About Us

WTC Advisory Board


Rob McKelvey

Rob McKelvey

Retired (Former Financial Advisor - Sun Life)

I have recently retired from the financial services industry where I spent 28 years recruiting and developing financial advisors.

I have also been a long-time member of Calvary Temple and am active with the Men’s Bible Study group, and the Missions Committee and have served on the Church Board for several terms.

I am married with 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren.

Barry Vokey

Barry Vokey

Retired (Former Executive Director – JUST Training)

I graduated with honours from Red River College in Business Administration in 1975.  At that time, I accepted a management position with Woolco from September 1975 until May 1981 when I resigned for a new position as Operations Manager for the Interlake Human Resources Opportunity Centre in Gimli Manitoba.  I was the manager for 12 years until October 1993 when I was laid off due to downsizing by the Province of Manitoba.  It was during this time I took on an additional role to my duties as Manager, becoming an Employment Counsellor working with unemployed individuals on Provincial Social Assistance to secure employment.  This is when I discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my career as I enjoyed working with unemployed people to empower them to obtain meaningful employment.

I accepted the Manager/Employment Counsellor position with JUST Training in May 1995 until I retired 24 ½ years later on September 20, 2019.  This was the best job I ever had as I continued to assist unemployed people in obtaining employment.  This was very rewarding to me personally to see them grow to be successful in their lives.

I met Ron Bartlette about 24 years ago, became good friends, and worked with him in developing the Manitoba Career Development Association.  Ron was a visionary with great ideas and it was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with him.  I am truly honoured to be invited to sit on the Advisory Board for the Winnipeg Transition Center to continue to support Ron’s legacy.

Lorna Smith

Lorna Smith

Retired (formerly with Red River College and MPI)

I retired from Red River College after a 35-year career in the public service sector. I worked with a team to provide oversight and guidance on curriculum, in concert with qualified instructors, to facilitate student readiness for graduation and successful employment in support of Manitoba’s economy / industry.

In the 22.5 years previous, I was employed by Manitoba Public Insurance in a variety of progressively responsible positions. The last 10 plus years were spent in the Human Resources Division, primarily as a Staff Development Consultant. That’s where I truly realized my passion for helping others with their educational and employment goals. It was during this time that I met Ron Bartlette. Committed to helping others, he approached everything with unbridled enthusiasm, energy, sincerity, kindness and heart, always with the best interests of others in mind. We worked together to provide customized training and support to hundreds of employees, and I myself participated in the Winnipeg Transition Centre’s (WTC) training programs and classes. When I was asked to join the Advisory Board, I felt humbled, honoured, and accepted without hesitation. 

Ron’s legacy continues today with the same enthusiasm, care, quality, and commitment to excellence as demonstrated in WTC’s programs and services offered by those he chose and trusted to continue his life’s work. Thank you all for work you do!

Merle West

Merle West

Corporate Trainer

I have a passion for helping organizations hire, develop and retain exceptional people.

As a corporate trainer and activity-based facilitator in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, I am skilled at asking questions that uncover the real needs of employers and individuals.

My passion is helping others develop their potential. I am certified in Instructional Design and Development, Classroom Management, DACUM facilitation, virtual facilitation, DISC Behavioural, and Driving Forces analysis. I have also facilitated the five-day Practical Workshop Facilitation Skills Certificate program and the four courses in the Career/Employment Coach Certificate series through the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Transition Centre.

As an award-winning customer service professional, I have trained professionals to be remarkable coaches, service providers, sales leaders, and communicators. My corporate clients have included: Telus, BC Telephones, Workers Compensation Board of BC, Manitoba Tourism Education Council, Bank of America, Freightliner, and Bison Fire. For 30 years I was the voice of BC Credit unions and have done commercial voice work in BC and Manitoba.

I bring a desire to continue the highly respected work of the Winnipeg Transition Centre by offering useful suggestions and ideas in the areas of the course and facilitator development.

Personally, I am the past president of the BNI Aspire chapter and the resident council. I am a leader and faithful worker in my church community. My husband and I are proud to be residents of a thriving downtown Winnipeg community; where we take full advantage of the wonderful amenities and entertainment opportunities so close at hand. We are proud parents of Mike, an Emmy award-nominated animation director, and Patricia, a lawyer. Grandsons Josh and Luke keep us both busy and young at heart.

Sherri Cairns

Sherri Cairns

Certified Business Counsellor

I am a University of Manitoba alumna as well as a graduate of the University of Winnipeg PACE program in Marketing and Public Relations. I am a Certified Business Counsellor with more than 20 years of experience helping entrepreneurs from across Canada start their businesses. My passion is guiding creative entrepreneurs such as artists, creators, and musicians to put their vision into a traditional business plan and lead them to the next level in their entrepreneurial journey.

I also regularly deliver business planning workshops through the World Trade Centre, Creative Manitoba, and Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC). My work with MTEC included the development of several hospitality programs as well as programs in Tourism Entrepreneurship and Experiential Tourism.

I am a strong advocate for continuous learning and believe that true change and growth come from never-ending curiosity and imagination.

David Wiebe

David Wiebe

Business Development – Volatus Aerospace

I have a vast background in professional sales spanning security, pharmaceutical, food, and agricultural industries with a consistent track record as an award-winner and top sales producer. Drawing on my passion for the aviation industry, I employed my entrepreneurial spirit in launching drone technology in the security industry for Bell MTS Security and Automation. 

With 26 years of Business to Business (B2B) professional sales background in multiple territories in the Americas, I have an unrivaled record of success in corporate and public sector business development and account management. I also have a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree and a college diploma with a passion for continual learning and championing technologies to win new accounts. In my next venture, I will now harness my love for drone technologies, expansive client network, and world-class sales best practices to represent our organization as the Sales Director.

Debra Wutke

Debra Wutke

Retired (formerly with Red River College)

My affiliation with the Winnipeg Transition Centre began in the early part of 2001 on a project to assess the equivalency of the coaching and facilitation programs at WTC to certificate and diploma programs at the University of Winnipeg, PACE. I had the privilege of working closely with Ron Bartlette and Tracey Ediger in this endeavor and recall their passion for their programming and client success.

I have spent over 20 years in post-secondary education, developing and implementing programming; recruiting, coaching, and facilitating instructors; and building a professional network spanning multiple industries. I recently retired from Red River College and bring years of experience managing people and programming in the areas of Leadership and Management, HR, IT, Project Management, Business Analysis, and International Studies.

I’m honoured to serve on the Advisory Board.