Chief Executive Officer – YMCA OF THREE RIVERS
The YMCA of Three Rivers is seeking an inspiring leader with strategic vision and people-centered approach to engage, support, and inspire employees, volunteers and community partners as our organization continues on its unification journey. Reporting to the Board of Directors through the Board Chair, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will bring strong business acumen and exceptional people leadership skills.
Posted On: June 15, 2022
Closing On: July 15, 2022
Location: Waterloo Region, Wellington County, Perth County and Oxford County
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: senior
Salary Range: $200,000 – $260,000

Working with our passionate and purpose-driven senior leadership team, the CEO will lead the ongoing development of our organizational culture, ensuring that appropriate strategies and processes are in place to operationalize and execute against our newly formed mission, vision, and values consistently across all service areas and locations. The CEO will continue our Association’s strong commitment to employee and community well-being, while ensuring that our employees and volunteers feel supported to do their best work, together with members, every day.

Through a people-first lens and a deep commitment to justice, access, inclusion, diversity and equity (JAIDE), the CEO will be accountable for leading and partnering closely with a team of operational leaders to align our people, processes and partnerships across our organization to provide our community with equitable access to programs and services, diverse high-quality care and to deliver on the commitments to our JAIDE Action Plan aligned to our Mission, Vision and Values.

We anticipate that our new CEO will be in place by January 1, 2023, at the latest. This position will be based at our Cambridge location with regular travel to other locations and program sites throughout the Three Rivers’ regions (Waterloo Region, Wellington County, Perth County & Oxford County), and to meet with our partners and donors. The salary range for this position is $200,000 – $260,000 with an excellent benefits package.


About The YMCA of Three Rivers

The YMCA of Three Rivers is one of the community’s largest non-profit organizations. With a longstanding presence in Waterloo Region, Wellington County, Perth County and Oxford County, we are dedicated to the enrichment of our communities through the development of people and families. Through our work, we foster belonging and well-being and dedicate ourselves to a healthy and vibrant community every day.

For more than 150 years, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to our communities by showing up and engaging our communities in the delivery of programs, outreach, and services. This is the good stuff that we’re all about.

In October 2020, the YMCA of Three Rivers saw the official unification of the YMCAs of Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo, the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph and the YMCA of Stratford-Perth as one regional entity. Through this process, we’re bringing together our strengths and expertise to better serve our communities, where and how they need us most.

Our Mission

Our purpose as a charity is to make our diverse communities healthier and more vibrant. With dignity and respect, our programs and services inspire individuals to reach their full potential.

Our Vision

We aspire to build connected and resilient communities. We are working to be a leader in challenging systemic bias and barriers by creating and providing equitable access to individuals and communities to support their emotional, mental, and physical health, and overall well-being.

Guiding Principles

We are STRONG – strengthened by the diversity of our teams, we are committed to building communities where there is no place for stigmatization and intolerance.

We are SAFE – through a strengthened sense of community, we encourage personal growth through a commitment to listening, learning, and continually working to create a safe and inclusive environment.

We are CONNECTED – through outreach we put our people and community first by listening, responding, and adapting to their needs.

Our Values

Equity – we recognize that everyone has different experiences and needs and will work to provide the appropriate resources and/or support.

Inclusiveness – through a strengthened sense of community, we foster a safer environment in which we respect, encourage, and engage individuals of diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We appreciate the beauty that diversity brings to the YMCA of Three Rivers and our communities.

Advocacy – we stand up, speak out and defend individuals’ and communities’ rights to have their voices heard, in order to effect change to create a more equitable society.

Health & Wellness – we are committed to fostering the holistic health and well-being of all people at all ages and stages of life. We nurture people’s ability to attain better emotional, mental and physical health, and well-being, fostering personal growth and bringing enthusiasm and vitality to everyday life.

Accountability – we exhibit integrity, fairness and sincerity in both our words and actions. We are responsive to our communities through the relevance of our choices and the quality of our actions, commitments, and services.

Empathy – we treat all individuals with compassion and dignity.

Respect – we acknowledge our shared humanity and the inherent value and dignity of all individuals. We show respect by actively listening, hearing, and responding to individuals as they are. We take a people-first approach, wherein all individuals are respected as they are and for who they are.

Our Purpose

We’re here for good.


Programs and Services

The YMCA of Three Rivers employs nearly 1,300+ employees and volunteers and operates a diverse array of programming across our communities. Our annual revenue is $56 million from a variety of funding sources supporting our licensed Child Care, before-and-after-school programs, Youth programs, Health & Wellness centres, Employment Services, Immigrant Services, Student Nutrition programs, data-driven employee well-being programs, EarlyON programs, summer day camps, and the largest YMCA overnight camping program in the country.

