FACILITYCalgary publisher Mark Kolke, in conversation with Trevor Winkler
June 26, 2018
I’ve only just met Trevor Winkler face-to-face, but we’ve had a connection that runs longer; we published his appointment at Regional Managing Partner at MNP in November 2013. More recently he was involved in the decision of MNP to become an advertising sponsor for FACILITYCalgary …
First impressions are often indelible ones – and few match the combination of a great welcoming smile and a handshake that reflects the strength you’d expect from a strong athlete and/or a bricklayer. My hand has barely recovered …
Trevor is a Partner at MNP LLP. In his words, "I manage the core services team at MNP Calgary, and have other leaders for Financial and Business Advisory Services - which include our incovlency and corporate recovery services". His shop of 170 of MNP’s 450 Calgary employees – has responsibility for Calgary and southern Alberta. National headquarters of MNP are in Calgary as well – but I’m getting ahead of the story.
Back to Trevor – born in Regina, middle of three sons. His family lived and farmed at Milestone, SK. Mom was a stay-at-home farm wife, dad was a farmer who worked in masonry to make ends meet. The family moved to Saskatoon, his dad moved into management with Graham Construction there. Trevor did grades seven through twelve in Saskatoon – strong student and athlete with hockey being his keen interest. He played Midget AAA, then played Junior Hockey for Kindersley Klippers for three years (forward, all-star, healthy statistics) – with bricklaying off-seasons, before entering the Commerce faculty at University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon where he earned his B.Comm in Accounting and played four years of hockey for U of S.
He joined MNP in Saskatoon where he completed articles to earn his C.A. designation. Married in 2002, the Winklers have three children. In 2013 Trevor was transferred to Calgary and took up his current position as Regional Managing Partner with responsibility for accounting, audit, small business consulting and tax services for Calgary and southern Alberta. Insolvency operates here too, but they report to others in the MNP national office hierarchy, also located in Calgary.
We discussed growth - the MNP history of growth my merger and acquistions - and Trevor replied, “MNP was started as a mid-market firm, and we are committed to stay a mid-market firm. We continue to see more than half our growth is organic."
Why are you successful? “I like what I do, I like the people I work with and I try to learn something new every day. I commit. Same way my dad committed to what he did. It’s about work ethic.”
What has held you back? “not much, but I’m a little bit impatient. Some moves didn’t happen as fast as I wanted them to be …”
What qualities distinguish your preferred colleagues, collaborators and suppliers?
… I like to work with people and suppliers who listen to understand my/our needs. Active listening matters – but in addition to that, they must deliver. I’m loyal, I don’t know that I’ve ever ground anyone on price. I like to do business with people I know, like and trust.
What distinguishes you that causes people to choose Trevor Winkler and MNP, and why do they do business with you, why have they hired you, over your competitors?
… we deliver on client needs, quality services, we work with the client to grow – and we want to see them succeed. I think our partners are involved in the field more frequently than others. We are partners and staff together – not working in self-serving silos; we want our clients matched with the partners and staff who best meet their needs, the people best suited for each client.
How would you describe your leadership/management style?
… I trust people – partners and staff – that they will make the right decisions. I’m there to help them. I hope they don’t feel micro-managed – they are high achieving professionals.
… I think I do. I work 35-80 hours a week – like most people in accounting we expect to work those long hours during tax season. I get five weeks of vacation a year, and I take them!
What do you lose sleep over, what do you worry about?
… everything! … keeps me up at night. I’m an anxious guy – but mostly it’s concerns about my family, my kids and their futures, their schooling, their success …
Who or what influenced you most – that has made a difference in your life, or that was a major turning point?
… taking three years off after high school to play hockey really helped me to mature as a person. And, it allowed me to get ‘the play’ out of my system – three years in Kindersley and four years at U of S. And, learning and articling at MNP in Saskatoon. Leaders challenged me, coached me – but nobody pushed me. I gained a clear idea of what it was to be an accountant.
… camping, family time. I like movies, family nights, board games and travel.
What do you read?
… leadership books. I’m a big fan of Patrick Lencioni and Jim Collins. Professional and business publications.
… Ford 2011 F150 pickup. The Winkler family vehicle is a 2010 Town & Country minivan.
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