The Hall of Fame award celebrates individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the development of their company or companies and success in their chosen industry. These individuals are visionary leaders, and exhibit these qualities through the design or implementation of revolutionary products, systems or processes. They are strongly integrated into the community and demonstrate a positive impact with youth and students.
Brian Klaponski is the President & CEO of Carte International, a company created by local businessmen established a joint-venture with RTE Corporation, a large US transformer manufacturer. Many product line extensions were made over the years to the point where Carte now features a complete line of single phase and three phase liquid filled distribution transformer products. Brian has grown and developed Carte International since 1994 into the company it is today. Brian introduced Lean Manufacturing to the company after a trip to Japan and leads his team to succeed.
Brian has served on the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Manitoba Board of Directors for several terms and has a strong focus and commitment to organizational effectiveness, training, leadership and sustainability efforts.
Gary Anderson co-founded AGI in 1996 and served as its CEO from 2010 to January 2016. From its inception on the Alberta Stock Exchange to its present form as a TSX listed company with an enterprise value of $1.1 billion, Gary was a driving force behind AGI’s strategic direction, the acquisition and integration of fifteen business units, the development of AGI’s people and its ongoing operational performance and improvements. Gary is the current President and Director of Clean Seed Capital Group, a team of innovators and business management professionals with a proven track record of game changing innovation and production of patented agricultural technologies at an incredibly high level.
Roy Cook is the President & CEO of Monarch Industries Ltd, a Winnipeg-based company that manufactures and markets hydraulic cylinders, and raw and machined iron castings to a broad range of original equipment manufacturers, distributors and retailers throughout North America.
Roy joined Monarch as Director of Business Development in 1995 and has held several positions with the Company, including as the company’s Chief Operating Office for six years before his appointment to his current role on Jan 1, 2013. Prior to joining Monarch, Roy was employed at Federal Industries Ltd. in progressively more senior roles in the strategic planning area. He has also worked in various roles in the office products, mobile home and recreational vehicle industries over his career.
Roy serves on the Board of Monarch Industries; is past chair of the national board of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and is a board member of CME’s Manitoba division. He serves on the Business Council of Manitoba board of directors and is also the past chair of the board of directors of St Paul’s High School. His education includes a Master of Business Administration from the University of Manitoba.
Neil Carlson joined the family business, Carlson Decorating Co. in 1964. Under his leadership, the company grew from 35 employees and sales of $500,000 to a team of 350 with sales of more than $50 million, serving Winnipeg and North America across multiple industries. Today, the Carlson Group is composed of four companies - Carlson Engineered Composites, a Canadian manufacturers of FRP components for OEMs; Carlson Engineered Composites USA, whose services include molding, pattern and tooling and specialty coatings; Carlson Commercial and Industrial Services, offering commercial painting and sandblasting; and Carlson Truck Outfitters, a leading installer of spray-in box liners and accessories.
During his 52-year leadership tenure, and with wife Marilyn and children Terri, Marni and Neil Jr by his side, Neil grew the company to market leader in Canada and the United States, with offices in Winnipeg; St. Cloud, Minnesota; and Anniston, Alabama. Among other roles, he is a past Chair of the Construction Labour Relation Council, Past Chair of the Trade Section - Winnipeg Construction Association and was awarded the Insignia of Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star Sweden. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Swedish Council of America and since 1980, has served as Honorary Consul of Sweden.
"As a leader in fiberglass reinforced plastic industry, Carlson Engineered Composites Inc. provides uncompromising quality and customer satisfaction. Our team continues to develop partnerships upon a tradition of integrity and profitable growth. We are committed to maintaining our competitive advantage through education, innovation and technological advancement." - Neil Carlson, President
Bruce Berry’s career in the packaging industry dates back to 1971 in Montreal. Graduating from Sir George Williams University, now Concordia, in 1969; he followed this with a brief stint playing hockey in Europe while attending the University of Grenoble in France. Returning to Quebec, Mr. Berry joined the newly-formed plastic division of Smith & Nephew, a multinational pharmaceutical company, where he headed up its sales and marketing department. Shortly thereafter, he became the North American agent for Wipak Finland, today’s sister company to Winpak. In 1975, the Finnish conglomerate decided to bring its technology to North America and chose Winnipeg as its base of operations. In 1976, Mr. Berry started with Winpak Ltd. as its Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Although he has the bragging rights of being the first employee of the firm, his predecessor as CEO, Bob Lavery, signed on at about the same time; initially as a consultant and a year later as an official member of the Winpak team. Thus the birth of Winpak.
