BBB Building Trust October 2018

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who’s who

special edition

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SPOTLIGHT ON ACCREDITED BUSINESSES

G N I T A R B E L CE

S R A E Y 90

T S U R T G N I D L OF BUI ITY

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N COMMU R E G N O SS - STR

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*Trade-mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus used under license


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BUILDING TRUST BEGINS WITH ETHICS

S R A E 90Y of Building Trust in the Marketplace WITH THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF MANITOBA AND NORTHWEST ONTARIO hether they’re in the market for a new car, plumber or electrician, furniture or a renovation contractor, consumers turn to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for reliable business ratings and reviews. The BBB seal of Accreditation on a business website or storefront window is a symbol of trust, a well-known sign that inspires consumer confidence. The longest-serving BBB in Canada, the BBB of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario was incorporated in 1930. It has worked to build and enhance trust in the marketplace for multiple generations in the communities it serves, providing guidelines to ensure accredited businesses operate with honesty and integrity. Over the years, it has expanded services to consumers and the community, providing timely information about fraudulent schemes through its Scam Tracker website and establishing the BBB Foundation to promote ethics and fairness, for example. A non-profit, non-governmental organization,

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the BBB is funded by accredited businesses. It conducts background checks on businesses, assures licences are up to date, posts reviews and business ratings and provides objective adjudication and mediation services to help businesses and customers resolve any issues that may arise. Accredited businesses agree to operate according to a Code of Business Practices that includes assurances they will adhere to ethical standards of trust and honesty and promise to address any complaints in a timely fashion. Businesses appreciate the benefits of instant recognition of their standards, and the BBB symbol gives consumers peace of mind, knowing they are working with a company that embraces the BBB’s values. The BBB of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario works with some 1,200 accredited businesses in the region. Meet a few of them on the following pages. And learn more about services for consumers and businesses at bbb.org/manitoba. ❙

PUBLISHER Bob Cox

MANAGER OF NICHE PRODUCTS Barb Borden Barb.Borden@freepress.mb.ca

EDITOR Pat St. Germain pstgermain@mail.com

WRITERS Wendy King Geoff Kirbyson Janine LeGal Jennifer McFee Jared Story Jim Timlick

PHOTOGRAPHY Darcy Finley

DESIGN Jane Chartrand *Trade-mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus used under license

View online at

winnipegfreepress.com/ publications


Can you list the other services provided by the Better Business Bureau?

A History of Trust SERVING CONSUMERS, COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS FOR 90 YEARS

A Q&A with Better Business Bureau of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario President and CEO Len Andrusiak. The BBB of Manitoba and Northwest Ontario is celebrating its 90th year in operation. What is the significance of that milestone?

Our BBB office in Winnipeg has been in operation since 1930. We were originally established in Winnipeg by the Board of Trade, now the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. Out of 10 BBB offices in Canada, our BBB is the longest serving. We are part of an organization consisting of 101 incorporated non-profits across North America. Our brand is synonymous with trust and our team is honoured to promote the traditions that for 90 years have served our communities. For me, the most impressive legacy of our 90 years is all of the local businesses that have volunteered during that time to grow our brand through community service. What is the purpose of the BBB?

The BBB was started over 100 years ago by businesses that felt consumers were being misled by lies in advertising. These businesses wanted to hold themselves to a higher standard by building trust with consumers. Over the years we have developed numerous community service offerings. Our vision is an ethical

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BBB MAGAZINE Who’s Who Special Edition

marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other and our mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. OK, so people tell me the Better Business Bureau is the “bad guy in business” police. Can you explain?

That’s funny. I’ve heard that a lot. Actually, we provide impartial conciliation services that can move to independent mediation and arbitration if required. Our objective is to assist businesses and consumers before disputes are escalated to legal process. How do the BBB’s adjudication and conciliation services work?

Your dispute will be sent to the business in one-five calendar days from the date you filed the complaint. The business will be asked to respond within 30 calendar days from the date you filed the complaint. You will be notified of the business response when we receive it. If the business fails to respond, you and the business will be notified 31-35 calendar days from the date you filed the complaint. Complaints are usually closed within 35 calendar days. Any business that does not respond to a complaint will have their rating lowered. Any accredited business that doesn’t respond to a complaint will be recommended to the Board of Directors for revocation. During the process the consumer and business may agree to enter into third-party meditation or arbitration.

One of the main reasons the BBB was established was to deal with fraudulent advertising. We regularly monitor advertising in print, radio and television to ensure they meet our advertising standards. We also carry out investigations on operational discrepancies in businesses or specific industries. And our live interactive Scam Tracker website deals with scams reported in all neighbourhoods throughout North America at www.bbb.org/ scamtracker. This blends into another service that helps consumers to verify a business by confirming they are legitimate at www. bbbverify.us. If the business isn’t listed or has an N/A or low rating, you may need to gather more information before doing business with them. Due diligence before you buy is very important. It could save you time and possibly the loss of money. These sound like great services to assist consumers. What services do you offer businesses?

One of our primary services for business is the BBB seal of Accreditation. One thing that all businesses care about is their reputation in the community they serve. The BBB seal of Accreditation shows consumers that a business is committed to holding themselves to a higher standard. Businesses must be in operation for a minimum of six months before they are eligible to apply for accreditation. Businesses that meet the criteria for accreditation must adhere to the BBB Code of Business Practices (www.bbb.org/bbb-accreditation-standards). Accreditations are approved by the BBB Board of Directors. What is the Code of Business Practices?

The practices consist of a commitment to Build Trust, Advertise Honestly, Tell the Truth, Be Transparent, Honour Promises, Be Responsive and Safeguard Privacy. The BBB is very strict when it comes to holding businesses accountable. Accreditation for businesses that do not abide by the BBB Code of Businesses Practices will be revoked. The BBB website provides consumers information on businesses including a rating, complaints and reviews. What are the advantages of BBB ratings, compared to other online ratings and reviews?

For over 100 years consumers and businesses have engaged with and supported local BBB offices. The rating information provided on businesses is based on algorithms that use data gathered over time and community


BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF MANITOBA & NORTHWEST ONTARIO

engagement. Business ratings range from A – F. Businesses that haven’t updated their profile information after a three-year period will be given an N/A rating. Businesses with an N/A rating are encouraged to contact our office to update their information. In our territory serving Manitoba and NW Ontario, between 35,000 – 42,000 consumers come to www. bbb.org/manitoba every month to research businesses they want to work with. BBB is trusted in the community — other online services can be used to complement your research, but BBB is your home-grown service for background checks on a business. How are you funded to deliver these services?

