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February 2017


Our Annual NAIAS Review On Which Vehicles Stole The Show – Page 18


“Vroom, Vroom!”

Woot, Woot! 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, “North American Utility Of The Year”

Star Power! Danny “The Count” Koker From TV’s Counting Cars Comes To Detroit

Lincoln Navigator Concept: What’s Inside Matters Too

2017 AUDI R8 Spyder Convertible B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7






301 Richmond Street, Chatham, Ontario 1-888-538-8904 www.victorylincoln.com 2

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B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U Saturday ARY 2017

table of contents February 2017 volume 20 • issue 2


4 Funny Stuff 5 From The Publisher: Biz X Enters Its 20th Year Of Publishing 6 Editorial Viewpoint: Windsor’s Commercial Tax Rates Under The Microscope Windsor City Council could be exposed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for continuing to pass on distorted commercial tax rates to its small business community, just prior to the next municipal election in October of 2018, says columnist Alan Halberstadt.

8 Front Lines 11 Heard On The Street 12 Biz X Was There

12 34 39

P arks & Rec Gastropub and Sports Bar, 3087 Forest Glade Drive, Windsor held a grand opening party late last year. Great food and drinks and a wee bit of fun and games were on the agenda. Suppliers were on hand for samplings, such as Moosehead Brewery with their own portfolio of beer products for guests to taste, including Samuel Adams dispensed by (top photo by Rod Denis) Promoter Jaime Jackson and Territory Manager, Jay Marchand.

14 Newsflash 16 Dates To Remember 17 Event Profile: The “Presley & Cash Highway Road Show” 25 Tech It Out With WEtech: A Salute To Windsor’s Auto Industry 27 Corporate Spotlight: The Accelerator & WECAN Partnership 28 Have A Cup Of Joe With Joe: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band WSO Concert 30 Biz MiXer Highlights: The Year End MiXer At ARIIUS Nightclub 32 Portfolio Corner 33 From The Bookshelf 34 Hot Shots: The 2016 WECAR “Appreciation Luncheon”

In appreciation for their service to the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS (WECAR), former Directors Barbara Manery of RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd., Brokerage and Cameron Paine of Buckingham Realty (Windsor) Ltd. Brokerage (bottom photo by Rod Denis) were both recognized at the December luncheon. Which local agents were honoured for their years of service to the real estate industry? Turn to our Hot Shots double page spread to find out!

36 Food For Thought: Ristorante Avanti Celebrates 10 Year Milestone 37 Ask The Experts: Men In Kilts Clean Up The Town 39 Awards Spotlight: The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Of Commerce 2017 BEA Finalists The chamber recently announced their impressive list for their “27th Annual Business Excellence Awards” (BEA) . . . check it out to see if you recognize any of the companies and professionals who made the cut!

44 XX Files: The 30th Anniversary Of WEST 45 The Way It Was: February Is “Black History” Month 46 Biz Of The Month: The Suit Shop Co. Ltd. Opens On Erie Street East In Windsor

ON THE COVER —“Vroom, Vroom” —18

This year’s “North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)” definitely had lots of glitz and glam to get everyone’s motor runnin’ . . . but it was more notable for what wasn’t there in 2017. Could this be a hint that bigger things are just around the corner? Biz X was there, along with over 800,000 car enthusiasts who came to see the exciting technology-laden products driving the industry’s transformation. COVER PHOTO CREDITS: Main cover photo by Rod Denis of model with a 2017 AUDI R8 Spyder Convertible in cool Bombay Blue. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica & Lincoln Navigator Concept wardrobe management system photos by Rod Denis. Danny “The Count” Koker from the History TV Channel show, Counting Cars broadcasting live for the Ally Facebook page on Press Preview Day, January 9, photo courtesy of Tim Jarrold. Koker next appears at Detroit’s “AutoRama,” February 25 at Cobo Center. B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7


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WRITERS / PHOTOJOURNALISTS Arthur Barbut David Clark Drew Dilkens Chelsea Girard Andrea Grimes Alan Halberstadt Dave Hall Dave Halliday Jason Kerluck Irek Kusmierczyk Marlene Markham-Gay Steven Mayo Joe McParland Rebecca Wright PHOTOGRAPHERS Lori Deschaine Tim Jarrold Rodney L. Denis Photography Steve Vermeiren PRODUCTION DESIGN Rae Marie

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from the publisher

20 Years Of Biz X By Deborah Jones


ack in February 1998, the very first issue of Biz X magazine rolled off the presses. Fast forward now to 2017, and this month we celebrate the start of our 20th year of publishing. We have overcome many challenges during this time that have negatively affected the economy (9-11 terrorist attacks, the passport issue, the low Canadian dollar), and we have also had achievements and successes. We have presented over 635 of our very own Biz X Awards to deserving local businesses and people. As well, both the magazine and myself have earned awards from worthy organizations. Our distribution area has grown over the years to include parts of Michigan and southwestern Ontario, up to Ridgetown and Sarnia. We added a digital edition — what seems like ages ago — and last year we revamped our website, BizXmagazine.com to include daily news updates, blogs, event photos and more interaction with our readers. Through it all, we have never forgotten our goal to make Windsor Essex the best place to live, work and play. And we have always helped non-profit organizations and charities, whenever we could. We continually support the community by sponsoring various events from small concerts, runs and motorcycle rides, to huge festivals and galas. To our suppliers, advertisers, dedicated team of freelancers, media friends and our loyal fans, my family and I are grateful for your support. We are also very fortunate to have so many people who appreciate and recognise the hard work it takes to put out a magazine 10 times a year. One good example of this is the wonderful congratulatory letter I received from Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens found on this page. I am lucky enough to have started this magazine and every day I am happy I chose this career path. My advice to all who are thinking of starting a business is “what are you waiting for?” There are plenty of organizations willing to help you be your own boss too. If you have your business pitch ready, get to the Dragons’ Den Auditions at the WindsorEssex Regional Chamber of Commerce (2575 Ouellette Place) on Friday, February 17, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Get the details here: CBC.ca/dragonsden/auditions) Whereas the dragons may provide you with

necessary funding, for 25 years the Small Business Centre (two locations in Windsor and Essex) has been providing local small business support services such as advice on starting, operating and expanding a business; creating mentoring and networking opportunities; research assistance; business development workshops and seminars. More info at: WindsorEssexSmallBusiness.com. The Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator (DowntownAccelerator.com) is the city’s first business incubator/accelerator and was founded in 2011. With more than

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30 current members and 16 graduates, the Accelerator is an engine of economic creation. By working out of the Accelerator you will be part of a vibrant community of fellow entrepreneurs and gain access to mentorship, programming and an amazing network that will accelerate the growth of your business. Biz X is pleased to have great relationships with the City of Windsor, area Chambers of Commerce, the SBC, DWBIA, Accelerator, St. Clair College plus many more. Thank you for allowing us to come into your offices, lobbies and in-boxes. Here’s to the next 20!


editorial viewpoint

City’s Tax Freeze Record Doesn’t Impress Business By Alan Halberstadt If you would like to comment on my article, please post it under my column in the CITY section of BizXmagazine.com


offer this as a heads up to certain City of Windsor Mayors and Councillors who have dislocated shoulders thumping themselves on the back for delivering eight consecutive property tax freezes. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is gearing up for release of another possibly damaging report, right before the next municipal election, highlighting the gap between the city’s residential and commercial property taxes. Just prior to the last election in 2014, the CFIB unveiled a report on the tax gaps of 230 municipalities. Windsor had the fifth worst gap in the country, which was a headline grabber in these parts. Final 2013 property tax rates were used, which exposed Windsor as levying small business double the residential rate, a discrepancy described by the CFIB as distorted and unfair. Windsor commercial property owners, on average, paid 2.00 times the residential rate of 1.00, outlined the 2014 report. With City Council set to consider its annual review of tax ratios this April, I can report that the 2-to-1 ratio approximately remains the same. Unfortunately, I would be surprised if anything changes. City Councillors know that home owners vastly outnumber business owners who vote in municipal elections. They are thus terrified of shifting a small portion of the tax burden, even if it was phased in over a number of years, onto the residential class. Still, the city is loath to talk about ratios. When I asked for them, the communications department sent me instead a graph comparing the cost per square foot of Windsor commercial properties compared to 23 other municipalities in Ontario with populations greater than 100,000. Windsor, as you might imagine, fares very well in the square footage measurements, as compiled in 2016 by the BMA Management Consulting firm. In fact, it finished the lowest in the office buildings class at $2.17 per square foot and in the neighbourhood shopping category at $3.40 per square foot. To arrive at the actual taxes paid, you have to multiply the assessed value of the property, as set by the Municipal Property


Assessment Corporation (MPAC), by the tax rate set by the municipal council. Since Windsor property values are among the lowest in the province, the city sets its tax rates high to garner enough revenue to pay for the bureaucracy and services it claims it needs. Chief Administrative Officer Onorio Colucci has taken pains over the years to explain this to taxpayers who rail about the city’s high tax rates, notably the commercial occupied class saddled with a 0.03300265 rate compared to the residential rate of 0.0168447. Since those kind of decimals are difficult to digest, I asked a few local property owners and realtors if they felt Windsor’s commercial taxes are fair, or detrimental to a thriving small business community. I received mixed reviews. Lou Mikhail, Co-Owner of the CIBC building on Ouellette Avenue, says Windsor’s commercial office taxes “are in line with a lot of municipalities.” He says it is impossible to compare our rates to Toronto. In Windsor the fair market value for a 114,000 square feet office tower is $8 million whereby the same structure in Toronto can be worth $80 million. That’s not comparing apples to apples, says Mikhail, who pins Windsor’s struggles to keep the commercial taxes low on a lack of assessment growth in that thinly populated sector. “Lowering commercial taxes would help some, but it’s not the deciding factor,” says Mikhail of the fix required to jump start stagnant commercial development in the downtown core. BMA reports that Mississauga, the model of assessment growth, has a commercial tax ratio of 1.47 to one. The Ontario average is 1.67 although older urban areas like Hamilton (1.98) and London (1.95) rival Windsor. Alfie Morgan, Business Professor Emeritus at the University of Windsor, recognizes the structural and political barriers to lowering the commercial tax ratios. Ultimately, he says, the problem rests with those City Councillors who are more wrapped up in getting re-elected than doing what is right for the city. They fail to grasp that lowering the B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

commercial tax ratio for small business would be good for the economy which will in turn generate growth in the residential tax class. By stubbornly refusing to budge on the 2-to-1 ratio, Council is “cooking the golden goose,” says Morgan. Larry Horwitz, Chairperson of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association and landlord of a number of commercial and residential properties in the core, says the way the city presents its tax information is confusing. The bottom line, he says, is that a business property evaluated at $200,000 in the city core, by example, pays $9,400 a year in taxes. Horwitz mentions that the BMA numbers accentuated by the city do not include the 1% hospital levy and the education taxes. Now the city is planning to take away 30% rebates for empty business space, which he suspects is a tax grab. “Commercial tax rates are way too high and make it difficult to attract and retain new businesses,” he remarks. Jim Williams, a leading commercial development Realtor, credits the city with modifying commercial taxes over the last several years, but notes that accelerated costs of energy, in fairness mostly attributed to the province, and municipal fees for service like building permits, have offset any easing of property taxes. Inordinate delays in processing City Hall approvals for building construction and renovations have driven up the cost of doing business in other ways, prompting Williams and others to accuse the city of engaging in “smoke and mirrors.” Alas, there is another villain. I’m told there is no rhyme or reason to how MPAC arrives at the assessed values of different properties. “Commercial tax rates in Windsor seem inconsistent and I don’t believe they encourage small business” says Joan Charette, a Realtor who has witnessed investors run for the hills when they learn the annual property taxes on a building or business for sale. In many cases the monthly tax expense rivals the interest on a mortgage of 8 to 10 percent. Getting back to the CFIB’s 2014 gap report. “We have yet to confirm when we will update the report; however, we are considering preparing a new one in time for the next municipal election in October 2018,” says Julie Kwiecinski, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs. Too bad the city doesn’t have an independent Auditor General who could crunch the numbers and give voters a true and transparent appraisal of the cost of doing business in Windsor. Not one that leaves your head spinning.

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Windsorite Appears In Gangland Undercover It all started for Windsor’s Bernie Martin with a chance meeting in the parking lot of a Toronto-area motel a couple of years ago. Within six months, Martin had been cast as a background actor in Gangland Undercover, playing a biker and right-hand man of “The Devil” (Stephen Eric Mcintyre), a motorcycle club President. “I was just leaving my room when a guy came up to me and said I had a good look going,” says Martin, laughing. “He took my name and number and said he’d be in touch. He looked like a biker himself so I trusted him.” And sure enough, Martin’s phone rang about six months later with an invitation to send in some photos and attend a casting session in Toronto. “The guy who recruited me was a background actor in season one and he knew what they were looking for,” describes Martin, who appears in season two of the show. It’s inspired by the real-life story of Charles Falco, a former Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency informant who infiltrated an outlaw motorcycle club between 2003 and 2006.

