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Alumni Profiles

Lance Novakl

Lance Novak

Pilon School of Business
Year of Graduation: 1988
Program: Business

The Rewarding World of Not-for-Profit

Of his 20-plus years of experience at the senior management and executive level, Lance Novak has found the greatest satisfaction with his roles in the not-for-profit sector. His current position is particularly rewarding. The 1985 Business alumnus is the Executive Director of the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).

“My personal passion is for dogs so when this position became available it was like having my dream job come true,” says Lance who joined the CKC in January 2013. The CKC registers pure bred dogs, advocates for the health of dogs and oversees dog shows and events.

But being at the helm of the 125-year-old Club is not a walk in the park, says Lance, who points to an aging membership as the biggest challenge currently facing the CKC.
“This obstacle will be best overcome with a strong communications strategy to help people understand the virtues of purebred dog ownership,” maintains Lance, an owner of purebred Irish Wolfhounds for more than three decades.

Despite the challenges, Lance says he enjoys the personal satisfaction that comes from working at a not-for-profit organization with a social mandate. “It can be more complex and interesting to manage sales, revenue and promotion of a cause as opposed to maximizing profits to increase shareholder returns.”

Prior to joining the CKC, Lance was part of the executive team at the Ontario College of Trades. He was also Vice President, Sales and Marketing at the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) for 15 years and has significant volunteer experience on various boards.

He has racked up many valuable lessons along the way which he is happy to share with new graduates. “Never under estimate the power of softer skills such as having a vision for success and well-honed presentation skills to sell yourself. If you prove that you believe in yourself, others will believe in you.”

Learn more about Sheridan's Faculty of Business programs