January 21, 2022 – Leaders International, an executive search firm with eight offices across Canada, has been enlisted to find the next president and chief executive officer for the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC). Leading the assignment for the Toronto-based search firm are partner Anurag Shourie and consultant Cecilia Oteiza-Ayres. The president and CEO is responsible for providing efficient and effective leadership for all the activities of the ACC, said Leaders International. The individual will be expected to execute the strategic direction and monitor progress and ensure the success and achievement of plans and objectives of the entire organization.
Key roles and responsibilities for the position include strategic leadership, management, financial oversight, stakeholder relationship building, governance and board relations, and human resources. The individual will be charged with assuming full leadership responsibility for all of ACC’s services and activities and administering policies and procedures. He or she must direct and manage the development and implementation of ACC’s goals, objectives, policies, and priorities. In addition, the role requires that the leader act as spokesperson for ACC and effectively represent the organization in its relationships with all internal and external stakeholders, including members, suppliers, governmental and regulatory authorities, the media, and the public.
The new president and CEO will also be expected to work with community chambers, the executive committee, and staff to develop and modify programs which will benefit the ACC membership, which is widely divergent in its demographics and geography. He or she must also ensure that the systems, processes, and structures required to support the evolution of the organization are in place, including appropriate staff skills and competencies.
Key opportunities and challenges of the role involve continuing to build on the foundation laid out by the organization and find new opportunities to move forward in support of members. The leader must also maintain a strong and fruitful relationship with community chambers, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and other provincial chambers of commerce.
The ideal candidate will possess an entrepreneurial spirit and be committed to innovation and leading through change. “They will be a confident, experienced leader who demonstrates a commitment to supporting community chambers and the business community across the province,” said Leaders International.
Prospects should have a university degree in business or a related field; an MBA would be considered an asset. A combination of education and experience will also be considered. Knowledge of community chambers of commerce would be considered a great plus. Candidates must also have extensive experience in financial and budget management, risk management and strategic planning.
Leaders International said that ACC wants candidates to have extensive experience in a business leadership role with proven success in developing relationships with elected officials and with senior government officials. They should also have experience dealing with business leaders, industry, government, elected officials and broader public stakeholders. Experience reporting to, and working with, a board of directors and executive committee is also essential.
The Alberta Chambers of Commerce is the official voice of Alberta business. ACC is one of the largest provincial chambers in Canada and among the most influential business organizations in the country. The organization fosters and supports the business environment in Alberta through advocacy to all orders of government and provides education and support opportunities and connection to local and business communities. ACC currently represents a federation of 121 growing chambers of commerce, which in turn represent the business interests of over 24,000 members in all the federal and provincial electoral districts. ACC also has over 80 corporate members.
Leaders International Executive Search was formed in 2018, bringing together Davies Park Executive Search (established in 1989), Higgins Executive Search (established in 1999) and Leaders International (established in 2008). Its leadership team is represented across the firm’s offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. The firm’s services include executive recruitment, board of directors and leadership succession.
Mr. Shourie is an integral part of the Leaders International leadership team. A strategic thinker, he has been keenly involved in the firm’s growth since 1997 and has recruited entire executive teams for multiple client organizations. He has also worked closely with numerous boards of directors from government, industry, and the not-for-profit sector to identify and recruit key board members. In 1994, Mr. Shourie entered the field of human resources and management consulting. His experience includes executive recruiting, career counselling and coaching. He is highly knowledgeable in contract development and alternate compensation strategies and has consulted in change management.
Ms. Oteiza-Ayres joined Leaders International in 2012. Over the years, her role has evolved from administration to search associate, and now as consultant. She is a dynamic and results-oriented professional who brings a diverse range of experience to the team, exemplified by her background in post-secondary, hospitality and tourism, customer service and the performing arts. This diversity offers a wealth of insight and expertise when searching for candidates who are dedicated and visionary in their industries.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media