The first and second seasons of the U.S.Canadian fact-based dramatic television series aired on The History Channel in the U.S. At the time of this writing, there has been no announcement about whether season two will be rebroadcast on A&E. Falco wrote a book about his experiences entitled “Vagos, Mongols and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America’s Deadliest Biker Gangs.” What followed for Martin was a series of visits to the Toronto area where the series was filmed. “It was a blast seeing how something like that is put together and seeing what ends up in the show and what gets discarded,” says Martin. “We filmed at a farmhouse in Mississauga and then we filmed a bar fight, which was a lot of fun.” While his involvement was a nonspeaking role, Martin says he got some decent screen time by virtue of being “The Devil’s” right-hand man. Filming took place from May to July of 2016. “I was impressed and intrigued watching it all come together and it was a blast seeing yourself on screen in the finished product,”

On the set in Toronto in June 2016 to film episode six, Bernie Martin (left) is shown with Stephen Eric Mcintyre. Photo courtesy of Bernie Martin.

states Martin, who travelled to Toronto to watch some episodes of the series with some fellow background actors. A millwright for one of the Big Three automakers, Martin, who is also a Past President and founding member of the Canada South Blues Society, says the experience allowed him to knock something off his Bucket List. And while plans for a season three have not yet been decided, Martin is more than willing to take another shot at it. “It was a great experience and most of us stay in touch on Facebook,” comments Martin.


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B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7


South Windsor Business Owner Needs Someone To Fill His Shoes

The corner of Dominion and Grand Marias in South Windsor is no stranger to closings of historic businesses. N&D Supermarket closed in October 1998 after 48 years as the anchor of Yorktown Plaza. Now, on April 1, 2017, Nu-Style Shoe Repair at 2989 Longfellow Avenue will close, ending the presence of a cobbler on the same site for the past 90 years. Owner, Errol Cesmeci, and his seamstress mother, Tereza, took over the business in 1995 from a close family friend who had plied his trade for 28 years. He provided Errol with on-the-job training, but most of Errol’s expertise has been self-taught during his 22 year run. Errol will soon be heading overseas to

teach English and French, just two of the languages in which he is fluent, in addition to Armenian and Turkish. His mother, Tereza, will be enjoying a well-deserved retirement and spoiling her adorable grandchild. Errol speaks with great pride in the business he built, often putting in 60 hour weeks. He says, “we’ve never had to advertise; our business comes from across the city and is repeat business. It is very family-friendly.” Anyone who visited the shop might be reminded of the TV show Cheers and the line from its theme song, “where everybody knows your name.” This is what Errol will miss the most about closing the business. And his clients will sorely miss him too. In an age of throwaway shoes manufactured

City Of Windsor Launches Investment Support Program The City of Windsor has launched a new Investment Support Program (ISP) for eligible investors. By including stakeholders from a number of departments and external organizations, the program helps guide strategic investment projects through all aspects of the City approval process. “We’ve seen a significant improvement in our local economy over the past two years,” says Mayor Drew Dilkens. “This program builds on that success and provides a firstclass concierge service to investors. The program provides a single point of contact, establishes a bi-weekly feedback-loop for investors, and enhances Windsor’s ability to expand and retain business.” The objective of the ISP is to work proactively with strategic projects. An investment is categorized as “strategic” based on its economic significance for

Windsor. Examples of projects that may be eligible for the ISP may include developments that generate knowledgebased jobs, office-oriented/industrial business parks, and major redevelopments of existing vacant properties. The intent of the program is to navigate potential investors through municipal requirements on a first-come first-served approach. The ISP is intended to be initiated to facilitate the investment of strategic projects that comply with provincial and municipal standards. To be eligible for ISP, strategic projects must meet one or more of the following characteristics: a) creates or retains a minimum of 50 jobs within the manufacturing sector or creates more than 20 jobs or retains a minimum of 35 jobs within any other targeted sector(s).

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Errol Cesmeci and his mother, Tereza Cesmeci are pictured in their shop, Nu-Style Shoe Repair, which is closing in April. Photo by Joe McParland.

overseas with synthetic materials, Errol has become a “plastic surgeon” of sorts, extending the life and quality of today’s shoes. This “turn-key” business is available to purchase and Errol will provide two months free mentoring to prospective purchasers. Drop in to bid farewell to him and his mom, and thank them for their years of service to the community. b) is a major tourism investment expected to draw a minimum annual attendance of 100,000 visitors; c) is uniquely complex with multiple priorities and stakeholders; and, d) adds to the diversification of the local economy by developing a targeted sector identified by the City. The city’s Economic Development Officer is assigned to each strategic investment and works proactively with other departments and external agencies to guide projects through the municipal process. This includes, but is not limited to, planning approvals, construction permits, licensing requirements, utilities, technology requirements, tax and fee estimations, etc. Interested investors are encouraged to visit: CityWindsor.ca/business or send an email to the City’s Economic Development Officer at: EcDev@citywindsor.ca to learn more.


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Even if the city approves funding for a new position in its social planning department, Vasey is not interested in applying. He comments it’s too early for him to decide what’s next, but says he will definitely remain interested in social justice issues and advocacy programs. He will also stay on as a volunteer board member with the Collective Impact initiative. Community Engagement Manager Laura Tucker left P2P just before Christmas.

BRINGING YOU UP TO SPEED ON THE LATEST BUZZ AROUND TOWN! With the closing of Pathway to Potential’s (P2P) office in downtown Windsor, area residents seeking continued access to its programs will have to contact other agencies. Former Director Adam Vasey — who ended his time with P2P on January 20, 2017 — says many of its programs will be absorbed by city and county organizations. The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is picking up responsibility for P2P’s Living Wage Campaign, which has seen as many as 50 local employers pledge to provide liveable incomes to thousands of local employees. The organization’s Collective Impact initiative, which has brought together many influential individuals intent on dealing with poverty throughout the region, will now fall under the responsibility of the local United Way office. It’s expected the city will take on the role of liaising with provincial and federal governments and that the fight against poverty will continue. The program was funded by the city and county to the tune of $1.8 million and the city’s share is included in this year’s municipal budget.

Despite slow progress on retail development in downtown Windsor, Larry Horwitz, Chairperson of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, remains optimistic about the future of the city core. “I understand there’s a multinational retailer looking at plans to move onto Pelissier Street and there are ongoing discussions about establishing a small grocery store to serve downtown residents,” says Horwitz. “I’d like to see more, obviously, but there is progress. It’s slow, but moving in a positive direction.” Horwitz also pointed to the fact that the former Beer Market and Chatham Street Grill, both on Chatham Street, are now actively being marketed by the Windsor Family Credit Union, which owns both buildings. Horwitz says once students and faculty from the University of Windsor’s school of creative arts and its music program move downtown, optimism will gain more momentum and pedestrian traffic will increase for all businesses downtown.

Transformation of a 30 year old hotel overlooking Windsor’s waterfront is expected to be completed later this year. The Travelodge at 33 Riverside Drive East will become a Holiday Inn Express, once all the renovations and refitting are completed. Current General Manager Angela Santin, who will stay on once the renovations are

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complete, says the project will cost owner Vrancor Group “millions of dollars,” but wasn’t able to put an exact price on it. The renovations will include a new entranceway, removal of interior concrete staircases, relocation of the front desk, a refurbished lobby and a new breakfast area. Four guest rooms will be eliminated, dropping the number of rooms to 156, in order to accommodate more suites. Guest rooms are also being renovated and that should be completed by March with the rest of the renovations to follow by late summer. “It’s been difficult to operate a hotel and renovate at the same time, so it has taken longer than anticipated,” says Santin. But, she added, the work should move along more quickly now. Santin says Vrancor embarked upon the transformation after it bought the property from Westmont Hospitality Group 18 months ago.

Construction of a new City Hall and additions to Central Park Athletics on Grand Marais Road pushed building permit values across the city in 2016 to more than $300 million for the first time in more than four years. City hall permits came in at $28.5 million while the addition of an indoor soccer field and a new YMCA facility at Central Park was valued at $8 million. And a new school of creative arts for the University of Windsor, being built on Goyeau Street, also came in at $8 million. Permits issued in 2016 reached $325.7 million compared to just $188.5 million in 2013. Residential construction permits jumped from almost $98 million in 2013 to more than $166 million in 2016, while government and institutional increased from almost $51 million in 2013 to a shade over $90 million in 2016. Over the same period, from 2013 to last year, industrial permits increased from $4.3 million to $17 million and commercial permits increased from $35.4 million to $52.1 million.



Bringing you all the events in the region since 1998. To view more events visit: BizXmagazine.com

was there! On Sunday, December 18, 2016 minutes before The S’Aints band hit the stage for a community holiday celebration, representatives from St. Clair College, Caesars Windsor and local charity organizations shared the success of the “Sleighing Hunger” fundraising campaign. Through concert tickets and CD sales, plus Caesars Windsor Cares annual holiday donation, they unveiled a generous donation of $50,000 to support five local non-profits and food banks: The Unemployed Help Centre, The Downtown Mission, Outreach for Hunger in Chatham, Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and the Windsor-Essex Humane Society. On stage unveiling the large cheque, from left, were: Kristen Douglas, Fiona Coughlin, Lainey Laforet (young girl), June Muir, Brenda LeClair and Tammy Williams.

This was the third year the S’Aints band performed for the special one-night event that has raised a grand total of over $135,000 for charity. Posing for a photo op for their fans, which included Biz X magazine, The S’Aints (a fabulous group of local Windsor Talent) from left are; Martin Bak, (Owner/Operator of SLR Studios & Producer); Jeff Burrows (Drums & Percussion); Kelly Authier (Keys & Vocals); Jody Raffoul (Lead Vocals & Guitar); David Cyrenne (Bass); Wes Buckley (Guitar & Vocals) and Kelly “Mr. Chill” Hoppe (Harmonica & Sax). Concert photos by Rod Denis. Colleen Kelly, Owner of Just Your Average Joes Sports Bar (1286 Lauzon Road), welcomed Parks & Rec to the area and was joined by two nearby residents in the Forest Glade Plaza, Savo Vuckovic (middle), Owner of Marina’s Deli; and Doug Lockyer, an employee at the IDA Rexall Pharmacy. Both bars offer halls for events and patios for summer time enjoyment, check them out if you have a party to plan soon!

On November 17, 2016 the grand opening of Parks & Rec Gastropub and Sports Bar, 3087 Forest Glade Drive, Windsor took place. From left: Chef and Manager Angelko Prepolec; Managers Lisa Prepolec and Vesna Stevanovic, plus Owner Frank Murgic, relax at the south side of the bar, which wraps around to the band stage and big screen TVs (27 HD TVs are inside to be exact, to watch your favourite sporting event!).

Parks & Rec photos by Rod Denis.

Liquor, wine and beer reps were on hand for samplings throughout the night. Offering a variety of Pelee Island wines were Diane Moore (left), Promoter/Label Designer and Veronique Peladeau, Sales Rep of Pelee Island Winery. (See contents photo on page 3 for Moosehead Brewery as well).

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Parks & Rec also has arcade games, popular board games and billiard tables. And if ever a table needs to be moved, local Magician Ron Gudel might be your man for the job! As part of the grand opening entertainment, he levitated this table above the floor right before our eyes! Gudel is a well known volunteer at the Windsor Regional Pediatric Department where he has performed his magic for the children since 2007.

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In mid-January Biz X was proud to participate in Holy Cross Elementary School’s (2555 Sandwich West Parkway, LaSalle) annual “Smart – Fit – A – Thon.” Our own Joe McParland joined a group of community volunteers that included LaSalle’s Mayor Ken Antaya, Deputy Mayor Marc Bondy, CTV’s Bob Bellacicco, and 16 other guest readers who read to Grade two/ three students. McParland selected as his book, “The Adventures of Spyke and Spencer,” written in 2006 by Essex County residents, Connie Walls and her late husband, Allen Walls. The book teaches children important values, including friendship, honesty, responsibility, compassion and loyalty, as seen through the eyes and hearts of their beloved Jack Russell terrier (Spyke) and adorable cat, Spencer. Great choice Joe, thanks for attending for us!

Williams Food Equipment customers came through in a big way this past holiday season by exceeding the goal for their annual campaign, “Sharpen Up for the Holidays.” On January 16, the United Way/ Centraide Windsor-Essex County officially received a donation of $5,428.71. The cheque presentation was made at the Williams location, 2150 Ambassador Drive, Windsor with those attending, from left: Joseph Moore, Director, Food & Beverages Caesars Windsor, who is on the United Way’s (UW) campaign cabinet; Reid Williams, Williams Food Equipment; Andrew Bothamley, UW Director, Finance and Operations; Danielle Moldovan, UW Relationship Manager, New Business & Major Giving and Ilona Schentag, UW Vice President, Major Gifts. Photo by Rod Denis.

