Marc Iturriaga - Founder
With the belief that Belonging - where people feel invited, welcomed and included - is the cornerstone for an inclusive society, Marc has over 20 years building inclusive programs and communities through his work in higher education, sport & recreation, and community development.
Higher Education: Marc has extensive experience in student affairs with roles as International Student Program Coordinator at the University of Toronto, Residence Life Manager at McMaster University, and Campus Recreation leadership positions at the University of Waterloo and Mount Royal University. By prioritizing collaborations with multiple partners who support communities such as LGBTQ+, Indigenous, International and Accessibility Services, he nurtured opportunities focusing on experiential learning, inclusive programming and community engagement resulting in an increased sense of belonging among higher education communities.
Sport and Recreation: Marc's passion for sport and recreation has been developed with 20+ years of leadership, programming and facility management experience in all areas of recreation services including older adults, youth, fitness, climbing, aquatics, sport programming, special events, and audience-specific programs and services. Utilizing a diversity and inclusion framework for program delivery, Marc removed barriers and negotiated constraints to realize participant growth in sport and recreation programs from 11,000 to over 30,000 participants per year.
Community Development: As the Executive Director for the Genesis Centre, Marc oversaw a $120 million multi-purpose complex that saw over 1.6 million visitors annually, acting as a recreational, cultural, social and educational hub of the community in the most culturally diverse quadrant of Calgary. As drivers for positive social change, they developed programs to fight social isolation affecting seniors, improve child EDI scores and create space to engage youth. Marc developed critical collaborative relationships with key stakeholders including Municipality Services, Educational Institutions, City Councillors, MLAs, Community Associations, Sport Groups, Primary Care Networks and Social Service Agencies helping the organization realize its vision of an inspired community. Marc was honoured to lead a team selected as one of twenty international organizations for the Of/By/For All Change Network to spark a global movement of organizations becoming more representative Of, co-led By & welcoming For All.
Marc was fortunate to work for Canada World Youth, which offers international volunteer programs to youth from Canada and abroad to acquire leadership skills that allow them to become agents of change. Being isolated in a rural village of a foreign country, leading youth from two nations and supporting them as they led sustainable community projects was a life-changing experience, helping him understand the importance of global citizenship. Marc facilitated workshops for participants on cross-cultural communication while developing his diplomatic skills through collaborating with Ecuadorian rural community, NGOs, embassies and multinational agencies.
Thought Leader: With his Masters in Leadership, Marc excels at developing exceptional & inspirational staff helping them grow into transformational leaders at all levels. He has experience in leading strategic planning and organizational change management that align with each organizations' strategic priorities based on assessment. Marc has been appointed to several leadership committees of national organizations focused on developing strategic plans through highly participatory idea exchanges and a desire to be catalysts for action and results. As the appointed Co-Chair for the NIRSA Strategic Values Commission for Sustainable Communities, he led a team which developed a strategic roadmap to embed social, economic, and environmental sustainability throughout the NIRSA organization. As an appointed Faculty responsible for the design and implementation of the curriculum for the School of Collegiate Recreation, he developed workshops and training with a focus on diversity and inclusion for both emerging and seasoned professionals.
Marc is a gifted orator, having led multiple AGMs, Town Halls, public consultations and community engagement sessions. He is an an expert at developing and facilitating educational sessions, orientations, and debriefs which facilitate intense experiential learning and has presented at multiple national conferences .