Joanne SoaveA course in statistics ultimately led sociology grad Joanne Soave to heading up Connecting Windsor-Essex.

University experience opens doors for tech leader

When she first began university studies, Joanne Soave (BA 2001, BA 2002) did not regard technology as one of her strengths.

However, her education in sociology and family and social relations and subsequent career experiences have led her to head up a non-profit consortium dedicated to making the Windsor-Essex region a brilliant place to invest, work, learn, live, and play.

Soave took up the position of chief executive officer of Connecting Windsor-Essex on Sept. 25 and credits her instructors at the University with helping her get there.

“I was not proficient at math in high school, closing many post-secondary option doors for myself,” she recalls. “Midway through university, I had to take a statistics course and had a professor who refused to accept any form of mediocrity from her students. I love how she never backed down from high expectations of students and it drove me to want to succeed in her classroom.”

Soave went on to pursue elective courses in stats which proved valuable in helping her secure employment after graduating.

“I came to appreciate how important the ability to understand data is in the workforce,” she says.

A job at a telecom provider led her to a love of technology and some 15 years of working closely with Connecting Windsor-Essex, which grew from providing high-speed internet connectivity to several of the region’s leading public sector institutions to extending other services to local businesses.

“I’m very excited to be here at Connecting Windsor-Essex; it’s a very natural fit for me,” Soave says. “We’re going to drive the mission of top-notch connectivity and provide training and upskilling in high-demand fields like information technology and cybersecurity along with so many other opportunities for organizational transformation and growth, as we help to diversify our economy here in Windsor-Essex.

“We have the local talent in Windsor-Essex that is in high global demand. I want to be a part of the story that highlights our region’s intelligence, achievements in broadband connectivity, technology and more, today and tomorrow.”

Supporting Connecting Windsor-Essex is a consortium of more than 40 member groups, including the University of Windsor, the City of Windsor, the County of Essex, St. Clair College and local school boards. Learn more on its website.