top of page

Mehnaz Tabassum | Ottawa | My Perseverance

Co-founder | Certified PMP & Agile Leader | Philanthropist | Storyteller

I came to Canada as a 17 year old, it took some time but I was able to build my life from scratch. I am currently residing in the National Capital Region of Canada, but I consider myself a newfie by heart. I am a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)® with over 5 years of full-time work experience. I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Certificate in Public Policy. I am employed as a Project Lead with Canada Revenue Agency, Leadership and Learning Directorate. Over the years, I have held various project management roles. I served as a Council Member in the Premier’s Youth Council, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and as an advisor of the St. John's Food Policy Council. My expertise is in overseeing all aspects of project planning, from budgeting and resource allocation to ensuring quality deliverables while achieving complete compliance to contract terms and conditions. As a result, my teams achieve peak performance and meet business objectives efficiently.

I am a comprehensive professional with a “can-do” attitude and the drive to get the job done. Beside my day-job, I am also a Co-founder & Director of a rapidly growing social enterprise named NL Eats Community Outreach Inc. NL Eats is an innovative social enterprise focused on providing essential food services to individuals who are facing barriers to food insecurity. Our goal is to provide long-term, community-wide strategies that address the core causes of food insecurity. My family and I launched this amazing service from our home.

My family unit consists of me, my fiancé, two brothers and a sister. Together we have a mix of business, marketing, restaurant, and administrative experience, which makes us a well equipped for planning this kind of venture. In a short span of two years, NL Eats have provided employment to 70 individuals and have five ongoing programs. I have an innovative mind-set and extremely passionate about helping my community. In my free time, I like to do mentoring. I have mentored and guided a lot of individuals in their career, and it is my favorite thing to do. As a servant leader, I am passionate about people development, and agile governance. In my free time, I love travelling and doing outdoor activities.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

My perseverance has always been my superpower and truly feels great to be recognized for it. Story time: During the early days of my public service career, I was talking to a mentor (senior leader) who advised strongly that I should leave public service to start a career in private sector because I wouldn’t make it where I want to go— being a woman of colour, not having permanent residency at that time and also not being bilingual in French. The odds didn’t add up. They were coming from a good place and looking out for me and there’s definitely truth to what they said. It’s hard for sure, I know now.

Then, couple of years later when I made the biggest jump of my career, they called me and said, ‘I’m so glad you didn’t listen to my advice,’ and I said, ‘Well, it’s your advice that motivated me to keep going because I want to break the status quo.’ Still a long way to go for me, but hey perseverance is my superpower and I have got some of the best mentors to guide and support me on my journey!

What advice to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

If you are working hard for your dreams and goals— I can assure you that every action you take will contribute towards it— even if you cannot see it instantly and it will happen for you, I promise! It’s easy to give up and move on, but the ones that persist are the change-makers!

Social Media Handles:

NL Eats Website:

bottom of page