A year ago, just as an exercise, we started asking people "who would you like to see run for mayor?"
We hoped to compile a list of potential candidates to encourage a debate in advance of the 2010 civic election over what makes a good mayor.
We never expected the response we got, i.e. we never saw so many blank faces in our lives.
How many legitimate names did we collect? Try ZERO.
What was funny then isn't so funny now. Incumbent Sam Katz is facing off against one high-profile and several low-profile candidates. The high-profile contender is so unqualified that it's scary. And one of the low-profile candidates deserves to be a legitimate contender but isn't because the mainstream media won't treat him seriously.
They leave us no choice.
We have to step in and draft someone to run for mayor.
After much searching we have a candidate:
He's a businessman.
He's a sportsman.
He's a married father.
He overcame the odds to succeed through sheer determination in his chosen field and used what he learned as a springboard to further success.
Three years ago he was named as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40, a prestigious national award celebrating "young leaders of today and tomorrow..."
He's a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and the co-founder of a company that rakes in more than $10 million in annual revenue.
Meet Wade Miller, the potential new mayor of Winnipeg.
He's got everything we're looking for in a mayor.
At 41, he's young, and an exciting prospect. He's a new generation bringing new perspectives. How many times have you heard a politician yakking about the need to build for the future. Here's a potential leader who's actually going to be alive in the future.
He's a successful businessman, unlike other mayoral candidates who have never even held a real job in their entire working lives.
Not only is Miller a co-founder of Pinnacle Staffing Solutions, the largest recruitment firm in Manitoba, but he owns two Elite High Performance Sports Injury Centres; Performance Healthware, which provides braces and rehabilitation products; and one Booster Juice franchise.
You want a inspiration from a mayor? Read how Pinnacle Staffing motivates it's employees:
Purpose and Guiding Principles
Think big - Dream bigger than most people think practical; expect more than others think probable.
Believe in people - Treat them well, accept only the best and watch the magic.
Thrive on competition - Compete with ourselves to become better every day.
Welcome opportunities - A challenge is a solution waiting to happen.
Nurture growth - Success is best when shared.
Miller played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 11 years which is impressive enough, but how he got his job and how he kept it is the story. It demonstrates his character and why he would make a mayor.
He was a fourth-round draft pick in 1995, and, according to the Winnipeg Free Press "when he arrived at his first pro camp that spring, he was considered nothing more than training-camp fodder." Through will and determination, he made the team, and kept his spot season after season until retiring 11 years later.
Miller is a team player. He understands how to deal with difficult team-mates and outsized egos. He could use those skills in handling the parochial politicians at city council.
Three years ago his name was put on one of the most prestigious lists in the country---Canada's Top 40 Under 40.
The honorees are selected from a field of 1100 nominees by 25 members of an independent advisory board who come from many varied fields of endeavor. They use five criteria: vision and leadership; innovation and achievement; impact; growth and development strategy; and community involvement and contribution.
But nobody's perfect. We went looking for somebody who had something bad to say about Wade Miller. We found Jordy Wilson on Winnipegrant.com:
"I saw on Global that #34 retired from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Thank goodness, He may have been a local boy, but he walked around town treating people bad. He would flex his way to the front of the line, talk down to people, and totally misrepresent the Bombers in his capacity as a local football star. You watch guys like Walby and Black always make time for the fans. I am a season ticket holder and Im (sic) pretty sure Miller was the only player to think he was so good. Well he was awefull (sic). The only reason he was there was the Bombers thought he would put fans in the crowd. I dont think this cocky guy would even have any friends.
Thank goodness, now lets move on and produce a Grey Cup Winner. Our cahnces (sic) are better now."
Okay. We've done the scouting. Someone else has to do the signing.
But hurry. Winnipeg is running out of time.