Fast Pitch 2019 participantsFast Pitch Semi-Final - 2019 participants

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The Winnipeg Foundation’s

Fast Pitch 2019

A community competition where everyone wins!

Four charities crowned champs at The Showcase!

After eight weeks of preparation and practice, four local charities were crowned Fast Pitch champions on February 28, 2019.

Grand Prize ($10,000 grant): West Broadway Youth Outreach
1st Runner Up ($4,000 grant): Jubilee Fund
2nd Runner Up ($3,000 grant): The Kindred Project
People’s Choice ($3,000 grant): Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM)
 


Fast Pitch 2019 participants

2019 Organizations/Presenters

1JustCity

1JustCity actively loves the underloved; what does that love look like? Well as a donor you're the heart behind it and it can mean real things like socks, meals or a place to sleep on a cold night. It can also mean really important things like someone to talk to, an advocate to help with overwhelming paper work or a coach to help you learn new skills.

Presenter: Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud, Executive Director

All Saints Church

All Saints Parish was once a large thriving parish that has been in serious decline in the past 30 years. It has seen a serious increase in homeless, downtown crime, drug usage and mental health concerns. It has had a long-standing outreach program for the homeless, but the building is worn out, the community is small and was on the verge of closing when I was brought into this community.

Presenter: Brent Neumann, Priest

Cercle Moliere Inc.

The Théâtre Cercle Molière is the largest francophone theatre outside of Quebec. Ninety-three years old, it strives for excellence in locally written and produced plays, while hosting award-winning productions from elsewhere in Canada and abroad. Our programming extends beyond our 4-mainstage season plays with dynamic and extensive youth programming for French, Immersion and Core French schools; Innovative and multidisciplinary events providing opportunities for local artists; our famous annual fundraiser: the Lobster Gala; as well as a growing sector in professional development as the only professional theatre company operating in French in Manitoba.

Presenter: Ginette Caron, Executive Director

Elmwood Community Resource Centre and Area Association Inc.

A grassroot Family Resource Centre that works with residents, local partners to enhance the wellbeing of individuals and families through gender lens, trauma-informed practices and empowerment model.

Presenter: Nina Condo, Executive Director

Hands of Hope Inc.

Hands of Hope provides furniture and household items to people in need in Winnipeg. We bridge the gap between those who have and want to share and those in need.

Presenter: John Van Leeuwen, Executive Director

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM)

IRCOM is a one of a kind place; a home to hundreds of refugees from across the globe, who need long-term, affordable, and safe housing, together with holistic, wrap around programs and services for parents and children alike. It is the ‘receiving family’ for those who have no one in Canada to receive them; a home where each person finds belonging and dignity, all of which is essential, so they can meaningful integrate into their new community. IRCOM provides 3 years of transitional housing for new Canadians in Canada; this model doesn’t exist anywhere else, from coast to coast to coast. The majority of IRCOM programs are offered not just to our tenants, but also to the surrounding newcomer community, including After School and summer programs for children and youth, literacy and English as an Additional Language programs for parents with small children, pre-employment training as well as counselling and community referral services.

Presenter: Dorota Blumczynska, Executive Director

Inclusion Winnipeg Inc.

Inclusion Winnipeg is dedicated to making life better for children and adults living with intellectual disabilities by helping them when they encounter barriers to living a full life. We support their families and champion their human rights.

Presenter: Janet Forbes, Executive Director

Inspire Community Outreach Inc.

Inspire Community Outreach Inc. is an incorporated non-profit social services agency providing evidence based, culturally informed, and family-centered education and programming, designed to meet the needs of those living with mental health issues and neurological/cognitive differences. Our mission at Inspire Community Outreach Inc. is to support the mental health of children, youth, and families. Our vision is the development of a community that supports children, youth and families to recognize and celebrate their strengths and potential, and that puts them in touch with resources that benefit their overall well being.

Presenter: Angela Taylor, Executive Director

Jubilee Fund

Jubilee Fund is a Winnipeg based charity that works to reduce poverty in Manitoba. We do that by raising awareness concerning the interrelated issues of poverty reduction, financial assets, and access to credit. We primarily provide loan guarantees and bridge financing to non-profit community projects focused on reducing poverty and financial exclusion in Manitoba.

