Messsage from ICF Toronto Chapter President, Barb Rosen Schreiber

September 2020

VISION 2020 Virtual Experience

There is something very special about bringing together a group of leaders with talent, unique perspectives, and a drive to create something amazing and watch them brainstorm, gel, share, dispute, mold and design a world-class experience because they have a common goal to deliver a landmark event for our ICF Toronto Community. In this newsletter you will see the results of over five months of planning that the Conference Team, chaired by Marina Yerokhova transformed into a new Vision 2020 Virtual Experience.

The structure is built and the doors are open today for you to register for an experience that will create a resounding buzz throughout our community – before, during and after this 10-day event. You will be invited to connect, engage, interact and network with coaches, leaders, speakers, sponsors and other professionals to learn, debate, share ideas and apply these ideas to your business, for your clients and for yourselves.

One example of opportunities that will deepen your learning are Vision Cafés, facilitated discussions that take place after speaker events in breakout spaces that give you a chance to explore what additional value you can create for yourselves and others.

Check out more details about the Vision 2020 experience, package options and special incentives to register before September 30th. I look forward to seeing you at Vision 2020.

Fall Programs

You won’t want to miss the two speakers scheduled for September and the opportunity to participate in our Chapter Membership Chat, led by Bonnie Grogan, Director of Member Engagement. Read more in the upcoming events section of our website at

2020 ICF Global Coaching Study

The ICF Global study conducted in the middle of this year in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is now available. The study assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the coaching community and incorporates 22,457 valid survey responses from coaches and managers and leaders who are using coaching skills in 161 countries and territories. Click here for more information in addition to downloading the free Executive Summary.

August 2020

It’s hard to believe we are now half-way through August, and September is just around the corner. We have had a full summer of webinars and interactive events thanks to your engagement and participation. In July we began to introduce ways for us as a community and as coaches to reflect and act on our awareness of issues related to racism and anti-racism, inclusivity and diversity from a broad perspective and also, more specifically, related to BIPOC.

We started mid-July with Kanchan Prinsloo, former board member, leading a discussion about coaching culturally diverse leaders. In her introduction, Kanchan shared acronyms and terminology (an awareness check) as well as demographic data (51.5% of people in Toronto are visible minorities) that reinforced the importance of our commitment to diversity, inclusion and anti-racism within our chapter. The conversation deepened as Jane Graydon our past president and Amrita Garg, current board member lead our first Diversity Dialogue. Make sure to register for the next one coming up on August 27th. We are creating a D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) strategy and would love some of the associated initiatives to emerge from these dialogues.

Another focus over the summer has been creating opportunities to hear your views and opinions through member chats. Our first chat lead by Bonnie Grogan, Director of Member Engagement and her volunteer committee, Laura Commisso and Manie Walker created a space for members to ask questions, share their chapter experience and express what provides added value to them as chapter members.

Our July programming ended with Shahab Anari, Director of member meetings hosting a webinar with Jean Francois Cousin, Past Chair of ICF Global who shared lessons learned and strategies for international expansion of his coaching practice. There was something for everyone this month, members and guests. Make sure to check out our August programming.

And we have more coming….our best kept secret for the summer was uncovered on August 5th. Behind the scenes our conference planning committee lead by Marina Yerokhova has been working tirelessly to create an amazing 2020 Virtual Experience that brings a new lens to looking at what a conference experience can be. I want to extend my gratitude and appreciation to everyone working with Marina on the core committee: Alicia Saint, Bachir Chehab, Carmelo Millimaci, Eugene Nikutin, Jalyn Anderson, Rose-marie Fernandez, Vasilina Demidovich, and Robin Mahadeva and additional volunteers Raj Mathew, Tony Porfilio, and Naila Qazi.

This team has transformed a one day conference into a nine day virtual experience featuring inspiring keynote presenters, Q&A sessions, interactive learning workshops and live coaching demos. You get to choose the tracks that best fit your needs based on the three conference themes:

  • Coaching for change in organizations
  • Building a coaching business
  • Understanding and building resilience and human thriving

There is something for everyone within our community and for those who work with and support the business of coaching (sponsors, organizations who partner with coaches, coaching schools and more). Our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion will be interwoven throughout the virtual experience to raise awareness, foster discussion and provide support to community solutions.

We are setting the stage for a spectacular opportunity. The main ingredient that will create the biggest impact is YOU! Bring your curiosity, your insights, your desire to push the envelop to shape marketplace awareness and advancement of the coaching profession. Spread the news about this opportunity to people who will bring a diverse perspective to the future potential of coaching. Consider who should be a part of this experience and share the August 5, 2020 announcement.

The impact of VISION 2020 will continue well after November and you can be the architects who build the future of coaching.

