Leaders International Seeks Executive Director for Youth Media Alliance
February 13, 2023 – Leaders International, an executive search firm with eight offices across Canada, has been enlisted to find the next executive director for Youth Media Alliance (YMA), a Montreal-based non-profit that works to improve the quality of screen-based media content for youngsters. The assignment is being led by managing partner Cynthia Labonté and consultants Samantha Peloso and Maria Icaza.
“This is an ideal opportunity for a leader who is innovative, entrepreneurial, driven, and passionate about the creative work being done in today’s dynamic children’s media landscape,” said the search firm. “The role of executive director is for an executive who is involved and works collaboratively with other organizations in the sector, government contacts, external and internal stakeholders, to accomplish the mission of the organization and bring in new sources of financing, in order for the YMA to continue on its growth and success within the industry.”
YMA’s executive director will be expected to provide leadership in both the business planning and day-to-day operations of the organization, working with a staff of one, contractors and freelancers, funders, the board of directors, and YMA members to develop and uphold the organization’s work culture and mission/vision and represent the YMA in professional forums.
Fundraising is integral to the role, said Leaders International. The new leader will be charged with developing proposals, meeting with senior officials and external stakeholders to develop business partnership opportunities and to secure and steward donors and members. He or she will work on looking for new sources of revenues through different forums (government, industry, members and public).
YMA’s executive director will also be involved in governance and board development. The leader must be familiar with the organization’s bylaws, provide information to and work in partnership with board members to develop strategic plans, support board functions such as meetings, committee work, AGMs, and assist the board chair with recruiting new board members.
In addition, the executive director will be expected to manage the non-profit’s finances, manage the annual budget, provide information to the organization’s accounting firm, negotiate the contracts and budget envelope with a major donor (SRC-CBC), oversee the YMA endowment fund and other investments, and negotiate third-party agreements.
Candidates for this role should have leadership or senior management experience, ideally in a creative or non-profit setting, including overseeing business operations, said Leaders International. Experience directing staff and/or teams of people, liaising with senior stakeholders, and/or working with board members is also expected. Fundraising experience, along with the ability to plan and write effective proposals is required as well.
A background in producing special events and/or conferences would be an asset. Familiarity with the Canadian production sector, in particular children’s production, and the attendant funders and stakeholders, would also be ideal. Prospects should be fluent in English and French (written and spoken).
A bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (arts, commerce, business administration, film production) with ideally 10-plus years of relevant management experience (media industry) is required.
Founded in 1974, Youth Media Alliance presents annual awards of excellence to the best productions targeting young English- and French-speaking Canadians. It offers ongoing training tailored to the special needs of youth production professionals through workshops, seminars, and special events such as the children, youth, and media and média-jeunes conferences. YMA offers three scholarships. The organization also conducts original research investigating the impact of screen-based media on young people. In addition, YMA advocates for the needs of Canada’s child and youth media consumers in matters of public policy.
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.
Ms. Labonté is Leaders International’s global practice leader–consumer, retail, and luxury. She has over 15 years of experience assisting senior executives, boards, and public organizations in executive recruitment. Previously led an executive search practice with a team of managers and senior consultants, for a leading Canadian competitor.
Ms. Peloso joined the search firm’s Montreal office in 2020 as a business analyst. Her college minor in law and society allowed her to explore all facets of law while studying what she describes as her true passion, human relations. Throughout Ms. Peloso’s studies, she developed an interest in recruitment. Now in that capacity, she works to create long-term partnerships between candidates and clients.
Ms. Icaza holds more than 12 years of professional experience in executive search. She has collaborated with partners on senior manager roles up to C-suite positions in the manufacturing, consumer, retail, pharmaceutical, industrial, and professional services industry.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media