Wednesday: Opening Plenary

Emcee and Moderator:
Caroline Arcand, Executive Director, Groupe Convex
Marty Donkervoort, Instructor, Faculty of Business, University of Winnipeg

Guest Speakers:
Elder Louise Campbell
Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor at The University of Winnipeg

Panelist Speakers:

Damon Johnston has been an advocate for, and within, the Aboriginal community for over 25 years. He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is a member of the Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He has held the paid position of the President of the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg since 2007. Prior to this position, Damon retired from the City of Winnipeg in 2005 where he served as the Community Resource Coordinator, Aboriginal Community. He was employed with the City of Winnipeg for 15 years in various roles from 1990 to 2005.

Damon has worked in various positions including the Assistant Executive Director of the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre of Winnipeg for 5 years from 1984 to 1989 and he was elected as Secretary Treasurer of the Ontario Métis and Non Status Association from 1980 to 1982. He also served as a Correctional Officer and Probation Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Corrections from 1973 to 1978, and served with the Royal Canadian Navy in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1966 to 1968. Damon graduated from the Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology with an Administrative Management Diploma in 1970.

Currently Damon is an active volunteer on a number of Boards of Directors including: Board Director, Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce Manitoba; Board Director, Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club; Board Director, Canadian Mental Health Association, Winnipeg Region; Board Director, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre of Winnipeg; Board Director, Ndinawe.

Sarah Leeson-Klym is an advocate and community builder who believes communities are the experts of their lived experiences and that community economic development offers solutions to some of our biggest collective challenges. As the Regional Director for the Canadian CED Network – Manitoba, she engages with people and organizations around poverty reduction, social enterprise, and a range of community development issues. She spent three years before that coordinating the Enterprising Non-Profits program, other CCEDNet-Manitoba learning events, and The Gathering. She is also a board member of the Rainbow Trout Music Festival and Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthew’s Community Association. Before finishing a degree in Social Justice Theory and Practice and getting involved with the Canadian CED Network, she worked and volunteered in a range of capacity building, literacy, and arts and cultural organizations.

Shaun Loney has co-founded and mentored 11 social enterprises, including BUILD Inc, which won the 2011 Scotia Bank EcoLiving Green Business of the Year, and the 2013 Manitoba Apprenticeship Employer of the Year.  Before co-founding BUILD Inc, Shaun was Director of Energy Policy for the Government of Manitoba, and political advisor to Gary Doer’s NDP. Loney is the first prairie Canadian to be awarded an Ashoka Fellowship (2015) and was Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.  Shaun lives in Winnipeg, with his partner Fiona.  Between them they have three teenage boys – Aandeg, Weslee and Owen.  Shaun is proud to be part of a strong and visionary social enterprise team that is flourishing across the country.  An Army of Problem Solvers is Shaun’s second book.


SECC Social Enterprise Definition
Social enterprises are community-based businesses that sell goods or services in the market place to achieve a social, cultural and/or environmental purpose; they reinvest their profits to maximize their social mission.
SECC Vision, Mission, and Goal
We envision vibrant community-based social enterprises successfully contributing to creating healthy communities. Our Mission is to convene, inform and influence community-based social enterprises and their key stakeholders. Our strategic goal is to insure social enterprises have a supportive ecosystem that: · Enhances Their Business Skills · Assures Access To Capital · Creates Market Opportunities · Recognizes Their Impact · Provides Supportive Legislation And Regulations