Dovercourt Recreation Association - Position Profile - Program Director

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<strong>Program</strong><br />

<strong>Director</strong><br />

Ottawa, ON

Introduction<br />

<strong>Dovercourt</strong> <strong>Recreation</strong> <strong>Association</strong> is a non-for-profit, charitable organization, dedicated to<br />

enriching the quality of life in the community through recreation programs. Set as a cornerstone in<br />

community well being, the organization supports a range of offerings for residents, within and<br />

around the community, to enjoy. As part of the City of Ottawa's recreation system, <strong>Dovercourt</strong><br />

provides a well rounded curriculum of activities, events, amenities, and programs that appeal to a<br />

wide range of interests and needs. From Arts & Culture to Fitness & Wellness, <strong>Dovercourt</strong> is a<br />

collective effort of staff, volunteers, clients, local community groups, and partnerships, all who<br />

help serve families of all shapes and sizes.<br />

Established in 1983, the association has earned a reputation as an inclusive and lively space<br />

dedicated to contributing to a vibrant and healthy community. Acting as a hub for Ottawan’s alike,<br />

<strong>Dovercourt</strong>s’s open-door policy helps to encourage lifelong learning and connection for residents<br />

of all ages. With a commitment to better service the city, <strong>Dovercourt</strong> responds to the needs of its<br />

community by offering programming that is accessible, responsive, and fun. Receiving a<br />

distinction as Eastern Ontario's first HIGH FIVE Accredited organization underscores their<br />

commitment to maintaining the highest standards in recreation programming, particularly for<br />

children. The emphasis on HIGH FIVE® certified leaders in key programs reflects a dedication to<br />

ensuring a safe and enriching environment.<br />

<strong>Dovercourt</strong> looks to welcome their newest member as <strong>Program</strong> <strong>Director</strong>, to help lead the<br />

organization and its many distinct offerings. This is an exciting time to be joining the team and a<br />

unique opportunity to make an impact on the future of the organization.

Summary of the role<br />

Reporting to the Executive <strong>Director</strong>, the <strong>Program</strong><br />

<strong>Director</strong> will play a pivotal role in the organization's<br />

success, by way of leading program operations.<br />

Your core responsibilities extend to overseeing the <strong>Recreation</strong> department, which encompasses a<br />

diverse range of programs, including camps, sessions, after-school programs, and the WAVE<br />

initiative. The scale of your impact is significant, as evidenced by the management of over 200<br />

camp counsellors during the summer, serving nearly 1000 kids daily. Your adept leadership is<br />

particularly crucial during peak times, such as March break camps, which consistently attract a<br />

high demand, leading to sold-out sessions with over a 100-person waiting list.<br />

In this dynamic position, effective leadership is at the forefront. Your ability to lead a team of<br />

program managers and coordinators is paramount. Establishing trust is the foundation upon<br />

which you build a collaborative, fun, inclusive, and high-performing environment. On a daily basis,<br />

you guide, motivate, and provide support to your team, addressing any challenges that may arise<br />

and ensuring an exceptional level of service for community members. Adaptability is key in your<br />

leadership approach, recognizing and appreciating the unique strengths of each team member.<br />

You will delegate appropriately, managing risks, making operational adjustments, and monitor<br />

team progress. Thoughtful engagement and resource provision encourages creativity, fostering a<br />

positive and innovative work atmosphere.<br />

Beyond internal team dynamics, your role extends to developing and maintaining crucial<br />

relationships with external stakeholders. This includes community groups, such as those<br />

associated with the 30 summer camp partnerships, program partners, the City of Ottawa, Westboro<br />

BIA, Employment Ontario, school boards, as well as various community groups. Your<br />

representation of <strong>Dovercourt</strong> is vital in all outreach efforts and collaborations with other<br />

organizations, ensuring a professional and positive image.<br />

Budget management is another key responsibility, where you will balance the need to maintain<br />

successful programs and events with a proactive approach to researching new funding and<br />

revenue sources. This involves building key partnerships and developing actionable fundraising<br />

plans, making a significant impact on <strong>Dovercourt</strong>'s overall financial sustainability.<br />

Your commitment to excellence, effective team leadership, and strategic external relationshipbuilding<br />

contribute significantly to the continued progress and positive impact of <strong>Dovercourt</strong> in<br />

the community. Approaching this opportunity with a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to take on<br />

challenges, will be integral in maintaining objectives and achieving success.