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NEWSFLASH THE RUNDOWN In mid-January, the Downtown Mission of Windsor launched its new Enterprise Program using a $75,000 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF.ca) to help with the initiative it received in mid-2016. MPP Lisa Gretzky states, “This OTF grant will provide much-needed funds to the Downtown Mission as it adapts to address the changing needs of the disadvantaged in Windsor through an enhanced employment training program.” The Enterprise Program is an innovative experiential training program, participants facing a variety of barriers to employment receive the opportunity to focus their career goals, gain industry standard on-the-job training and develop abilities to be “job ready.” The Downtown Mission is committed to providing employment support to program participants to ensure they become and stay employed. In 2010, responding to the changing needs of “at risk” populations, the Mission built a targeted culinary program that provided vocational supports to individuals with longstanding barriers to gaining meaningful employment. The program boasted a 60 percent success rate for graduates in finding meaningful employment. The grant has enabled the Enterprise Program to provide multiple employment training streams, making it more accessible to a wider spectrum of participants and expanding career opportunities, including built in systems for support and success. The new training streams will include two Social Enterprise Businesses, the Do Good Deli (coming soon to 875 Ouellette Avenue) and Chari-Tees, which will specializes in custom products of all types including made-to-order branded T-shirts. The revenue made from sales at both business goes directly to helping The Downtown Mission achieve their mission of providing: Food for the body, Nurture for the spirit, Shelter for the homeless, Advocacy for the impoverished, and Opportunity for human growth. “Through social enterprises like the Do Good Deli and Chari-tees, the Enterprise Program will offer multiple training streams from culinary arts and hospitality to graphic design and printing, retail and


customer service,” adds Executive Director Ron Dunn. Read more at: DowntownMission.com. After one of the best years in the Port’s history in 2015, total port traffic declined in 2016 with the near-completion of the early works at the customs plaza, which will service the new Gordie Howe International Bridge. That work had led to a surge of over 50% in construction aggregates in 2015, but with its completion, aggregate volumes dropped by almost 30% in 2016. This resulted in a decline in total traffic volumes of 15.49% for the year. David Cree, President & CEO of the Windsor Port Authority (PortWindsor.com) states “Any declines in traffic are always disappointing, but in this case we were certainly expecting the drop-off in construction aggregates with the near-completion of the early works at the Bridge. We are anticipating that once construction starts on the bridge itself, we will see a further surge in construction aggregates during those years.” There were several bright spots for the year with steel imports increasing by 28% and grain and related products increasing by 24%. In addition, petroleum products, which are handled through the Sterling Marine Fuels dock, increased by slightly over 3%. Other important milestones during 2016 included the on-going rehabilitation of the park and fishing pier at the end of Mill Street, the purchase of green space adjacent to the Port Authority’s offices on Sandwich Street, which will be utilized for community purposes, and the purchase, in partnership with the Windsor Police Services, of a new 25 foot WAC SAFE Boat, which will greatly enhance marine patrol capabilities on the Detroit River. Cree concludes “All-in-all, despite the significant decline in total port traffic, 2016 was a very productive and positive year for the port in many ways. We are looking forward to slightly higher cargo volumes in 2017 and with virtually all of the revenue earned by the Port Authority being re-invested into our community, we will continue to be a leader in the economic and social well-being of the City of Windsor.” The Windsor Essex Care for Kids Foundation is looking for 10 volunteer

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“SpokesKids,” ages seven through 12 to represent the Foundation in its upcoming advertising and fundraising campaigns. SpokesKids are featured on the Foundation’s website, promotional materials and represent W.E. Care for Kids at local media and fundraising events over the next two years. Auditions take place at Devonshire Mall on February 26, 2017 at 11 a.m. Registration forms are available on the website: WECareForKids.org. A $10 registration fee applies; all funds help benefit the Windsor Essex Care for Kids Foundation. Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (ChooseWindsorEssex.com), has been formally invited to join the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) International Committee, which provides a venue for networking and knowledge sharing among internationallyactive members. The members include practitioners outside the U.S. and those with an interest in global issues, trends and best practices. Members serve as an advisory committee on international content for IEDC’s conferences, professional development courses and research projects. IEDC is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers who promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experiences.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO . . . It’s been 20 years since Alan Crouse and Jose Guzman founded Generator Design and since then Generator has blossomed into one of the leading advertising companies in Windsor. Located at 3336 Walker Road, they, and their team, offer full service advertising and design, specializing in print, web, and social media solutions for businesses of all sizes. Recently, Generator launched its “4th Annual Generator Cares Contest.” This campaign builds awareness of the

multiple non-profit organizations and charities in Windsor Essex. The public may vote for a non-profit of their choice, with the ultimate opportunity to win $10,000 in creative services from Generator. For more information on how to nominate an organization, by February 28, 2017, visit: GeneratorCares.com/contest.

ON THE MOVE JA South Western Ontario has appointed Dave Roberts to the position of Fund Development Officer. “Junior Achievement has a long history in our area and many successful businesses today have owners and employees who received their initial drive and ambition through JA programs,” Roberts comments. “The Fund Development Officer is a new position and my overall goal is to help JA expand their footprint.” Roberts works primarily out of their Windsor location at the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator, as well as offering support to the other cities in South Western Ontario. He comes to JA with an extensive background in marketing and advertising, having worked for various graphic companies over the years, as well as being an entrepreneur himself. Being an avid contributing member of the Windsor Essex community, Roberts is the Past Chairman of the President’s Council of the Windsor Club, past Chairman of the Communications Committee and Windsor Image Committee through the Windsor & District Chamber of Commerce. He is also a volunteer with the Windsor Sportsmen Club, among other dedications. “Dave comes to us with a vast amount of energy and enthusiasm,” says Barb Smith, President, of Junior Achievement of South Western Ontario. “We are very excited to have Dave on our team and look forward to expanding our educational programs and building brand awareness through

increased fundraising efforts.” For more information on JA please visit: JACanada.org/sw-ontario.

HALL OF FAME In late January, 11 organizations and individuals were recognized with “Essex Region Conservation Awards” (ERCA.org) for their efforts in making the Windsor/ Essex/Pelee Island region the “Place for Life.” The award recipients were: Irene Moore Davis: “John R. Park Homestead Award” for her preservation of black history in our community; J. Brush Farms Ltd.: “Conservation Farm Award” for the use of conservation farming practices to protect soil health and water quality; Henry Denotter: “Education Award” for educating agricultural and non-agricultural landowners alike about sustainable farming practices; Tom Henderson: “Volunteer Award” for more than 25 years of volunteering to improve the Little River and Detroit River watersheds; Robert Pula and Andrew Pula: “Volunteer Award” for their continued efforts to connect people to nature and inspiring healthy and active living in the Place for Life; Union Gas Ltd.: “Volunteer Organization Award” for more than two decades of staff volunteerism in supporting environmental initiatives in the Essex Region and beyond; Carrie Lee: “Active in the Place for Life Achievement Award,” a newly introduced recognition that celebrates an individual who has demonstrated dedication and participation in Essex Region Conservation’s roster of active events; Caldwell First Nation: “Environmental Achievement Award” for their ongoing protection of the Hillman Marsh, restoration of Sturgeon Creek, and education of students and others about our responsibility to protect water and the environment; Town of Essex: “Robert Pulleyblank Award” for Municipal Environmental Achievement

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recognizes their leadership in trail development, low impact design, and efforts to reduce flooding and protect water sources; and Candice Kondratowicz: “Dennis Chase Staff Award” for her dedication, conscientiousness, kindness and compassion.

NEW IN BIZ Sugar Spoon Bake Shop Owner Loredana Froio decided to open the New York style, scratch-made bakery of her dreams, this past October, at 3131 Forest Glade Drive (Forest Glade Plaza) in Windsor. She wanted to offer her customers vintage-style, old-fashioned recipes and Italian favourites such as tiramisu and cannoli that gave them a truly unique homemade taste experience. In her words, she sells things people “crave” such as fudgy brownies, cheesecake and warm cinnamon buns. She plans to continually grow her rapidly expanding business by providing pastries for events and parties of all sizes. To view their menu and place your special order, visit: SugarSpoonBakeShop.com. Frank Giles and his two sons, Ryan and Brandon Giles began RFG Plumbing in October 2016, offering residential, commercial and industrial plumbing services (service, renovations and new installations) to residents of Windsor Essex. The business caters to its unique customer and client demands by providing services and products that set high standards for quality, reliability, durability and value for money. “We strive to be the best in every aspect of our plumbing business, by fostering a culture of trust, responsibility, high expectations and open communication with our customers, clients and suppliers,” says Ryan. “We look forward to being Windsor/Essex Counties #1 choice for plumbing.” For more information go to: RFGPlumbing.com. 




Biz X has the list of business events (and some fun stuff) that you shouldn’t miss! Please be sure to confirm all events before attending. VISIT BIZXMAGAZINE.COM UNDER “CALENDAR” AND INPLAYMAGAZINE.COM VIEW THE “SPORTS CALENDAR” TO SEE EVEN MORE EVENTS IN THE BORDER CITIES!

WINDSOR ESSEX *unless noted the area code to dial is 519

February is “Black History Month!”

Celebrate with events to honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. Until March 13, 2017 you can donate a gently used or new dress for the 10th Annual “Say Yes to the Prom Dress” for New Beginnings which ensures local young women are able to attend their formal ceremonies surrounding graduation. Needed are prom, semi formal and graduation dresses especially in sizes 0 to 4 and 14+. Please drop off donations at New Beginnings, 1049 Janette Avenue. Windsor, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Questions? Call 254-2363 ext. 6 or email: yos@newbe.ca Feb.12: “Higgi’s Harmony in Action Birthday Bash” at The Hook & Ladder Pub, 3690 Seminole Street, Windsor. All ages welcome, doors open 3 p.m. entertainment with Drop Dead Famous and special guests begins at 4 p.m. A donation cover charge of $10 requested at the door. All proceeds go to Harmony in Action. 948-1921 Feb.14: Happy “Valentine’s Day!” Take your sweetheart (kids too if you like!) out for dinner and support a local restaurant. Don’t forget the chocolates, flowers or even jewellery. Area businesses are waiting to assist you in finding a perfect romantic gift. Feb.16: The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “After Business” at The City Grill, 375 Ouellette Avenue in Windsor from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is $15 to $25 and includes complimentary appetizers. To learn more call 966-3696 OR email: bmalmberg@windsorchamber.org. Feb.18: Celebrate the Chimczuk Museum’s “1st Birthday & Free Day,” 401 Riverside Drive West in Windsor from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is FREE. Fun activities for the whole family including crafts and activities for children, guided tours of the new exhibits, and birthday cookies for visitors (while supplies last). For more details email: wmuseum@citywindsor.ca; log onto: MuseumWindsor.ca OR call 253-1812. Feb.18: The Knights of Columbus Council 8233 and the Town of Kingsville host the “7th Annual Vegas Night Dinner & Auction” at the Kingsville Arena, 1741 Jasperson from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. Admission is $40 and includes a bank of KC Vegas Dollars. Casino style games


(4 p.m.); a BBQ steak dinner (6:30 p.m.) and Live Auction (9 p.m.) where guests use the Vegas Dollars they have won at the games to bid on over 120 awesome items worth thousands of dollars from a Minor Hockey Season Registration to local gift certificates and more goodies from across the area. Proceeds go to the Kingsville Mettawas Park Development Project. To date over $195,000 has been raised! For more info, email:mdurocher@kingsville.ca OR call 733-2123. Feb.20: “Family Day” in Ontario. Instead of working at the office, spend this holiday with your family and have a little fun! Feb.21: Come test your wits at the Canterbury College “Second Annual Trivigala” at the Walkerville Brewery, 525 Argyle Road in Windsor starting at 6 p.m. Bring a friend or a whole team and join a game of trivia hosted by Windsor’s infamous MackFlash Entertainment. Enjoy dinner by Just Jeff ’s Gourmet Express, a silent auction, and more! Admission is $50. This event is not only a showcase of these great local businesses, but an opportunity to support Canterbury College and their great programs. For more information check out the event website: http://www1.UWindsor.ca/canterbury; email: laura@uwindsor.ca OR call 226-347-2385. Feb.25&26: The “Essex Train Show,” rolls into the Essex Public School,  two minutes from the Highway 3 bypass. Hours for both days are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission costs: $5 adults; $4 teens/seniors; children $2 and those under 3 are free to attend. For visitor or vendor information email: heritageessex@bellnet.ca OR call 776-9800. March 1: “Hats on for Healthcare Day” — all businesses, organizations, schools and individuals are invited to participate in this 8th annual fundraiser in support of Windsor Regional Hospital. Wear your favourite hat and make a donation in support of the mental health services and medical equipment for surgical and medicine programs at the hospital. For further information visit their website: HatsOnForHealthcare.com; email: David.Lenz@wrh.on.ca OR you may call 973-4433. March 5: “Empty Bowls Windsor and Essex County”  takes place at  The Optimist Community Centre, 1075 Ypres Blvd. in Windsor from noon until 2  p.m. Come enjoy a delicious bowl of soup from local B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

restaurants in a beautiful handcrafted soup bowl made by local potters. The best part is you get to keep the bowl! 100% of the ticket sales go to support local food banks. Admission $25. Tickets can be purchased on EventBrite or at the Urban Art Market, 548 Chilver Road, Windsor. Visit: Faceb o ok.com/EmptyB ow lsWinds or ; email: dayna.wagner@me.com OR phone 567-0488 for further details. March 8: The 30th Anniversary of Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. (WEST) “International Women’s Day Gala 2017” at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts is an annual celebration in honour of all the amazing women in Windsor Essex. The night features a gourmet dinner, awards ceremony and keynote address. Tickets are $85, doors open at 5 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m. For tickets or more information see page 44 of this issue or refer to: WestOfWindsor.com OR call 256-6621. March 8: “International Women’s Day Gala” at the Ciociaro Club of Windsor is an annual celebration in honour of all the amazing women in Windsor & Essex County. The night features a wonderful meal, a walk through fashion show and a chance to shop at some fabulous beauty and accessory vendors. Tickets are $50 and the doors open at 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Windsor Regional Hospital Breast Health Centre. For tickets call Ilde Mariani, 991-2743. March 10: The Windsor Symphony Orchestra welcomes Jeans ‘n Classics for the presentation of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” see page 29 of this issue. METRO DETROIT & REGION Feb. 10: Sterling Heights Regional Chamber’s “Community Leaders Breakfast,” Shelby Gardens, 50265 Van Dyke, Shelby Township. For additional details go to: SHRCCI.com. To register call 586-731-5400 ext.10 or 11. March 3: Sterling Heights Regional Chamber’s “Breakfast & Business” at Evola Music, 12745  23 Mile, Shelby Township.  A pre-registered only event. Log onto: SHRCCI.com for more information.

