The monthly member spotlight is an opportunity to learn more about a leader at one of our member companies and showcase the work they are doing. This month we spotlight Anita Sutton, Founder & CEO at SEED Learning. Learn more about SEED Learning in our Member Directory.
Name: Anita Sutton
Title: Founder & CEO
Company: SEED Learning
SEED Learning’s Mental Wellness Platform delivers the emotional intelligence and mental health preventative supports people need; when they need it, where they want it – on their devices. Our platform provides information, engagement tools and analytics as well as timely access to care that results in improved mental wellness for employees and better retention, overall engagement and profitability for the company.
What is your role and what is your favorite part of your job?
As CEO of a startup, I get to work closely with my small team and our users to reimagine how people and companies become aware of and manage their mental wellness. It’s exciting to be able to make a decision and see the fruits of it so quickly.
The favorite part of my job is to work with the members of our team so that they can eventually meet with our users to identify their needs, and in the end, direct the improvement of our product to satisfy those needs.
If you could have a coffee with any business leader or industry expert who would you choose and why?
Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, known as Nellie Bly. She is probably most famous for her trip around the world turning the fictional work “Around the World in Eighty Days” into reality in only 72. However, I find it fascinating that as only a teenager, she had enough passion in the 1880’s to write a response to a column titled “What Girls Are Good For”. Her passionate penmanship landed her a full time writing job at the paper. She went on to pen some of the time’s most controversial pieces advocating for divorce law reform, women’s rights, accurately predicting when the women’s right to vote would finally occur in the United States (1920’s) as well as going undercover in a women’s insane asylum to surface deplorable conditions prompting reforms. She later headed the Iron Clad Manufacturing Co., was an inventor and of course always an advocate.
There is never an easy time to speak out, convince people there is a new – better way, or just simply to influence through leadership. She did this all as a woman starting in her teens, in the late 1800’s and very early 1900’s.
That courage is something I would love to talk about.
What is the number one business book or blog you would recommend?
I am an insatiable reader but I’m also a Podcast lover. Picking one is hard but, I would say Startup by Gimlet Media. I love hearing the stories of the startups they follow, the people on the periphery of the story and the outcomes. It’s given me a crash course in the startup life.
Looking at your companies future what are you most enthusiastic about?
The problem we’re solving. We have a social mission which is to decrease bullying, suicide and crime but we needed to start somewhere. I’m excited that we’ve chose rapid growth and high stress workplaces where depression and anxiety are off the charts. Our solution will help not only in the workplace, but at home too and that is something that we and our customers are proud of.
What excites you most about the local tech community?
We have a well-established tech community here in London & surrounding area and I’ve always thought we punch above our weight but we don’t usually talk too much about it. It feels like there has been a change in the air so to speak; we are getting louder, prouder. We’re banding together like never before to create resources and lift the community up to show the Canadian Tech Industry we’ve got the chops.
London is Canada’s secret innovation weapon and we at SEED Learning are very happy to be a part of that story.
What causes or community activities is your company involved in?
I give a good amount of my time to continue my work as a patient advisor at LHSC, currently Co-Chairing the Strategic Planning Committee and sitting on the Steering Committee for the external Website Redesign. I also speak, advocate for & support Make-A-Wish, ChildCan, Children’s Health Foundation and Canadian Blood Services.
My CTO is a dedicated volunteer youth Hockey and Lacrosse Coach and United Way Volunteer.
We are excited to be planning the launch of our community wellness programs free for school aged children, their families and caregivers in partnership with our customers, in 2019.