SARC Fall Conference


SARC Fall Conference 2017

Registration is now open for the SARC Fall Conference!

On behalf of SARC and our Board of Directors, we welcome you to the SARC Fall Conference 2017! SARC Learning Central focuses on strengthening the nonprofit sector so we’re offering a variety of Board and management topics aimed at building nonprofit capacity.

We look forward to having a talented group of speakers from across North America join us.

In particular, we will be having a session on How to Navigate Conflict and Have Difficult Conversations with Deanne Karr from ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership & Workplace Performance. This session will assist you in understanding the dynamics of conflict and equip you with the skills needed to respond confidently and effectively.

Topics in Board development include The Executive Director and Board Relationship presented by Marie-Claire Seebolm from Vantage Point and Board Performance with Dr. Yvonne Harrison from the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN). These sessions will explore nonprofit Board effectiveness, challenges, and discuss how Boards can achieve optimal performance. 

Other dynamic sessions to look forward to include Labour Relations Contingency Planning – a panel presentation with Amy Gibson from MLT Aikins and Marrion Wolff from SARC, and Ethical Everest: Strengthening Your Decision Making Under Stress with Jennifer Sanford from Open Door Communications. 

Our opening keynote speaker, Nick Nissley, will discuss the importance of knowing your leadership story and leading with it, while our closing presentation from Jennifer Sanford will bring the topics of the entire conference all together by touching on a number of areas on leadership, conflict, motivation, and so much more. 

This conference also features presentations on mindfulness, person-centred recruitment, and social enterprise – there is something here for you! 

On the evening of October 25, we invite you to attend our annual Celebrate Success Banquet – an evening filled with inspiring and motivational stories, laughter, and partnership. We will honour the four Al McGuire recipients, the Volunteer of Distinction and the Saskatchewan Employer of Excellence. Join SARC Members and special guests as we recognize and celebrate the achievements of community members across Saskatchewan.

2017 Leap Graduates will be celebrated on October 26.  We look forward to having you join us.

Please select the sessions you would like to attend for the two-day conference by filling out the registration form that is on the back of this brochure. You can submit registration forms by scanning to email, using the fillable form, or faxing it to the SARC office at 306-653-3932.  You can also register online at SARC Learning Central at

See you in Saskatoon!

Mindy Bonderoff,
Facilitator of Education & Training
306-933-0616 ext. 224

October 25: Opening plenary Session  (11:00 am - 12:00 pm)

The Power of Personal Story: Know your Story and Lead With it

Dr. Nick Nissley, School for Creative and Performing Arts 

Regardless of my formal title, the role I’ve played throughout my career has been Chief Human Resourcefulness Officer, as I am driven to enable others’ capacity to think and act beyond boundaries, to achieve more than was previously imagined. I’ve approached my work life not just as a career, but as a cause; as an activist, fighting poverty in the workplace. I believe that we all suffer some form of poverty: poverty of imagination, or courage, or vision, or will. But, I refuse to be limited by false ideas of what’s possible. I’m a possibilitarian. 

I have come to believe in the power of story – that we become the stories that we tell ourselves. I like to invite others on this journey – to explore how we can be the author of our own stories. In this keynote, I will share my ‘who I am story’. I share it to illuminate the importance of finding your story as well as the fact that sometimes we simply need to change our story, especially when we become stuck. Sometimes we may find ourselves in a story that no longer works. What does a possibilitarian suggest, then? Change your story!

October 25: Session 1 (1:30 pm - 4:00 pm)

1A: Developing Your Leadership Story  

Dr. Nick Nissley, School for Creative and Performing Arts

This session will build on his morning keynote, where Dr. Nissley shared his ‘who I am story’. His personal story illuminates the importance of finding our story and understanding how it can be used as a resource for leadership. He will create a space and welcome us to begin giving voice to our personal stories.

Dr. Nissley also appreciates that stories are not static, or set in stone. In fact, sometimes, we must embrace changing our story. He will actively engage you to identify a leadership and/or personal challenge where you are feeling stuck (a story that’s not working) and then help you begin to shape a ‘rescription’ (or a new story that will allow us to get unstuck and achieve our goals). 

