Amy Jackson in front of the CMHR

Amy Jackson, University College of the North
2020 PSLP Graduate

“This program provides student leaders with the opportunity to develop their leadership, learn from peers and engage with inspiring senior leaders from different sectors and communities. It’s a leadership experience like no other.” 

- Michael Benarroch, President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Manitoba

Unique Benefits



Through this program you will:

  •   Develop collaborative leadership

  •   Join a rich network of peers 

  •   Engage directly with senior leaders from many sectors  

  •    Be awarded the PSLP Fellowship to fund your participation 

  •    Be mentored by an inspiring leader
  •  Co-Curricular approved ( UM Students )


  • CCCR

Learn From Peers Across Disciplines and Institutions

More Information

President's Student Leadership Program Scholarships

Janice Filmon Leadership Scholarship

The Janice Filmon Leadership Scholarship recognizes exceptional undergraduate students entering the President’s Student Leadership Program offered through the Burns Leadership Institute at the University of Manitoba. Students must have a minimum degree grade point average of 3.5 and be nominated by a mentor, previous instructor, or community leader.

Dayna and Charlie Spiring Leadership Scholarship

The Dayna and Charlie Spiring Leadership Scholarship recognize the academic achievement of students entering the President’s Student Leadership Program offered through the Burns Leadership Institute in the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. Three awards of $5,000 each will be offered to undergraduate students who: are enrolled full-time (minimum 80% course load) in any year of study in the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) program in the Asper School of Business; have completed at least 24 credit hours of study; and have achieved a minimum degree grade point average of 3.5.

John Kearsey Scholarship in Student Leadership

The John Kearsey Scholarship in Student Leadership provides recognition to exceptional graduate or undergraduate students entering the President’s Student Leadership Program offered through the Burns Leadership Institute at the University of Manitoba who serve their communities through volunteer efforts. Applicants must receive two nominations from either a mentor, supervisor, Elder, or community leader who can directly address their outstanding volunteerism. Graduate students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on the last 60 credit hours (or equivalent) of study; and undergraduate students, a minimum degree grade point average of 3.0.

Student Testimonials

Who we are

Connect with our team at the James W. Burns Leadership Institute.

The James W. Burns Leadership Institute offers undergraduate and graduate students from faculties across the university opportunities to develop leadership knowledge necessary to pursue careers in any field. Visit our site to learn more about our innovative educational leadership programming.

  • Suzanne Gagnon

    Canada Life Chair in Leadership Education
    Associate Professor, Leadership and Organization
    Director, James W. Burns Leadership Institute
    Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub Manitoba
    Room 414 Drake Centre  

  • Melissa Gayle

    Program Coordinator and Assistant to the Director
    Room 358 Drake Centre


Heather Block

Heather Block is the Director, Strategic Initiatives at United Way Winnipeg.  Reporting directly to the President & CEO, as well as the Vice President, Donor Relations & Resource Development, her portfolio includes: strategic and organizational planning, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Indigenous Collaboration, aspects of the annual fundraising campaign related to UW’s value proposition, Millennial engagement, and new business development, and staff management.  Other responsibilities during her 11 years with United Way have included employee engagement, Peg, and 211 Manitoba.   Heather’s skills include strategic planning and results-oriented implementation, leadership, written and oral communication, staff supervision and coaching, partnership building, program evaluation, and community development. 

Diane Gray

Diane Gray is the founding President and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc., Canada’s first tri-modal inland port and Foreign Trade Zone encompassing 20,000 acres in the northwest quadrant of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Gray previously worked for the Province of Manitoba from 1995 to 2009 and simultaneously served as Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Federal-Provincial and International Relations, and Deputy Minister of Trade. In December 2010, she was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Excellence in Public Administration for Manitoba, and in May 2013, was awarded the Women of Distinction Award for Management and Leadership. In 2019, she was recognized by the Supply Chain Management Association as one of the Influential 100 Women in Canadian Supply Chain.

Gray currently serves as Chair of MITACS and is co-Chair of World Trade Centre Winnipeg. In addition, she serves on the boards of the Manitoba Technology Accelerator, Public Policy Forum of Canada, the Canada West Foundation, the UM Properties Board, and the Associates of the Asper School of Business.

Gray is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg's Joint Masters of Public Administration Program and has an undergraduate degree in political studies from the University of Manitoba.

