This year, Power To Be marked its 25th year of empowering individuals through nature-based programs. For 15 of those years, Jason Cole has dedicated his skills, knowledge, and energy to Power To Be: first, in Program leadership, and since September 2022, taking the helm alongside Dana Hutchings as Co-CEO.

Kendal Wright, Power To Be’s People and Culture Lead, doesn’t hesitate to affirm why Jason is the perfect fit for this leadership role. She emphasizes his unique ability to blend field experience with strategic vision, creating a leadership style that is both down-to-earth and forward-thinking. Kendal says, “Jay has a way of leading by weaving in experience directly from the field, balanced with strategic foresight and a grounded perspective. His values-based leadership is felt and appreciated by all.” It’s evident that Jason’s decisions are rooted in a deep understanding of the transformative power of nature—a core element that guides his choices.

In reflecting on Jason’s 15 years, Carinna Keningsberg, Power To Be’s Director of Programs and Impact, highlights his belief in mentorship and situational leadership. She shares that Jason doesn’t just preach these values; he lives them, forming authentic connections with those around him and the places he cares about. As Carinna notes, “He evokes insight, passion, and a desire to want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Jason’s leadership extends beyond the professional realm; it’s about creating a community that thrives on shared values and a collective desire for positive change.”

What sets Jason apart is his unique approach to leadership. Drawing on his extensive experience, he has crafted a style that is not only effective but also inspiring. At the core of this approach is his ability to connect with individuals personally. By understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations of his team, Jason motivates and empowers them to reach their full potential. Open and transparent communication is another hallmark of his leadership, creating a culture of trust and collaboration within Power To Be.

With strategic thinking, a keen eye for identifying opportunities, and a willingness to take calculated risks, Jason continues to propel Power To Be towards success. In a world where leadership is often associated with authority, he stands out by leading with empathy, authenticity, and genuine passion. That is why Jason was awarded the 2023 MacGregor Cup by the Roy Group: the first non-profit leader to win.

Dana Hutchings, Power To Be’s Co-CEO writes, “I can’t imagine Power To Be without Jay. He lives his values and every day he continues to ensure this organization stays focused on our commitment to belonging, to reconciliation and to ensuring we are environmentally responsible. Jay makes us all better and it is an honour to work beside him.”

As Power To Be celebrates its 25th year, it does so with Jason Cole at the forefront—a leader whose impact is not just measured in years of service but in the lives changed and the community built. With Dana Hutchings and Jason Cole steering the ship as Co-CEOs, the next 25 years promise to be as transformative and inspiring as the first.


This blog was written by Jasmine Parr, Power To Be’s Community Engagement Specialist.