16 Years – A Legacy Also in this Issue: BBI Summit 2012 Trailblazers:
Women in Trades
“A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”
Black 2 Business is the official periodical of The Black Business Initiative and is published quarterly spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Its goal is to support the BBI as it fosters a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community. For Advertising Information, Rates, Submitting Story Ideas, Notices or Community Events, and for more Information, call: 902-426-2224
COVER STORY Rustum Southwell 16 Years â€“ A Legacy
Published by: The Black Business Initiative Editor in Chief: Michael R. Wyse Design & Layout: Design North Production by: Mirabliss Media Productions
Cover Photograph: Sandor Fizli
Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687
2 Message from the Outgoing CEO 3 Message from the Incoming CEO
The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Phone: 902-426-2224 Fax: 902-426-8699 Toll Free: 1-888-664-9333 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.bbi.ca
1 Message from the Board
7 When it Rains in
New York They Sell Umbrellas
11 Tributes to Rustum Southwell 23 The Law
and Your Business
C O NTENTS 24 BIJ Report
30 Northern Report Njabulo Nkala
32 Central Report Emma Otuki
34 Training Report
36 Southern Report
42 Business Development Report Gordon Doe
Women in Trades
27 Dynamic Results
29 Geek Speak
31 Qs Roofing 33 Start-Up Canada 35 BBI 2012 Summit 37 People & Business
on the Move
43 Community & Business Events
The Black Business Initiative (BBI) is a province-wide business development initiative committed to fostering the growth of businesses owned by members of the Nova Scotia Black Community. The BBI places priority on educating Black business owners in the operation of their business - from marketing to budgeting to securing funding. The BBI is committed to growing the Black presence in a diverse range of business sectors including high-tech, manufacturing, tourism, and the cultural sector. In 1996, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia set up the BBI to address the unique needs confronting the Black business community in Nova Scotia. For the first five years of its existence, BBI was funded under the COOPERATION Agreement for Economic Diversification, a joint agreement between the Federal and Provincial Governments. The BBI is currently funded by the federally administered Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Provincial Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. BBI Vision A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. BBI Mission To positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture by promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia 2 Black-owned businesses....
Message from the Board of Directors
he Black Business Initiative (BBI) was launched to foster
a vibrant and dynamic Black
presence within the Nova Scotia business community. In our sixteen-year existence, our unwavering commitment to this mission has been made possible by the willingness of our board, staff, and leadership to not only embrace change, but to lead it. The events of the last year are symbolic
Greg Browning Chair, Black Business Initiative
of the BBI’s commitment to our vision, and our capacity to grow and reinvent ourselves in order to push our agenda forward. Perhaps nowhere is this so evident than in our Constructing the Future (CTF) program. In theory, CTF is an innovative program designed to give Black men and women the skills they need to pursue successful careers in the construction industry. In practice, this program has been a catalyst for positive change in the lives of participants, and through them, in Nova Scotia’s building trades. This year, we saw our first CTF participant graduate from the Nova Scotia Community College. The BBI’s composite companies – which have helped give an organizational and governance structure to the change we propel – continues to make strides. This year, the Black Business Community Development Investment Fund completed another successful round of fund raising. The BBCDIF has invested or loaned more than $1 million since inception. Which is another way to say that, when it comes to investing in
Black-owned businesses and projects, we put our money where our passion is. Partnership is and always will be a cornerstone of our success. The BBI was pleased this year to support our partners and contribute to the success of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference, the opening of the Africville Church, and improvements at the Black Cultural Centre. The rising tide lifts all boats – when our partners are successful, they make the journey easier and more successful for us as well. 2012 marks the BBI’s sixteenth birthday. And it is a bittersweet birthday indeed. After building the BBI brand at hundreds of networking events, hosting fifteen successful AGMs, mentoring dozens of bright employees, and running the organization with a steady hand, our founding CEO Rustum Southwell is stepping down. Nova Scotia’s business community – and the BBI – owes this remarkable man a huge debt of gratitude for building a fledgling organization into one of the most respected business development arms in the province. And while we are sad to see Rustum go, we are also pleased to welcome his successor, Michael Wyse. They say the BBI gets in your blood, and Michael is a great example of this. He has served both as a regional business development manager for the BBI, and also as chairman of the board. His firsthand knowledge of our community and expertise in building relationships will be an asset to our organization. I wish also to thank outgoing board member Jocelyn Dorrington for her nine years of service to our organization. continued on page 42
Message from the Outgoing Chief Executive Officer
gainst the backdrop of local, national and inter-
national headlines in 1996,
a year designated as the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty, with Kofi Annan elected to become Secretary General of the United Nations the Black Business Initiative (BBI) began in Nova Scotia.
S.I. Rustum Southwell CEO, Black Business Initiative
Our current strategic plan uses the “ladder pointing to the skies” as a symbol of the limitless potential of an entrepreneurial culture on the way up. A ladder is an apt and powerful metaphor for the journey of the BBI. We have always claimed that clients coming to the BBI for help are given a ladder. However, we expect you to do your own climbing because we realize there are fast climbers, slow climbers and some who may not be ready or willing to climb. The concept of the extensive reach of a ladder says it all about the work we do. The ladder signifies that although the sky is the limit our potential is unlimited. Unlike steps, elevators, escalators, gondolas or ski lifts a ladder requires the full commitment of the mind, hands, feet, the head and the heart to focus and move forward. 2011 was very important for many reasons. The statistical results speak for themselves and the community confidence speaks for us all. Our results and business development strategies continue to have positive impact on Nova Scotia’s economic landscape. A particular example is our partnership with the Office of African Nova Scotian
Affairs and making great strides with the cultural tourism strategy, along with the economic impact on the province of hosting the African Heritage Diaspora Trails conference. The fifteenth anniversary celebration gala confirmed BBI as an organization known for punching above its weight. We are here at a historic time in the history of mankind, a dozen years beyond the eve of a new millennium. One thousand years ago we were merchants in the markets of Venice, Seville, Granada and Lisbon. Our Moorish brothers were building castles in Spain and Portugal and everyone knew where you were from. It was simpler then. We must reclaim our role in the economy because as I said at our tenth anniversary: ‘When it rains in New York, they sell umbrellas’ signaling that that is what we are trying to teach at the Black Business Initiative. A green light organization promoting the ‘blue sky theory’ which states that there is always a market out there, if you have the right product and the right stuff at the right time. As a true entrepreneur, your job is to find it. When other communities are talking of wealth creation, we are still speaking about poverty reduction. We all have to sustain to survive and we must also grow our own to such an extent that we are leaders in commerce. Finally, it was my last year at the helm of the BBI. And, as I have always said, continued on page 42
Message from the Incoming Chief Executive Officer
ome experiences live in you forever.
I joined the Black Business Initiative family in September of 1996, first as a regional business development manager, then as a training manager and later as Chair of the Board. My time with the BBI taught me many lessons about the significance and power of Black-owned businesses in driving community, social and economic change.