Charles Henaire

Charles Henaire, FCPA, FCA, is the Deputy CFO, Chief Accounting & Control Officer, Great-West Lifeco. Graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Distinction, and becoming a designated Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, he was one of the youngest CAs in Manitoba to receive his FCPA, FCA designation.

He joined Great-West in 1994 and worked on the Confederation Life Due Diligence in March 1994. He has participated in the following acquisitions: London Life – 1997, IGM of MFC – 2001, Canada Life – 2003, Putnam – 2007, and Irish Life – 2013.

Henaire exemplifies a commitment to excellence and encourages innovation not only in business, but also within the community through volunteer work. He continues to be involved in his community and profession, and was the first recipient of the Early Achievement Award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba and the Deloitte Alumni Leadership Award. He has been involved in the following organizations: past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of MB (CPA Manitoba), past board member and past Chair of the Audit Committee of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CPA Canada), current board member for Yes Winnipeg Investor Council, and past board member of The Manitoba Museum and Crown Corporations Council of Manitoba (this organization oversaw five provincial government Crown corporations). He is currently a member of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) and Chair of the AcSB Implementation Group for IFRS 17 (new Insurance Contract Standards for Canada).

Kirk Johnson

Kirk Johnson has been with Red River College for over 15 years, serving in a number of leadership roles throughout this time. As Dean of a dual portfolio which encompasses Business, Information Technology and Creative Arts as well as Hospitality and Culinary Arts, he is responsible for 23 distinct programs across four campuses. Johnson’s academic portfolio is comprised of programs such as Business and Commerce, Design, Animation, Creative Communications, Information Technology, and Hospitality and Culinary Arts. As Dean, he is responsible for more than 2,700 Indigenous, domestic, and international students who are supported by 200 dynamic faculty and staff.

Prior to his current role, Johnson held positions as both Director and Dean for Red River College’s School of Continuing Education. While in these roles, he was responsible for the development and oversight of more than 70 part-time, evening, and online programs. As a senior leader in this area, he focused on developing and delivering programs that prepared industry and adult learners with the knowledge and skills required to meet the demanding and ever-changing needs of today’s employers. He was proud to have had the opportunity to lead a number of pilot initiatives at Red River College including Transforming Futures and Raising Hope, which provide educational opportunities to non-traditional students and students with significant barriers.

Johnson’s primary focus is and has always been high-quantality relevant programming which exceeds the expectations of students and industries. Utilizing an educational background that has focused on political science, computer programming, business analysis, and education, he is an innovative and agile academic leader. Over the next year, he and his team look forward to leading the development of four new dynamic programs for Red River College’s new state-of-the-art academic Innovation Centre.

Kathy Knight

Kathy Knight joined MITT after more than a decade at the helm of Tech MB (formerly ICTAM) and brought with her a remarkable blend of subject matter expertise, leadership skills, and relationship-building ability.

Under her leadership, Tech MB has become the leading voice of the ICT industry in Manitoba. Knight has brought ICT training to youth—an example of which is MITT’s partnership on PTEC with Tech MB. She also advocated for greater representation of women in technology, showcased how vital ICT is to Manitoba’s economic wellbeing, and spearheaded signature events such as Innovators and DisruptED, which bring educators and employers together to create a vision for the future of work.

The advancements Knight has orchestrated over the past couple of decades in Manitoba’s ICT sector have made her one of its most recognized and respected thought leaders and ambassadors—locally, nationally, and abroad.

Those in the business community who have met or worked with her know how adept she is at finding innovative ways to combine learning with employment opportunities, and creating a community of thinkers and doers united by the common purpose of making Manitoba the kind of place where big ideas collide with technology to create exciting new opportunities.

Chris Minaker

Chris Minaker was born in Brandon, Manitoba, but spent significant time in the United States (Pittsburgh) and southern Ontario (Brantford and Kingston) during his formative years. He graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a dual degree in Business and Conflict Resolution and went on to earn an MA from Royal Roads University in Victoria. While at the University of Winnipeg, he served as president of the Students’ Association and his achievements included creating a new home for the Aboriginal Students’ Centre.

Minaker’s professional career began at Volunteer Manitoba where he helped to establish the Leadership Winnipeg program in partnership with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. After that, he accepted a position with the Manitoba government as a Project Director and worked in the ministries of Agriculture, the Civil Service Commission, Families, Federal-Provincial Relations, and finally Executive Council, which is a key link between the political side of government and the professional civil service.

