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IMPACT niagara

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C IVI C LEAD E RS H I P Shining a Leadership Spotlight that honours and showcases the best of Niagara’s Leaders.

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INSIDER #12 Your Energy Is Your Currency #14


New Name, Same Great Program


ACL 2019 Community Projects


In A Class By Themselves

3 Dimension Branding

#17 Is Either/Or Thinking Sabotaging Your Leadership?

Y E A R IN RE V IE W #20

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Ready To Lead


Recognizing The Leader Within


2018/19 Sponsors



t gives me immense joy to introduce our latest initiative to extend the conversation and share stories about Leadership Niagara, leadership development and the impact of our alumni through their civic involvement in our community. I could not be happier that you are browsing through the inaugural edition of our IMPACTNiagara Magazine!


Inside our first edition of IMPACT Niagara, we share highlights from our 2018-19 Accelerate Civic Leadership program graduates, articles from industry and community leaders, and stories of leadership from across the region.


As we build on our mission to provide diverse learning experiences that inspire leadership and contributes to a vibrant, prosperous, and community-minded Niagara, we hope that this IMPACT magazine will help showcase the value and the collective impact of creating a culture of community stewardship. As you begin your reading I hope that this magazine will have a positive impact on and inspire you to have the same positive impact on others. For us at Leadership Niagara, leadership is a practice, meaning we understand there is always room for growth and an opportunity to apply it in every aspect of our lives as we lead ourselves, lead others and lead our community. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we have enjoyed making it.

Shane Malcolm

Executive Director Leadership Niagara

All content opinions and comments within this publication are not necessarily those of Leadership Niagara, Ownera Group Inc, its subsidiaries, owners, employees or stakeholders. All advertising is subject to their discretion, and neither Leadership Niagara nor Ownera Group Inc are responsible for any products or services of any third-party advertiser or the content within. Impact Niagara has been designed and published by Leadership Niagara and Ownera Media, a subsidiary of Ownera Group Inc. This publication is not authorized for reproduction in part or whole without the express consent of Ownera Group Inc.

Raine Gould

Ownera Media

Leadership Niagara is a non-profit organization that began in 2007, created by local leaders in response to a distinct need to identify, nurture, and grow future leaders within each sector of our community. With over a decade of work, Leadership Niagara continues to be dedicated to inspiring civic action and leadership through world-class leadership programs, ushering in the next generation of change-makers and community influencers.

LeadershipNiagara.ca IMPACT niagara #3


NEW NAME SAME GRE AT PROGR AM As of February 25th, 2019, Leadership Niagara announced that its Community Leadership Program has updated its name to Accelerate Civic Leadership (ACL).

What Is Accelerate Civic Leadership? Accelerate Civic Leadership is an immersive 9-month program delivered by some of Niagara’s best leadership experts. We take mid-career professionals and established leaders within your organization to the next level. The program is facilitated through a combination of professional coaching, highly engaging and dynamic learning activities. For example, we touch on some of the following areas:

• • • •

Emotional Intelligence Systems Thinking Change Management Cross-Functional Collaboration

• Influencing with Impact • Leveraging Community Networks • And More!

In addition to learning the skills and techniques needed to become a successful leader in the region as well as in your organization, participants will also be able to join a growing network of alumni that supports and guides our community.

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Who Is Eligible? The Accelerate Civic Leadership program is designed for a diverse collection of high performing mid-career professionals from all sectors including corporate, non-profit, government, and education, as well as entrepreneurs. Ideal candidates are passionate, enterprising individuals who have a strong interest in the well-being of the region. Successful candidates for the program provide evidence of an independent, self-directed, and mature learning style.

Our Alumni Create Impact With over 344 graduates from the ACL program, our Alumni are dedicated to ensuring a stronger, healthier, more vibrant Niagara. Leadership Niagara Alumni become our leaders and champions of community initiatives, non-profit organizations, and influencers in the region.

Are you ready to create positive change in your community? Know an employee that matches our eligibility? Contact us to find out more!

Leadership Niagara Email: info@leadershipniagara.ca Web: w w w.LeadershipNiagara.ca

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Accelerate Civic Leadership 2019 Community Projects

The wide range of projects completed by participants has resulted in tangible, positive ripples throughout the Niagara Region.

