Tuesday, 26 April, 2011

CEO Forum, Plan Y

2nd Annual CEO Forum

I am pleased to report there is a lot of energy and excitement building about Plan Y!

From March 7-9th I had the pleasure of spending time with all 53 YMCA and YMCA-YWCA CEOs at our 2nd annual CEO Forum. Building on the incredible work started during our “Case for Change” CEO Forum one year ago, this meeting focused on having rich discussions regarding our ambitious plan for the future.

CEO Forum Mar 2011

Working Together

Leading up to the Forum, 95% of our associations held workshops with boards/senior staff and young leaders, welcoming feedback about the future of Canada’s YMCA. In total over 1000 people committed their time and effort by attending, with 1/3 of participants being 30 years of age or younger. This level of participation is remarkable and speaks volumes about our capacity to work together! Plan Y will be enriched as a result of the information that was collected.

Benefits of Collaboration

During the forum, I was pleased to hear Stephane Vaillancourt (CEO, YMCAs of Québec) share his thoughts about our vision to strengthen Canada’s YMCA. He stated that the Plan Y goals will require time and effort from all of us, but he believes the outcomes will be worthwhile. He noted how much his association has benefited from CEO colleagues in the recent past, and given the enthusiasm in the room during the forum I am confident we will all see many more benefits in the future.

Creating Lasting Change

Over the YMCA’s history we can identify times when our communities and country had great needs, and in turn, the YMCA responded. The creation of regional MRCs and the development and implementation of Priority SAM are two examples that come to mind readily. Both initiatives have proven to be methods of creating lasting change.

This group of YMCA leaders is experiencing one of these special times; I sense we are at a flex point that comes once in a generation. We have an opportunity to create an increased level of collaboration among Canadian YMCAs and the communities which we serve, which is so important as our regions are ever more interconnected.

Envisioning the Future

I was so impressed by the picture painted by Medhat Mahdy (CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto) when he imagined looking back on the work we are considering today:

“A group of concerned and committed women and men leaders… led a renewal that had great impact and we see the results today. More children, youth and families live a life of quality filled with meaning and a sense of community… fulfilling their dreams and giving generously to others…. The work was not easy. It was difficult but it was worth it. It required courage, collaboration, commitment to a cause, risk taking and innovation. We know the organization today as Canada’s YMCA.”

The development of Plan Y will continue to be a collaborative process. Investments of time, effort and financial resources will be needed. The resulting plan will be one that is co-created, one that we all own, is sustainable and achievable. This innovative federation strategic plan will position the YMCA in alignment with what we say and what we do; we will truly be strengthening the foundations of community.

When thinking about our future, what excites you?



    Hello, YMCA is really doing great things in order to up the living standards of the less prevaleged youths in many communities.However i feel in my country Zambia a lot needs to be done in terms of the catchment area so that a lot more can benefit from Y’s programmes.I feel why needs to spread it’s wings in rural areas where we have more orphans and vulnarable children.

    Thank you-Andrew

  • Scott Haldane

    Thanks so much for your positive comments, Pat, Marilyn, Karon and John!

    I am very excited that we are reaching the end of the 3 year planning and consultation process and are getting ready to seek a mandate from the National Council to work together to implement our federation strategic plan and achieve our collective goals as Canada’s YMCA.


  • Pat Flack

    What excites me? The Y is recognizing that change is needed now – because the need is great and we have the opportunity to keep playing a significant, sustainable role. Medhat Mahdy states it so eloquently. With a couple minor word changes it’s the future!

    A challenge among many for us – we must ensure we have as great a “internal focus”: IE; of what we need to deliver now how do we do it in the most efficient way & sitll keep our focus on new requirements and opportunities.

  • Marilyn Kapitany

    The results from the CEO Forum speak volumes about the health of our Federation and the depth of commitment we have in our Y. It makes me proud and excited to be part of this Y and optimistic about what we can do together to make our kids, families and communities stronger in the future.

  • Karon Croll

    What excites me is the Y’s ability to make a difference in the lives of each individual who makes contact with our organization – no matter their age, gender, race, sexual preference, social economic status, etc. That’s what really counts.

  • John Lilley

    Having just returned from lunch at which my guest spontaneously increased his gift by 50%, I am of course very optimistic about the Y and our potential impact for future generations.
    The evidence says that children are the most malleable under six years of age.
    And further more we know that kids from the lowest socioeconomic strata are the ones at highest risk.
    I envision a Y that influences the physical health and abundant assets of EVERY “at risk” pre-school kid. And this will be a Y with great reach and respect at three levels of government and with the general public.
    Thanks, Scott.