BBB is funded primarily by accredited businesses that also guide the strategic direction of the local organization through their participation as directors of the corporation. All the BBB services provided can only happen because of local businesses

that believe in creating honest and trustworthy communities. All revenues generated by your local BBB are reinvested in and for your community. Community seems to resonate throughout our discussion. Why is that?

In a perfect world we all envision a community without homelessness, poverty, crime, addiction, violence, bullying and racism. If that horizon is our goal, the BBB strives to work with our communities to get as close as possible. The path focuses on core values which are components of ethics, which in turn build trust. Trust is the foundation for success in all communities. You have recently established the BBB Foundation. Can you explain the purpose of the Foundation?

We are the first BBB in Canada to establish a Charitable Foundation. Our Board of Directors envisioned a certificate program that would educate elementary, middle, high school and

BBB Foundation offers free to all businesses, our LIFT program that teaches the importance of ethics and personal brand and how both of those concepts affect them right now and in their futures. The workshop and project based learning curriculum offers an introduction to business ethics as well as personal character lessons. These lessons focus on topics like responsibility, character, values, and development. The program concludes with each participant presenting their project and signing the LIFT Commitment to Conduct. The LIFT Certification is offered to individuals who complete all aspects of the LIFT program, demonstrate knowledge of ethical standards for the workplace and have signed the LIFT Commitment to Conduct.

post-secondary students along with employees of businesses on the importance of ethical decision making and personal brand. The program is called LIFT (not an acronym), which is meant to lift ourselves to a higher level. The program is free to all participants and is delivered through a series of short workshops. Participants are introduced to three ethical standards and the five steps to ethical decision making. LIFT also covers the importance of your personal brand. Many predicaments in our lives can be traced back to questionable decision making. LIFT opens up the discussion among peers and defines how better decision making can impact your life in a positive way. Upon completion, participants are marked on an 11-point scoring rubric, recite a commitment to conduct and are presented with an ethics certificate they can attach to their resume. ❙ Learn more at bbb.org/manitoba

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SCHOOL | WORK | PERSONAL Participants can show current or prospective employers that they've completed a course in ethics and personal brand. That they've committed to upholding the LIFT Commitment to Conduct in their school, work and personal life.

Businesses & Post Secondary Schools interested in delivering the LIFT program should contact malarcon@manitoba.bbb.org or 204-989-9010 Canada Revenue Agency Charity # 758513725RR0001

Who’s Who Special Edition

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BACKYARD PARADISE SUNROOM DESIGN

Backyard Paradise Sunroom Design founder Roger Beaulieu focuses on improving clients’ quality of life. Photos by Darcy Finley

On the Sunny Side BUILDING A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE BY JIM TIMLICK

oger Beaulieu had one of those career-defining moments soon after getting his start in the home renovation business 36 years ago. “As a young businessman who was still learning how to do all this, I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this and not something else?’ ” he recalls. “I could have been selling financial services or doing a number of other things … but I chose to do this. I realized early on my purpose was to improve the quality of life for my clients. That’s my mission. If I can improve the quality of their life by putting together a nice sunroom or deck or landscaping, something with taste that’s going to last, then I’ve achieved my purpose.” More than three decades later, Beaulieu’s mission hasn’t changed, although his focus has shifted. After nine years as an independent contractor for Headingley-based sunroom system

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manufacturer SunCo Sunspaces Inc., he launched a new business, Backyard Paradise Sunroom Design, this January. The timing was right. SunCo Sunspaces was withdrawing from the customer services side of the business to concentrate on its manufacturing operation. Now Backyard Paradise is one of a handful of SunCo authorized dealers in Manitoba, specializing in the design and installation of premium quality sunrooms. The company has the ability and experience to build any kind of sunroom, from gabled and studio sun spaces to four-season and freestanding structures. Beaulieu says it was a no-brainer to continue his close relationship with SunCo. He knows from experience that the company is committed to quality and durability. The SunCo Sunspaces system is designed to last a lifetime and requires almost no maintenance. Another plus is the system’s flexibility. It can be used to build virtually any size of sunroom.

“We can build some really big sunrooms — much bigger than a lot of our competitors can because we use a post and beam assembly. To make the sunroom larger we just add more beams and more posts,” he says. Beaulieu personally handles all the design work and employs a crew of four installers, a number he expects to grow along with his business. While growth is important, Beaulieu says growing the right way is essential. That’s why obtaining accreditation through the Better Business Bureau was a priority right from the get-go. “I think the BBB accreditation is another level of scrutiny that allows both consumers and vendors to be transparent. There’s a third party there that supervises interactions between clients and the business. It’s beneficial to both sides of the equation.” ❙ To learn more, visit Backyardparadisedesign.com or call 204-294-8845.


COMMISSIONAIRES MANITOBA

A Secure Foundation PROTECTING AND SERVING FOR 80 YEARS BY JIM TIMLICK

ommissionaires Manitoba is celebrating its 80th birthday this year, but the non-profit service organization is showing no signs of slowing down with age. In fact, the storied institution seems to have an extra spring in its step as it continues to grow and expand its services. Commissionaires Manitoba was created in 1938, with a mission to provide meaningful employment for veterans, including former members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP. While helping veterans is still a primary focus — more than 60 per cent of its employees are veterans — its mandate has evolved over the years. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to contribute to the safety and well-being of their fellow Canadians. They may be working as security guards, performing criminal record checks or in non-core policing roles such as guards at one of the province’s 65 RCMP detention facilities. And Commissionaires Manitoba has rolled out new services such as an alarm monitoring and response centre that

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dispatches its own security responders. “I think the fact we’ve been around 80 years says we run a good organization,” says Commissionaires Manitoba chief executive officer Tom Reimer, who had a 30-year career with the Royal Canadian Navy before joining the Commissionaires in 1998. “We only hired veterans back then. We were a substantially smaller organization then. In order to expand the business, we didn’t have enough veterans so we hired others. We’ve become a business-oriented organization and a more successful business.” It’s also become a more diverse organization. More than 50 per cent of employees are of Indigenous descent and nearly half are female. “It’s not a case of we’ve provided initiatives to (achieve) this. It’s just a reflection of our community. Our makeup just reflects the cultural mosaic that is Manitoba,” Reimer says. “We take the best people for the job.” Many of those people have been with the organization for 20 years or more. Even more impressive, the turnover rate is just 14

per cent, compared to the national rate of 65 to 70 per cent for most private security firms. “A lot of it has to do with the fact we treat them as adults. Plus, we believe in giving them outstanding training,” says Reimer, adding Commissionaires Manitoba provides an additional 40 hours of training over and above the 40-hour provincially mandated security guard training course. There’s something else that sets Commissionaires Manitoba apart. “Interestingly, we’re the only guard company that is an accredited Better Business Bureau business,” Reimer says. “We’re governed by ethics and so is the Better Business Bureau. That’s why they’re a natural fit for us.” ❙ Learn more at commissionaires.ca/en/manitoba. Commissionaire Joseph Do keeps an eye on security monitors at Commissionaires Manitoba’s monitoring and response centre. Photo by Darcy Finley