Lastly, Dr. Nissley will help us more clearly see the connection between our personal stories and our leadership legacy, asserting, “It’s not what you gather, rather it’s what you scatter on your journey through life that tells the story of what kind of life you have lived”. He uses this as a final opportunity for reflection, exploration, and story sharing among participants – an opportunity for valuing our story, and to answer, how my story has made a difference in the lives of others.

1B: The Executive Director and Board Relationship 

Marie-Claire Seebolm, Vantage Point
The Executive Director and Board partnership is vital to the success of your organization. This partnership aligns your team to your mission and strategic goals and activates engagement within your community. In this session, you will learn to describe the distinct roles of the Executive Director and the Board while clarifying roles and responsibilities. You will also be able to identify, after attending this session, specific approaches to build the Executive Director and Board partnership, aligning as a team to focus on strategic goals and mission. This session will assist you in developing constructive conflict processes to foster collaboration.

1C: Mindfulness: Well-being and Effectiveness at Work 

Jeanne Corrigal, Mindfulness Works

Mindful attention can help us develop a different relationship to these thought patterns, so that they take less of a toll on our energy and health.  We practice letting go of our disabling thought patterns and of becoming more and more aware in the present moment.  Work and life experience can deepen through a renewed sense of meaning and connection, and we can feel satisfied and grateful for the simplest of things.  We can cultivate a sense of balance, well-being, choice, and satisfaction in our lives, and in our work.
In this session, you will be given an introduction to mindfulness including the definition, benefits, and neuroscience behind it. We can tell when we are not present because we find ourselves rushing, making mistakes, and feeling exhausted, stressed or burnt out. These types of thought patterns can take a serious toll on our health, well-being and overall effectiveness both at work and in our personal lives.

October 26: Session 2 (9:00 am - 12:00 pm)

2A: Labour Relations Contingency Planning  

Amy Gibson, MLT Aikins and Marrion Wolff, SARC

Come hear from Amy Gibson, Associate with MLT Aikins, and Marrion Wolff, SARC’s Labour Relations Consultant, as to the latest in collective bargaining trends, what is being experienced in our sector, and the processes involved should bargaining come to an impasse.  The session will cover what you need to be aware of and prepared for if your organization finds itself in this situation, including the key components of a labour disruption contingency plan. Angela Knapik, Executive Director of Variety Place Association, is joining us to discuss her organization’s recently implemented contingency plan, and she, Amy, and Marrion will be available to answer your questions. 

Please note: this session is for out-of-scope employees and Board Directors only.

2B: Conflict Resolution and How to Have Difficult Conversations

Deanne Karr, ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and Workplace Performance

Whether sharing bad news with a client, providing corrective action, or talking with a colleague about an uncomfortable issue, difficult conversations often take a large mental and emotional toll on everyone. In fact, having difficult conversations can be one of the most stressful and uncomfortable aspects of our lives and work. Yet the ability to handle difficult conversations respectfully and professionally is also an essential workplace skill. This session will review the key elements of preparing for, conducting, and concluding difficult conversations. You will leave with a set of tools to help ensure that difficult conversations are productive, professional and respectful for all involved.

Conflict holds great potential for harm and for good. The results of unhealthy conflict impact us individually and contribute to negative group performance. Those people who master essential conflict resolution skills reduce the occurrence of negative conflict in their lives, leading to healthier, happier relationships and work environments.

Conflict has many sources, including miscommunication, disagreements, stress and personality differences. Many conflicts would not spiral out of control if people used conflict resolution techniques that are easy to learn and utilize. This session will teach you to understand the dynamics of conflict and equip you with the skills needed to respond confidently and effectively.

2C: Ethical Everest: Strengthening Your Decision- Making Under Stress 

Jennifer Sanford, Open Door Communications

We have all had to make decisions under stress, but we do so knowing very little about HOW we come to the decisions we make. More importantly, what do we know about how our peers and teams make decisions under stress? In this extroverted session, you will climb your own Everest of decision making; learning the thinking paradigms and working in teams to test decision-making approaches. After this session, you will leave with new tools to help manage the stress of making tough decisions. 

