Leadership Development


EXecutive directions ascent

The Executive Directions Ascent program provides the next step for emerging nonprofit leaders who are challenged to grow within their organization or in the nonprofit sector.

application deadline for cohort 4 is NOVEMBER 22!

To apply, please contact us at programs@calgarycvo.org or download an application below.

about the program


During the six-month Ascent program, you'll join nonprofit peers in a learning community that will help you understand your role as a leader and develop the confidence to grow your career.

Guided by specific topics and two skilled facilitators, nonprofit managers and directors come together each month for cohort learning that includes inquiry and conversations to help you experience deep self awareness, develop peer connections, and grow to becoming a more effective nonprofit leader. 

Ascent graduates report that they experience:

  • Strong connections with other leaders outside of their organization

  • Increased confidence in taking risks and dealing with tough issues

  • Deeper understanding of governance and Board roles

  • Positive relationships to work collaboratively inside and outside of their organizations

Ascent’s personalized learning was a first step into learning more about my strengths, being more self-aware and realizing the importance of taking an individual approach to my leadership. It have me the opportunity to share through discussions and have someone listen who didn’t judge.
— Chris Petrik, Ascent alumnus


Who: Directors, managers, and other mid-senior level nonprofit leaders.

When: Six full-day cohort sessions over six months, with smaller peer gatherings in between.


Where: Cohort full-day sessions are held in Calgary, Alberta. Peer meetings are booked at the discretion of participants.

Download the Ascent Cohort 4 Program Overview

Cost: $2,400. Participants are encouraged to apply for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant to offset two-thirds of the total program fees. Participants outside of Calgary may also be eligible for assistance with transportation, accommodation and meal costs with the Canada-Alberta Job Grant.

Grant applications must be submitted and approved prior to program start date and take at least 30 days for processing. Full details on the grant program can be found on the Canada Alberta Job Grant website.

Schedule a 15-minute discovery call to learn more

or DOWNLOAD the application form below.

Ascent Cohort 4 Facilitators


fawna bews


Fawna Bews is a facilitator and coach who is committed to listening first. Creating an atmosphere where people can be comfortable and engaged encourages self awareness and the ground for expansion. Passionate about the power of working in groups she has an extensive background in capacity building  with individuals, groups and communities.

Fawna is thrilled to be working with Ascent 4 and her desire is that each participant will come away from the program with a deeper understanding of themselves, growth in the talents they bring and clarity with where they are going on their leadership journey. 



lisa falkowsky

Lisa Falkowsky.jpg

Lisa provides leadership coaching to individuals and teams, and works with Boards to ensure strong organizational leadership. Coaching is provided individually to help build personal and professional capacity; and with teams to create cohesive, effective teams that lead organizations to success.  

The organizations Lisa works with appreciate her proven leadership acumen in both business and nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about building organizations that dream about a stronger future with maximum impact, while underpinning it with effective and efficient operational functions. She is recognized for the ability to quickly prioritize issues and implement effective action plans; to create a clear operational focus; inspire teams; and build a strong reputation to ensure organizations achieve results.


Executive Directions ASCENT ALUMNI

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Ascent Cohort 2

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Ascent Cohort 3