Momentum Choir

Team Members; Jen Armstrong, Kelly Lockwood & Kristine Canniff Leadership Niagara collaborated with Momentum Choir to build the voice of the choir to reach new audiences, increase stakeholder engagement, and expand community awareness. The project team analyzed current data, developed and employed social media and marketing strategies, and projected their spring performance ticket sales at 90%. ‘I’ve Got the Music in Me’ was SOLD OUT at the PAC, May 5, 2019!

Shania Kids Can

Team Members; Andrew Chechalk, Ashley Antidormi, Dan Grabell, Laura Gilmore & Leanne Cummings LN received a request from the Rotary Club of South St. Catharines to support their initiative to fund and open a “Shania Kids Can” Clubhouse. Our team was asked to assist with the Fashion Show fundraiser – soliciting sponsorships, developing various media support, organizing the event, etc.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, Leadership Niagara was advised to cease the planning of the event when the Rotary Club of South St. Catharines announced that they were unable to support this initiative any further. As time was of the essence, Leadership Niagara was unable to work on another project simultaneously. #6 IMPACT niagara

Indigenous Men’s Healing Centre of Niagara Team Members; Coady Thomson, Stacia Heaton, Steve Truant, Thalia Semplonius & Vicki Lanigan With the vision of a Healing center for Indigenous men in Niagara, our Leadership Niagara team assisted in the development of an introductory business plan for a new non-profit organization. An environmental scan was created around key areas of the project including trauma informed

health resources, immediate and intermediate housing, justice support and employment training. Our group was immersed in research, both historical and cultural, while building relationships with stakeholders in the community to help identify key activities and resources to support the mission of the Centre.

Gateway Residential Team Members; Dave Schellenberg, Jon Whyte & Scott Plugers Leadership Niagara supported an innovative partnership of 3 separate non-profit agencies to explore the potential of constructing an affordable housing development that would provide units for each agency’s clients. Additionally, this project would find a new use for the former church located on the property that would be repurposed to provide programming and support services for those residents of the affordable housing development, their respective agencies, and others in need from within the surrounding community.

Food4Kids Niagara Team Members; Jen Whittard, Jonathan Baglieri & Katie MacCabe LN 2019 helped support Food4Kids Niagara – a new-toNiagara non-profit organization providing healthy food for disadvantaged kids each weekend – by preparing a social media strategy to increase community awareness of the program and help foster volunteer and donor involvement. The group participated in food packs and prepared a Communications & Marketing Plan outline for future use, including a targeted media list, media pitch and social media schedule. Work is ongoing to further build the brand and the group is excited to continue their involvement!

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Powerhouse Project Team Members; Chelsea D’Amico, Ed Van Vilet, Nikki Prudden & Samantha Sendzik

Our goal was to help Powerhouse (www. powerhouseproject.ca) build an annual fundraising event to expand their programming and serve more young caregivers in Niagara.

Alongside the organization’s Executive Director and Board, we brainstormed, planned, promoted, and implemented the first annual Powerhouse Trivia Night, held on May 4th, 2019, to fantastic success. Powerhouse raised approximately $5,300, over 140 people attended, and the agency now has a sustainable fundraising model that they can leverage and grow for years to come.

A Child’s World

Team Members; Dave Butyniec, Kailash Manohar & Kenton Wolfe

Leadership Niagara collaborated with A Child’s World to investigate, implement and provide insight on a new electronic scheduling system. Prior to the project, ACW had a manual process for finding fill-in and support staff at 23 daycare centres in six municipalities across Niagara. Together, ACW and LN were able to find a software solution from an existing IT partner that benefited the agency by providing a more streamlined workforce planning experience for its 90+ full-time and part-time staff.

Passion Project

Team Members; Sharon Reeds, Kelly Sauriol, Arienne Good, Andrea Forgione, Catherine Rice, Ashley Dunbabin & Heather Habgood

The Leadership Niagara Passion Project team took on the challenge of learning more about the mental health services provided in the region. After meeting with many agencies, the team decided to volunteer with the Distress Centre of Niagara and tackle the never-ending need for volunteers.

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The team provide valuable suggestions and insight on their recruitment strategy to help with attracting and sustaining more volunteers for their mental health crisis line. Specifically, the team helped to edit their volunteer recruitment packages and postings, expanded community partnerships, and helped the Distress Centre of Niagara to secure a $10K CAA Community Boost grant.

