Manitoba, Canada - Gateway to Business in North America

Discover the value of doing business in Manitoba, learn the unique advantages of relocating or expanding here, and utilize resources and supports available to newcomers and business owners.

Date: October 28, 2021
Location: Virtual - hosted on Remo
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. CST

Register for the event to view a series of short presentations by each of the participating organizations, and then visit their "virtual networking tables" where attendees can have more in-depth conversations and ask questions on the topics presented.

Participating Organizations:

Economic Development Winnipeg
Alberto Velasco-Acosta, Director of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

World Trade Centre Winnipeg
Derek Earl, Vice-President

CentrePort Canada Inc.
Diane Gray, President and CEO

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
Silvia de Sousa, Lawyer, IP Protection & Privacy Law
Dell Dyck, Lawyer, IP Protection & Privacy Law
Jennifer McRae, Lawyer, Immigration and Employment Law


Speaker Biographies

Moderator: Martin McGarry
CEO, Cushman & Wakefield | Stevenson

Martin McGarry began his commercial real estate career nearly 30 years ago and has been a top producer for the last 2 decades. If you were to ask anyone who has anything to do with commercial real estate, they will tell you Martin is a person you can depend on and trust to do the best thing for his client.

Martin is responsible for the execution, vision and strategy as the CEO of Cushman & Wakefield | Stevenson as well as the President and CEO of MMI Asset Management. He manages strategic relationships with key investment partners and is continually in pursuit of client-service excellence.

Martin serves on the Board of Directors for World Trade Centre Winnipeg. He was also appointed to the Manitoba Provincial Working Group for development of a capital region growth plan that will aim to deliver better infrastructure at lower cost and improve planning, permitting and zoning.

Martin graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts and has been a licensed salesperson with the Manitoba Securities Commission since 1992.

Derek Earl
Vice-President, World Trade Centre Winnipeg

Derek supports international trade and export growth. A senior executive with nearly 20 years of experience in business and international affairs, Derek has advised and assisted hundreds of companies with their growth strategies and international business development.

Derek leads WTC Winnipeg's ESG strategy (Environmental, Social, Governance). Deeply committed to social purpose, he is particularly focused on business strategies to navigate climate change and on advancing Truth & Reconciliation. He has been instrumental in numerous key projects for the WTC Winnipeg such as: launching the organization in 2013, delivering four editions of the global business forum called Centrallia, and establishing Canada's Trade Accelerator program (TAP) in Manitoba.

Prior to joining the WTC Winnipeg, Derek worked with the Canadian Embassy in Paris, France, where he worked to establish the Province of Ontario's trade development and investment attraction office.

Diane Gray
CentrePort Canada Inc.

Ms. Diane Gray is the founding President and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc. CentrePort is a 20,000 acre tri-modal inland port and Foreign Trade Zone in Winnipeg's capital region.

Ms. 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. She has received the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Excellence in Public Administration, the Women of Distinction Award for Management and Leadership, and was recognized by the Supply Chain Management Association as one of the 100 Influential Women in Canadian Supply Chain.

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

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

Alberto Velasco-Acosta
Director of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Economic Development Winnipeg

Alberto has over 15 years experience in actively promoting Winnipeg as a world-class business centre. He joined Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) in 2018 as Director of Foreign Direct Investment, where he proactively identifies new prospects to attract to Winnipeg to inform them of and promote Winnipeg's strong value proposition. He also represents YES! Winnipeg on international business missions and welcomes incoming international delegations.

Prior to joining EDW, Alberto was Director Trade Services with World Trade Centre Winnipeg from 2014-2018, where he coordinated partnerships in Latin America, China and India, and promoted Centrallia 2016, bringing 700 business leaders from all over Canada and 30 other countries to Winnipeg. He was Executive Director International Business Development with CentrePort Canada from 2009-2013, promoting Winnipeg business and investment opportunities around the world.

Alberto volunteers his time in community, currently as Chair, Business Development Committee for Consider Canada City Alliance, promoting Canada as the preferred location for foreign investment and trade. He is also President of Mex Y Can Association of Manitoba, promoting Mexican culture in Manitoba.

Silvia de Sousa
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Silvia de Sousa is an accomplished partner at TDS with over 27 years of leadership in the IP and tech space. The focus of her work is in the area of business law with an emphasis on intellectual property law and technology law, including intellectual property transactions, cannabis advertising and marketing, intellectual property protection, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and licensing matters. Silvia is also a trademark agent.

Silvia joined TDS in 1994 and has spoken on many occasions to professional organizations and industry groups on intellectual property and technology law matters. She teaches intellectual property law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, and has also taught solicitor transaction matters, licensing, and international law as a sessional lecturer at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law, and the Asper School of Business. Silvia served as past Chair of the National Intellectual Property Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and is a former Chair and current member of the Technology and Intellectual Property Law Section of the Manitoba Bar Association. She is active in the community and has volunteered her time with numerous community organizations, including, the Associates, the Legal Help Centre, the Health Sciences Foundation, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, Branch Council of the Manitoba Bar Association, and the American Bar Association IP Section.

Kendall (Dell) Dyck
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Kendall (Dell) Dyck is a rising star of the TDS Privacy and Data Protection Practice Group, advising clients from both the for profit and not-for-profit sectors with respect to access to information requests, anti-spam compliance, and privacy and data protection matters. In addition, Dell has experience in Wills and Estate Planning and Administration, and Aboriginal law.

Dell accepted an associate position with TDS in 2020, after enjoying two summer stints as a student and articling at the firm. She has earned a certificate in Privacy and Cybersecurity Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and has contributed to several sources, including Lexology and Mondaq.

Jennifer McRae
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

With more than 15 years of experience as a lawyer with TDS, partner Jennifer McRae's practice focuses primarily on Canadian immigration law. Her immigration practice includes assisting Canadian companies and foreign nationals with a variety of immigration matters including, labour market impact assessments, work permits, immigration employer compliance audits and inspections, visitor visas, study permits, permanent resident status, and citizenship.