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KAT RENO

Doing it right — the first time! AT Reno and Maximum Impact Plus are a perfect partnership. The husband-and-wife team of Kevin and Angie Kendel have merged their independent strengths, creating a dynamic duo of design and renovations with more than 50 years of combined experience. The KAT Reno Inspiration Showroom at 1924 Main Street showcases just a small sampling of their award-winning projects and product lines. “We are very particular about the product lines we choose to represent. We want to ensure we align ourselves with only the most reputable manufacturers. We are confident when we bring clients to the showroom that they will have the best options available for their renovation projects. “It is such a pleasure to walk the client through the complete design and have all the samples at our fingertips so the client can see and feel their new look.” A proud Gold Award Winner of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association RenoMark program and a member of the (Bryan) Baeumler Approved Program, KAT Reno specializes in a wide range of interior and exterior renovations — kitchens and bathrooms; windows and doors and Hunter Douglas window coverings; feature fireplace walls; rec rooms and lower levels; sunrooms, decks and siding; and complete interior redesign, including wall removal. Angie is an Interior Decorator and Home Stager and she is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist who incorporates functional elements in design plans to create the best space for clients now

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KAT Reno is currently offering 15% off kitchen cabinetry until the end of December 2018. Supplied photos

and for years to come. Once we have addressed the details, we get to the fun part of the 3D design. We can design a kitchen or bathroom for you and email you a link so you can stand in your old kitchen or bath and turn 360 degrees while seeing your newly designed space on your phone or iPad! A perfect custom designed space is all in the details, but you need the right professionals to ensure the space reaches its full potential. Communication is vital and having a cohesive team, from your design professional to project manager to your finishing carpenter all on the same team, is the key to the most

successful renovations. An accredited Better Business Bureau business, KAT Reno has built a reputation on honesty, integrity and pride of workmanship. Our slogan — ‘Doing it RIGHT the First Time!’ — says exactly why we stand behind our work. We work closely with our customers to build a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. Many of our customers have become extended family over the years with repeat business and referrals being the cornerstone of our business. ❙ To learn more, call 204-668-7500 or visit KAT Reno online at katreno.com.


Accessibility is...

Good for your customers. Good for your business. One out of every six Manitobans face daily challenges with accessibility. To help remove barriers to access, the Manitoba government passed The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) in 2013. All businesses must offer accessible customer service, effective November 1, 2018. It’s not only the right thing for you to do - it’s the smart thing to do. Offering flexible, barrier-free customer service can only help your business grow.

Learn more about how your business can meet the new accessibility standards at www.AccessibilityMB.ca

Open for everyone.


ESHINE CLEANING SERVICES

Keeping it Clean YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR SHINES IN THRIVING BUSINESS BY GEOFF KIRBYSON

t’s a good thing Elias Torres was short on cash when one of his buddies told him that his office needed cleaning, or he might still be bouncing from job to job. At 24, he was stocking shelves for Pepsi and bartending, so when the opportunity to clean the office came up, he figured, ‘Why not?’ “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I needed extra money at the time. I saw you can definitely make some money from it. I started getting offices and bars (to clean), anyplace I could get my hands on,” he says. You can imagine how much fun it is to clean up a bar after a raucous Saturday night, but Torres did it. “I was all by myself. Sometimes, it would take six or seven hours. You have no clue what you’re doing to start, how long it will take or what to charge,” he says. Torres had precisely

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zero experience in the cleaning game, aside from tidying up his bedroom when he lived with his parents, so when he got his first gig, he raided their house, naturally. “I just grabbed their vacuum and cleaning solutions and stuff I could find around the house.” Luckily, it was enough to do a good job and soon after, he started his own company, eshine Cleaning Services in 2012. He hired his first employee 18 months later. Today, he has more than 60 people on the payroll. Now a stickler for cleanliness, Torres started getting referrals from all kinds of businesses, including restaurants, some Shoppers Drug Mart and Giant Tiger locations and even building construction sites. Word of mouth gave him his biggest opportunity — the hotel business. His company is the only one in Manitoba that has been outsourced to do housekeeping, and he believes the hotel side has the biggest upside potential for eshine.

“That’s where we definitely want to grow. There aren’t a lot of companies in Canada doing it. It’s a very European thing. All the hotels do it over there.” Torres also takes great pains to ensure his website is top-notch because he feels it differentiates him from less techsavvy competitors. “Everything is technology these days. You have to be updating your website or else you’ll start falling behind. Being younger in the janitorial business gives me an edge,” he says. It also helps having Better Business Bureau accreditation. Torres says it provides his operation with a most valuable commodity — credibility. “It shows that the business is legit. A lot of businesses aren’t and you can tell. It’s a third-party validation and I’ve got lots of work because of it. People go online and see BBB and that gives them comfort.” ❙ Learn more at eshinecleaning.com

eshine Cleaning Services founder Elias Torres’ business keeps growing, thanks to positive word-of-mouth referrals. Photo by Darcy Finley 10

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GREAT WHITE BEAR TOURS

Luxury and Magic on the Canadian Tundra CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF HEARTFELT SERVICE WITH GREAT WHITE BEAR TOURS his year marks Great White Bear Tours’ 30th year of connecting people with polar bears within the beautiful tundra habitat that sustains them. Most people who make the journey north to witness the magic of Churchill’s polar bears will do so just once in their life. For this very reason, Great White Bear Tours – rated the #1 attraction in Churchill – have been committed to providing only the highest-quality polar bear experience imaginable, facilitating the journey of a lifetime. What makes a Great White Bear Tours adventure most memorable? The company’s dedication and love for the Churchill community, their closeness to family, their appreciation for the well-being of arctic wildlife, and their ultimate desire to share it with others. If you have the opportunity to meet owners Marilyn and Don Walkoski, their family, and their team, you will understand that Great White Bear Tours is committed to excellence through and through. They care deeply for the world, exemplified in the service they provide and their generosity towards their community and the greater society. The company has set the highest standard for environmental leadership and responsibility, not only directed at the world of the polar bear, but towards the world as a whole. Your journey with Great White Bear Tours begins the moment you arrive in Churchill and board their custom-designed, state of the art Polar Rover – a spacious six-wheeled tundra vehicle equipped with luxurious plush seats, flush toilets and the perfect vantage point to photograph and witness polar bears. Documentation of the landscape and wildlife is a significant reason the company exists today – responding to a desire by photographers and researchers to get a closer view of the stunning natural phenomena. On your journey, you can expect to make friends with the Polar Rover driver and guide who is highly knowledgeable of the local area and customs and who is eager to share unforgettable stories and compelling information about the land, animals and people that inhabit it.