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OUR MISSION Provide diverse learning experiences that will inspire

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Inspiring leaders. Building community.



Leadership Niagara was a fantastic experience in that I was able to increase my skill set as well as give back to our community.


Chris Blanshard


On May 28th, the Accelerate Civic Leadership program came to the end of the 2018/19 year. On May 28th, the Accelerate Civic Leadership program came to the end of the 2018/19 year. We celebrated our cohort’s achievements through our annual graduation ceremony, which our generous event sponsors helped make possible through their generosity and dedication to inspiring civic action and leadership. If you had the opportunity to attend our event we wish to thank you for your presence, and if you missed your chance to attend, don’t worry! We have you covered!

This year Leadership Niagara marks its 12th consecutive year, holding its position of the region’s top leadership development organization since 2007. We leverage over a decade of experience and a regional network of over 378+ alumni, 80 completed community projects, and multiple non-profit organizations that wish to create positive change in Niagara. This huge accomplishment couldn’t have been possible without your interest and generosity. We were fortunate to have many great highlights throughout this event, including PenFinancial Credit Union’s Rhonda Taylor, shared their rally cry, a commitment to building and supporting the community of Niagara, with an amazing new video. We heard from community partners, such as Amber Huges from Food4Kids Niagara, on the impact the project team has had on their organization. An impactful commencement speech from graduates Stacia Heaton, & Kelly Sauriol, on the journey they undertook through the program left us amazed and grateful for the opportunity to work with these amazing 34 leaders.

We also had our keynote speaker, the amazing & talented Brian Hutchings, Vice President of Admin at Brock University, sharing with us his journey through Leadership Niagara’s board, how its journey and development has affected the region and its leaders, and how it will continue to do so. Finally, thank you to all of the individuals and businesses who supported us during our 2018/19 year. Your support is not something we take lightly and is very much appreciated by Leadership Niagara, our Board of Directors, and our graduates.

Raine Gould

Brian Hutchings, Vice-President at Brock University (Left) and Shane Malcolm, Executive Director of Leadership Niagara (Right). Photo by Leadership Niagara

Marketing & Business Development Coordinator with Leadership Niagara IMPACT niagara #11


Inspire. Engage. Transform. Lead.



The Impact Of Emotional Intelligence On Your Leadership, Team & Organization By Lesley Calvin, BA MA CPC ACC, MBTI, ELI-MP, PD, EQi-2.0 Leadership Niagara Program Advisory Vice Chair and proud Alumni How is your emotional intelligence? Good, right? But seriously, how is your Emotional Intelligence when you’re under stress or pressure? What is the impact of emotions on your emotional intelligence? The reality of our Emotional Intelligence is that others are perceiving it based on our emotional and behavioural reactions in the good times and bad. The potential impact of our emotions on our behaviour, conscious and unconscious, can be the ‘make it’ or ‘break it’ for our personal and professional brand, whether we know it or not. For example, if we perceive ourselves to be empathic or stress tolerant and when hit with stressors or triggers, we become the opposite, that is what people will remember. That becomes our brand. That, in turn, defines our leadership currency. At that point, statements like “that leader lacks self-awareness” or that “leader is

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unpredictable” begin to gain traction, and sadly, build a new leadership narrative. The impact of stress and emotions on our true Emotional Intelligence cannot be understated. Therefore, as leaders, it is critically important to hold up a mirror to our blind-spots, or have a trusted person hold up that mirror for us. If we are willing to go deep, that’s when we can strengthen our resilience and overall Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) gained notoriety in the 1990s based on the work of Daniel Goleman, and has built momentum as a cortical skill to develop, reinforce, and demonstrate. In fact, it is heralded that by 2020 EI will be the single most critical factor in the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of professionals, well above skill or intelligence. EI is a make or break factor, and traction to its value continues to grow.

can have on our personal and professional lives, as well as our leadership currency and organizational culture. As the modern workplace continues to evolve around change, innovation, and transformation; and decrease in resources and budgets, the level of stress will only increase. It will be those with higher Emotional Intelligence acumen that will ultimately be the most successful. Our ability to emotionally self-regulate, empathize with peers and staff, adapt and flex with change, and retain an authentic ability to be optimistic and innovate, will be our crowning glory.