July 2020

As our summer programming comes into full bloom, I am excited to see so many opportunities that allow our ICF Toronto community to participate in webinars that offer insights and tips as a result of listening to speakers who have deep expertise. These sessions also invite us to engage in discussions and share opinions, ideas and experiences with each other in groups that are facilitated by one or more Board members. I believe it is through forums that encourage dialogue that bring out the richness of diversity of thought and perspectives that build our character as a community.

With your active engagement, we increase our potential as a Chapter to shape marketplace awareness and advancement of the coaching profession. Imagine the ripple effect if each of us applies something we have learned from a colleague during one of our Chapter discussions and uses this in a way that has a positive impact with clients or within our community. Consider the impact we have as coaches in bringing out the best in our clients. Picture the ripple effect of adding up each of the clients we have worked with so far this year, and the people they, in turn, have impacted. If each connection is seen as a spark of light, then as a community we are creating an incredible constellation.

This is who we are as a vibrant community. Looking forward to seeing you at our upcoming July Events.

June 2020

As President of the ICF Chapter I want to emphasize the importance of engaging with you to learn more about your perspectives and interests and what we can do as a chapter to better meet the diverse needs of our community. Here are some of the actions our board is taking:

  • introducing more diverse speakers
  • creating opportunities to hear your views and opinions like membership chats (coming this month) and town halls
  • continue to draw from a diverse feeder pool for board succession
  • asking you for recommendations of organizations for the Coach Connect pro-bono coaching initiative that services the BIPOC community. Some of our past partners include Tropicana Employment Centre and Youth Job Connection Program, Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, Elizabeth Fry Toronto, and Toronto Foundation.

We need an involved, engaged chapter now more than ever to make a difference as leaders and coaches with our existing and future corporate and individual clients. You will soon be receiving a reminder email from ICF Toronto inviting you to take part in our programs, events and services by paying your $100 annual Activity Fee. Let’s stand together as one ICF!

May 2020

Being a coach during a pandemic continues to be challenging to navigate. Our clients need us more than ever, but some coaching engagements have been forced to end as many businesses struggle to survive. Maintaining total confidentiality/privacy with our coaching can be challenging for us and our clients with kids and partners in the same residence.

Through all of this, I continue to be inspired by the resilience and supportive community of ICF Toronto coaches. I’ve found ICF’s COVID-19 resources for coaches really helpful and I hope you are leveraging these to keep strong for yourself, family, friends, and your clients.

Our new ICF membership virtual programming offers the opportunity to build:

  • connection with other members
  • coaching competence and approaches while also collecting CCEUs
  • business strategies to bring value to existing clients and create relationships that can lead to future business

In April we kicked off our virtual webinars with the most well attended event in our history – over 300 people celebrated the accomplishments and contributions of our ICF Toronto award winners (click HERE to learn more about this year’s winners) and learned from a former ICF Toronto Board member, Michael Bungay Stanier. Our other webinars were also very highly rated. Focus on your personal and business development needs by registering for our May 27th session, "The Roadmap to Resilience: How to Thrive in Challenging Times", with Mark Black.

There is a great reason this month to pay your activity fee for 2020 and sign up for our month-long International Coaching Week program! You can also increase your visibility as a coach by making sure your profile is up to date in our “find a coach” directory. These are only a few high value activities and services you have access to as an ICF Toronto Chapter member.

Here are a few messages from ICF Global to be aware of:

Installment payments for your ICF Global membership are now available for coaches who have not yet renewed their ICF membership. Click HERE for more information on eligibility and payment process.

ICF Global has launched the new Digital Badges for ICF credential-holders. If you are an ACC, PCC or MCC, you will have received an email from letting you know you have a new badge to accept. Read more here about what you need to do to accept and post your badge.

From April to June, Board members are joining leaders from over 140 ICF chapters at ICF’s annual Global Leadership Forum (GLF), virtually of course. We are learning and sharing strategies and initiatives, best practices, challenges and successes to create thriving chapters around the world. ICF Toronto is proud to have introduced our first Ignite initiative this past year, and you may recognize some faces in this video introduced at GLF: 2020 Ignite initiative.

We are committed to continuing to learn and be agile in meeting the needs of you, our ICF Toronto community and making a difference in our world.

April 2020

There is no question that we are experiencing the impact of a global crisis – personally and professionally - that touches us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There is a quote by Rahm Emanuel that states: “Never let a good crisis go to waste."

So a few questions for you, are:

Where are you adapting?

What are you learning about yourself as a coach? as a leader?

Where are you creating opportunities to do things you never thought you would do (at least within the time frame you are now doing them)?

Here are some of the opportunities our Board has created for you as a result of COVID-19:

We have upgraded our virtual platform to offer online webinars and Zoom meetings (something we have been talking about for a while now, and COVID-19 created the sense of urgency to make this a top priority).

We have a strong lineup of programs now posted on our website for April and May, with more to come in June and July.

Our ICW planning committee is preparing an exciting virtual program that extends beyond International Coaching Week (see below).