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The company’s policy to limit the number of guests per tour to 24 allows enough space for each guest to experience a comfortable, unobstructed view of the polar bears and surroundings. You can venture out onto the viewing deck to get appropriately ‘up-close and personal’ with the majestic animals. “We were in Churchill in early November for polar bear season and had a great time! Great White Bear Tours took care of shuttling our tour group around town. Lindsay is funny, accommodating, and very safe on the streets of Churchill. She was so proud to show us around her town. Out on the tundra, Val was amazing. She got us close to plenty of bears, fox, and hare. She was always on point and took care of each and every guest in the most professional way.” - RJM There is a certain haunting beauty in Churchill – a unique cold that renders you more present and helps to attune you to the amazing world around you. In special celebration of Great White Bear Tour’s 30th Anniversary they will be sharing stories and memories from the field, told by friends, family, employees, and community members in Churchill. Take in the memories as they share them on their website www.greatwhitebeartours.com, and in a 30-year Memoriam, set to come out December 2018. “And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, in dimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” - Pico Iyer Some memories are unforgettable – join us and your love affair with the polar bears will last forever. ❙ Learn more at greatwhitebeartours.com Who’s Who Special Edition

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TORINO TILE & STONE

Co-owner Sandra Nelson (left) and staff member Ashley Seniuk make customer service a top priority at the Torino Tile & Stone showroom. Photo by Darcy Finley

Set in Stone CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE TOP PRIORITY AT TORINO BY JIM TIMLICK

onsidering they’ve won eight consecutive Consumer Choice Awards, it should come as no surprise that the owners of Torino Tile & Stone make customer service a top priority. In fact, it was customer service that prompted husband-and-wife co-owners Wayne Smith and Sandra Nelson to purchase the family business nine years ago. They were planning home renovations at the time and had become frustrated with the level of service they received while shopping for tile — until they walked into Torino’s showroom at 3 St. Mary’s Road. They were so impressed they jumped when they found out the business was up for sale. “We just felt there was a niche for people who wanted quality service. It seemed like it was something that was lacking,” recalls Nelson. “I think if you give people good service and sell good products you’ll succeed.”

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Over the past decade, they’ve lived up to their commitment to providing quality service and products for bathrooms, kitchens, fireplaces and flooring. “Our goal is to exceed our customers’ expectations,” Nelson says. “We help plan out your space so it not only looks beautiful but it fits with your lifestyle.” Another factor that sets Torino apart is its installation service. Having experienced experts in-house rather than farming the work out to subcontractors means the company maintains quality control over the finished product. “We pride ourselves on quality work that is done for the long-term. We are about doing meticulous work that will have longevity,” Nelson says. Whether they plan to use the service or install tile themselves, staff work closely with all customers at each step of their project. More than 5,000 tile samples are on display

in the showroom, and Torino Tile & Stone has access to more than 40,000 styles of tile from 12 suppliers in Canada and the U.S. “We help do-it-yourselfers choose the right product and give them tips and advice on how to use the product,” Nelson says. “We want to sell people the best product possible within their budget. We explain all the dos and don’ts to make the job easier for them. We don’t want to just sell you a bunch of product and send you home.” As part of its commitment to customers, Torino Tile & Stone has had Better Business Bureau accreditation since May 2015. Nelson says it helps to assure clients that they’re dealing with a reliable company and are getting full value for their money. “People want assurances they’re going to get something that is quality. By being associated with the Better Business Bureau it gives people confidence to deal with you.” ❙ To learn more, visit Torinotile.com


©COLE MOSZYNSKI

Your Adventure Starts Here

by Brandi Hayberg and Jessica Finn

DINE BENEATH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS As the evening sky envelopes the landscape in darkness, faint streaks of green begin to stretch up from the horizon. The brightening curtain of light begins to move as in a crescendo and the northern lights snap to life. The din of conversation fades as the breathtaking aurora borealis dazzles above.

©JACQUELINE YOUNG

The panoramic windows and skylights overhead offer a nearly unobstructed view of the snow and skyscapes around you. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, filled with delicious aromas and the sound of clinking glasses. Your hosts set the first course before you, part of a meticulously curated menu inspired

by this storied place, featuring regional delicacies from land and sea.

©HANDCRAFT CREATIVE

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magine crossing the frozen Churchill River as the lights of town gently fade in the distance. As you approach the opposite snow-steeped bank, you notice a new glow, like a beacon lighting your way. It’s -35 degrees Celsius and as you step outside the Tundra Buggy® the crisp air threatens to bite your cheeks but is just as quickly forgotten as you enter your warm, safe haven for the evening: a one-of-a-kind, pop-up restaurant.

Welcome to Dan’s Diner, a remote culinary adventure like no other. Join one of our Northern Lights and Winter Nights Enthusiast adventures to guarantee your seat today.

Inquire about booking an entire seating for your group, or join our wait list for individual tickets.

1 800 663 9832 | dans-diner.com


CANADIAN HEALTH CARE PRODUCTS

Keeping Canadians in Motion ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, EQUIPMENT AND EXPERTISE EMPOWER OUR CLIENTS or more than 25 years, Canadian Health Care Products (CHCP) has been a trusted provider of assistive medical devices and equipment, helping to empower clients with limited abilities due to injury, birth defects, age-related degeneration or cognitive impairments. CHCP has many roles, including retail sales, rentals, a service department and clinic space available for custom work, client therapy and specialized services. Along with a large retail storefront, CHCP acts much like a pharmacy that dispenses prescriptive devices, including larger pieces of durable medical equipment as well as daily living aids, bathroom safety devices, wheelchairs, lift chairs, hospital beds and custom seating. “We primarily use our clinic for custom seating and positioning, which includes specialized back systems and moulded cushions that we provide on wheelchairs designed for people who need to be supported in a very specific manner. This works to eliminate pressure points possibly resulting in sores or wounds and/or any kind of medical occurrences that could happen from not being in the right position,” says Karen Veldkamp-Perry, who co-owns the business with her husband Joe Perry. “We always have specialists on hand who are ready and willing to help.” During the last five years, a specialist has also been available to provide expertise for people with urological or bowel issues. “The specialist takes care of and answers questions for anybody inquiring about incontinent problems or who may have issues due to mixed messages or dysfunctions of the bowel or bladder,” Veldkamp-Perry says. “We not only have adult diapers, briefs and catheters, but also bowel maintenance products and a customized program that delivers supplies directly and discreetly to your doorstep.” Samples are always readily available to ensure the proper protection is obtained. As another added service, CHCP has a huge rental department that provides all types of equipment necessary to recover from illness and injury, or simply for a try-before-you-buy option. “For quick discharges, from many of the major hospitals in Winnipeg, we have a pool of standard equipment ready to go for those who need durable medical equipment such as crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and lift systems, all available

