Board of Directors
Chair of the board
Role: President and CEO, Payworks
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JP Perron is President and CEO of Payworks, a leading expert in the field of total workforce management solutions, providing cloud-based payroll, human resources, employee time and absence management to more than 20,000 businesses across Canada.
Mr. Perron has extensive experience managing and leading transformational growth. Prior to joining Payworks in 2012, Mr. Perron was the Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at MTS Allstream and he held a variety of senior executive positions with Ceridian Canada, including EVP Client Services, Product Management, Sales & Marketing.
Mr. Perron is a strong supporter of the United Way Winnipeg, having served on Cabinet from 2015-2017 and 2019. He previously sat on the board for the Information Communication Technology Association of Manitoba (ICTAM), Friends of Centre Taché, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg.
Helga Van Iderstine K.C.
Role: Partner, MLT Aikins LLP
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Helga Van Iderstine is a partner at MLT Aikins LLP practising in the areas of civil litigation and administrative law, with particular focus on regulatory issues, including professional liability, health law, personal injury, public utility regulation and privacy legislation. She has appeared in all levels of courts in Manitoba, the Supreme Court of Canada and before a variety of regulatory boards and tribunals.
Helga co-led the project resulting in the University of Manitoba’s report: “Responding to Sexual Violence, Harassment & Discrimination at the University of Manitoba: A Path Forward.” The 155-page report is the culmination of a comprehensive, seven-month review of issues related to sexual violence, harassment and discrimination affecting students, staff and faculty members.
Helga has been a group leader, facilitator and lecturer on civil litigation and discovery for the Law Society of Manitoba’s Bar Admission Course and CPLED program. She has presented on professional liability, medical and legal issues including ethics, civil litigation and damages to students at law, medical students, lawyers and physicians. Helga is a board member of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and a co-chair of the 2020 Pitblado Lectures organizing committee.
Role: Vice President, Operations & Customer Delivery
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Murielle Fontaine brings years of experience and energy to her role as Vice President, Operations & Customer Delivery at Pollard Banknote Limited, the second largest instant ticket supplier in the world.
Murielle works with a large group of subject matter experts in creative and technical art, game planning, scheduling, logistics and manufacturing in all game development activities, planning and shipping. Her prior sales experience uniquely positions her to understand client needs and marshal resources effectively to respond to these needs.
Murielle joined Pollard Banknote in 2005 and moved up the ranks to Director, Sales & Marketing. In this role, she energetically guided and motivated the sales and marketing team to develop innovative approaches and to apply established strategies to ensure her diverse group of international lottery clients maximized opportunities and return on investment.
In 2015, Murielle refocused her efforts on the operational side of the business by taking on the Director, Game Management & Design role. In 2018, she moved into the Vice President, Game Management & Design role continuing to leverage both the internal Pollard Banknote relationships and external relationships she fostered over time at Pollard. In 2022, she accepted new challenges by adding the scheduling and logistics team to her area of responsibilities and moved to the role of Vice President, Operations & Customer delivery. Her work with those 2 additional teams ensures a wholesome view of the service we offer our customers in game development, scheduling, and deliveries.
Murielle has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Manitoba, a Bachelor of Law, LL.B. from the University of Ottawa, and has completed the Bar Admission through the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ottawa. She is fluent in both French and English.
As a board member for WTC Winnipeg, she is chair of the finance committee and a member of the HR committee.
In her spare time, she enjoys family time with her 3 grown sons and extended family. She fosters her love of singing by participating in 2 choir boards and singing with Esprit de Choeur.
Role: CEO & Chief Creative Officer Coal and Canary + Co-Founder, Piper & Perro
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A multi-award-winning marketing maverick, entrepreneur, speaker, and overall creative force – Amanda Buhse is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Coal and Canary and Co-Founder of Piper & Perro.
Her creative efforts have been featured in numerous national and international media outlets including, Forbes, the GRAMMY, Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe swag bags, The Globe and Mail, Good Morning America, Cameron Diaz’ The Body Book, Style at Home, Canadian Living and many more.
She lives and breathes creativity and brings design brilliance to every aspect of business and life. This quality was a keystone in growing her brand from a $40 investment to become a multi-million dollar business. Forbes Magazine has since recognized Coal and Canary as “Canada’s favourite artisan candle company” under Amanda’s leadership.
Recently named Insight Success Magazines “Top 10 Most Successful Businesswomen to Watch in 2021” as well as “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” (WBOM, 2019), “Volunteer of the Year” (Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, 2019), “Small Business of the Year” (TWAD, 2019), and Spirit of Winnipeg Award winner, Amanda is grateful to be recognized for entrepreneurial accomplishments.
