Carol Kotacka, Strategy & Public Affairs

What do you do?

I’m a results-oriented leader specializing in external strategy, change and issues management in local, national and international markets.

Area of expertise:

  • Strategy development & execution
  • Issues management
  • Transformational change
  • Stakeholder engagement

How do you help organizations?

I’ve had the privilege of co-creating system wide solutions with organizations, residents, employees, government entities as well as first responders. Issues management, reputational risk and engagement to drive internal and external outcomes have been the focus of this work. Working in the field is where I provide best value. I believe my background reflects an understanding of the nuanced approach different cultures and stakeholder groups require- results proven time and again through work in industry with MNCs, NGOs and government entities in North America, Europe and, most recently, the Middle East.

Top Experience/Previous Interim Placements:

  • VP, Stakeholder Relations & Public Affairs – United Way
  • Director, Communications & Public Affairs – Trillium Health Partners
  • Managing Partner, Ryelle Strategy Group – Select client included:
    • Prime Minister’s Office/ Federal Government, UAE
    • Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
    • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
    • Trillium Health Centre – Chantel’s Place Regional Sexual Assault Centre
    • William Osler Health System

Other things you should know about me:

I worked in industrial manufacturing for approximately ten years for a multinational industrial fabrics company. You name the plant, I’ve probably been in it – I also had the privilege of working with some of the best “old school salesmen” (yes, they were all men) in the world.

Your superpower for managing through a crisis:

My biggest strength would be checking my ego and the door and a managing crisis through collaboration:

  • Built issues management framework for newly merged hospital with reputed busiest emergency department in the country. Managed organizational reputation in responding to issues such as: outbreaks, infrastructure challenges and external review of 3,500 diagnostic images which lead to the Ministry of Health announcement of a province-wide physician peer review program. This included leading and supporting command centre structure during execution of Emergency Management Protocol which included instances of “Code Orange” (disaster), “Code Grey” (infrastructure failure), “Code Red” (fire)
  • Led operational plans, policy advocacy strategies and digital engagement platforms for United Ways to drive system wide solutions impacting issues like youth homelessness, mental illness and supporting the regional settlement of Syrian refugees during the 2017 arrival at Pearson Airport
  • Launched stakeholder engagement strategy designed to mobilize government, leaders and residents for development of youth shelter in community turning away over 450 kids per year due to lack of space. Local government announced commitment within 18 months. Doors opened six months later
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