Presenter: Monica Dueck, Manager

Manitoba Hospice Foundation Inc.

Palliative Manitoba eases the suffering of the dying and bereaved with compassionate staff and volunteers. Our focus is to ensure that individuals live as fully as possible until the end of their lives, and those supporting them are cared for as well. We are changing the conversation about death and dying, by normalizing a conversation nobody wants to have.

Presenter: Jennifer Gurke, Executive Director

Manitoba Underground Opera

Manitoba Underground Opera presents new, adventurous productions of classic operatic repertoire in unique locations, featuring the opera stars of tomorrow with an emphasis on Manitoban talent. We specialize in opera for the new generation, in a variety of intimate and large-scale venues, always performed with orchestra and always aimed at engaging a new and young audiences. In addition to our main stage activities, we also present an opera for children that tours around libraries (no admission price) and concerts that either explore the artform of opera or are benefit concerts for local charities.

Presenter: Brendan McKeen, Executive Director

SCE LifeWorks

SCE LifeWorks supports Manitobans with intellectual disabilities and autism to find employment and other valued roles in the community. SCE LifeWorks supports about 275 individuals within the city of Winnipeg. SCE LifeWorks supports people solely in the community, in inclusive settings, and supports individuals across a wide continuum of ability and support need.

Presenter: Oly Backstrom, Executive Director

Immigration Partnership Winnipeg

Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW) does not provide direct program services for newcomers but works to improve policy and program outcomes for immigrants to Winnipeg by leveraging the capacity of existing services. IPW will work towards creating a more welcoming community that is understanding of newcomer needs, will increase labour market access for immigrants, and will generally enhance the overall inclusion and integration experience of newcomers.

Presenter: Hani-Ataan Al-Ubeady, Executive Director

The Kindred Project Inc.

The Kindred Project provides ‘Period Packs’ to homeless and underprivileged women living in Winnipeg. They are distributed through over a dozen organizations that support our mandate of providing feminine hygiene to those who need it. We believe that people in need should be cared for and done so with dignity. Each month we provide over 300 period packs to women in need.

Presenter: Jackie Hunt, Executive Director

Thrive Community Support Circle Inc.

Thrive Community Support Circle is an inner-city agency dedicated to offering services that support individuals of all ages and stages to cultivate and develop their lives, empower them to grow and make impactful changes towards their personal goals, and build a healthier, stronger, and safer community. They provide holistic and well-rounded services that include long term crisis therapy, a resource center and drop in for adults, a free basic needs giveaway program, a licensed child care centre, a community thrift shop, and job skills volunteer training and mentorship program.

Presenter: Rhonda Elias-Penner, Chief Operating Officer

West Broadway Youth Outreach Inc. (WBYO)

WBYO is a drop-in recreational & life skills program for youth ages 4 and up in the West Broadway area & beyond. We provide year-round, free after-school & summer programming in a safe, fun and nurturing environment. WBYO ensures that local children have opportunities to learn and grow in an atmosphere where their basic emotional, social and educational needs are met and supported by positive role models.

Presenter: Ken Opaleke, Executive Director

2019 Coaches

Peter Anandranistakis

Peter Anandranistakis is an Associate with MLT Aikins. He advises clients in the area of commercial law/commercial real estate. Peter was born and raised in Winnipeg and is very attached to the Winnipeg community. He attended St. Paul's High School and then the University of Manitoba where he attained his B.A. (Hons.) in Political Studies. Following that, he then attended Robson Hall law school at the University of Manitoba. Peter is a huge fan of music, movies, books, and self-improvement / personal development. Peter is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Alexandra Aquila

Alexandra Aquila attended the University of Manitoba graduating with a Bachelor of Arts major in Spanish, minor in Italian, in 2011. She then attended the University of Kent, England where she obtained her LL.B. (Hons) in 2013. Retuning back to Winnipeg, she attended Robson Hall for 1 year in order to complete hre accreditation to be able to practice law in Canada. She articled with the firm Antymniuk van der Krabben Schaan LLP in 2014 and was called to the Manitoba Bar in 2015. She stayed with Antymniuk van der Krabben Schaan LLP (who are now known as AVS Law) until January, 2018 when she began at Pitblado Law. Alexandra practices primarily in the area of Family Law. An active member of the Winnipeg community, she wishes to be more involved in supporting charitable organizations in our City.

