Dear Associates,

Last night we had our 37th Annual General Meeting and Recognition Dinner. It was one of the largest attended AGM in years and I wanted to take this time to thank all those in attendance. Our guest speaker was Goldy Hyder, CEO of the Business Council of Canada and it was very timely to hear his perspective on how we can work together for Canada’s economic future. As Chair, It is rewarding for me, to see how many of our members take the time to engage with, and participate in our events and programs.  A special thank you to our CEO of the Associates, AnnaMaria Toppazzini and her team for organizing such a wonderful AGM.

I am always encouraged by the growth that The Associates have seen over the past few years, both in numbers and in diversity. In the past two years alone we have had 97 new members join The Associates, with over 40% of new members being women. This growth pattern is indicative of the collective and unified value from the business leaders in Manitoba in Advancing Business Education. We also have an incredibly strong and engaged board and membership, so thank you for your involvement.

Last night, Arni Thorsteinson, Chair of the IDEA Committee, announced Dr. Ernest Rady, a Winnipeg-born, international entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist, as the recipient of the 2020 International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. He is being recognized for his entrepreneurial achievement and extensive and generous philanthropy in the United States and Canada as well as for working hard to kick start new ideas, create growth and change and inspires others to lead. Dr. Rady is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Assets Trust (AAT), a publicly traded real estate investment trust with a market value of approximately USD $4B. You can read more about Dr. Rady in the Press Release by clicking here. IDEA will be held on May 28, 2020. Reservations are now open, please reserve your seats early.

I am also very pleased to advise that Dr. Michael Benarroch has been appointed the University of Manitoba’s 12th President and Vice-Chancellor. As many of you may remember, Dr. Benarroch was the previous Dean at the I.H. Asper School of Business until 2017. He worked very closely with the Associates and was a great promoter of both the school and the Associates.

During his time at the Asper School of Business, Dr. Benarroch enhanced the overall reputation and community partnerships, and, working with Indigenous faculty, students and community members, helped strengthen the Aboriginal Business Education Program, which is now enjoying unparalleled success, and seeing a growing number of diverse students graduate than ever before.

I am enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of The Associates in 2019/2020, and I look forward to seeing all of you at the various events and programs coming up this year. I invite you to attend the upcoming Associates/Young Associates Holiday Reception on December 17. This event is a great opportunity for Associates and Young Associates to mix and mingle with each other, while enjoying a seasonal cocktail and delicious appetizers at The Manitoba Club.

I can say with confidence that the future of The Associates is bright, and I am pleased to be working with each and every one of you towards our goal to advance business education in Manitoba.


Colin Ryan, CFA, ICD.D

     Chair, The Associates
     Executive Vice President | Senior Portfolio Manager and Director
Wellington-Altus Private Wealth



Colin Ryan
Executive Vice President,

Senior Portfolio Manager and Director
Wellington-Altus Private Wealth

Past Chair:
John Proven
Chief Operating Officer


Vice Chair:
Andrew Stibbard
Regional Managing Partner


Dean Schinkel
Managing Partner


AnnaMaria Toppazzini

University of Manitoba
Business School Foundation

Hardev Bains

Lionridge Capital Management

Silvia de Sousa

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Diane Gray
President & CEO

CentrePort Canada Inc.

Debra Jonasson-Young

Stu Clark Entrepreneurship Centre

John Kearsey
Vice President (External)

University of Manitoba

Sean Lawton

Lawton Partners Financial

Aaron Martyniw
Vice President Commercial Financial Services
RBC Royal Bank

Howard Morry

Pitblado LLP

Joanne Sigurdson
Executive Coach/TEC Chair

Triple J Consulting/TEC Canada

Don Solman
Vice President & CFO
James Richardson & Sons, Limited

Arni Thorsteinson

Shelter Canadian Properties Limited

Denise Zaporzan

Denise Zaporzan & Associates


Gady Jacoby
Dean, Asper School of Business

CPA Manitoba Chair in Business Leadership

Moses Levy
Executive Director

The Asper Foundation


Aaron Denysuik
Group Consultant

RBC Group Advantage

Vice Chair:
Carly Edmundson
Executive Director,

Marketing & Communications
CentrePort Canada Inc.