In addition to the demands of his job as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, and the many challenges associated with raising six children with his wife Margaretmary (nee Downey), Bob continues to find the time as a volunteer to help with the fundraising and/or investment activities for St Paul's High School, St Paul's College and Sisters of the Order of St Benedict.
In recent years, Bob served as Campaign Chair for the St Paul's College Foundation, where he spearheaded the raising of over $1.5 million in support of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St Paul's College, University of Manitoba. This amount was in addition to the lead gift of $1 million from Art Mauro, himself. The Mauro Centre was established to promote understanding between peoples of different religious and cultural backgrounds, with the intention to develop and implement a new program of studies at St. Paul's College, including a doctoral and masters program in peace and conflict.
Prior to this initiative, Bob was Co-Chairman with Richard Bracken of the Jesuit Legacy Campaign which successfully raised $1.5 million for the addition of the Angus Reid Arts & Multi-Media Centre, new classrooms and cafeteria at the Grant Avenue location of St Paul's High School.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on May 15, 1947, Robert George Puchniak is the son of Benjamin Joseph and Rose (Gray) Puchniak. The history of Bob's family association with St Paul's High School began with his late uncle, Reverend Father Stan Puchniak, OMI, who was one of the founders and early teachers at St Paul's High School, when it was started by the Oblate Fathers on Selkirk Avenue in 1926. Bob's father, Ben '32, brother Clare '58 and two sons, Rob '89 and Michael '99 all attended the school. In total, more than 20 of Bob's immediate family and relatives attended the school, including Monsignor Stan Jaworski. To celebrate the family's involvement with St Paul's, Bob and his family have established a bursary at the school in the name of Reverend Father Stanley J. Puchniak, OMI.
While at St. Paul's, Bob represented the school in varsity football, basketball and hockey. He was Prefect of the Sodality and received the Leadership Award in 1965. He is a past Chairman of the St. Paul's High School Board of Directors.
Bob married Margaretmary Downey, May 16, 1970, and together they have two sons and four daughters:
Rob - Master of Arts (Theology), St. John's University. Married to Katherine (Grimwood); two children, Benjamin and Beatrice; living in Morristown, New Jersey; teaching and coaching at Delbarton High School, run by the Benedictine monks; completing his PhD. in Theology at Drew University.
Allison - Master of Science (Ecology), University of Alberta; living in Billings, Montana and working as a state biologist.
Megan - Completing her Master of Science (Biology), University of Waterloo.
Michael - Bachelor of Arts Advanced, University of Manitoba; enrolling in further studies at University of Manitoba.
Mary-Alex - Attending second year Arts, University of Manitoba.
Caitlin - Attending St. Mary's Academy in Grade 12.
Margaretmary ("Marnie") attended the Convent of The Sacred Heart in Winnipeg and also has significant roots at St Paul's. She participated in various St Paul's dramas while in high school; was Vice-Stick at St Paul's College, University of Manitoba, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1968; and her brothers, Pat and Jack, attended St Paul's High School.
Bob graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1969 with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree, for which he was awarded the University Gold Medal. He began working with Richardson Securities in the Underwriting Department in May, 1969 and has worked for the Richardson Family ever since, with the exception of a three year period at Gendis Inc. James Richardson & Sons, Limited is one of Canada's oldest and most prominent family companies, founded in 1857 and now in its fifth generation of shareholders.
One of Bob's most satisfying accomplishments was the co-founding of Tundra Oil and Gas Ltd. in 1980, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer for 15 years and today, continues as its Chairman. Tundra operates several hundred oil wells in southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan and is one of the core holdings for James Richardson & Sons, Limited.
Other career responsibilities included a five-year stint as an investment analyst in the Research Department at Richardson Securities where he specialized in coverage of the retail trade and another five years as Vice-President, Finance and Investments for James Richardson & Sons, Limited where he was instrumental in substantially expanding the Firm's exposure to the energy business and to private equity investing.
As Chief Financial Officer of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, Bob is an active member of numerous Boards of Directors for subsidiary and affiliated companies, including James Richardson International, Richardson Partners Financial Limited and Lombard Place Limited. In addition, Bob sits on a number of outside Boards, including billion dollar public companies such as Western Oil Sands Inc. and Opti Canada, Inc. Past Board memberships include Moffat Communications Limited and Richland Petroleum Corporation.
As a Chartered Financial Analyst, Bob has been President of the Winnipeg Society of Financial Analysts, a Director of the Financial Analysts Federation and Chairman of the Council of Examiners, Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts. He is also past Chairman of the Manitoba Teachers Retirement Fund, past Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Province of Manitoba and is currently a member of the Province's Debt Retirement Fund Allocation Committee.