DC Tech Leader Kathy Penny Joins Canvas as Chief People Officer

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In newly created role, MindShare Board Member and former Optoro HR executive will drive company culture and human resources strategy.

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Canvas today announced that Kathy Penny, recognized throughout the Greater Washington tech community for her role positioning early-stage, emerging growth and venture backed technology companies for accelerated growth, has joined the company as Chief People Officer.

Penny brings decades of experience helping fast growth technology companies attract and retain employees while ensuring a thriving and positive company culture as their headcounts, revenues, office locations and challenges grow. In this newly created role at Canvas, Penny will focus on company culture strategy and initiatives that fulfill the management team’s unique vision, while also managing day-to-day operations of human resources, including culture, employment brand, talent acquisition, employee engagement, career development, benefits and other functions for all global offices.

“We built culture into Canvas’ DNA from day one because we believe success required building a team with a shared passion and vision – and then providing these individuals with an environment to transform that passion into ideas that could benefit Canvas and the broader global community,” said James Quigley, CEO and co-founder, Canvas. “No one in this region understands how culture drives success better than Kathy, and on the heels of a $9m venture capital investment, four consecutive years of triple digit revenue growth and plans to double in size for 2015, Kathy will ensure the culture we worked so hard to create remains in tact through future fast-growth stages.”

Penny joins Canvas from Optoro, where she served as Senior Director of Human Resources and led the human resources function during a three year hyper-growth period that saw headcount quadruple to 200 employees, revenue triple and venture capital investments totaling $76 million from top tier investors Kleiner Perkins and Revolution Growth Fund.

Prior to Optoro, Penny ran her own HR management firm, KAT Consultants, where she leveraged 20 years of industry experience to provide strategic human resource management and recruiting services to early-stage and emerging growth technology companies. Earlier in her career, Penny held human resources and operational leadership positions at several Greater Washington companies, including Harmony Information Systems, SkyBitz, and SunRocket. Penny is an Organizing Board Member at MindShare, an invitation-only program for CEOs of the most promising emerging technology companies in the Greater Washington, helping launch the program in 1997.

“While I have worked with many successful technology entrepreneurs and companies, I have not come across a company like Canvas or founder like James as committed to building a company around culture rather than the other way around,” adds Penny. “From Canvas’ flat organizational structure and transparency that fosters collaboration and enables everyone to make a difference to ensuring every new hire is not just right for the business but right for the culture, Canvas embodies values that make this opportunity truly unique, and I look forward to shaping the culture James always envisioned.”

Canvas is a cloud-based software service and mobile app platform that enables businesses to replace expensive and inefficient paper forms and processes with customizable mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, with no programming or IT required. Canvas empowers businesses of all sizes to collect information using mobile devices; instantly share that information with colleagues, partners and customers; and seamlessly integrate the data with their businesses’ existing backend systems so that decision makers gain access to accurate, real-time information from their workforce.

About Canvas
Canvas is changing how companies collect and use business information through their cloud-based software service and mobile app platform. With customizable apps for smartphones and tablets, Canvas enables businesses to replace expensive and inefficient paper forms and processes, requiring no programming or IT. Canvas enables businesses to collect information using mobile devices, share that information and easily integrate with existing backend systems. Canvas also offers the first mobile business application store of its kind, allowing businesses from diverse industries to find mobile forms specific to their needs. To learn more, visit http://www.goCanvas.com.

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Brian Lustig
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