MNO’s Chief Operating Officer Retiring – Leaving MNO on Very Solid Ground

dougRetiring COO Doug Wilson

After over a decade serving in the MNO’s public service, MNO’s Chief Operating Officer, Doug Wilson will be resigning his position effective March 31, 2016.

COO Wilson joined the MNO in 2005 as the Director of Healing & Wellness, and in 2008 assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer under President & CEO Gary Lipinski.

margaretAssociate COO Margaret Froh

“Doug Wilson is one of those truly extraordinary individuals who is successful in everything that they take on. His outstanding commitment and devotion to serving the Métis Nation of Ontario and our citizens has been an inspiration to all,” stated President Gary Lipinski.


wendaActing COO (starting April 1) Wenda Watteyne

COO Wilson brought a lifetime of experience as a high-ranking officer and pilot within the Canadian Armed Forces to his work at the MNO, including having led search and rescue teams and served as Base Commander for CFB Trenton – a major air force base in Ontario with thousands of employees and multiple levels of government to manage.

In tendering his resignation, COO Wilson wrote, “Personally, to have the opportunity to learn so much about my culture and to work in support of Métis Rights has been a real highlight and something that never would have happened had I not come to work for the MNO. For this and so many other things I remain most appreciative.”

President Lipinski stated, “We have accepted Doug’s resignation with both reluctance and regret, and appreciate and understand that at this point in time he needs to focus on his health. I have personally thanked Doug for his work with and for the MNO. He has been an absolute godsend. When I became President in 2008, I asked him to take on the role as our Chief Operating Officer where he has helped and guided us through some of the most difficult years the MNO has ever seen. Since that time, the MNO has seen steady solid gains in all fronts, and is now recognized as one of the best run Aboriginal Governments in Canada.  This is part of the legacy Doug leaves us with.  I want to thank Doug again for his complete dedication, commitment, and service at the highest level, and for being a friend to each of us at the same time. On behalf of the leadership, staff and citizens of the MNO, we wish Doug good health and all the very best.”
President Lipinski noted that another part of COO Wilson’s legacy is the extremely skilled and experienced senior management team that he recruited to the MNO.

“I am very pleased to say that while Doug will be missed, he has left in place a very solid team to continue to guide the MNO as it moves forward in these exciting times. Margaret Froh, our Associate Chief Operating Officer (ACOO) has been working extremely closely with Doug Wilson over the past year and she will be continuing in her role. Margaret is a very skilled and experienced Métis lawyer with over 18 years experience working within major institutions and Indigenous governments. She is also faculty at the Banff Centre, an internationally recognized leader in leadership and management training programs, with a particular focus on Indigenous good governance,” stated President Lipinski.

“We are delighted to announce that joining her in the COO/ACOO work will be Wenda Watteyne, the MNO’s Director of Healing & Wellness who we are appointing as Acting Chief Operating Officer for the first six months of the coming fiscal year to assist in the transition. Working together, Wenda and Margaret will be responsible for the overall administration and management of MNO’s operations, including managing the day-to-day affairs and staff of the MNO and the delivery of programs and services,” added President Lipinski.

Wenda Watteyne has over 22 years of experience working in Ottawa in a number of capacities that began with a position with the House of Commons and relocation from Saskatchewan in 1993. Wenda held the position of Executive Director of the Métis National Council from 1999-2005 and from 2009-2011. Prior to that, Wenda held the position of Chief Operations Officer of the Aboriginal Liaison Directorate of Human Resources Development Canada and worked as Executive Assistant to three national Inuit leaders and Wilton J. Littlechild as a Member of Parliament. For the past four and a half years, Wenda has held the position of Director of Healing & Wellness and is fully committed to the advancement of the MNO’s Statement of Prime Purpose in a progressive, collaborative and team-oriented manner. Wenda is honoured to play a role in the management and administration of the Métis Nation of Ontario Secretariat as Acting Chief Operating Officer and looks forward contributing to the ongoing success of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Published March 1, 2016



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