He returned to his alma mater, the University of Winnipeg, in 2015 as a member of the senior executive team, with direct accountability for external relations, policy, strategy, and events. In this role, he works extensively with community organizations, businesses, and governments to strengthen partnerships and relationships.

Minaker is married and has two beautiful children who are the centre of his world.

Dawn Nedohin-Macek

Dawn Nedohin-Macek has been with Manitoba Hydro since completing her engineering degree 20 years ago.  After being hired as an Engineer in Training, Dawn moved around the corporation in different departments with different roles. 

Dawn is the Director of Enterprise Architecture and Cyber Security, a new division within Manitoba Hydro. This division is responsible for all corporate cyber security including the cyber security governance, risk management, SecOps business, development of training programs, and monitoring and responding to all internal and external cyber threats. The division is also responsible for building and implementing a comprehensive federated Enterprise Architecture governance model supported through pragmatic Enterprise Architecture framework supporting the business through frameworks, principles, governance, guidelines, and standards to enable business strategy through deployment of Information and Operational Technology.

Dawn has been an instructor for the Manitoba Hydro Leadership From Within course offered to those showing leadership potential, and focuses her teaching on servant leadership.

Dawn graduated from the University of Manitoba with Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering and was active in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as an undergrad and as a Professional Engineer.  Dawn is a Past President of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba and is the past Chair of the Board of the Alumni Association of the University of Manitoba.  Dawn currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Director from Manitoba on Engineers Canada. Dawn sits on the advisory board for the James W. Burns Leadership Institute at the University of Manitoba.

Dawn is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and a Senior Member of IEEE.


Tim Oracheski

Tim Oracheski is the Chief of Staff to the CEO at Great-West Lifeco, a position he has held since 2018. He has been with the company since 2016 when he joined as the Director, Media & Public Affairs.

Prior to joining Great-West Lifeco, Tim worked in various roles for the federal government in Ottawa, including in the Prime Minister’s Office and for numerous federal ministers.

Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in political economy and business from Concordia University of Edmonton.

Raj Patel

Mr. Raj Patel has an extensive background and involvement in the financial industry both in Commercial and Corporate banking for the last 18 years. Mr. Patel joined RBC in 2014 and was appointed to the role of Vice President, Commercial Financial Services in 2017. He is responsible for a diversified team that covers the industry sectors of Real Estate Development/Private and Public REITS, Construction Services, Public Sector, Supply Chain and Transportation.

Outside of RBC, Raj currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and is the current Chamber Chair for 2020/21. He is also a member of the United Way Winnipeg Board of Trustees. He is a passionate member of the Asper School of Business Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Task force and a member of the James W. Burns Leadership Institute Advisory Board beginning in the fall of 2021. Raj earned his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the Asper School of business, University of Manitoba and his MBA from the University of Phoenix (Vancouver campus).

Diane Roussin

A proud member of Skownan First Nation, Diane Roussin is an Anishinaabe community leader passionately committed to the pursuit of mino bimaadiziwin (the good life) for all families and children. 

Working tirelessly at the local, regional and national levels to promote Indigenous People’s values and ways of knowing, being, doing and feeling, she has led many avant-garde initiatives.

Currently the Project Director of the Winnipeg Boldness Project, Diane is a driving force in establishing and leading the first and longest serving Indigenous Social Innovation Lab in Canada that seeks large-scale systems of change for children and families in Winnipeg.

Diane is a key pacesetter in the creation of a robust Indigenous Innovation ecosystem in Canada and holds many influential roles including; Chair of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative Council with Grand Challenges Canada; member of the inaugural Indigenous Innovation Advisory Council with Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies; and member of the inaugural Council of Aunties for the Fireweed Fellowship, the first national Indigenous Entrepreneurship Accelerator.

Her Board of Directors commitments are geared toward forging new ground and include: The Winnipeg Foundation where she seeks to create space for Indigenous philanthropy; the Winnipeg Art Gallery that hosts Quamajuq, the largest public collection of Inuit art in the world; North Forge Technology Exchange, Canadas largest non-profit fabrication lab; and Animikii Inc., a leading Indigenous technology company.

Diane is a TEDx speaker on the topic of Indigenous Social Innovation and is recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal, recognized for Outstanding Indigenous Leadership. She is a recipient of the Manitoba Women Trailblazers Award by the Nellie McClung Foundation. Diane holds both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work Degrees.

