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Carlton Trail College’s CEO Shelley Romanyszyn-Cross retires

Shelley Romanyszyn-Cross, Carlton Trail College’s president and CEO, has announced her retirement after 20 years with the college.

Romanyszyn-Cross first joined the college two decades ago part-time after completing an undergraduate degree in public administration at the University of Saskatchewan, before moving to become a full-time program co-ordinator. That led her to the position of vice president of programs, and then in 2016, she was promoted to president and CEO.

Post-retirement, Romanyszyn-Cross said she’ll be moving onto building a business in executive coaching and consulting work, which she plans to stay involved with for the foreseeable future.

Executive coaching involves a series of one-on-one interactions between a manager or executive and an external coach with the aim of equipping people with the knowledge and opportunities they need to develop themselves and become more effective.

“A few years ago I was able to participate in an executive coaching program through Royal Roads University, and just working with people is so fulfilling,” Romanyszyn-Cross said. “I guess it is much of what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years, working with people.”

She said that she believes sometimes people get stuck and they don’t have a clear way to identify where it is they want to end up, and that coaching is about having conversations and allowing people to open up new perspectives for themselves.

“It’s just now a bit of a shift where I’m a little bit less busy but being able to do something that feeds me in terms of working with individuals and helping them find their impossible dreams so to speak.”

Until a new president and CEO is selected, Amy Yeager, Carlton Trail College’s vice-president of administration, has been appointed interim president and CEO.

While president and CEO, Romanyszyn-Cross said two things that stood out for her as highlights were the passion of the staff to make a difference in people’s lives, as well as the change in confidence students had when entering the college as opposed to when they leave.

“Being able to see students coming through our doors, the same students coming in and being unsure of themselves and walking out a year later with confidence and the ability to do whatever they set their mind to.

As far as challenges, she said some of the more recent difficulties in her role would be primarily focused around adapting to COVID-19, pivoting from face-to-face to a blended learning program.

“I had an amazingly strong team behind me and that makes all the difference in the world. I think at the end of the day it always boils down to money and ensuring that we can deliver what we seek to deliver with limited financial resources – just doing the best we can.”

When asked if there is any message she would like to give to her former students who went through the college in her time, Romanyszyn-Cross said she hopes Carlton Trail provided them with the courage and determination to know that they can step forward and accomplish anything themselves.

“At the end of the day it’s been my absolute pleasure and honour to work for the college for 20 years and be a part of the regional college community and work with the different stakeholders I had the opportunity to work with,” she said.

“Walking away knowing I’m leaving behind me amazing people to continue to run the organization, I think we really have a culture of collaboration and working together and that’s something I’m proud of.”
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