MG100 Spotlight: Heidi Schedler, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Halifax Water Board

Lena Eisenstein
3 min read

Heidi Schedler, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary to the Halifax Water Board, is being recognized by Diligent’s Modern Governance 100 program. The Modern Governance 100 is a community of governance professionals who have been nominated for their innovation, resilience, dedication and empathy in the face of a complex and ever-changing world.

As a progressive thinker focused on improving compliance and regulations, Heidi Schedler is a strong advocate for modernizing governance practices. At Halifax Water Board, she was pivotal in leading their transition to open board meetings. With the advent of the pandemic, she helped the organization embrace a digital route, enabling a smooth transition to virtual open board meetings, and a virtual annual general meeting (AGM).

“She has led a process to update our Governance Manual, and Board Committee Terms of References, modernizing and streamlining our processes and documents and managing many diverse opinions and perspectives in a diplomatic fashion,” said nominator Cathie O’Toole, Halifax Water’s General Manager, about Schedler.

Making the shift from traditional to virtual communication formats can be challenging, often posing a number of obstacles. “Like so many others, [we] had to transition ourselves into an electronic format. So not just electronic documents, but also electronic meeting format,” Schedler said. By leveraging the right technologies and tools, Schedler managed to overcome potential hurdles and enable a smooth transition.

With the help of Diligent’s solutions, Schedler was able to eliminate countless hours of manual effort, while mitigating logistical and security issues that may have arisen otherwise. “[Diligent] makes my life immeasurably efficient, which I absolutely love,” she added.

How Schedler uses Diligent

  • To communicate on response plans, collaborate on highly confidential workflows, and gain new insights to make informed strategic decisions during a crisis.
  • To make an impact and move the organization’s mission forward using Diligent Boards as the centralized, secure platform.
  • To enable internal teams to strengthen compliance and improve efficiency by providing quick insights into information they need.

Highlighting the significance of risk mitigation in the current environment, Schedler explained, “When you talk about risk in a general sense, or even a specific sense, there is a very significant amount and volume of information that goes along with that. To have one resource that the board members can go to in order to access that information consistently and reliably is really valuable.”

Stressing the importance of instant communication and information dissemination, which is critical to board members, Schedler added, “[Diligent] makes a huge difference. We don’t need to rely on all of these other potential variables with all of the potential impacts, like couriers and weather […] that can factor into how things get delivered in a physical format. It removes all of that mystery and question and risk, and we can just get it to people right away.”

About the Nominee

Heidi Schedler has served in the private and public sector, including at the Nova Scotia Securities Commission conducting administrative prosecutions under the Securities Act. Currently the General Counsel at Halifax Water Board, she leads the legal services team providing strategic, business, operations and legal advice on a variety of issues, including governance, regulatory compliance, human resources and more.

About Halifax Water Board

Halifax Water is Canada’s first regulated water, wastewater and stormwater utility serving a population of about 365,000 in Halifax Regional Municipality. For decades they have been focused on improving their operations so they can continue to manage their region’s water cycle in a financially and environmentally responsible manner. The Halifax Water Board of Commissioners includes four members of Halifax Regional Council appointed by Council, three residents of Halifax municipality who are appointed by Council and the Chief Administrative Officer of Halifax municipality or a Halifax municipal employee appointed by the CAO.