Chief Operating Officer

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Chief Operating Officer


Squamish Nation

Building on a rich, resilient history and a bright future, the Squamish Nation continues to prosper and thrive. The Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) culture and traditions are strongly interconnected with their territories and communities. They continue to occupy and govern their lands as well as safeguard their rights, title and identity.

The modern-day Squamish Nation was formed in 1923 when the Squamish People and their leaders voted to amalgamate the many individual Squamish bands into a single entity and rebuild their governance to the Squamish Nation. The effect was to combine resources and work together to protect Squamish Nation lands and interests for all generations. This joining of communities is now known amongst Squamish Nation members as the Amalgamation.

More than a decade ago, the Squamish Nation Council developed  a Community Development Plan (CDP) to achieve:

“A Squamish Nation that is made of sustainable communities that are geographically dispersed but are unquestionably linked by our traditions, heritage and culture.  We will embrace a balance of environmental protection and economic vitality on our lands.  This approach to land use will provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment for us to live, study, work, play and enjoy a high quality of life now and for future generations of Squamish People.”

Nch’kaỷ Development Corporation

Nch’kaỷ Development Corporation (NDC) was formed to support the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw by generating wealth and creating prosperity from economic opportunities for current and future generations of the Nation in a manner that respects the Snewayelh and Nexwniw of the Nation and upholds the spirit and intent of the Amalgamation.  As the main driver of future business success for the Nation, NDC plays a crucial role in making the Squamish Nation vision and CDP come to life through “economic vitality.” 

NDC’s seven-member Board is made up of two Squamish council members, one community member and four independent directors. The Board is actively guiding the consolidation of the Squamish Nation business portfolio to achieve best-practices in governance. Bringing together the existing suite of businesses from across the real estate, natural resources, energy, and retail sectors, NDC and the Squamish Nation are poised to become one of the most influential business leaders in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.


“There is a legend in Squamish Nation oral tradition that talks about the well-known peak of Nch’kaỷ (Garibaldi).

In ancient times, a flood covered Squamish lands and reached as far south as Xwsa7k (Mount Baker). Nch’kaỷ was the only piece of land peaking out of the flood waters. During the flood, the Squamish people tied their canoes to the mountain’s volcanic peak. For the Squamish Nation it was a place of refuge, reconciliation and wealth.”


With the 11.7-acre reserve-land development at the South end of the Burrard Bridge in the area now known as Kitsilano, the Sen’ákw development is the largest real estate project in Canada led by First Nations to date and focused on building a community connected to people and the environment in a way that fits with Squamish values.  The planned eleven tower development is situated on a sliver of land within the 80-acre Kitsilano Indian Reserve No. 6 (also known as Sen’ákwby the Squamish people). Sen’ákw will bring the following to a highly attractive neighbourhood, answering the demand for increased housing on Vancouver’s west side:


  • 6000 new units
  • 80 percent of the land available for parks and community space, including basketball and lacrosse courts

NDC is working with Westbank, one of North America’s leading developers, in a 50/50 partnership. While Westbank is responsible for raising the $3 billion in construction financing, the 50/50 structure means that neither party can make decisions without the buy-in of the other.

“This is a once in a generation and lifetime opportunity. Our new CEO will lead in one of the most incredible development projects our community has ever seen. They will need to inspire others to do things they have never done before—to create a vision that includes Squamish Nation members and one that builds trust amongst  our people, the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, as well.”

~Chris Lewis, Board Director and Councillor

The Role

The Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) will oversee the full spectrum of Business Operations for all Nch’kay Development Corporation (“the Corporation”) functions. The COO is responsible for managing all hands-on operational aspects of the Corporation.

Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), and having latitude and autonomy to make decisions, the COO leads and collaborates with the Senior Leadership Team to develop corporate and operational strategies, and to facilitate these efforts across the business.

Through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by corporate objectives, the COO provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the Corporation has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people resources in place to effectively grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency.


