100 CEOs Join the CEO Sleepout


September 12, 2013


Downtown Winnipeg – 100 Winnipeg CEOs, community leaders, and members of the media, will sleep out for one evening this September 26th to raise funds and awareness for homelessness and poverty issues in our city, at the Downtown BIZ’s 3rd annual CEO Sleepout. $100,000 has been raised to-date and the overall goal is $150,000.

“The night is not only about fundraising, it’s about education,” said Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown BIZ. “Winnipeg CEOs and community leaders need to tackle homelessness together. Government and not-profits on the front lines can’t solve this issue alone. The private sector has a stake and responsibility to push this issue forward.”

Grande adds: “It’s everyone’s responsibility to advocate for solutions to homelessness. Giving someone on the street a stable, permanent home, employment, and hope and creating a healthy city that everyone can be proud of.”

The Downtown BIZ in 2011 and 2012 recruited over 100 Winnipeg CEOs and community leaders to spend one evening downtown at the CEO Sleepout to raise awareness about homelessness and poverty issues in the city. Together, they helped raise over $220,000 to employ our city’s homeless.

“The CEO Sleepout was an energizing experience and a tremendous opportunity to make a real difference in our community,” said Marilyn McLaren, President/CEO, Manitoba Public Insurance. “By working together towards a common goal, even the largest challenges can be overcome.”

The following CEOs and community leaders are taking this challenge head-on and sleeping out for one evening to help out the cause:

  • Adam Taylor, 99.1 FreshFM, Host
  • Albert El Tassi, Peerless Garments LP, President & CEO
  • Ari Driver, Perfume Paradise, Owner
  • Ben Kramer, Diversity Food Services Inc., Executive Chef
  • Benji Rothman, Kick Start Media Company, Co-founder & Creative Director
  • Bert Treller, Impark, General Manager
  • Bill Crossman, Guppy Graphic Design, CEO
  • Brando Olynyk, 5 Spot Limited, President
  • Brent Wong, Shine Dental, CEO & Principle Dentist
  • Brian Bowman, Winnipeg Art Gallery, President
  • Brian DeGagne, Aikins Law, Business Development Director
  • Brian Scharfstein, Canadian Footwear, President
  • Bruce Martin, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine, Associate Dean, Students
  • Candace Maxymowich, University of Manitoba Conservatives, Vice President
  • Carole Vivier, Manitoba Film & Music, CEO
  • Chris Loewen, Future Leaders of Manitoba, President
  • Chuck Sanderson, Crown Corporations Council, President & CEO
  • Curtis Wyatt, Wyatt Dowling Insurance Brokers, President & CEO
  • Damon Johnston, Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg Inc., President & CEO
  • Darrell Jones, Manitoba Housing, CEO
  • Dave Cunnin, Agape Table Inc., Assistant Director
  • Diane Wiesenthal, Corporate People Responsibility (CPR) Ltd., President & CEO
  • Donavan Robinson, Vantage Studios, Managing Director
  • Doug Speirs, Winnipeg Free Press, Columnist
  • Dwight MacAulay, Government of Manitoba, Chief of Protocol
  • Elliot Geisler, Business Administration Students’ Association (BASA), President
  • Eric Wiens, Stantec, Vice President
  • Floyd Perras, Siloam Mission, Executive Director
  • Ginette Lavack Walters, Le Festival du Voyageur, Executive Director
  • Gloria Spence, Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, General Manager
  • Ian Vickers, Diversity Food Services Inc., Chief Operating Officer
  • Ian Wishart, Province of Manitoba, MLA, Portage la Prairie
  • Ina Sidhu, CTV Winnipeg, Reporter/Anchor
  • James Poole, Winnipeg Police Service, Inspector
  • Jan Sanderson, Healthy Child Manitoba, CEO
  • Janet Forbes, Community Living Winnipeg, Executive Director
  • JD Francis, Energy 106, Drive Show Announcer
  • Jeff Herd, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Executive Director
  • Jeff Hnatiuk, Sport Manitoba, President & CEO
  • Jeff Kindrat, Spoon Me (Ridgecrest), Owner
  • Jenny Gerbasi, City of Winnipeg, City Councillor (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry)
  • Jino Distasio, University of Winnipeg, Associate VP, Research & Innovation
  • John McDonald, Metric Marketing, President & CEO
  • Jonathan Metcalfe, AAA Alarms Systems Ltd., General Sales Manager
  • Jordan Cieciwa, One Fit City, Owner
  • Jordan Knight, 103.1 Virgin Radio, Host
  • Jose Francois, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine, Head, Dept. of Family Medicine
  • Joseph Ranseth, Vine Multimedia, Founder
  • Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Community Volunteer & Former MP
  • Karampaul Sandhu, Sandhu Developments Inc., President
  • Keith Pearch, Spectrum Health Centre, Chiropractor
  • Keith Sinclair, Harris Consulting, President & CEO
  • Kelvin A. Shepherd, MTS, President
  • Kirsten Godbout, Diversity Food Services Inc., Manager
  • Lawrence Toet, Government of Canada, MP (Elmwood-Transcona)
  • Lisa Dyck, Cornell Creme, Owner
  • Lisa Tjaden, Radiance Gifts, CEO
  • Liz Kovach, Manitoba Camping Association/Sunshine Fund, Executive Director
  • Lynne Marie Roy, IC Group LP, Marketing, Product Innovation
  • Madeleine Arbez, Francofonds Inc., Executive Director
  • Mandeep Badalia, Rudy’s Eat and Drink, Manager
  • Marilyn McLaren, Manitoba Public Insurance, President & CEO
  • Matt Allard, Francophone Chamber of Commerce, CEO
  • Matthew Guberman, Duraco Windows, President & CEO
  • Megan Batchelor, Global Winnipeg, Reporter/Anchor
  • Michael Redhead Champagne, Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO!), Founder
  • Nick Shamanski, Winnipeg Rec League, Marketing & Event Coordinator
  • Pamela Roz, 103.1 Virgin Radio, Host
  • Pascal Bélanger, Winnipeg Airports Authority, Vice President, Business Development
  • Pat Lazo, Graffiti Art Programming Inc., Co-founder
  • Paul Surrette, Place Louis Riel Suite Hotel, Assistant General Manager
  • Paula Havixbeck, City of Winnipeg, City Councillor (Charleswood-Tuxedo)
  • Peter Takis, 103.1 Virgin Radio, Host
  • Philip Giles, Modern Earth Web Design, President
  • Real Cloutier, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Chief Operating Officer
  • Rhonda Taylor, Frontier College, Regional Manager
  • Richard Cloutier, CJOB, News Director
  • Richard Walls, Red Road Lodge, CEO and Board Chair
  • Rob Johnston, RBC, Regional President
  • Robert Young, Manitoba Liberal Party, Vice President
  • Ron Brown, Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg Inc., President & CEO
  • Ryan Cruise, Cruise Media Group, CEO
  • Sachit Mehra, East India Company Pub & Eatery, Owner/Manager
  • Scott A. Thomson, Manitoba Hydro, President & CEO
  • Sean Barnes, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Vice President & District Manager
  • Shadoe Davis & Nesta Matthews, 92 CITI FM, Backseat Drive Hosts
  • Shane Gibson, Metro Winnipeg, Reporter
  • Shane Johnston, Dollar Wise Quality Cleaners, President
  • Shane Storie, SRS Signs & Service, CEO
  • Spencer Fernando, University of Manitoba Conservatives, President
  • Stefano Grande, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Executive Director
  • Stephanie Forsyth, Red River College, President & CEO
  • Steve Lafleur, Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Public Policy Analyst
  • Steven Paulus, Avison Young Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate Executive
  • Tim Hague Sr. & Tim Hague Jr., The Amazing Race Canada, Contestants
  • Tom Malone, The Winnipeg Clinic, CEO
  • Vince Petrozza, Fortress Real Developments, Vice President & COO

