Leadership Development


Executive Directions Summit

The Executive Directions Summit program is focused on developing participants’ leadership tools to navigate the increasing complexity of social issues and fast-paced change. Participants are challenged to have courageous conversations and prepare for situations where taking bold action is regularly required.

Applications for the winter 2020 cohort are now being accepted!

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

about the program


Two facilitators guide small cohorts to support, encourage, challenge, and hold each other accountable during the group sessions and through two levels of the program. With peer cohorts of 12-14 Executive Directors and CEOs, participants can expect deep learning, camaraderie, critical feedback, and peer support during the 18-month program. Individual coaching sessions provide focused time for each participant to address current challenges in their leadership role.

Summit graduates report that they experience:

  • Improved self-awareness

  • Renewed energy and focus

  • Increased ability to solve problems and make better decisions

  • Deep connections within their cohort of peers

  • Better conflict resolution skills

  • Stronger conflict resolution skills

  • Overall increase in competence, capabilities, and risk taking

  • More confidence and courage to lead

I joined Summit to ‘raise my game’, not really knowing what that was supposed to mean. I learned what it meant – in spades! Summit made me tremendously more effective for my organizations and connected me with a group of peers from whom I continue to learn.
— Summit cohort 4 alum

Program details

Who: Nonprofit Executive Directors and CEOs.

When: Over 18 months, participants will complete two program levels. Summit 9 cohort dates are listed in the table below.

Download the Summit Cohort 9 Program Overview


Where: Full-day cohort classroom and individual coaching sessions are held in Calgary, Alberta.

Cost: $6,000 per level of seven cohort sessions and eight individual coaching sessions. 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.




Summit Cohort 9 Facilitators


Ruth Esau


Ruth is an outcome-focused facilitator and coach with a passion for inspiring transformative living and leadership. Her own training and development is focused in executive coaching, emotional intelligence, strengths development, and educational excellence. Ruth’s desired outcome for each leader is for the time they spend in Executive Directions to be transformative in their personal and professional life in ways that cause them to grow in their confidence and competence as a leader.

Summit cohort 9 is Ruth’s fifth Cohort Facilitating experience, and one that is greatly anticipated.


Larry Thiessen


As a coach and facilitator, Larry believes the questions that we ask are more important than the solutions that we offer. His experience in consulting, executive coaching, leadership development, and strategic planning is focused on helping others to “see and think differently.” Larry’s preferred outcome is that each leader who participates in Executive Directions will increase their leadership capacity and move further up along their journey toward maximum impact.


Program Supporter