Why should you<br />

consider this role?<br />

For over 40 years, <strong>Dovercourt</strong> has provided quality programs and services to the community, and<br />

is considered to be amongst the best recreational facilities in the Greater Ottawa Area. This role<br />

presents an exciting opportunity to make a meaningful impact by adding to the vibrant setting,<br />

playing a pivotal part in creating and delivering high-quality programming within a truly inclusive<br />

environment. <strong>Dovercourt</strong> has established a solid foundation, and this position provides the<br />

prospect of looking forward, contributing to the organization's growth and evolution.<br />

A standout aspect of this role is the opportunity to lead a team in a positive and dynamic<br />

environment. The collaborative atmosphere at <strong>Dovercourt</strong> fosters a sense of unity and shared<br />

purpose, making it an ideal workplace for those who thrive in supportive and encouraging<br />

surroundings. By joining this team, you not only contribute to the organization's mission and<br />

vision but also become an integral part of a dynamic culture.<br />

This opportunity also lends itself to professional growth in a well respected and established<br />

organization. You will develop meaningful and lasting relationships with various stakeholders and<br />

community groups in an effort to partner on activities that align the mission and vision of the<br />

association. As a leader, you will reinforce a positive and inclusive culture both externally and<br />

internally with your team. You will be in a position to encourage and help develop team members<br />

to grow and achieve their goals, while acting as a mentor and role model in several capacities.<br />

Finally, this role offers a lively workspace at the centre, where your team will have a tangible<br />

impact on the lives of young attendees and volunteers. Working with children is something you<br />

are comfortable with and comes as second nature when engaging with them. By taking on the<br />

<strong>Program</strong> <strong>Director</strong> position, you become an influential figure, contributing to the growth and<br />

development of the community while gaining insights and knowledge from the vibrant individuals<br />

you work with. This mutual exchange makes the role at <strong>Dovercourt</strong> not just a job but a fulfilling<br />

journey of continuous learning and positive influence.

What challenges will you face?<br />

This role is multifaceted, where you can expect a range of responsibilities that will require<br />

strategic prioritization, effective delegation, and utmost accountability. This requires a skillful<br />

approach to managing your tasks which demands organizational finesse but also provides a<br />

unique opportunity for personal and professional growth.<br />

In a post-pandemic environment, the organization is adjusting to a "new normal”, which requires<br />

heightened agility as they undergo necessary changes. As part of the leadership team, flexibility<br />

and responsiveness are paramount attributes in this context, while determining programming<br />

solutions demands a proactive approach. Simultaneously, making sound decisions that align with<br />

the organization's financial health necessitates a strong sense of budget consciousness and<br />

resourcefulness. Embracing the evolving landscape, you must adeptly navigate through these<br />

challenges, contributing to <strong>Dovercourt</strong>'s resilience and sustained success.<br />

Recognizing that the association has a longstanding history, the inner workings of <strong>Dovercourt</strong> have<br />

established certain practices and approaches that may be considered preferred. As such, it will<br />

require an insightful approach as you assimilate into existing processes while simultaneously<br />

introducing fresh perspectives and improvements where necessary. Moreover, the close-knit and<br />

caring nature of the staff at <strong>Dovercourt</strong> demands appreciation and an ability to seamlessly<br />

integrate into this supportive culture. As any new leader, building trust and fostering positive<br />

rapport with your team is imperative. By respecting the organization's past successes and<br />

leadership styles you may effectively introduce your own approach to leadership and<br />

management, without causing unnecessary discord. Strong communication skills and adept<br />

relationship-building capabilities will play a pivotal part in ensuring a smooth transition into this<br />

new era of the organization.<br />

Is this for you?<br />

You are best described as an inclusive and welcoming leader with a proven track record in<br />

operational management, finance, programming, and stakeholder relationships. Motivating and<br />