Having an event? Fill out our online form at Bizxmagazine.com and InPlaymagazine.com


The “Presley & Cash Highway Road Show” Saturday, March 25, 2017 By Dave Hall


ombining their love of musical superstars Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley with their desire to help local charities has led a group of Windsor musicians to organize a night of musical entertainment to help raise funds for the Miracle League of Amherstburg. Billed as a tribute to both Cash and Presley, the fundraiser take place at the Olde Walkerville Theatre, 1564 Wyandotte Street East in Windsor, on March 25 at 8 p.m. Jason Turcotte, lead vocalist and guitarist for Paying Cash — “The Johnny Cash Show” says “We love performing and we believe this is a great opportunity to raise money for a terrific cause.” Turcotte states the benefit concert came about following a casual conversation with Miracle League Chairman Chuck Bondy through their business connections in the plumbing supply industry.

Cassie Turcotte plays the June Carter Cash role in the Paying Cash tribute. Photo by Kelly Tagliabracci.

“It’s a natural fit for us,” believes Turcotte. “We can all relate to what the Miracle League means to so many people.” Based at a fully-accessible baseball diamond at the Libro Centre, the Miracle League offers baseballplaying opportunities for disabled players between the ages of four and 64, according to spokesperson Michelle Vigneux. “We have over 150 players in our program and it’s growing every year,” says Vigneux. “We play

every Saturday throughout May and June and also in September and October. Everybody hits, nobody makes an out and the players just come out every week to have fun playing baseball. We also have a barbecue every Saturday, which is just as important as the games.”

Players and coaches from a team in the Miracle League of Amherstburg pose for a photo after their game at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg last spring. Photo by Diana Hunt.

Jason Turcotte, left, Mike McCallum, John McMenemy and Dave Avellino are members of Paying Cash, a Johnny Cash tribute band. Photo by Kelly Tagliabracci.

She continues by stating, “It’s a wonderful family atmosphere and not only gives our players an opportunity to play baseball, but gives their friends and families a chance to share stories and experiences.” Vigneux mentions that Miracle League volunteers organize a golf tournament fundraiser every year and the concert is a bonus opportunity to raise funds. This year’s fundraising efforts will be directed towards buying a wheelchair swing, which is expected to cost between $35,000 and $40,000. Turcotte notes that he and his fellow band mates have been playing together for about four years and “we’re very particular about how we look and how we sound, so we can provide the best possible tribute to Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.” Fellow musicians include bass player Dave Avellino; drummer John McMenemy; lead guitarist Mike McCallum and 12 year old Cassie Turcotte who plays the June Carter role as well as guest trumpet players Jeff Renaud and Kevin Masterson.

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Their concert performances have been chronicled by photographers John Sherbourne and Kelly Tagliabracci, McCallum’s daughter. The Presley component of the show will be performed by lead singer James Gibb and the Silvertones — lead guitarist Joel Mayville, acoustic guitar and vocals Chris Mayville, keyboards and vocals Mark Calcott, drummer Adam Thomson, bass player Kenny Bruce and vocalist Lex Lambert. Co-lead sponsors for the event are Blackburn Radio and Wolfhead James Gibb and the Silvertones Distillery. Other will play hits by Elvis Presley sponsors include Biz X and IN PLAY! magazine, The Rad Shop and Shoreline Tours. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can be obtained by calling 519-253-2929 or visiting: OldeWalkervilleTheatre.com. For more information on the Miracle League or to register for next season, log onto: AmherstburgMiracle.com and to learn more about the band go to: PayingCash.ca.



NAIASThe Calm 2017 Before The Storm COVER STORY By Jason Kerluck

Photos By Rod Denis


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The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a stunning sports sedan headed for North America following the success of its predecessor the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider as seen on the big screen behind at the show.


his year’s “North American International Auto Show” (NAIAS) in Detroit (January 14 to 22) was a quieter event from years past. It wasn’t because of the lack of flashy screens, beautiful models and shiny cars — all were present and accounted for — and spectacular as always. It was more a result of simply not much new being revealed this year. There were a number of major announcements obviously, and we show off some of the highlights in this article. Reading between the lines, it’s clear the real story seems to be what’s to come . . . there’s a lot of new technology and advancements just around the corner. So it would appear the NAIAS wasn’t really “quiet,” but was more like the calm before the storm. Now we invite you to come along with us for the ride and check out the latest and greatest in the automotive industry.

2018 Ford F-150 It seems like we just had a new F-150 yesterday, with its revolutionary aluminum body. But, if Ford has been known for anything lately, it’s been a relentless push forward. This new F-150, which will be available in the fall of 2017, offers a host of new technologies. New engine options feature a new start/stop system to save gas, adaptive cruise, pedestrian detection, in-vehicle WiFi, LED bed lights; mirror mounted spotlights, and a sweet Bang & Olufsen sound system that features B&O PLAY. This isn’t your basic work truck, but it’s still tough as nails. Not pictured, but still relevant, was the announcement of the long awaited return of the Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco. Based on the same platform, they will be available by the end of the decade.

Ford’s Chariot Ride Sharing Service

(photographed below in first column is Mark Fields, Ford President and CEO at the press conference on the acquisition of Chariot as part of Ford’s Smart Mobility business outlook). Similar to Uber only in the fact that it is app based, Ford’s Chariot is something in between ride sharing and public transportation. It’s expanding to eight cities in the U.S., and can be part of the solution in gridlock prone cities around the world. Using route planning technology it adjusts routes in real-time based on pick up requests from app users. At this point, Chariot uses Ford Transit vans driven the old fashioned way, but the hope is to get to a place where they will become autonomous soon.

2017 Chevy Bolt “North American Car of the Year” The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric car was the winner of the NAIAS “Car of the Year Award.” The Bolt offers a 100% gas free range of more than 380 kilometres on a charge and should start in the mid to high $30,000 range. The Bolt received 364 points from the NAIAS jury. The Genesis G90 sedan from Hyundai’s new luxury brand (more on that later) was second with 105, followed by the Volvo S90 sedan with 101. Small and compact, it’ll be challenging the upcoming Tesla Model 3 for the title of electric car for the people.

2017 Honda Ridgeline “North American Truck of the Year” Unveiled at last year’s show, the Ridgeline was re-engineered on the same concept that its predecessor was . . . to offer a pickup bed for cargo on a car-style chassis that delivers a smoother ride than most pickups. It offers unusual features like a “trunk” under its B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

cargo bed’s floor and a double-hinged tailgate that opens down or from the side. The previous Ridgeline sold fairly well, and this recognition will certainly help this new model in showrooms. The Honda Ridgeline midsized pickup received 364 points. The Ford F-series Super Duty earned 193, and the new Nissan Titan scored 72.

hand-lightning 2017 Chrysler Pacifica “North American Utility of The Year This was the first year that this category was offered, given the massive range of vehicles that are neither car nor truck. It includes sport utility vehicles, crossovers, and minivans. The Pacifica minivan is replacing two models in Fiat Chrysler’s line-up, the venerable Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan twins. New with the Pacifica is a plug-in hybrid model that can go 35 miles on a charge, enough to cover daily driving for most minivans. With plenty of family friendly technology inside, it’ll be interesting to see if this single van will have the same success as the previous duo. The Chrysler Pacifica minivan earned 300 points, beating the 135 won by the new Mazda CX-9, and the beautiful but pricey Jaguar F-Pace at 125.

Audi Q8 Concept The Q8 is the first proper car for Audi Design Chief, Marc Lichte, even though some class it as an SUV. You can call it an SUV Coupe, in many ways similar to the controversially styled BMW X6. As a concept, it’s typically grand and bold with just two rows of seats in all of that metal. But, there are also some high tech concepts, including a 3.0 litre gas/hybrid drivetrain. According to Audi, what we see is about 95% of what the production Q8 will look like when it launches early 2018.



Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ “Minibus” Concept In the “it’s about darn time” category is the I.D. BUZZ concept. It’s intended to be a blend of Volkswagens past and future. With a classic shape wrapped around a very futuristic interior, it’s both instantly recognizable and modern. This concept is powered by two electric motors located at each axle generating a very non-minibuslike 369 hp combined, with a range of nearly 450 kilometres on a full charge. Proof that it’s possible to be green and have a good time! VW’s goal for the range was 600 kilometres, but it reduced expectations to the stated 450 KM range as estimated by the EPA. The 111-kWh battery that is integrated into the floor, can be charged up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes, which will make the production BUZZ a capable road-tripper, as well as a range-anxiety-free city hopper!

2017 Volkswagen Atlas SUV Also in the same category as above, is the Volkswagen Atlas. Similar in size to the Ford Explorer, Volkswagen finally has a large crossover to complement the Tiguan. There will be a number of variations of the Atlas that will bring the line a lot of options. It’s also the first VW built in North America, given that it will be produced in Chattanooga. If it looks a bit familiar to some, that’s largely because it’s modelled a lot after the various CrossBlue concepts from a few years back. With three rows and lots of options, it’s almost custom made for this side of the pond. The Atlas should build on VW’s success in the North American market, now that many have put the diesel scandal behind them.


2018 BMW 5 Series This year, BMW showed off its all new 5 Series. As BMWs midsized standard bearer, it bridges that gap between the compact 3 series, and the full sized 7 series sedans. As is typical for the Bavarian automaker, there will be plenty of power and tech to keep their target demographic happy. From twin turbos to hybrids, and of course, the rip-snorting M models, buyers have loads of options. This new 5 Series has also won some style awards, notably the EyesOn Design Award for “Design Excellence — User Experience” at this year’s NAIAS. With as much tech inside the cabin as under the hood, these cars are actually pretty good value in their market.

2017 Lincoln Continental Lincoln has eschewed the MX (insert letter here) naming scheme and brought back a classic nameplate with the Continental. This car replaces the MKS at the top of the lineup, and it is gorgeous! A favourite feature is how the door handles are integrated into the lower window chrome, giving a very clean, but artistic look to the car. With a 400 horsepower 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 and available all-wheel drive, it’s no slouch either. While it may be a great driver’s car, there actually may be a fight for the back seat! With gadgets and room galore, it’s one of the most luxurious back accommodations ever from the Big Three. The interior and exterior details have almost a nautical feel, thankfully without handling like a boat!

2018 Genesis G90 Nissan, Honda and Toyota have had luxury nameplates for decades, with Infiniti, Acura, and Lexus respectively. However, Hyundai kept trying to promote upscale models that were intended to compete with them. Their Equus and Genesis models were really quite excellent and luxurious, but never really caught on. So in 2016, Hyundai took the Genesis name and created a stand-alone nameplate. Their first offerings are the G80 and G90. As far as siblings go, G80 is the sporty one, while the G90 is the refined one. For the 2018 model year, Genesis adds an exciting Sport trim to its already popular G80 model, featuring a powerful new 3.3-litre turbocharged V6 engine, plus unique sport performance upgrades. The G80 Sport should be in showrooms by the spring of 2017, while the G90 is out now.

Lincoln Navigator Concept Another Lincoln that has an old fashioned actual name, the Navigator has stayed pretty much the same since the mid-2000s. The Navigator was first on the scene with a large luxury SUV in 1997, and little has really changed under the skin. Even the last facelift couldn’t hide the fact the “Gator” was built on some very old bones. As a result, it was wonderful to see that it’ll be getting a welldeserved update. What we see here is an atypical Concept Car at its best — it’s not likely those gull wings and folding steps will see production. But, look past the flash and you’ll see what Lincoln is thinking. “The all-new Navigator Concept reinforces our commitment to give every Lincoln client what we call quiet luxury — vehicles and experiences that are elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene,” says Kumar Galhotra, President of Lincoln. “This kind of quiet luxury sets Lincoln apart. Now, we’re showing fans of large SUVs how we can

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exceed their expectations, without being the loudest statement on the road.” Like the Continental, Lincoln seems to be thinking more in terms of nautical high luxury, but with a strong sense of working with the executive lifestyle. (See interior shot on cover)

2018 Cadillac XT5 Based on the same platform as the new Traverse and Acadia, the XT5 gives midsized SUV buyers another luxury option. Whether its blue collar roots will allow it to compete with offerings from Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, and the German makes, will remain to be seen. It offers the familiar 3.6L V6, which is used in many models along the GM line-up. In the XT5 puts out 310HP in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider To automotive enthusiasts, the Mazda Miata is an icon. Never the most powerful car, its

lightning-quick handling and fun to drive dynamics have made it a popular seller for more than two decades. So it’s easy to wonder why Fiat would even dare borrowing the bones of this car to do their own take on it. Thankfully, what we get is a very Italian looking car that still maintains most of the Miata’s charm. It’s a bit softer and maybe not as addictively tossable, but what you get is a much plusher roadster with a bit more luxury. As such the price point will be higher than the Miata, but truth be told, not much more. If you yearn for the glory days of the old MGs, Triumphs, and Fiats of the past — this may scratch that itch. (Don’t forget your flat cap and scarf!)