By having a realistic view and understanding of our Emotional Intelligence under stress we are better able understand ourselves and our triggers, in order to decease our reactions and increase our responses, ultimately increasing our Emotional Intelligence and organizational culture. The opportunity to pause, reflect, and respond is where we can ensure alignment with our leadership brand.

According to a Harvard University study, 47% of our time is lost to unconscious thought everyday. EVERYDAY. Simply put, that means almost half of everyday is lost to our thoughts. According to a Harvard University study, 47% of our time is lost to unconscious thought everyday. EVERYDAY. Simply put, that means almost half of everyday is lost to our thoughts. HALF OF EVERY YEAR. HALF OF OUR LIVES. Aside from the fact that this stat is a huge message for us to become more mindful of the 53% of time we ARE conscious, it speaks to the impact our Emotional Intelligence, or more critically, our lack of Emotional intelligence,

The positive impact of high Emotional Intelligence in leadership and in organizations is the ability to lead and inspire a team, while balancing an innate ability to empathize, understand, and manage the emotional temperature of your team and organization, remain human and superhuman at the same time. This is a superpower that we can achieve, through thoughtful reflection, open and honest conversations, and daily practice, let it be your differentiator as a leader. The future of our workplaces, homes, and communities depends on it.

Lesley Calvin is a

Leadership Development Coach, Trainer and Speaker, and is highly revered as an Emotional Intelligence and positive organizational culture Specialist. She works with individuals and organizations looking to transform their lives and organizations, and increase their leadership capacity and you can find more about her and her work at lesleycalvin.ca as well as the fab 4 social media channels FB, Insta, LN, Twitter

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“ It is up to you to own the definition of who you are ” – Paul Copcutt

THREE-DIMENSION BRANDING Personal, Leadership, Organization By Paul Copcutt

How to create a competitive advantage through people, passion and performance

Personal branding can drive employee and leadership development, as a powerful technique that connects the dots between meaning and the market, unleashing the “love” - passion and performance - that Larry Bossidy calls “a competitive imperative.” Global costs and technological advancements have completely changed the landscape of work and business as we know it, forever. Everything is geared towards cheaper, faster, and simpler. It’s

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all meant to be easier. But there is a disconnect, employee disengagement numbers are at an all-time high. Individuals are craving recognition and have a stronger desire to know what they are doing is making a difference. But it is up to the individual to help others distinguish the substance from the spin, leaving themselves inspired to take action and “get their brand on”.

Personal branding, connecting who you are, what you stand for, and what you do enables you to; • Take greater control of your career (and life) direction • Appreciate the importance of branding oneself as part of your professional offering • Use this approach to differentiate yourself, your team, and your organization • Attract, retain, and engage your very best talent • Understand how to manage perceptions of your brand internally and externally, online and offline. The approach comes in three stages; Stage 1 Personal Understanding, Consciousness & Strength Assess the strength and position of your personal brand before communicating – especially on social media. Gain an awareness of your personal brand to be able to manage it as an asset. Stage 2 Leadership Perceptions, Change, Success Leverage your leadership brand to increase your teams impact, credibility and visibility for business development, client retention, thought leadership and a competitive advantage. Stage 3 Organization Engagement, Productivity, Differentiation Make the connection between corporate brand, team brand, leadership brand and the personal brand for career management, business differentiation, and organization appeal. It cannot be stressed enough that the importance of managing your career, should focus on the differentiators and competitive imperative for both individuals and organizations. Some questions to ask yourself: • Assess the strength of your personal brand. What do you do so well that you can almost do

it sub-consciously? • Obtain feedback on how you are currently perceived. Ask 5 colleagues what they feel are the words that describe you, the skills you have, the role you play in the organization, not your job title. • What is your impact? How can people see, feel, or experience your brand beyond the work you do? • Communicate your brand. How can your workspace, clothing, or communication reflect more of your brand? When you are able to proactively and consciously develop and manage your personal brand, you have more chance of making the connection between personal and professional branding perceptions and to ultimately to be recognized as what Marty Neumeir calls a “Charismatic Brand” - defined as a product, service, (or person) or company for which people feel there is no substitute. For organizations, the value of personal branding for personal and leadership development is multifold: 

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It can help successfully position individuals to maintain their position within the organization and raise their visibility and credibility. By recognizing and developing individual’s unique abilities and skills. 

