Capturing Successes and Challenges - Lessons Learned in Nonprofit Leadership

Please join us as we present the findings of interviews from the Leadership and Frontline Legacy Project by the London Middlesex Mental Health and Addiction Strategic Direction Office (SDO). Funded by the London Community Foundation, this initiative presents the collective insights of retiring leaders from the mental health and addiction sector, who generously shared their learning. Through these legacy interviews, retiring leaders open a window into what has worked, what has not worked, and the curveballs they responded to throughout their leadership journey.

Presented in partnership with Pillar Nonprofit Network, this event is a unique opportunity to explore our findings and hear directly from a panel of leaders. Join us in discussing the common challenges of knowledge and experience loss that occur when leaders transition. By participating, you contribute to a candid dialogue shaping how we manage succession planning and knowledge sharing in the nonprofit sector.

This event is co-hosted by Pillar Nonprofit Network at Innovation Works, at 201 King Street, London, Ontario.

Panelists include Anne Armstrong, Carl Cardogan, Brian Lester, and Michelle Quintyn.

Moderator: Mariam Waliji, Vice President, Equity, Impact, and Governance at Pillar Nonprofit Network

Executive Directors and CEOs, emerging leaders, nonprofit board members, Human Resources professionals, and all those interested in nonprofit workforce development.

9:00-9:15 - Introductions
9:15-10:00 - Research Project Presentation and Q&A (You may wish to review the report in advance of the event: YOU DON‘T NEED TO BE EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE Lessons Learned in Mental Health and Addiction Nonprofit Leadership)
10:00-10:15 - Break - 
10:15-11:40 - Panel Discussion
11:40-12:00 - Closing Remarks
Beverages and light refreshments will be provided.

Anne Armstrong, Executive Director, London Cares 
Anne Armstrong is the inaugural Executive Director for London Cares, and has over 20 years of leadership experience in the social services sector. She’s spent her career in housing, children’s mental health, and the Violence Against Women sector. Anne was inspired to join London Cares because of the organization’s entrepreneurial spirit. The compassion, dedication, and hard work of the London Cares team and the resiliency of London Cares’ participants continues to reinspire her every day. Anne believes in giving a voice to those who are most misunderstood and marginalized in the community. An advocate of working within systems to influence and effect social justice change, she loves innovation and finding unique ways to address issues.

Carl Cadogan, Senior Regional Manager, Southwestern Ontario, Kidney Foundation of Canada 
Carl Cadogan has a long history of community involvement and volunteering. He has served on numerous boards, committees, and task forces, including the Premier’s Council on the Voluntary Sector, and the Provincial Work Group on Gaming (that redesigned the Ontario Trillium Foundation). He was a founding member of Pillar and Eva’s Place. Currently, Carl is the Chair of the London Black History Coordinating Committee, the Treasurer of the Aya Afrika Foundation, and is on the Boards of the Vanier Institute of the Family and the Grand Theatre.
Carl is working on a collection of short stories he hopes to have published in 2025 and lives in London, with his wife Cynthia. In his spare time, he loves to travel, and has been to every province and one territory, thirty US states, and sixteen African countries. He is an avid cyclist, reader, and kite flyer.

Brian Lester, retired Executive Director, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection
Prior to retirement in March 2023, Brian Lester worked in the not-for-profit sector in leadership roles for close to 30 years. This included 16 years serving the mission of Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) as the executive director and a decade as a manager within workforce development at Goodwill Industries. During his time with RHAC, Brian participated in many initiatives to address the needs of marginalized communities. This included the legal amalgamation between RHAC and the John Gordon Home. Brian also supported the development and evolution of London Cares Homeless Response Service, worked with partners to open the health hub at 602 Queens Ave, and responded with many partners to address the concerning 2016 HIV outbreak with people who use substances. As the Opioid crisis emerged, he also worked with public health and other partners to open London's Temporary Overdose Prevention Site which became Carepoint - London's Supervised Consumption Site. Brian also participated at many tables to affect change, including functioning as founding co-chair on the Middlesex London Drug and Alcohol Strategy and the recent Health and Homeless Summit undertaking. He also served as a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS Ontario which functions to advise the Minister of Health on provincial HIV/AIDS policy. 

Michelle Quintyn, Retired CEO of Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes
Michelle Quintyn is a leader in building social enterprise, inclusive economies, and community
development. For 18 years as CEO, until retiring in late 2023, she steered Goodwill Industries, serving across Ontario, to a $62 million enterprise with 1,200 employees who train and work on several platforms including thrift/recycling, food and hospitality, light manufacturing, power industrial sewing, and commercial/industrial contracts. She helped create and launch social businesses and circularity initiatives including re-manufacturing of post consumer goods heading to waste, and recycling to make new raw materials and products for consumers and industry. Employing and training people who face barriers such as mental illness, poverty, and marginalization, Goodwill has propelled tens of thousands of individuals to work and prosperity. For the past three years, Michelle has helped steer a collaborative initiative, Inclusive Economy London and Region, promoting economic development practices that build a more resilient, local, and sustainable economy while addressing systemic issues of social and economic exclusion. Strategies include harnessing the economic power of anchor institutions such as hospitals, social procurement, and community benefit agreements, building local wealth through community ownership, and living wage initiatives to ensure access to decent work. The end game is a more local, vibrant, and sustainable economy for the benefit of all.

Mariam Waliji (Moderator), Vice-President - Equity, Impact & Governance, Pillar Nonprofit Network
Mariam has a passion for connection – whether it be with people, place, or community. Her educational background and community involvement encourage her to work towards addressing inequities and barriers to access more broadly in our current systems. 
Her work with Pillar Nonprofit Network allows her to reframe the definition of success for social impact organizations while creating space to explore what it means to have intentional, meaningful impact in community. Mariam’s experience and leadership in nonprofit and for-profit organizations uniquely equips her with the knowledge and skills required to understand nonprofit governance, social enterprise models, and community development work; a lens she brings with her to her work at Pillar Nonprofit Network. 
Through education, an emphasis on sharing narrative, an understanding of intersectional environmentalism, ongoing personal development, and a genuine connection with her community, she aims to encourage growth and power in a collaborative economy.
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