As a career civil servant with the Government of Manitoba, Tannis Mindell’s work often went unnoticed by the public, primarily because she has never been one to seek the limelight. Throughout her career, particularly in the early years, she often found herself as the only woman in the room. As she worked her way through the ranks of the civil service, she brought a woman’s perspective to important decisions that often impacted the lives of Manitobans.
Mindell’s first job after graduating from the University of Manitoba was as a summer student with the Department of Continuing Education and Manpower (a name which would never pass muster today). Mindell continued her rise through the ranks of the civil service, eventually being appointed Deputy Minister of Family Services and then Family Services and Housing.
In 2003, Mindell was appointed Secretary to Treasury Board, the first woman in that role in Manitoba’s history, and a role she kept for eight years before retiring in 2011. The Secretary of Treasury Board is one of the most difficult jobs in the civil service, as it means enacting the mandate of the governing party, while also being keenly aware that real Manitobans are impacted by any increases or decreases in spending. As the first woman Secretary to Treasury Board, she led by example, showing that women are more than capable of holding the top jobs in government, and the next two Secretaries to Treasury Board were also women.
Mindell led by example, exemplifying hard work, fairness and honesty, while inspiriting her staff to fulfill their responsibilities in a positive way. Her management style was collaborative, not confrontational, but also straightforward and pragmatic. During her time in Treasury Board, she worked with other Deputy Ministers to make often difficult processes more cooperative, with a concerted effort toward meeting common goals. With an eye toward the future generation of Civil Servants, and despite increasing responsibilities in some of the most challenging senior positions in government, she continued to identify and mentor future leaders throughout her career.
Following her retirement from the civil service, Mindell was appointed as chair of the Board of the newly amalgamated Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation. She led the Corporation through its challenging first years bringing together two formerly separate entities before retiring fully in 2016.
In addition to her career as a civil servant, Mindell has spent much time working for causes close to her heart and community. She has been a board member for the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, as well as a member of the selection committee for the Loran Scholarship which provides four-year undergraduate scholarships to students based on character, service and the promise of leadership. She has served as co-chair of the preview event for the Art ian Bloom installation at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Rady Jewish Community Centre and is an active fundraiser for the Riverview Health Centre Foundation.