Regional Vice President, Ontario

Reports to: Vice President, Regional Operations
Location: Greater Toronto Area


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada's leading national land conservation organization. A private, non-profit organization, NCC partners with individuals, corporations, other non-profit organizations and governments at all levels to protect our most important natural treasures — the natural areas that sustain Canada’s plants and wildlife. NCC secures properties (through donation, purchase, conservation agreement and the relinquishment of other legal interests in land) and manages them for the long term.

Since 1962, NCC and partners have helped to conserve 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) of ecologically significant land from coast to coast, protecting areas of natural diversity for their
intrinsic value and for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.

Vision: We envision a world in which Canadians conserve nature in all its diversity, and safeguard the lands and waters that sustain life.

Mission: The Nature Conservancy of Canada leads and inspires others to join us in creating a legacy for future generations by conserving important natural areas and biological diversity across all regions of Canada.

Values: Wherever we work across Canada, we share and apply the following values:

  • Durable conservation outcomes: While respecting nature's processes, we manage lands and waters for their natural values today and for the long term. We believe future generations deserve to inherit a biologically rich world.
  • Evidence-based decision-making: We are guided by the best available conservation science. We are committed to continuous learning, and to finding practical, resourceful and innovative solutions to conservation challenges.
  • Respect for nature and people: We respect the needs, values and culture of local communities. We seek conservation solutions that meet the needs of nature and people. Conservation supports prosperous and sustainable communities.
  • Integrity first: We work to the highest ethical and professional standards. We are transparent and accountable to our supporters. We earn trust by living up to our commitments.
  • Conservation through collaboration and cooperation: Our commitment to community and to partners makes us strong. We strive to be open to the ideas of others so that together we can achieve conservation outcomes that benefit all. We work in the spirit of collaboration. We celebrate each other's successes.

The Conservation Process

NCC’s on-the-ground work is led by a team of conservation science professionals who work to identify, plan and execute the protection of the best of Canada's natural spaces and manage and restore them for the long term. This process ensures that conservation actions (like buying land, removing invasive weeds or mapping the location of rare species) are efficient and effective.

The conservation process is guided by the following four steps, which happen at all scales (from ecoregions, to natural areas, to properties and projects):

  • Setting priorities: First, we identify where we should work, the species and habitats we want to protect, their health and the threats to them.
  • Developing strategies: Next, we identify what we need to do to reduce the threats to those species and habitats and improve their overall health.
  • Taking action: We then implement these strategies, both on our own and with partners.
  • Measuring success: We assess how effective our actions are, whether they are improving the health of the species and habitats we want to protect and reducing the threats to them. This leads to a reassessment of our priorities, strategies and actions, and we begin the process again.


Since 1962, NCC has been protecting Ontario’s most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Along with its partners, NCC has helped to protect more than 184,000 acres (74,400 hectares) in Ontario. From the north shore of Lake Superior to Pelee Island in Lake Erie, NCC works to protect the province’s most significant natural landscapes.

Priority Areas

Habitat loss is the greatest threat to Canada's native plants and animals, and preventing the loss or degradation of significant habitat is the principal focus of NCC. The following are representative samples of NCC’s priority areas in Ontario:

  • Central Ontario: From the lush, older-growth forests on the west end of the Oak Ridges Moraine near Toronto, to the rare tallgrass prairies on the eastern end near Peterborough, Central Ontario contains a vast array of incredible habitats. The Happy Valley Forest is home to salamanders aplenty, while Napanee Plain and Rice Lake Plains to the east are a haven for declining grassland birds.
  • Eastern Ontario: In Eastern Ontario, forest corridors connect the Algonquin Highlands to New York's Adirondack Mountains, mixing northern species typical of the Canadian Shield with southern ones. Elsewhere in the region, sand dunes and coastal wetlands provide habitat for an incredible diversity of plants and wildlife. The Frontenac Arch is a unique natural area within this landscape, and is where we focus our conservation efforts in eastern Ontario.
  • Georgian Bay-Huronia: stunning shoreline vistas reminiscent of paintings by the Group of Seven along the Eastern Georgian Bay coast; internationally recognized Minesing Wetlands, where first discoveries are made; globally rare habitat at Carden Alvar, blazing with colourful wildflowers. Small but incredibly varied, the Georgian Bay–Huronia region offers all of these exquisite sights and more.
  • Midwestern Ontario: Water connects all of the priority areas in the Midwestern region of Ontario. From the southern coast of the world's largest freshwater island — Manitoulin — down along the Northern Bruce Peninsula, and along the coast of Lake Huron to the Lower Maitland River Valley, our conservation work flows over sand dunes, alvars, cliffs, wetlands and forests.
  • Northwestern Ontario: Waves crash on Lake Superior's northwestern shore, creating a moderated climate more temperate than northern. Here, moist mixed forests from the south transition to the north's drier boreal forests. Meanwhile, the Rainy Lake–Lake of the Woods area is perched on the edge of three different ecosystems. The unique circumstances in both areas results in distinctive communities and uncommon meetings of species.
  • Southwestern Ontario: As the most southerly part of all of Canada, many of the species found in Southwestern Ontario are found nowhere else in Canada. In fact, this small area is home to 25 percent of Canada's species at risk. Southwestern Ontario is a migratory stopover hotspot for everything from birds to butterflies, including the Western Lake Erie islands, the largest of which is Pelee Island, and the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain,


With a history of strong, effective leadership, the NCC’s Ontario region enjoys a stable financial/business platform, enthusiastic, engaged and highly capable staff, and high calibre volunteers including a dedicated provincial Advisory Board performing ambassadorial and fundraising roles.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity for a leader with strong business/general management skills who is an exceptional relationship builder and has passion for NCC’s mission to contribute not only to the achievement of strategic conservation goals in Ontario, but to participate in the future development of NCC nationally.


