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Susan A. Thompson

Susan Thompson

Community leader, entrepreneur, politician, diplomat, philanthropic fundraiser and proud lifetime Sponsor of HMCS WINNIPEG, Susan Thompson is a trailblazer and an inspiration to women everywhere.

She was the first woman to own her family business, the first women Rotarian in Manitoba, the first woman Mayor of Winnipeg and the first woman Consul General at the Canadian Consulate in Minneapolis.

A graduate of the University of Winnipeg Collegiate (Class of `67) and the University of Winnipeg (Class of `71), Susan enjoyed a successful retail career as international buyer with Eaton's and The Bay. In 1980, she purchased the family business from her father serving as owner and president of Birt Saddlery for 15 years. Elected Mayor of Winnipeg for two terms in 1992 and 1995, Susan led the City of Winnipeg through the largest crisis the city had faced in 100 years, known as the `Flood of the Century' over 21 days in the spring of 1997.

Susan led successful bids for the 1999 Pan American games; the 1998 Canadian Briar Curling Championship; the 1998 World Junior Hockey Championship; the 1998 Grey Cup; the 2001 World Indigenous Games; and the 1995 Winter Cities International Conference.

In 1999, as Canadian Consul General in Minneapolis, Susan served an eight-state territory consisting of 15 million people and $32 billion in Canada-US trade.

She returned to Winnipeg in 2003 to assume the role as founding President & CEO of The University of Winnipeg Foundation. Together with the extraordinary commitment of Foundation Board members and staff, she managed an unprecedented $38 million Endowment Fund and provided stewardship to over 7,600 donors. On September 16, 2011, just prior to Susan's retirement, the Foundation concluded the largest fundraising campaign in the University's history. Over $135 million dollars (nearly double the original campaign goal of $70 million) was raised in the `A World of Opportunity Capital Campaign' in support of student awards, capital projects and academic enhancements.

A well-known and highly regarded leader, Susan Thompson is a woman of passion, a strong proponent of achieving the impossible and someone who believes in reaching for her dreams.