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Karen Veldkamp-Perry co-owns Canadian Health Care Products with her husband Joe Perry. Photos by Darcy Finley

for temporary versus long-term use,” Veldkamp-Perry says. “To help with the customization, intricacy of power mobility and specialized equipment, we also have a very long-standing and credentialbased service department that has knowledge in all kinds of medical equipment, including power mobility and manual devices.” In addition, CHCP has Better Business Bureau accreditation and an A+ rating, which provides peace of mind for clients. “Because of the type of clientele that we deal with, which can be vulnerable and primarily mature adults, they appreciate having the knowledge that there’s someone who can verify we are a good quality company and they

are not going to be taken advantage of,” she says. “We service any and all who have limitations of any type, whether it’s chronic, acute, neurological, cognitive or even superficial. The type of equipment and the type of services that we provide is often to a very special population who seek understanding and a company that is trustworthy, so they like to know that we are in good standing with the BBB.” Simply put, we primarily serve to “Keep Canadians in Motion.” ❙ To learn more about Canadian Health Care Products, visit chcp.ca, call 204-832-9963, email info@chcp.ca or drop by in person at 6-3166 Portage Ave.


EXCEL PLUMBING AND HEATING LTD.

Owner Lionel Boulet with sons Stefan (middle) and Dylan. Photo by Darcy Finley

A Tradition of Excellence HIGH STANDARDS ARE GOOD FOR BUSINESS AND ITS CLIENTS n an age when a potentially substandard service call is just the click of an online ad away, it’s encouraging to know there are still experts out there who excel at what they do. And if the name of Lionel Boulet’s business didn’t give it away, his work ethic certainly would. As founder and owner of Excel Plumbing and Heating Ltd., a long-running provider of commercial and residential services, Boulet takes pride in remaining reliable and reasonably priced — even when his competition is running hot and cold. Having started Excel as a one-man operation in 1994 — fielding residential calls from his garage in Lorette — Boulet was soon expanding the company, amassing more (and more large-scale) commercial work, setting up shop in a new Winnipeg location on Plessis Road, and extending his team’s reach as far as northern Manitoba and even Ontario. A journeyman plumber and certified pipefitter, Boulet completed his apprenticeship training through Red River College in his mid-20s, later serving with J. Omand & Son and Fort Garry

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Plumbing and Heating before striking out on his own. Now specializing in repair and renovation projects — everything from hot water tanks and in-floor heating to gas piping installation and sewer and water hook-ups — Boulet is in good company, given that a penchant for hands-on trades work seems to run in his genes. “My dad was a custom builder, so the trades have always been in our family,” he says. “My one brother is a plumber who has his own company, I’ve got another brother who has a heating company, and another brother who has a sewer and drain company.” Even Boulet’s sons are carrying on the family tradition. Dylan, 26, is also a journeyman plumber and pipefitter, while Stefan, 21, is a fourth-year apprentice. Naturally, both are regular presences at their father’s job sites. Boulet says all his employees model the Excel ethos while out on the job, delivering honest, high-quality work and upholding a standard of self-sufficiency, professionalism and respect. It’s a mandate that’s served him well, as both a tradesman and an entrepreneur.

“You need to have respect for your employees and your customers,” says Boulet, an outdoorsmen who enjoys hunting, fishing and golfing — plus the occasional motorcycle road trip. “There’s not always as much work nowadays, and there’s too many guys out there that are under-cutting the competition. It’s why we stay at our same price … we’ve got a fair price, so we’ve stayed with it.” Since much of his business relies on word of mouth, Boulet is committed to cultivating a good reputation with his clients, one he says is strengthened even further by his accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. “We’ve gotten quite a few references and jobs from there,” he says of the BBB’s online profile for Excel, which as of this fall boasted an A+ rating. “People check online nowadays before hiring companies. If your accreditation is good, that’s a good thing — for you and them.” ❙ Learn more at excelplumbingandheating.ca Who’s Who Special Edition

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Garage door specialist Stan Summers is ready to roll 24/7. Photo by Darcy Finley

THE GARAGE DOOR KINGS

The Royal Treatment GARAGE DOOR SPECIALIST PROVIDES SERVICE 24/7 certain dragon-heavy HBO epic would have you think otherwise, but the phrase “winter is coming” doesn’t always have to be cause for alarm. Just ask Stan Summers, Winnipeg’s reigning Garage Door King. The onset of snow signals an uptick in opportunities to cement his status as garage repair royalty. “The busiest time for this industry is the winter,” says Summers, who takes a 24/7 approach to customer service. An industry veteran of more than 20 years, Summers has made a name for himself providing same-day service to commercial and residential clients throughout Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. He offers a full slate of services — from fixing high-tension springs and broken motors to new installations and full replacement of doors that have been damaged or driven into. Having Better Business Bureau accreditation assures customers that Garage Door Kings is a company they can trust, and Summers is there when they need him, responding to

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evening and weekend calls at no extra charge. Not surprisingly, most of his customers are pretty relieved to hear back from him, since their needs tend to be of the “urgent” variety. “I go to a lot places where they’ve called and called other people — and finally they’ve got a human being on the phone, and finally they’ve got someone who will come out in the evening, when everybody else is closed at 4:30 p.m.,” he says. “It’s more the commercial [clients] who are calling you at 2 a.m., whereas the residential [clients] will call you at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., when they get home and find their garage door is broken.” During the winter, garages serve an obvious function— keeping vehicles warm and tools and equipment safe and secure. But a wellmaintained garage door can also improve a home’s curb appeal. Though he still encounters his share of old-school tilt doors, the industry has come a long way from when his father and uncle plied the same trade decades ago — back when it was common for garage door openers

to trigger the neighbour’s door halfway down the block. “There are a lot more styles and a lot more colours,” he says. “And the technology has improved, because now you’re starting to be able to run your garage door from your cell phone.” In addition to residential work, Summers services fire exits and storefronts, along with the rolling, sliding and security doors found in shopping malls and fire or police stations. He has a team of sub-contractors to help with installations, and while his year-round availability keeps him hopping, he says most days, it’s good to be king. “You’re dealing with the public and you get to travel quite a bit,” he says, noting his constant criss-crossing of the city allows him ample opportunity to stop in at home to see his newborn daughter, Shyla. “You get to go to a lot of different places, and meet with a lot of different people. You get to see a lot of what’s going on in the world.” ❙ Learn more at thedoorking.ca


