Program Overview | Wallace McCain Institute for Business Leadership


Program Overview

Peer programming that builds better business judgment is at the core of the Wallace McCain Institute’s (WMI) existence. Each of the three peer groups meet 6-12 times each year for 1-2 days, typically in a remote retreat environment. Fees range from $1,000 per year to $20,000 per year. Each group has 16 members and is managed by 2-3 moderators. WMI moderators are all entrepreneurs themselves, making them invaluable as resources during and between sessions. After the first year of programming, groups continue to meet quarterly and migrate to moderating themselves. The continuing relationship is key to generating trust quickly in a group. For that reason, nominees who are not interested in an ongoing commitment should NOT apply.

Core Value

Peer Groups

WMI selects its peer group members based on a combination of traits from both the person and the company.

Road Rash: Ideal members have personal experiences that they can share with others that are relevant. The relevance depends on the other group members.  For this reason, WMI is unique in the processes it uses to chose the group members to assure that each member can both -give- and -get- while in their particular peer group.

Business Complexity: The company also has to have a degree of complexity that fuels helpful group discussions.  All sectors are eligible.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ): The third common element of all members is that they possess the emotional maturity to share and receive input from others in a productive way.

Atlantic Canadian: All groups are made up of members from across Atlantic Canada.

Common elements across all programs
Each peer group session from any WMI program contains the following consistent elements:
  1. Peer sharing of challenges and opportunities
  2. Deep dives into several specific members’ issues
  3. Goal setting and accountability
  4. External guest speaker(s)
  5. Intentional but casual interactions that build trust
  6. Trained moderation staff and organizational support

Click on the program that applies to your role


If what you see below sounds like a fit head to the ELP page for more details.

Program Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (ELP)
Who Business owners - ELP is for the majority shareholders who are the itchy visionaries who feel alone as they push the company (and themselves) to new heights. Typical businesses are; 5 - 10 years old, 20-100 employees, and over $1M in revenue.
Compare The business metrics above are not strict eligibility criteria but rather a proxy for complexity. Business owners with less complex business are likely more suited to Strategic Executives Program (SEP).
Location 9 sessions in Miramichi, NB with one session in each of NL, NS and PEI
Frequency 12 monthly sessions of 2 days (residential)
Deadline March 31
Cost $20,000 with 50% paid by sponsors.


If what you see below sounds like a fit head to the SEP page for more details.

Program Strategic Executives Program (SEP)
Who Senior executives – The Strategic Executives Program is for the people working with the business “owner” to help them execute. Members of SEP are in roles where they are connecting the vision of the leader to the work plans of the team. The ideal candidates are in roles like: VP, Director, COO, GM, Executive Director and President. Director, COO, GM, and President.
Compare The roles above are not strict requirements. Any similar role that boils down to “catching the balls that their “CEO” puts in the air” fits well within the program. Larger companies have numerous people that would be appropriate to send to SEP in different years. Some SEP members could be shareholders or even the sole owner, but in those cases, the companies are typically less complex than ELP companies.
Location Virtual or Miramichi, NB
Frequency For virtual - 18 half-day sessions within a 9 month period. Miramichichi, NB - 9 overnight sessions (1 per month).
Deadline July 25
Cost $6500 + HST

Family Business Member

If what you see below sounds like a fit head to the ECHO page for more details.

Program ECHO Program (ECHO)
Who Family businesses next generation – The ECHO program is for members of a multi-generational family business who may eventually take over the company. Typically, the previous generation is still active in the company and the candidate may or may not report to them directly. The candidate typically does not have shares (yet).
Location Typically NB, but decided based on membership
Frequency 6 bimonthly sessions for 24 hours (residential)
Deadline Applications are always open and a new group starts every 3 years
Cost $3000