Michael R. Wyse CEO, Black Business Initiative
Today, I am enthusiastic and deeply honoured to rejoin the BBI team. I look forward to the task of continuing to align the BBI’s actions with the directions and expectations of its key stakeholders. The priority for my first sixty days on the job is to “seek to understand” the organization and what stakeholders want us to focus on. That being said, business growth based on regional and global competitiveness, productivity and innovation are high on my list of priorities. We will continue to actively seek out strategic partnerships and bring new actions to existing relationships. I believe by working together and through pooling knowledge, creativity and resources, we can make significant contributions to building a stronger Nova Scotia for everyone. We will also aim to invest heavily in enhancing the skills and capacities of Black-owned businesses. Over time, these investments will help participating companies to become more sustainable and competitive – both at home and abroad. I have spent much of my career helping young people succeed in entrepreneurship. I strongly believe in the necessity to engage people in processes that allow them to learn entrepreneurship by doing entrepreneurship. Learning
what it means to be an entrepreneur is not much different than learning to play basketball. We don’t teach young people how to play the game by handing them a book. We give them the chance to try it for themselves – and the earlier we start, the better. Growing an entrepreneurial culture requires helping young people build enough confidence in themselves to "dream it" as the first step to “achieving it.” Early experiences can ignite their interest and get them started on their entrepreneurial journeys. At this time, I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Heather Spidell. She is the new CEO at the Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Development. The organization is in good hands. Through our youth charity – Business Is Jammin’, I look forward to exploring opportunities to collaborate with CEED and other likeminded organizations to drive the youth entrepreneurship agenda across Nova Scotia. As I work my way up this steep learning curve, I will continue to engage the support and insight of an impressive and accomplished team of staff, volunteers, partners and service providers. Collectively, we will continue to innovate and champion the challenges of a changing regional and global market place. By working together and building strong partnerships, we will drive the BBI’s mandate forward and take charge of creating a strong and vibrant economic future. Sincerely, Michael Wyse CEO, Black Business Initiative
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BioMedica Diagnostics Inc.: www.biomedicadiagnostics.com GenieKnows Inc.: www.genieknows.com Vale & Associates: www.valeassociates.ca
"Changing the world one business at a time" Centennial Building Suite 1201 1660 Hollis Street Halifax, NS B3J 1V7
Direct: (902) 426-2224 Toll Free: 1-888-664-9333 Fax: (902) 426-8699 4 www.bbi.ca ...
Rustum Southwell 16 Years â€“ A Legacy
here’s an old business maxim about planning your work and then working your plan. That can be said of the way the Black Business Initiative has successfully managed to grow and thrive over the past 16 years. In many ways it’s an anomaly – as departing CEO Rustum Southwell says, many expected it to fail in a way that many other community development organizations had failed before. But, with a combination of a devoted board, a visionary CEO, and an enthusiastic and committed staff, the BBI proved those naysayers wrong.
“We made some choices as a board and staff,” Southwell says. “We decided that when businesses came to us, they had to have a pretty good concept and the ability to survive in a competitive environment. We were careful about where we put our money. Otherwise, we weren’t doing the client or the public any favours. Being in business isn’t easy and we were concerned about the entrepreneurial edge when clients came to us.” As a result, when he looks back and takes stock of the businesses the BBI’s been involved with, he sees an impressive number with sales of more than $1 million annually and he sees numerous businesses that have beaten the odds of surviving the critical first and fifth years of operation. “There are people like Glen (Carvery), Darla (Johnston) and Laurissa (Manning) who have stayed true to form as their businesses have grown.”
Another thing that has helped the BBI to succeed is the communications strategy it has used to establish its bona fides. The logo chosen when the organization began has stayed constant, recognizable, and strong and has not needed any modification. The channels of communication are also strong – the directory, the website, the annual report, the partnership with Global TV, the biennial summits, and, of course, Black to Business magazine.
“We decided that when businesses came to us, they had to have a pretty good concept and the ability to survive in a competitive environment..."
“When I look back 16 years ago, I don’t know how we could envision the technology we have today,” he says. “Back then, the cell phones were big and bulky – bigger than a TV remote and we had to justify getting them for the regional managers, let alone me. Nobody ever thought of smart phones or iPads or Facebook and Twitter back then.” Southwell is also proud of the way the BBI has reached out into the community through partnerships with some of the province’s flagship tourism, cultural and historical entities, such as the Mathieu DaCosta African Heritage Trail, the Black Loyalist Heritage
by: Carol Dobson
Society, the Black Cultural Centre, Africville, and the African Nova Scotian Music Association. These partnerships are a way of strengthening these organizations so they can continue to communicate important stories to all Nova Scotians, as well as increase the economic impact they contribute to the local economy. From its early days, the BBI has also had a plan for sustainability for entrepreneurs from the community of all ages. “Business is Jammin’ starts children as young as six years and works with them as they get into their teen years and young adulthood,” he says. “There was one young man in here not long ago, who went to several of the camps and now he’s looking for a loan for a summer business. Dr. Rudy Ffrench, Min. Percy Paris, Sheldon States, Tracey Thomas, and Mike Wyse should be proud of what they started.” In the past few years, one of the real successes of introducing youth to entrepreneurialism has been the community garden in North End Halifax. A piece of scrub land has been turned into many things – a garden, a kitchen, and a skills development centre for neighbourhood children. As a result, they have developed skills in growing vegetables that will be with them all their lives; they have learned where their food comes from; and they have learned how to turn the fruits of their labour into highly marketable products. But, they have learned more... “I remember one of the early media hits,” he says. “The kids were asked continued on page 34
Message from the Chief Executive Officer
S.I. Rustum Southwell, Chief Executive Officer, Black Business Initiative
This is one of the pieces that appeared in the magazine of which Iâ€™m most proud. It was included in our 10th anniversary issue. I know a lot has happened since then and I have tried to capture some of that in the cover story in this issue but this piece was the best way for me to express what we had accomplished at that milestone, so here it is again... -Rustum
Reprinted from B2B Anniversary Issue #36 / Summer 2007 7 ...
n a recent trip to the Big Apple my wife and I went to see Ground
Zero. At least, I thought that is what we were doing. However, she had shopping at Century 21 across the street on her mind. Everything was fine on our way there, nothing out of the ordinary. As we returned to our hotel, it began to rain. Suddenly, on every corner, and in everyone’s hands, umbrellas started to appear. Vendors selling hot dogs had them. People were walking down the streets selling them. They were hanging on construction pylons. Red, black, blue, yellow and green – umbrellas were everywhere. We got back to the hotel and they were giving them out to the guests. We ventured back out with our free umbrellas. Suddenly the rain stopped and, like magic, all of the umbrellas disappeared. There was not one in sight. Forget The Apprentice – this was the height of capitalism in action. In the time it takes to eat lunch, hundreds of umbrellas were sold in response to a market need. Once the skies cleared, the sellers went back to their regular products. That is what we are trying to teach at the Black Business Initiative. The “blue ocean strategy” states there is always a market out there, if you have the right product at the right time. In red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted. As the number of competitors increase, the chance for growth and profit diminishes. In blue oceans demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for profitable and sustained growth. As a true entrepreneur, your job is to find it. Twelve years ago in 1995, when Dolly Williams, Joan Jones, Grace White, Tony Ross and John Madison – members of
the task force – wrote their report, it was before the concept of community capacity building became the buzzword it is now. However, instead of an umbrella organization, they envisioned the Black Business Initiative (BBI) as the economic driver for existing local community socioeconomic development (CED) organizations throughout the province. That model has worked. Today, the BBI is an initiative for Blackowned businesses in Nova Scotia, funded by the federal government via the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the provincial government through the Department of Economic Development. We are not in the lending business; we are in the “building a strong economy in our community” business. We are in the business-skills development business. We are here to help Black-owned businesses succeed. We’ve just completed 10 years of operations. We are still in business and our business is still about having the courage to care about our people, our clients and our staff. The business model in place today surpasses the original expectations set down by the task force. However, the original vision, “A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community” and our four objectives are still relevant today: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Create economic independence for individuals. Create/Improve access to private and public sector support. Build partnerships and linkages to business community. Further Entrepreneurial Development, educational & training.
