As we celebrate our 150th birthday, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is excited to celebrate our rich history by sharing stories of our members. We hope that by sharing these stories, we can inspire and engage current and future members to continue building a strong and vibrant business community in Winnipeg.
We sat down with our 150 Co-Chairs to learn more about them and how they got involved with The Chamber! Check out our Q&A with Wilfred Sam-King from Manitoba Rising Stars Foundation below ⬇️
Winnipeg Chamber (WCC): Tell us a bit about yourself!
Wilfred Sam-King (WSK): I was born in Freetown Sierra Leone, during a decade-long civil war. When I was six years old, my mother, sister, and I were sponsored to Winnipeg, Canada, under refugee status. I grew up as a proud Canadian and Winnipegger and have been a serial entrepreneur since my first snow shovelling company at age 12. I am a former internationally ranked long jumper who was regarded as one of the best in Canada, along with being a 20+ time Provincial Champion.
As an experienced innovator, technologist, relationship builder, and community leader, I have a passion for improving my community, especially for youth from underserved communities. I founded the Rising Stars Foundation(RSF), which helps youth from underserved communities push toward their academic, creative, athletic and life goals through mentorship. I utilize my vast community, athletic, academic, and personal networks to help build opportunities for underserved communities. Currently, I am a Project Manager IT & Cloud Computing Connections at ACCES Employment.
WCC: How did you get involved with The Winnipeg Chamber, and why?
WSK: I got involved with The Winnipeg Chamber because of our shared vision for community and youth development. The Chamber’s commitment to economic growth and inclusivity aligns with my social entrepreneurship goals. I saw an opportunity to bridge the gap between business and social impact while also leveraging the Chamber’s focus on community development to empower the next generation.
WCC: What has been your most memorable Winnipeg Chamber moment? This could be a connection you made, an event you attended- anything that impacted you in a memorable way.
WSK: My most memorable Winnipeg Chamber moment was co-hosting the Spirit of Winnipeg Awards right after the global pandemic. It was a significant event that symbolized resilience, unity, and the spirit of our community during challenging times. Coming together to celebrate the accomplishments of businesses and individuals in Winnipeg was truly inspiring. It was an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the resilience and adaptability that emerged during the crisis and to celebrate the contributions made by individuals and organizations to the betterment of our community.
WCC: What would you say to someone who is on the fence about joining The Winnipeg Chamber? Give us your elevator pitch!
WSK: Winnipeg is “small” but very well connected globally if you want to grow or even be part of the conversations, the Chamber is where you need to start. But hey, not everyone likes to shape the future… Right?
WCC: As a Co-Chair of the Chamber 150 planning committee, what do the next 150 years of The Winnipeg Chamber look like to you?
WSK: As a Co-Chair, it’s very simple for me I hope the youth today bring their dreams and aspirations to the chamber; whether it be in the arts or creative spaces, business is no longer traditional or linear. A think-tank for youth and alternative learning for the youth at heart to reskill and remove the fog that once tainted their dreams for more. I hope the Chamber will continue to be that catalyst to amplify and bring those dreams to reality. I truly don’t know what it will look like, but I know it will be necessary and instrumental for the subsequent 150!
At the end of the day, it’s all about your business. You want to see your business succeed and grow, and that’s why we’re here.
Providing a platform to help local businesses in Winnipeg thrive is what we stand for – whether it’s advocating for you, connecting you with the right people at the right time or setting you up with the support and programs you need to grow.
CLICK HERE to join The Chamber today!