TEDxWinnipeg is a 100% volunteer-run nonprofit, and the revenue we get from guest registration doesn’t come close to covering all of the event costs. As This leaves us dependent on sponsors to be able to bring everything together. With that in mind, we decided to chat with some of them about why they believe in TEDxWinnipeg. This is how we came to sit down virtually with National Leasing’s new Outreach Specialist, Kristin Cuma to talk about CWB National Leasing and why they’ve chosen to sponsor TEDxWinnipeg.

This isn’t your first time sponsoring TEDxWinnipeg, which we really appreciate, by the way! What draws you to the event? Were you familiar with TED before?

CWB National Leasing was proud to sponsor TEDxWinnipeg, and after a brief hiatus and a promising walk-through of last year’s event, our marketing department saw value in sponsoring this year’s event. We make an effort to support community development and education, both of which align well with TEDxWinnipeg. CWB National Leasing makes an effort to be innovative and ahead-of-the-curve wherever possible. Since TED and TEDxWinnipeg focus on spreading new ideas, there is some philosophical overlap between our mandates.

What’s it like to work for National Leasing – what is your role there, and personally, why do you do it?

I’m the brand-new Outreach Specialist at CWB National Leasing. Having been here for less than a month, I’m still learning my role in its entirety, however I manage all community investment initiatives and trade show activations.

Do you have any favorite TED or TEDx Talks that you would recommend to others?

I’m a huge TED fan, with my favourite TED Talks being:
The power of vulnerability, Brene Brown
Your body language may shape who you are, Amy Cuddy
My stroke of insight, Jill Bolte

What’s the best book you’ve read lately, and why?

A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

Considering neither one seemed to have much for assets, would you rather lease to Dumbledore or Gandalf?

Dumbledore, hands down

Why is National Leasing based in Winnipeg? We’re not known for being a “head office town” — what are people missing about Winnipeg – or are we missing something?

CWB National Leasing is based in Winnipeg because that is where it started. In the late 1970s by Robert M. Chipman who, along with colleagues Nick Logan and Tom Pundyk, addressed a demand for equipment leasing in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is the perfect place for a head office, you can reach either side of the country by air in a matter of hours. In addition, Winnipeg is a hub for innovation and we tip our hats to the many successful and prominent businesses that started in Winnipeg.

Our theme for this year’s TEDxWinnipeg is “Challenge”. What’s the biggest challenge in your industry right now, and how are you meeting it?

We are always working hard to stay ahead of our fintech competitors; we work to supply our customers with easy, fast, virtual solutions to equipment financing. Innovation is key to CWB National Leasing’s success. We run regular innovation waves, where a cross-section of employees is selected to create solutions to challenges using Innovation Engineering.

One of these innovation waves’ recent successes was the creation of CWB National Leasing Interactive, an instant-quoting app for our equipment dealer partners to quickly provide their customers with financing quotes.

Forgive the perception, but in the financial services industry, people might tend to imagine your building being filled with rows and rows of accountants staring at spreadsheets or maybe tapping into an old-fashioned adding machine with yards and yards of tape spilling onto the floor. So what’s it really like?

Yes, CWB National Leasing is a financial services company, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun! We operate by embracing four main values: Smart, Helpful, Creative, and Fun.

Smart – We conduct ourselves with wit and intelligence in all that we do.

Helpful – We’re here to assist our customers throughout the leasing processes including finding the right financing solutions for their businesses.

Creative – We’re innovative in our approach to business, always seeking to lead the industry with the best products and services for our customers.

Fun – We take a non-traditional approach to business financing that’s reflected in the humour and love for life we bring to the job each day.

CWB National Leasing’s head office is extremely modern, with an open-concept office, a lot of bright, natural light, and more than 230 pieces of artwork.

Is there one particular talk you’re especially looking forward to at this year’s TEDxWinnipeg? Blockchain, maybe?

Yes, Gord Parke’s Blockchain: Bitcoin & Beyond is one we won’t miss!