The Regional Vice President is responsible for leading the Ontario regional program of The Nature Conservancy of Canada. The RVP Ontario will:

  • Communicate a compelling vision that generates excitement, enthusiasm and commitment to NCC’s mission;
  • Raise capital, endowment and operating funds;
  • Ensure that the program has the capacity to effectively conserve priority natural areas in the province;
  • Develop and implement short and long-range plans consistent with the mission of protecting and managing biological diversity;
  • Carry out land protection and management objectives;
  • Direct the ongoing activities of regional staff.

As a senior manager within NCC, the RVP Ontario has direct responsibility for leading Ontario operations. As well, s/he participates in organizational decision-making including contributing to strategic planning, participating in senior staff meetings, providing advice and counsel to the Vice President, Regional Operations and the President, and building relationships for NCC.

Key Objectives:

  • Position NCC in Ontario for growth by developing the profile of NCC with major donors, partners and within the conservation community;
  • Provide effective leadership and management to staff;
  • Organize administration to maximize operating efficiencies;
  • Work diligently to foster a ‘One Conservancy’ ethic and approach within Ontario staff and across the organization.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership for NCC's conservation activities in Ontario including marketing and promotion of NCC to potential supporters and the general public;
  • Raise funds for general operations, conservation projects and endowment, including soliciting major gifts and acquiring, retaining and developing high-end donors;
  • Bring NCC Ontario’s current $100M campaign to a successful conclusion, by 2020;
  • Involve local, provincial, and federal government agencies where necessary and useful in the accomplishment of NCC's mission;
  • Develop and maintain broad public support from all sectors for the protection of natural diversity in the province;
  • Assist in developing and maintaining an effective Regional Board, providing staff support for the Board, and liaising and formulating plans with the Board;
  • Operate within the written policies, procedures, guidelines and standards of NCC;
  • Develop written procedures and policies for regional activities and ensure compliance;
  • Prepare and implement annual regional business plans to achieve NCC’s strategic plan;
  • Direct conservation planning and reporting at multiple scales including Conservation Blueprints, Natural Area Conservation Plans, Property Management Plans, Baseline Documentation Reports (for Conservation Agreements), and annual compliance monitoring;
  • Direct strategic protection of significant natural areas through the use of expert resources and the full range of protection tools, including landowner registries, Conservation Agreements and acquisitions;
  • Direct management of important elements of natural biodiversity on NCC lands and other lands of concern to NCC, and ensure all lands for which NCC has legal responsibility are appropriately managed and monitored;
  • Oversee NCC’s regional staffing activities including the hiring, retention, development and training of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Oversee the management and reporting of financial resources, ensuring regional controls and reporting mechanisms are in place and standards are adhered to;
  • Oversee the review and coordination of all regional proposals for accuracy, consistency and compliance with funding requirements;
  • Approve, within the authority delegated by the President, contracts, agreements, project commitments and expenditures on behalf of NCC;
  • Represent NCC and its interests in the region to landowners, the media, the general public, government agencies and ministries, other nonprofit organizations, individual donors, foundations, corporations and suppliers.


An excellent salesperson and communicator for NCC, the ideal candidate brings strong personal desire and aptitude for building strategic relationships that drive fundraising results while at the same time providing leadership to a talented, multi-disciplinary team.

The ideal candidate will also possess and demonstrate the following qualifications and attributes:


  • Communicate with genuine charisma a compelling vision that generates excitement, enthusiasm and commitment to NCC’s mission;
  • Make things better; identify and solve cross-functional problems; always consider external impact;
  • Foster collaboration among teams as well as among team members; use teams to address relevant issues;
  • Set a good example; ensure that others buy into the team mission, goals, agenda, climate, tone and policy;
  • Use team dynamics to maximize efforts;
  • Contribute to development of staff; provide advice and counsel as appropriate;
  • Fight the right battles; concede to others; understand what can change and what cannot.

Relationship Building:

  • Understand underlying issues, other people’s underlying problems and the reasons for someone’s ongoing or long-term feelings, behaviours or concerns;
  • Work with a long-term perspective to address donor or business partner problems, perhaps trading off immediate costs for the sake of the long-term relationship; look for long-term benefits for both the donor and NCC; balance donor needs with organizational objectives;
  • Activate diverse people and groups to work together and optimize results.


  • Comfortably speak to business partners outside own area of expertise; speak effectively to a broad, general audience and to all levels of the organization;
  • Assert ideas, persuade others and gain support from others; negotiate effectively and with confidence; seek win-win solutions;
  • Understand perspectives of listeners, tailor communications for specific groups;
  • Bring others into the communications process to gain support for and ownership of ideas;
  • Express complex or abstract ideas, values, and vision clearly; adjust communication style to the audience;
  • Constantly create an atmosphere in which timely and high quality information flows smoothly;
  • Listen to and communicate effectively with staff;
  • Fluency in both Official Languages is a definite asset.


  • Leverage an in-depth knowledge of the business, its objectives and strategies, and a general knowledge of major management disciplines (e.g. finance, marketing, organizational behaviour) to optimize operations;
  • Project a “can do” attitude, be optimistic, enthusiastic, committed to action;
  • Consistently set sights on key business development issues and actions; push yourself and others to develop focused and effective plans;
  • Identify and analyze relevant data and then define critical issues and alternatives, often seeing things others miss;
  • Adopt best practices from other partners as benchmarks for improving NCC activities;
  • Work effectively with different functional groups and levels of management.


Should you have any questions regarding this important and meaningful opportunity, please contact:

Chris Sawyer, Partner
1 416 640 4312

Michelle Partipilo, Senior Consultant
1 416 928 4633

Ambar Maqsood, Project Manager
1 416 928 4612

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