Shaping Organizational Solutions

Shaping Organizational Solutions

Specializing in meeting the needs of municipal government

Susan Shannon, Organizational & Municipal Needs Specialist


104 Corrievale Drive Port Severn, ON L0K 1S0

SOS offers a broad range of experience-based consulting services to municipalities through innovation and identification of the best use of limited resources.

Results are achieved through the identification of opportunities or problems and the creation of action plans to pursue or resolve. Municipalities receive a cost-effective alternative for the completion of specialized tasks in those times when periodic expert advice is required.

Susan Shannon, the owner, is a dedicated municipal specialist with an experience-based understanding of municipal operations, whose passion is helping municipalities by providing them with the tools they need to save time and money.
Her public and private experiences put her in the unique position of understanding how to bring an innovative business perspective to municipalities, while at the same time helping the private sector better understand municipal operations.

Drawing on the 25 years of experience of the owner, as a municipal administrator and private business owner, SOS is able to provide sound, quality service to municipalities by Shaping Organizational Solutions that work! 



By Appointment Only.

Success Story:

Service Delivery Reviews/Organizational Reviews

Townships of Wollaston, Limerick and Tudor & Cashel - Presently guiding these three municipalities through a multi-municipal administration servicing study that will identify potential resource sharing and/or collaboration opportunities that will improve efficiencies and reduce costs for services overall. The project includes a review of current state staffing resources and service delivery. Documented services shortfalls and specific resource needs have been identified. The project is in the final analysis stage and will be completed by June 30th, 2020.

Municipality of West Grey - Led the five former municipalities of the Town of Durham, the Village of Neustadt and the Townships of Normanby, Glenelg, Bentick through restructuring. Developed the restructuring proposal for ministerial approval, conducted service delivery reviews of the operations of the five former municipalities to consolidate operations in a fiscally responsible manner and find efficiencies to modernize the new municipality. To perform the assessments, all the by-laws, policies and organizational structures of the former municipalities were reviewed and then Susan authored new consolidated by-laws, policies and a new organizational structure for the new municipality. Staff interests and skills were assessed and she developed new job descriptions, a new consolidated salary grid and pay equity plans put in place. Many of the staff are still in those positions today. Susan was appointed the first Chief Administrative Officer of this new municipality.

Township of Georgian Bay - Managed the efficient administration of the municipality. Interviewed staff, reviewed current processes and worked closely with staff to redesigned the organizational structure for the Township. The current job descriptions were reviewed and new job descriptions and salary grids were developed based on the new structure. The review was necessary to address historic human resources issues and find process improvements. The result of the review was staff felt energized with the new roles they helped to design and staff morale improved dramatically. Susan acted as Chief Administrative Officer for the Township.

Strategic Planning:

Town of Penetanguishene - Facilitated the development of a strategic plan for the Town of Penetanguishene.
The project consisted of conducting a series of interviews and facilitating a number of working sessions with Council and staff. A key focus of the project was an extensive public consultation process which included interviews with community stakeholders, public open houses and the development of public surveys. Through a series of interactive and often fun activities at the Council/staff workshops and a final feasibility analysis with senior staff, the strategic plan was finalized to reflect the Town’s priorities and provide guidance for implementation of the community’s goals moving forward.

Project Management:

The Emergency Services Steering Committee

The ESSC is a joint committee of LUMCO (Large Urban Municipal Caucus of Ontario) and MARCO (Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario. Susan was responsible for the successful strategic leadership and management of the ESSC. Susan undertook the necessary research and analyses and then authored the ESSC’s major position paper entitled, Escalating Emergency Services Labour Costs and the Taxpayers’ Ability to Pay, which was presented to the Province of Ontario as part of the ESSC’s advocacy. As Project Coordinator for the ESSC, Susan liaised directly with the CAOs and Directors of HR of these municipalities to develop a more coordinated strategic approach to and advocacy on labour cost containment in emergency services (police, fire EMS) on behalf of municipal employers. 

Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA)

Developed a CAO Members in Transition Toolkit for CAMA Members. This project included developing a survey and conducting interviews with transitioned CAMA CAO members from across Canada. The goal was to interview a cross-section of transitioned CAOs to identify the resources and tools that may have been helpful for them as they navigated their way through the identified three main stages of transition; Pre-Transition, During Transition and Post-Transition. Susan authored the CAMA Members in Transition Toolkit, which was launched at CAMA’s 2019 conference. It is an online toolkit that resides in the members’ section of the CAMA website. The toolkit was deliberately authored with a personal and supportive tone so members experiencing transition will feel supported by their peers.

Ministry of Community & Correctional Services - Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office (OFM)

Responsible for issues management for the OFM’s Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal. Conducted environmental scanning of fire protection-related issues in Ontario’s municipalities and then developed Ministerial briefing notes to ensure both the Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal and the Ontario Fire Marshal were informed of emerging issues.
Susan also led a team of OFM Fire Protection Specialists to design a provincial workshop and resource guidebook for municipal councils and senior staff. She authored the OFM’s Essentials of Municipal Fire Protection – a Decision-Maker’s Guide, and led her team to rollout this course across Ontario.  Developed and authored the OFM’s Business Continuity Plan, the Pandemic Plan, the Employee Support Plan, the Communications Strategy Plan and the Emergency Plan, and conducted training of OFM Managers on their roles within the plans. Susan was nominated for a Provincial Ovation Award for Leadership.