How many of you out there have been faced with, or even tortured by, the challenge of trying to replace yourself? The challenge of succession planning is real and maybe hardest for us entrepreneurs and social innovators because we are so emotionally attached and invested in our work. As such, we tend to hold on too long, are way too picky about our potential successors, and have a hard time letting go.
For those reasons and more, I am so excited to announce that I will no longer be running CSI Toronto and will be letting go of operations (but not leaving CSI!) because…
Wait for it…
Drum roll please…
Adil Dhalla is the new Executive Director of CSI Toronto!
Adil joined the CSI team over three years ago as our Director of Culture – one of the first roles of its kind globally. In addition to stewarding CSI’s culture, Adil has led several major projects at CSI including the $4.3-million Community Bond Campaign to purchase 192 Spadina, and the development of CSI’s new online space, socialinnovation.org. He is a master of experience design, a brilliant communicator, and an exciting young leader with a profound desire for inclusive and accessible communities.
Adil was recently named a BALLE Fellow, becoming the first Muslim to ever receive the honour. In addition to his role at CSI, he Chairs the Board for the award-winning social enterprise the StopGap Foundation, and also co-founded Camp Reset, the acclaimed summer camp for adults that exists at the intersection of play and wellness. Previous to CSI, Adil worked as a community volunteer for the Obama campaign, helped introduce micro lending technology to rural Tanzanian farmers, and became a pioneer in the mobile video space when he launched My City Lives, a local video platform that had a presence in 250 cities worldwide.
In his new role, Adil will be responsible for all four of CSI Toronto’s spaces, programming, events, marketing and the CSI Cafe. In addition, Adil will continue to lead our experience and event design, which includes everything from Community Summits to Six Degrees to the final farewell event at Honest Ed’s, Toronto for Everybody.
Karine Jaouich is CSI’s new Chief Operating Officer!
Karine Jaouich has been working in operational and financial roles with nonprofit organizations for the last 16 years. Her strengths are in supporting organizations especially during periods of growth and change. Creating new systems and processes for implementing innovations is one of her core competencies, and she complements this with incredible management skills.
Karine was hired by CSI six years ago to lead the purchasing of 720 Bathurst, our Community Bond implementation, development and construction projects, and to establish the operations of the Annex location. Since then, as CSI’s Director of Finance and Special Projects, she’s supported the operations and finances for CSI’s third location in Toronto’s Regent Park and fourth location in New York City. In 2014 she led the purchase of CSI Spadina’s new home at 192 Spadina. Karine also had similar operational roles at Local Food Plus and FoodShare. At Local Food Plus Karine also led, along numerous other projects, the development of a local sustainable farmer and produce database project. At FoodShare, Karine was responsible for the organization’s operations, urban agriculture and kitchen programs, as well as a complicated capital project and three relocation projects. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph.
In her new role, Karine will be responsible for building infrastructure and capital projects, finance, leasing, technology, our TechSoup Canada program, and, because of her extensive experience on the ground, she is now working closely with me on CSI’s new initiative, CSIx.
How amazing, eh?
And what about me, you ask? After 12 years, I will be stepping up, down and hula hooping all around our national and global expansion work. Embedded in networks, I will be focusing on building sustainable business models for the next generation of solutions that are going to make the world better.
And seriously, while hard, the process of letting go has also been amazing because I have so much profound confidence in these two individuals to lead, and to make the right decisions that always put people and planet first.
Congratulations to Adil and Karine!!
CEO and Co-founder, CSI