driven, you bring strong communication skills and a keen understanding of the organization's<br />

vision and culture to the forefront. As a collaborative team player, you consistently contribute<br />

solutions and alternatives to overcome challenges, showcasing an optimistic and results-oriented<br />

approach. Your leadership style values teamwork, encouraging both individual and team growth<br />

by fostering a culture that welcomes new ideas and initiatives. You also promote professional<br />

development by creating opportunities for training and learning.<br />

Your background reflects a career in the not-for-profit sector or relevant domains, likely centred<br />

around community, recreational initiatives, sport, or social advocacy. Your academic qualifications<br />

are focused on human resources management, non-profit management, public or business<br />

administration, or another related field. You excel in overseeing diverse teams by operationalizing<br />

priorities, and can effectively execute strategic plans. You are well versed in building and

implementing programming, delegating appropriately, and providing the right tools so you can<br />

fully entrust your team to execute initiatives effectively. Comfortable integrating feedback from<br />

various outlets you have a secure network and strong relationships with key stakeholders,<br />

particularly in the volunteer management space.<br />

Both reliable and accountable, you have strong business acumen and stick to your commitments<br />

around time, cost, service, and are familiar with managing budgets. You have been heavily<br />

involved in fundraising initiates and likely have experience in sourcing, writing, and winning<br />

grants. You have a natural ability to quickly earn the trust of others, leveraging it to develop<br />

meaningful relationships with community partners.<br />

Perhaps most importantly, your passion for the<br />

community is evident in your commitment to<br />

prioritizing the best interests of participants.<br />

Your knowledge of community liaising is<br />

preferred, and your belief in making a positive<br />

difference in the community, as demonstrated<br />

in your leadership and carrying out<br />

responsibilities. As a creative and forward<br />

thinking individual you are driven by a genuine<br />

passion for making impactful exchanges and<br />

building meaningful connections with<br />

individuals of all ages.<br />

What success looks like<br />

at the end of your first year<br />

Upon joining the organization, your focus in the first few months will be on familiarizing yourself<br />

with daily operations and the diverse programs offered by <strong>Dovercourt</strong>. It becomes crucial during<br />

this phase to develop strong relationships with the existing staff, volunteers, and partners,<br />

ensuring a foundation of collaboration and understanding. You will soon recognize the<br />

association’s presence within the community and the key areas you can make an impact.<br />

As you settle into your role, you will actively engage with external stakeholders, laying the<br />

groundwork for enduring relationships. Managing external-facing duties while maintaining<br />

balance with internal responsibilities, you will invest time and effort into both sustaining existing<br />

connections within Ottawa and cultivating new partnerships. You will proactively explore new<br />

fundraising and grant avenues, seeking opportunities to secure resources that will further<br />

enhance <strong>Dovercourt</strong>'s programs and initiatives. Operationally, your team is well supported and<br />

you are confident in their capabilities, enthusiasm about their engagement with programming, as<br />

well as their own professional development. As a result, programming is functioning seamlessly<br />

and community feedback is positive.<br />

Approaching the end of your first year, true success will be reflected by your immersion within the<br />

<strong>Dovercourt</strong> community. You will have acquired a comprehensive understanding of the

organization and your pivotal role within it. Earning the trust and confidence of leadership, key<br />

community stakeholders, staff, and volunteers, you will have become a valued member of the<br />

team. Success, at this juncture, is measured not just in operational efficiency but in the positive<br />

relationships you've made, positioning you as an integral and respected contributor to<br />

<strong>Dovercourt</strong>'s mission and community impact. You look forward to another year of providing<br />

quality programming to the community and exploring new avenues for growth through<br />

partnerships and fundraising initiatives.<br />

Learn More<br />

dovercourt.org<br />

Keynote Search Contacts<br />

If you have questions about this opportunity or wish to have a confidential discussion about<br />

your candidacy, please connect with Keynote directly:<br />

Stephanie Aloia<br />

<strong>Director</strong>, Executive Search<br />

stephanie.aloia@keynotesearch.com<br />

Stephanie Williams<br />

Senior Associate, Executive Search<br />


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