Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce choose 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs and business executives and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.
In these profiles, OBJ highlights some of this year’s recipients – their impressive accomplishments, what drives them and how they like to spend their downtime away from the business world.
Birthplace: Blind River
Company: Kelly Santini LLP has been advising Ottawa and eastern Ontario-area business owners, not-for-profits, insurers and private individuals on all of their legal needs since 1976.
Education: Bachelor of laws, French common law program, University of Ottawa (2005)
Charitable involvement: Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade
Biggest biz achievement: Appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada alongside my partner Pat Santini in 2012 has definitely been a highlight in my career so far.
Biggest obstacle: My biggest challenge in recent years has been balancing my career and my family. My husband and I have two fantastic young children, Jakson, 5, and Makenzie, 3. Building up a legal practice after two maternity leaves wasn’t easy, but my practice is now thriving – which means that my current challenge is managing a busy litigation practice while being a mother. I am blessed to have a husband and a mother who take active roles at home and whom I can count on for assistance whenever needed. Furthermore, I am fortunate enough to have great partners and a great team at Kelly Santini who are and have always been so supportive of me. As a litigator, it is a constant struggle to balance home and work, but I have a career that I am passionate about and that challenges me daily. I also have two kids, a husband and a family that I adore. Life is great! You won’t hear me complaining.
Biggest influences: My parents. They were and still are two of the hardest-working people I know. They taught me the importance of doing your best and not giving up. They encouraged me to set goals and supported me while I worked to achieve them. I am so grateful to have had them as role models throughout my life and to be able to go to them for advice and guidance today.
Biggest lesson learned: There are no substitutes for hard work.
First job: Cashier at Mic’s Kwik-Way, a convenience store in Blind River
Advice I’d give the younger me: Stop doubting yourself. Don’t second guess. You’ve got this!
What’s left to do: On a personal level, I am looking forward to seeing my children grow and mature. I’m excited to see how their personalities evolve and to know the people they become, to celebrate their milestones alongside my husband and to play an active role in their development. They are both so remarkable already (I might be slightly biased), and I am eager to see what their futures hold. On a professional level, I want to continue my journey at Kelly Santini. The firm has grown so much since I joined in 2006, and I would like to get more involved at the partnership level. I also want to continue litigating, get more time on my feet in the courtroom and, one day, make it back to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Favourite pastimes: Spending time with and travelling with my family.
I’m currently reading: An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
Favourite movie: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Favourite song: Better Together by Jack Johnson
Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators
Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Jazz Festival
Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, Linkedin