CATA taps iBIONICS co-founder Suzanne Grant as interim CEO

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CATA interim CEO and co-founder of iBIONICS Suzanne Grant. File photo

An Ottawa-based entrepreneur will pick up the torch from the late John Reid to advocate on behalf of Canada’s tech community.

Suzanne Grant, known locally as the co-founder of biotech startup iBionics, will take over as the interim CEO of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance following Reid’s sudden passing late last month. Reid, 69, was vacationing with his wife in Norway when he died unexpectedly.

Grant is no stranger to CATA and, for that matter, advancing innovation in her own right. She recently joined the tech lobby group as an entrepreneur-in-residence advocating to support women in tech. Her work with iBIONICS, which uses diamond-based retinal implants to help restore vision to the blind, has earned her nods as a 2019 Shepreneur to Watch from Success Insights as well as a WISE 50 over 50 award in 2018.

In a statement, CATA’s board said quickly installing an interim CEO constitutes the kind of immediate action that guided Reid’s managerial style. Reid’s friends and colleagues told OBJ he was a “relentless” and “courageous” tech advocate who took an apolitical approach to lobbying the federal government on behalf of Canadian business leaders.

The board added it is confident Grant will maintain CATA’s stability in the leadership transition and help to set priorities for the organization’s “next phase.”

“John was one of a kind and we shared a passion for pulling others up. I am humbled by this appointment and with the support of Canada’s small and medium tech business leaders, we will carry the torch assuring John’s legacy and ensuring CATA’s impact flourishes,” Grant said in a statement.

“John was committed to moving Canada’s innovation grade from a ‘D’ to an ‘A.’ That’s something Canada’s tech community remains behind.”