Develop and maintain a qualified talent pool for the business, including senior positions. Seeing succession planning happening boosts employee morale, retention and loyalty.

Provide insights and steps that could be used to update employee, team, and organization profiles, both internally and potentially externally on social media etc. 

Help employees make stronger connections to who they are and the influence they want to have in areas they are passionate about such as community, the environment, mentoring, etc.

The world of work is not going to slow down anytime soon. It will be the organizations and individuals that embrace approaches like personal branding who stand a much better chance of being the leaders of the future.

Helping individuals navigate through the traumas of everyday living and the challenges change brings to move forward with passion, purpose and integrity. To learn more, book your FREE initial assessment today. Renée Rocheleau, B.A., B.A.Sc.


Person-Driven Approach for Purpose-Driven Lives Personal, Professional and Organizational Development

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Paul Copcutt is a personal brand strategist and keynote speaker and has been involved as one of the workshop facilitators with Leadership Niagara from the very early days of the program. Described by Forbes magazine as a leading personal brand expert globally, Paul possesses exceptional skills in quickly distilling what he sees and hears into c u s t o m solutions that are effective, helping people uncover their uniqueness and communicate it in an authentic way. Learn more about how Paul can help you at paulcopcutt.com


SABOTAGING YOUR LE ADERSHIP? I blame my parents! Don’t get me wrong, they had my best interests in mind. Little did they know however, that their nurturing guidance and teachings would sabotage me as a leader. By Tim Arnold

It started before I was even one year old when I was taught what was “safe” and “unsafe.” It continued when I started school where I was taught what was “correct” and “incorrect.” It progressed into my teenage years when I was learning values and ethics and what made a “good” and “bad” person. These teachings, directions and guidance developed what is referred to as EITHER/ OR THINKING. This means that for every problem, there is EITHER right OR wrong solution. And by the time I was a young adult, I was 100% clear that picking the RIGHT answer meant that I was SAFE, CORRECT, and GOOD. Then life started to get complicated, I began to realize that there was wisdom in the anonymous quote that says, “For every complex problem, there is a simple solution. And it’s wrong.” This EITHER/OR

mindset was great and necessary when I was dealing with facts, formulas, policies, and procedures; however, it was working against me when I was dealing with complex situations that could be seen from more than one point of view. What became ultra-clear were the limitations of this EITHER/OR approach in the workplace and as a leader. All of the sudden I was wrestling with complex issues and conflicting values. Things like: •

Being task focused AND relationship oriented

Providing critical analysis AND providing encouragement

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Being truthful and candid AND being tactful and diplomatic

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These weren’t situations of right and wrong, but instead situations of right and right. My trusted EITHER/OR approach that I clung to in order to be safe, correct, and good, was not helping my leadership – in fact – it was hurting it. It was sabotaging my leadership. There had to be another way! If I were to thrive as a leader, a team-mate, a father, a husband, and a friend, I had to also embrace a BOTH/AND mindset. This meant that I had to start to get comfortable with healthy tension; I had to use the word “AND” more than the word “BUT”; instead of aligning and spending time with people who always affirmed my point of view, I needed to seek out people with diverse perspectives and approaches. The great news is that BOTH/AND leadership can be learned, and every step you take in this direction is a step toward leadership development, team effectiveness, and organizational success. How about you? Is your leadership stuck? Are you using the EITHER/OR mindset that you gained as a child to deal with complex


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leadership issues that require more than a simple right or wrong approach? Are you known for saying the word “but” more than the word “and”? Do you make healthy conflict and diverse points of view safe and celebrated in your team? Are you a BOTH/AND leader?

Tim Arnold

Is passionate about helping teams & leaders gain the confidence & skills needed to thrive. He is the author of the book: The Power of Healthy Tension, & speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can overcome chronic issues & conflicting values. w w w.leadersforleaders .ca

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LEAD by Katie MacCabe & Kelly Sauriol

Leadership Niagara has been a transformative experience for this year’s cohort. We began as a group of strangers, all coming from different industries and different walks of life. Over the year, we’ve learned how to grow as individuals and how to help grow our community. The experiences we’ve had during our learning days and working on our projects have inspired change and continued action in the Niagara community. To better understand the impact that our learning experience has had, we asked our cohort three questions about their experience with Leadership Niagara. What was your favourite memory? What inspired you most? What would you do differently in your everyday life after

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Leadership Niagara? The answers were not surprisingly similar from everyone in the group.

pass judgement and to not paint everyone with the same brush.