  • Youth Focused Programs
  • Health & Wellness Programs
  • Child Care
  • EarlyON
  • Overnight & Day Camps
  • Employment Services
  • Immigrant Services
  • YMCA WorkWell

Within our Community Programs, our amazing team of professionals serve children, youth, and families throughout the regions of Guelph-Wellington; Stratford-Perth and Waterloo Region – and the impact is significant (2021 numbers):

  • Served over 11,000 youth across 22 targeted programs
  • Welcomed over 300 newcomer youth in programs
  • Delivered over 1,000 workshops with over 300 clients finding employment
  • Supplied 94 hygiene kits and 80 homework kits to youth in our communities

As part of Child Care Operations, our amazing team of 600 educators and early learning professionals serve children and families throughout the communities of Guelph-Wellington, Stratford-Perth, and Waterloo Region – and the impact is significant. We provide programs and services to children and families across 27 licensed Child Care Centers, before and after school programs, and 46 School-Age Programs. In 2021 our Child Care Centers served over 12,000 children and nearly 10,000 families in our communities and almost 500 children in 9 COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Centers.


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

In early June 2020, our YMCA faced a bit of reckoning as we watched and observed what happens when racialized communities are oppressed for generations and deprived of the opportunity to belong. As an organization that prides itself on being inclusive to all people— regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, citizenship and sexual orientation, we came together as a national and local team to deeply listen to our employees.

We heard members of our teams speak up and share their personal stories and experiences of racism within our YMCA communities. Our YMCA sits in discomfort as we acknowledge that racism is present in our teams, buildings, programs and services. Currently, our leadership does not adequately resemble the diversity of the community we serve. We acknowledge that we need to do better for those who continue to walk with the realities of racism, intolerance, and ignorance.

In a community where 18% of the population are visible minorities, we recognize that we do not look like the community we serve, and this needs to change. We know we have intentional work that we must do to fulfill our vision to build connected and resilient communities and be a leader in challenging systemic bias and barriers so we can create and provide equitable access to individuals and our communities. We are listening and learning and are committed to honestly evaluating ourselves

We are committed to establishing mechanisms to ensure we amplify the voices of those with lived experience to inform our programs, policies, and partnerships. Our first step was to create an advisory group, to guide our CEO and the new Board of Directors of the YMCA of Three Rivers in how our unified Mission, Vision, and Values can include the principles of Justice, Access, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (JAIDE) to challenge biases, barriers and racism.

With the support of our Board of Directors, the commitment of our Senior Leadership Team, and the leadership in our Employee Advisory Groups, we have continued our intentional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Anti-Racism work. We’ve committed to creating a more just, equitable, diverse and inclusive organization so that everyone can belong, and are doing the work to make this happen. We have committed to honestly evaluating ourselves through a JAIDE lens and acknowledge that we have much work to do on this journey.

2021 was a pivotal year in this intentional work to align with our Mission, Vision and Values, and we are looking forward to 2022 with the goal of creating our JAIDE Action Plan – which will include training our leaders and doing the work to become the Y we know we can be for our employees, volunteers, members, and communities.

We are humbled by the magnitude of this critical work within our YMCA. We stand by our commitment to do good and to ensure our YMCAs are a safe and inclusive space for everyone. We want to be a JAIDE organization where individuals and communities are able to access, participate in, and fully benefit from programs and employment at the YMCA of Three Rivers to reach their full potential. As our local communities grow and change, our responsiveness to JAIDE has never been more important.


Additional Information

YMCA of Three Rivers

YMCA of Three Rivers Unification Video

2020 Annual Report

2020 Financial Statements

Board of Directors

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism Action Plan

YMCA of Three Rivers Vaccination Policy


Key Duties & Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the CEO include:

  • Providing overall leadership and vision to develop and drive the YMCA of Three Rivers’ mission, vision, strategy and business plans necessary to realize the Association’s objectives.
  • Implement and monitor the strategic decisions of the Board of Directors and provide timely and consistent reporting to the Board.
  • Work closely with senior leadership, employees, and volunteers to champion and support the implementation of our JAIDE (Justice, Access, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity) Action Plan.
  • Participation in various community groups to support community-building and facilitate the Association’s positioning within the wide range of communities it serves.

Specific duties of the CEO include but are not limited to:

Strategic Leadership

  • Work closely with the Board, senior leadership, and community partners to proactively identify strategic opportunities and challenges aligned with the strategic vision and direction of our Y.
  • Lead and manage the Association within parameters set by the Board.
  • Develop policies with the Board and senior leadership and ensure compliance across the Association.
  • Advise the Board of all major commitments, exposures, and risks on a regular and timely basis.
  • Keep the Chair of the Board and the Board fully informed on all significant financial and other relevant strategic matters relevant to the Association, including external items emanating from governments, regulators, legal, insurers, etc.
  • Be proactive and engaged on issues of national importance within Canadian YMCAs.
  • In furthering the mission of the YMCA, actively participate in the work of the World Alliance of YMCAs, the World Urban Network of YMCAs, North American large YMCA Network and YMCA Canada.

