Executive Management

The North West Company Inc.

Edward S. Kennedy - President & CEO

Edward S. Kennedy

President & CEO

Edward Kennedy joined The North West Company in 1989. He served in senior management positions including Chief Operating Officer of North West and Chief Executive Officer of the Alaska Commercial Company, the Company’s U.S. subsidiary located in Anchorage. Edward returned to Winnipeg from Alaska in January 1997 and assumed his current role. He is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The North West Company (International) Inc.

Edward was born and raised in The Pas, a northern Manitoba community, and attended high school as a boarding student at St. John’s-Ravenscourt in Winnipeg.  He holds an Honours Degree in Business from the Ivey School at Western University and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to joining North West, Edward practiced law briefly in Toronto and then worked in investment banking. 

Edward is a board member of The North West Company, United Grocers Inc., Canada West Foundation and Canada’s History Society. He is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization, the Associates of the Asper School of Business as well as a member and past officer of the Business Council of Manitoba. He was the Chair of the 2011 Winnipeg United Way Campaign and is a past board member of several for-profit and non-profit organizations. He currently participates on advisory committees for the United Way and the Build Winnipeg Partnership Taskforce.
 
Edward has received several national industry and community recognitions over his career. 

Edward is a competitive athlete and his other pursuits include public policy with a focus on socio-economic development. Edward and his wife Stella make their home in Winnipeg and have four children.

Daniel G. McConnell - President, International Retail

Daniel G. McConnell

President, International Retail

Dan joined the company in 2002 in the role of Manager, Real Estate and Store Development. He quickly advanced to the position of Director in April 2004, and has since been promoted to Vice-President of Real Estate & Store Development in September 2008.

Dan has been directly involved in the negotiations of store leases and acquisitions, including the expansions into new markets. Dan has a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wales and many years experience in retail development.

Alex Yeo - President, Canadian Retail

Alex Yeo

President, Canadian Retail

Alex Yeo joined the company in 2018 as President, Canadian Retail. Prior to joining North West, Alex has had a progressive and varied career, spending seven years with the Government of Singapore (where he was born and raised) in progressively senior roles in the Ministries of Defense, Education and Community Development. From there, he joined McDonald’s Corporation, taking over as the Managing Director of McDonald’s Singapore at the age of 31 before taking on the position of Chief Restaurant Officer for China.

Most recently, he spent four years with international consulting firm McKinsey & Company working on operations and digital transformation projects for various financial service and retail companies. Alex has a Bachelor and Masters’ Degrees in Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

John D. King - Executive Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer

John D. King

Executive Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer

John joined the Company in 1994 after completing his CA and CMA. accounting designations. He has held various management positions in the Finance department including Stores Controller and Director, Finance. John became Vice President, Finance and Secretary in 2006 and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2010.

Gary Merasty - Executive Vice-President, Chief Development Officer

Gary Merasty

Executive Vice-President, Chief Development Officer

Gary joined the company in 2018 as Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, accountable for Real Estate, Construction, Community Relations, Health Products & Services and new venture development. He brings years of diverse leadership experience gained from senior roles within northern enterprises, indigenous partnerships, external relations and as a Member of Parliament, combined with his tenure of seven years on our Board of Directors. Gary is originally from and raised in the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation community of Pelican Narrows in north eastern Saskatchewan.

Toby Noiles - Executive Vice-President, Canadian Food Procurement & Marketing

Toby Noiles

Executive Vice-President, Canadian Food Procurement & Marketing

Toby Noiles joined The North West Company in 2018 in the role of Executive Vice-President, Canadian Food Procurement & Marketing. She was previously a Senior Vice-President at Safeway U.S.A and Sam's Club, and Chief Merchandising Officer at two e-commerce retailers.

Michael T. Beaulieu - Vice-President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, Central Division

Michael T. Beaulieu

Vice-President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, Central Division

Mike started his career with The North West Company in 1993 as a Management Associate. He advanced to Store Manager and to Regional Store Management positions before joining Procurement & Marketing as a Director.

Mike was instrumental in leading our product profitability and in-stock long range planning initiatives and store performance support for northern Canada. Mike has an Executive Management MBA from Royal Roads University. In January, 2013, Mike was promoted to Vice-President, NWC Services. In 2017, Mike was named Vice President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, Central Division.

