Saskatchewan Leaders in Profile – Verona Thibault, Organizer

Verona Thibault, CEO at SEDA. Photo by David Carter Photography.

Verona Thibault has been a community builder for the past twenty-five years. She is currently CEO of the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance (SEDA), a provincial backbone organization for supporting
community economic development in Saskatchewan.

Based in Regina, she gained applied sales and marketing experience at a crown corporation. An entrepreneur at heart, and becoming purpose-driven, she migrated into consulting, providing management and business development services for local and provincial not-for-profit clients. A growing interest in community economic development resulted in a move to rural Saskatchewan to undertake a four-year commitment with the Town
of Gravelbourg and Redcoat REDA. This experience irrevocably shifted her urban-centric lens and lit the desire to work at a provincial level. With an opportunity to work with organizations such as the Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre Co. and the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association, she relocated to Saskatoon, and shortly thereafter began her work with the governance team at SEDA.

What are the most important qualities for a successful leader?

“Today I feel that being fearless, visionary and trustworthy are three essential leadership qualities, within the public and civil sectors. The digital economy will continue to ramp up innovation and as leaders, we will have multiple opportunities to positively shape the future of our organizations and impact those we serve. It is not a time for the status quo.”

If you could give one piece of advice about leadership, what would it be?

“Ensure that the governance team and staff are fully aligned with the organization’s vision and goals.”

How do you measure success for you as a leader?

“I am fortunate in that I love what I do. Success is realized when I see that my team has had an impact on other leaders or professionals and in witnessing them take tangible steps to direct their own future, or the future
of their community. I will add that I am in my ‘happy place’ when we have played a role in brokering a successful partnership!”

From Someone Who Knows

“In all the years that I have know Verona, and worked with her, she has always believed in collaboration and partnerships as the vehicle to empower people in moving their communities forward, and to embrace change. In this, she leads by example.” – Cherylynn Walters, Partner, Indigenous Business Development Services