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Executive Director


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.


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, as well as a stage manager for local indie theatre.


Office and Administrative Assistant


Alyssa has always enjoyed exploring the unique and culturally rich area of the Exchange, whether by foot or by bike. She utilizes her organizational skills in her position as Office and Administration Assistant to support the work of the BIZ and help improve office efficiencies.