CEO Message

Message from the CEO

The past few weeks have been exciting for the research community in Canada with announcements of the country’s National Quantum Strategy and a new federal investment of $40 million to enable the Toronto-based quantum computing company Xanadu Quantum Technologies Inc. to build and commercialize the world’s first photonic-based, fault-tolerant quantum computer. You can learn more about quantum research and development in Canada in this month’s Research Spotlight.

In this month’s newsletter, you’ll meet two outstanding young women making profound impacts in very different areas. Our February Impact Story introduces Swatil Mahmud, co-founder of Swayong, the online platform that aims to tackle social injustice through storytelling. Based in Bangladesh, Swatil and her team of volunteers share the stories of real women and girls in order to dismantle social injustices, one story at a time.

Our February Researcher Spotlight profiles Dr. Estelle Inack, Research Scientist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, entrepreneur and role model. Read about how Dr. Inack bridges industry and academia while working at the intersection of quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

The Profound Impact team continues to work with university and college research offices across the country on the launch of our Research Impact product. And we’re looking forward to International Women’s Day activities we’re participating in and supporting in the month of March.

Enjoy this month’s edition of Profound Connections and thank you for your ongoing support and engagement.

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

CEO Message

I’m excited to share Profound Impact’s plans for this year as we amplify our focus on research and researchers across Canada and internationally.

Our new Research Spotlight column, which debuts this month highlighting Canada’s role as an AI research leader, will feature stories about emerging research and collaboration in areas including Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Information Processing, Sustainability, Alternative Energy, Climate Change, Biomanufacturing, Social Innovation, and Technology and Society.

We’ll also introduce some of the world-renowned researchers working in these areas to transfer their research results from the lab to innovative products and services.  This month you’ll meet Professor Doina Precup from McGill University, who conducts fundamental research on reinforcement learning and works on AI applications in areas that have a social impact.

March 8 is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is Embrace Equity. The Profound Impact team is delighted to be working with the Waterloo Region Chapter of Women in Communications and Technology and community organizations from across the region to present a series of IWD2023 events throughout the month of March to celebrate the women of Waterloo Region. We’ll share information about these events in upcoming issues of Profound Connections.

I know that you’ll be impressed by the accomplishments of Adrija Jana, featured in this month’s Impact Story. At just 18 years of age and just beginning her studies in English Literature at the University of Delhi in India, this exceptional young woman has made great impact as a poet, researcher, social activist, artist and active citizen.

Enjoy this month’s edition of Profound Connections and hope you are having a great start to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2023!

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

CEO Message

With the introduction of a new product, the announcement of this year’s Impactful Actions Award, connecting with you through our newsletter, podcasts and participation in conferences, 2022 has been an eventful year for Profound Impact – one that we reflect on with pride. Our newsletter this month offers a reflection on highlights from 2022, introduces a new story of impact featuring Claudette McGowan, and explains how you can get involved in our 2nd annual giving campaign – the 12 Days of Impact.

In a recent team meeting, we revisited our mission statement: Connecting great people to do great things. In the 4+ years I have led Profound Impact, there has been plenty of change in the evolution of our products and the business itself, but our mission statement still holds true – it’s what guides our work daily and rallies our team towards results. Our mission has grown and evolved with us, which is a testament to its strength. Led by our mission, we approach 2023 with great energy on our path to create connection and profound impact. 

To the Profound Impact team and all members of our growing community, thank you for your support and engagement throughout the past year. We look forward to presenting the exciting initiatives Profound Impact has planned for 2023, including a new section in our newsletter focusing on ground-breaking researchers and research programs and new ways to connect great people to do great things.

All the best in the remaining weeks of 2022!

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

CEO Message

October has traditionally been a busy month for conferences and meetings.  Of course, that all changed beginning in the spring of 2020, when pandemic restrictions caused meetings all over the world to be canceled and we all pivoted to virtual workshops, webinars, and fully online events.  As a company that connects great people to do great things, we were especially pleased to participate as sponsors and speakers at two in-person conferences in Toronto in October.

At the 2022 THINK Conference, Shawna Reibling, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfrid Laurier University, joined Brian Romansky, Profound Impact’s Chief Strategy Officer, to talk about the current state of communicating funding opportunities and how our Research Impact product works to resolve identified pain points in identifying and matching those opportunities with researchers.

The Profound Impact team is nearly 60% women, which is one of the reasons why we decided to sponsor and speak at CAN-CWiC, the premiere Canadian Computing Conference for Women in Technology that brings together researchers, students and companies from across Canada. Our team presented Research Impact to conference attendees and participated in the career fair to introduce students to employment opportunities at Profound Impact and leadership opportunities for women in STEM.

