Leadership Winnipeg – Student Blogger

November 6, 2018
Written by Nicole Vince, Regional Sales Support Manager at Great-West Life


Government House – Photo by Tourism Winnipeg

Leadership Winnipeg recently had the opportunity to gather for the day at Government House, the residence of Her Honour the Honourable Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon C.M., O.M., for a dynamic day of learning.

The day began with a presentation from Real Cloutier, who has just been named President and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. While being a visionary leader in health care, Mr. Cloutier also makes significant contributions to the community from a volunteer perspective. From his experience at WRHA, where he is leading a major transformation in health care delivery, he recommends bringing stakeholders together, building a culture to effectively support the transformation so that employees can be truly proud of their work.

The day continued with valuable sessions from other Winnipeg leaders:

  • Barb Gamey, Co-Founder and CEO of Payworks, spoke to the class about how she gained experience through many volunteer positions and founded a fast-growing payroll company that now has over 300 employees. She spoke of building trust through being authentic, how to lead in a fast-changing business landscape and the importance of speaking with confidence.
  • John Kearsey, Vice President of Donor Relations, shared with us the ways that he builds trusting relationships with alumni one step at a time by listening first, asking about their experiences and finding out what is most important to them.
  • Lynne Skromeda, Executive Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, shared insights relating to her successful six years as Executive Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and how the festival has been able to evolve over time to meet changing customer preferences. Relationship development was the key to it all, along with leadership training and learning how to effectively connect staff and volunteers.
  • Rafiq Punjani, Entrepreneur, taught us about how he balances the leadership of four businesses in his adopted city of Winnipeg. Rafiq’s strong faith and sense of community has helped propel him to success in business and he now has over 150 employees. His background in finance was a strong foundation, and he encouraged the class to keep focused on the long-term vision when making decisions, and not get too caught up in short-term results.

Overall, it was great to learn from all of these prominent business leaders and it was clear that their significant volunteer experience in our city went alongside their success in leadership and business.

Nicole Vince
Regional Sales Support Manager
Great-West Life

Leadership Winnipeg
Shaping tomorrow’s leaders today

For over a decade, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and Volunteer Manitoba have partnered together to offer Leadership Winnipeg, a 10-session leadership program (plus class project), which runs from September through June. The program provides experiences that inspire and help individuals to develop an understanding of themselves, their community and their role within it.