As it implements its mandate, the BBI sets very high standards for itself, its staff and the businesses applying for loans. The BBI’s management recognized early on that in order to be effective and efficient and to protect the integrity of its activities,
policies must be put in place to manage its operations. During our first year of operation a detailed policy manual was developed, outlining expenditure, loan approval and operational policies. A set of best practices and service standards to guide the BBI’s activities and to ensure smooth internal controls were put in place. What seemed like an initiative with more than its fair share of challenges and less than its proper share of resources at its inception now receives more compliments and accolades than criticism. Our efforts to mainstream our clientele taught us the nature of business and the need to grow our companies profitably. We have already analyzed the gaps and planned the route. We are now deciding on the steps we need to move from the present to the future, and we fully intend to be with you to manage the journey and find resources to take the next step. We will continue to invest in our youth and forge relationships with like-minded organizations in the United States and Canada. The “Business is Jammin” youth program will continue to ensure a strong Black business culture results from our efforts. Special mention must be given to the achievements of our community partners, including the African Nova Scotia Music Association, The Black Loyalist Society in Birchtown, African Nova Scotian Employment Partnership Committees, Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and the other Black community organizations. African Nova Scotian Employment Partnership Committees belong to a province-wide network of committees working together to improve employment skills and create opportunities among Black Nova Scotians. The network is funded by federal grants from Service Canada. The Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs assists, supports and enhances 8 ...
the provincial government's delivery of services to African Nova Scotians and is a partner in developing innovative solutions that lead to self-reliance and sustainable development for African Nova Scotians and their communities. “Systems do not produce quality, people do. We must define ourselves by the best that is in us not the worst that has been done to us”
- Edward Lewis, Publisher, Essence Magazine.
When it comes to our two primary funding partners, we can proudly state that the BBI exemplifies the principles and values of ACOA’s community development strategy. In addition, our relationship with the province is long-standing, effective and based on a solid partnership designed to deliver results. Because we take our partnership with these two levels of government seriously, we have created an organization that is transparent, accountable, entrepreneurial, and dynamic. We’ve made a major impact on the Nova Scotian business community and we’ve done it with a budget that averages $1-million per year – or the amount of revenues generated by a smaller McDonalds.
who have passed through our doors are contributing millions each year to this province’s economy. In addition to the $5.7 million investment from ACOA and the $4.35 million from the province, the BBI has raised approximately $ 950,000 through investment gains, sponsorships, services, and events. We have leveraged $1.7 million for other funding partners and $1.4 million in owners’ equity for an additional $4.1 million to be invested in the Black business community. This does not include the $350,000 now in the Community Economic Development Investment Fund, the benefits of the Global TV campaign, or operations within the community.
If we toss in four summits that attracted world-class speakers – Ambassador Andrew Young, Dennis Kimbro, Farley Flex, Les Brown, Susan Taylor, Daymond John, Stedman Graham, Coach Carter and others – the quarterly Black to Business periodical and the Business is Jammin’ youth entrepreneurship program, then “vibrant and dynamic” is a more apt descriptor than “interesting”.
1st BBI Board of Directors
However, the assembled team of board members – led first by Hector Jacques then Gordon Tynes, Barbara Manning, Mike Wyse, Garnet Wright and now Cassandra Dorrington – and all the extremely bright, young staff over the years were determined we would get it right. We did. Now, we just display our results as we move on. Requests come from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Moncton, Edmonton, the United States, South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana, and the Caribbean for consultation based on the business model we created ¬– a made in Nova Scotia, successful, Black business empowerment solution that works. None of this is possible without the right people and so we celebrate the achievements of everyone who participated to produce these results. BBI is now well on the way to creating a viable, long-term business model, which will assist in sustaining community development and the growth of Blackowned companies in Nova Scotia. This model is fashioned after New Dawn Community Economic Development in Cape Breton and Mondragon Cooperative in Spain.
1st BBI Staff
On June 10, 1996, we became fully staffed. When we first started we knew what were about to do, but were not sure how to make it interesting. A decade later, we had created over 100 companies and financed another 41 existing ones; approved some 198 loans; trained hundreds of clients; and created more than 500 jobs. The people
would self-destruct once again and implode for Black businesses.
In 1996, the direction we were about to take was one which many of our own community were not willing to travel, while others salivated with anticipation that an economic development organization
The new direction we are about to embark on builds on same vision and strategic wish list the BBI Task Force and the Ad-Hoc Committee outlined in their 1995 reports. It is also in alignment with the provincial government and ACOA’s economic development strategies.
We have the right team in place to do the job.
have gone ahead and built the foundation of a palace because together we can overcome all odds.
Ultimately we are here for one thing; we are here to serve (sounds like Sobeys). We are here to help Black business succeed. We do that by using every possible business method.
Canada exports billions of dollars in trade and a variety of ventures to sub-Saharan Africa. We must become part of that trade.
At the Black Business Initiative, we walk on a razor’s edge, a tightrope balanced between extreme highs and distress. When you walk on the razor’s edge, you have to know where you legs are when you fall. We have mastered the walk on the straight and narrow.
When Grace White of Canjam Trading, a fish processing company with about 100 employees, needed some support, we intervened with the Minister of Economic Development and helped her get a fair hearing to fix the issues she was confronting. When the Bin Doctor, a company that found a unique niche market in the environmental sector, wanted to secure bonding – and was unable to – we helped them.
2nd BBI Board of Directors
We are here at an historic time in the history of mankind, seven years beyond the eve of a new millennium. One thousand years ago, we were merchants in the markets of Venice, Seville, Granada and Lisbon. Our Moorish brothers were building castles in Spain and Portugal and everyone knew where you were from. During the last few centuries, there was vibrant trade in the cities of Africa among kings and communities. Toussaint L’Ouverture and Henri Christophe were holding off the mighty Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in Haiti in a free Black economy. African explorers were building the Brazilian economy. At the same time, the western economy thrived, built on our backs, creating wealth for everyone but us. We can reclaim our role. Today we are charged with a building economic organization with enough funding to build some cottages. Yet we
Here in Nova Scotia we have a monumental community and business opportunity. In the north end of the city, beneath the A. Murray MacKay Bridge, lies Africville, a community not yet at peace, a situation still unresolved. Africville was a small neighbourhood in the north end of Halifax, Nova Scotia, populated entirely by black families from a wide variety of origins. The area was destroyed during the 1960s and the inhabitants relocated to public housing projects downtown or in the suburbs, most near Uniacke Square, Mulgrave Park, or Spryfield. We are now working with Africville Genealogy society to help them get things moving along. What we are trying to achieve is not rocket science. However, it is important for us to create more companies like EXXON than Enron. It is important to realize that it is less about money and credit and more about good business management and practices. It is less about flash and more about results. Be under no illusion, this is not an easy job. There are some whose life long ambition is to look only for dependence and to discredit others as they aspire to deliver good results and succeed. So
to us the words of Sir Winston Churchill who said, “When you are going through hell, keep going,” and “Kites rise highest against the wind . . . not with it,” are words of comfort and wisdom. When other communities are talking of wealth creation, we speak about poverty reduction. Poverty is measured in three principal ways: 1. 2. 3.
