Leadership Wood Buffalo logo

Leadership Wood Buffalo is designed to build leadership capacity in our community.

Annually, the Leadership Wood Buffalo (LWB) program accepts a new cohort of aspiring leaders with the goal of strengthening their existing leadership skills while supporting their growth as they discover and develop their unique leadership styles. Participants accepted into the program represent a variety of sectors and disciplines, and their individual skills and experiences create a unique environment for learning.

Through ongoing monthly Learning Days and Community Action Projects, the cohort creates connection and builds a strong foundation for leadership in our community.


Leadership Wood Buffalo was created by Sana Elache, founding Executive Director, with the dream of encouraging, developing and growing emerging leaders into the social profit community. Since its inception in 2006, LWB has seen 257 participants from various sectors in the community who are passionate about seeing our unique region thrive. Many participants have risen to high-level leadership positions, become municipal councillors, or contributed to significant community impact as board members. The ripple effect of intentional and strong leadership continues to impact our community in all sectors, today.

Interested in applying?

Developing exceptional, impactful leaders does not happen overnight – it is a process we have fine-tuned over the years and requires a commitment from the applicant as well as a real desire to make a difference in Wood Buffalo.

Interested applicants will undergo a selection process through a review committee that will select a diverse representation of emerging leaders who are looking to increase their understanding of our community, are actively engaged in leadership activities and demonstrate a commitment to increase their impact in Wood Buffalo.

Applications will open for the 2023/2024 cohort in April 2023.

Applications Open
Applications Close
Cohort Announced
Program Begins
Community Action Projects
October to April

Learn more about the program

Sana Elache Memorial Community Leadership Bursary

Sana Elache Memorial Community Leadership Scholarship

FuseSocial is honoured to offer the Sana Elache Memorial Community Leadership Scholarship as part of its commitment to growing and enhancing the capacity of the social profit sector within Wood Buffalo. Offered in memory of Sana Elache, the founding executive director of Leadership Wood Buffalo, this scholarship is available to support tuition of one community member interested in exploring and developing their leadership skills, both personally and at a community level.

Contact us for further details on how to apply

Are you a local social profit that has a great idea or need for project completed by a group of eager, aspiring leaders? We invite you to fill out a proposal for your project and we are happy to review it!

Request a Community Action Project

View the completed 2022 Community Action Projects presented by the cohort here.

Leadership Wood Buffalo Inquiries

    Alumni Photos


    "The program has significantly increased my confidence in my abilities and improved my perception of how others view me. As a result, it has encouraged me to apply for and accept opportunities that I would not have previously considered."
    "This program has more than met my expectations. I thought it was going to be like most training programs where you sit and learn about different theories and ideas and how you can apply them. This was so much more than that. Every learning day I walked away not only with new knowledge about community leadership in general but new knowledge about myself and the different things I have to offer both professionally and personally."
    "The biggest piece of knowledge I have taken away from the Leadership Wood Buffalo Program would be learning what my strengths are and how they are so immersed in my everyday life both at work and home."
    "Through this program I also gained some insight into things that I can do in my personal life to make me a more effective leader professionally. We discussed at length the concept of mindfulness and how it can be used within a workplace to help individuals develop effective teams."
    "I came to realize that as much as it is an asset to be all in when it comes to work, that taking the time to reflect, and recharge is important as well. Overall, this program really changed how I view myself as a leader and really helped me to develop and new way to leverage myself in order to make a difference within my community."
    "Overall, I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking to learn something new about themselves. The insight I’ve gained has helped me to become a more effective leader as well as a more well-rounded member of this community. It’s been the most amazing experience. I cannot begin to list all that I’ve gained from this program, it truly is a one-of-a-kind experience."
    "This has been an incredible journey of discovery. I have gained a deeper appreciation for all that Fort McMurray has going for it, and for all the unsung heroes in the background. Having met so many fantastic leaders from within the social profit sector, as a part of this learning experience has been very profound."
    "The growth I have experienced has been exponential. I have transitioned from thinking that leadership is something for others, to feeling like I can be one of those admirable people that inspires and fosters those around me!"
    "Partaking in leadership wood buffalo has helped me build a solid foundation of leadership capacity. I have taken lots of leadership workshops throughout my career at Alberta health Services, but none of them affected me to the same degree as this program. The most profound lesson I learned was the true value and meaning of trust within a team. When trust is cultivated and nurtured between team members magical things can happen!"
    "The most impactful event through the year was to learn how to balance when to lead and when to be led. Our Community Action Group had 6 people from very different backgrounds which made the whole process richer and sometimes challenging. We were very passionate and dedicated to improving how to access mental health resources in our region, and through the project we had the chance to learn a lot about the resources and the work that is already in place."
    "Leadership Wood Buffalo provided a space to explore my creativity through presentation. Living in the digital world, it became important to “think outside the box” even though much of the program was facilitated through online platforms. I recognize that my creativity is truly an asset, to be used in all areas of life but especially within my career."
    "The piece of knowledge I find has impacted me the most is the inner critic, especially hearing that everyone else has one. I find as a leader, I am lonely, and I am very hard on myself for mistakes that I make. It was a weight off my shoulders to hear that others feel the same way and that their inner critic tells them similar things. I find that simply being aware that the conversations I have in my head about not being good enough, or not being the best is all in my head."
    "I always feel so energized and refreshed after being able to speak honestly and openly and I leave feeling very understood and not alone. It’s a great learning community to be a part of."
    "I have a confidence that I never had before. I am now ok asking questions and not being the smartest person in the room. I am confident being wrong and it not shattering my ego. I am a stronger, more well-rounded leader because of the lessons I have learned during the year."