People Leadership

  • Regularly and proactively communicate the vision and potential impact of the Association’s work to inspire and encourage staff, volunteers, partners, donors and members.
  • Engage with employees in revitalizing post-pandemic and organizational culture that puts people first and maximizes our commitment to JAIDE, innovation, cross-program collaboration, and organizational excellence.
  • Provide progressive leadership in a complex and multi-site operations to motivate, inspire, coach and empower teams with a willingness to be hands-on and keep a people-first approach.
  • Provide leadership guidance and coaching to operational leaders on a wide range of areas related to performance management, talent acquisition, onboarding, training, compensation and creating a healthy organizational culture.
  • Oversee the Association’s People, Equity & Well-being strategy and succession planning for employees and leadership volunteers, ensuring that appropriate talent development programs and activities are in place.
  • Ensure all employees and volunteers are treated fairly and according to the Association’s values, policies and applicable employment laws.

Partner & Community Engagement

  • Establish and maintain effective strategic and community relationships that help advance the vision, goals and objectives of the Association.
  • Effectively cultivate and develop key relationships and alliances with a diverse network of community organizations, corporations, foundations, and donors.
  • Engage with staff, members, volunteers, and donors in developing philanthropy to support the Association’s mission and strengthen its impact.
  • Develop strong government relationships at the municipal, provincial, and national levels.
  • Advance the Association’s relationships with, and commitment to reconciliation with, local Indigenous peoples.
  • Oversee the Association’s communications strategy, including issues management communication strategy, and act as its official spokesperson.
  • Work with staff and volunteers to enhance the profile and reputation of the Association with key stakeholders and audiences.
  • Represent the Association and proactively engage in issues of community importance.

Operational & Financial Leadership

  • Develop and monitor operational and financial plans that ensure Association growth and sustainability.
  • Oversee effective fiscal management and control systems to ensure adherence within required regulations and legislation. Monitor and report on financial performance and institute remedial action as required.
  • Ensure the YMCA’s assets are adequately safeguarded and optimized for use of members and general public.
  • Identify principal risks of the Association’s operations and implement appropriate strategies to manage and mitigate them.
  • Measure Association performance, evaluate results, and report back to and/or engage in discussion with the Board and/or other stakeholders as needed.
  • Ensure that the Association always operates with ethics and integrity, in adherence to applicable laws, policies, guidelines, and best practices.


Qualifications & Key Competencies

Candidates must have previous experience working at the executive level in a large, complex operational environment with multiple lines of business and multiple locations. We welcome candidates from the not-for-profit, public, and private sectors, and recognize that experience may come from paid, volunteer and/or lived experiences.

Additionally, candidates must illustrate on their resume (and through interviewing) examples in past roles where they have demonstrated the following competencies:

  • Assess and anticipate future opportunities, challenges, and trends, and working with others to proactively adapt and prepare for these.
  • Engage others to anchor change in enduring values, competencies, and strategic orientations that should endure in the organization.
  • Continue to develop a culture that promotes and proactively supports Justice, Access, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (JAIDE).
  • Anticipate, introduce and manage change in a large, complex organization.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills, including the ability to establish rapport and excellent communication with members including participants, families, youth, children, external partners, staff, and volunteers, and to model these relationship-building skills for team members.
  • Strong change management skills and demonstrated ability to work effectively in building a collaborative team culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to resolve conflicts creatively with multiple stakeholders.
  • Provide clear vision and direction for senior leaders and others in the organization.
  • Ensure disciplined execution of operational plans with a focused attitude to generate results, hold leaders accountable and with a demonstrated track record in striving to meet and exceed extraordinary goals.
  • Analyze and assess program results, as well as financial and social return on investment.
  • Inspire others toward a challenging and exciting future vision.
  • Build consensus and commitment with staff, volunteers, and partners.
  • Maintain a culture of innovation through internal and external collaboration.
  • Support a not-for-profit governance Board’s strategic leadership role in a charitable organization.
  • Engage stakeholders across communities as partners and supporters.
  • Mobilize people around shared purpose and impact in a kind, curious and humble approach.
  • Model listening and learning, and encourage this across the organization.
  • Encourage and help develop a growth and learning mindset in employees, leaders and volunteers at all levels of an organization.


For More Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this leadership search on behalf of YMCA of Three Rivers. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Tara George, Partner, KCI Search + Talent, or Christie Chavez, Associate Search Consultant by email at

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by July 15, 2022.  All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

To view the full Executive Brief, visit

The YMCA of Three Rivers embraces diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive workplace, welcoming applications from all qualified persons. In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, accommodation will be provided at any point throughout the hiring process, provided the candidate makes their accommodation needs known to the YMCA. The YMCAs comply with the Employment Standards Act, Pay Equity Legislation and privacy laws.  In keeping with privacy laws, we are committed to protecting personal information by following responsible information handling practices.

For more information on the YMCAs commitment to privacy, please visit our websites at:

YMCA of Three Rivers – Waterloo RegionYMCA of Three Rivers – GuelphYMCA of Three Rivers – Stratford-Perth.