The standard of living; Opportunity for consumption, and The right of citizens to participate in society.
We all have to sustain to survive and we must also grow our own to such an extent that we are leaders in commerce. In Halifax, we are seeing more companies making it to the $1-million-in-sales level – there are now at least 10 in our Black business community. We know that collectively they represent over $100 million in sales. There are several companies in this province owned by racially visible and aboriginal entrepreneurs doing hundreds of millions of dollars in sales per year. If we are achieving this now, we must believe that we can do better. Look at Michael Lee Chin, a self-made billionaire who started with a million dollar company in the 1980s and is now number 11 on the richest-person list in Canadian. We must believe that a young Black child, already born right now and living in Nova Scotia, will run a company that will do a billion dollars in sales some day. We at the BBI fully intend to continue to help Black businesses succeed, to help Black businesses grow, and to help Black businesses export as we build a solid business community. Our success is a result of the work of dozens of committed people over the years. Albert Einstein once said, continued on page 24
Tributes to Rustum Southwell for 16 Years of Service
Setting The Bar
Under Rustum’s stewardship BBI has played a pivotal role in strengthening and building capacity across the NS Black community by contributing to the advancement of both Africville and the Black Loyalists, and ongoing support of organizations such as ANSMA and the Black Cultural Centre.
Cassandra Dorrington Previous Board Chair Can you imagine a world without BBI? No CEDIF fund? No Constructing the Future? Let’s go back to 1996, the introduction of the Black Business Initiative and the transformation of Rustum Southwell, food services guru, into President and CEO, BBI. Having been a successful entrepreneur with a Harvey‘s franchise, Rustum accepted the challenge to lead the charge in driving a culture of black entrepreneurship across Nova Scotia. Having known Rustum for over thirty years, he was never one to walk away from a challenge and as such began the process of putting in place the foundational elements of what we now know as the BBI.
a group of skilled and talented community and business persons to serve on the BBI board. It is important to note that most board members have willingly served their full terms as Board members which is a testament to their belief in the BBI and Rustum.
While Rustum has a number of strengths, the key strengths that have served him well over his years at BBI are his people skills and his creativity. He has used his people skills primarily to identify and hire skilled staff members. BBI has and continues to have some exceptional people on staff. Secondly, Rustum understands the value of amassing
Equally important is Rustum’s creativity in recognizing and celebrating BBI’s successes. Who could forget the BBI version of The Bachelor when he gave out roses or The Race for Success – the BBI Olympics? We are not sure how he does it but yearly he packages up the year’s successes and presents them like Academy Awards.
BBI has laid a foundation for a growing community of entrepreneurs as exhibited by the young entrepreneurs of Hope Blooms, the alumnae of Business is Jammin and the graduates of the Constructing the Future Program. As the curtain begins to close on BBI’s Act 1, Rustum, please take a bow for the foundation you have laid. Kudos on a job well done, one organization, one brand, and many successes. Stay tuned, Act 2, Scene1, welcomes a new star Michael Wyse, incoming President and CEO of BBI. A former staff member, Board member and BBI Board Chair, Mike brings a host of energy, experience and knowledge. His time away from BBI has allowed him to amass new experiences and ideas from which to draw as BBI moves forward. Mike, congratulations on your new role and know that we are here for you.
continued on page 13
A message from the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and La Francophonie
Un message de l’honorable Bernard Valcourt, ministre d’État de l’Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique et de la Francophonie
Bon voyage, Rustum
Bon voyage, Rustum
During his 16 years at the helm of the Black Business Initiative (BBI), ACOA has worked closely with Rustum Southwell. Over the years, he has been admired as a businessman, an advocate and an individual.
Durant ses seize années passées à la barre de la Mesure visant les gens d’affaires noirs (MVGAN), l’APECA a collaboré étroitement avec Rustum Southwell. Au fil des ans, Rustum s’est attiré l’adminiration de tous en tant qu’homme d’affaires, intervenant et personne.
Rustum has tirelessly sought to identify and build on opportunities for the African Nova Scotia business community. He and the BBI Board have been champions at promoting business start-ups, putting in place relevant training for youth and entrepreneurs, and developing partnerships. Congratulations on a job well done, Rustum. Be assured that we will continue to work closely with the organization you have so proudly represented and promoted.
Rustum a cherché sans relâche à cerner et à exploiter divers débouchés pour les gens d’affaires afro néo écossais. Le conseil d’administration de la MVGAN et lui ont agi à titre de champions pour promouvoir la mise sur pied d’entreprises, et ce, en mettant en place une formation pertinente pour les jeunes et les entrepreneurs et en élaborant des partenariats. Félicitations et excellent travail, Rustum. Soyez assuré que nous continuerons de collaborer étroitement avec l’organisme que vous avez représenté et défendu avec autant de fierté.
Congratulations Rustum Southwell Rustum, your business accomplishments and dedication to the community are an inspiration to others. During your 15 year tenure as a founding leader of the Black Business Initiative, you have helped to create jobs, instilled a spirit of entrepreneurship and have mentored countless people who have benefitted from the services and support of the Black Business Initiative. To NSBI, you have been a partner, an advocate and a change agent. Like NSBI, you have worked to improve the economic outlook of our province by supporting businesses and business people to translate opportunity into reality. Well done!
connect with nsBi:
Business Financing | Trade developmenT | venTure capiTal | invesTmenT aTTracTion
Messages from Colleagues & Partners I would like to congratulate Rustum on his retirement. First of all I am a bit envious of his ability to now play golf, travel and spend more time with his family as well as be home for dinner! Rustum will be missed very much in the downtown core as a deal maker with an extraordinary networking talent putting people, communities and corporate together with persistence and ease. Please enjoy every day and give me a call so we can get together for that game of golf! Larry Gibson, President, Install-A-Flor Ltd. On behalf of the CBDCs within Nova Scotia, the Provincial Association would like to congratulate you on your 16 years of dedication, not only to the Black Business Initiative, but to the Province of Nova Scotia. We value our ongoing partnership with the BBI, and appreciate the leadership that you have and continue to show – you will truly be missed. Once again, congratulations on your success! We wish you all the best! Erinn Smith, Chief Administrative Officer NS Association of CBDCs
O’Regan’s would like to congratulate Rustum Southwell on his wellearned retirement. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” As CEO of the BBI, Rustum exhibited great leadership and vision and was able to bring people together and accomplish great things. May he look back with pride on all that he has achieved, as there is no greater pride than doing what you love and making your living from it. O’Regan’s My first exposure to Rustum and his leadership was when he joined the Board of Governors at Nova Scotia Community College. We worked closely on the College’s human resource and student service strategies. His guidance and advice helped us to introduce some of the most innovative practices in the nation, and contributed substantially to the lives of the people of NSCC – our students and employees. We next found ourselves working together at Waterfront Development Corporation. His leadership on our Board of Directors is once again permeating our strategies, guiding the adoption of private sector practices into the creation of Nova Scotia’s great public gathering place – the waterfront of Halifax Harbour. I have learned a great deal from working with Rustum – about generosity, persistence, and principles. But what I take most from his leadership is passion, which for me was punctuated in his addresses at the BBI Summit.
