Community Champion and Entrepreneur
Robert M. Chipman is one of the indisputable champions of business in this city. His name has to be one of the first that comes to mind after reading the description of the program’s business award category.
Through Mr. Chipman’s parent company Megill-Stephenson Company Limited, over 800 Winnipeg based jobs have been created with $420,000,000 in annual gross revenues. National Leasing is consistently voted one of the best 50 managed small companies in Canada. Any discussion of selling the largest leasing company in Canada or another one for that matter to other major eastern players is a non-starter. Mr. Chipman is committed to ensuring his businesses succeed here.
His business footprint and reach within Winnipeg goes well beyond the companies he controls. Chipman has served as a director on numerous and vital business operations in Winnipeg. Mentorship has been a real motivator for him to get directly involved in helping other businesses and individuals leading them prosper. Some of the most obvious bright young business leaders in the city are his sons Stephen, Jeoffrey and Mark. Mark may not have come back to Winnipeg early on in his career if not for his dad’s belief in Winnipeg’s future.
Making a difference is integral to him in community and education institutions as well. He has served as chair of multiple charitable, arts, education and sports organizations over many years. When Chipman chaired the United Way, he founded the Leaders of the Way program which has become one of the largest single components of the annual fundraising campaign. When you add the continued outstanding contribution of employees of Megill Stephenson to the United Way this one effort alone may be considered his greatest community legacy.
He’s even run for political office and has a long standing relationship with the liberal party where he tried to effect positive change where possible.
Far from saving the best for the last, it has to be acknowledged Mr. Chipman’s influential role in conjunction with his family to create the Manitoba Moose AHL franchise, True North Sport and Entertainment and the development of the MTS Centre. With respect to the latter, he was there every step of the way supporting his sons and the project because he believed a new arts and entertainment complex would make Winnipeg a better place to live and in particular encourage our young people to stay here.
In an address Mr. Chipman made as alumni at the St. Paul’s High School Ignatian Challenge Tribute Dinner in 2006, he described the twelve precepts he lives by each and every day. The first one he stated was “The winners in the world are those that give”. He goes further to describe what this precept means to him. “This is our city – we want to be proud of it. We all need to contribute to making it an increasingly better community."