Red River Co-op Board of Directors
April 30, 2024

Election results from the 2024 election saw Shirley Mayadewi reelected, and Sarah Carson elected to our Board of Directors.

Ward Weisensel, President

  • Serves as Red River’s President
  • Served as Red River's Vice-President
  • Served as Chair of the Audit Committee
  • Served on Red River's Nominations Committee
  • Served on Red River's Governance & Compensation Committee
  • Has extensive experience in marketing, strategic planning, transportation and communications through his roles as Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Wheat Board and Senior Vice President of Trading and Risk Management at G3 Canada
  • Served as a Director on the Board of the Canadian International Grains Institute and Western Transportation Advisory Committee
  • Graduate of the University of Saskatchewan
  • Appointed to the Board May, 2009

Gary Timlick, Vice-President

  • Serves as Chair of the Audit Committee
  • Served as a member of the Governance & Compensation Committee
  • 40 years of financial and management experience in agriculture, manufacturing, retail, public accounting and financial services
  • 20 years of experience with co-op/mutual organizations holding senior management positions
  • Chair of the Investment Committee of the Winnipeg Civic Employees' Benefit Plan
  • Board member Peace Hills General Insurance
  • Member of the University of Manitoba Audit Committee
  • Member of the CPA Canada Professional Liability Insurance Committee
  • Previously served as a board member of numerous for profit and non-profit organizations in Winnipeg and nationally
  • Experienced financial executive with extensive leadership experience and business acumen
  • Became a member of the Board in 2020

Sarah Carson

  • Serves on the Audit Committee.
  • Serves on the Nominations Committee.
  • Communications professional with a robust background in government, education, and not-for-profit sectors.
  • Works for the federal government at Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada.
  • Master's degree in anthropology and agricultural economics, bachelor's degree in global political economy from the University of Manitoba.
  • Background in food security, economics, and hands-on experience with local food co-operatives.
  • Grew up in rural Manitoba.
  • Active volunteer and strong roots in community organizations.
  • Became a member of the board in 2024.

Kristen Wittman, Secretary

  • Serves as Red River’s Secretary
  • Serves as Chair of the Governance and Compensation Committee
  • Serves as a member of the Nominations Committee
  • Served as a Community Member of the Community Relations Committee prior to being elected to the Board
  • Partner at Taylor McCaffrey LLP, a full-service local law firm
  • Represents many cooperatives and credit unions in Manitoba, including worker co-ops, retail co-ops, and housing co-ops
  • Assisted the Cooperatives Registrar in identifying changes to The Cooperatives Act to create multi-stakeholder cooperatives and developing a new Cooperative Model By-law
  • Advises Co-ops with learning how to access capital, drafting articles and by-laws and governance matters
  • Volunteers on the Board of the Canadian Cooperatives Income Fund, an investment fund that supports co-operatives. Volunteered for Bookmates Inc., a charity promoting literacy for families, from 1998 to 2015
  • Served as a board member of the Winnipeg Writers Festival from 2015 to 2021
  • Served as President of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.
  • A proponent of the 'one member, one vote' model of cooperatives
  • Director of the Board since 2017

Shirley Mayadewi

  • Serves on Governance & Compensation Committee.
  • Served on Audit Committee.
  • Served on Nominations Committee.
  • Chief Technology Officer at Endeavours Group.
  • Diverse experience in strategic planning, technology integration, risk management, and business development.
  • Registered as Professional Engineer (P.Eng) with Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba.
  • Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (EE) from University of Manitoba in 2005, Bachelor’s degree in EE (Hons, with Distinction) from University of Windsor.
  • Served as an external examiner for University of Manitoba’s Engineering Students Capstone Design Projects.
  • Served as a mentor for Women in Engineering - University of Manitoba/Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba.
  • Volunteered at schools to promote STEM fields.
  • Became a member of the board in 2021.

Stephen Sidloski

  • Serves as Chair of the Nominations Committee
  • Serves as a member of the Audit Committee
  • 18 years of national franchised restaurant industry management experience that includes Operations, Marketing, Human Resources, Employee Experience, Finance, Construction, and Change Management
  • Graduate of the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba with a Master of Business Administration
  • Served on a number of not-for-profit community boards
  • Became a member of the board in 2022

Donna Zwarich

  • Serves as a member of the Audit Committee, Governance & Compensation Committee, and Nominations Committee
  • Served as Chair of the Audit Committee for 5 years, as well as a member of the Governance & Compensation Committee and Nominations Committee
  • Extensive background in accounting – both in the private sector as well as with a public practice firm
  • Many years of experience in the petroleum industry – initially as the Automatic Oil Flow Clerk at Red River Co-op (for those who heated their homes with fuel oil), advanced to Petroleum Accounting Supervisor for Red River’s gas bars & bulk stations and later assisting my late husband in the management & operation of several Co-op & Tempo gas bars & car washes
  • Prior Board experience with Mission Gardens Nursery School and later with the Certified Management Accountants (CMA)
  • Long term member of Red River Co-op since 1968
  • Became a member of the Board in 2016