Colin Ryan

Colin Ryan is Executive Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Director, Wellington-Altus Holdings Inc. He began his wealth management career in 1992, and in addition to serving high net worth and institutional clients, he also spent many years in executive management at his prior firm managing the Manitoba and Saskatchewan regions. He was on the advisory committee that set policy and strategy for over 1200 advisors and over $120 billion in assets.

Ryan is a former finalist for the IDA Distinction Award given to investment professionals who represent excellence in the profession. In 2019 he was recognized as one of the top 50 advisors in Canada by Wealth Professional Magazine (ranking 11th). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and also has a B.Comm. (Honours – Finance) from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. He has completed executive education programs from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, as well as numerous industry programs. He is committed to lifelong learning and in 2018 completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Course (ICD.D).

Colin’s community work includes: Chair, Associates Asper School of Business; Advisory Board, James. W. Burns Leadership Institute, University of Manitoba; Advisory Council and Major Donor Member, United Way Winnipeg; Campaign Chair, 2017 United Way Winnipeg; past member of the Board of Governors for the Winnipeg Art Gallery; past member of the Finance Committee for Sport Manitoba.

Colin resides in Winnipeg with his wife and two young daughters.

Dayna Spiring

Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg, encompassing EDW, YES! Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg. Dayna directs all aspects of the corporation’s activities. She provides leadership and strategic direction, collaborates with key stakeholders and is a driving force behind making Winnipeg a compelling choice for business and tourism. She also sits on the board of directors for Winpak Ltd., a Winnipeg-based plastic-packaging pioneer, CancerCare Manitoba Foundation and was recently name Honourary Colonel for 2 Canadian Air Division.
As the former chief strategy officer and general counsel of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), Dayna was charged with leading a group of senior-level employees, financial advisors and lawyers in preparing the federally controlled entity for privatization, which sold for $550 million in 2015 (the CWB was valued at just $100 million in 2012).

Dayna’s supplemental responsibilities during her 10-year tenure at the CWB also involved facilitating government and stakeholder relations during a period of intense public scrutiny and debate. As well, Dayna spearheaded all marketing and communications efforts at the CWB and served as its corporate secretary. In addition to Dayna’s extensive professional experience, which includes five years as an associate at Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP in the early 2000s, she is a passionate Winnipegger with a drive to volunteer. She led the team that brought the Gold Medal Plates competition to Winnipeg.  Currently the Chair of the Winnipeg Football Club’s board of directors, she is the first woman to have her name engraved on the coveted Grey Cup, after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers historic win in 2019. She is only the second woman to serve on the Canadian Football League’s board of governors. 

Dayna earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba. Earlier, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (honours) from the same institution, majoring in political science. In 2015, Dayna participated in the Directors Education Program within the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, obtaining the ICD.D designation.

Dr. Christine Watson

Dr. Christine Watson is the current Interim President & CEO of Red River College. Watson joined RRC in 2013 and has held the role of Vice-President, Academic since July 2016 – a position she will return to when RRC’s new President starts in July. She is currently leading the College’s academic transformation in educational design and delivery. 
Watson has worked in senior administration, leadership, teaching, and research for the last 20 years, holding administrative and teaching positions at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of Regina, and the First Nations University of Canada. 
In terms of her own educational background, Christine holds a BA (Honours) from the University of British Columbia, an MA from Queen’s University, and a PhD from the University of Queensland in Australia, all of which are in English Literature.

Tim Gibson

Tim is manager - Northern Workforce Development Centre at University College of the North (UCN) in Thompson, Manitoba. The University College of the North is an institution devoted to community and northern development and reflects the Aboriginal reality and cultural diversity of northern Manitoba.
Tim has a history of over twenty (25) years of successful mining and manufacturing management positions involving production, engineering, design, frontline supervision, maintenance upgrades, safety, purchasing and environmental programs in Manitoba. Tim has a passion for helping people achieve their goals through education and training and is very pleased to be a mentor within PSLP.
He has worked with the new Northern Workforce Development Centre at UCN, located in, since August 2018 years, where he is responsible for leading the Centre, an initiative that is tasked to provide training across a variety of Industrial sectors, leading to employment opportunities and Business Partner efficiencies.