His words would roll out over the crowd, young and old sitting in rapt silence to a man inspiring us with hope and vision. Whatever fears or doubts we had about Nova Scotia’s capacity for harmony and collective prosperity were erased. Everyone left with a new sense of optimism and courage to do better. That is true leadership. Thank you, Rustum. I shall be eternally grateful. Colin MacLean, President & CEO, Waterfront Development Corporation Rustum Southwell has been the face of the Black Business Initiative from its inception. He has successfully worked with the various boards of BBI, Government Departments, Nova Scotia Businesses and the community and created this awesome force which supports Black Business in Nova Scotia. At the community level he has encouraged individuals to continue to search for the dream, provided support and mentoring whenever required. Many of us at the grass roots level have benefitted from his encouragement and support without which we can honestly acknowledge we would not have been successful. The Black Loyalist Heritage Society Board and Staff have appreciated his direction and encouragement over the years. We wish him and his family continued success and many blessings in his retirement in the next phase of his life. Elizabeth Cromwell, President, Black Loyalist Heritage Society
On behalf of BioMedica Diagnostics Inc, we wish to convey our sincere appreciation for 16 years of exemplary service, towards fostering a dynamic Black presence in Nova Scotia. The changes made during your leadership over the past 16 years are clearly evident today and will remain a lasting legacy of your professional achievements for many years to come. Rustum, you have been an integral part of the growth of BioMedica towards becoming an internationally recognised Medical Diagnostic company. Thank you for contributing and sharing in BioMedica’s recognition by the Economists Magazine Technology Innovation Award; The World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Designation, and more recently, the Ernest Young Entrepreneur of The Year recognition. We share today this success, as a part of BBI and your professional achievements. Your practical contributions in providing international networking opportunities have produced tangible financial results for our company on numerous occasions, and you will always be remembered as a key factor in our continuing growth. We wish you the very best as you start on the next chapter of your life. BioMedica Diagnostics Inc. Russ: This is just a personal note to say many thanks for everything. We’ve been colleagues for a longtime and I hold you in the highest regard
and respect. You leave very large shoes to fill. Now you’ve joined me in that slowdown mode, it is called retirement, but I know your heart and soul will still be in high gear when it comes to BBI. Enjoy a few extra swings with those golf clubs and lots of R&R. Tom Boyd BBCIFL Board of Directors
Over the past 16 years, Mr. Southwell has been instrumental in guiding BBI to where it is regarded as one of the most successful economic organizations in the province of Nova Scotia. - Wayn Hamilton Executive Director, Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs
Messages from Board & Staff Members and Black to Business Magazine Contributors Rustum, you have left an indelible mark on the Nova Scotia Black Community in your development of the BBI as being a first class, creating a new benchmark for organizations. I will miss your professionalism, dedication and commitment. As your 'old boss" I hope you realize spouses make the toughest bosses. Good luck with that. Deborah and I wish you success and happiness in your future endeavours. Happy retirement!! Greg Browning BBI Board Chair Working with you the past 11 years has been fun and enriching. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to work, be creative and feel valued. I came to work everyday knowing that what I had to offer was appreciated. You gave your best, and I dare say your all, to help Black Business in Nova Scotia succeed. Speaking as an insider, I wish to publicly continued on page 39
go lo raf t I d BB
A Tribute to
Rustum Sout hwell 16 years of memories
In the lead up to the 8th Black Business Summit, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic as I recall the sessions, conversations, energy and buzz of the 7th Black Business Summit in 2010 that inspired me to start this column.
The Law & Your Business
Climbing to New Heights While Looking Back, Giving Thanks and Moving Forward
The Black Business Initiative Society (BBI) has a rich history. Among the numerous highlights of the BBI’s 16 years of operations are: 8 Black Business Summits; 54 issues of Black 2 Business magazine; and the implementation of a multi-entity governance and sustainability model that includes the BBI, a registered charity (Business is Jammin’) designed to foster young entrepreneurs between the ages of 8 and 30, Black Business Consulting Ltd. which is presently undertaking important work in the construction sector, the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL) through which each of us can invest in businesses owned by African Nova Scotians and Black Business Enterprises Ltd., which is the over-arching governance body.
the trailblazers who support the efforts of the BBI and its related entities or are you a student with plans to run your own business someday? Whatever your connection is to the BBI, on your climb to new heights in the world of business, make certain all of the legal aspects of your business are in order.
Perhaps the most significant highlight is that one man, Rustum Southwell, was steadfastly at the helm of the BBI for 16 years. Rustum’s leadership has enabled the BBI to consistently realize its vision of being a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. As a result, the BBI has positively influenced Nova Scotia business culture by advancing African Nova Scotian entrepreneurs.
• understanding the registration, licensing and regulatory regimes that apply to your business;
Are you one of the many people the BBI or BBCIFL has helped turn an idea into a business? Did the BBI or BBCIFL provide funding, advice or training that enabled you to expand “or save” your business? Are you one of
The law impacts your business in many ways, some of which I have addressed in past columns. Build your business on a solid foundation by working with a corporate lawyer who can assist you in navigating the different areas of law that can impact the success of your business. These may include, among others: • the advantages and disadvantages of different business structures (i.e. partnerships);
• establishing fair employee practices that adhere to employment and labour laws; • ensuring proper legal title to owned intellectual property and real property; •
understanding your rights and obligations under third party contracts and establishing a suite of standard contracts for use in your business;
• negotiating the best possible terms under a commercial lease; and
implementing an estate and succession plan for the longevity of your business and the financial welfare of your family.
Among the many skills and attributes needed to be a successful entrepreneur, you should know how the law affects your business. Entrepreneurism, business and the law do mix!
Summer is fast approaching and that means another exciting year for Business is Jammin’ Summer Program!
Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children will launch a community garden at their Dartmouth site on June 10, 2012. We encourage everyone to come out and support and learn about the many benefits of this initiative.
In my next column, I will stick to the law, but this time around, it was important that I use this space to recognize Rustum’s contribution to the BBI. Rustum brought me into the BBI family, and it is impossible for me to think about the BBI without thinking of Rustum. I give him my personal heartfelt thanks for all he has done, and undoubtedly will continue to do, for this amazing organization he was instrumental in building.
Business is Jammin’ is looking forward to hiring a group of talented young post-secondary students who are eager to engage our youth in unique, fun, and educational activities that explore their entrepreneurial potential. We hope to place Summer Youth Coordinators in various communities throughout Nova Scotia. Check out our Facebook page for updates.
We continue to offer activities within the public school system, after-school and community programs. Free of charge, we deliver programs such as: Role Models on the Road, Lunch & Learn, Workshops, and Presentations. We can customize to suit any age and learning level.
As a board member, I will miss working with Rustum, yet look forward to the new era that has begun with Michael Wyse stepping into the role of Chief Executive Officer. As this torch is passed, the BBI remains in excellent hands. The legal information presented above is for informative purposes only. All legal information provided is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice and does not address the circumstances of any particular person or business.
BUSINESS IS JAMMIN’ REPORT
Candace L. Thomas, Partner, Corporate Group, Stewart McKelvey, Barristers, Solicitors & Trademark Agents
Business is Jammin’ is a supporter of social enterprise and the community garden model. We continue to not only get involved with existing community gardens in Glace Bay, Halifax, and Yarmouth but also other community garden initiatives. This season the
We also offer many opportunities to volunteer; an excellent way for aspiring youth to grow their resumes. If you would like to know more about Business is Jammin’, contact us today: Mahogany Lucas, Training Associate email@example.com or (902) 426-8688 or Facebook or Twitter.
When it Rains in NYC continued from page 6
With our ever-changing climate here in Nova Scotia, maybe we can take a leaf from New York’s book and further explore the umbrella market. As a matter of fact, it looks like rain. I think I’ll go sell some umbrellas.
“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them”. The BBI team of fresh faces continues to lead at the forefront of this change.
“Come to the edge he said and he said no, Come to the edge he said and he said no. Come to the edge … and he came and he pushed him and he flew. Guillaume Apolliniare (With thanks to Dennis Kimbro. Think and Grow Rich, the Black Perspective).
Women in Trades
of tradespeople working in Nova Scotia. Whether participants are currently employed in some form of trade or completely new to the industry,
they will come away with enhanced skills, basic certifications and experience trying their hand at a number of different trades. The women who participate in the program, though few, are helping to pave the way for women who come after them. They let everyone know the trades aren't just for men anymore. Peter Marsman
he Constructing the Future program exists to help increase the number
Leona Desmond “It got me off the couch and back into the world,” says Leona Desmond, a second-year participant in Constructing the Future. Desmond's boyfriend was in the program the year before her. It was his enthusiasm that sparked her interest. “He'd be coming home all excited,” she says, “talking about what he learned and built.” Desmond wanted that same kind of passion.
For Desmond, after being out of school for 10 years, the idea of going back was intimidating. She says she didn't have the confidence or courage to just go to the Nova Scotia Community College and apply to become an electrician. “I would have never done that in my life because I didn’t think that I had the talent,” says Desmond, adding that before taking the program, she wouldn't have even known that becoming an electrician was what she wanted to do. Desmond says of the program instructors, “They don’t tell you this is what you want to be. They don’t make you select what you want to be. They let you be yourself.” After having exposure to many different trade options, Desmond was able to choose her own path. Desmond says just getting back into a school atmosphere and environment did a lot for her. “It allows you to get your life back on track. It gives you the push you need ...The program, it makes you feel worthy.” She believes the reason most people aren’t doing what they want to be doing is that they feel they don’t have what it takes. “So much of our young black people are sitting home feeling like they can’t do anything because they dropped out of school in grade 10.” Desmond says the program showed her that no matter her situation, she could change and improve her life. The Constructing the Future Program “helped me do that 'man thing' I wasn't sure I could do,” says Desmond. “I never thought I’d be an electrician. I didn’t think I’d learn plumbing … I did all those things. It opened up doors I couldn’t have opened for myself.” Desmond is now a certified, first-year electrician apprentice. She currently works for Maritime Demolition, and is actively looking for employment as an electrician.
by: Charlene Davis
Rhonda Drummond Peter Marsman
Rhonda Drummond has always been interested in the trades. She remembers being upset in juniour high school because she had to take sewing and cooking while the boys were allowed to take industrial arts. When the rules changed in grade 9, Drummond took courses in woodworking and electronics. In grade 11 she took drafting. “It was different,” says Drummond. “I wanted to pursue it.” Drummond took an introduction to trade course and a drafting course in college. She also took some engineering courses at university in the hopes of getting into architecture. “That was before TUNS merged with Dal, so it was a totally different path you had to take,” says Drummond. She didn't know how to make one lead to the other. Years passed, but when Drummond heard about the Constructing the Future program, she thought that was the choice for her. Being in the program helped confirm the direction Drummond wanted to take in her life and gave her renewed confidence that being a woman interested in trades did not have to be a drawback to success. “There were only two females and I was the only female that finished,” says Drummond. She loved being there with the guys and being able to do everything they could do.
“People always said that girls couldn't do this and girls couldn't do that ... I couldn't see why a woman couldn't do it.” Of her time in the program she says, “The guys didn't treat me any differently. They were just like brothers to me. They just went along with the program just like I was one of the guys, and that's the way it should be.” Constructing the Future not only helped her decide on the path she wanted to take, but the support she received from everyone involved really impacted her life. “The instructors all keep in touch,” says Drummond. “They believe in you and they always tend to go the extra mile to make sure that you succeed. It's more like a family setting than just schooling.”
Donna Bonner A true trailblazer, Donna Bonner was working in the clerical, administrative and secretarial fields for about 20 years then she got bored. Looking for something more exciting, Bonner decided to go to school and learn carpentry. Her goal was to get out from behind the desk and start doing something with her hands. Bonner took her schooling in the late ’80s. She was the only woman in all of her classes. When she got to the work sites, she says, she was usually the only woman there as well and sometimes the men didn't want her around. “There were hardly any women in any trades, but that didn't stop me. I just kept on going and I developed really good relationships over the years and earned respect.” Bonner ran Ms. Retrofit Renovations for 15 years. She was working at the Akerley Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College with the military construction program when she was asked to be a program assistant for Constructing the Future. She worked as a support and a mentor for the students. “Since I was a woman, a black woman, and a red seal journey carpenter I thought I could help [the students] carry on,” says Bonner. continued on page 34
Dynamic Results Event Management Tracey Thomas and Vivian Dixon, Owners
t is day two of the Africentric Learning Institute Launch & Black Family Conference in
downtown Halifax. The World Trade
and Convention Centre is crowded with 350 participants, several art displays, lunch tables, and a hand-
interests were so different, (but) Vivian would still come and support me in my interests, and I would go and support her.” Even as they got older, the sisters explored different career paths. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University and a Masters of Education from Mount St. Vincent University. She works full-time as a Senior Policy
ful of performers busy with lastminute preparations for a special noon-hour cultural showcase. A morning of inspired talking circles led to a bit of a late start with lunch. But behind the bustle, event planners Tracey Thomas and Vivian Dixon are completely calm and in control. “We always try to remain calm,” says Thomas, who owns and operates Dynamic Results Event Management with Dixon. “There’s nothing worse than if an organizer sees an event planner freaking out – then they know they have serious problems.” If there were any mishaps over lunch, few would have been aware. The noon-hour program ran seamlessly, and was met with enthusiasm from conference participants. “For us, it’s important to always remain professional,” says Dixon. “No matter what’s going on behind the scenes, no one else needs to know.” Dynamic Results has been operating for about five years. Apart from being great business partners, Thomas and Dixon are also sisters. “Growing up we were always so close and we always did things together,” says Dixon. “We just want one another to succeed,” adds Thomas. “And growing up our
“We try to go above and beyond for our clients,” says Thomas. “We want the clients to actually enjoy (their) event, almost like a participant. We want their events to be as dynamic as they want it to be..." Analyst with the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and is a former Director of Client Development for the Black Business Initiative. Dixon on the other hand is pursuing a degree in social work at Dalhousie University, and working full-time as a Career Planning Advisor with the Women’s Economic Equality (WEE) Society’s Women Unlimited Program. “It’s more of a personal, hands-on aspect for me,” says Dixon of her role with Dynamic Results. “Whereas
by: Shauntay Grant
(Tracey handles) more of the logistical part of the business.” This winning combination has allowed the sisters to build a successful part-time operation that doesn’t crowd their family and fulltime work obligations. “We don’t take on more than we can handle,” says Dixon. “We know the importance of our family and work life – we couldn’t do it without the support of our families. (My husband) Terry plays a big roll in taking care of our children … and our whole family really, our friends and volunteers, have been critical to the success of the business.” Thomas agrees. “We may be the ones running the business, but it’s the family that keeps things intact.” Dynamic Results Event Management has built up a solid reputation primarily through word of mouth, with various clients including the Council on African Canadian Education, Association of Black Social Workers and the Black Business Initiative. “We try to go above and beyond for our clients,” says Thomas. “We want the clients to actually enjoy (their) event, almost like a participant. We want their events to be as dynamic as they want it to be. So (the name of our business) really speaks to what we hope to achieve for our clients. If they can dream it, we can make it happen.”
