as strong believers “in people and culture and the importance of both in driving the performance of an organization.”

Ottawa-based commercial lawyer Alex Wilson has launched a new legal consulting practice aimed at helping entrepreneurs navigate “an ever-evolving business landscape.” For nearly two decades, Wilson has provided in-house legal advice to top Canadian companies and industries leaders, including Brookfield and RBC. He most recently served as chief legal officer for a multinational weight loss and wellness company. His new venture, which is currently building a roster of clients, seeks to “recognize the financial constraints that small businesses face” and offer services through a flexible fee structure.

– With additional reporting from OBJ staff

Get our email newsletters

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.