Our Team

Margot Cathcart

Chief Executive Officer

margot.cathcart@RMEDCorp.ca

Margot Cathcart, grew up in rural Manitoba, graduated from Brandon University and after living in Japan and in Winnipeg, returned to Brandon with her husband to raise their two sons.  Describing herself as a “builder”, she has been involved on the ground up in product, business, and industry development.

Her private sector experience spans television, news media, information management, technology, agriculture, food, and financial services.  Over, the course of her career she has held numerous private sector management roles.

Most recently she has held senior management positions with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development developing provincial wide economic development programming and re-engineering operations to enhance knowledge management and operational efficiencies. 

Alexander Lavoie

Alexander Lavoie

Policy and Initiatives Manager

alexander.lavoie@RMEDCorp.ca

Alexander Lavoie, CITP, brings a spark of ambition and a practical approach to economic development. As a Certified International Trade Professional, he has worked with over 800 businesses in Manitoba, ranging from start-ups to multi-million-dollar corporations looking to expand operations and enter new markets. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Winnipeg and a Diploma in International Trade.

Having lived in Germany and South Korea for a combined total of 4 years, he has extensive international experience. Along with his ability to speak French and proficiency in German, he brings a passion for sustainable economic development, focusing on the circular economy and sustainable energy.

Deanna Fridfinnson

Economic Development Advisor

Interlake & Eastern regions

deanna.fridfinnson@RMEDCorp.ca

Deanna’s expertise is in rural economic and business development, working to build and support community. Deanna has worked to identify and innovate community economic development initiatives in the East Interlake Region for over 14 years. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Certificate of Municipal Administration, giving her knowledge of public administration, and community service organizations. She completed Economic Development Association of Manitoba’s Community Edge CED training and is motivated to help communities thrive through optimizing strategies that promote economic stability, diversification, and sustainability. As a former business owner, Deanna, actively participated in projects that support a healthy entrepreneurial culture in businesses development. In the Spring of 2022, she co-created with business colleagues, ten on-line business training modules called Build a Better Business Program for Community Futures Manitoba. She remains actively involved and lends her expertise to non-profit organizations and the Chamber of Commerce to support and strength local community.

Michael Asante

Research & Data Manager

michael.asante@RMEDCorp.ca

Michael Asante, is an Agricultural Economist at heart with research interests in international trade, agricultural policy modeling, and rural development. He obtained his bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ghana and the University of Hohenheim in Germany respectively, with a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Program). He received the gold medal for his Master of Rural Development program from Brandon University. Michael has worked with the Thünen-Institut in Germany as a research fellow and the Rural Development Institute as a Research Assistant. He speaks five languages including German.

 

Erin Gonzalez

Executive Assistant

erin.gonzalez@RMEDCorp.ca

Erin Gonzalez, grew up in rural Prince Edward Island prior to moving to rural Manitoba with her family in 1997. With over 15 years of private and public sector experience, she currently oversees the day to day administrative operations of the corporation. Erin is passionate for effective collaboration and is committed to the team contribution in completion of tasks, meeting goals, managing projects and delivering results, as required.

Funmilola Abiola-Odutola

Marketing and Communications Manager

Funmilola.abiola-odutola@RMEDCorp.ca

Funmilola Abiola-Odutola, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, is a Marketing Communications professional with expertise in marketing communication strategies, crisis communications, media relations, and social media management. With 15 years of experience in Marketing Communications, both as a consultant and an in-house expert, she has worked in Nigeria, Ghana, and currently in Canada. Funmi has managed communications for international brands such as Motorola, Motorola Solutions, SAP, Old Mutual, and Ajinomoto, among others. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Crawford University, Nigeria, and is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. Additionally, she volunteers in the media department of her religious organization.

Craig Soldier

Economic Development Advisor

Western region

craig.soldier@RMEDCorp.ca

Craig Soldier was raised and continues to reside on the Swan Lake First Nation. Married with three adult children and two grandchildren, he brings not only professional expertise but also a profound personal connection to rural Manitoba.

With extensive experience in First Nation governance and rural economic development, Craig has a proven track record of navigating both Federal and Provincial offices effectively. He envisions a collaborative approach to economic development, aiming to support the growth of rural Manitoba while ensuring sustainability for future generations.

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