November brings us to the start of the Giving Season and we are pleased to present the second year of our 12 Days of Impact 2022 challenge, which launches on Giving Tuesday – November 29.  Profound Impact challenges you to think about the many ways to create social impact by helping a neighbour, donating blood, volunteering for your favourite cause, or thanking someone who is making an impact in your community, your research network or your organization.  Read more about the 12 Days of Impact in this newsletter to learn how you and your team can get involved!

And, speaking of social impact, this month’s Impact Story features Stephanie and Joe Mancini, founders of the Working Centre in downtown Kitchener, Ontario. The Mancinis started their work to address poverty and homelessness 40 years ago and continue to lead the Centre by example and through partnership with business, government, and funding agencies to spread their message of hope and commitment.

I am delighted that our Profound Impact team was able to meet with researchers, students, and university administrators from across Canada in October.  And, as

we all come back together in meetings, on campuses, in offices and research laboratories, and in gatherings of family and friends, we challenge you to think about how you can make a difference this Giving Season!

As always, we are thankful for your ongoing support and engagement.

Canada’s Podcast

Starting a Company to Influence Culture – Profound Impact on Canada’s Podcast

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Profound Impact’s Founder, President and CEO was featured on another podcast! 


Sherry sat down with Canada’s Podcast to discuss entrepreneurship and starting a business to influence culture. As an advocate for women in STEM, Sherry talked about positioning women in business, science, and tech as leaders in post-pandemic recovery and economic development. Listen to Sherry’s episode on Canada’s Podcast to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey, innovation, philanthropy, and Profound Impact.

Meet the Team at these Conferences

You can meet the Profound Impact team at these upcoming October conferences!

The annual THINK Conference is happening October 19-20 at the Design Exchange event venue in Downtown Toronto. Profound Impact’s Brian Romansky, along with Shawna Reibling,  Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfred Laurier University, will present The State of Play for Communicating Research Funding Opportunities to Internal and External Stakeholders: Barriers and Opportunities. Based on interviews and survey data collected from research administrators across Canada in 2021, this session will share the current state of how Research Administrators communicate funding opportunities as well as innovative new ways of solving identified pain points.  Register for the hybrid conference here

CAN-CWiC is the premiere Canadian Computing Conference for Women in Technology, taking place October 21-22 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport and Conference Centre. Sherry Shannon-Vanstone and Sherryl Petricevic will be introducing Research Impact at the conference and Sohail Ramzan and Renata Rusiniak will participate in the Career Fair to introduce students to employment opportunities at Profound Impact. You can use this link to register by October 10th 

CEO Message

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who joined us on September 14 for the third annual Profound Impact Day! We have been building a strong community of supporters over the years and I can’t thank you enough for being such an important part of our impact story.This year, on Profound Impact Day 2022, our team launched Research Impact, a unique and targeted service to automatically match grants to researchers. The Profound Impact team launched Research Impact to solve the challenge of clumsy, manual systems that aren’t digitally enabled to deliver fast, accurate matching capabilities.  

Profound Impact’s unveiling of Research Impact in 2022 follows the launch of Career Impact in 2021, and 2020’s Connection Impact, all of which utilized data driven solutions to support organizations looking to make an impact. Each step in Profound Impact’s evolution remains deeply founded in the academic community while honing in on the most persistent challenge to solve. Our team looks forward to growing our Research Impact pilot project to bring our proprietary algorithms to universities around the world! 

As Profound Impact continues to accelerate forward, I had the opportunity to sit down with the Startup Canada Podcast to discuss the company’s journey, the importance of women and their contributions to STEM, and my experience as a leader and entrepreneur in the tech industry. I can’t wait to share this episode with you. 

This month, the Profound Impact team is attending two conferences. The annual THINK Conference (October 19-20) and the CAN-CWiC Canadian computing conference for Women in Technology (October 21-22). We look forward to meeting you there! 

This month’s Impact Story highlights the amazing story of Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M. who was the winner of this year’s Impactful Actions Award. At just 22 years old, Basu has already made a tremendous impact on our world. We were so inspired by her work through her organization, Green Hope Foundation, and know that you will be too!  

September 14 was and always will be a day to remember and reflect. Your support made recognizing global leaders and changemakers both powerful and memorable! 

As always, we are thankful for your ongoing support and engagement.

Startup Canada Podcast

Empowering Women in STEM with Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

Click to Listen

Episode Overview

As a well-known serial entrepreneur, Sherry Shannon-Vanstone has made a significant contribution to the spectrum of digital industries from information security to telecommunications and technology, while also making a major contribution to the advancement of all women. She is an extraordinary leader and visionary who has made a material difference to the roles women play and their influence in the digital economy. Throughout Sherry’s career, she has been a trailblazer in the fields of STEM, business, and philanthropy. 