As a result of stepping into the realm of virtual programming, we can now bring greater value to existing and new members who live well outside the GTA. More members engaging in our programs creates a stronger community with more resources, experience, best practices and thought leadership.

While there are many opportunities, there are still challenges that affect us as a result of the impact of an unstable world, where social distancing requires that we make adjustments to how we live and work. As an example, working from home may be a gift to some, and a “worst nightmare” for others. Some of us may be restricted to a smaller living space than we are used to; others may have young children competing for attention while we are on calls with clients. Some of you may share one of my circumstances of making sure parents or in-laws are safe and still feeling connected, in a world where all they have is a phone and TV - no internet or computer. There are days when focusing is a challenge. Isolation feels lonely; grey skies put a damper on our spirits.

Here are a few strategies I use for all of the above:

When I notice that it is taking me longer than usual to complete a task, I realize I am losing my focus and need a break, so I tune in to what I need and push myself to.... walk around the house for a stretch, move to another room that has different lighting or access to windows, go for a walk outside, put some music on and do a short workout, give a friend a call, etc.

When I feel overwhelmed because too many things are asking for my attention all at once, I pause and breathe. I step back to get a fresh perspective of what’s going on - then ask myself: "what is the most important thing for me to do RIGHT NOW?"

There is a plethora of articles about managing ourselves during times of crisis.I was browsing through the ICF Global site last week and came across this article, which I thought I would share with you:

Living and Leaving a Crisis Stronger, an article posted on the ICF Global site by Lena Gustafsson, PCC, April 2, 2020.

I encourage you to sign up for the wonderful speakers scheduled for April and May - now posted on our Chapter website. Looking forward to “seeing" you at these events.

March 2020

In my first monthly announcement as President, I want to convey how extremely excited I am to work with our Board and membership to achieve our vision of being a thriving community that shapes marketplace awareness of professional coaching and ICF credentialed coaches.

There is an expression about the month of March that it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, and March 2020 is certainly coming in with a roar, but I think the roar will continue for a while.

As incoming President of the ICF Toronto Chapter, I believe that health and safety is our number one priority. The unknown factors are changing daily around COVID-19 and we are taking a cautious approach to what WHO has now confirmed is pandemic. We are currently examining all of our processes and programming in light of the impact of COVID-19. As you now know, our Board of Directors and Conference and Awards Planning Committees have made the decision to postpone the VISION 2020 Conference and the ICF Toronto Annual Awards Gala event until further notice. We will continue to uphold the highest standards for ICF Toronto as the top professional coaching organization in Canada and make decisions consistent with keeping our coaching community and the greater community safe and healthy. Remembering that our coaching community has a broad reach, I want to share the following resources provided by ICF Global to help you consider new opportunities you might create for your clients and your business using virtual coaching and webinars. Resources:

With all of the quick changes and decisions that have been made over the past week, I want to acknowledge the incredible work of:

The Conference Planning Committee (Kirk Fox, Marina Yerokhova, Carmelo Millimaci, Rajan Mathew, Bachir Chehab, and Zeina Keisse). They not only created an outstanding, sold out conference, but also worked under tight time constraints through our COVID-19 contingency planning.

The Judging Committee for the ICF Toronto Awards (Kanchan Prinsloo, Fabricio Avila, Ralph Cochrane and Mary-Ellen Hynd) who reviewed all applications for the PRISM Award and for our two new awards: the Outstanding Individual Contributor and Lifetime Achievement awards, and selected the winners for 2020.

The ICF Toronto Awards Gala Committee (Alicia Saint, Nadia Lavrentyeva, Alex Fullgraf and Hossam Bakir). They organized the ICF Toronto Awards and the Awards Gala evening created to celebrate excellence in coaching in our ICF Toronto community.

Our Virtual Assistant team (Kim Leitch, Arlene Larkin and Lorie Winter) for the guidance and support they give to all of us to make things happen as seamlessly as possible.

I also want to thank Jane Graydon, for her exemplary leadership over the past year, her continued role on the Board and her mentorship to me in my new role.

We will communicate more information in the coming weeks about our Member Meetings, International Coaching Week and other initiatives that we have planned for the year. Although we will be moving to a virtual platform, at least in the short term, and heed the advice of keeping physical distance from each other, we will certainly find every opportunity to remain connected as a community and we encourage you all to do the same. If you have any ideas or suggestions around how we can support our coaching community during these challenging times, please reach out to me. This is uncharted territory for all of us, and we will manage through it together.

Remember that our new ICF Toronto membership structure starts April 1st. We encourage you to renew your activity fee and keep engaged with our community. We recognize that these might be challenging times for many of you and appreciate any way you can support the ICF Toronto Charter Chapter. For more information go to Bonnie Grogan’s message in the March 15, 2020 e-newsletter and make sure to check our ICF Toronto website on a regular basis for updates.

I am very interested in hearing from ICF members and welcome your ideas any time ( I look forward to serving you in this new capacity!

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