Key Responsibilities 1. Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Oversee all operating activities and community involvement.
  • Work closely with the executive team to establish and accomplish goals, and to develop strategic plans to further the successes of the companies.
  • Gather and analyze trends to assist in developing corporate strategy.
  • Spearhead the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes.
  • Collaborate with the executive team to develop and implement plans for the operational infrastructure of systems, processes and personnel; designed to accommodate the rapid growth objectives of the Corporation.
  • Responsible for creating and maintaining the measurement and effectiveness of all processes (internal and external).
  • Provide timely, accurate and complete reports on the operating condition of the Corporation.
  • Foster, motivate and lead a high-performance culture within the management team.
  • Mentor direct reports to cultivate skills and to increase awareness of the interconnections between each business unit in the operations groups.
  • Provide direction to business units that mirrors the adopted mission and core values of the Corporation.
  • Remain knowledgeable of market and industry trends, competitors, and all aspects of Nch’kay’s markets.
  • Responsible for capital planning and expenditures.
  • Establish compensation, training, short and long-term goals for the operations groups.
  • Represent the Corporation at various community activities and gatherings.
  • Meet and network regularly with business leaders in the community.
  • Other relevant duties as may be assigned.
2.    Supervisory Responsibilities
  • Hire and train members of the operations team.
  • Directly manage the operations team, who collectively manage a total of approximately the employees in all business locations/offices.
  • Establish key performance indicators for management of the operations group.
  • Manage performance and ensure that staff are operating in accordance with the Corporation’s policies and applicable legislation.
  • Direct and delegate work and assist with establishment of priorities.
  • Motivate and reward staff.

3.   Other related duties as required


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • Managing People: Includes staffing planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; takes responsibility for employees’ activities; makes themselves available to staff; provides regular performance feedback; develops employees’ skills and encourages growth; solicits and applies community feedback (internal and external); fosters quality focus in others; improves processes, products and services; continually works to improve people management skills.
  • Visionary Leadership: displays passion and optimism; inspires respect and trust; mobilizes others to fulfill the vision; provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates.
  • Motivation: sets and achieves challenging goals; demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; measures self against standard of excellence; takes calculated risks to accomplish goals.
    Change Management: develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively; builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change; monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Delegation: delegates work assignments; matches the responsibility to the person/team; gives authority to work independently; sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; provides recognition for results.
  • Analytical: synthesizes complex or diverse information; collects and researches data; uses intuition and experience to complement data; designs workflows and procedures.
  • Judgment: displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process; makes timely decisions.
  • Planning/Organizing: prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; sets goals and objectives; organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; develops realistic action plans.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (con’t)
  • Technical Skills: assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and professional development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; shares expertise with others; superior financial management and human resource management skills.
  • Teamwork: balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building a positive team spirit; puts success of team above own interests; able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; supports everyone’s efforts to succeed.
  • Quality Management: looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Innovation: displays original thinking and creativity; meets challenges with resourcefulness; generates suggestions for improving work; develops innovative approaches and ideas; presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others’ attention.
    Adaptability: adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Strategic Thinking: develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; understands organization’s strengths & weaknesses; analyzes market and competition; identifies external threats and opportunities; adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Oral Communication: Speak clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions; demonstrates group presentation skills; actively participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication: Writes clearly and informatively; edits work for spelling/grammar; varies writings style to meet needs of the audience; presents numerical data effectively.
  • Community Relations: Experience working in a multi-cultural, diverse environment demonstrating cultural awareness and sensitivity; ability to speak and/or understand the Squamish language an asset
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field; Master’s degree, preferably and MBA, will be an asset
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience leading in business operations role at the executive level with a strong focus on organizational development and team leadership


Location - Squamish Nation Territories



Squamish Nation homelands include some of the present-day cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster, all of the cities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, Port Moody and all of the District of Squamish and the Municipality of Whistler. These boundaries embrace all of Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet and English Bay, as well as the rivers and creeks that flow into these bodies of water. The Nation’s historical links to these lands and waters are numerous. Squamish place names exist throughout the territory. In many instances, a location has particular meaning to the Nation because of the existence of oral traditions that served to explain that place in the Squamish universe and in their relationship to the land. In addition, the land bears witness to the settlements, resource sites, and spiritual and ritual places of our ancestors, including villages, hunting camps, cedar bark gathering areas, rock quarries, clam processing camps, pictographs and cemeteries. Some of these village sites date back 3000 years. 


To Apply

This is an exciting leadership role that offers the unique opportunity to work with the single largest First Nations Economic Development project in Canada and grow their operations for further future success. For more  details, please contact:

Laurie SterrittPartner Joy Beshie • Consultant Leaders International Leaders International

880-609 Granville Street                                                 1 Rideau St. Suite 700

Vancouver, British Columbia                                          Ottawa, Ontario



Telephone: 778-838-4569            Telephone: 613-296-2315 


To apply, please submit a Cover Letter and Resume directly to Leaders International outlining your interest, qualifications and experience.

Leaders International specializes in the recruitment of Board of Directors, leadership succession and executive level positions. Our global network, Penrhyn International, is a world leader in the executive recruitment industry, with more than 47 offices in over 25 countries on 5 continents.