October 26: Session 3 (1:00 pm - 2:30 pm)

3A: Person-Centred Recruitment 

Michael Lavis, COR; Susie Eidem, Southwest Homes; Tamara Jackson, Chip and Dale Homes

Have you had challenges with recruitment? Need to hire someone right now to fill a position? Who hasn’t had these struggles! Some CBO’s are taking a more deliberate approach to hiring in a person-centred way – it all starts with the recruitment process. Learn how to strengthen your person-centred practices in all aspects of CBO management and the provision of support services.
In this session, a brief update of the work of the Person-Centred Thinking Task Team will be shared. As well, hear directly from three different organizations about how they’ve changed their hiring practices and improved their HR processes to reflect a truly person-centred recruitment process.

3B: Board Performance 

Dr. Yvonne Harrison, Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN)

The governance function is critically important to keeping nonprofit organizations in touch with the communities they serve, and ensuring that they are accountable for the resources they receive and achieve their missions efficiently and effectively. This session will explore nonprofit Board effectiveness challenges and the efficacy of a management practice that empirical research has shown helps Boards achieve higher levels of performance. 

By the end of this session, you will have an awareness of the range of issues that challenge the performance of nonprofit Boards in a number of dimensions, including board composition and development, meetings, leadership and more. You will have access to a free theory-based online tool and textbook designed to facilitate the practice of Board performance assessment and conduct longitudinal research on Board performance from the perspective of those who serve on and interact with Boards.  You will also gain knowledge of the effects of online Board performance assessment on nonprofit governance and organizational effectiveness.

3C: Exploring Social Enterprise Experiences Across Canada

David LePage, Buy Social Canada

Social enterprise is emerging as an important market-based tool for nonprofits to achieve their mission and contribute to their financial sustainability. In order to succeed, organizations need both an appropriate blended value business model and a supportive environment in which to thrive. This session explores the requirements of a sound social enterprise business model, as well as the pillars of the evolving supportive ecosystem. We will explore how to match community needs and market realities, as well as examine the role for government in terms of public policy for capacity building, social purchasing, social innovation and social finance. The session will include an update and discussion on the Federal Government Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy process.

October 26 - Closing keynote Presentation (2:45 pm - 3:30 pm)

The Close

Jennifer Sanford

To close the conference, Jennifer will bring the conference learnings together by touching on leadership, conflict, motivation, and mindfulness. Jennifer will help you to understand the road ahead and ask what’s within us, as people, to get us there. We will discuss about where change comes from, how we all play a role in shaping the experiences we have, and taking ownership of our responsibility to get there. 


The Fall Conference 2017 will be held at the Saskatoon Inn, 2002 Airport Drive, in Saskatoon.  Minutes away from the airport, this hotel boasts newly renovated space and competitive accommodation prices.

You can reserve accommodations for this conference by calling 1-800-667-8789 or 306-242-1440 and ask for the SARC Fall Conference Group Block for a special rate.


Conference Registration Fees

SARC Members 

  • $349 - Conference Registration
  • $398 - Conference and Banquet

Other Nonprofit Organizations

  • $419 plus GST - Conference Registration
  • $469 plus GST plus GST - Conference and Banquet

Banquet Tickets

  • $55 + GST


Dr. Nick Nissley serves as Executive Director of The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, USA. This is the first public K-12 arts magnet school in the United States, funded through a one-of-a-kind public-private partnership.

Nick earned his Doctorate Degree in Education, from the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, in Washington, DC. He has over 25 years of experience in educational leadership roles, extending from K-12 to the University-level, and he has previously served in an Executive Director role at The Banff Centre.

His curiosity and passion for narrative art has led him to a life-long exploration of the intersection of story and learning – as an academic/writer, an educational leader, and as an applied theatre practitioner – seeking to understand how stories impart meaningfulness to our lives. He previously performed with Playback Columbus (improvisational storytelling/theatre), has been invited to perform at the Detroit Worker-Writer Festival, and he performed with Bread and Puppet Theatre, in Vermont. For more than twenty years, Nick has found great joy acting in organizational theatre performances on stages throughout the US and Canada, as well as England, Poland, and Slovenia. In the last couple of years he has returned to the stage with Ohio Playback Theatre, and he also serves as co-artistic Director of Cincinnati’s True Theatre – whose mission is to build community through the sharing of true, personal stories.

