Interim Executive & Coach

Jane completed a successful term as Interim CEO, CatalystX in 2019, and has held two prior successful Interim Executive roles. Jane Garthson, an experienced association chair, Interim Executive Director, and former senior manager in the Ontario government, can be:

  • Your virtual part-time Interim CEO or Executive Director;
  • An executive coach to your Interim or new CEO or Executive Director.

Interim Executive

Are you worried about an executive director position coming vacant or already vacant because of a sabbatical, maternity leave, illness or sudden parting of the ways?

Need to ensure the organization keeps moving forward during the leave or permanent recruitment?

Then relax – you’ve found someone with a record of successful Interim Executive roles to make that happen!

My goal:  That the new or returning Executive is given every chance for success in that role.

We provide proven, experienced, hit-the-ground running, hands-on, interim leadership for not-for-profits too important to their community to fail.


In 2017, I became Executive Director on two days notice of a charity that had 1,000 active volunteers, no staff (ever), only a few remaining board members, some issues I can’t mention here, and a lot of doubt about whether the organization could function or survive without the specialized expertise of the consulting Executive Director who had departed. Here’s what the Chair and Vice Chair (both of whom were absolutely amazing in their roles) had to say afterwards:

“Jane Garthson became Toronto Cat Rescue’s (TCR) interim ED during a gap in leadership in the spring of 2017.  Her strong leadership skills, human resource knowledge, and keen eye for governance were an asset through the seven months she was with TCR.  Jane led the search for our first staff and conducted an executive search for a new ED.  She supported the board through recruiting more board members.  And, she helped to initiate the development of an internal structure to support the organization and future growth.  Jane’s expertise and advice helped the board immensely in understanding their role and transitioning the board from operations to a traditional governance model.  Jane’s willingness to step into this leadership role during a time of uncertainty and big transition is very much appreciated.”

I’m delighted to report that the organization found a wonderful permanent Executive Director and is thriving.

What happens when your organization hires Jane Garthson as Interim CEO or Executive Director?

  • The Board has the time to conduct a thoughtful, unhurried executive recruitment process if applicable;
  • Your organization continues to serve its mission, make progress on strategic priorities, generate revenues and engage its community;
  • The Board receives great strategic advice on decisions and issues;
  • The work of Board and staff members is not disrupted by the need to fill in for the Executive Director’s duties;
  • Excellent candidates apply for the permanent role, if applicable, because they see a wisely led organization and no pre-chosen individual (i.e., no internal person is acting in the role);
  • The Board and Jane work to create a smooth transition and a positive environment of success for the new or returning permanent executive.

What does Jane Garthson bring to the role?

  • A fast learner with exceptional ability to ask the right questions and absorb information about your culture and situation, so she can quickly be effective in a short term role;
  • A systems thinker who will see the patterns and will facilitate catalytic conversations to generate innovative ways to achieve the vision;
  • A leader with successful experience in managing the operations of nonprofit and government organizations;
  • A person fully comfortable with diversity, people from all generations and today’s information technology and fast communication;
  • A person with high level expertise in governance, planning, finance and more, to support high quality board decision-making and lead effectively;
  • A person of great integrity, who you can trust and who will build great relationships with your staff team, volunteers, members, alliances, partners, regulators and major funders;
  • An individual who has the core competencies you need to run the organization consistent with policies and plans approved by the Board;
  • A strong communicator who, in partnership with the chair, will explain organizational decisions and ensure appropriate transparency and accountability; and
  • A person with great respect for your cause, the people you seek to benefit and the efforts of volunteers and staff in service to the cause.

For tips on executive transition, check out the blog post Six Issues in Executive Transition Part 1, then read Part 2 as well.

If Jane is not available, she can help you connect with other potential interim leaders and/or great specialists in executive recruitment.

Interim Executive Coaching

Jane is currently enrolled in the Interim Executive Academy at Third Sector, and helping that organization establish the first ever coaching service explicitly by and for Interim Executives. She is also part of a working group on Virtual Interims, having already done the CEO role virtually. More information will be posted here once she completes the Academy course (end of October 2020) and as the coaching service details are clarified.