Managing Partner
Executive Leadership

DIALOG is a dynamic and diverse partnership, with a network of 57 partners and more than 650 people working in five multi-disciplinary studios across North America. With a thriving people-centric culture, the Partnership is united by its commitment to the highest standards of professional practice and design excellence.

About the Role

The Managing Partner (M.P.) role was created in 2020, with the adoption of a new governance model for the Partnership. The M.P. is responsible for managing DIALOG’s business and design practice, providing leadership across the enterprise at at all levels of the professional practice, and serving as a strategic collaborator and resource to the Partnership.

The diagram (left sidebar) illustrates the central position of the M.P. in the Partnership’s governance model.

The M.P. works in concert with the Chair of the DIALOG Partnership and the four-partner Governing Council. This cohesive unit steers the firm toward achieving its strategic ambitions and business goals, with the M.P. playing a lead role in realizing DIALOG’s strategic initiatives throughout its daily operations.

Championing a dynamic ecosystem, the M.P. empowers the Senior Management Team (SMT) as they integrate a spectrum of business functions — finance, legal and risk management, marketing and business development, people and culture, and technology — with an overall goal of driving effectiveness and success.

DIALOG’s practice platform extends across five Practice Studios — centers of expertise — led by Studio Chairs who are responsible for serving the firm’s clientele while creating a successful and diverse portfolio. The framework is designed for collaboration, with Studio Operating Managers facilitating seamless operations between studios and senior practice leadership to enable efficient project delivery and foster continuous growth. This model reflects DIALOG’s commitment to its clients through integrated teamwork and dynamic progress.

Key Responsibilities

The Managing Partner (M.P.) is responsible for the following, realizing that day-to-day execution is largely performed by the Senior Management Team (SMT).

  1. Leadership

    • Lead the execution and implementation of the strategic plan across DIALOG
    • Report regularly to the Governing Council and the Partnership on the financial performance and condition of DIALOG
    • Attract, develop, and retain exceptional talent for the Management Team
    • Manage the efforts of DIALOG’s people and resources for the overall benefit of the Design Practice
    • Enable and hold accountable Partners to manage finances on projects to achieve objectives set by the Governing  Council (of Partners)
  2. Management of the Design Practice

    • Assist Partners to attract, develop, and retain exceptional talent for the Design Practice
    • Foster an environment of collaboration, diversity, relationships, knowledge, and innovation in which the Design Practice can thrive
    • Lead the internal communications strategy and efforts across DIALOG
    • Support the work of the Partners in their studios, market sectors, areas of expertise, etc. (“Communities of Practice”)
    • Help DIALOG practice at the leading edge by continually evolving the Design Practice in close collaboration with the Partners by supporting creativity, research, and technological advancement in processes and in projects
    • Work with the Partners and Governing Council to develop and implement DIALOG’s market strategy for approval by the Governing Council
    • Work with the Partners to advance DIALOG’s sales efforts in alignment with their Purpose
  3. Management of the Business

    • Lead, evaluate, and make decisions related to the employment of the Management Team members
    • Plan and manage DIALOG’s human resources infrastructure for supporting DIALOGers and the Business
    • Plan and manage DIALOG’s infrastructure, systems, and procedures for pursuing and securing sales in alignment with their Purpose
    • Plan and manage DIALOG’s technology infrastructure
    • Plan and manage DIALOG’s financial systems, including financial strategies; internal controls, policies, and practices; budgets; banking, payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable; reporting, and other financial affairs
    • Maintain the capital account of the Partnership and manage the distributions to the Partners
    • Collaborate with the Governing Council on recapitalization of the firm when necessary
    • Plan and manage DIALOG’s risk management policies and practices, including those around claims and liability, insurance, business resilience, and other risk areas

Vision + Purpose

DIALOG is determined to make the world a better place.

At DIALOG, the pursuit of great design can and should create meaning and lasting improvements to our communities and the environment we all share. They want to design innovative solutions that push boundaries, improve community wellbeing and urban vibrancy, create equitable environments, and address issues of climate change in every project.

As a certified B Corp, they are committed to using business as a force for good. They actively seek ways to engage communities, clients, and fellow collaborators in their approach, continuously nurturing their shared knowledge, capacity and reach, which they monitor through indicators that include:

  • Impact
  • Investment in Knowledge
  • Reputation
  • Empowering People

People + Culture

The DIALOG operating principles define how they work together every day and empower all people to make a difference.

  • Collaboration
  • Aspiration
  • Diversity
  • Optimism

Working in concert, the Partnership is united by its commitment to the highest standards of professional practice, fostering a thriving people-centric culture and a resilient practice ecosystem. Throughout the firm, people are enthusiastic, energetic, and down to earth, as they embrace the firm’s values and commitment to and design excellence.

DIALOG currently has Practice Studios in

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • San Francisco, California

In addition to being a certified B Corporation, DIALOG is proud to be one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies (2020), Canada’s Top Employers for Young people (2020), and Canada’s Greenest Employer (2019).

DIALOG celebrates diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. They are committed to an inclusive environment for all, free of discrimination and harassment. Employment-related decisions are made without regard to sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, and race.

How DIALOG Started

DIALOG is an evolution that’s six decades in the making. Its roots were in the formation of Cohos Delasalle in Calgary in 1960, followed by a series of mergers, as well as organic growth.

In 2020, a new era began for a group of the leading Canadian architecture, engineering, interior design, planning, and urban design firms*, as they adopted a new name and governance model — and became known collectively as DIALOG.

As stated on their website, “In a world of increasing challenges in the way Canadians live, move and work, DIALOG is well positioned to be a strong voice for innovative thinking and sustainable leadership — a discussion that can only benefit from the collaboration of people with unique perspectives and skills.”

In 2010, DIALOG brought their Canadian expertise across the border, opening a Studio in San Francisco. Their thriving U.S. team tackles a new adventure every day, led by four of the DIALOG partners, including Mona Lovgreen (Studio Chair) and Mara Baum (member of the Governing Council).

Learn more about the timeline of DIALOG’s evolution.

* Cohos Evamy, Hotson Bakker boniface Haden, Mole White Associates, and Office for Urbanism

Would You Like to Learn More?

We’d be happy to share more information about DIALOG and this opportunity, including their partnership model.

We’d also like to learn more about you. Please reach out to us via email or LinkedIn —

Katherine Bajor
[email protected]

Marjanne Pearson
[email protected]

Download Information

Download a PDF of the Managing Partner role » DIALOG Managing Partner 2024


Information, photographs, and graphics © DIALOG Design, 2024. All rights reserved.

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