Her largest accolade to date came in early 2021, when Amanda was named a G20 YEA Canadian Delegate for the global G20 Summit hosted in Milan and was appointed as a Canadian Delegate for the 2022 summit taking place in Hamburg, Germany in October 2022. Amanda’s leadership and commitment to the small business community are evident as she is a current Board Member for the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and has acted as Co-Chair of the Small Business Advisory Council (WCOC, 2019), and Chamber representative chosen to sit on the May-or of Winnipeg’s COVID-19 Business Task Force to advise on the COVID-19 related impacts felt by the Winnipeg business community.
Amanda is a passionate voice in the Canadian female entrepreneurial scene with a mission to empower other to harness their personal strength, trust their intuition and live fearlessly. Sharing her journey of overcoming tragedy, she has inspired audiences across the country to live a life of their own design by showing up in the world as the truest expression of themselves. Amanda’s speaking engagements span a vast array of international clients including Wix, Verizon and numerous business and educational institutions. She is an in-demand speaker on the topics of marketing innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal growth.
In her spare time, you’ll find her creativity is alive and well whether its singing Whitney Houston ballads, writing and arranging music, or prepping four-course meals for her friends and family. While she travels across North America regularly, she feels most at home with her loved ones at Brereton Lake in Manitoba.
Role: CEO, Encore Business Solutions
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Ken Chartrand is the CEO of Encore Business Solutions. Encore provides professional services that help businesses migrate to, implement, support, or customize Microsoft Cloud software.
Mr. Chartrand leads a talented and creative group of individuals who deliver exceptional outcomes to Encore customers throughout the world. He is responsible for managing the company’s key strategic relationships and contacts with Microsoft, as well as other valuable business alliances. Ken evaluates merger and acquisition opportunities, excels at risk assessment and is respected as a master at contract negotiation. By leveraging these skills, Encore Business Solutions has been very successful at expanding product and service offerings at a winning pace.
Mr. Chartrand brings twenty years of business management experience to World Trade Centre Winnipeg; twelve years in technology and advisory roles and eight years in operational experience in various entrepreneurial firms.
He lives in Winnipeg with his wife Lynn and is active in the community volunteering his time by serving on boards specifically in the not-for-profit sector and francophone organizations including Actionmarguerite and the Festival du Voyageur. Ken holds a MBA from the University of Manitoba.
Role: President, Nova Capital
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Daniel Damphousse is President of Nova Capital, an emerging Business Brokerage and Financing firm in Winnipeg helping companies buy, sell and grow their businesses by providing expertise and capital necessary for success.
A CPA, Daniel has over 20 years of experience in mid sized public practice and as a former VP of Finance for a privately held group of construction companies, Daniel has had the opportunity to work in various industries throughout his career.
In addition to his professional experience, Daniel has been volunteering on various boards of Directors within the community for over 10 years including as a current board member of La Liberté as well as past positions with Sport Manitoba, The Laurel Center, the St. Boniface Chamber of Commerce, Maison Gabrielle Roy and as President of Festival du Voyageur. Daniel is also a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba.
Albert El Tassi
Role: President & CEO, Peerless Garments LP
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Albert El Tassi is a well-known businessman and philanthropist who works tirelessly to promote understanding, tolerance and respect not only in Winnipeg but globally.
Mr. El Tassi started in the shipping department of Peerless Garments Ltd. shortly after his arrival in Canada in 1969. As of June 2006, he has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Peerless Garments LP, which is a garment manufacturer and importer carrying two main businesses: leather and cold weather garments.
Mr. El Tassi has helped and sponsored as many as 50 immigrants to Canada, including refugees from war-torn countries such as Vietnam and the Middle East. In November 2012, he was presented with the “2012 Gold Heart Humanitarian of the Year” award from Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba.
Crystal Laborero ICD.D
Role: Principal, Laborero Consulting
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Crystal Laborero is a band member of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation and is presently the principal of Laborero Consulting where she enjoys taking on innovative projects that can positively impact community.
She is the board Chairperson for Assiniboine Credit Union, past Chair for The RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre, and board member for Manitoba Blue Cross. Crystal is the first incumbent to hold the position of Trust Manager for Peguis First Nation Surrender Claim Trust, managing the administration for a $130 Million trust. She is also the former Director, Human Resources with Tribal Wi-Chi-Way-Win Capital Corporation (TWCC) and the founding CEO of Aski Financial. Crystal has extensive experience in Indigenous human resource issues as well as community development. In a previous role, Crystal was Director of Aboriginal Relations for United Way of Winnipeg where she was charged with the responsibility to develop a first of its kind strategy that builds and enhances relationships with and for the Indigenous community.