NORTHWEST LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY

Train Today. Protect Tomorrow ACADEMY PREPARES STUDENTS FOR CAREERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT he Northwest Law Enforcement Academy is proud of its relationship with the Better Business Bureau since its inception. It is important that the Academy be seen as a responsible and accountable organization in the local community, says its CEO Victor Popow. Northwest Academy was founded 18 years ago by Winnipeg Police Chief Herb Stephen (Retired) and provides students with foundational skills and competencies which allow them to obtain employment in law enforcement organizations across Canada, such as the RCMP, Police agencies, First Nations Police Agencies, Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Manitoba Sheriff’s, Federal

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& Provincial Corrections and more. Recognized by the Manitoba Justice Department, it has provided customized training over the years to such departments as Manitoba Housing, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries as well as First Nations Constable training. Located near Winnipeg’s James A. Richardson International Airport, students learn from retired former law enforcement officers from the RCMP, Winnipeg Police Service, CBSA and Federal Corrections. The 10-month, 720-hour Diploma program consists of courses such as criminal law, conducting investigations and interrogations and ethics, but also includes practical training such as report writing, police defensive tactics, forensics, and restricted and non-restricted firearms certification. Applicants from all over

Canada attend the Academy and it has a job placement of over 70 per cent. Northwest Academy has graduated more than 700 people, ranging from 18 to 40 years of age, and law enforcement recruiters are constant visitors to the school, noting its students are well trained, disciplined, motivated and practise the values that are sought after by today’s law enforcement agencies. The Academy offers three classes per year, starting in September, October and April. It offers $1,000 scholarships for graduating Grade 12 students and has two-day workshops in August and during Spring Break. ❙ For more information, contact the Academy directly by phone at 204-953-8310 or visit its website at northwestlaw.ca.

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NOW BOOKING for the 2019 Season

Customer service is paramount at Charleswood Roofing and the team takes excellent care of their clients throughout the entire renovation process. Senior operations manager Geoff visits all work sites daily to ensure the work is going as planned and clients’ needs are met. “Having an operations manager enables us to keep very high work standards,” Jon explains, “we have an outside pair of eyes checking on each project, every day.” The Charleswood Roofing team is active in the community and supports a number of local initiatives including Siloam Mission, Youth for Christ, and Teen Challenge. They look forward to continuing this work over the next year and will host a fundraising event at their storefront in the future. All the recent expansion at the company has been very exciting and Jon Scott, owner/ operator is thrilled to welcome the new professionals joining their team this season. Stop by today or call in to see what Charleswood Roofing can do for you.

Charleswood Roofing & Spray Foam 3818 Wilkes Ave, Winnipeg ph: 204.505.3051 e: inbox@cwrmb.com

charleswoodroofing.com


CHAPEL LAWN FUNERAL HOME

Two new chapels and reception centres are designed to accommodate services of every size and style. Photos by Darcy Finley

Personalized Services NEW FUNERAL HOME DESIGNED TO CELEBRATE UNIQUE LIVES very life is unique, and Chapel Lawn Funeral Home encourages families to remember loved ones in a manner that reflects the way they lived their life. A traditional service isn’t for everyone. That’s why Chapel Lawn’s new funeral home, opening in November, is specifically designed to meet the personal needs of each family it serves. “Hobbies and interests are symbolic of individuality. If your loved one followed a specific interest that fulfilled them and made them feel happy, celebrate their passion with your final tribute,” says manager Perry Curtis. The new funeral home is at the same location as the previous facility, on the site of Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens at 4000 Portage Avenue. Having the funeral home, cemetery and reception centres at one location makes the planning process much easier, and since there is no need for a procession, family and guests have more quality time to connect with their

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memories and with one another. “We can hold services for 500 or more with ease, but we can also make an intimate gathering of five-30 feel comfortable and welcoming. We have designed two chapels and two reception centres that will meet these needs.” For the past 25 years, Curtis has been part of Arbor Memorial Inc., a family-owned business that owns and operates 96 funeral homes across Canada. He has seen a growing demand for Chapel Lawn’s ‘Time to Remember,’ a personalized package designed to help families celebrate the life of their loved one in more meaningful ways. “Your loved one was unique. How you choose to celebrate that special life must be equally unique,” he says. “Regardless of the style of service, whether cremation or casket burial, whether interment is in ground or in a niche or columbarium, it is so very important to take the time to remember the

life of the people we love.” Center for Loss and Life Transition educator Dr. Alan Wolfelt explains that a funeral service fills several important needs. It provides for the dignified and respectful care of the deceased and a special tribute to their life. It also helps survivors face the reality of death — the first big step in taking grief from the inside and allowing us to express it outwardly through mourning. Curtis takes pride in working with a company that is sensitive to the changing needs of families, and that provides the assurance of Better Business Bureau accreditation. “Having the BBB accreditation for Chapel Lawn is one important way that we can let people in need of our services understand that we are an ethical and trustworthy company that adheres to high standards.” ❙ Learn more about Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home at Chapellawn.ca

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ACR GLASS

From left: ACR staff and owners Chris Toth, Steven Hubbard, Pierre Debreuil, Dean Forster, Austin Fietz. Photo by Darcy Finley

One-Stop Shop ACR COVERS ALL AUTO, COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL GLASS NEEDS hether it’s a cracked windshield, a broken basement window or a smashed storefront, Dean Forster and company can save your glass. Forster is president and majority owner of ACR Glass, located at 3331 Portage Ave. ACR stands for Automotive, Commercial, Residential, meaning the business can meet many requirements for glass repair and replacement. “When people come into the shop for auto glass repair, they often also have a piece of glass around the house that needs work as well, such as a window, a sash, a mirror in a bathroom, or maybe it’s a storm window in the sunroom,” Forster says. “ACR is somewhere they will feel familiar.” Forster, who started ACR in 2008, has spent most of his life learning the details of window repair and installation. “I actually started working for my dad back in Kelowna, B.C. when I was a young kid growing up. He owned a business for 40 years out in Kelowna called Valley Glass, so I’ve been in this industry my whole life,” he says. Still, Forster and co-owner Pierre Debreuil,