During Mr. Berry’s tenure with the company, he has been instrumental in establishing its sales and distribution network throughout North America. In 1994 he assumed the position of President, Winpak Division and in 2003 became the Chief Operating Officer of Winpak Ltd. On January 1, 2004 Mr. Berry was appointed President & CEO of Winpak Ltd. Throughout Mr. Berry’s 40 years at Winpak, he has had significant influence on the firm’s ongoing success, growing market share and raising revenues and profits. Winpak is committed to the manufacture of high-quality packaging materials and equipment. The firm’s customers use Winpak packaging products primarily for the protection of perishable foods, beverages and healthcare applications. Today, Winpak products are sold in every province in Canada and every state in the United States, as well as numerous countries beyond the borders of North America.
Winpak still maintains its head office in Winnipeg and operates ten production facilities. Four of these are in Canada, with two in Manitoba, one in Quebec and one in Ontario. There are five in the United States, three in Illinois, one in Georgia and one in California. More recently, the company opened a production site in Mexico. Winpak Ltd.’s 2014 annual revenue was US $786 million, with an after tax profit of US $78.4 million. It employs approximately 2,200 people, whom Mr. Berry applauds as being the true reason for the firm’s success. Winpak is a shining example of “made in Manitoba” products on the world stage and is acknowledged as a strong contributor to the community.
When Mr. Berry is not devoting all of his efforts to Winpak, he can be found enjoying leisure time at Lake of the Woods, with his wife Joyce, who has supported him throughout his entire career. He is the proud father of two sons and two grandchildren; all currently residing in California. When Mr. Berry achieves his personal goal of seeing Winpak’s revenue surpass the US $1 billion plateau, he looks forward to retirement and spending even more time with family.
Garry Leach has had an incredible career; with wife Carol and two sons by his side, he has truly been an industry leader. After graduating with a BA from the University of Winnipeg in 1970, Leach started building his career, initially in the scrap recycling industry in Selkirk, Manitoba. He has been the owner of Belcher Island Smelting and Refining Corporation Ltd., his family investment company, since 1974.
From 1988 to 1995, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of MRM Steel Ltd. (formerly Manitoba Rolling Mills, division of AMCA) . This steel manufacturer was owned principally by The CANAM Group of St Georges de Beauce, PQ, with Mr. Leach participating in a minority position. After the sale of MRM Steel to Group Gerdau of Brazil in 1995, he served in the same capacity with Gerdau MRM Steel, the successor company. Subsequent to Mr. Leach’s retirement in 2005 the steel facility has now been integrated into the Gerdau operations and is known as Gerdau Manitoba.
Mr. Leach has served as Regent, University of Winnipeg, Chair of Invest Manitoba, advisor to Arts Stabilization Manitoba, and the University of Manitoba Department of Continuing Education, as well as a member of The Associates of the Asper Business School. He has shown his continuous dedication to Manitoba industry by serving as a member of the Premier’s Economic Innovation and Technology Council. He is a founding member and former board member of The Business Council of Manitoba. He currently serves as a director of Pollard Banknote Ltd, several private corporations and recently retired as a longtime director of Manitoba Hydro Electric Board.
For more than 30 years, Bob Silver has made an extraordinary contribution to the business and community sectors at the local, national and international levels. He is the president and co-owner of Western Glove Works Ltd. and co-owner of the Warehouse One and Urban Barn retail chains. Additionally, he is a co-owner of the Brandon Sun, the Winnipeg Free Press, the CanStar Weekly, and Derksen Printers in Steinbach. In the business community, he has been involved on a number of boards including CentrePort Canada, the Business Council of Manitoba, the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund and the Winnipeg Convention Centre, and as co-chair, since its inception, of the Premier`s Economic Advisory Council. In the community-at-large, he gives his time to a multitude of causes such as the Winnipeg Library Foundation, where he helped to spearhead the campaign to build the new Millennium Library, and the GrowWinnipeg initiative of the Jewish Federation. He is also a past chair of Destination Winnipeg (now Economic Development Winnipeg) and the United Way of Winnipeg. Presently, Mr. Silver also serves as the Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg and as co-chair of We Day Winnipeg. He has received many honours including the University of Manitoba`s Alumni of the Year award, and the Order of Manitoba, May 2012.
