Stefano Grande leaves Downtown Winnipeg Biz for Children's Hospital Foundation

Stefano Grande leaves Downtown Winnipeg Biz for Children's Hospital Foundation

Stefano Grande will lead the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba starting in September. (Stefano Grande/Twitter)Stefano Grande, long known for his boosterism of downtown Winnipeg and overseeing its revitalization, is moving on to a new post.

After 14 years as executive director for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Grande is moving on to become president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

“It is with deep regret that we have accepted Stefano’s resignation. While we always knew this day would inevitably come, we must now come to realize that we have to share Stefano for the greater good of the city,” said Downtown Winnipeg BIZ board chair Diana Wiesenthal.

Grande, who will make the transition in mid-September, has helped spearhead a number of events and festivals in the downtown including Manyfest, the Farmers’ Market, Food Truck Wars and Ciclovia.

“When you step back and you take a look at the changes to the downtown, it’s been significant. It’s been the result of a tremendous amount of collaboration with the private and public sector,” said Grande, who also proudly notes that over his time as CEO more people have chosen to live downtown.

“I have been blessed and no words can express how much I will miss working with the board and my staff, and I am humbled by the energetic and dedicated team who have followed me on my journey to help transform our downtown into this livable, sustainable and vibrant place which we have all aspired too.”

Grande’s hiring by the Children’s Hospital Foundation was made after an extensive national search, according to Dean Schinkel, chair of the board of directors.

“With a proven track record of success and passion for his community, Stefano was the perfect choice to lead us into the future,” Schinkel said in a news release.

He lauded Grande’s track record of “ensuring service excellence with corporations, small businesses, and increased advocacy for the general public’s safety and housing for the homeless.”

Grande said he’s looking forward to the change in his career and opportunities to “lead the foundation to new levels of fundraising success [and] to positively impact children’s health across our region.”

Gary Rozak will continue to serve as interim president and CEO of foundation until mid-September, when the leadership change will take place.

Meanwhile, the search for a new CEO for the Downtown BIZ will begin immediately.

Grande says one of the challenges facing his replacement will be to create “new innovative developments” to revitalize places such as The Bay building and Portage Place.

Published at Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:30:30 -0400