Hadia Asif

As a Commercial Account Manager with over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, Hadia is an industry specialist in providing tailored advice and solutions in the Healthcare and Business Professionals space. During her free time, Hadia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, as well as serving on the board of directors as treasurer for a not-for-profit social enterprise. Hadia has worked with many charitable organizations in the past. Hadia is an avid traveler and consumer of books and podcasts. She also enjoys CrossFit and loves the outdoors.

Jodi Funk Clements

Jodi Funk Clements is an HR professional with 15 years of experience in HR with a strong strategic operational understanding. Jodi has been involved in her community through volunteer board positions for 10 years, currently serving as the Chair for Mosaic Family Resource Network. Jodi is passionate about supporting charitable and non-profit organizations as well as assisting people reach their potential and achieving their goals. Some of the areas that Jodi is specialized in are coaching, mentoring, conflict management and professional development.

Nicole Drysdale

Nicole Drysdale is a Commercial Account Manager with RBC, where she has held a number of positions over the past ten years. Her outstanding sales and performance has been recognized repeatedly by RBC. She created and delivered a financial literacy workshop for youth, mentors new employees and has fostered new partnerships with RBC and the community. Nicole is a Certified General Accountant and has an honours degree in Business Communication. She has extensive volunteer experience with Rainbow Resource Centre, Reel Pride Film Festival, Winnipeg Pride, United Way of Winnipeg and RBC charitable initiatives. Nicole is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Carly Edmundson

Carly is a creative professional with more than 10 years of experience in marketing and communications. She has worked in a variety of industries, including prior positions at Winnipeg Airports Authority, Price Industries and Wellington West. As the Executive Director of Marketing & Communications for CentrePort, Carly enjoys building partnerships with local, national and international businesses and promoting the province's inland port to companies around the globe. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Young Associates and a volunteer coach for the Asper School of Business's JDC West Team Toba. Carly is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Kelly Fournel

Kelly is passionate about encouraging others to identify and act on their aspirations. She has made a career out of following her curiosity and leading aspirational changes for large and complex organizations. Born in Winnipeg and raised in Calgary, she found her way back home to Winnipeg after a 30+ year absence that saw her go to graduate school in Toronto, publish a book in Prince Albert, and start a family in Regina. Currently working for the provincial government implementing a performance measurement system that supports transforming the public service.

Irene Friesen-Hughes

Irene Friesen-Hughes is a Certified Executive Coach and an experienced leader, learning and development professional, program and project manager, facilitator and board director with more than 20 years supporting diverse organizations within the not-for-profit and charitable sectors supporting women, the arts, newcomers, youth, Indigenous communities, HR professionals and healthcare providers. Irene believes that people are inherently whole and resourceful and sometimes benefit from objective, purposeful support to gain clarity, build resilience and design their intentional path forward. Irene is a strategic thinker with a compassionate heart, who is genuine and who generously shares her knowledge, experience and learning. Irene is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Meaghen Johnston

Led by her core values of contribution and connection, Dr. Meaghen Johnston founded Intentional Futures Counselling and Consulting, a private counselling practice that serves individuals and teams from across Canada in navigating the struggles, challenges, and opportunities that are a part of the human experience. Her belief in the resilience of the human spirit guides an intuitively led and evidence-based practice that uses various methods of inquiry and support to discover innate capacities and to develop specific skills for surviving and thriving. Meaghen has 20 years of experience working as a social worker with children, youth and families. She completed a PhD in Social Work from the University of British Columbia and received the Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Society of Identity Formation, was an Associate Professor of Social Work at Mount Royal University, and is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator.