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who bought into the company in 2015, stay up-to-date on changing technologies, especially in the automotive industry, which accounts for approximately 75 per cent of their business. That’s particularly important when it comes to safety issues and technologies like advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), which include features like lane departure warning and collision avoidance. “These features have to do with cameras that attach to the windshield or see through the windshield,” Debreuil says. “We have to make sure those systems are recalibrated properly after we’ve replaced a windshield. Sometimes you can do it in the shop with specific targets and other times you have to take the vehicle on the road and do what’s called a dynamic calibration.” Debreuil says that because ADAS is so new, ACR Glass is doing its best to educate customers, dealerships and Manitoba Public Insurance. “We’re working as much as possible with MPI to get these recalibrations approved,” Debreuil says. “We want this to be a one-stop shop where customers can come here, get their

windshield replaced, get the recalibrations done, and not have to go to a couple different places on a couple different days.” Adapting to changing technologies presents challenges for ACR Glass, but Forster welcomes those challenges. “I like solving problems. I love my job 100 per cent. I love working on autos, houses, keeping people safe, doing the best we can and having that reputation of quality and service,” he says. “It doesn’t always boil down to price. It comes down to the quality of the service and the workmanship that you’re getting. That’s kind of something of the past. Customer service and quality don’t always go hand-in-hand at a lot of places anymore. I like to keep that mentality because that’s how I was raised.” Debreuil adds that having Better Business Bureau accreditation makes that solid reputation evident to potential customers. “It provides not quite a certification, but a trustworthy source that people rely upon to be able to find places like us.” ❙ Learn more at ACRglasswinnipeg.ca


wcc.mb.ca

204 956 1720


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COMMUNITY SAFETY NET

Staff reach out to customers throughout North America from the Main Street call centre. Photos by Darcy Finley

Promote Children’s Safety REWARDING JOB NOW OFFERS WORK-AT-HOME OPTION s the 30th anniversary approaches for Community Safety Net, the local business is expanding its employment opportunities to include home-based options. Community Safety Net produces safety books and videos for children and their families, in partnership with rural community organizations across Canada and the U.S. “Our company headquarters are in Winnipeg, but we reach out to all four corners of the continent,” says company president Corey DesJarlais. “Our grassroots approach works hand-in-hand with community fire and police departments as well as many local volunteer organizations to help educate children on a variety of topics, including drug safety, bullying, fire safety and rural safety. To date, we have reached over four million children in small towns all across North America.” For the first two decades, field representatives ventured out in person to promote children’s

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safety to local organizations. Then several years ago, Community Safety Net opened up a call centre on Main Street to help keep up with the growing demand for its services. Inside sales positions provide an opportunity to work in a team environment at the newly renovated headquarters, and the company is expanding its employment options to accommodate staff members who prefer to work at home. “There are opportunities for someone who is comfortable being on the phone and working from home,” says DesJarlais. “It’s very rewarding in the fact that you’re helping children, you’re creating awareness and you’re promoting children’s safety — and you’re making a living at the same time.” The position is best suited for someone who is optimistic, independent and hardworking, with a desire to make a difference. “You have to make a high volume of calls. It’s about 150 dials a day on average, so it’s not for everyone. But for the right person, it’s a

great opportunity,” DesJarlais says. “Our existing team has been with us for more then 10 years on average. We provide all leads and a history of past supporters through our database. Since our campaigns are conducted annually, we experience an 80-per-cent renewal rate.” DesJarlais and his team appreciate the benefits that come with Better Business Bureau accreditation. The assurance that they’re dealing with a reputable company goes a long way toward setting people at ease. “With the amount of scams and suspicious activity that’s happening out there in the business world, it’s great to have an organization that can add accreditation,” he says. “We’re A+ accredited, so that helps with our business because we pursue a number of new customers. It’s great to be able to have an organization that you can check with to verify that it’s a legitimate business, especially now that we’re doing more over the phone.” ❙

To apply for a full-time or part-time position with Community Safety Net, email your resume to careers@csn4life.com. To learn more about the company and its work, visit communitysafetynet.com.

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YE OLDE SOOT SWEEPERS & HEARTH SHOPPE

Safety and Comfort FIREPLACE EXPERTS SPECIALIZE IN PEACE OF MIND hen you and your family are curled up next to the fireplace, your only worry should be whether there’s enough hot-chocolate to go around. That’s the peace of mind Ye Olde Soot Sweepers & Hearth Shoppe owner-manager Justin Rayner and his staff believe every family should have. The family-owned business has been around for 42 years, founded by his father, Dave Rayner, who used go out on calls dressed in the traditional chimney sweep’s top hat and tails. “It’s a little bit of heritage and we don’t do it anymore, but people remember it and they still talk about it all these years later,” says Justin. There are two sides to the business to cover every aspect of maintenance and installation, with a focus on safety. Ye Olde’s technicians are registered with the Winnipeg Fire Department and fully WETT certified (Wood Energy Technology Training). “We do everything with fireplaces and chimneys and I am the head installer for all of our fireplaces — wood burning and gas,” Justin says. “We are a one-stop shop and we can do drywall and painting, tile, a mantle, even custom

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fireplaces, and it is all done in-house. We can also work with customers if they want to do some of the job and would like us to do the installation of the fireplace.” The Hearth Shoppe offers several product lines for both residential and commercial customers, choosing and selling the highest-quality products and installing them in the safest manner, above and beyond code requirements. “We are putting a fire in your home — you have to be extremely safe with these installations to ensure that for the next 50 years you will never have any problems,” Justin says. The maintenance side of the business handles inspections, chimney sweeping and maintenance of wood-burning systems, as well as gas fireplace cleaning and maintenance. Justin cautions that it’s crucial even for seldomused systems to be regularly inspected. “A lot of people don’t realize disuse actually allows moisture to penetrate into the system in the chimney and into the fireplace, causing rusting and decay to the system until the system falls apart — it’s a very dangerous thing,” he says. “We want to make sure that the customers

that are going to use them are getting them inspected first. Even if it’s a new home, I’ve seen incorrectly installed wood and gas fireplaces, often installed by sub-trades who are simply not qualified.” Ye Olde Soot Sweepers & Hearth Shoppe serves customers in Winnipeg, and throughout Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Wherever Justin and his technicians go, their goal is the same — to provide a standard of safety far above the code requirements and the peace of mind that comes with it. Justin is proud to have been “born into the business,” and to provide the assurance of integrity and quality that comes with Better Business Bureau accreditation. “I really enjoy the fact that I can bring comfort to families in their homes,” he says. “It’s my family helping their family and it’s a nice feeling to build that rapport with the customer and let them know that they’re going to have this beautiful fireplace built with the highest quality product and the safest installation.” ❙ Learn more at yohss.ca


