Kanava International Named ‘Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned’ Small Business
KANAVA International, an Arlington-based small business, has been named one of a handful of international development consultancies owned by a service-disabled veteran. The designation, granted last week by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), honors the military service of Kanava’s Chief Executive Officer Susan Puska.
“Susan’s long and decorated Army career, which spanned assignments from Germany to China, inspires commitment and vigor from all of us who work with her,” said KANAVA Chief Operating Officer Carol Yee. “As the United States government continues to invest in the talent and energies of our veterans, we are honored to earn the recognition of the VA and excited about the opportunities that this designation will bring — including the opportunity to hire more veterans.”
KANAVA is one of six firms listed by the Small Business Association for International Companies (SBAIC), a group promoting small business participation in international development, as “service-disabled veteran-owned.” Of these, only KANAVA and one other firm are also woman-owned.
That combination, said Yee, is more than just a contracting label: “At KANAVA, we believe that who we are directly informs how we do business. We know how development works from the perspective of those we aim to serve. And our job is to lend that perspective to every project, no matter the client.”
Established in 2012, KANAVA has already become a trusted partner on development projects in Asia and Africa, where its team is helping local organizations identify and seize growth opportunities — by evaluating competitors, researching markets, and reaching out to potential partners. It’s a structured approach to growth, says CEO Puska, but one that’s also tailored to each organization’s – and country’s – particular needs.
“There’s no such thing as a ‘turn-key’ approach to development,” notes Puska. “That’s why we also provide cross-cultural training for companies working overseas and organizations working with an international workforce, even within their home country. By focusing on people, our aim is to help organizations advance their long-term growth and sustainability.”
Puska earned the rank of Colonel before retiring from the US Army. In her 29 years of service, she supported a range of complex humanitarian and development missions, providing comprehensive support to more than 30,000 Haitian and Cuban refugees and supporting the U.S. Pacific Command’s medical assistance mission to Mongolia.
For more information about KANAVA International or to learn how you can partner with us, please visit kanavainternational.com. For press inquiries, contact Carol Yee at cyee[at]kanavainternational.com.