Paul Soubry joined New Flyer as President and CEO in 2009. Prior to New Flyer, he worked for 24 years with StandardAero starting as a Marketing Assistant in 1984 with his last position being President and CEO.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba and attended the Executive Development program at Harvard Business School. He has completed the Canadian Securities Course and graduated from Director’s Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Business - University of Toronto.
Paul sits on the Board of Directors of The Winnipeg Airports Authority, the Associates of the I.H. Asper School of Business and the Winnipeg Jets/True North Sports and Entertainment.
Paul previously served on the Board of Directors of: Mondetta Clothing Company, Economic Development Winnipeg, Smartpark at the University of Manitoba, Manitoba Innovation Council and St. Paul’s High School.
Bill Fast, born in Winnipeg, MB, obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the U of M in 1960 and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1963.
He married Margaret Redekopp and worked for his father-in-law, Henry Redekopp, as manager of the window division of Allmar Distributors. Bill and Margaret purchased Allmar's window division in 1970 and called it Willmar a compilation of their names. Willmar grew to include six branches and a workforce of 1000. In 1997, Bill sold Willmar to Jeldwen.
Bill enjoys starting up businesses, watching their growth, reveling in the variety. He continues to be involved in several companies across Canada.
Bill's 35 year involvement with non-profit iDE focuses on bringing water to farmers in countries such as Zambia and Cambodia has given him the opportunity to travel to those places.
Philipp was born in Reinland, MB. He completed his education at CMBC and Red River College.
Philipp, alongside his father-in-law, and brother-in-law started Triple E, a Winker based trailer manufacturing operation in 1965. He served as Director of Sales & Marketing, Vice President, President & CEO and is presently Chairman of the Board.
In 1980, Philipp, Terry Elias, his present partner, and a local businessman established Lode King Industries. Philipp was instrumental in amalgamating the two companies into Triple E Canada Ltd.
Triple E Canada employ over 600 people and sales have surpassed 130 million annually. Their products have sold in Canada, U.S.A., Europe, & Japan.
Gene Dunn joined Monarch as President and CEO in January 1994. He was formerly with Federal Industries of Winnipeg, working in a number of Federal's operating subsidiaries. In this capacity he served as Corporate Vice President of Planning, President and CEO of Willson Stationers, and President and CEO of Cashway Building Centers. Mr. Dunn serves on a number of Boards including Monarch Industries, The Boyd Group, and The Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club. Mr. Dunn is Past Chairman of Balmoral Hall School for Girls, Past Chairman of The Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club, Past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and served as Interim Commissioner of the CFL. He is married with two adult daughters and loves to spend as much time as possible at the family cottage on Lake of the Woods.
Herb Buller grew up in Winnipeg and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and Certificate in Education at the University of Manitoba. He taught at River East Collegiate for two years before embarking full time in his business career. Herb and his partner expanded their first business into a concrete manufacturer of sidewalk and patio blocks, precast residential stairs, and various architectural items. The business operated successfully under the name of Midland Concrete Products until the late 1980’s when it was sold to Barkman Concrete Products. In 1971, together with six partners, Herb established Kitchen Craft of Canada, which grew into sales of over 100 million dollars in 1999 when it was sold to investors. In 2004 with his four sons, Herb acquired Norcraft Companies with five manufacturing plants in the US and one in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
This company employs more than 1500 employees with 200 of those in Canada. The Herb and
Erna Buller Foundation is active in charitable activities around the world with emphasis in education, healthcare, orphanages and Christian camping.
Renowned Winnipeg businessman and philanthropist, John established Buhler Industries Inc. in 1969 when he purchased “Standard Gas Engine Works”.
By 1994 the company owned the Farm King line of grain augers, snowblowers, mowers and compact implements. He added Allied and Versatile tractors to market them all under the Buhler name.
Former President Carte International Inc. A Winnipeg engineer with a strong management background, Ken became President and CEO of Carte International Inc. in 1976. He held that position for 17 years, becoming Chairman of the company in 1993 for another 3 years. He is now Chairman of Manitoba Quality Network (QNet).