Steve Boily - Vice-President, Information Services

Steve Boily

Vice-President, Information Services

Steve joined the company in 2016 as Vice-President, Information Services. He comes to The North West Company with over 20 years of information technology experience in the retail industry. Steve was previously at United Farmers of Alberta, a $2.2 billion agriculture cooperative with farm stores, gas stations, and convenience stores. Prior to this, Steve held senior IT roles at Canadian Tire and Hudson’s Bay Company. Over the course of his career, he has worked in all areas of IT including accountabilities for IT strategy, enterprise architecture, technology infrastructure, project management and delivery, risk management and call center operations.

J. Robert Cain - Vice-President, Logistics & Distribution, NWCI

J. Robert Cain

Vice-President, Logistics & Distribution, NWCI

Robert joined Cost-U-Less in April 1998 as logistics manager prior to becoming vice president of logistics on August 7, 2000. Previously, Mr. Cain had a 23-year career with Sea-Land Service (now Horizon Lines) involving a wide variety of management positions in regulatory affairs, carrier pricing & marketing, inter-modal, and sales.

Mr. Cain earned a bachelor of science degree in transportation from the University of Tennessee in 1975. When The North West Company (International) concluded the purchase of Cost-U-Less, Robert became the VP Logistics with responsibilities for the logistics of the international group (Alaska Commercial, Cost-U-Less, Span Alaska, and Frontier.)

David M. Chatyrbok - Vice-President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, NorthMart/Major Markets Division

David M. Chatyrbok

Vice-President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, NorthMart/Major Markets Division

David joined The North West Company in 2000. From 2000-2007, he held various management positions including Senior Category Manager and Director, within the procurement and marketing division.

In 2007 David was promoted to Vice President of Marketing for the Alaska Commercial Company. Prior to joining NWC, David spent 10 years with Zellers of the Hudson Bay Company in different capacities including operations as a store manager, and in the procurement department as a senior buyer. David holds a Masters of business administration from the University of Stirling. In 2017, David was named Vice President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, NorthMart/Major Markets Division.

Leanne Flewitt - Vice-President, Merchandise Performance Services

Leanne Flewitt

Vice-President, Merchandise Performance Services

Leanne joined NWC in May of 1993 as Associate Buyer in the Food Marketing group. Leanne progressed through roles in Procurement and Marketing and Supply Chain, holding the positions of Inventory Manager, Category Manager, Senior Category Manager,Project Business Lead and Director of Supply Chain Services. Leanne has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and an MBA in Executive Management from Royal Roads University. In January, 2013, Leanne was promoted to Vice-President, Merchandise Performance Services.

Matt Johnson - Vice-President, Fresh/Food Service Procurement & Marketing

Matt Johnson

Vice-President, Fresh/Food Service Procurement & Marketing

Matt returned to The North West Company in 2014 as Vice-President, Fresh/Food Service Procurement & Marketing. Matt previously joined NWC in 2004 as a Meat Assistant Category Manager and over six years progressed to head Category Manager for Meat/Seafood/Deli/Food Service. Matt then joined Price Chopper, a $5 billion regional U.S. food retailer based in upstate New York. He was promoted to the position of Vice-President, Meat Merchandising at Price Chopper in June 2013. He then held the position of Vice-President, Seafood and Meat Merchandising at Ahold USA, the fifth largest food retailer in the U.S. Matt is a graduate of Dalhousie University, Halifax (B.Com).

Laurie Kaminsky - Vice-President, NWC Health Products & Services

Laurie Kaminsky

Vice-President, NWC Health Products & Services

Laurie joined The North West Company in 2010 as Senior Manager Retail Pharmacy. In 2011, she became Director, Pharmacy Retail and Hospital. She brings to her expanded role a track record of pharmacy innovation and insight into the health services deliver to our markets. Prior to joining North West, Laurie has 20 years’ experience in retail pharmacy management, most recently with Walmart Canada.

Laurie is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (B.Sc, B.Sc. Pharmacy). In September, 2014, Laurie was promoted to Vice-President, NWC Health Products & Services.

Beth Millard-Hales - Vice-President, Human Resources

Beth Millard-Hales

Vice-President, Human Resources

Beth joined The North West Company in 2015 as Director, Employee Relations and Development and in 2018 was promoted to Vice President, Human Resources. Before joining NWC, she previously worked for many International retail and service sector employers including Monsoon Accessorize, Arcadia Group, Compass Group & Intercontinental Hotels, in relationships with third party clients such as BBC, British Telecom, Royal Mail, Tesco, IBM, KPMG, and Ford Motors.

