David Pensato’s connection to the Exchange District stretches back to his teenage years in the early ’90s, when he regularly visited to shop at the fledgling, alternative shops and eateries, walk through the galleries and occasionally take in a movie at Cinematheque. Most recently (prior to becoming Executive Director in 2017), Pensato was best known in the Exchange District as creator and co-founder of the award-winning Alleyways Market (in the Exchange) in addition to working closely with a number of the District’s key partners on strategic planning, brand strategy and public engagement initiatives. As an innovator and brand strategist, Pensato’s eye for detail and ability to continually see the big picture (and beyond) compliment his love for the area, making him the ideal person to engage and interact with the Exchange’s many members, businesses, and visitors.
Operations, Community Safety and Beautification
Derek Manaigre, an expert in urban cleanliness and safety, is the Operations Manager at the Exchange District BIZ. Prior to joining the BIZ seven years ago, Derek worked for 10 years as Maintenance and Cleanliness Coordinator at the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, where graffiti removal and sidewalk sweeping became second nature. Before working for the BIZ groups, Derek dedicated over 15 years to operating a small organic dairy and mixed farm, where he learned the value of hard work and commitment. Now Derek juggles the mentorship and supervision of foot patrols and maintenance crew with image project planning and event orchestration.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Jen fell in love with the Exchange District as a young teenager when she attended her first Fringe Festival and experienced the magic of Old Market Square and the surrounding area. With a passion for art, culture, historical architecture, and unique local shops and restaurants, she feels at home in the Exchange and is excited to be part of a team helping to support and promote it. Jen’s theatre and video background make her a natural storyteller. She is eager to use these skills to engage the community and shine a spotlight on this unique and exciting neighborhood.
Special Projects & Executive Assistant
Sandy Klowak has always been drawn to the Exchange District. Whether it’s finding a cozy coffee shop to write in, stage managing indie theatre shows in the area’s many unique venues, or the two years she spent at Red River College’s Princess Street campus, the Exchange has always felt like home. With a background in journalism and project coordination, Sandy is delighted to be working for an organization committed to enhancing one of Winnipeg’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.
Special Assistant Administration, research & historical initiatives
Sabrina is passionate about history and feels lucky to be supporting an area with such remarkably unique old buildings and a small-town community feel. Along with running tours throughout the summer, she uses her B.A in History and love of telling stories to create original tours that show visitors what a truly complex and rich history our city has. She enjoys looking at the quirkier and untold histories that change the narrative a little bit, and shine a light on how fun history can be.