May 25, 2018 – Canada-based Davies Park Executive Search has been enlisted to find both the next chief executive officer and chief financial officer for Fort McKay First Nation (FMFN), an Indian government in Alberta. Davies Park partner Allan Nelson and senior consultant Sonny Kapoor are leading the searches.
As the most senior management employee within the corporate structure, FMFN’s CEO is expected to provide effective leadership and vision to grow the value of the Government of Canada (GOC) responsibly and in a sustainable manner, said the search firm. The role’s key responsibilities include providing leadership and vision to manage the group in the interests of the legal and beneficial shareholders; setting the vision, principles, values, strategic plans and annual business plans; leading the growth of the GOC in a profitable and sustainable manner through appropriate management of human resources, capitalizing on assets, innovation, setting direction and operating the business in a sound and responsible manner; and developing future leadership within the organization.
FMFN requires that candidates have a relevant post-secondary education, said Davies Park. A post-graduate degree in business or finance would be an asset. Prospects should also have a minimum of 15 to 20 years of industry experience, at least five of which are in a leadership/ executive role; demonstrated experience in working closely with a board; experience in health and safety executive principles, human resources management and finance; a demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement and life-long learning; and proficient computer skills.
Among the prime skills and attributes that FMFN is looking for in candidates are: the ability to lead by example and develop effective business strategies; the ability to achieve results by encouraging and supporting the contribution of others; an understanding of the importance of influence; maintaining a positive demeanor which garners respect from subordinates; and a personal commitment to excellence including displaying dedication, honesty, integrity and a strong sense of ethics. Financial management, communication and time management are also among the skill areas required.
The right individual for the job will also understand the unique challenges of working for a corporation which is owned by members of a First Nation, said the search firm.
FMFN’s CFO, meanwhile, should be a motivated and multitask-oriented individual who is flexible and works well in a team environment, said Davies Park. Reporting directly to the CEO, the CFO will be responsible for planning and controlling financial functions for the organization, following FMFN policies and procedures as well as ensuring compliance with federal and provincial legislation requirements.
Among the key responsibilities, the CFO will be charged with managing staff as well as developing service plans in collaboration with directors and managers; being accountable to the CEO and chief and council and reporting to them on a regular basis; motivating and inspiring department staff in addition to office-based duties; establishing work goals, including review timelines and results to be achieved by department staff; acting as liaison between the organization and its members, the investing public and external financial analysts; overseeing the cash management function, including banking relationships; and more.
Candidates should have: a CPA designation, extensive experience in senior accounting and comprehensive knowledge of financial reporting principles and practices experience, preferably in First Nation management.
Prime skills and attributes that FMFN seeks for the CFO role include: very focused, strong organizational and time management skills to effectively manage multiple priorities and projects; being energetic and adaptable to new and changing situations; having an effective management style which fosters positive relationships across different departments with various stakeholders; and seeing and acting on immediate issues without losing sight of the long-term goals and objectives, among others.
Financial management skills are a necessity, including a proven ability to work in a fiscal environment of growth with a significant number of financial transactions. The individual must also be timely and efficient in all budgeting, financing, and information reporting. Operational management abilities as well as internal political awareness and cultural sensitivity are among the other essentials, said the search firm.
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FMFN is composed of over 800 band members, including those of Cree and Dene heritage with approximately 400 members residing in the hamlet of Fort McKay, a community along the shores of the Athabasca River in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. It is a signatory to Treaty 8 and belongs to the Athabasca Tribal Council.
Davies Park, founded in 1989 has completed thousands of assignments for private, public, and non-profit-sector clients in major industries. Its practice areas include energy and resources, construction and development, manufacturing, financial services, professional business services, laboratory sciences and biotech, small to medium enterprises, education, public sector, not-for-profit/ charity/ associations, technology and board directors. The firm has offices in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Mr. Nelson founded Davies Park’s Calgary office in 1997. Over the last 20 years, he has developed strong and lasting relationships with boards and top executives in a number of industries and sectors across Canada. Prior to joining Davies Park, he held senior positions in leadership, operations and sales management with a variety of Canadian corporations.
Mr. Kapoor joined Davies Park in 2011 and is responsible for sourcing and evaluating the candidacy of senior level executives both nationally and internationally. He started in executive search in 2007 and has both international and North American recruitment experience in a variety of businesses and industries including accounting, finance, engineering, sales and hospitality.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media