Marie-Claire Seebolm: With over 15 years’ nonprofit and cooperative operations, and human resources (HR) leadership experience, Marie-Claire is passionate about supporting social profit organizations to succeed through effective HR and governance practices. She has successfully supported small and larger organizations to meet the challenges of executive leadership transition, now as an independent consultant, and previously as People Solutions Consultant with Central 1 Credit Union. Other prior leadership positions include HR Director with the David Suzuki Foundation, HR Specialist with Vancity Credit Union and Operations Manager with Ecotrust Canada. Marie-Claire has served as a non-profit volunteer for over two decades; on the Board with Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, as a founding member of the West End Residents Association, and until recently as a Director with the Pivot Legal Society. An enthusiastic knowledge philanthropist with Vantage Point, she engages groups in discussions on governance and strategic planning – usually with a little HR sprinkled in! 

Jeanne Corrigal is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher, trained by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, and certified by the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She is also a certified Insight Meditation Teacher, studying with Jack Kornfield and other teachers internationally.  She has practiced mindfulness for 18 years and taught for the last 10, leading classes, retreats, conference and corporate sessions.  She has worked for 25 years as a certified Life Skills Coach Trainer, developing and facilitating adult education workshops and courses and specialising in mindfulness training. 

Amy Gibson’s services include advising unionized and non-unionized employers on a variety of labour issues, including collective agreement interpretation, workplace policies, discipline and discharge, employment contracts, occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation, labour standards and human rights. She has experience with drafting and preparing materials for a variety of court proceedings and hearings, including the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board and various administrative Boards and tribunals.

Marrion Wolff has been the Labour Relations Consultant at SARC since 2015, and prior to that worked in education as a Superintendent of Human Resources for more than 20 years.  She received an MBA from Royal Roads University and a Certificate in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University.  Marrion supports SARC Member Agencies (unionized and non-unionized) with a variety of employee/labour relations issues, including performance management, collective bargaining, and employment legislation.

Deanne Karr has applied her skills in leadership, management and organizational change for many years as a leader and manager with Mental Health and Addiction Services in Saskatchewan. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Public Health, with expertise in program evaluation, project management and change management. As a leader, Deanne is passionate about creating a work environment where individuals feel valued, acknowledged and appreciated; and where collaboration, creative problem solving and team work are fostered and expected by the team. She understands the value of open communication, trust and accountability in developing functional and dynamic teams.

Jennifer Sanford is a coach, communicator and crisis manager. As an independent consultant, she focuses on developing leaders, teams and organizational cultures through a people-first approach to business. With a results-based coaching method and dynamic facilitation skills, Jennifer supports organizations to develop a people-first approach to their business…in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad. As WestJet’s former media spokesperson, Jennifer has significant experience managing public trust and confidence and delivering on an award-winning brand reputation. 

Jennifer’s clients include nonprofit organizations, boutique firms, politicians, and many organizations who provide critical services to the public. She is a certified Communications Management Professional from the International Association of Business Communicators and holds a Masters of Communications from John Hopkins University. She is one of Canada’s few board-certified leadership coaches, a certified business continuity consultant and an extroverted facilitator. She holds an active membership with the Canadian Public Relations Society, the Professional Speechwriters Association and is a proud member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. 

Michael Lavis relocated to Canada in July 2009 to become COR’s founding Executive Director. He has completed a MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University, the Effective Executive program at the University of Saskatchewan, and is currently enrolled in the Values Based Leadership graduate program at Royal Roads University. Michael is passionately committed to strengthening the disability services sector in Saskatchewan and to forge out new beginnings for the province’s most vulnerable citizens. Michael is a member of the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy’s Citizen Consultation Team, Co-Lead of the provincial Person- Centered Thinking Task Team, a member of the provincial CPP&SP Committee, and member of the provincial Attraction, Retention and Compensation (ARC) Task Team. He too is an active member within the Gentle Teaching community, serving on both the Executive Committee of the Gentle Teaching International Board of Directors and Steering Committee of the Gentle Teaching Canada Network. 

