History of the Business Council of Manitoba

Chief Executive Officers of leading Manitoba companies believed there was need for business leaders to speak out on major policy issues facing our province. In 1998, they formed the Business Council of Manitoba. The Council has recruited leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to Manitoba’s economic growth and community development.

The primary purpose of the Business Council of Manitoba is to research and advocate innovative positions on selected issues that bear directly on the future health of Manitoba society. The Council engages in discussion with political and business leaders, offering members access to new ideas and to decision makers who can convert those ideas into action.

Founding Members & Companies:

The Great West Life Assurance Company Raymond McFeetors
Cargill Limited Kerry Hawkins
James Richardson & Sons Limited Hartley Richardson
Investors Group Sandy Riley
CanWest Global Communications Corp. Peter Viner
Palliser Furniture Ltd. Art DeFehr
Moffat Communications Randy Moffat
Controlled Environments Limited (Conviron) Richard Kroft
Keystone Ford Sales Ltd. Bob Kozminski
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (BellMTS) Thomas Stefanson
Ensis Management Inc. William (Bill) Watchorn
Winpak Robert Lavery
Western Glove Works Ltd. Bob Silver
Mid-Canada Truck Services Ltd. (Maxim Truck & Trailer) Doug Harvey
Comcheq Services Ltd. John Loewen
Distinguished Member Arthur V. Mauro

Founding Board 1998-2001

Kerry Hawkins (Founding Chair)
Hartley Richardson
Sandy Riley
Peter Viner
Art DeFehr
Richard Kroft
Bob Kozminski
Arthur Mauro
James (Jim) Carr

Past Chairs

Kerry Hawkins 1998 – 2001
Sandy Riley 2001 – 2003
Art DeFehr 2003 – 2005
Hartley Richardson 2005 – 2007
Charles Loewen 2007 – 2009
Don Streuber 2009 – 2011
Doug Harvey 2011 – 2013
Murray Taylor 2013- 2015
Polly Craik 2015 – 2016
Steve Kroft 2016 – 2017
Mark Chipman 2017 – 2019

Presidents & Chief Executive Officers

James (Jim) Carr, 1998 – 2013*
Donald A. Leitch, 2014 – 2020
Bram Strain, 2020 – Present

* Founding President