Brian Bowman, President of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, who took part in last year’s event, will be sleeping out in solidarity in the National Capital Region.

“This year, we’ve nurtured a network of support,” said Grande. “We are working with social agencies that deal with homelessness and cross-promoting our efforts.” A group of students from College Régional Gabrielle-Roy in Ile-des-Chenes are hosting a sleepout event on October 31st with proceeds supporting the CEO Sleepout campaign. Today House, a shelter in Steinbach, is hosting their inaugural CEO Sleepout on September 26th – after receiving insight and planning support from the Downtown BIZ.

Making a Change for the Better since 1992

Since 1992, over $235,000 has been raised and 100% of all donations support programs like Siloam Mission’s Mission: Off the Streets Team (MOST) that employs people who are homeless to help enhance the image and cleanliness of our downtown while building life skills that may help participants get a full time job. Graffiti Art Programming and Red Road Lodge also received proceeds from last year’s event, empowering the people in our city who do not have housing with meaningful work experience, skills and confidence. In 2012 alone, these social agencies, with funding from the CEO Sleepout, employed 23 people who experience homelessness for a total of 4,046 hours – helping enhance the image and cleanliness of our downtown through beautification projects and litter pick-up.

Participating CEOs in the Sleepout can be sponsored directly online and/or general donations towards Change for the Better can be done in three ways:

1.Online at www.changeforthebetter.org
2.Cheque or money order made out to “Downtown BIZ – Change for the Better” (Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, 426 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0C9)
3.Collection boxes at participating venues downtown

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For more information, please contact:

Jason Syvixay
Leader, Strategic Initiatives & Public Relations
Tel: (204) 958-4635; Cell: 997-3040