In honour of her late husband, Scott A. Vanstone, Sherry founded Profound Impact in 2018 — a data driven platform for use by organizations and their stakeholders including alumni, researchers, and students to engage, discover, and measure the worldwide impact that the institution and its community have on technology and the world. It also aims to build a sense of community for a global audience of affinity groups such as women in STEM and entrepreneurs.

“There is a talent battle today. We are seeing digital transformation across every industry and with that, there is a huge opportunity and challenge.”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Scotiabank, we talk about Sherry’s entrepreneurship journey, how she leverages data with her clients, and  the importance of empowering women in STEM.

MEDIA ADVISORY – IMPACTFUL ACTIONS AWARD WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PROFOUND IMPACT™ TO ANNOUNCE WINNER OF IMPACTFUL ACTIONS AWARD AT THIRD ANNUAL PROFOUND IMPACT DAY

The Impactful Actions Award recognizes world leaders making a profound impact on communities globally.

WATERLOO, ON | SEPT. 13, 2022 Celebrated annually on September 14, the third annual Profound Impact Day will feature the winner of this year’s Impactful Actions Award

The annual award is presented by Profound Impact Corporation, a Toronto-Waterloo Corridor tech company providing data analytic tools for organizations to maximize their global impact. Profound Impact’s Impactful Actions Award recognizes individuals who are inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult global problems. 

Members of the media are invited to attend this year’s Profound Impact Day celebrations. Please RSVP via email with contact information and interview requests to brittanyb@durrellcomm.com. Tune in virtually here.

What: Profound Impact Day 2022 will feature a fireside chat with 2021 Impactful Actions Award winner Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former president of the University of Waterloo. Dr. Hamdullahpur will have an in-depth conversation and exclusive Q&A with the winner of this year’s Impactful Actions Award.  Profound Impact received nominations from community members and named the finalists in August. They are, in alphabetical order, Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., Dr. Mona Nemer and Dr. Neil Turok. You can learn more about the finalists here.

Event Details:

Profound Impact Day 2022

Date: September 14, 2022

Time: 12 to 1 p.m. ET

Virtual Access: Click here

With presentation and remarks from notable attendees:

  • Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, President and CEO, Profound Impact
  • Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, 2021 Impactful Actions Award winner, former president of the University of Waterloo
  • Winner of the 2022 Impactful Actions Award

–30–

ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION 

Profound Impact helps education, research and social impact community organizations leverage data to measure program impact, tell their story and inform strategy. Profound Impact products include Connection Impact, Career Impact and their newest offering, Research Impact. Research Impact helps researchers match with the perfect grant to fund their research. Everything Profound Impact does works towards the important goal of connecting great people to do great things and maximizing their world-wide impact. 

Website: www.profoundimpact.com 

Facebook: @aprofoundimpact

Instagram: @aprofoundimpact 

LinkedIn: Profound Impact Corporation

Twitter: @aprofoundimpact

For media inquiries, please contact:

Brittany Bortolon

brittanyb@durrellcomm.com 

CEO Message

As the last of our summer long weekends leave us, it’s time to refocus on the academic year ahead. September often represents a time of new personal growth and academic acceleration, which reminds our Profound Impact team about why we started this journey in the first place! The collective impact of researchers around the globe gives us the inspiration to follow our passions in life and work hard on what matters most. Profound Impact is a tribute to exactly that. If you’re looking for the best grants for your research, let us find the perfect match! Our latest product, Research Impact, matches researchers with the right grants and funding to ensure you’ll have the support you need to complete your project. 

Building on the energy we feel each September, we invite you to save the date for Profound Impact Day on September 14th! Profound Impact Day is celebrated annually to honour my late husband, Professor Scott A. Vanstone, on his birthday. We hope you can join us as we acknowledge and celebrate everyone who is making impactful advancements in their fields of expertise. 

Also on September 14th, we will announce the winner of the second annual Impactful Actions Award! For this award, we received nominations from leaders making a profound impact on the global community and inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult problems. We have profiled our top three finalists in this month’s Impact Story. Tune in on Profound Impact Day to find out who will take home the 2022 Impactful Actions Award. Our finalists, Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., Dr. Mona Nemer, and Dr. Neil Turok, are inspirations to all of us and a reminder of the difference we can make in our world. 

Before signing off, I’d like to take a moment to thank the Profound Impact team for their ongoing dedication to our mission.  We have started our new fiscal year with plenty of exciting conversations about what’s ahead. 

As always, we are thankful for your ongoing support and engagement.

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone