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. Derek has been an invaluable member of the BIZ team for over a decade. He previously 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 balances the mentorship and supervision of foot patrols and maintenance crew with image project planning and event orchestration.
Strategic Initiatives Coordinator & Executive Assistant
Active in the local arts scene as well as a history nerd, Sandy has always been drawn to the rich creative and heritage offerings of the Exchange District. A Creative Communications grad, Sandy has a background in journalism and project coordination and is delighted to bring her skills to an organization committed to enhancing one of Winnipeg’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. Most recently she worked as Manitoba coordinator for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, after a stint as a news producer at CTV Winnipeg. In her spare time, Sandy is a visual artist exploring the obscure and nearly lost historic craft of Victorian hairwork.
Community Engagement & Activation Coordinator
Lindsay Somers joins the Exchange District BIZ bringing a deep love, appreciation and commitment to the Exchange District. She has over 15 years of experience specializing in communications, engagement and community building.
Living outside of Winnipeg, Lindsay got her first taste of the Exchange vitality in the early 90s taking MTYP theatre classes on Princess Ave. She returned to the neighbourhood after completing her degree in Theatre and Film to work with Guy Maddin as a producer and production manager. For the last 10 years she owned and operated her own lifestyle wellness studio above Parlour Coffee on Main St where she developed many successful community programs to engage people with movement as a lifestyle.
A passionate community leader and communicator, Lindsay has appeared on CBC, CTV and Global television to discuss lifestyle and health relevant to Manitobans. She has written and developed content for Canada’s national voice on active living ParticipACTION, The Forks, CancerCare Manitoba and Westjet Magazine.