Chrysler Portal Concept This concept harkens back to the days when concepts were really weird. Does anyone remember the Dodge Tomahawk? No? Take a minute to “Google” it . . . this is nearly as “out there”. Now that you’re back, you’ll see here that FCA is really pushing the limits here. With Portal, it’s likely one of the first family vehicle concepts to be aimed right at millennials. That’s because, as the tagline “By millennials for millennials” indicates, millennials played a large role in its design. They are entering the age of having families of their own, and have the means to buy something nice for their young family to get around in. But, for folks raised on social media and ever connected smartphones, many options out there are not completely in sync with their unique wants and needs. The whole message is accessibility to everything.

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From social media, music, streaming video, to physically getting to where they need to go. With Portal, now everyone can go from Point A to Point B . . . without talking to each other!

2018 Kia Stinger Four door sports sedans are a godsend for the driver who has to take the kids to soccer, but still wants to maintain their cool image. There are a number out of choices out there, with the Dodge Charger being a very popular option. It makes sense then that Kia’s new Stinger plays with this formula as well. In fact, the fastback tail end resembles the Charger in more than just a passing manner. The front, however, has a much more European/Asian look. All the more odd, given that it was designed in Frankfurt, Germany and raised on the famous Nurburgring racing circuit. What this means is that it should result is a very fun-to-drive car that can get the groceries too! “Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” says Orth Hedrick, Vice President of Product Planning for Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept car origins, to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.” The Stinger is set to go on sale in the U.S. later in 2017.



Nissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept Another sharp concept car at the show was the Nissan Vmotion 2.0. You can see many of the cues already popping up on the current Altima, Murano and Maxima sedan. It looks like a long car, but is actually shorter than an Altima. Inside is a blend of luxury and high tech, with a long LED screen taking the place of the dash. The doors feature a concept car staple of suicide doors in the rear, making the cabin appear larger and roomier. But, the real point of the Vmotion 2.0 concept is to feature Nissan’s ProPilot  — which is envisioned to ultimately allow the vehicle to drive in autonomous mode — that is slated to appear in the next generation Leaf.

2017 Buick LaCrosse The Buick LaCrosse maintains its position as the flagship for the Buick Brand. Still massively popular in China, Buick remains a strong viable brand here as well.


The new LaCrosse is all new for 2017. It’s about 140 kilograms lighter, and much stiffer than the previous LaCrosse. The GM standard issue 3.6L V6 has been updated and mated to a new 8 speed automatic with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. New additions inside are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a Teen Driver mode and 4G WiFi. The interior has also been totally redesigned to address the former models lack of storage and smallish trunk. Also new is the return of the three colour Buick logo, which will start to be seen on newer models soon.

2018 GMC Terrain The GMC Terrain has basically looked the same since its launch in 2009, which is likely due to its modern design. Sales have been growing steadily until 2016, so it was clearly time for a change. Nine years is a very long time to wear the same look, even though the Terrain got a facelift in 2016. At this year’s show, the wraps were finally taken off the all-new 2018 GMC terrain. It’ll go on sale summer of 2017 and

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will be available in the familiar SL, SLE, SLT and Denali trims. The Denali option is said to be even more upscale than in the previous model, with more differences than the lower trims. A range of three all-new turbocharged engines, including an all-new 1.6L turbo-diesel, which is a first for the Terrain. New 1.5L and 2.0L turbocharged gas engines are available with two unique new nine-speed automatic transmissions. The 2.0 litre turbo engine will offer stronger acceleration and a more performance than the 1.5 litre option. Electronic Precision Shift will say goodbye to the shift level, and frees up space on the centre console.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse Similar to the Terrain, the Traverse has had a long run without a major outfit change. And like the Terrain, the design really did hold up well. But, this new Traverse is thoroughly modern, with a tougher looks that is hoped to appeal to more affluent customers. While the venerable 3.6 litre V6 will continue to be an option, there will be a new 2.0 litre turbocharged inline 4. Both improve on the Traverse’s mileage, and are paired to a new nine-speed transmission. As GMs defacto minivan alternative, there will be plenty of safety and infotainment tech to keep the kids happy in this three-row family hauler. Built in Lansing, Michigan — it’ll be in showrooms later this year.

make parking a much safer affair. Outside it fully embraces the new Honda design language and isn’t on any level a boring box on wheels. The new Odyssey is pretty much ready to go, and should be in showrooms in the spring of 2017.

2017 Honda Odyssey In a market where Ford and, as previously mentioned, GM, have left the minivan in the past, Honda has kept the flame burning. Not content to allow the excellent Pacifica to dominate the market, Honda has really poured everything they have into this next gen minivan. A very cool feature is one that allows the driver to actually override the headphones so they can’t play the “I can’t hear you” game! Why no one has thought of this before is simply mindboggling, made only cooler in that you can select which headphones to speak to and leave the wellbehaving kids out of the scolding. A camera can even display the goings on in the middle row, whose seats can slide sideways to give plenty of configuration options. There’s an available 360 degree camera to

2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 4MATIC The Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 has been a hot seller for the German automaker. It lives somewhere between hatchback and CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle), with a sporty and squat shape. While it’s already sporty, that’s no excuse not to let AMG work its magic. The result is the perfect car for the executive that wants a car that can really boogie, but also head up to the ski lodge on the weekends. With a powerful 375 horsepower going to all four wheels,

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via a seven speed transmission, this car is bound to surprise drivers looking for a race. It’s a lot louder and handles quite a bit sharper than the standard GLA 250, and that’s the point. It’s brash yet still practical. It’s not as cheap as other cars in this class, which is admittedly a pretty small pack, but if you have the means and don’t want a Ford Focus RS or a Nissan Juke NISMO, this is the car for you. Beep, Beep! Watch Out For The Future! In closing, we would like to thank to FCA Canada, sponsor of the Media Shuttle for getting the Biz X team safely to NAIAS. We were just five of 5,101 journalists and photographers from 61 different countries who attended the press preview days and we always look forward to covering this show, which means so much to the local economies in Detroit and Windsor. When the doors closed on the final day, total ticketed attendance for the 2017 NAIAS was 806,554. Forty six vehicles made make their world debut, seven made their North American debut and 17 special one-of-a-kind vehicles made their first appearance at an auto show. Ah, the future is sure going to be an interesting ride . . . buckle up and be sure to keep your eyes on the road!


Howie & Partners LLP is a Windsor based, mid-sized firm with a reputation for providing the highest quality services primarily to private corporations and their shareholders. In addition to providing the core services of auditing, accounting and tax compliance, we have specialist groups working in the areas of: tax planning and structuring; estate planning and freezing; family business succession planning; business valuation and pricing; purchase, sale and reorganization of private corporations; business investigations; and computer systems advisory. If you would like to know more about us and our services, we invite you to contact our office. Anthony Campagna, Partner Sarkis Isaac, Tax Partner

Member of PKF North America www.pkfna.com 3063 Walker Road, Windsor, Ontario N8W 3R4 (519) 250-8663 www.howieca.com


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Celebrating Made In Windsor By Irek Kusmierczyk Last May, the Governor General of Canada — Rt. Hon. David Johnston — boldly stated in an op-ed in The Globe and Mail that “in a nation of innovators, it’s time to foster a culture of innovation.” One of the best ways to foster a culture of innovation is to celebrate achievements past and present. It doesn’t have to be a gala or a major celebration. Sometimes it is enough to just spark a conversation about the innovators and ideas that emerged from our city and our country. The “North American International Auto Show” provided an excellent place to start talking about some made-in-Windsor innovation in manufacturing that gets lost in the glitz and glitter of this world-class event. While visitors and media swarm to the latest advancements in tech — gadgets that make cars smarter, more connected and more autonomous — it’s worth it to take a pause and appreciate the interior and exterior parts

and accessories that are made in Windsor. Appreciate the fact that some of the running boards, chrome plated trims and tubular side steps that shine under the car show lights were built by Windsor-based Ground Effects. Of course, a more obvious place to start is the Chrysler Pacifica — the first ever plugin hybrid minivan built right here at the Windsor Assembly Plant. Beyond these two examples, there’s a long history that connects Windsor to the ingenuity on display at the Auto Show. Another local company — CenterLine — built the system to weld the frames for the original Dodge Viper. They also invented the transgun in the 1980s that remains the standard for spot welding guns and a basis for today’s robotic welding process. Windsor’s Valiant Corporation introduced a new technology into North America called Preciflex Vehicle Framing that helps ensure the dimensional integrity of vehicles. And if we go back even further —

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Felix J. Watts, born in Windsor, was an accomplished inventor with several patents for things like the vehicle ignition system. I won’t mention that W.E. Seagrave on Walker Road developed the first motorized fire trucks in Canada, or that the Canadian mass production auto industry had its start when Gordon M. McGregor formed the Ford Motor Company of Canada in Windsor in 1904 at the Walkerville Wagon Works. The point being — the Auto Show was a perfect place to start talking about the great manufacturing and auto innovations that are made in Windsor. And on the 150th anniversary of the birth of another great idea — Canada — we should also celebrate, not just local innovation, but share the stories of Canadian innovations and innovators from coast-to-coast-to-coast. WEtech Alliance invites all Canadians to submit their favourite inventions or innovators to be posted as part of the CANnovation project. It’s a simple Instagram account — Instagram/cannovation.com — that aims to capture 150 home grown innovators and ideas that hopefully spark a conversation about our city and our nation of innovators. Irek Kusmierczyk is Director of Partnerships at WEtech Alliance, a Regional Innovation Centre that works with technology and innovation companies in Windsor Essex and Chatham Kent.



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Envisioning The Windsor/Detroit Automotive Innovation Super-Hub By Arthur Barbut


huge opportunity lies in the shared knowledge and expertise in automotive and manufacturing, which have made Windsor and Detroit, the respective automotive capitals of Canada and the U.S. The key is connecting technology and innovation disrupters who specialize in that area, with the huge knowledge base of automotive and manufacturing available in Windsor/Detroit. In his latest CAR magazine interview, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), provides his insight into what this might look like . . . “I think the next paradigm of this business is a paradigm that involves the cooperation for technology with the disruptors.” We believe Windsor/Detroit is the ideal region to bring this vision to reality. This region will become a hotbed for start-ups, developing the next wave of disruptive technologies for the automotive sector. Windsor/Detroit offers the perfect playground to connect this innovation with the people and spaces where the vehicles are built. The Accelerator and its partners are at the forefront of this movement and are already working with many companies in this space. One of the excellent strategic partnerships that has occurred over the past two years is the collaboration between the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator (Accelerator) and the Windsor Essex Capital Angel Network (WECAN), which is an active member of Angel Investors Ontario, as well as being engaged with angel organizations from both Canada and the U.S. such as NACO, OBIO, MVCA and ACA. WECAN is one of the few angel organizations in North America to actually work out of a business incubator/ accelerator — the Accelerator. This provides them with great insight into the type of companies, and more importantly

Arthur Barbut of the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator is photographed during a conversation exchanging thoughts about the future of Windsor with Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA at the “Georgie-Odette Leadership Symposium.” Photo courtesy of a student attending the event.

the type of start-up founders, to invest in. It also provides the Accelerator members an immense advantage because they can receive first hand feedback and advice on how to raise capital from the most important source, the angel investors. WECAN has worked with a number of truly inspiring companies in 2016-2017 — ACERTA using machine learning, statistical analysis, big data and complex algorithms to detect anomalies and predict failures in real time for vehicles coming off the assembly line and in the field. VELOMETRO, the “un-car” in the car sharing marketplace bringing a fully enclosed pedal-electric single person vehicle to the global car sharing marketplace. Vemo ticks all the last mile car sharing boxes for civic transit solutions — a liveable city solution that facilitates a modal shift to zero emissions and a healthy lifestyle. CORA Cyber Security, a step beyond encryption providing unbreakable cyber security for vehicle access, protection against potential highway high-jacking of electronically and electronic systems, as well as the storage of confidential data.

As well, WECAN has worked across the border to establish relationships with U.S. Angel Investment Groups like Blue Water and Great Lakes, also exchanging great Canadian and U.S. start-up companies including: SURCLEAN, which has developed an automated, laser coating removal solution, which creates less waste, is less labour intensive and is 16X faster than chemicals. As a Michigan Venture Capital Association member, WECAN was invited to the “AutoMobili-D” show at Cobo prior to the “NAIAS” in Detroit to meet with TechStar Mobility startups, including companies from the U.S., Mexico and Canada with some real standouts like: HAASALERT (the smart city); INVENTEV (supply chain); VETELIA (electric bikes); SPATIAL (mapping) and WEATHER TELEMATICS (live road conditions). Each of these disruptive technologies is dramatically superior to the current status quo bringing innovation, cost competitiveness and benefits to society while offering WECAN Investors key opportunities to support made in North America Solutions from Canadian and U.S. start-ups and early stage companies. There is truly a huge opportunity to position the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator as a North American automotive/manufacturing/technology innovation super-hub, through strategic partnerships with WECAN Investors and other Canadian/U.S. business incubators/accelerators. This will offer Canadian start-ups looking to expand into the U.S. market, with specialized support through cross-border business programs and entrepreneurial advancement. It will also offer U.S. start-ups their first opportunity to go global by establishing a footprint in Canada. This will increase the region’s competitiveness on the global stage and position Windsor/Detroit at the forefront of entrepreneurial innovation.

