Martello BLOG

The close knit team here at Martello lost one of its members in May, with the sudden passing of Senior IMG_7612-2 (1)Architect Steven Dwyer at the age of 43. An alumnus of Crosskeys and SAVision, Steven was a colleague and friend of many in Kanata North, with some Martello team members having known him for more than 20 years. Respected as a bright, creative and prolific software architect, Steven was a valuable mentor to Martello’s junior software developers, and always went the extra mile to help budding developers learn and grow.

In fact, Steven had a great passion and belief in the transformative power of education. Together with his wife, Sandra Laughren, Steven in 2014 endowed a scholarship at Woodsworth College at the University of Toronto.  The annual award is given to Indigenous students with financial need hoping to lessen the financial burdens of a university education. Martello was fortunate to play a small part in Steven and Sandra’s generosity, contributing to the Woodsworth College scholarship as part of the company’s Employee-Directed Gift Program.

StevenQuoteSteven was also a great supporter of the theatre. He was a donor to the National Arts Centre (NAC), and “was told he was the first to request that his support be directed to their Indigenous Theatre program”, said Sandra. At the time of his passing, Sandra and Steven were actively involved in producing their first play, entitled Burn, having created a production company called Cue Penny, to support theatre projects and local talent. Sandra was determined to move ahead with Burn, and the play will run from August 24th to 26th at the Gladstone. Saddened by his passing and wishing to honour Steven, Martello is very happy to back this production by sponsoring Burn. Premiering at the Avalon Studio this past winter, Burn is a critically acclaimed mysterious ghost story with almost more twists and turns than you can bear, authored by Ottawa-based playwright John Muggleton. The play will be dedicated to Steven’s memory, and the Martello team will be there, honouring and celebrating Steven.

Tickets are still available, and the Martello team encourages any in the Kanata North community to join them and enjoy a fantastic play. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.thegladstone.ca/burn/ for $25.

At Martello, our roots are firmly planted in Canada. As we get ready to celebrate this milestone birthday we are also marking Martello’s 8th anniversary. This past year was another significant one that saw us continuing to gain traction as we made the shift from nimble startup to established, homegrown success story. Our fault and performance management software was active monitoring more than 10,000 endpoints around the world, we received industry recognition from both the CATAAlliance and PROFIT Startup 50 and were proud to introduce our Employee-Directed Gift Program that gave our employees the opportunity to contribute to the community organizations that matter most to them.

Homegrown in Canada

We’re proud to be a Canadian success story, with our headquarters right here in Canada. Nestled in the heart of Kanata North, all we have to do is look around and see so much homegrown talent that got their start right here – Mitel, QNX, You.i TV, Solink and Halogen to name a few. With a total annual economic impact of $7.8 billion, and more than 64% of the technology sector in Kanata North being Canadian owned – it’s clear that we are among good company here.

We wanted to do more though this year to support the Canadian technology landscape and so decided to join the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance). Their mission is to competitively position Canada as a top technological innovator. We are proud to be a part of the work that they are doing to strengthen our community, intent on seeing Canada rank amongst the highest performers in our innovation-based global economy.

Did you say Canada, Eh?

CanadaFlag-01With Canada’s big birthday right around the corner we have been thinking a lot about what we love about this great country of ours. Last month we had the chance to participate in the Wisdom of the Trees 150 art project that pulled together local businesses to create a stunning work of art honouring Canada’s 150th birthday. It was great to collaborate with the Kanata North BIA and other local businesses to work on this commemorative piece.

We put it out to our employees to share some of the reasons why they think Canada rocks. What did they tell us? They gave us 150 reasons why they love this country.

Canada 150 Take a peek at a few of our favourites below or check out the full list below.

  • Our amazing healthcare system.
  • Timmy’s! Beer!
  • Outdoor sports : skating, skiing, canoeing, biking and hiking.
  • Rock legends like Rush.
  • We don’t have nukes!
  • A beautiful fall season.
  • A hockey season that never ‘really’ ends.
  • Our strategic maple syrup reserve.
  • One word: Ribs.
  • Its natural beauty, the rivers, the forests and lush green gardens.
  • Eh?

There is no doubt that exploring the great outdoors on a mountain bike can be an exhilarating way to spend an afternoon. For many kids though, the cost of owning a bike can be expensive and having the chance, and the skills, to get out on a ride can be daunting. When Sara Purdon, Martello’s Marketing Specialist, was looking for a group for her two boys to ride with, she came across the Ottawa chapter of Trips for Kids run by Program Director, Cat Weaver. After an enthusiastic phone conversation with Weaver, Sara knew that she had found an amazing organization for her kids to be a part of.

Ripple Effect Trips for KidsThe Trips for Kids main mandate is to get kids outside and they use bicycles as the vehicle to do this. In Ottawa, Trips for Kids runs several ride programs at under-serviced local schools that take groups of kids out on mountain bikes to explore the outdoors through trail riding, fishing and hiking. So what does that look like? Well, it usually looks like a great pack of smiling kids on bikes who hit the trails, get dirty and stop often along the way to check out fallen trees, animal tracks and generally have a poke around at areas that they might never get a chance to see. As kids gain skills and have fun biking, they build confidence, get fitter and expand their environmental awareness. In addition to these after school rides, Trips for Kids also runs bike mechanics classes, advanced technical rides, trail building stewardship, bike rodeos and an annual ‘Take a Kid Mountain Biking’ day.
Ripple Effect Trips For Kids Collage
What started as a grass roots operation, simply loaning out bike helmets to local kids that could not afford their own, quickly snowballed into an after school ride programs that serviced over 40 kids a season. From this modest start, Cat Weaver continues to be the heart and soul of this volunteer driven organization and as the kids navigate the bike trails with her, they build their self-esteem and get lessons in personal responsibility. Sara Purdon said, “I was looking for a group that would teach my boys the biking skills that they would need to succeed on the trails – what they ended up finding was so much more than that. They became part of a strong and grounded community that nurtured their natural curiosity to explore the great outdoors. They gained leadership skills by challenging themselves – and succeeding – on the trails.” Opening up opportunities to succeed and take risks is something that Martello feels strongly about and strives to instill in our own corporate culture. Said Sara, “I knew that I wanted to use my Employee-Directed Gift for Trips for Kids because I get to see firsthand the amazing work that Cat and her team are doing in the community.”

In 2016, Trips for Kids was fortunate enough to receive a funding grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to support and expand their after school ride programs in under-serviced schools. The Trillium Grant money has allowed Trips for Kids to add three new locations in three years.  This means that they are currently serving about 70 kids per week or 320 kids per year. As the program administrator, Cat Weaver said, “At Trips for Kids we have seen lives transformed. When you give a kid the opportunity to get out on the trails, you see them get stronger week by week and find success in overcoming challenges. When they come back from a ride they are excited, proud, usually covered in mud and smiling -it is an amazing thing to be a part of – seeing this kind of profound change.” Martello’s Employee-Directed Gift Program donation will go towards maintaining the amazing fleet of bikes, purchasing safety equipment and healthy snacks to keep the kids going on the trails. Said Weaver, “The donation made by Martello Technologies helps Trips for Kids expand and strengthen our ride program, enriching the lives of economically disadvantaged youth in the Ottawa area.”
Ontario Trillium Foundation Trips For KidsBuilding a community that fosters inclusion and supports individuals as they take risks is familiar territory to Martello. We were very proud to be able to support Trips for Kids as the program continues to offer opportunities to local youth.  Stay on the ride with us as we continue to make ripples in the community with our Employee-Directed Gift Program.