Divisional commanders of the divisions that will be merged in January 2024, along with a few members of each of their divisional executive boards, gathered at Canada and Bermuda’s territorial headquarters in Toronto in March for a two-day facilitation session, led by Lt-Colonels Mark and Carolee Israel from the U.S.A. Southern Territory. 

Three people stand before a group of leaders
Lt-Cols Mark and Carolee Israel, with Colonel Diaz, facilitate a session 

In 2019, the Israels led a significant change that brought together the Maryland-West Virginia and National Capital-Virginia divisions to form the new Potomac Division. Not only do they have personal, first-hand experience leading divisions through a merger, but they also are excellent facilitators. 

Through their facilitation, the merging divisional leadership were provided with a structured, safe and engaging way to break through barriers, connect with one another and better understand the powerful potential of merging. 

On the first day, participants began by gaining a mutual understanding of the merging divisions’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. From there, the participants were led through topics such as acknowledging loss, cultural uniqueness, divisional names (yet to be approved) and visioning for the future of the merged divisions. 

Acknowledging how vital identity and culture are to a division, the merging divisions laid the foundation and committed to a positive and unified vision for their new division, representing the values of their local culture. 

A group of people gathered at a round table in discussion
Merging divisional leadership were given opportunities for safe, structured discussion

“These last couple of days have been so good for my own spirit and heart,” says Lt-Colonel Sandra Stokes, divisional commander, Newfoundland and Labrador Division, reflecting on the experience. “The task is great but so is God’s power.”                               

“As leaders, among the change, we need to be the least anxious,” says Lt-Colonel Brian Armstrong, divisional commander, Prairie Division. “We’ve talked about having a culture of fun and I’m looking forward to it.”

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