Kanava International, LLC
Kanava seeks to harness challenges to create opportunities that promote economic development. Kanava links international and domestic best practices to grow markets and strengthen the impact the clients have on their communities.
After a successful career as a U.S. Army officer, Susan Puska, Kanava’s founder, established a woman-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, Kanava International LLC, in 2012. In 2016, Kanava was certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones) small business. Recognizing the links between peace, security, and economic wellbeing, she sought to establish a company focused on helping small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profits strengthen their systems to become well-managed and reliable partners, increasing their ability to expand their markets or increase their funding sources to positively impact their communities.
“Kanava” (pronounced KA-na-va) describes a communication channel in Finnish, Susan’s heritage. Combined with the Kanava logo illustrating global connections, Kanava focuses on opportunities that can link international and domestic economic development skills, knowledge, and experience to promote economic growth in communities around the world by providing offerings in management capacity building and global services. Kanava works with commercial companies, non-profits, and local governments to strengthen their operational effectiveness as Kanava believes that each type of organization has a role to play in the economic resilience of its community. Kanava seeks to be a trusted partner in fostering regional economic development.
Kanava partners with organizations to expand their opportunities through the delivery of tailored solutions to enhance their capabilities and deepen their understanding of their markets. Kanava also provides cross-cultural training for companies working overseas, and organizations working with a diverse workforce at home. The focus is to help strengthen organizations to advance their long term growth and sustainability, enabling their communities to be more prosperous and resilient.
Kanava International is also partnered with clients to provide mentoring and coaching to help them strengthen their organizations to be better positioned to grow their business or broaden their impact. Additionally, Kanava seeks to link these organizations to new markets and funding sources, empowering them with new ways to do more.
Kanava and its team have extensive experience in operations, both internationally and domestically, with careers in international development, defense, diplomacy, and the private sector. Kanava have a strong bench of multi-faceted consultants who have worked all over the world, solving complex issues in real-time. Kanava has problem solvers, leveraging best practices and lessons learned to address the challenges before us.
MANAGEMENT CAPACITY BUILDING
Management capacity is a set of cross-cutting skills at the heart of an organization’s sustainability and growth. Kanava provides management capacity building support and training to commercial companies, non-profits, and local governments to strengthen their ability to expand their markets, whether with a current client, as part of a large company’s supply chain, or to source additional funding, increasing their ability to grow.
Because Kanava focuses on strengthening organizations, Kanava is able to work with clients in any industry or sector. Kanava helps these organizations build organizational systems, train personnel, and seek new markets. As a result, they are able to better deliver their goods or services, allowing for increased revenues and greater impact through job creation and regional economic development.
Kanava is passionate about management capacity building, a key but often overlooked component required for the sustainability of an organization. Kanava seeks to be a trusted advisor to help organizations build or strengthen their systems and train their personnel. The staff has extensive experience building systems. Kanava approaches assistance through a structured methodology, but provide client-driven solutions that are tailored to client needs, and incorporate a mix of peer-to-peer mentoring and coaching, training, or outsourcing.
Kanava works with both U.S. and international organizations. While the solutions are scaled to the client’s needs,Kanava delivers high-quality support, leveraging best practices to develop innovative approaches. The management capacity building services are defined as non-financial services and offered to companies and non-profits at any stage of their business needs. These services are primarily aimed at skills transfer or business advice, and can include accounting, financial, marketing, general administration, and management skills and systems. This synergistic approach helps make organizations more successful and stimulates regional economic development, which contributes to the creation of more resilient communities.
Kanava works with all types of organizations to ensure they have the organizational capabilities to scale up and diversify their activities. Kanava works hand-in-hand with the clients to determine their needs and develop tailored and appropriate client-driven solutions. As appropriate, Kanava can carry out a robust but efficient assessment, develop a gap analysis, and design a holistic capacity building plan for the organization, which can be implemented incrementally. Based on the prioritization of targeted areas for investment, Kanava can assist in creating or strengthening policies, systems, or procedures, emphasizing a systematic approach, and conduct accompanying training. By strengthening an organization’s operational platform, it will be better positioned to expand its current client base or develop new markets.
For capacity support services, Kanava provides supplemental support to the clients by supplying outsourced assistance in areas such as:
> S. government contracting and compliance
> IT/Website support
> Human resources
> “Friendly audits”
> Project management
ISD(TM) Certification Program
Believes that a structured and streamlined way to build and vet management capacity is critical to scaling up the sustainable development of organizations, whether commercial companies or non-profits. A key challenge for clients is determining which organizations can be good partners without a systematic way to measure or demonstrate an organization’s management capacity.