Another common memory in the answers provided Almost all of the favorite memories really came from from the cohort was that we were always able to the learning days as they share openly and freely at were very impactful for all learning days which helped of us. It was a great forum build stronger relationships to engage in personal amongst the teams. development, growth and civic mindedness. Some common favourites were “This program has the privilege walk and the inspired me to show mindfulness day. “The Privilege Walk really opened our eyes to other’s perspectives and the small changes that can impact the trajectory of one’s life.” It was interesting to see where people have come from on their own journeys. We were reminded to not

up as my authentic self, always and be thankful. A lot of the conversations revolve around being a compassionate person to yourself, to your family and friends, colleagues, and everyone else.”

This was important to many of us as we always felt welcome to share ideas and opinions without judgement. I believe that we have all been inspired to think differently and to be mindful of different perspectives. One class member shared that, “in a day and age where society is so divided, the learning days were a very human forum to remind us all that despite our differences and perspectives, we are all well intentioned members of the same community.” From memorable quotes to impressionable YouTube videos, there were many great takeaways from each learning day that we have taken back to our colleagues and workplaces.

challenges. Taking part in the Myers-Briggs and identifying our colors helped us to learn our individual strengths and how we could work effectively as a team in our community groups.

“in a day and age where society is so divided, the learning days were a very human forum to remind us all that despite our differences and perspectives, we are all well intentioned members of the same community.”

build stronger relationships with our community partners and our project groups. Working on different community projects, we gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about various community groups and came to the realization that our help is greatly needed in the community. It was heart-warming to see that there are many likeminded individuals that share a common concern for community wellness and it was exciting to meet and work with them.

Another class member shared that “Going through the LN journey has inspired me to take a more active role in shaping the community I live in. I have gained a feeling of empowerment through participating in this When working through our program, as I have come to community projects, we understand that I can be a driver faced challenges with both of change without holding a understanding the needs of the position of authority or being community group as well as what As community leaders, the an expert in a certain area. I’ve barriers stood in the way that we Energy Leadership session helped learned that passion and effort needed to overcome. The learning reinforce our compassion for are all that is required to make a days provided us with the tools helping others. It also helped true difference and will carry that we needed to overcome these

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“ I believe there has been a fire ignited in all of us to help the community thrive. ”

tangible changes in their lives to better serve the Niagara community. Some have dedicated to changing their everyday thinking, giving more time to community groups, being more present in their lives. One class member has even applied for a board member role as a result of the inspiration they received from their Leadership Niagara experience. Another has joined their Neighbourhood Association in the hopes that they can help create a positive impact on their localized community.

with me as I continue to grow.” Many of us in 2019 Accelerate Civic Leadership program will continue with our existing projects beyond the month of May 2019 and some of us will take on new projects with new groups as we have identified specific needs within the community. We believe we have received plenty of value from Leadership Niagara. Leadership Niagara has helped each of us sharpen our skills as leaders and become more mindful of our community’s needs. We have gained new friendships and built new relationships in the community that we will continue to nourish outside of Leadership Niagara.

Shane Malcolm leading a ‘Circle of Appreciation’ exercise. Photo by Leadership Niagara

Working with our community groups and learning about community leadership has inspired real change within our class. Our classmates have committed to making conscious,

Katie & Kelly are both 2019 Graduates of the Accelerate Civic Leadership program.

With every small action, our community grows stronger. Niagara is a beautiful, diverse, and rewarding place to live. Leadership Niagara has given us all the opportunity to use our skills, passion, and energy to serve the community that we live, love and learn in. As graduates of Leadership Niagara, it’s safe to say we are ready to lead.

Kelly Sauriol

Branch Manager for PenFinancial Credit Union.

Katie MacCabe

Recipient of the 2018 Women In Niagara bursary.



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2019-05-09 1:38:40 PM




Team Passion Project. (From Left to Right) Sharon Reeds, Arienne Good, Catherine Rice, Heather Habgood, Kelly Sauriol, Andrea Forgione & Ashley Dunbabin.

