Richard Martens

It sure does not seem like 50 years ago that I travelled every day by bus to North Kildonan to the MEI. While not a place that I achieved academic excellence those 3 years were meaningful ones for me. In reflecting back I have nothing but respect for the teachers who there with purpose and whose faith in some of the “younger generation” they must have, at times, questioned. I was there for 3 years and did not graduate(of my own doing). With hindsight failing 11th grade was  a real life lesson that i have never forgotten

I finished high school at Daniel Mac, then spent 5 years at United College and the UofM  getting an undergraduate and Masters  Degree in Economics.  Carole and I were married in 1969. She was an elementary school teacher in North Kildonan.  My first position after school was in the Economics Dept of the Bank of Montreal in Montreal. I subsequently had positions in research at the Manitoba Dept of Mines and Natural Resources and with the Bank of Nova Scotia doing marketing and new branch location evaluations.  Then about 40 years ago I found my way in to the commercial real estate development field.  I spent several years at a Winnipeg firm, Winfield Developments learning that business and then we relocated to Regina in 1978 to open offices there and in Saskatoon. The company was on an expansion path and in 1977 and 78 we explored the Alberta markets along with Minneapolis where we emigrated to in 1978. During the next 36 years I worked for Winfield as a local partner and then ventured out in my own in the late 80’s. I am still in the industry, at this point mostly looking after a few interests and consulting with a few groups I have had long relationships with. I have tried to give some time to local non profits with a real estate components to what they do and have served on some related Boards over the past 10 -15 years

Carole and I have 2 children, both married and living in Minnesota. We have 5 grandchildren ages 8 to 16. We are quite involved with all of them.  We are raising one, Jasmyn age 12, and helping in raising the 16 year  old. Its a long story. They are both our son’s children and jasmyn was in an unstable environment in 2008 when he was leaving with the military.  The courts after some effort awarded us permanent custody. Carole always says that this will either kill us or keep us young. The jury is still out on that one!

Mennonites  are a small community Minnesota. We know many of them but are no longer connected to a Mennonite church. We felt that we wanted to find a community based church and are active in a Presbyterian congregation just down the street from where we live. Our mennonite foundation though has remained with us and both Carole and I have been active with some local MCC efforts along with Ten Thousand Villages. One of Carole’s friends says we are the  most Mennonite Non Mennonites she knows

Finally I try to live an active life. With the exception of several orthopedic issues my health has been quite good and I am grateful.  Having active grandchildren is a motivator.  Through a group of younger friends  after running for years I found my way in to biking along with downhill and backcountry skiing and continue doing that.  Together we have had many trips to bike trails in Wisconsin and mountain slopes in the US and our favorite place, British Columbia

I am really looking forward to seeing many old friends in Sept