The OurWinnipeg Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is a way for residents to provide input into community based issues, city-wide priorities, policy development, and public engagement. The committee, facilitated by Chief Planner Braden Smith, was formed in July 2017, and will work together throughout the whole review process. Between May 15 and June 7, 2017, the City received over 70 applications. Fourteen members were chosen for their experience, skills, community participation, and knowledge about the planning process. When making membership decisions, we chose members who reflected the diversity of Winnipeg residents.
The CAC does not make decisions, but provides valuable community perspectives and recommendations throughout the OurWinnipeg review process.
Purpose of the Committee
CAC members will help shape the foundation of Winnipeg’s future development priorities as the City undertakes the review of the plan. The advisory committee will:
- Advise the Public Service on community-based issues, public engagement activities, city-wide priorities, and other OurWinnipeg related issues;
- Explore and refine guiding principles, gaps or opportunities in policies, programs, priorities, and resource allocation in the OurWinnipeg review as identified by the Public Service, public engagement activities, and background studies;
- Build relationships with specific sectors, networks, and community members to reach members of the general public who have typically been underrepresented in past planning processes to participate in a meaningful way.
Meet the Committee (read bios below and watch this short video about their visions for Winnipeg)
Mohammad Almaleki is the founder of Koality Agency, a Real Estate Development Consulting firm that helps private sector developers partner with the public sector on social mandates like affordable housing, assisted senior housing and personal care homes. His experience in the Real Estate industry has helped him understand development challenges and opportunities in Winnipeg. Mohammad has volunteered with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, participated in CEO Sleep Out, served as President of CEO Manitoba (youth entrepreneurship support group), and sits on the committee for Give 30 (national food bank fundraiser raising $1 million for food banks across Canada). Mohammad has also worked with the Government of Manitoba to house over 300 Syrian Refugee families.
Eddie Ayoub is the Artistic Director of Art City, a not-for-profit art centre that offers free art workshops across Winnipeg. With a background in visual art, Ayoub has over fifteen years of experience building community, tapping into Winnipeg’s collective consciousness to design fun, challenging, and socially relevant art programming. Ayoub brings many skills to the committee – building relationships between art, not-for-profit and other sectors, strategic planning, and an understanding of civic issues. Ayoub also works to reduce the disparities that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives and communities. In addition, Ayoub sits on the Youth Agencies Alliance, Manitoba Artist Run Centres Coalition, and volunteers for his children’s school parent councils.
Michael Carruthers is the Manager of Land Development with Ladco Company Limited. Michael has 20 years of experience in city planning and land development and has worked in a variety of planning, policy and administrative roles with the Province of Manitoba, City of Winnipeg and private consulting. For the past 11 years, he has worked with Ladco in coordinating the assembly, planning, servicing and development of more than 1000 acres of residential and commercial land. He represents the home building and development industry on the committee. He is a board of director of Manitoba Home Builders Association and past president of the Urban Development Institute Manitoba. He has also been active in his church community and coaching his two boys minor sports teams.
Jino Distasio is the Director of the Institute of Urban Studies and Vice President of Research & Innovation at the University of Winnipeg. Jino brings over 20 years of academic experience in geography, urban planning, development, and social issues related to mental health, homelessness and housing. He has many community connections and volunteer experience with Westminster Housing Society, Habitat for Humanity, International Centre for Infectious Disease, the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation, and the Riverview Community Centre.
Curt Hull brings over 10 years of experience as the project manager of the Climate Change Connection, at the Manitoba Eco Network. Curt’s experience is in engineering, zoology, adult education and sustainable development to problem solve, develop plans, and finding common ground to build resilience around climate change. Curt participates with many groups such as Transition Winnipeg, Sustainable Building Manitoba, Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development, NextUp, Alpine Club of Canada, Bike Week Winnipeg, 50by30.org (renewable energy goals for Manitoba), Manitoba Environmental Industries Association, and the Winnipeg Rapid Transit Coalition/ Winnipeg Transit Riders/ Citizens for Transit.
