Susan A. Thompson was the 40th mayor and first woman mayor of the City of Winnipeg. She was born in Winnipeg on 12 April 1947. Spending most of her youth in the city, she graduated from the University of Winnipeg Collegiate in 1967 and earned her BA from the same university in 1971.
Embarking on a successful career in retail, Thompson worked for Eaton’s and the Hudson’s Bay Company in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Montreal. Called home in 1980 after her father’s illness, she bought the family business Birt Saddlery, a long standing and well known local business, and embarked on a successful career as an independent businesswoman. In that capacity, she worked hard to break many barriers for women in business, eventually becoming active in a number of business organizations such as Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.
In 1992, Thompson threw her hat in the mayoral ring, winning the election in October of that year. She won a second term in 1995 and was instrumental in guiding forces in the fight against the Flood of the Century in 1997. Thompson did not seek a third term in 1998. Instead, in 1999, she was appointed as the Counsul General for Canada in Minnesota, the first woman to hold that position since it was instituted 30 years earlier. During her tenure as the Counsul General, Thompson actively promoted Canadian business and political interests with our southern neighbours.
Returning to Winnipeg in 2003, Thompson became the first and founding President and CEO of the University of Winnipeg Foundation, a position she held until 2011. The University of Winnipeg Foundation serves the University of Winnipeg in the areas of Students scholarships and bursaries, Capital projects, and academic enhancements.