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Downtown Burlington – Celebrating Dads: Meet Martin & Kayla

Originally Posted on: June 9, 2016

In the spirit of Fathers Day this month we want to celebrate all the dads that make our downtown a special place to work and play. We applaud and recognize those dads & daughters and dads & sons that work together in business everyday.

Martin & Kayla (Interkom Smart Marketing)

1)How long have you been working together?

Martin: Six years officially as an Account Manager. But technically Kayla worked here during high school. In fact, when she first started we put her in charge of the world’s largest telephone system! We called her the Queen of Reception.

Kayla: You should have seen the size of this thing – it had the receiver and all these lines and then a completely separate piece of equipment attached to it … I just kept thinking “hello I’m twelve” every time the phone rang haha And he used to bring me to the office when I was REALLY little – to get us both out of my mother’s hair … I’d sit and organize his business cards.

Martin: I think the main difference in our company now, aside from a smaller and more manageable telephone system, is that our Clients are all over the place – Kingston to Windsor, Brampton to St. Catharines, Markham, Pelham, Milton … Sarnia … Kayla spends half her life driving around! But the nice thing is that we get to spend a lot of time together … driving around! Haha

2)Why did you decide to work together/open a business together/come on-board?

Kayla: I was finished university, unemployed and needed a job – and my Dad offered me a ‘short-term’ opportunity

Martin:  I figured since I helped pay for her education, I might as well get her to come back and help me out again. She even took the initiative to go back to school in the evenings to the Institute of Communication Agencies – she’s CAAP certified. Kayla’s first big project was for Electric Mobility Canada. It was primarily a virtual relationship, but we did everything for them from branding, to tradeshows, sponsorship and member development, and a lot of data gathering – she did all that. And then, Kayla do you remember, the pitch we made for that municipality? We had to make the pitch in a rec. centre because they didn’t have a board room large enough to fit all the interviewers AND us in. The City staff were late to the meeting and the Mayor was SO ANGRY! When they finally turned up, I gave a brief overview and then turned it over to Kayla to talk about the internet – she went on and on and on and on, until finally I said “should we start wrapping this up?” and the Mayor screamed “NO LET HER SPEAK!” and she must have said something right ‘cause we landed the Account.

3)How do you balance work-life with your personal-relationship?

Kayla: We only text each other after hours and only in situations of EXTREME need – like when I had an RFP due and I got to the office and it had flooded after the infamous ‘Burlington Flood’ … I had to pick everything up and race to my apartment to make sure we got the RFP in on time – I remember texting my Dad over and over again to review the pricing and content. We won that RFP too … sewage won’t stop me.

4)What’s the best thing about working with your daughter?

Martin: We get to do things together, even if it’s just driving in the car to a meeting, we’re together. Kayla’s my only child … so by default she’s also my favourite child. We are the masters of our own opportunities. That’s the best part.

Kayla: He’s lucky that he doesn’t have to share the prodigy with anyone haha

5)What’s the best thing about working with your dad? 

I think we’ve had an advantage working together for so many years – I know he’s always got my back, and I’ve always got his. I have someone who is ALWAYS looking out for me, and constantly educating me and helping me learn. Those are things that would NEVER happen in a traditional working relationship where you start out at the bottom of the food chain only because you are young, even if you have a good education and experience in the industry. You end up spending five years waiting to be older so that you can move up to work on projects, so to not have had to go through all that has been a real blessing … get outta my way and let me get working!

6)Do you have any Fathers Day plans (ie lunch/dinner out, golfing, special trip planned)?

Martin: My birthday is always near Fathers Day, so we tend to celebrate that over Fathers Day.

Kayla: We celebrate by my Dad cooking dinner and me going over to his house haha

7)Is there anything special you want to say about your dad?

I hope that we can work together for MANY more years to come.

8)Is there anything special you want to say about your son/daughter?

I think she is way ahead of most others her age. And I’m lucky to be able to work with her. Because we’re a family business you’re a natural team – you don’t have to work at making a team, because you are always supporting one another. You can make mistakes together, and learn together and be successful together. I think I’m blessed. It is a privilege to work with her. There is an overwhelming sense of pride seeing your kid do well and get stuff done on her own … to see her achieve things on her own. I’m not making calls to get her on committees, and Boards of Directors – she’s doing that on her own. I’m so proud of her.

Want to learn more about Interkom Smart Marketing? Check their website at

Source: Burlington Downtown Business Association