Jeff Lieberman

Jeff Lieberman was born in Winnipeg and has lived there all of his life. He graduated from West Kildonan Collegiate in 1977 and then studied at the University of Manitoba. Jeff obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1980 and his Bachelor of Commerce Degree in 1983.
After graduation, Jeff worked at a family business, Seder Sportswear, as their Sales Manager. In 1989 Jeff started his own business – Liebo Sportswear and he has owned a number of businesses since. Liebo Sportswear produced jackets and other clothing with corporate logos. In 1992 Jeff created the company Time Images which was a logo watch company. Time Images evolved into The Great Promotional Products Company which is a full scale promotional products and branded clothing company. In 2005, Jeff became a sales partner with Talbot Marketing and associated his company with Talbot. Talbot Marketing is Canada’s oldest and one of its largest promotional products companies. Jeff is Talbot’s Senior Partner in Manitoba and they provide branded products and clothing to a wide variety of companies and organizations across Canada.
Jeff has always believed in giving back to the community and he has proudly volunteered for a variety of organizations. Jeff is the Past Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba. The Board of Governors is responsible for all financial aspects of the university including approving their $1 billion budget. Jeff chaired this board for 4 years and was on the Board of Governors for a total of 6 years. During his time on the Board of Governors, Jeff chaired the Presidential Search Committee resulting in the hiring of Dr Michael Benarroch as the 12th President of the University of Manitoba and he chaired the Chancellor Search Committee resulting in the appointment of Anne Mahon as the University of Manitoba’s 14th Chancellor.
Jeff is currently the Vice-Chair of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and is also a Past President of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association, Past President of the Folklorama Festival and a Past President of the Rady Jewish Community Centre. Jeff has been a director on a variety of other boards including the Promotional Products Association of Canada, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and the Asper Jewish Community Campus. Jeff has chaired the Israel Pavilion for Folklorama and the B’nai Brith “Unto Every Person There is a Name” Holocaust Remembrance Service for many years. Jeff was the VIP Room Chair for the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship, and he coached his son’s hockey teams for many years. Jeff was an owner/partner of the Winnipeg Blues Junior A Hockey team for several years.
Jeff has been recognized for his leadership and volunteerism as he was awarded the Harry Silverberg Winnipeg Jewish Community Young Leadership Award in 1999, The Next Generation JCC Association of North America Award in 2002, The Rady JCC Shem Tov Award in 2007, The William Norrie Outstanding Community Leader Award in 2014 and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation of Canada Community Champion Award in 2018.
Jeff has been married to Robyn for a long time and they have 3 children who have graduated from the University of Manitoba. Amy is a teacher, Josh is a lawyer and Noah recently graduated from the Asper School of Business.

Dr. Samar Safi-Harb

Dr. Samar Safi-Harb is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Faculty of Science Lead for Equity, Diversity and Community. She is an internationally renowned astrophysicist who researches high-energy astrophysical phenomena, including neutron stars and supernova remnants that make the heavy elements essential for life. She completed her undergraduate studies in Physics at the American University of Beirut, acquired her MSc and PhD in Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland as a National Research Council Fellow. She subsequently joined the University of Manitoba as an NSERC UFA Fellow with the goal of jump-starting an astrophysics program, and held the Canada Research Chair position in Supernova Astrophysics. She supervised some 50 highly qualified personnel throughout her career at the U of M, from high school students to postdocs. She is a passionate researcher and educator and is active in outreach, promoting science and (astro) physics, especially among women and under-represented groups. She has played a leadership role in involving Manitoba in space/high energy international missions. She serves on several national and international committees including NASA, the NRC, and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Astronomical Society. She is a recipient of the 2015 YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Award (Science, Technology and Research) and Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Award (Trailblazers and Trendsetters). As of May 2020, she has served as the Vice-President/President-Elect of the Canadian Astronomical Society.

Past Mentors

Tom Carson

Tom Carson is the Chair of the Board of Directors, St Boniface Hospital and Senior Fellow, Canada West Foundation. Currently a consultant focusing on personal and team development and workplace health, he has over 31 years of senior management and executive experience with the Manitoba government. He began with the Management Committee of Cabinet, through Northern Affairs, to Deputy Minister postings in the departments of Culture, Training, and Continuing Education and Health, as well as serving as a Deputy Minister for 14 years. He is the President and Principal Consultant of T. Carson and Associates Ltd.

Since moving to the private sector, Carson has focused on workplace health, team development, organizational analysis, and policy development. He serves on the following boards: the Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation (as a consultant to Leadership Winnipeg); the President’s Advisory Council (to the President of the University of Manitoba); and the Health, Leisure and Human Performance Institute at the University of Manitoba. Carson brings a wealth of experience in policy and research, nonprofit planning, non-profit board administration, government policy, and management analysis.