CANADA AUTO

Maintaining Family Values A TRADITION OF COMMITMENT TO QUALITY AND CARE hey’ve been a vehicle repair mainstay for the better part of the last century, with three generations of the same family in the driver’s seat. And for just as long, customers have been getting great mileage out of the service and high standards at Canada Auto, where a commitment to quality and respect for tradition are key to keeping their rides roadworthy. Now located at the corner of St. Matthews Avenue and Century Street, Canada Auto got its start back in 1935, when Ukrainian immigrant Michael Iwanchuk began fixing cars out of the two-stall garage in the yard of his home on Fort Street and Graham Avenue. “Fort Street used to be Automotive Row in Winnipeg,” says current Canada Auto manager Dan Iwanchuk, Michael’s grandson. “You could buy a new car on Fort Street, and you could find wrecking yards on Fort Street — and pretty much everything in between.” “Back then — this was around the time of the war — you couldn’t just go to the local auto parts store and buy parts, so (my grandfather would) have a lot of wrecked cars sitting around that he’d take parts from to keep the others running.” By 1960, after Michael had moved into a new home and the garage was upgraded, ownership had passed to his son Jim (Dan’s father), who added a specialized engine-rebuilding department to the regular roster of auto repair services. A few years after Michael’s death in 1976, the company expanded to its current site, trading a 5,000-square-foot structure for one nearly four times that size, and in 1990, Dan and his brothers took over the company. The only drawback? The all-white paint job and single bay door meant passersby often mistook the building for either a block of offices or a Goodyear warehouse. That changed after Dan recruited a local muralist to recreate the facade of a

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1930s-era service station, complete with red clay shingles and yellow brick, vintage sponsor signs, and an antique gas pump and air hose. Highly visible from Route 90, the artwork also features several additional bay doors (mirroring the eight bays that are really found inside) and — in a particularly moving touch — depictions of family members and former employees who’ve since passed away. Dan’s late brother, Randy, can be seen changing a tire on a 1947 Cadillac, while his grandfather polishes up a Model ‘A’ in the corner. Even his father, a machinist, is shown hard at work in Bay 5 — perhaps the most true-to-life depiction, given the real-life version still shows up for his shift five days a week. “He’s a perfectionist,” says Iwanchuk of his dad, now 86. “He says he considers himself retired because he only works eight hours a day.” Most importantly, the banners above each “bay” promote the full range of services inside — everything from brake, suspension and driveline work to tune-ups, lube jobs and classic car rebuilding. As Dan — who got an early career start at age eight, sweeping floors while his father worked on cars nearby — puts it, both Canada Auto’s loyal customer base and Better Business Bureau accreditation speak to his family’s old-fashioned approach to customer care. “We’ve been around cars all our lives … it shows the stability and the reputation we have,” he says. “It’s our work ethic and our commitment to getting the job done right.” ❙ Learn more at canadaautoservice.com

The retro facade reflects Canada Auto’s old-fashioned approach to customer care. Photo by Darcy Finley

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The Stefan Home Builders team is ready to tackle any custom building, renovation or restoration project. Photo by Darcy Finley

STEFAN HOME BUILDERS

Building on a Strong Foundation CUSTOM HOMES TO FIRE AND FLOOD RESTORATION, WE DO IT ALL tefan Home Builders is a family business celebrating 30 years of making dream homes come true. The Birds Hill-based builder constructed its first house in August 1988, and three decades later, the company is still going — and growing — strong. “Traditionally, we’re custom home builders, but we’re a little different than most home builders,” says owner Randy Douglas. “We have a team of five framers, including Red Seal carpenters. Our head framer James Wiebe has been with me since 1997 and our son Thomas just recently received his Red Seal Carpentry certification. We also have a very talented, full-time finish carpenter from Hungary, Gabor Huszka, all of which enables us to do a lot of other things besides home building. We carry out a lot of additions and renovations, light commercial (office renovations) and also insurance-related construction.” For instance, Stefan Home Builders is putting more focus on fire and flood restoration, having recently received the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

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“We have all the water-drying equipment, all the dehumidifiers and air movers. If your basement floods, we come in there, we strip it, we dry it and we rebuild it,” Randy says. “That’s a real big push. Land and servicing costs are huge these days, which means the customhome market is more limited than in the past. We have the skill set and supply to move into the fire and flood restoration industry. It was a logical move to branch out.” Another major reason for the company’s continued success is Randy’s emphasis on learning. He regularly sends his staff, which includes seasoned project manager Randy Romas, to professional development workshops. “We’re always striving to find the better way,” he says. “We don’t want to stop learning and we want to learn from our mistakes. We don’t mind saying that, because we have learned from our mistakes. We strive to learn and improve on every project.” One concept that never changes is Randy’s belief in “people before profit.” “We have trades, longstanding trades and we know what to expect from,” he says. “That

is a huge success of our company, having that availability of suppliers and trades by establishing long-term relationships. You achieve that by putting people before profit.” In addition to IICRC, Stefan Home Builders is a certified Master Builder through the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association, as well as COR certified, meaning the company meets National Health and Safety standards. Another point of pride for Randy is his company’s commitment to customers. “A lot of people say we give great service, but to give great service you have to be available. Our availability is very strong. People are able to talk to me from 7 a.m. in the morning to 10 p.m. at night, Monday to Saturday.” All these qualities have benefitted Stefan Home Builders as an accredited “better business.” “Today’s consumer is savvy technology-wise and they recognize that the Better Business Bureau has a high level of accountability,” he says. “I think the general consumer really respects what the Better Business Bureau stands for and who they support and accept as accredited businesses.” ❙

To learn more about Stefan Home Builders, call 204-663-2770 / 204-941-1878 or email office@stefanhomes.ca. 26

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WINNIPEG PROFESSIONAL PAINTERS

We guarantee top quality workmanship, attention to detail and friendly, courteous service by professionals. We use the highest quality products and material We are licensed, bonded and insured.

• INTERIOR • EXTERIOR • RESIDENTIAL • COMMERCIAL • SPECIALTY COATINGS

Call us for a FREE ESTIMATE AND EVALUATION

204.997.2051

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winnipegpropainters.com | info@winnipegpropainters.com Who’s Who Special Edition

Since 2006 BBB MAGAZINE

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a Winnipeg company since 1953

A lot has changed in 65 years, but not our

COMMITMENT TO CUSTOMERS

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celebratin

56 years!

“Congratulations on celebrating 56 years of BBB accreditation. We are so pleased to continue partnering with Advance Electronics to ensure an ethical marketplace. Your dedication to outstanding business practices and ethical standards helps make our community a better place to conduct business for everyone.” LEN ANDRUSIAK President & CEO, Better Business Bureau MB & N.W. ON

WE’RE MORE THAN JUST AN ELECTRONICS STORE Winnipeg’s homegrown consumer electronics store has been setting the pace for more than six decades, delivering outstanding customer service along with the latest technology for your home and family.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OUR #1 PRIORITY Proud of 56 consecutive years of Better Business Bureau accreditation, we thank our staff and generations of loyal customers for helping us achieve and maintain an A+ rating.

CONTACT US

1300 Portage Ave | 204-786-6541 | advance.mb.ca MON – WED + FRI 8:30AM to 6PM, THU 8:30AM to 8PM SAT 8:30AM to 6PM, SUN 12PM to 5PM