Sobey School of Business > People Profiles > EMBA Award - Sara Napier

Sara Napier

Building Community as President and CEO, United Way Halifax

  • Sobey Executive MBA, 2011
  • Winner of a Sobey EMBA 25th Anniversary Alumni Impact Award

Sara Napier (EMBA’11) demonstrated her commitment to making a difference as President of the Sobey School of Business Executive MBA Class from 2009 to 2011. In her present role as President and CEO for the United Way Halifax, she epitomizes the Sobey School’s promise of impact with purpose.

Ms. Napier studied community economic development and understands what people can achieve when they listen to one another and come together with a common vision. She has extensive leadership experience in government, education, and philanthropic sectors and in managing community-led projects such as lighthouse park developments and post-secondary access in small communities.

In her position as Manager of Media and External Relations for the Nova Scotia Community College from 2002 to 2007, Ms. Napier led a media strategy that redefined the public understanding of college education and played an important role in building the positive reputation of NSCC today. As one example of her creativity, she co-led Reach Out to Nova Scotia, a one-day community initiative that involved 10,000 students and staff from 13 NSCC campuses across Nova Scotia.

In a subsequent role as Director of Marketing and Communications for the IWK Foundation, she increased fundraising results by developing a content strategy that included all publications as well as the IWK Telethon, radiothons, direct mail, online communications, and social media strategy. Still with the IWK, however in the role of Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, she also introduced a new planning process, a new strategic business plan, a strategy-driven staff structure, and several new collaborative processes to support smart results.

In addition to professional contributions, Ms. Napier is most proud of her work in mentoring several younger professionals, volunteering in community, particularly with youth at risk, and most recently for taking the lead to co-chair an anti-poverty strategy for Halifax with Mayor Mike Savage.  

The Sobey School of Business is proud to acknowledge Ms. Napier’s many community contributions, including her guest speaker appearances at the Sobey School of Business and service as a board member for the Sobey School Executive MBA Alumni Association.

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Learn more about the Sobey EMBA program

Read about all 5 winners of Sobey EMBA Alumni Impact Awards