For more information regarding the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator, 720 Ouellette Avenue and how you can become a positive contributor to the region’s entrepreneurs, please contact Managing Director, Arthur Barbut by emailing: Arthur@downtownaccelerator.com. B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7



“With A Little Help From My Friends” . . . The WSO & Jeans ‘n Classics By Joe McParland

The WSO’s Jeans ‘n Classics 2015 Pink Floyd show. Photo courtesy of Colin Sharpe.


he Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) welcomes Jeans ‘n Classics for the presentation of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 8 p.m. in the Chrysler Theatre. June 1, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of this eighth studio album released by The Beatles. Acknowledged as an immediate commercial and critical success, this “concept” album went on to earn four Grammy Awards, including “Album of the Year” and unleashed the creative predominance of Paul McCartney within the Fab Four. It spent 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom, 15 weeks as number one in the U.S. music charts, and was a number one hit in Canada and other parts of the world. According to: JeansnClassics.com, they are “a group of musicians who understand orchestra culture and are committed to help in the building of younger, loyal audiences for symphony orchestras across North America.” For the past 20 years, the London, ON based group has worked “with over 100 orchestras in venues throughout North America, and have created almost 1,000 original rock and pop orchestrations which are presented across 45 unique and exciting productions.” They return to Windsor this year for their fourth appearance, which began in 2014 featuring the music of Queen, followed by Pink Floyd in 2015 and a challenging


Led Zeppelin show in 2016. The 2014 Queen show at the 600 seat Capitol Theatre was so successful, that shows in subsequent years were moved to the 1,100 seat Chrysler Theatre — all were sell outs. I asked Robert Franz, WSO Music Director, about the challenges presented to a traditional symphony orchestra in bridging to “contemporary” music. He replies, “One of the great things about Jeans ‘n Classics is that they help make the bridge between these two musical worlds very easy. The truth is that the bridge isn’t nearly as far as people would think. Music is such a profound language that much like any other language, you can alter it to express different thoughts or ideas. For us, performing music of the Beatles is as natural as performing the music of Beethoven.” The March show is a collaboration between Jeans ‘n Classics Peter Brennan and the WSO’s Associate Conductor, Peter Wiebe. It is important to note that Jeans ‘n Classics is not a tribute band. So, don’t expect to see a Fab Four look-alike on stage. Wiebe points out, “their approach is to faithfully represent the original recordings, enhanced with orchestral backing. While they don’t take the “note-for-note” approach used by some tribute bands, they are nevertheless loyal to the original sound and arrangements of these classic songs.” Jeans ‘n Classics Windsor appearance features Jean Meilleur, lead; vocalists Leah Salomaa and Kathryn Rose; Dave Dunlop, B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

guitar/vocals; Jeff Christmas, drummer; Darryl Stacey, bass and John Regan, pianist/ vocals. They join a full ensemble of the WSO. The first set of the two hour show features an assortment of Beatles’ classics. The second set is dedicated to the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in its entirety — with some exciting enhancements. Shelley Sharpe, WSO Marketing, Communications & Sales, explains the importance of shows such as this: “The baby boomer generation currently represents the solid base of subscription support for the WSO. Following behind them, the demographic age group of 40 to 65 is being targeted by shows such as Jeans ‘n Classics to become the next generation of subscription support.” Dennis Dowker and Sandy Morgan are a couple with a combined age of 156 years. Morgan has been a WSO subscriber and financial supporter for over 25 years. Asked why they support the WSO, Dowker remarks: “Though we both absolutely enjoy the traditional classical music, we also appreciate the WSO’s interpretations and presentations of ‘contemporary’ music, as well as featuring the compositions of living composers. One of the things that helps to keep the WSO so relevant is exactly this interaction of classical and contemporary including the ‘Pops’ concerts. They have reinterpreted more modern ‘non-classical’ musicians such as Queen (Freddie Mercury), the Beatles and Jazz with Alexander Zonjic.

This always makes for an interesting diversion and exploration of musical culture and history.” Morgan’s longstanding commitment to the WSO is partly an expression of gratitude from him for the WSO’s strong integration into the community. He says “The WSO is so involved in all the local communities — Windsor, Amherstburg, LaSalle, Kingsville, Leamington, Essex and Chatham. It is investing in our youth through the Youth Orchestra and through visits to local schools. And, it’s giving well deserved recognition to our seniors with their Music for Health outreach. With summer performances around Essex County and Windsor as well as the News Café in downtown Windsor, the WSO is going to where the people are. Their wide range of community outreach and education programs ensures that the WSO is a vital part of our communities.” At the opposite end of the age spectrum, Patrick Kelleher and Spencer Rivait are a couple with a combined age of 64 years. They are frequent WSO performance patrons, although not yet annual subscribers. Asked what their musical preferences are from the WSO, Kelleher explains, “Spencer likes more the Jeans ‘n Classics type of performances, but I personally am not overly interested in hearing contemporary music in classical form. We both enjoy when they do their annual operatic pieces, like Carmen or La Bohème. I’ve always enjoyed every outing to the Symphony, and Spencer has been pleasantly surprised at how much he does enjoy it. Whether it has been Robert Franz or John Morris Russell, I’ve always found their passion for the music very contagious. Windsor has been truly blessed to have such talented conductors and players. For me, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra is Windsor’s greatest cultural gem, and I will always cherish it as such.” Back to the Marketing, Communications & Sales department, Sharpe reports some exciting changes for the 2018 season. The “Friday Pops” series will be replaced with a “Friday Rock” series with at least one of the shows a collaboration with Jeans ‘n Classics. However, the extremely popular, seasonal favourite, “Holiday Pops”, will still be presented and available as an “add-on” to those subscribing to the “Friday Rock” series. For more information and ticket availability for the March 10 Jeans ‘n Classics and WSO performance of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, visit the WSO website: WindsorSymphony.com. But act quickly; this show WILL be a sell-out! If the popularity of these performances continues to grow, perhaps the WSO might want to look at the WFCU Centre in future years.

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Look Who We Caught At The December 2016 “Christmas Biz MiXer” at ARIIUS Nightclub! Photos by Rod Denis.

If you would like to sponsor a prize for an upcoming “Biz MiXer” or host this special networking event, email: jack@bizxmagazine.com

The 5th Annual “Christmas Biz MiXer” took place in a world-class premium lounge, ARIIUS Nightclub, situated inside Caesars Windsor. ARIIUS International Group — headed by President Kash Hasan (right) and Manager Justin Oddy — operates the lavish Vegas styled club. The 10,000 square foot setting was the perfect place to wrap up the year with fellow biz pros that featured VIP areas, three bars, LED ceiling on the dance floor and a 16 foot LED screen behind the DJ booth. And so it was appropriate they gave away a $250 VIP booth package to a lucky guest for a future visit. View more about the club by checking out: AriiusNightclub.com. Eddy Hammoud, General Manager of Eddy’s Mediterranean Bistro, 420 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor specializes in Italian and Middle East cuisine and is rated as one of Windsor’s top restaurants. He certainly pulled out all the stops for the delicious appetizers he served MiXer guests. To see a menu on what you can try at his restaurant, refer to his website: EddysBistro.ca.

As always for our holiday events, plenty of prizes were up for grabs. Jeanine Draper (left), “Windsor Comedy Festival” won a gift basket from Owner Carrie Deslippe of Above & Beyond Massage Therapy Clinic (5158 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor; MassageWindsor.com) that contained a $100, one hour package including warm Bamboo Fusion Massage with Reiki infusion.


Thank you to the following businesses who also sponsored a prize. Santa’s sack truly was full of wonderful gifts! On Time, Watch, Clock & Jewellery; TownePlace Suites by Marriott; Holiday Inn, downtown Windsor; Green Earth, inside Devonshire Mall; Laser It Salon and Medical Spa; Stacy-Fawn Patricia, Certified Relationship Coach & Educator; Super Bowl Lanes; Walkerville Brewery; Canadian College of Health Science & Technology; Sandler Training; The Pasta House; Windsor Comedy Festival and Cheryl Mary Landry from Nature Within.

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The grand prize was a $1,000 travel certificate from Carlson Wagonlit Travel-Windsor, 1206 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor (CarlsonWagonlitWindsor.ca) and Transat Holidays. The happy winner was Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh (left) and her prize was presented by Beverly Power, Travel Supervisor & Manager; Deborah Jones, Publisher of Biz X magazine and “Biz MiXer” MC Joe “Santa” McParland.

As part of its community commitment, Biz X donated $5 from each paid ticket to the Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor, 964 Wyandotte Street East, which has been helping the homeless in Windsor Essex for 17 years. Photographed were: Della JonesGoulet (middle), Assistant to the Publisher of Biz X magazine; SarahLynn Ellis, Street Help Manager, and Christine Wilson-Furlonger, Administrator Street Help. (See “Street Help” on Facebook to read more about this local Canadian registered charity).

To see more photos of guests in attendance visit BizXmagazine.com. To learn when MiXers take place and the locations please enter your email under DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION at the top of our website to receive our monthly newsletter. As well, ‘like’ the Biz X magazine fan page on Facebook to see locations and dates a few weeks before each mixer.

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portfolio corner

The Swinging Markets & The Dow By Steven Mayo In 2016, the markets started off lousy, and finished strong. Certain stocks and sectors did well at different times, and trading a portion of the portfolio took on more importance. I expect similar rotations from good to bad, back to good, to be the case again in 2017. In my opinion, caution matters in this market place until February, a time when earnings season is almost done and President Donald Trump is now officially in office. The optimism of Trump’s presidency will be reflected in stock prices and it’s likely other events will begin to influence the market. For example, news that comes out of China, actual company earnings, and oil prices will likely impact market behaviour again. My concerns for a 5 to 10% market correction are well founded and part of the normal ebbs and flows of market behaviour. Keep in mind a year ago the market was “hated,” and bargains were out there. At October 31st the Dow had a Year to Date return of 4.3%, and by the end of the year the return


was approximately 14.6% . . . that’s a 10% boost in two months! Now we enter 2017 with considerable “love,” and therefore less bargains. A year ago, I was beating the drum to buy U.S. financials, which is hard to do now, after the recent jump in their share prices, but there is still potential for this sector. Early in 2016, dollars were flowing into telecommunication, utility, REIT, and technology sectors. But, since the U.S. election in November, these sectors have declined, and are now four sectors to look at. 2015’s losers became 2016’s winners. So it’s very possible that the 2016 underperformers become 2017 winners. This brings me to discuss how the Dow Jones Industrial Average is measured. In many ways this symbolic index is misleading, partly because it is comprised of only 30 stocks and partly on how the index is calculated. The Dow is measured on “price weighting,” not “market capitalization weighting.” So a high price stock has more influence than a lower price stock. For example, Goldman Sachs quick jump

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to $240 from $190 has greatly impacted the Dow in its’ rise to the 20,000 area. The increase in share price of Goldman Sachs since the election has had more influence on the Dow than Cisco, GE, Pfizer, Intel, Coca Cola, and Nike combined. The S&P500 or S&P1000 indices are more reflective of market behaviour and are a better yardstick(s) for measuring portfolio returns from one quarter to the next. Keep this in mind when you are bombarded with the media’s pre-occupation with the Dow Index. As we go through 2017, expect the unexpected and be ready to react. Each year brings opportunity to the prepared investor. In 2016, China spooked the markets to start, followed by Brexit in June, and then Trump. 2017 will be no different. The markets tend to behave to make the majority wrong. Surprises come along and things remain as clear as mud. Through all of this I remain optimistic and opportunistic. Not being sidelined by short-term noise is important to long-term success. Quote of the month: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”~ Warren Buffet Steven Mayo is a Vice President, Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. (Member — Canadian Investor Protection Fund). This article is not intended as nor does it constitute investment advice. Readers should consult a qualified professional before taking any action based on information in this article.

from the bookshelf

Celebrating “Heritage Week” By Marlene Markham-Gay


or this issue we profile two historical picks appropriately timed with “Heritage Week,” February 20 to 26, 2017. During this time we celebrate heritage in all its forms (cultural and natural, architectural, archaeological and collections), its diverse traditions and cultural expressions. Local author Barbara Reaume Sandre has spent 25 years doing genealogical research on her family. She resides in Windsor with her husband Richard and is a retired teacher in her sixth year of retirement. She is co-owner of a gift shop called Great Presentations in her hometown of LaSalle. Sandre’s first book, “Renee,” was featured in Biz X magazine in 2014 and now we profile the second instalment in the series about the Reaume ancestors, “…. and his son Robert.” Robert Reaume’s travels bring him from Montreal to Detroit, Michilimackinac, Indiana and beyond. He was a true first generation Canadian and voyageur. The harrowing story of Robert and his family, the hardship, the courage and the determination is an inspiring and historical story. Sandre has included maps and historical information which bring this novel to life. Living as a voyageur was not easy, they tended to live for the moment rather than what the future held. Sandre has researched what their attire would have been, food, customs, where they travelled as well as their family celebrations. Very well documented historical events ravel their way through the story of love and endurance. This step back to the 17th and 18th centuries will transport you to that time. An era that was not for the timid soul or the weak of heart. Bravery and adventure makes this novel well worth reading. Sandre has traced her ancestors and written an intriguing story. “…. and his son Robert” can be purchased at Great Presentations, 5975 Malden Road, LaSalle; From The Heart Gift Shop, 1356 Ottawa Street, Windsor; Juniper Books, 1990 Ottawa Street, Windsor; Biblioasis, 1520  Wyandotte Street East, Windsor; The Essex Railway Station, 87 Station Street,

