Not-for-Profit Professional Development Certificate Program | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
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YMCA/Lakehead Not-for-Profit Professional Development Certificate Program

Level 1 beginning on June 21, 2017

Professional development in the non-profit sector is a vital tool for strengthening organizational effectiveness. That’s why the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, in partnership with Lakehead University, have made it a priority to offer new leadership training opportunities to the community leaders of Simcoe County. While business and community leaders may have access to skills-based leadership training, the YMCA’s Not-For-Profit Professional Development Certificate program focuses on the leadership capacity of the individual. The program explores what it takes to be an effective leader using academically sound research supported content. The program provides quality, cost-effective training that is distinctly suited to the needs of our leaders in the area.

Over 113 participants have completed Level 1 of the program from such organizations as – Children’s Treatment Network, Canadian Red Cross, Barrie Public Library, County of Simcoe, Breaking Down Barriers, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, Ontario Provincial Police and more. Since the launch of the program in 2014, the Professional Development Certificate Program has certainly made an impact in the not-for-profit world.

“Participating in Level 1 of the program really helped me reframe my personality traits in a positive light and helped me understand my leadership qualities. The speakers offered a great deal of insight into many pertinent issues, such as employer and donor relations, time management, group development, conflict resolution, mission based prioritization and many other topics. I would recommend the course to anyone.”

~ Nathan Sykes, Coalition Member, Youth Haven.

“I just wanted to convey my appreciation for such an awesome learning experience! The expert panelists were from a variety of work sectors allowing us a glimpse into how they became leaders in their fields. Many similarities existed and we were free to ask questions of them. This greatly enhanced our processing of the three days, and there were many opportunities to explore and reflect on our own practices. The experience left us wanting more and I’m looking forward to levels 2 and 3!”

~ Carolyn Walsh, M.Ed., Children’s Services Program Supervisor

Upcoming Dates!

Level 1 of the certificate program is being offered from June 21 to 23, 2017 at Lakehead University Orillia campus and February 7-9, 2018 at YMCA Geneva Park and will focus on how your personal strengths as a leader can contribute to a team and the goals of your organization. You will learn boundaries to manage stress and how to apply tools and concepts of communication that can improve processes and teamwork. The implementation of solutions to everyday problems will also be discussed.

Level 2 is being offered from November 15-17, 2017 at YMCA Geneva Park and will focus on emotional intelligence & leadership, resiliency, change management, performance management, conflict resolution, and the art of persuasion.

Level 3 is being offered from May 9-11, 2018 at YMCA Geneva Park and will focus on collaboration, followership, governance, philanthropic leadership, and unconscious bias.

The faculty and panelists combine academic rigor with real world experience and infuse the curriculum with fresh perspectives.

Level 1 faculty includes:

  • Val Dickson, General Manager of Leadership Development, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
  • Frank Cappadocia, Associate Vice-President of Lakehead University’s Orillia campus
  • Fiona Cascagnette, Vice President of Child and Youth Development, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
  • Brian Shelley, Vice President of Philanthropy, Brand and Community Development, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

Past panelists have included:

  • Brian Beal, Director of Education, Simcoe County Catholic District School Board
  • John Clarke, Mackenzie Health Centre
  • Dale Biddell, CEO, United Way
  • Jory Pritchard-Kerr, Executive Director, Collingwood General & Marine Hospital
  • Glen Newby, CEO, New Path Youth and Family Services

Register Today!

For more information about the YMCA Professional Development Certificate Program and to register for Level 1, please visit

2 Responses to “YMCA/Lakehead Not-for-Profit Professional Development Certificate Program”

  1. January 10, 2018 at 10:57 am, Anne Myles said:

    I have been attempting to reconnect with Valerie Dickson. We have had previous contact regarding the NFP Professional Development Leadership Program. E-mails are being returned as undeliverable and not able to establish contact on the telephone # I have. If someone could please advise if there is a new contact person, I would appreciate it
    Anne Myles


    • January 15, 2018 at 2:34 pm, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka said:

      Thanks for reaching out, Anne. We’ve sent you an email with Val’s updated contact information.


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