Executive Partner

The Portage Group
Posting Date:
Mar 07, 2018
The Portage Group
Area of Law:
Labour relations; not-for-profit organizations
Position Type:
Executive Director
Mar 30, 2018
minimum 10 years


Our client, the Utility Contractors Association of Ontario (UCAO), is a highly successful provincial association seeking an Executive Director to be its go-to resource on labour relations and to deliver excellent service to member contractors. The executive director is based in the GTA and reports to a board comprising 14 industry leaders. The job requires an individual who is self-reliant, highly organized and who enjoys detail work. For more information about UCAO, please visit www.uca.on.ca

Candidates must have direct experience in negotiating and interpreting collective bargaining agreements, preferably for an employer group. The contracts are negotiated every three years. Additionally, the executive director receives frequent requests from members seeking to understand the agreements.

The position also manages all aspects of a small office. Candidates will have an understanding of how associations work. The core services delivered by the executive director include major events and meetings of the board of directors. The association is also taking an increasingly proactive advocacy/lobbying role on issues that affect its membership, such as infrastructure investment and labour supply.

Responsibilities include managing the association’s events and meetings, communications, financial records (using accounting software for input and reporting), IT, member database, programs and services, and projects as they arise (e.g., research). At present the needs of the association’s members are met by the executive director with one part-time assistant and external contractors (e.g., legal), working supportively and extensively with volunteers on the board and six active committees.

Success in the position requires an individual who is highly adept at

  • forging consensus among members;
  • managing a board of directors and committees with their attendant expectations/needs;
  • advocating for the best interests of the membership;
  • bringing keen foresight and insight to emerging trends and issues, and their implications;
  • building relationships and networks;
  • balancing an active and highly-detailed work plan with hard deadlines;
  • impeccable communication abilities (writing, presenting, etc.), and
  • connecting with people and being comfortable in social situations.

The position will be a good fit for someone with prior labour relations/small office management experience in law, a trade association, labour-relations agency, and/or the utility industry, and is absolutely prepared to be hands-on in every part of the association’s operations.

The successful candidate will start by June 2018 and will be learning the job through mid-2019 with the incumbent executive director, who will retire effective August 2019. It is also expected the first year will emphasize building relationships with members and outreach to other UCAO stakeholders.

Extensive labour relations experience is an imperative.

Interested individuals are invited to apply with a résumé, and covering letter outlining their labour relations experience, association/office management experience, and compensation expectations, to –

The Portage Group

Attention: Jack Shand, FCMC, Executive Partner



Contact Name Jack Shand, FCMC

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