Lisa Kassenaar

Lisa Kassenaar is a Senior Writer and Editor, Global Women's Coverage, Voice of America, leading a special project examining how the U.S. government-funded news organization, which operates in 45 languages, covers women around the world.

She was previously editor-at-large for global women’s coverage at Bloomberg News in New York, where she also led a ‘Managing Diversity’ reporting team. She formerly covered Wall Street, global finance, and markets at Bloomberg for 15 years as a senior writer, editor, and reporter. She has won a Front Page Award from the Newswoman’s Club of New York for a story on residential development in Lower Manhattan, and a YWCA of New York ‘Salute’ Award for women leaders. She is also on the advisory board of, a New York-based non-profit that trains 150 women a year for careers in asset management at the University of Pennsylvania and Notre Dame.

Kassenaar has an MS in journalism from Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Manitoba. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

Jeffrey Morton

Jeffrey Morton is a graduate of Kelvin High School (1976) and the University of Manitoba Faculty of Commerce (1980), and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Manitoba (1983). He took the Directors Education Program through the Rotman School of Business and obtained his ICD.D designation in 2014.

As a Chartered Accountant by training, Morton has successfully performed as a CFO for over 25 years in two significant and successful Manitoba-based private businesses, National Equipment Leasing and Piston Ring Service. He retired from the latter in June 2018 and currently works as a Corporate Board Director and a Business Advisor.

Morton has been a committed volunteer for almost 30 years, and serves or has served on 15 not for profit, for profit, professional association, and corporate boards. In that body of work, he has led two boards as Chair and served as the Chair of Audit and Finance or Treasurer in six cases. Currently, he is a member of the board of the Cambrian Credit Union and chairs its Risk Oversight Committee.

In 2002, Morton was elected a Fellow of the Manitoba Institute of Chartered Accountants in recognition of his extensive record of continuous volunteer service in the Winnipeg community and to the CA profession.

He has been married to Mary for 38 years, has two children, Sarah and Alexander, a son-in-law Raymond Gagne, and a grandson, Joshua.

Todd Asman

Todd Asman is responsible for IG Wealth Management’s diverse product shelf and planning services including investment funds, banking and mortgages, insurance services, advanced financial planning and strategic investment planning. Todd joined IG Wealth Management in 2004 after 10 years with the Great-West Life Assurance Company and three years in independent actuarial consulting.

Todd has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba with a major in actuarial science. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Carly Emundson

Carly Edmundson is a creative professional with more than 10 years of experience in marketing and communications. She is passionate about finding ways to create meaningful connections and a sense of community through marketing and communications strategies. She has worked in a variety of industries and has specialized in ’starting from scratch’ to take a vision to reality throughout her career. Her experience includes marketing at the Winnipeg Airports Authority where she focused on the marketing strategy surrounding building and opening the new terminal, and CentrePort Canada Inc., where she worked to build North America’s largest tri-modal inland port. Edmundson has also held roles at Manitoba-grown organizations such as Wellington West and Price Industries. She now leads the marketing and communications division at Cushman & Wakefield | Stevenson, Manitoba’s largest full-service commercial real estate firm.

Edmundson grew up in a small town in rural Manitoba, which taught her the value of being part of building a strong community. She regularly volunteers her time to support various local non-profits and has served on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba. In August 2020, she became the Chair of the Young Associates, part of the Asper School of Business Foundation.

Trudy Schroeder

While working for the City of Ottawa’s culture division, Trudy Schroeder experienced the powerful impact that occurs when municipal leaders and policy makers create an environment where facilities, programs, and plans coalesce to enhance a city’s artistic and cultural development. Festivals, art galleries, performance venues, public art programs, libraries, museums, and performance series can transform neighborhoods and the community as a whole.  
Upon moving to Winnipeg in 1996, Schroeder worked with the City of Winnipeg to research and draft its cultural policy review, alongside a number of other cultural initiatives. She became the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and saw the organization through a decade of great growth and development as an artistic, economic, and tourism asset to our community.  She is currently in her eleventh season as Executive Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and she remains committed to fully engaging the power of great art to benefit the city and all of its residents.
Schroeder was born and raised in Winnipeg and holds a BA from the University of Winnipeg, an ARCT from the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, an Arts Administration Diploma from the University of Ottawa, and an MBA from the University of Manitoba. She has been active in community organizations, boards, and national arts advocacy and sectoral research initiatives.  She has been recognized for her community contributions with a number of awards including the YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Award, the Queen’s Jubilee Award, and the 2016 Leader of the Year Award from Tourism Winnipeg.

