Innovating ideas with Western Canada’s top minds in affordable housing is another place M’akola CEO Kevin Albers has been making a difference.
As a professionally designated accountant, CPA, Albers sees the CIH designation for housing professionals as an important maturation of the sector and an acknowledgment of the level of sophistication required to operate and manage affordable housing in these transformative times.
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) launched its debut Western Founders Program this past fall. Three sessions are held over a four month period, streamlining the leaders to earn the Gold Seal for housing professionals: CIH Canada Chartered designation. This will be awarded to Albers in January 2016.
“Kevin was selected to be in the program because he is a leader in affordable housing and this is the highest designation meant for leaders in the sector. This is not a ‘how-to’ it’s an opportunity for leaders to step outside of operations and to step outside of the sector. This is about challenging the status quo,” said Lisa Kotsopoulos, General Manager CIH Canada.
Albers sees these opportunities as ways to work on the organization and not in it. “It allows us to take the time to think strategically while learning and sharing with our peers,” said Albers. “It’s very powerful and valuable.”
This is the first time it’s being offered in the West and Kotsopoulos mentioned it might be the only time. The Western Founders program is developed for professionals with a high-calibre skillset and an astute understanding of the housing sector.
While this is the first time it’s been offered in the West it’s been held in Ontario twice. With the housing sector rapidly changing, the program has also changed each time it’s being offered.
“The Western Founders program is being modified between Sessions 2 and 3,” Kotsopoulos explained adding the program adapts as the sector changes to keep it up-to-date with innovative ideas.
Throughout the program Albers and the rest of his colleagues will cover Transformational Change, Learning Today and Leading Tomorrow and Defining a New Future. The facilitators are international housing leaders from England and Australia.
“These are all housing leaders in the sector and they are here to inspire others,” Kotsopoulos said.