Essex; and the Marsh Historical Collection, 235A Dalhousie Street, Amherstburg. Next up is a bit of local history for a charitable cause. “Tall Tales of Leamington and other anecdotal musings” is a compilation of 30 local stories made into a book form by Mark Ribble and Louise Wiens. All proceeds from sales of the book go to the Leamington District Memorial Hospital Foundation (LDMH) and are used locally to assist in the growth and sustainability of Leamington Memorial Hospital. Wiens has written a monthly column for the Sun Parlor Home newsletter for many years and has written extensively for the “Germans From Russia Heritage Collection,” housed at North Dakota State University. She is presently working on a historical novel intertwined with her family history and the events of World War II. Married with two grown children, she has enjoyed a long career as an RN at LDMH. Ribble is from Leamington and was born and raised inside of Point Pelee National Park. He writes a popular weekly column in the Southpoint Sun and Wheatley Journal. He and his wife have four grown children and three grandchildren. The book is filled with stories about Leamington with chapters having names like: “Downtown Memories,” “The Rain,” “Guess Who Came to My Birthday?” All of them remind us of places, people and things, many that we sometimes take for granted. Both amusing and thought provoking, it is worth turning the pages. This delightful little book can be purchased for just $8 at the Leamington District Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop or in other Leamington locations listed at: LDMHFoundation.ca/news.php. Marlene Markham-Gay is the former host of CFTV’s “Storyteller.” She promotes local authors through the book corner at the Essex Railway Station, which allows them to display and sell books. Marlene is an avid reader and encourages her eight grandchildren to read. B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7


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The 2016 “Appreciation Luncheon” For The Windsor-Essex County Association Of “REALTORS” (WECAR)

HOT SHOTS HOT SHOTS HOT SHOTS HOT December 15, 2016 at Beach Grove Golf & Country Club, 14134 Riverside Drive East, Tecumseh. Photos by Rod Denis. All people in photos listed from the left.

This annual “Appreciation Luncheon,” presented by WECAR, honours their committee and Task Force volunteers, as well as Long Term Members. In addition, awards were presented for Act of Bravery and Community Service, but the appreciation didn’t end there! Six Bursary and Scholarship Awards were also presented to those lucky sons and daughters of the members who were chosen. Also included was a formal cheque presentation to the recipients of WECAR’s Members’ charitable endeavours. Donations were made to — The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County, The United Church Downtown Mission of Windsor Inc., Community Support Centre of Essex County, Community Living Windsor, Windsor/Essex County Humane Society, Canadian Diabetes Association, Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Foundation, W.E. Care for Kids, and Harmony In Action. The accompanying two pages feature photos of WECAR members receiving formal recognition for their years of membership during the luncheon.


Also photographed for 25 years with WECAR and receiving a plaque were: Jim Boutros, Sun County Realty Inc.; Robert Gruich, Royal LePage Binder Real Estate and Dave O’Gorman, RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. For 2017 the gavel has now been passed to WECAR President, Kim Gazo of Deerbrook Realty Inc. To learn more about this association visit: WindsorRealEstate.com.

In recognition of 25 years of membership, those receiving a plaque were: Boula Ibrahim, Manor Windsor Realty Ltd.; Carol Irwin, Royal LePage Binder Real Estate and Denny Laurin, RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.


Janet Chesterfield, Excel Realty Corp. (1996); Kris Nayar, National Realty Exchange Corp. and Cindy Ross, Remo Valente Real Estate (1990) Limited, received Certificates of Membership in recognition of 30 years with WECAR.

Kevin Mollard, RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.; Mona Sabet, Remo Valente Real Estate (1990) Limited and Gary Kern, RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. received Certificates of Membership for 30 years with WECAR.

Also honoured with Certificates of Membership in recognition of 40 years with WECAR were: Jim Monforton, Manor Windsor Realty Ltd.; Gary Featherstone Jr., receiving the award on behalf of Gary Featherstone Sr., H. Featherstone Realty Inc., and Carl Idzinski, Real Choice Realty Inc.

Neil Jones, RE/MAX Capital Inc.; Bruce Mee and John Peterson, Sun County Realty Inc. received Certificates of Membership for 45 years with WECAR.

Rodger Beattie, Deerbrook Realty Inc.; Phil Kasurak, Royal LePage Binder Real Estate and Paul Bistany, Paul Bistany Real Estate received Certificates of Membership in recognition of 30 years with WECAR. Jim Williams, RE/MAX Capital Inc. and Lou Bendo, Lou Bendo Realty & Insurance Ltd. were honoured with Certificates of Membership in recognition of 45 years and 60 years, respectively, with WECAR.

Richard Benneian, Deerbrook Realty Inc., received his framed Certificate of Membership for being a 35 year WECAR member.

Tonya Gifford, Regional Sales Manager, Mortgage Specialists RBC Royal Bank is presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Krista Del Gatto, Executive Officer, WindsorEssex County Association Of “REALTORS” on behalf of the RBC Financial Group/RBC Mortgage Specialist Team who generously participated as a $10,000 Titanium Sponsor for WECAR events in 2016. B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7




Story And Photos By Dave Hall

Ristorante Avanti, 1317 Hall Avenue, Windsor


little over 10 years ago, Dan Ferriolo decided to take a chance by leaving a steady position at an Erie Street eatery in Windsor and opening his own restaurant a few yards off Ottawa Street’s retail corridor. It’s been a steady success story ever since and Ristorante Avanti is now one of the most popular Italian restaurants in the city. “I’d been working at Noi before it became Motor Burger, but when this place became available, I decided it was now or never,” Ferriolo recalls. “It had been home to a couple of restaurants in the past, most notably Da Luciano, so there really wasn’t a lot to do.” He continues, “We made a few minor changes and opened up on New Year’s Eve 2006/2007. People thought we were crazy to pick that night, but we were ready so we thought why not get right into it.”

Chef Dan Ferriolo opened Ristorante Avanti over 10 years ago and has built a loyal clientele, many of whom visit the restaurant on Hall Avenue several times a year.

In addition to offering a vast array of Italian dishes on its a la carte menu, Avanti has also become well known for its Grande all-you-can-eat six-course meal, which provides diners with two appetizers, salad and pasta, as well as meat or fish entrees, for $24.99 a person.


One of Avanti’s popular menu items is the Grande all-you-can-eat, which provides diners with appetizers such as Arancini and Bruschetta, salad, pasta and entrees such as Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Marsala for $24.99 a person.

“It’s very popular because in many ways, it’s how many Italians eat,” says Ferriolo, laughing. “The food just keeps coming and it becomes more of an event than simply a meal.” With its rustic, casual décor, it’s easy to see why Avanti has become such a hit with customers over the years. Allison Bolton has been a regular diner for more than four years and believes it’s not only the food which keeps her coming back, but the friendly atmosphere developed and encouraged by Ferriolo and his staff of five, including Dan’s fiancée, Enza Stabile. “It’s the kind of food which tastes like Nonna would have cooked it,” comments Bolton. “It’s delicious home-style Italian cooking.” She adds, “Dan always makes you feel at home. He remembers you and he remembers details of past conversations so he can ask how your family and the kids are doing. It’s old-fashioned customer service and it’s something you don’t find just anywhere.

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It’s that kind of atmosphere which creates loyalty from customers, and now our whole family is hooked on Avanti.” Ferriolo says he has been supported in his venture by his parents, Mike and Connie Ferriolo, and although neither work at the restaurant, they are always ready to pitch in and lend a hand. He changes the menu periodically, but there are certain items, such as his lamb shank, which are staples. “There are some items you can’t take off the menu because they are so popular,” indicates Ferriolo. He also does some outside catering and hosts showers, rehearsal dinners, baptisms and other family occasions on a regular basis. “We’re open to doing pretty much anything that’s asked of us,” Ferriolo states. Located at 1317 Hall Avenue, Ristorante Avanti (AvantiRistorante.webs.com) is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. onwards and on Sunday and Monday for private parties and special events.


ask the experts

Window Cleaning With A Celtic Touch? Och Aye! By Dave Halliday


he task of keeping up with the family as they mess their way through the house each day is never ending! The kids spill things and leave handprints all over everything. The dog creates a drool pattern across the back room from his water dish every time he gets a drink. Then there are the footprints, the dust bunnies, and to be honest, you and your spouse are capable of making your own cleaning disasters as well. When will it end? You are in the midst of tackling your most recent challenge, which involves pasta sauce that somehow reached the kitchen ceiling when you decided to take a break. You grab a cool drink and wander over to the front door to see what the rest of the neighbourhood is up to. As the inner door opens the mosaic pattern on the outer door makes you gasp. This pattern is not by design. It is a collection of greasy hand prints, canine nose prints, and inexplicably what appears to be more pasta sauce! You decide you need help to keep up and there seems to be no better place to start than the windows. Even the people who don’t enter your home see the windows from the exterior, so it’s clearly time to enlist the aid of a professional. We at Biz X had the opportunity to sit and discuss the finer points of this topic with Ben Snow, Franchise Owner at Men In Kilts (MenInKilts.com). Men In Kilts has been providing their services to the residents of Essex County for the past year and Snow was kind enough to provide some insight on the topic. What services does your company provide? Snow replies, “Our professional, kilt-wearing technicians provide our residential and commercial customers with exterior and interior window cleaning, gutter cleaning, siding cleaning, pressure washing, and yes . . . snow removal!” I believe you just mentioned kilt-wearing technicians . . . why kilts and does this present any unique work hazards? “Men In Kilts was started in 2002 by Nicholas Brand, a Vancouver-based Scotsman who fashioned

Local franchise owner, Ben Snow delivers a professional, unique cleaning service and always puts a smile to the faces of all his customers, one kilt at a time! Photo courtesy of Lisa Snow.

a hand sewn kilt and put a visual to the otherwise faceless window cleaner,” explains Snow. He adds, “The kilt has an immediate and striking impact, is playful, unique and cheeky. Holding a ladder under a kilt may be seen as a ‘hazard’ for some customers (ha-ha), however the only time we may need to go to pants is on a construction site if their safety rules deem it necessary. Otherwise, kilts are comfortable and safe!” Is it ideal to establish a regular schedule for cleaning one’s windows, if so why? “Setting up an ongoing maintenance program may not be for everyone, but those who chose this option will enjoy the ease of our Auto-Pilot program, set it and forget it!” offers Snow and continues, “Knowing the job is done properly and not having to worry about it gives you back your time to do the things you love. We clean your windows . . . and more, so you don’t have to!” What should one expect from their professional window cleaning contractor prior to the start of work? “We attend the

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job on time, with a guaranteed pre-call prior to arriving,” answers Snow. “We will agree on a price prior to the work being done, and charge by the job not the hour. We offer a 48 hour Clean Guarantee where we will come back at no charge if something was missed.” Do you handle window cleaning at elevations? “Yes, the Windsor franchise is currently certified to work up to six storeys on ladders and lift equipment,” he informs us. “We also provide pure water window cleaning and with our equipment we can go as high as six storeys.” What certifications or training certificates should I expect my professional window cleaner to have? Snow lists the following: “They should be trained and be able to produce certificates showing completion of Working at Heights, Fall Protection, Lift Certification, First Aid, and WHMIS as well as proof of WSIB Insurance.” Beyond the obvious removal of dirt from the window surface are there secondary benefits? “Yes, secondary benefits include maximizing passive solar gain in cold months, increasing the amount of natural light, not to mention that the way we clean makes the whole home feel clean!” says Snow. “Our technicians use biodegradable, ecofriendly cleaning solutions and 100% pure rubber squeegees to wipe across the glass. This method cleans your windows without building up a static charge and prevents the attraction of more dirt and grime.” You have established a regular schedule with the window guys and it has been a pleasure dealing with them thus far. The house looks great and you have more free time. It seems the neighbours’ wives have found some free time as well, because every time the Men In Kilts arrive they inevitably happen to be watching out their front windows. I suppose the combination of ladders, kilts and the occasional updraft has them thinking they will learn the answer to the age old question of what men wear under their kilts!


