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Plenary Address
Thursday, July 12th, 2018 - 9:30 am




Chris D. Lewis
"Only the Resilient Will Survive"

All of us pass through a series of ebbs and flows in terms of our optimism in life – both personally and professionally. But it is critical that we remain resilient on a personal level and continuously make every effort humanly possible to maintain resilient professionally. You can’t have one without the other and the success of the organization as it’s people labour to deliver to a demanding customer base, completely depends on it. The rapid and growing state of flux that most or all public and private sector organizations have been in for the past decade or more has had a significant impact on the resilience of the leaders and on organizations as a whole. The cycle of ongoing change is here to stay – resulting in an even greater demand for leadership and organizational resiliency.

Chris D. Lewis became Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on August 1, 2010, assuming leadership of one of North America’s largest deployed police services. During almost 36 years as a police officer and leader, he amassed a wealth of operational policing experience, particularly in front-line service delivery, various investigative disciplines and tactical operations.

As Commissioner, he oversaw front-line policing, traffic and marine operations, emergency response and specialized and multi-jurisdictional investigations throughout the Province of Ontario, delivered through over 9,000 OPP personnel.  He was a supervisor, senior officer and executive for 28 years of his career.  Although he retired from the OPP on March 31st, 2014, he continues to lecture on leadership and policing issues, including First Nations policing challenges, across North America. He has also written a book on leadership, entitled: Never Stop on a Hill (all of the profits from his book is donated to the Special Olympics).

Lewis’ leadership experience is wide and varied, including tenures as Deputy Commissioner of OPP Field Operations; Commander of the Investigations Bureau; the Information Technologies Bureau; and the Emergency Management Bureau; as well as the Director of the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario at the then Ontario Ministry of Solicitor General. He was Regional Commander of the OPP’s East Region; served as Director of the Criminal Investigation Branch; and worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to establish and lead the Cornwall Regional Task Force.