Nicolas Joubert

Nicolas is a lawyer at MLT Aikins LLP pratising in the areas of corporate and commercial law as well as intellectual property law. He has significant experience providing advice to both start-up and tech companies on legal and general business matters. Nicolas holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (University of Winnipeg) and a Juris Doctor (University of Ottawa). Previously, he has worked as a management consultant and completed internships with both the federal government and a large multi-national corporation. He is passionate about refereeing soccer and has acted as a mentor for young referees in the province. Nicolas is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Michelle Kuly

Michelle’s experience in public engagement, strategic planning and facilitation is the foundation of Blueprint. Over the past 15 years, she has developed a deep understanding of the dynamics of engagement and paired it with remarkable entrepreneurial vision. She has used this perspective to build a team and business offering unmatched services to serve our clients’ needs. Michelle designs dynamic and productive processes for stakeholder and public participation that get results by creating understanding, buy-in and dialogue around challenging issues. Her leadership ensures our clients receive standout service, marked by innovative engagement tactics. Her approach is grounded in reality and focused on results—planning, designing and managing projects to engage stakeholders; unpacking complex issues; and improving outcomes around important initiatives. Michelle is the founding chair of the Prairies Chapter of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and is a practicing member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and IAP2.

Chuck LaFleche

Charles (Chuck) LaFlèche currently serves as Executive Vice-President and Senior Consultant. He has spent 35 years in progressively senior positions in public and private industry, including recently as the President and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital Foundation in Winnipeg. Prior to joining the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation Chuck worked as a VP-Finance for a publicly traded Healthcare Informatics firm, a professor at a Business School, and he founded Momentum Healthware, a health informatics company with sales in Canada, the US, Asia and Europe. Chuck has served on a number of IT and health industry related boards including the Conference Board of Canada Council of Foundation Executives. He served for 7 years on the Standards Council of Canada. In 2013 he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Chuck received his B. A. in Political Science from the College universitaire de Saint-Boniface, and his B. Comm. in Finance from the University of Manitoba. He was awarded his CMA designation from the Society of Management Accountants of Canada and he became a Fellow of the Society.

Geof Langen

Geof has had a diverse work and volunteer life with 15 years at Klinic community Health Centre in the Crisis counseling program and is currently on secondment to the United Way of Winnipeg from MB Health. Geof has volunteered as the President of the Gas Station Arts Centre, the REEL PRIDE Film Festival and the Community Legal Education Association and has also served at varying capacities on different Boards. An avid cyclist, he is passionate about urban planning and rapid transit. Whenever possible he likes to spend weekends at his cottage on lake Winnipeg.

Clare MacKay

Clare MacKay is the Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director, The Forks Foundation. As part of the senior executive of the organization oversees foundation and sponsorship development, marketing and programming and is responsible for government relations. Overall, she works to ensure The Forks North Portage Partnership meets its mission of acting as a catalyst, encouraging activities for people in downtown through public and private partnerships, revitalization strategies; and to work to ensure financial self-sufficiency.

Kathryn McBurney

Having an extensive background in public relations, marketing and project management, Kathryn McBurney is a proficient Swiss Army knife of communications and client relations. She oversees the client management side of things at Tripwire Media and is an intentional observer who believes that honest relationship building is the key to successful communication and effective promotion strategies.

Kathryn has 20 years of experience in strategic communications supporting a variety of public and private sector organizations. She currently sits on the Board of Governors for the Manitoba Museum and the Marketing & Communications Committee for Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

Scott McFadyen

Scott McFadyen is the President of eX4 strat, a Winnipeg firm dedicated to advancing the interests of Private and NGOs to government and the public. From 2011 to 2016, Scott served as the Western Regional Manager for the Canadian Propane Association (CPA). Prior to joining the CPA and returning home to Winnipeg in 2011, Scott worked at Daisy Consulting Group, a public and government relations firm in Toronto from 2008-2011. Scott is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a degree in Political Science (Canadian History). While in University, Scott was elected Vice-President of the University of Manitoba Students' Union with a constituency of 24,000.  Scott is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Kristen McLure

Kristen McLure has a Bachelor in Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba, as well as a diploma in Multimedia Design and Communication. She is currently the Manager of Marketing and Branding at the City of Winnipeg ensuring all city departments and agencies are representing the City’s programs and services consistently. Prior to working at the City, Kristen worked at Winnipeg Airports Authority for 12 years starting as a Marketing Assistant and leaving as the Manager of Marketing and Advertising. During her time at the airport, Kristen developed the concept of the Hug Rug which has become a mainstay in the Arrivals Hall. She enjoys finding creative solutions and the variety the marketing profession offers.