Walter E. Pickett - Vice-President and General Manager, Alaska Commercial Company

Walter E. Pickett

Vice-President and General Manager, Alaska Commercial Company

Walt joined Alaska Commercial Company (ACC) in February 1997, bringing with him over 20 years of retail experience.  His career with ACC began in Cordova, Alaska as Grocery Manager. Walt has since served in a number of management positions including Director of Operations, Director of Food Marketing, and Grocery Category Manager. He also worked for the North West Company in Winnipeg for two years as a Food Category Manager. Walt earned his BS in Business Management from Metropolitan State College, and his MBA from the University of Colorado.

Glenn Revet - Vice-President, Sales & Operations, Giant Tiger

Glenn Revet

Vice-President, Sales & Operations, Giant Tiger

Glenn joined The North West Company in February, 2015, bringing with him an abundance of experience within the retail marketplace. During the past 7 years with Loblaw Companies Limited, he held the position of Senior Director, District Manager for the Real Canadian Superstore banner. Prior to Loblaws, Glenn spent 6 years with Wal-Mart Canada where he held various management positions throughout Western Canada.

As Vice-President, Sales & Operations, Giant Tiger, Glenn is accountable for leading the strategic and operational plans in Western Canada aligned to our corporate strategic direction for the Giant Tiger banner and in conjunction with Giant Tiger Stores Limited, Ottawa.

Chris Santschi - Vice-President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, National Division

Chris Santschi

Vice-President, Canadian Sales & Operations, Northern Canada Retail, National Division

Chris joined The North West Company in January 2017 and is accountable for leading the sales and operations strategy for the Northern Canada Retail banner in Canada’s far north. Prior to joining the company, Chris worked for several Canadian retailers in senior operations management roles. Most recently he spent six years as a Director with Sears Canada in Western Canada. Prior to that his diverse retail leadership background includes leadership roles with WMI International with the Winners and Homesense banners and FGL sports with the Sport Chek banner.

Michael Scott - Vice-President, General Merchandise

Michael Scott

Vice-President, General Merchandise

Michael Scott joined The North West Company as Vice President of General Merchandise in spring 2017. He brings to NWC a combination of Operations, Sales, and Marketing skills with strong governance experience across different industry sectors including traditional retail, omni-channel retail, wholesale and technology. Previous to NWC, Michael worked for Ben Moss Jewellers; he has also held leadership roles with Palliser Furniture in the EQ3 division and Gemini Fashions of Canada.

Amanda E. Sutton - Vice President, Legal & Corporate Secretary

Amanda E. Sutton

Vice President, Legal & Corporate Secretary

Amanda E. Sutton joined the Company in 2017 as Vice-President, Legal and Corporate Secretary after being employed as Senior Legal Counsel at The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company. Prior to joining Wawanesa, Ms. Sutton was the Vice-President and General Counsel at Trimac Transportation Ltd., 
a publicly-traded company, Trimac Equipment Leasing Inc. and TMS (GP) Inc. Ms. Sutton has also worked in the corporate departments of two top-tier Canadian based international business law firms. Ms. Sutton is a member of the Law Societies of Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba.

Jim W. Walker - Vice-President and General Manager, Wholesale Operations

Jim W. Walker

Vice-President and General Manager, Wholesale Operations

Seeking adventure and a company that fostered an entrepreneurial spirit Jim left his 16-year career with Safeway's Eastern Division in 2001 where he had served in every position from Courtesy Clerk to Store Manager.

Jim began his career with Alaska Commercial Company as the Grocery Manager in Barrow. Over the next six years he served as Branch Manager for the AC Value Centers in Kotzebue, Dutch Harbor, and Kodiak. In 2007, he accepted the position of General Manager at Frontier Expeditors, the wholesale division of Alaska Commercial Company. In 2008, following the acquisition of Span Alaska Enterprises he was promoted to Vice President and General Manager.

Rex A. Wilhelm - Vice-Chairman, NWCI

Rex A. Wilhelm

Vice-Chairman, NWCI

Mr. Wilhelm joined Alaska Commercial Company in 1984. In a 25 year career with the company, Rex has held a number of management roles including small store and large store manager, regional operations manager, food category manager, and Vice-President of Operations.

He was promoted to President and COO of ACC in April of 2005. With the acquisition of Cost-U-Less in December of 2007, he was promoted to his current role of President and COO The North West Company (International) Inc. Rex holds a BS in Agricultural Economics and an MA in Agribusiness Management from Washington State University.