Lynne Skromeda

As the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Lynne leads the organization’s year-round strategic direction and operations including the summer music festival with an annual attendance now exceeding 75,000. Previously, she spent over 13 years in the film & television industry where she produced over 150 hours of original and award-winning programming. As President of Production at Frantic Films, Lynne was responsible for the financial and business affairs, led international distribution operations of nearly 600 hours of programming and was a key member of the senior leadership team partaking in corporate strategy, mergers & acquisitions and general operations.
A passionate supporter of her communities, she is also a volunteer board member of Imagine Canada, the Canadian Live Music Association, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and Green Action Centre as well as a number of advisory and advocacy committees and councils including the Canadian Arts Summit, Winnipeg Chamber Economic Recovery Advisory Committee and the Cultural Human Resource Council’s Cross-Sector Recovery Committee. She previously served on the boards of Manitobans for the Arts, the West End Cultural Centre, On Screen Manitoba, Plug In ICA, TEDxWinnipeg and the Manitoba Premier’s Economic Advisory Council.
In her spare time she can be found walking, running, cycling or kayaking – anything that can actively get her from one place to another! – around her home province and abroad. 

Dr. Dan Smith

Born and raised in Manitoba, Dr. Dan Smith studied higher education and public policy, receiving a PhD from the University of Manitoba in 2009. Smith worked for the Government of Manitoba and held various senior leadership positions in the Royal Canadian Navy (reserve) where he continues to be an active Lieutenant-Commander, before moving to the University College of the North in 2012. Smith was appointed as the UCN’s Dean of Arts and Science in 2012, and in 2014, he became Dean of the newly created Faculty of Arts, Business, and Science. In September 2015, Smith was appointed, and continues to serve, as Vice-President Academic and Research at UCN.

Peer Coaches

2020 Peer Coaches


Eight Cohort 1 participants (2019 graduates) supported Cohort 2 teams in the summer of 2020.

For 2020 the following students supported the program:

  1. Anthonia Aina, Master of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, UofM, 2019 PSLP graduate
  2. Anthony Catalano, Diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology, RRC, PSLP 2019 graduate
  3. Caity Curtis, Diploma in Business Administration, RRC, 2019 PSLP graduate
  4. Calvin Loi, Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), UofM, PSLP 2019 graduate
  5. Daniel Plourde, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, UofM, PSLP 2019 graduate
  6. Gursevak Kasbia, Bachelor of Education , UofM, PSLP 2019 graduate
  7. Ian Dimopoulos, Bachelor of Education - After Degree Program , UofW, 2019 PSLP graduate
  8. Lindsay Bain, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, UofM, 2019 PSLP graduate

2022 Peer Coaches

Five past Cohort participants supported Cohort 4 teams in the summer of 2022.

For 2022 the following students supported the program:

  1. Chetachukwu Akaluka,  University of Winnipeg /Red River College Polytechnic, Bachelor Rhetoric and Communications/Sociology
  2. Daniel Araujo,  University of Manitoba, Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Health Sciences
  3. Miray Eskandar, University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Health Sciences
  4. Jude Obidiagha. University of Winnipeg, Masters in Applied Economics (Policy Analysis)
  5. Lauren Slegers, University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Commerce in Leadership and Organizations, and Human Resources

As part of building community and furthering learning across PSLP cohorts, previous participants are encouraged to give back to the newest cohorts by supporting them in executing summer service leadership projects. Peer Coaches take part in special training on leadership coaching. Six past participants are supporting Cohort 5 teams in the summer of 2023.

For 2023 the following students will support the program:

            Denise Huang.  The University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing

            Samuel Ogunsola. The University of Manitoba, Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology and Pathophysiology

            Jessica Plett. The University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

            Kevin Prada. The University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

            Vivian Umeohabike. The University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Nursing

            Erin White. The University of Manitoba, Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

Visionary Investment
The James W. Burns Leadership Institute at the I.H. Asper School of Business has been created through the visionary investment from Canada Life, IG Wealth Management and the Power Corporation of Canada, as well as the Province of Manitoba.

Contact us

James W. Burns Leadership Institute
Room 359 Drake Centre
181 Freedman Cres.
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V4