To address this challenge, Kanava has developed the Impact Strengthening Development ISD(TM) Certification Program, which provides organizations with a systematic methodology and benchmarking tool that builds their capacity to enhance their systems and management expertise. ISD(TM) expands the pool of well-managed and reliable potential partners, and allows certified organizations to readily demonstrate their level of management capacity to clients or investors, leading to maximized resource effectiveness and impact. ISD(TM) is not an audit, but rather a flexible tool to build capacity from the ground up, marrying local knowledge and experience with comprehensive management expertise, adapted to local conditions.
ISD(TM) is a practical, innovative, multi-level program that provides assurances of a company’s management sophistication, mitigates risks to clients, and offers companies a transparent roadmap for long-term growth and development. Following the operational platform approach, an assessment, gap analysis, and capacity building plan will be developed for the target organization. Kanava is working with the International Society for Performance Management (ISPI), George Mason University and GlobalWatch Technologies to develop an open system accessible to all, leveraging industry best practices and appropriate IT technology.
The ISD(TM) Certification Program leads to
> Stronger companies and non-profits whose ability to manage increased levels of business and/or investments is enhanced, leading to long-term growth and job creation.
> Reliable companies and organizations for potential partnerships.
> Increased market share, job creation, and local economic development.
> A framework that standardizes how organizations can demonstrate their management capability, provide a way to compare companies, and streamline the vetting process.
Kanava provides global services designed to strengthen the ability of the clients to overcome domestic and international challenges by assisting them to expand their markets and reach. Reliable and relevant information is essential to building the capacity of a business, non-profit, or government entity. The multidisciplinary experts produce research and analysis, training, and operational support, tailored to the needs and requirements of the clients.
Additionally, thanks to the background and experience of Kanava’s founders, Kanava are committed to working in the nexus between development, defense, and diplomacy to promote short-term diplomatic initiatives and long-term economic development activities, leading to a more stable and secure world.
Research & Analysis (R&A)
Kanava’s Research and Analysis Team focuses on serving the varied needs of clients working globally, whether they are government entities, international development organizations, commercial enterprises, or non-profits. Kanava provides tailored geopolitical, socio-economic, and security-related research and analysis to assist clients to assess risks, security issues, and market entry challenges to better position them to operate successfully in a complex and competitive environment. Kanava develops specialized reports on companies, industries, or countries/regions, and topics of concern to clients, as well as provide trend analysis and market assessments. Kanava leverages original source research and data collection to develop comprehensive, integrated analysis of key topics relevant to the client. The team is committed to synthesizing complex data and information to provide pragmatic analytical findings to address critical customer needs.
The team of professionals provides training to prepare clients for overseas meetings or assignments, assist organizations with multi-ethnic workforces, and plan for visits by foreign delegations. Kanava provides logistics support, arrangement of meetings, and pre-departure briefings. Kanava’s also works with clients on country-specific negotiation tactics and on conflict resolution issues.
Additionally, Kanava provides management capacity building training, such as on new systems and procedures, customer service, and security awareness.
Kanava provides support to organizations to diversify their funding sources, partnering opportunities, and vendor selection. Kanava can assist in expanding beyond current markets, whether with the federal government, foundations, or international clients. The services are customer focused to help determine the best avenue to grow local businesses and non-profits.
Susan Puska, President and Chief Executive Officer
Susan Puska is a retired U.S. Army Colonel turned entrepreneur with over 27 years of experience as a Logistician and China Foreign Area Officer. She has experience in the U.S., China, South Korea, and Germany, managing U.S. Army and Joint Logistics operations and personnel. Ms. Puska is a noted China expert with experience spanning from 1988 to the present, including five years living and working in China, which allowed her to witness the challenges and benefits of fast paced economic development. Her expertise includes data analytics and research and analysis of complex national security, regional, and socio-economic issues. She also led joint humanitarian logistics support at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, providing care and feeding to over 30,000 Haitian and Cuban refugees, and supported U.S. Pacific Command’s medical humanitarian assistance to Mongolia. As an experienced logistician, she knows the value standardization and best practices bring to making processes more effective and efficient to realize positive impact, while also understanding how to tailor problem solving to specific situations and circumstances. Ms. Puska holds an MBA from George Mason University and an M.A. in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan.
Carol Yee, Chief Operating Officer
Carol Yee is a recognized operations specialist with over 25 years of international development experience with expertise in assessing and building organizational capacity, and developing pragmatic systems, policies, and procedures based on best practices adapted to local conditions, constrained resources, and needs of the client. She knows first-hand the challenges organizations face at different points of their development and understands how critical sustainable economic development is to stable growth. Ms. Yee has extensive knowledge of the financial, procurement, and administrative structures required, and strong expertise in U.S. government contracting compliance. She possesses extensive field and home office experience, including serving as Chief of Party in southern Afghanistan in a dynamic threat environment working in close proximity to US military forces. Ms. Yee has managed multi-million dollar projects in the Middle East, Africa, Central Europe, and Asia. Ms. Yee holds an MBA from the Monterey Institute for International Studies and a Master’s Certificate in Government Contracting from the George Washington University.See more