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Leadership conference 'life changing' experience

Brooke Yeates wants to challenge people's assumptions about Sudbury. The manager of change management and organizational impacts with Vale will chair the Sudbury leg of the 2015 Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference.
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The Governor General's Leadership Conference allows future leaders to tour different parts of Canada and get out of their comfort zones. File photo.

Brooke Yeates wants to challenge people's assumptions about Sudbury.

The manager of change management and organizational impacts with Vale will chair the Sudbury leg of the 2015 Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference.

Each year, around 230 of Canada's brightest up-and-coming leaders in business, labour, government and the non-profit sectors tour different parts of the country with a group of their peers, where their prejudices are challenged, and they are given a chance to examine a variety of issues facing the country.

Yeates participated in the conference in 2012, and toured Saskatchewan with a group of around 15 young leaders.

“It was a real life-changing experience personally and professionally,” she said. “I find my decision-making is a lot faster and sharper.”

She now manages a team of around 15 people at Vale, and said the leadership conference helped prepare her for that role.

During her two-week tour of Saskatchewan, Yeates worked with a diverse groups from different professional backgrounds and Canadian regions.

“Everybody brings a different filter,” she said. “It makes you see Canada in a different light.”

The group met with business leaders and charitable organizations across the province, and sat in on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada hearing.

“It was quite a humbling experience to be part of that,” Yeates said.

As a conference alumna, Yeates has decided to give back to the organization, and will plan the Sudbury portion of the Northern Ontario tour.

In 2015, a group of future leaders much like hers two years ago, will visit Sudbury during a two-week tour of Northern Ontario.

The theme for the 2015 Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference is innovation.

Yeates said that for her, innovation does not just mean the latest technology, but can also include social innovation.

“That's what I'm looking to highlight,” she said. “I want to make sure we have a strong representation from corporations, labour and non-profit.”

Andrew Dale, also a conference alumnus, and chair of the 2015 Northern Ontario Tour, said the experience is valuable for any ambitious person who wants to reach the top of their career ladder.

“It could be a mid-level mining engineer who sees themselves becoming a mine manager,” he said. Or it could be a union member who wants to be local president, he added.

Dale participated in the conference in 2008, and toured Montreal.

When he applied for the conference in the previous year, he had just completed his MBA.

“I thought it would fit nicely with my career development, so I applied,” he said.
Dale played hockey for the Sudbury Wolves in the 1990s, and pursued professional hockey until 2001, when he retired from the sport. He now owns and operates a marketing and consulting firm, called Andrew Dale Marketing.

The deadline to apply for the 2015 Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference is Sept. 30, 2014. The conference will run from May 22 to June 5, 2015.


For more information visit www.leadershipcanada.ca.


Jonathan Migneault

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