Susie Eidem has enjoyed her role as Executive Director of Southwest Homes for the past 16 years. This agency has grown tremendously during the last 10 years and is now considered a large employer in the city of Swift Current.  Susie earned her Bachelor Degree in Human Service Administration while working full time. Being person centered has been the focus of Susie and the staff at Southwest Homes for many years now. Susie believes that treating someone with respect starts with seeing those around you as individuals with the right to make their own choices over their lives.

Tamara Jackson: Upon graduating high school, Tamara attended the University of Regina and received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology.  Tamara has been employed at Chip and Dales Homes Inc. for 19 years and has worked a variety of positions, but has been a Program Coordinator since 2005.  Tamara has had experiences working with people across many sectors including at-risk-youth, individuals living with disability, individuals with mental health issues and those with dementia. Tamara has been a certified trainer in Person Centered Thinking since 2015 under the mentorship of Julie Malette from Helen Sanderson Associates Canada.  Tamara is passionate about her work and continues to seek new opportunities to learn and grow in both her professional and personal life.

Dr. Yvonne Harrison, formerly Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy in Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY, is Associate Professor and Director of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network at Luther College at the University of Regina. 

Dr. Harrison has conducted a number of Canadian and International research investigations exploring questions such as the leadership role and impact of the Board Chair and the extent to which volunteers and managers of volunteer resources in Canada use modern information and communications technology tools to perform work. She has aligned interests in board leadership and technology with Board Check-Up,, an online tool she and co-investigator, Dr. Vic Murray, developed to fill a gap in board technical capacity to assess performance and to conduct longitudinal research into its effect on changes in governance behavior and practices. Dr. Harrison holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. 

David LePage is a Principal with Accelerating Social Impact CCC, Ltd., one of Canada’s first ever hybrid social enterprise corporations. Through ASI he provides social value based business advice and consulting, promotes a supportive public policy environment and advises social purchasers and impact investors. His years of experience cross all dimensions of social enterprise activity, in rural and urban settings, across cultures, and internationally. 

David is a co-founder, Director and Managing Partner of Buy Social Canada. Buy Social Canada ( facilitates social purchasing relationships and offers a certification program for social enterprise suppliers and purchasers. He is a founding partner of the Social Enterprise Institute, SEI. SEI is an accessible on-line learning, coaching and resources platform for social enterprises and social entrepreneurs ( 

Sponsorship Opportunities and Exhibitor Booths

There are sponsorship opportunities available for the Fall Conference. To learn more about the many benefits of sponsorship, download the 2017 Call for Sponsorship Package.

Exhibitor Booths

Exhibitors interested in attending the SARC Fall Conference to market their organization or business can purchase booth space in the networking area of the conference (Saskatchewan C - at the Saskatoon Inn) for day one of the event. 

What exhibitors receive:

  • One skirted table and chairs
  • One complimentary lunch 
  • Access to all conference sessions 
  • An opportunity to network with approximately 100 delegates during our extended networking breaks and lunch on the first day of the conference

Dates and times:

Exhibitor Booths are available on the first day of the Fall Conference on October 25.  Booth set-up will take place at 9:00 a.m. and take down will be after 3:00 p.m.


  • Nonprofit rate: $250
  • Corporate rate: $300

Interesting in having a booth at the Fall Conference? Download the Exhibitor Booth Registration form. Please complete and return this form to Kari Boudreau by email at or by fax at (306) 653-3932 prior to October 4, 2017.


  • 1A: Developing Your Leadership Story

    Oct 25, 2017

  • 1B: The Executive Director and Board Relationship

    Oct 25, 2017

  • 1C: Mindfulness: Well-Being and Effectiveness at Work

    Oct 25, 2017

  • 2A: Labour Relations Contingency Planning - A Panel Presentation

    Oct 26, 2017

  • 2B: Conflict Resolution and How to Have Difficult Conversations

    Oct 26, 2017

  • 2C: Ethical Everest: Strengthening Your Decision Making Under Stress

    Oct 26, 2017

  • 3A: Person-Centred Recruitment

    Oct 26, 2017

  • 3B: Board Performance

    Oct 26, 2017

  • 3C: Exploring Social Enterprise Experiences Across Canada

    Oct 26, 2017

Related Programs

More Programs