Emerging Municipal Leaders Forum

Fifth Annual OGRA Emerging Municipal Leaders Forum

A whopping 50% of employees in Ontario’s municipal sector will be eligible for retirement in the next 5-10 years. As municipalities provide the essential services that are key to maintaining a high quality of life, it is imperative that they be staffed by qualified and competent individuals. Unfortunately, the importance of a career in municipal government continues to be overlooked by students considering their future career options.

The Emerging Municipal Leaders Forum hopes to change that.

As part of the 2019 OGRA Conference, students will have the opportunity to speak directly with municipal leaders about the important work they do every day. The Emerging Municipal Leaders Forum will feature a panel of Human Resources professionals from a variety of municipal governments. These individuals will explain:

  • What their hiring practices are;
  • What type of incentives exist as a part of their recruitment strategies;
  • The opportunities for growth;
  • The type of knowledge, skills, abilities/competencies, or qualifications one must have to work for their municipality; and
  • Why a student should consider a career in municipal government.

Following the panel discussion, students will have an opportunity to break into smaller groups at round-tables and discuss more specific career options with professionals already in the field. These individuals will share their thoughts and experiences with students interested in a career at the local level. Students in attendance will hear what it takes to succeed and learn how the industry is evolving.

The round-table segment will be followed by a networking session. Students will have the opportunity to talk to municipal leaders looking to speak directly to those interested in a career in municipal government. Students interested in public policy, geography, law, planning, economic development, engineering, communication, social sciences, finance, accounting, and public administration are encouraged to register and come prepared with questions for discussion.


  • Tony Haddad, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Tecumseh; Co-Chair, ONWARD
  • Althea Hutchinson, Director of Finance and Administration, Toronto Public Health, City of Toronto
  • Sabeen Makki, Business and Marketing Strategy Advisor, York Region Rapid Transit Corporation
  • Michele Richardson, Assistant Director of Human Resources, Wellington County
  • Leona Wilson, President, Armillary Business Group Corp.
  • Steve Roberts, Manager, Roads and Bridges, County of Lennox and Addington (ret.)

More speakers will be added in the coming days!

Opening Reception

Following the Emerging Municipal Leaders Forum, attendees are invited to the OGRA Conference’s opening reception from 5:00-6:30 pm. The reception is a great place to meet other leaders within the municipal sector.

Note: Registration to the Emerging Municipal Leaders Forum grants access to the entire OGRA Conference (excluding ticketed events) as a Student Delegate.

Click Here to register for the Emerging Municipal Leaders Forum

Check out the entire conference agenda here.

For more information please contact Thomas Barakat, OGRA Senior Policy Advisor: [email protected]