Sachit Mehra

Sachit is co-owner and manager of East India Company Pub and Eatery. Sachit’s other passions are his family and his community. The father of two sons, Mohit and Givan, Sachit and his wife, Caroline, helped create much needed daycare spaces at École Viscount Alexander. As well, Sachit has served as a director on the King’s Park Child Care Board. Over the past seven years, the annual charity event that he founded, The Masala Mixer, has raised over significant money for a number of initiatives at the Victoria General Hospital such as improvements to palliative care, minimally invasive surgery and the Miracle Garden. In addition to giving back to his community, Sachit has a passion for improving Winnipeg as a whole. He has served as the Chair of the Winnipeg Downtown BIZ and a member of the 2015 Grey Cup Steering Committee. Through his volunteer activities, Sachit understands what is needed to develop a growing and thriving city. He was instrumental in establishing two successful locations of the Downtown Farmers’ Market as well as fostering strong connections between the centralized sites and the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market.

Dan Misko

A University of Manitoba graduate (Bachelor of Commerce, 2000; Bachelor of Arts, 2001), Dan Misko got his start with Commtech Office Solutions as a Sales Representative in 2001, being promoted to Sales Manager (2002), Partner (2006) and ultimately Owner and President (2007). In 2014 Dan joined the board of Camp Wasaga, a non-profit family camp in Riding Mountain National Park where he and his family have spent their summer vacations since 2012.

Recently Dan stepped down from his role at Commtech. With future plans that include little more than walking the dog and making soup, Dan looks forward to spending more time with his family while continuing to contribute to Camp Wasaga and other non-profits in need.

Jeff Newman

Filmmaker Jeff Newman kicked off his career in dramatic fashion by winning the illustrious World’s Richest Pitch competition at the Banff Media Festival, and went on to produce the Gemini Award winning documentary Hockey Brawl for CTV. Over the past 15 years, Jeff has created a wide range of documentaries and doc-series in Canada and the U.S. for CBC, Smithsonian Channel, OLN, National Geographic Channel, and Discovery to name a few. Most recently, he co-produced and directed the critically acclaimed series First Contact for APTN. Jeff lives and works in Winnipeg.

Dale Oughton

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dale spent his formative years growing up in the rural prairie. He moved back to Winnipeg to pursue his business education at Red River College. Upon graduation, Dale spent the next 17 years working at his alma mater in various roles and in 2009 accepted the ambassadorial duties as RRC’s Alumni Manager where he developed essential skills for cultivating and fostering relationships. Dale joined Macdonald Youth Services (MYS) in 2013 as the Manager of Development and oversaw the development program raising funds to help homeless and at-risk youth in Manitoba.

An opportunity to expand his career presented itself with an employment offer from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada in the summer of 2016 where he is currently the Director of Development for Saskatchewan and Manitoba. With an office in Saskatoon and Winnipeg, his portfolio currently includes major gifts, corporate philanthropy, employee giving and sponsorships - all contribute to saving lives across the country.

Kris Owen

Kris has been in marketing and communications for 25 years, spending over 15 years leading communications in two key not-for-profit agencies. She has worked at ChangeMakers, a leading marketing communications firm in Winnipeg, for ten years cumulatively, having left in 2009 to work four campaigns with United Way of Winnipeg as their director of communications. Kris has experience working in client management; major fundraising campaigns; coordinating and leading multimedia campaign projects; and strategic planning. She is skilled at helping clients understand what strategies and tactics will help achieve their organizational and project goals. Kris also is a natural relationship-builder, an ability that helps lead clients to success and exceptional results.

