The North West Company Inc.
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
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.
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.
Vice President, ACC Procurement & Marketing
Kyle Hill joined the company in 2018 in the newly created position of Vice President, Strategy & Special Projects. In 2019 he was promoted to Executive Vice President, People, Strategy and Technology. Kyle's previous experience includes positions at Google and NASA followed by three years at the Boston Consulting Group. Most recently, Kyle co-founded and was Executive Director of Teach for Canada, a non-profit organization that partners with northern First Nations to recruit, train, and support teachers. He has Bachelor, Masters, and Doctorate degrees in physics and mathematics and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford.
Vice President, Corporate Development.
Cole has a diverse skill set in real estate and development, with expertise in retail transactions. He has been instrumental in the Company’s growth strategy & community relations initiatives. Cole joined North West in 2009 as Manager, Store Development. He was promoted in 2012 to Senior Manager, Real Estate & Store Development and then in 2016 to Director, Real Estate, Store Development & Staff Housing.
Cole was born and raised in Winnipeg & graduated from the University of Manitoba. In 2019 Cole was named Vice President, Business Development.
Michael T. Beaulieu
Vice President, Canadian Store Operations
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.
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.
David M. Chatyrbok
Vice President, Canadian Procurement & Marketing
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.
Vice President, Logistics, Supply Chain & Distribution, 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.
Vice President, CUL 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).
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.
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.
Vice President, Finance
Kevin is a senior finance executive with over 20 years of experience in acquisitions, financial reporting, complex accounting, risk management and insurance, taxation, pensions and treasury in both public and private sectors. Kevin joined the Company in 2008 as Corporate Controller. Prior to joining North West he was a Senior Manager at KPMG LLP where he worked in Canada and internationally providing audit and advisory services for over 10 years in Canadian, US and European markets. Kevin has a B. Comm (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba, obtaining his CPA, CA designation in 2000.
Amanda E. Sutton
Vice President, Legal & Corporate Secretary
Amanda Sutton is the Vice President, Legal and Corporate Secretary at North West. In addition to being accountable for the provision of legal services to North West’s operations across Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific and the Caribbean, Ms. Sutton is also North West’s Privacy Officer and the executive lead for North West’s Governance and Nominating Committee. Prior to joining North West, Ms. Sutton was the Vice President and General Counsel (North America) at Trimac Transportation Ltd. and she also worked at two top-tier Canadian-based international business law firms (McMillan LLP and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP). Ms. Sutton has a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from the University of Calgary and a Juris Doctor from the University of British Columbia. Ms. Sutton is a member of the Law Societies of Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba.
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.
Bret J. Thomson
Vice President Construction and Store Planning
Bret joined the company in 2021 as Vice President of Construction and Store Planning. He brings over 20 years of experience in engineering, construction and management of complex capital projects ranging from several thousand dollars to over a billion dollars in both public and private sectors. He has worked throughout Western Canada as well as Ontario for several different contracting and engineering consulting companies as well as Manitoba Hydro.
Bret holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Manitoba and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Manitoba. Bret also has a background in emergency response and is a member of CAN-TF4 which is a national Urban Search and Rescue Team.