A year ago, I felt lost and scared.

I was 6 months into my upstart, Intuitive Shipping, and I recognized that the universe was inviting me to play on a bigger stage. As a new mom still trying to shake postpartum depression, I didn’t feel that I was emotionally or mentally ready to conquer the challenges that come with a rapidly growing company. Not quite knowing what to do or where to go, I applied to Leadership Niagara’s Accelerate Civic Leadership program.

looking for answers. From the outside looking in, I have everything together, and I’m hoping that this program can help me feel this way on the inside as well. ” This piece still resonates with me in my core. A year later, I am damn proud of myself. As I am writing this I; am on the cusp of turning 30, have onboarded an exceptional team at Intuitive Shipping, and can say from the bottom of my heart that I am confident in myself and my ability to lead.

In my application, I wrote:

This would not be possible if I didn’t make the personal investment into Leadership Niagara’s Accelerate Civic Leadership program.

“ I hope to develop more confidence in being a leader. I’m a confident person, but things have moved so quickly for us and I’m still young, so sometimes it’s hard for me to accept in that I’m someone that others are looking up to and

The program is specifically tailored to Niagara and gives a well-rounded view of the issues that we are facing as a community. Each tailored workshop (Learning Day) takes you through a different topic and is designed to

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“... sometimes it’s hard for me to accept in that I’m someone that others are looking up to and looking for answers. ”


help you learn more about yourself and the type of leader you are. Closer to the end of the program, there is a profound Learning Day, Building Inclusive Environments, that can (if you are open to it) guide you to face your deepest thoughts and insecurities. This day quite literally changed my life, and I am excited to implement pieces of it with my team so that we can all be better, more understanding people. The most time-consuming and emotionally difficult component of the program was the Community Project, but it gave me the most insight into who I am as a leader. It was a tough 7 months, but our team of 7 all learned how to blend our styles together to create significant community impact and a lifelong friendship. Together, our team helped our Community Partner, The Distress Centre, secure a $10,000 CAA Community Boost Grant, provided insight into how the Partner could increase volunteer recruitment, and one of our team members used her connections at the NHS to

“ The most time-consuming and emotionally difficult component of the program was the Community Project, but it gave me the most insight into who I am as a leader. ” have a social media blast and a story about the Partner’s desperate need for volunteers into the St. Catharines Standard. As I sent myself to the program, I have a unique perspective; I am the employer and the employee. As an employee, I encourage you to try your hardest to convince your boss to send you. The professional and personal development one can accomplish in 9 months is exceptional.

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As an employer, I will be sending every Intuitive Shipping team member to Leadership Niagara, no exceptions. It is our responsibility to make ourselves, our community and our teams better, and I wholeheartedly believe Leadership Niagara is the best place to start.

Sharon Reeds

Co-Founder / CEO of Intuitive Shipping and 2019 Alumni

w w w.intuitiveshipping.com


2018/19 Sponsors Thank You To Our Wonderful Sponsors!

We extend our sincere appreciation to our sponsors, without whom our program would not be possible. We invite you to support these community-minded organizations.

www.LeadershipNiagara.ca | info@LeadershipNiagara.ca

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CIVIC LEADER? Accelerate Civic Leadership is designed to increase the civic readiness of mid-career professionals in Niagara, across diverse sectors, to demonstrate community leadership. This leadership experience equally builds your leadership presence in the workplace, while also creating community-minded leaders ready to tackle our communities' greatest challenges .


Emerging leaders in the private, public and non-profit sector

Passionate, entrepreneurial individuals who have a desire to affect real community change

Employees in a middle management role or individuals who are looking to transition themselves into a middle management role within their organization

All applicants must have an interest in the well-being of the Niagara community

How do I

Where can I



Visit us online to apply www.LeadershipNiagara.ca

Phone: 905.688.5550 Ext 5928 Email: info@leadershipniagara.ca

What is the


Program fee is $3,250+HST per person Email us at info@leadershipniagara.ca for funding & bursary options.


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Impact Niagara Volume 1 | Issue 1  

A publication designed to share stories about Leadership Niagara, leadership development and the impact of our alumni through their civic in...

Impact Niagara Volume 1 | Issue 1  

A publication designed to share stories about Leadership Niagara, leadership development and the impact of our alumni through their civic in...