Not her first rodeo

Calgary Stampede’s CFO Shelly Flint talks about what motivates her and shares her favourite thing about one of the city’s most iconic events.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
I do a lot of listening and I’m quite transparent. I think it’s so important that everybody sees the full picture; it allows them to work independently and make decisions that are in the best interest of the organization.

Q: What motivated you to move to the not-for-profit sector?
In 2013, we had the flood that really devastated Calgary and southern Alberta. It was right before the Calgary Stampede, but the community rallied together to make the Stampede go on. I thought, “What can I do for people around me and for the community at large?”

Q: What are some of the challenges you face in your role?
I’m also the treasurer for the Calgary Stampede Foundation, which is a charity. And I’m the president for Cowboys’ Casino, which is a for-profit. It’s challenging to manage because we are doing for profit, not-for-profit and charity fund accounting all at the same time. But it’s interesting to see the interplay and how all this comes together. And what makes it exciting is that every client, of course, has different needs.

Q: What is your favourite part about working with the Calgary Stampede?
I love the variety and the different people that we get to work with. Our whole board is volunteer-based. And in order to become a shareholder, you have to have been a volunteer. The number of hours that people contribute to Calgary Stampede is phenomenal. I haven’t seen that level of passion elsewhere. Plus, I can go down to the shoots and watch the bucking broncos or I could go down to the barns and pet a horse.

Q: What do you hope to achieve each day?

Really to find the best value for the programs that we deliver. It’s kind of my mission to find and reduce any expenses that we don’t need to have in order to make them most effective for our community. My biggest personal challenge coming from for-profit to the not-for-profit sector has been not to focus on the bottom line. Instead, it’s focusing on the delivery of the best programs possible.

Shelly Flint spent 15 years working in the banking and insurance industry before taking on the role of director, and then CFO, at the Calgary Stampede.

About the Author

Sadiya Dendar

Sadiya Dendar is a freelance writer in Toronto.

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