Board Governance Academy

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Board Governance Academy: Executive Director & Board Chair Partnership - advanced learning for Vancouver not-for-profit board members and senior leaders

The success of your organization begins with your executive director - board chair team.

The Executive Director-Board Chair partnership is vital to the success of your organization. A strong partnership aligns your organization to your mission and supports achievement of strategic goals.

Board Governance Academy is an innovative program designed for Executive Director and Board Chair teams to maximize their relationship and achieve best practices in areas like facilitating strategic discussions and managing board dynamics and conflict.

This program offers a multi-faceted approach to building a high-functioning partnership through in-class and e-learning, peer interaction, and valuable expert facilitation.

Your executive director - board chair team and your organization benefit!

Integrating e-learning and self-assessments with in-class training sessions, the cohort model of the program fosters the executive director and board chair to:

  • Strengthen your organizational culture. A high-performing Executive Director-Board Chair partnership sets your organizational tone and results in strengthened culture, increased productivity and improved program delivery.
  • Increase your board’s effectiveness. Lead your board as a team to align their work and focus on strategic goals.
  • Develop constructive conflict processes. With shared leadership and management, the Executive Director and Board Chair work collaboratively to manage conflict and apply it to increase your organizational outcomes.
  • Receive up to two hours of advisory support from a not-for-profit expert during or after the program

Who Should Participate

Both your organization's board chair and executive director should complete each in-class and e-learning session .

Participant Responsibilities

Along with attending the in-class sessions your team will:

  • Complete a leadership assessment
  • Review all eLearning courses
  • Schedule and complete assigned tasks/activities in between sessions

Program Details

Interested in taking Governance Academy this Fall 2018? Apply by Oct 12, 2018 at 4:00pm PT

Fall Sessions
1. E-learning | TBA (participants receive e-learning materials) 
2. E-learning | TBA (e-learning modules must be viewed by this date)
3. In-class | Nov 2, 2018 from 9:00am – 4:00pm
4. In-class | Nov 24, 2018 from 9:00am – 4:00pm

Location (in-class sessions): 1183 Melville Street, Vancouver

Cost: $1300 per team - executive director & board chair (or equivalent positions) 

Program Content

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Critical role of the board chair
  • Executive director role

Strengthening the Partnership

  • Shared decision making
  • Setting goals and expectations
  • Leading together towards mission
  • Increasing collaboration and shared decision-making
  • Regular communication and conversation starters

Trust and Transparency

  • Building trust and transparency
  • Embracing productive conflict
  • Enhancing shared leadership


  • Operating structures that support effective governance
  • Inspiring shared vision and mission alignment
  • Strategic discussions and the generative curve
  • Enhancing board engagement and board culture

Anchored in John Fulwider’s learnings, Better Together, this program is designed to:

  • Ensure clarity and consistency around the roles and responsibilities of the board chair and the executive in leading, governing and managing the organization
  • Improve team leadership by strengthening the working relationship between the chair and the executive - creating a stronger board and a mission-driven organization
  • Create continuity of leadership through a shared learning experience
  • Gain tactics and tools for transferring information to your organization 

Transform your organization. Move your executive director-board chair relationship from good to great!   

Fall registration is now closed. Join the interest list to be notified when Spring Dates are posted.


For more information, contact

Carla Koulas
Client Relations Coordinator
(604) 968-1943

City of Vancouver Grantee organizations can apply for a Board Governance Academy bursary via the program's application form. Candidates will be selected by a panel according to specific criteria.



Transform your organization. Move your executive director-board chair relationship from good to great!

Join the interest list to be notified when spring registration is open.

Fall Schedule 2018

Fall 2018 City of Vancouver Grantee Bursary Application Deadline
October 12, 2018 at 4:00pm PT


TBA | Participants receive learning materials
TBA | E-learning modules must be viewed


Nov 2 | 9:00am - 4:00pm
Nov 24 | 9:00am - 4:00pm


Larkin MacKenzie-Ast

Larkin MacKenzie-Ast is the Executive Director of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, a national charity that provides education and mentorship to women entrepreneurs. Prior to joining FWE, Larkin was the Director, HR, Corporate Services for Canfor, the forest products company. Before that, she was the Manager of the Province of BC’s Board Resourcing and Development Office, overseeing and managing the provincial appointments to over 250 boards. Way back before her time at BRDO, Larkin was a Casting Director in the Film & TV realm, where she ran a Casting house with her business partner. Originally from Toronto, Larkin attended UBC (BA in Political Science) and never went back East. She completed her Project Management Professional (PMP) in 2010. Active in her community, she sits on the HR MacMillan Space Centre and New Ventures BC Boards of Directors, and recently stepped down from the BC Innovation Council Board. Show Section - System InformationSystem Information

t: 604 875 9144
f: 604 875 0710
1183 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 2X5


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