Message from the President, Kristina Baraskewich


What is Community Leadership and why is it important?

That is the question which has been on my mind since joining the Leadership Thunder Bay Board of Directors in 2016, especially since we’ve experienced our 15th cohort of the program.

As a graduate of the 2015 class, I’ve seen many challenges and issues that call out for leadership and partnership among business, government, and the community sector.

If Leadership Thunder Bay exists to welcome, inspire, support, and create sustainable leaders who are passionately engaged in building a vibrant community, what does that really mean? I’m very exciting to work with the brilliant, dedicated community of people who make up the Leadership Thunder Bay family including our current Board of Directors, committee members, alumni and current class participants to answer this question over the next 2 years in my term as President.

Leadership Thunder Bay is in an exciting stage of growth and development. After fifteen years of running the Community Leadership Program, we are a little like a teenager who is looking forward to a world of possibilities. Having had a good upbringing and excellent advisors and friends, Leadership Thunder Bay is poised for new discoveries.

The Board’s Reimagine Leadership. Together planning process this past year positioned us to take a leading role in Thunder Bay in developing leadership capacity among emerging leaders and grassroots community champions. We are committed to investing in the excellence of our Community Leadership Program, telling the story of our community leaders and our impact in Thunder Bay, using innovative approaches to facilitate community development, and building a stronger, more welcoming organization.

As the new President, I joined the Board with an exciting mandate: to guide a strategic conversation about our future and help to implement it. With the input of our Board, many friendly stakeholders, and past presidents (thanks Matt, Kelly and Kristen) we have identified a blueprint for the next three years.

My top priority is for our Community Leadership Program to be the heart of our programming, and to continue to invest in keeping that program up to date with the needs of our community and our learners. My second priority is to grow and strengthen our relationships with alumni and the broader community. An alumni engagement strategy is in the works. We’re reaching out to the public with our Turkey Drive, Back to Basics partnership with SHIFT Young Professionals Network and Leadercast 2019 with co-host Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. We want to increase leadership capacity in our community by reaching into under-served niches and challenging people to think in new and different ways about leadership. I’m immensely proud to be part of Leadership Thunder Bay and thank my lucky stars on a regular basis that I’ve been given an opportunity to lead this remarkable organization.

I believe in the words of Harvey Firestone, “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” In a nutshell, that is what we do!

Please consider my door is always open if you’d like to share ideas, ask questions about how to build a stronger community or how to get involved in Leadership Thunder Bay.

Let’s Reimagine Leadership. Together!