Denise Greyeyes is a true inner city community advocate. She works as a book keeper at the Spence Neighbourhood Association with a background in business administration. She has also worked on the William Whyte and Dufferin Neighbourhood Housing Plans. Her skills and knowledge relate to housing issues, crime prevention through environmental design and mental health education. She volunteers with non-profit organizations including boards and parent councils such as the William Whyte Neighbourhood Association, and Local Investment Towards Employment. She also attends Meet me at the Bell Tower and other community events. Denise looks forward to bringing her community knowledge of the West and North ends to make our city as strong as possible.
Aleeza Gerstein is a postdoctoral fellow studying pathogens and the acquisition of drug resistance. She is a scientist and educator with expertise in genetics who wants to see more scientists participate in their communities outside of academia. She is a parent, leader, team player and advocate for marginalized communities who has skills in data analysis, evaluation, mentorship and outreach. She participates in her academic community, volunteers with the Victoria Hospital Research and Evaluation team, is an organizer with LeadNow around proportional representation, reviewer for Game Changer ‘Manitoba’s Idea Competition’ and volunteers for Nuit Blanche.
Ron Hambley is the President and CEO of the Winnipeg Construction Association, and has a background in the association management field, economic development and city planning. His experience in land development, community consultation, and policy development offers an appreciation for the issues facing Winnipeg. His work connects to business and construction groups including the Manitoba Home Builders Association, and Exchange District BIZ. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, sits on several committees at Red River College, the Manitoba Employers Council, and the Board of the Manitoba Construction Sector Council. He is also a part time Appeals Commissioner with the Appeals Commission of Manitoba.
Christina Maes Nino
Beth McKechnie focuses on sustainable transportation issues at Green Action Centre. Her educational background is in Economics (Commerce) and she has experience with community outreach and community-based social marketing, public education, and policy. Beth’s volunteer networks include being a co-founder and board member of Peg City Car Co-op, a member of the regional advisory committee for the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet Manitoba), the City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee, and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. Past connections include Jane’s Walk, Ciclovia, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Hannah Moffatt is the Population Health Equity Initiatives Leader with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority based on her training in the ecological determinants of health and public health. Her work and public education crosses sectors and partnerships for health equity, poverty reduction, Indigenous health and cultural safety, food security, healthy built environment, financial empowerment, housing and homelessness and broadly the social determinants of health. Hannah participates with Next Up and Make Poverty History Manitoba.
Alexa Joy Potashnik
Alexa Joy Potashnik is the founder of Black Space Winnipeg and will be graduating this fall from the University of Winnipeg with a major in human rights, and minors in business administration and conflict resolution. She is the volunteer coordinator with Jazz Winnipeg, hosts Raw Colours on CKUW, is a political activist, and musician known as MC Woke. Alexa has experience with community engagement, public speaking and building solidarity between oppressed communities seeking ways to maintain authentic attempts for diversity and inclusion in Winnipeg.
Dayna Spiring is President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. which is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg, encompassing EDW, YES! Winnipeg, and Tourism Winnipeg. She provides leadership, strategic direction and collaborates with key stakeholders. She is a passionate Winnipegger and participates on the boards of directors of Manitoba Hydro, Winpak Ltd., the Winnipeg Football Club and the CFL Board of Governors.
Lisa Spring is the director of Community Engagement at the West Central Women’s Resource Centre. Her experience is in global studies and conflict transformation, including anti-oppression and inclusion, harm reduction, and the application of gender-based analysis. Her community work has included supporting new immigrants, Indigenous women and low income families as they navigate social systems. Her skills relate to housing security, family supports, group dynamics, facilitation and chairing meetings. Lisa has leadership roles with the Winnipeg Rental Network and the Braids of Strength Community Network. She regularly participates in Women/ Homelessness research projects, the Winnipeg Street Census, End Homelessness Winnipeg’s Eviction Prevention, Housing Supports, and Community Leadership committees.