Art DeFehr has built Palliser Furniture into one of the most successful furniture manufacturers in Canada, with plants in the United States, Mexico and Indonesia, the company employs over 2,700 people with annual sales exceeding $200 million each year.
The company was founded in 1944 by Abram Albert DeFehr, Art’s father. After taking over as CEO and President in 1984, he has been highly regarded within the industry and recognized both for his business leadership as well as his contributions to humanitarian projects throughout the world.
Russ Edwards has built a company as 'Strong as Steel', according to Manitoba Business Magazine (1999). Started in 1975, over the years he has successfully built WGI Westman Group Inc. into a dynamic group of companies composed of Behlen Industries LP, Westman Steel Industries, Meridian Manufacturing Group and Canada Culvert.
The Westman Group operates manufacturing, sales and distribution facilities in 24 centres in Canada and the United States, maintains dealer networks across North America, and has a worldwide customer base. The Westman Group employs over 1000 people and records annual gross revenues of over $300 million
Lawrence O. Pollard joined his family's printing business, Saults & Pollard, in 1947. By 1974 the company had changed its name to Pollard Banknote Limited and by 1978, it prepared to enter the highly competitive lottery and break open ticket industry. In 1984, Lawrie Pollard bought out the family-owned business, assuming 100 per cent ownership of all common shares and advanced Pollard Banknote's success in the growing instant lottery ticket printing industry.
Lawrie Pollard graduated from the Dunwoody Industrial Institute of Printing Management in Minneapolis after leaving The University of Manitoba. He is past national president of the Canadian Graphic Arts Industries Association and was on its executive for 10 years. He has also been president of the Winnipeg Graphic Arts Association.
At age 45, Lawrie was the youngest president Winnipeg's Chamber of Commerce has had. He was named Manitoba's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1991.
As a partner with Ernst & Ernst in the early 1970’s Mr. Lavery was
commissioned to do a feasibility study on the North America expansion for the European packaging company, Wihuri Oy.
Later having recommended the expansion, Wihuri Oy asked Mr. Lavery to lead the company’s new initiative into North America, and in 1975 he was appointed President and CEO of Winpak
The first years were challenging, but Mr. Lavery and his management team were able to establish the company as one of the major suppliers of packaging materials and equipment for food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical and medical products with distribution throughout the world.
With nine production facilities occupying over 1.3 million square feet, Winpak now employs over 500 Manitobans, dedicated to the success of the company.
Having also served on many prestigious boards, like the National Research Council, United Way and Packaging Association of Canada, Mr. Lavery was the President and CEO of Winpak for 28 years until his retirement in 2003.
Founder, MacDon Industries
In the inaugural year of 2006, we inducted ten individuals into the Manufacturers Hall of Fame: four lifetime achievers previously selected as CME - Manitoba Excellence Award recipients, and six new additions. On February 16, 2006 at a Gala Awards dinner held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre the following business leaders were duly inducted:
Paul M. Soubry; Chairman & President (retired), Ford New Holland Canada Ltd.
David G. Friesen; CEO, Friesen's Corporation, Altona
R.C. (Bob) Hamaberg, CMA, FCMA; CEO (retired), Standard Aero
Richard Kroft; Chairman, Conviron
Clyde R. McBain, P.Eng.; Chairman (retired), Ancast Industries Ltd.
Charles N. Loewen; CEO and Board Chair, Loewen
Gerry V. Price; Chairman & CEO, The Price Group of Companies
Gary T. Steiman, FCA; Chairman & CEO, Gemini Fashions of Canada Ltd.
Ed VanHumbeck; Chairman (retired), Vansco Electronics Ltd.
Edward Shinewald; CEO & President, Melet Plastics Inc.
Front row (l to r) Gary Steiman, Ed Shinewald, Roy Cook, Chair CME, Tony van Rosmalen VP CME. Centre Row: Gerry Price, Richard Kroft, Ed Van Humbeck, Clyde McBain, Bob Hamaberg. Top row: David Friesen, Paul Soubry, Charles Loewen, the Honorable Jim Rondeau, Minister Industry, Economic Development and Mines
CME seeks to recognize individuals and companies who have achieved notable success in initiating, improving or growing a manufacturing business in Manitoba.
Join CME at the 2020 Gala Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 26 to celebrate manufacturing and exporting excellence in Manitoba.