The Young Professionals Association of Greater Sudbury is run by a board of volunteers who dedicate their time to foster a culture of community engagement, networking and professional development to empower emerging leaders and young professionals in Greater Sudbury. We wanted to take some time to introduce you to each of our board members in our Meet our Board blog series! Today we are introducing you to Kyle McCall. Kyle is currently the Director of Fund Development.
Describe what you do?
This is a fun question. I’m the Coordinator for the NORCAT Innovation Mill, Sudbury’s regional innovation centre. We support early stage tech startups by connecting them with the resources they need to get their venture off the ground. More recently we’ve also begun to offer accelerator programming for those startups that have demonstrated traction (i.e. sales, investment) and have started to scale up their operations.
I manage our client relationships, program and resource connections, funding programs, and a myriad of other community initiatives that NORCAT is asked to take part in.
It’s a lot of fun, and I have learned a crazy amount about what it takes to start a business. I’m also now fluent in buzzwords.
In my spare time (if you can call it that) I’m Chair of the board at reThink Green, and help coach a local high school basketball team.
Was this the career you always envisioned for yourself? What inspired you?
Can I say no, not really? I graduated with a Bachelors of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. Working with startups really wasn’t on my radar.
That said, and as much as I like the outdoors, I was also never going to be the guy out in the middle of a field with a clipboard in my hand identifying various flora and fauna.
So, to tie it altogether, it’s not the career I envisioned, but it’s definitely a stepping stone to where I thought I would one day end up. But who knows, it’s been anything but a straight path to this point and I have no reason to think it will straighten up any time soon.
Why did you decide to join the YPA and what do you hope to achieve while on the board?
Having moved back to Sudbury after five years of being away I was looking for a way to get involved in the community and grow my network. The YPA offered those opportunities, and they also happened to be looking for board members at the time, so I figured why not throw my hat into the ring and see what happens. Fast forward a couple years and here we are.
My goal for the YPA is to grow it into the go-to-hub for young professionals in Greater Sudbury, and establish it as an organization that has a lasting positive impact on our community. It won’t happen overnight, but I think we’re well on our way.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t underestimate the power of putting your hand up and volunteering. It is a fantastic way to grow your network, meet like-minded individuals, and make an impact in your community. Good hard work, and a ‘can do’ attitude goes a long way, and rarely goes unrewarded or unnoticed. In my experience it has always resulted in more opportunities both professionally and personally.
What is your favourite local business?
P&M’s Kouzzina! I have never had a bad meal there, and I’ve been going since I was six-years old.
What is your favourite holiday movie?
This is the toughest questions of the bunch! I was recently introduced ‘The Night Before’ and it won me over and will become a staple in my holiday playlist for years to come.
Notable mentions go out to the claymation Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and the Muppets Christmas Carol.
If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?
Luke Skywalker (although most folks that know me would say I’m probably closer to Lone Star from the movie Space Balls, but I digress).