Crystal was also pivotal in the development of the Aboriginal Employment Initiative with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of Manitoba. This initiative was the first of its kind in Canada as it brought together two major business groups, two levels of government and representation from a national Indigenous organization. Crystal also spent 10 years working with Royal Bank Financial Group in many capacities ranging from management to human resources where she specialized in the recruitment & retention of Indigenous employees. She was also part of the team to open the first on-reserve branch for the bank in Manitoba located at Peguis First Nation and lived in the community for 3 years.
Crystal holds a Certificate in Human Resource Management and a Certificate in Management from the University of Manitoba. In addition, Crystal attended Queen’s School of Business – Leadership Program and holds a Certificate in Practical Workshop Facilitation from the University of Winnipeg. Crystal is a recent graduate from the Directors Education Program from Rothmans Institute of Corporate Directors and holds an ICD.D designation.
Ben Lee P. Eng.
Role: Principal I Senior Director, Business Development, Stantec
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Ben Lee is results oriented with a proven success in leading organizations to meet or exceed growth objectives. He has a broad and diverse record of leadership both in business and volunteerism/community service and experience in leading major projects in the manufacturing, aviation, health care and life sciences sectors.
As former Vice President Global Operations for a Toronto company, Ben also had significant growth of the topline for 5 consecutive years. Ben left his role in Toronto to return home to be closer to family. Ben is currently on the leadership team at Stantec in the Heart of Winnipeg’s downtown. His core focus is top line growth for the Stantec Winnipeg operations and the Region.
Ben is a strong believer in giving back and dedicates his time to serve on boards and committees in the community. He strives to approach every day with integrity and warmth. Ben has helped to re-focus several not for profit organizations so that they are relevant again and in turn, they now have positive P/Ls. A dedicated volunteer, he’s received numerous awards including the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee, Golden Dragon Citizen of the Year, City of Winnipeg Volunteer, and his member of parliament’s Volunteer Award for his contributions to his community and to Canada. A community builder, Ben’s vision, talents, and generosity benefit the community we all live in.
Role: President & CEO, Cushman & Wakefield
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Martin McGarry began his commercial real estate career in 1992 and has been a top producer for the last 27 years.
In 2004, Martin founded MMI Commercial Real Estate Ltd and has aligned himself with international brands such as DTZ and most recently Cushman & Wakefield.
His leadership and devotion have produced a team of 100+ staff that is fully committed to providing many levels of service to the client in Commercial Real Estate, Property Management and Advisory Services.
Role: Director, Sales & Marketing, FWS Group of Companies
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With over 12 years of experience in agribusiness and manufacturing, Denis oversees sales and marketing for FWS – a platinum member of one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. His expertise includes strategic planning; sales, product, and operations management; process development; budgeting; and relationship building. Through progressively challenging roles at AGI Westeel, he managed the growth and success of globally branded products and innovations. During his time at HyLife, he directed sales and supply chain management.
Dedicated to serving the province’s bilingual community, he is president of Enterprises Riel and is vice-president of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society Canadian Prairies Chapter. Previously, he was president of Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba and a board member of Société de la francophonie manitobaine.
Role: CEO, Enviromint Business Solutions and Tamersoft
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Marc Labossiere has started a number of companies over the years and is currently CEO of Enviromint Business Solutions and Tamersoft, both technology companies.
Prior to his current position, Marc was President of Encore Business Solutions, a computer software company he co-founded in 1990.
Marc is also a dedicated volunteer for Manitoba’s community. For instance, he has spent many years as a volunteer at the Université de Saint-Boniface, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Centre Despins and Actionmarguerite.
Role: President & CEO, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
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On July 1, 2016, Loren Remillard was appointed President & CEO of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he held the positions of Executive Vice President and Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs.
Over a decade of service to Winnipeg’s business community, Loren has transformed the Chamber’s policy, government and community relations programs, as well as spearheading the creation and implementation of a redefining strategic plan. He orchestrated the development and launch of Manitoba BOLD and BOLD Winnipeg – grassroots public policy campaigns mobilizing the community behind a compelling vision of our province and city.
He currently sits on the board of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, the Chambers of Commerce Insurance Corporation of Canada, and the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada. He has served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg and Island Lakes Residents Group. Loren holds a Master of Arts (Political Studies) from the University of Manitoba and a Certificate in Public Participation from the International Association for Public Participation.