May 19, 2020

Government of Canada unveils its plans to transform Edmonton's light rail transit network

Edmonton Light Rail Transit
Canada transportation
Catherine Sturman
3 min
Government of Canada unveils its plans to transform Edmonton's light rail transit network

Following the announcement that Toronto and Vancouver have been recognized as the best cities for public transportation in Canada by Redfin and Walk Score, the Government of Canada are now set to transform Edmonton’s travel infrastructure.

Coming in at number nine on the list, the city’s light rail transit network is set to be expanded. Crucial to Edmonton’s economic growth, as well as enabling it to achieve its environmental, economic and community led ambitions, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, has been joined by Jon Carson, MLA for Edmonton–Meadowlark, on behalf of the Honourable Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Transportation, and His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, to announce federal funding for two major Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects in Edmonton.

The Valley Line West LRT project will include the second and next stage of the Valley Line construction. It will involve extending the line by approximately 14km from downtown Edmonton to the west-end community of Lewis Farms. Additionally, the Metro Line Northwest LRT Extension project will be the first stage of an expansion of the line and will extend the line by 1.5km from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to the Blatchford development.

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"Investing in new urban transit networks and service extensions is essential to ensuring people can spend less time in traffic commuting home from work and more precious time with their families,” stated The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in a recent press release. “These important extensions to Edmonton's LRT network will provide residents in the western and north-western communities with convenient access to the downtown core, all while improving the user experience, accommodating a growing ridership and making the transit system more accessible."

All work will provide significant improvement to Edmonton's LRT system by extending its services to new areas of the city, improving the user experience, increasing accessibility, and laying the groundwork for future expansion and growth. The Government of Canada will provide more than $1bn in funding for both projects through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The Government of Alberta is also contributing approximately $1.17bn through the Climate Leadership Plan. On top of this, the City of Edmonton is providing approximately $706mn.

"Edmonton is one of Canada's fastest growing cities, and we are planning and building our city with this growth in mind,” added His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton. “We are undertaking the most ambitious expansion of our LRT network in our history so we can grow smart and sustainably, and keep more than a million people moving.  It is a true representation of partnership between all levels of government, a partnership that is needed in order to continue to make valuable investments like these that will benefit the generations to come."  

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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