CCAE Thought Leaders’ Discussion Forum

Supported by:



Monthly, 2 p.m. Eastern
July 14th - December 8th

The CCAE Thought Leaders’ Discussion Forum will provide Advancement Leaders from across Canada an opportunity to contribute their knowledge, experience, and insights through a formalized process. The participants for the Forum are proven leaders with expertise in specific topics relevant to each Thought Leader Forum agenda.

The Forum will be hosted monthly and consist of a mix of presentation topics with open discussion.


Registration Packages (available for CCAE members only)

Members : 
Full Summit Package: $399 (access to all sessions)
Single Session: $100 (access to the session of your choice)

To inquire about attending, please contact Mark Hazlett:



Derek Cassoff
Derek Cassoff

Mark Hazlett
Mark Hazlett

July 14, 2 p.m. eastern 
1st Session – FREE TO MEMBERS

Discussion led by Mark Hazlett, President & CEO, CCAE & Derek Cassoff, McGill University, (Chair of the CCAE Board)

Topics include

  • The new CCAE story – a strong, focussed strategic plan for the future
  • How CCAE is positioning itself as the educational advancement sector leader
  • Trends and insights from the 2nd edition of the CASE-CCAE Support of Education Survey and the launch of the 3rd edition

melinda churchMelinda Church

August 11, 2 p.m. eastern 
Continuous Innovation During a Time of Constraint

Melinda Church, Senior Vice President and Managing Partner, Grenzebach Glier and Associates

In early March, the rules of the road changed—suddenly and dramatically. Campuses sent students home. Events were cancelled. The horizon was uncertain. Seemingly overnight, the engagement of alumni, donors, and friends flipped to “socially distant” tools and tactics. For many teams, this was a swing-the-bat moment, freeing them to innovate quickly and to partner in new ways with others in their organizations. Canadian schools, colleges, and universities embraced the opportunity, and have much impressive work to show for it.

In this session, Melinda Church of Grenzebach Glier and Associates will showcase several innovative approaches undertaken by Canadian institutions this spring and summer. She will break down some of the principles behind this progressive work and lead a conversation about what comes next. With a near-term that looks much like today, how can alumni and development teams continue to innovate in their engagement and communications? The session is designed for collaborative ideation and problem-solving, all to develop actionable insights.

Learning Objectives

  • Common principles of innovation
  • Ways to collaborate across organizations for shared benefit
  • How to engage key alumni and friends in next-gen virtual programming


September 15, 2 p.m. eastern 
COVID-19 6-month check-in panel discussion: What Impact has the COVID-19 Pandemic had on Advancement Strategies

Featuring panelists from 4 leading institutions (tbc)

As member institutions start a new version of the return of the Fall semester what are the effects, impact and strategies that are being used by institutions and advancement leaders?

Learning Objectives

  • Program strategies and action plans for fundraisers, alumni relations, communications and advancement services.
  • The impact on your staff and talent management strategies.
  • The overall financial health of institutions and its relation to advancement department.

Julie DavisJulie Davis

October 13, 2 p.m. eastern 
That hurts - how leaders cope with hostile criticism

Julie Davis, Vice President External Relations & Advancement, Trent University

The ability to cope with criticism is an important competence for leaders, who face criticism as a normal reaction to their role and the decisions they make. Hostile criticism and personal attacks are a source of stress for leaders. If unmanaged, this stress affects their physical and mental health, job performance, and their employees. Accepting that criticism is normal, developing emotional regulation skills, accessing social support, and engaging in proactive planning are all proven approaches to coping with the stress of hostile criticism. The session will review and help participants develop these skills. Given the normalization of personal attacks and public criticism in our society, leaders at all levels will benefit from this session.

Learning Objectives

  • Help leaders develop skills to cope with the stress of hostile criticism
  • Help leaders understand and accept that hostile criticism is a normal part of leadership


November 10, 2 p.m. eastern 
Session details coming soon!


December 8, 2 p.m. eastern 
Session details coming soon!

Session details coming soon!

Tags: Relationship Building, Volunteer Involvement, Leadership and Management, Ethics and Accountability, Senior Leaders, Advancement Leaders