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Career Profile

Melanie Nadeau

Chief Executive Officer
Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE).
Melanie Nadeau headshot
Melanie Nadeau headshot
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I lead the vision and strategy for the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE).

About me

I was born/grew up in: Port Cartier, Quebec

I now live in: Halifax, Nova Scotia

I completed my training/education at: John Abbott College (DEC. Natural Sciences) / University of Waterloo (B.Sc Engineering) / University of Ulster (B.Sc. Engineering - Exchange)

What I do at work

I work at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE). We are an organization that brings together people, ideas, and resources to support Canada’s marine technology sector. We are a collection of ocean tech companies along with a private and public partners. I lead the development and implementation of the organization's short and long-term growth strategy. This includes creating, communicating, and implementing the vision, mission, and overall direction. I oversee the executive leadership and build strong relationships with key partners and stakeholders. I also work alongside a Board of Directors to position us for success.

Our goal is to move Canada’s ocean economy forward. We support the sustainable use of our ocean resources. To do this, we apply STEM knowledge in a way that ensures safe and efficient operations in the ocean. We are also looking for new ways to deliver products and services to the market. We look for ways to digitally enable technologies in the ocean. This includes such things as the testing and validation of sensors, subsea communications, and remote operations.

I make decisions daily. When making decisions, I make sure that I have all the needed information. This includes views from the people working in the area and the market conditions. I make use of all available data when making decisions. My engineering background has taught me to think carefully about problems and come up with solutions to address them. I sometimes use French at work, but it's mostly in I work in English.

My career path is

I did not expect this to be where I would land when I was in high school. I joined the Naval Reserves at that time. I had no idea I would go into sciences, engineering, and navigate the business world. When I was at the University of Waterloo, I did the co-op program. This program gave me great work experience. It also exposed me to different types of work environments. It allowed me to focus on a career path when I graduated from university.

I am motivated by

I work with many passionate and bright people who are helping solve huge challenges. This includes such things as how to adapt, or find solutions, to climate change. It also includes issues related to making use of offshore energy supplies. We also address issues related to arctic sovereignty, ocean exploration and data collection. My career has followed the following paths: Technology + Innovation + Business. When all three paths merge, it gets me very excited! Every day is different. There are always new challenges to deal with.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I am involved in the sustainable use of our largest natural resource - the ocean. This is very important because the ocean is a source of food, jobs and is enjoyment for Canadians. It is also important for transportation and as a source of energy. The work we do is also important on a global scale because the ocean is a shared resource. The work we do to support sustainable use of the ocean locally is important to many nations across the world.

Outside of work I

I love the outdoors whether it's kayaking, hiking, or biking. I have volunteered for UNICEF Canada for many years. I am on several boards such as Engineers Nova Scotia and the QEII Health Science Foundation. I am an avid skier when I can get to the hills. I enjoy downtime by doing some yoga.

My advice to others

A career is a journey. Any experience you get along the way will benefit you in the long run.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • Math
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do
  • Learned best “by doing”

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