Dynamic Results Event Management Tracey Thomas and Vivian Dixon (902) 495-6190 firstname.lastname@example.org
with Ross Simmonds
How to Land a Job Using Social Media Let’s state the obvious. Getting a job in today’s market isn’t easy. It’s even more difficult for young graduates and people looking to join the corporate world without any prior experience. Everyday people all over the country are submitting their résumés into job banks, hoping and praying they will get a response. It’s tough out there. That is, it’s tough if you’re not using social media.
that you’re engaging with them on a deeper level than simply asking for a job will help you develop an authentic relationship. By doing this, you may have started what could be a longterm professional relationship. This is a great approach for any young person looking to find a mentor in a specific industry.
Here are three easy ways you can improve your digital presence in 2012.
This advice has helped get many of my friends and colleagues where they are today, believe it or not. Social media gives us an opportunity to connect with, and most importantly increase our visibility to, a group we would only meet at a white-tie event. That said, once you have identified people who are doing what you want to do or are in the businesses you want to work for, don’t harass them. Keep an eye on what they are doing and focus on developing an authentic relationship with them one day (or tweet) at a time.
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Many people are using the same résumé, submitting it to the same job bank and expecting different results. It’s insanity! I recently met with a guy who had submitted more than 200 résumés in the past six months and only landed four interviews. I’m here to tell you, there is a better way. While many jobseekers are using traditional job search methods and finding very little success, social media is making it easier to find the right jobs, and the right people who can help you get them. More and more companies are going to websites like LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook to find their next wave of corporate talent. If you are on the job hunt, here are a few tips that can give you a social media advantage. First, figure out what industry you’re looking to break into and how you can do it. Are you looking to get into politics? If so, you’re going to be interested in finding any politicians on social media and follow them on Twitter or connect with them on LinkedIn. If you’re looking to break into the corporate world of management and business, LinkedIn is a great way to search various organizations to identify key decisionmakers who can help open the door to your new career. From there, track down these key people on Twitter or LinkedIn and offer an innocent and polite introduction to yourself. While you’re at it, ask them something that will allow them to share their knowledge with you. The fact 29 ...
When someone Google’s your name, what is the first thing to show up? Is it a random person in a random country? Is it a humiliating image of you on Facebook? Or is it simply a list of random links with no personal relevance? None of these are the best answers. The best answer is one that ensures that when someone searches you on Google, they find exactly what you want them to find. Increasingly, recruiters are doing background checks by searching our names online – usually on Facebook. If you’re able to control your image
effectively online, you will find it easier to control your fate in the job hunt. That final piece of advice about controlling your image is an important one. If you’re looking to break into a professional field, you’re going to want to present yourself on social media in a professional manner. That’s right, school is over and it’s time to start building a reputation around your professional image. That means having a head shot on LinkedIn and not a picture of you and your friends downtown. Remember, setting up a LinkedIn account and connecting with key individuals will not guarantee you a job. To do that, you are going to have to put in the time and put in the work. Although digital channels have changed everything, the power of meeting someone face to face is still a necessity. Thus, I encourage you to take your professional conversations from behind the screen of a laptop to face to face in a coffee shop or even an office. Trust me, there’s nothing better than being able to put a face to the pixels. Ross Simmonds www.rosssimmonds.com contributed
Ross Simmonds is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University with a double major in Marketing and Human Resources/ Industrial Relations. The East Preston, Nova Scotia, native has his own digital marketing company, targeting small and medium-sized businesses. He’s also a member of the digital marketing team with the Halifax advertising agency, Colour.
eep Panuke gas project business and career opportunities.
For information on business opportunities with Encana’s Deep Panuke natural gas project in Nova Scotia’s offshore, visit the Deep Panuke pages on the Encana website at www.encana.com/deeppanuke
For information on career opportunities at Deep Panuke, visit the Work for Us section on Encana’s website or the Career Beacon website at www.careerbeacon.com
www.encana.com Follow us on twitter.com/encanacorp | Like us on facebook.com/encana | Watch us on youtube.com/encana
Regional Report Northern Njabulo Nkala BBI’s 8th Black Business Summit is coming up on June 21 & 22. This bi-annual event is an important gathering of entrepreneurs from across North America featuring distinguished speakers and panels; providing an opportunity for businesses to network and market themselves to a large audience. I encourage all businesses, particularly in the northern region to register for this event. BBI clients are eligible for a discounted price. The Business is Jammin’ summer program is also in full swing. In the northern region the youth summer coordinators are Robyn Martelly in Sydney and Rene Boudreau for the New Glasgow area. I urge youths to sign up for the week-long camps as well as parents to support these camps.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Laurissa Manning, owner of Core Essentials Fitness on paying off her BBI loan as well as a successful move to a new location. I wish her and her team much success. I would also like to congratulate Blair Crawford and partners at AFK Reef Supplies for completing a successful move to their new Bayers Lake location. See them for all your aquarium and related needs. It goes without saying that we encourage you to support and invest in these and other Black-owned businesses in your area.
Please contact me at (902) 426-4281 or email email@example.com regarding events in your area or if you have questions about the BBI’s programs and services.
Qs Roofing Quincy Hall, Owner
Greg Nazaire, BBI
by: Shauntay Grant
Hall moved to
Scotia from Alberta in 2010, starting his own business wasn’t the plan.
