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A group of distinguished guests

Jared Akman & David Carr speaking to BGS members

BGS members listening to speakers

Distinguished guests speaking with BGS members

BGS members speaking with one another

Cocktails and Conversations

by Jessica Kraut and Hartley Mendelsohn, April 1, 2018

Spearheaded by CJA Campaign Chair, Steve Kroft and the Ben Gurion Society (BGS) Chairs, Leanne and Jared Akman, and Sarah and David Carr, the first ever Cocktails and Conversations event was launched. This event was created with the goal of inspiring the next generation of philanthropists to roll up their sleeves and get involved in Jewish as well as general community causes through volunteerism and leadership. 


On March 14th over 70 BGS Members (donors to the Combined Jewish Appeal who are 25-45 years old and give a minimum of $1,000) were invited to network with 14 of Winnipeg’s leading CEO's and philanthropists and learn about their personal philanthropic passions. This distinguished guest list, assembled through the hard work of Steve Kroft, included:


Jamie Brown (CEO & Executive Producer, Frantic Films), Mark Chipman (Executive Chairman of the Board, True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club), Rick Duha (CEO, Duha Group), Doug Harvey (CEO, DLH Group), Peter Jessiman (President, Western Capital Inc), Paul Mahon (President & CEO, Great West Life Co), Ash Modha (Chairman & CEO, Mondetta Clothing Co), Hartley Richardson (President & CEO, James Richardson & Sons, Limited), Sandy Riley (CEO, Richardson Financial Group), Bob Silver (President, Western Glove Works), Paul Soubry (President & CEO, New Flyer Industries, Kim Ulmer (Regional President of RBC for MB, SK, NW Ontario) and Larry Vickar (President, Vickar Automotive Group).


The event has already demonstrated quite the impact on those who attended. Our hope is that this is the start of a stronger, more passionate Winnipeg community!


A few quotes from our attendees:

“This was one of the cooler events I’ve had the pleasure of going to in my professional career. What I really liked about this event was the willingness of our distinguished guests to speak to the younger generation and actually take time to listen and engage. Thank you very much to everybody who put this on! Extremely impressive to get so many remarkable people in one room!” Jon Blumberg, BGS Member


"It was a wonderful event and I was humbled to be a part of it. The Winnipeg community  gives back more than any other community and you can see it in the young people who want to make a difference. I’m always available in the future to help out.” Ash Modha, Chairman and CEO, Mondetta Clothing Co.


“Thank-you so much for the invitation to be involved in such a noble cause. It was wonderful to mix and mingle with such a bright group of committed citizens to our great city. Like any of my community involvement, I received much more than I gave that evening. Most importantly, thanks for asking me. ”Doug Harvey, CEO, DLH Group (Maxim Truck and Trailer)

Jessica Kraut, Event Coordinator

Hartley Mendelsohn, Young Adult Division Associate

Jewish Federation of Winnipeg

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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