ONA President Announces New Chief Executive Officer/Chief Administrative Officer
March 06, 2013
I’m delighted to announce that the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is welcoming our new Chief Executive Officer/Chief Administrative Officer (CEO/CAO) Michael Balagus. For the last nine years, Michael was the Chief of Staff to two Manitoba Premiers responsible for coordinating political staff and acting as senior political advisor to the Premier, Cabinet and Caucus. He is both an experienced manager and political strategist.
In today’s tough political environment it is critical we have leadership that can strategically mobilize staff and members against the full frontal attack on workers and workers’ rights.
The Board of Directors and the search committee were impressed with Michael’s union mindset. We were also impressed by Michael’s views on managing staff. He believes in providing space for great performance and wants to meet with staff to determine how he can support them. The Board describes Michael as "dynamic, inspirational and energetic." Board members unanimously approved his appointment.
Previously Michael worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the National Democratic Institute developing training, programming for youth and mentoring local staff about effective electoral processes. Prior to that, he was in communications for the Manitoba government. Michael has experience with and extensive knowledge of unions, the health care system and the labour relations climate.
Michael says his passions are healthcare, education, the plight of First Nations, women’s issues and family.
After an extensive review of 300 potential candidates, including RNs, and some tough interviews, we felt Michael’s passion, managerial experience and union sensibility were unmatched. We are confident Michael will inspire staff in their work to improve the socioeconomic welfare and quality of work life for our members.
Please welcome Michael! He will join us on March 1, 2013.
Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN
President, Ontario Nurses' Association