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abuse. B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7



Announcing The “27th Annual Business Excellence Awards” Finalists

Photos courtesy of Dax Melmer

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and Presenting Sponsor Windsor Star recently announced the finalists for the “27th Annual Business Excellence Awards” (BEA) at the Windsor Star News Café Soup Market. Celebrating 27 years of Business Excellence the chamber’s gala focuses on the stars of the show — the Finalists. The event, held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at Caesars Windsor, allows the entire community to celebrate the achievements of the chamber’s distinguished lineup of Windsor Essex businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs. During the January press conference, two award winners were also revealed; however, they will be formally recognized at the April ceremony along with the other winners. The recipient of the “Believe Windsor Essex” Award is the Rosati Group and the “ATHENA” Award went to Patricia France, President, St. Clair College. (pictured in PHOTO 1) The remaining award recipients are announced the night of the gala during the gourmet dinner and show. Tickets are on sale now at their website: WindsorEssexChamber.org.


THE 2017 BEA FINALISTS* ARE. . . *pictured in the accompanying photos on pages 39 to 43 from the left


2. “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award Finalists — Gino Piccioni, Timberland Homes; Anne Waters, Anne’s on the Avenue; and Michael Patella, Sweat Fitness & Performance. 3. “Professional of the Year” Award Finalists — (photo on next page) Goran Todorovic, Team Goran

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“27th Annual Business Excellence Awards” Finalists continues





RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.; Holly Ward of HWard Communications Inc.; and Sean P. McCann of McCann International Consulting Enterprises. 4. “Young Professional of the Year” Award Finalists — Tanya Antoniw, Workforce WindsorEssex; Jennifer Wells, Families First Funeral Home; and Yvonne Pilon, WEtech Alliance. 5. “Small Company of the Year” Award Finalists — Surveyors On Site represented by Chris Oyler; MARDA Management Inc. represented by Marla Coffin; and (missing from photo) Manifesto Studios. 6. “Innovation” Award Finalists — KeenTech NA Inc. represented by Shawnna Predhomme; AlphaKOR Group Inc. represented by Frank Abbruzzese; and (missing from photo) Powerball Technologies Inc.

B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7



B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

“27th Annual Business Excellence Awards” Finalists continues





7. “Mid-Size Company of the Year” Finalists — Windsor Beauty Supply represented by Andy Zeboony, Sylvia Zeboony, Nancy George and Fay Zeboony; Ives Insurance Brokers Limited represented by Jeff Ives; and Next Dimension Inc. represented by Brian Pearl.

8. “Large Company of the Year” Finalists — Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. represented by Don Livermore and Jim Stanski; Red Sun Farms represented by Carlos Visconti; and Jim Di Menna and Reliance Home Comfort represented by Lynda Pizzolitto.


9. “Tourism & Hospitality” Award Finalists — The Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast represented by Benjamin LeBlanc-Beaudoin; Canadian Club Brand Centre represented by Karen Smallwood: and WindsorEats represented by brother and sister team, Pina and Adriano Ciotoli. 10. “New Business of the Year” Award Finalists — Witeck Solutions represented by Jimmy Ghelani and Usman Mughal; Abraham Orthodontics represented by Dr. Maxwell Abraham; and (missing from photo) Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering. 11. “Pillars of our Community” Award Finalists — Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County represented by Lubna Barakat and Patricia Reid Crichton; Transition to Betterness represented by Amber Hunter and Carol Derbyshire of The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County Inc. with Tania Sorge and Melissa Iarusso, also of Transition to Betterness.

B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7


By Rebecca Wright



“International Women’s Day Gala 2017” Marks 30th Anniversary of WEST


or this issue we take a different approach and instead of profiling only one outstanding local business woman, our topic refers to an area organization and awards ceremony, which honours women in the workforce in general. On March 8, Women’s Enterprise Skills Training Inc. (WEST) joins the world to celebrate and recognize the achievements of women with their event, the “International Women’s Day Gala 2017.” “The Gala is a day for WEST to share its successes with the Windsor Essex community and acknowledge the great work of the organization,” explains WEST Executive Director Rose Anguiano Hurst. “The event also highlights the accomplishments of the participants and how, through the support of community partners, WEST is able to continue assisting women and their families to achieve goals of employment leading to self-sufficiency.” The event is held at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts and includes a gourmet dinner, keynote speaker, live entertainment, awards program, and a silent auction. Tickets are $85 and can be purchased online at: WESTofWindsor.com. This year marks the 30th anniversary of WEST, which was incorporated on March 4, 1987. This milestone achievement just adds to the celebration, notes Anguiano Hurst. At this year’s annual gala, in commemoration of WEST’s 30th anniversary, WEST will be sharing its vision as a leader in community services in Windsor Essex and key highlights of their strategic plan to move the organization forward over the next five years. The event is always very popular, with typically more than 400 women


From left: Ann Diab, Vice President, WEST Board of Directors; Sheila Barker, Past President, WEST Board of Directors; The Honourable Jean Augustine, Keynote Speaker; Gemma Grey-Hall, President, WEST Board of Directors, and Rose Anguiano Hurst, Executive Director WEST, pose for a photo during the “International Women’s Day Gala 2016.” Photo by Mitzi Benvenuto.

attending each year. WEST hosted its first “International Women’s Day Gala” in the community in 2008. “WEST’s International Women’s Day event, is an opportunity to show how we are an integral part of the support system available in our community, doing our part to assist women and their families gain skills and confidence leading to employment,” states Anguiano Hurst. The theme and tagline for the event is “Empowering Women and Girls into the Future” and features WEST’s annual “Journey Towards Success Awards,” which were created to recognize community partners in our region who are invested in helping WEST and their participants achieve their goals, along with occasionally going the extra mile.

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“WEST will be acknowledging the individuals, businesses and organizations in the Windsor Essex community that support WEST and our mission, and assist women on their journey toward success,” explains Anguiano Hurst. The awards are: “Innovation Award,” “Visionary Award,” “Phenomenal Woman Award,” “Sisterhood Award,” “Trailblazer Award” and the “VIP Award.” Since 1987, WEST has been providing women in Windsor Essex with support and programs to aid them in securing employment and enhancing their skills, along with providing newcomer and immigrant women with services designed to help them adapt and integrate into Canadian culture and their new community. Anguiano Hurst says although at times WEST’s job may not be easy, it is the strength and passion of their clients that motivates them and makes them better people and service providers. The “International Women’s Day Gala” empowers women and girls by demonstrating success and achievement is possible, and that WEST as an organization and Windsor Essex as a community can offer support for each and every person’s journey, she adds. “Empowering women and girls in our communities with information promoting opportunities and choices is crucial to achieving a better future for all,” Anguiano Hurst stresses. “This event presents the opportunity for Windsor Essex to come together and celebrate what can become of girls, young women and women if they are given a chance and recognized for their skills and potential.”



Beyond The Boundaries: A History Of Duty And Service

February is “Black History Month!”

By Andrea Grimes


eptember 10, 1939. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King brought Canada back … to the front. As a young Dominion just recovering from the Great War, another generation of our young lads from the farms and factories throughout Essex County took up the cause to fill the ranks. Our Canadian soldiers faced the relentless torment of standing for days on end, kneedeep in muddy water and rain-soaked coats frozen solid. Mortars churned up the earth across the battlefields and when shellfire landed in the trenches, it tore our soldiers from limb to limb. Hunger, lack of sleep, loneliness, the scurry of rats, the agonizing moans of the wounded and the stench of rotting bodies floating in bloody sewage took a toll on the best of their morale. At the onset of WWII, patriotism fired the hearts of men and women in their determination to serve Canada. War also created a battle on the home front as families soon learned (from bitter experiences) that war changed everything. They too were casualities of the conditions of war as a result of prejudices. Our local military history is a testament to a legacy of duty, service and loyalty dating back to the early 1800s when European settlers, French pioneers and runaway Black refugees (BlackHistoryCanada.ca) living along the south shores of the Detroit River, volunteered to serve with the Essex militia to protect their families and homes; to preserve their Canadian way of life. History has shown that Black Canadians were denied the right to fight for their

WWII RCAF Veteran, Kenneth Barnell Jacobs (19232016). Photo provided courtesy of Elise Harding-Davis, African-Canadian Heritage Consultant.

country alongside white servicemen. The site: BlackHistorySociety.ca/news.php/news/28 — confirms the only Black unit in a segregated Canadian Expeditionary Force of WWI was the No. 2 Construction Battalion. According to Elise Harding Davis (African-Canadian Heritage Consultant), “Black Canadians’ committed military service is historic. Their heroic sacrifices and laudable achievements have loyally shone through garnering hard-won acceptance. Since before Canada was its own country through current armed efforts, they too, have made their mark.” One Windsor resident, Kenneth Barnell Jacobs (a Canadian of African descent) faced racial injustices early in life. However, this never deterred him from pursuing a distinguished military career and fulfilling

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his calling to humanitarian service. Jacobs graduated from the University of Toronto — School of Medicine and received advanced training in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. With this background in medicine and a proficiency in typing, Jacobs was employed as a clerk-typist in the Hospital Orderly Room at Victoria Military Hospital. Jacobs remained here until being reassigned to the Operating Room where he began on-the-job training. During this time, Jacobs was exposed to the indignities of racial discrimination which caused him to re-think a future in the field of medicine! Jacobs’ 40-year career with the military as a social worker took him all across Canada, from a posting with the Royal Canadian Air Force Division Headquarters (as the area’s only Black social welfare officer), to being stationed with the National Defence Headquarters as the 2IC (second in command) of the Canadian Forces Social Work Branch (being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel as the first Canadian of African descent to receive such an appointment) to his last five year tour of duty in 1980 as Director of the Social Work Department of the National Defence Medical Centre. Thousands upon thousands of Canadian servicemen and women admired and respected Jacobs for his exemplary dedication to their wellbeing, for his steadfast perseverance, and front line commitment to the mission. Our African-Canadian Veterans’ dedication to military service sets the cornerstone of a tradition of duty, courage and integrity forging a legacy that honours generations who stood fast . . . to fill the ranks!



Story & Photo By Rebecca Wright

The Suit Shop Co. Ltd Opens For The “Modern Man”


n today’s very visual culture, several retail stores in Windsor. appearance and perception Dimitriou then headed are paramount. And according overseas and took over several to local style and fashion significant retail arms in Greece, guru Lazaros Dimitriou, where he had a variety of nothing looks better than leadership roles. well-tailored clothing. After coming back to Canada “I believe it makes the garments and working in tailoring in look better,” says Dimitriou, Toronto for some time, he finally Owner of The Suit Shop returned to Windsor to establish Co. Ltd., (TheSuitShopCo.com) The Suit Shop and showcase adding “a well-dressed man is like his passion for well-fitted and having good manners” — a quote tailored clothing. by famous designer Tom Ford Today, with more than two that still resonates with him. decades of experience in the The Suit Shop is a custom men’s Lazaros Dimitriou poses for a photo inside his new business on Erie Street East, where industry, Dimitriou offers he provides professional custom designs and tailoring for local men. clothing and lifestyle company extensive fashion and retail that specializes in providing custom fit, gentleman with great-looking clothing that knowledge to men in Windsor Essex. chic and trendy styles, and fashion-forward suits their body type,” Dimitriou indicates. Dimitriou’s goals for 2017 are to break craftsmanship. Dimitriou is committed And he says patrons can anticipate a into the wedding market, while breaking to building confidence in his customers unique shopping experience every time they up the monopoly (and monotony) of the through his professional attention to detail step through the doors. shopping experience and continuing to get and design. At The Suit Shop Co. Ltd., you’re always the word out about The Suit Shop Co. Ltd. “The clothing they purchase from me and greeted with a hospitable welcome, says by building relationships with his clients, the way I tailor it makes the garment look Dimitriou, with refreshments and sweets getting to know them, and understanding good and makes them feel good wearing it,” — including espresso, coffee and chocolate their lifestyle needs. vows Dimitriou. “They are guaranteed that — provided with every visit and fashion Although The Suit Shop hasn’t been open it will be the best fitting suit they own.” consultation. He asserts that it’s this “more for long, the reception from the community The Suit Shop opened in December 2016 personal experience” that sets him apart has already been great and very positive, in the heart of the Windsor’s little Italy at from other similar businesses. reports Dimitriou. He is proud to offer 593 Erie Street East. “I want to provide a unique shopping luxurious high-end business suits and “I saw the demand for a tweaked look on experience for new and existing clients in accessories. Plus, to further the personal the classic scene here in Windsor,” explains the area,” states Dimitriou. “Through the experience Dimitriou is determined Dimitriou. “People believe that there is a process of helping gentlemen learn and feel to provide, his business offers fittings, demand here in Windsor, and that there is no great about themselves, I want to educate monogramming, custom shirts, made-tovariety of good quality formal men’s clothing. them in helping them find clothing that’s measure suits and wedding party packages. It’s a monopoly, and people want something just right for their body.” It’s all about the client and their needs different and a personable experience.” In the early 1990s, Dimitriou was at The Suit Shop, and it always will be, Offering clients only the best ready-made working part-time at Devonshire Mall he stresses. products and custom solutions is something and this marked the start of his career in “I want to make sure they know they look Dimitriou firmly believes. His business the fashion field. He went on to attain a good and their fit is just right,” Dimitriou boasts only top-of-the-line materials, with Diploma in Fashion and Merchandising, describes. “They walk out of The Suit Shop fabrics coming from as far as Italy and Turkey. Retail Marketing and Management from not only 100 percent satisfied, but a walking “My goal is to provide the dapper Fanshawe College, then managed billboard for my business!”


B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7



B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

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Biz X magazine February 2017 - Vol 20 Issue 2  

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