Stephen Porco

Stephen Porco is a lawyer with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. His practice is concentrated in the area of corporate and commercial law, with a focus on corporate reorganizations and taxation issues, mergers and acquisitions and commercial real estate transactions and development. Stephen's practice also includes charities and non-profit organizations and intellectual property matters. Stephen is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Debbie Ristimaki

Debbie Ristimaki is an experienced coach, facilitator, and writer. She has held a number of 'careers' with a major financial institution including leading and managing teams and has had the pleasure of working and coaching others across the country and internationally. She recently started her own company, Engaging Awareness, and calls herself the 'lead engager' as her mission is to support others through coaching and mentoring as they engage in life. She currently writes a column for a local paper and is a blogger and freelance writer. Originally from Montreal, she is enjoying life in her new adopted city of Winnipeg. Debbie is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Jeremy Sawatzky

Jeremy has over 18 years of experience in media relations, corporate and crisis communications, public affairs, government relations and the fields of broadcasting and journalism. He has worked in both the public and private sector and is proficient in developing and executing high-profile strategies and plans that advance his stakeholders’ goals and objectives. He played a vital role in managing and overseeing media relations and corporate communications during BCE Inc.’s acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services in 2017, and has a strong understanding of how to navigate complex issues within the political, business and media landscapes.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith is president and owner of Smith Events, a leading management and production company specializing in envisioning and overseeing major national events and festivals. With over 25 years of experience, Jason has led Winnipeg’s best attended events including the Winnipeg Jets Whiteout Parties and Manitoba’s largest street festival, ManyFest. He was the Director of Special Events for the 2017 Canada Summer Games, overseeing the opening and closing ceremonies, the torch relay and 11 days of free cultural programming at the Forks, which welcomed over 230,000 visitors. Prior to this, Jason has been the Managing Director of the 2016 Heritage Classic for the Winnipeg Jets, V.P., Entertainment & Events for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and President of the 103rd Grey Cup Festival. Passionate about growing Manitoba’s cultural and event industries, Jason has held executive board positions with varies charities. Jason is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Olivia Baldwin Valainis

Specializing in strategic communications, issues management and stakeholder and government engagement, Olivia has nearly 20 years of experience successfully managing large-scale, complex projects across various strategic sectors, including political, government, labour, and health.

With a background in public policy and conflict resolution, Olivia’s management of dynamic and often very public files has led to strong and lasting relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders…as well as a pretty good sense of humour! A mom of two incredible kids, Olivia spends her spare time proudly coaching or volunteering (translation: loudly cheering) community sports or running on any one of Manitoba’s beautiful outdoor trails.

Kirk Vilks

Kirk Vilk is an associate Lawyer at Fillmore Riley. He grew up in Pinawa, Manitoba and received his Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. He was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 2015. He is currently on the board of directors of the Manitoba Rowing Association and volunteers for Fillmore Riley's United Way fundraisers. Kirk is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Courtney Weinstein

Courtney is a Lawyer with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. Her practice is focused in the areas of corporate and commercial law, with a concentration on mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations and commercial real estate transactions including financing, leasing and development. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba as well as the New York Law School. Courtney is a returning Fast Pitch coach.

Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch is a pollster with Winnipeg-based Probe Research Inc. where she collaborates with all kinds of clients on qualitative and quantitative research. Prior to joining Probe, Mary Agnes was an award winning political and policy reporter with the Winnipeg Free Press. She holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University and was a Southam Journalism Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College. She sits on the board of the West End Cultural Centre and the Westminster Housing Society. She is the co-founder of #FridayFools, a weekly Winnipeg discussion groups focusing on political and urban issues.

Brent Wennekes

Brent has a decade of experience working in support of research, technology development, and innovation. With specializations in communications for business and research development, as well as planning and executing strategic initiatives, he is proud to play a role in supporting the growth of Canadian business innovation through R&D projects with academic institutions and other sector supporters. His educational background has focused on marketing and public relations and he has extensive experience in coaching students, researchers, and entrepreneurs in delivering quick pitches. He has also judged several business and research pitch competitions.

Felicia Wiltshire

Felicia Wiltshire has brought her energy and passion for communications to a number of organizations throughout her career. Over the past two decades, she has had the opportunity to work in a variety of fields including the arts, healthcare, and transportation, as well as provincial and federal government. Felicia began her career with the City of Winnipeg in December 2015 when she was hired as Director, Corporate Communications. In September 2016 her role was expanded to Director, Customer Service & Communications where she is now responsible for media relations, marketing, French language services, the Office of Public Engagement, and 311.

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