“I tried to work for other people, but it just didn’t work,” remembers the owner of Qs Roofing. “No one wanted to pay me what I wanted. And I didn’t like the quality of work people were putting out there.” After being in Nova Scotia for just six months, Hall decided the best way to ensure his work standards were being upheld was to start his own company. “I was a subcontractor out west,” says Hall. “I worked with four or five major
“We do primarily roofing,” says Hall. “But I don’t mind doing some flooring, siding, doors, drywall, or any home renovations anyone has.” Hall has half a dozen employees he can call on to assist, depending on the size of the job. But he does all the bidding and groundwork for each contract, and he stands firmly behind the quality of his product. “I try to stay in contact with customers as much as possible – I offer a fiveyear workman warranty, and I also like to follow up with my customers every couple years,” says Hall. “I’m used to a high quality of work, and customers want to pay for the best service they can get.” Hall says what sets Qs Roofing apart from the competition is the company’s commitment to fast, effective, and quality service with a personal touch. “If someone calls me for an estimate, I can usually get there in the next two or three days,” says Hall, who prides himself on “prompt service” and “quick callbacks.”
companies, [and] I had about 15 or 20 builders of my own, so you might as well say I was doing it on my own.” Roofing has been Hall’s focus for the past 10 years, but he has about 20 years of experience in construction overall. He says he can handle anything from roofing to windows, flooring, and various other installations and renovations.
Although based in Lawrencetown, Qs Roofing has clients in Halifax, Dartmouth and across Nova Scotia. While Hall admits the responsibility that comes with managing his own business can be challenging at times, he’s thankful for the opportunity to use his natural talent. “I stay in it ’cause I’m good at it,” he says. “Roofing is not just my job it’s my way of life. So I treat every job like it’s my own.”
Qs Roofing Quincy Hall, Installer 902-293-4854 www.qsroofing.ca 32 ...
Regional Report Central Emma Otuki Start Up Canada launched in Nova Scotia in March. The campaign is Canada’s firstever, entrepreneur-led, national movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship. The tour began in Halifax at the new InnovaCorp Enterprise Centre on Summer Street with Rustum Southwell as the Master of Ceremonies. It then travelled to town halls in Truro, Antigonish and Sydney and fringe events in Yarmouth and Dartmouth. Reaching more than 500 entrepreneurs and participants, it identified some of the top areas of action to advance entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia, including the need to expand entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur mentorship opportunities and develop virtual and physical spaces for entrepreneurial collaboration. The Start Up Canada provincial steering committee will be developing an action plan to address the areas identified in the tour. The BBI in conjunction with the Hub and Progressive Roots Network hosted an event in April called “Take the Plunge” as part of the Start Up Canada Campaign. The event asked how much better could our community be if each of us were part of creating a culture of taking risks and making things happen? The event was successful and well attended. I would like to thank Paul Adams, Tyson Tolliver, Mercy Motey, Duane Jones, Troyce Ash and Kenny Duncan for being some of the ‘knowledge dealers’ at the event. Emma Otuki is the new regional development manager for the central region while Shakara Russell is on personal leave. If you have a question or would like to schedule a visit, contact info is: Otuki.Emma@bbi.ns.ca or phone 902-426-7973. 32 ...
Start-Up Canada Tour Uncovers Nova Scotia Action Areas
irst Week of Startup Canada National Tour Identifies Key Areas for
Action for Entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia
The first leg of Startup Canada’s National Tour reached more than 500 entrepreneurs and members of the enterprise support community in Nova Scotia last week, identifying some of the top areas of action to advance entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia, including the need to: develop a smoother entrepreneurial journey for entrepreneurs with regards to enterprise support; increase awareness and experiential learning opportunities for youth in entrepreneurship; expand en t r ep r eneur- t o - en t r ep r eneur mentorship opportunities; and, develop virtual and physical spaces for entrepreneurial collaboration. The six-month National Tour, which kicked off in Halifax on March 19, aims to engage 25,000 Canadians in a national conversation about how to encourage, support and leverage entrepreneurship in Canada. The feedback from this tour will be used to draft a concrete, community-backed action plan for Startup Canada to take forward and a white paper, which will be presented to Stephen Harper in the fall. “While these challenges are not unique to our province, the vision for a strong entrepreneurial culture in Nova Scotia has never been more urgent, more innovative, and more forward-looking than it is right now,” said Rustum Southwell, CEO of the Black Business Initiative and Chair of Startup Canada’s 33 ...
Nova Scotia Provincial Steering Committee. “The Black Business Initiative is proud to partner with Startup Canada and its partner organizations to create new opportunities for growth and economic development. We believe that the time to act is now.” The National Tour began in Halifax, NS on March 19 with a Town Hall event hosting more than 100 local entrepreneurs who identified needs for mentorship programs, as well as more physical and online hubs for collaboration and youth engagement. From there, the Tour continued to Truro, Antigonish, Yarmouth, Dartmouth and Sydney where entrepreneurs discussed ideas such as how to improve the delivery of small business support services and how to foster a stronger entrepreneurial culture. Idea-sharing and creative brainstorming drove much of the conversation at the Startup Canada events. From pitching business case strategies to assembling action committees, the events focused on how entrepreneurs could work collectively and collaboratively to create change.
Atwood, Executive Director of the Yarmouth Community Business Development Corporation. “All our participants thought this was a unique way of engaging local business and encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs, and I’m excited to see what happens next.” Startup Canada’s next Tour stop is Prince Edward Island for events running May 8 – 10, before moving on to Ontario and then western Canada. Complete Tour dates and details can be found on the Startup Canada website: www. startupcan.ca/tour. Photos of the events in Nova Scotia Can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/ photos/startupcanada/sets/
About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is Canada’s first e n t r e p r e n e u rled, national movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship. “Startup Canada was a great way to bring Startup Canada is launching this together the entrepreneurial community effort with the country’s first national in Sydney,” said Mary Jane Morrison, entrepreneurship tour and campaign. Director of Cape Breton University’s Small Business Development Centre. The tour will run from March to “The public engagement was varied and September, engaging 25,000 Canadians covered many areas of economic activity. and 250 partner organizations across the We look forward to implementing country. Entrepreneurs will participate the ideas that were created and in more than 30 Town Halls and 100 documented.” Fringe Events and connect through a social media groundswell campaign. “Leading up to Yarmouth’s event, we Join the movement and connect with made some valuable connections Startup Canada: www.startupcan.ca with other local partner organizations, which will help us keep the momentum Posted March 27, 2012 Excerpt courtesy rolling on this movement,” said Chris www.startupcan.ca - Used by permission
TRAINING REPORT Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver This past year we have made great strides towards re-developing our training department and how we offer training opportunities. We have taken the time to really listen to our business owners and potential entrepreneurs and have put in place a training program that meets our clients where they are now and moves them towards the next level. A partnership with Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education has given us the opportunity to be able to customize training programs to address the individual needs of our clients. This year we are introducing a set of training opportunities that speaks to both potential entrepreneurs and those who are economic development service
providers. Foundations for Success was launched with overwhelming interest and is set up to be a key example to growing Black businesses. Another unique training opportunity to be introduced this year was the Progressive Roots Network (PRN). This network, which is essentially an on-the-pulse training opportunity for young professionals, is a great way for them to reach new heights on the path to success. It also continues to provide us with feedback on what is important to our clients and community in the world of business. Other upcoming training courses include: Essential Writing Skills, Advanced Writing Skills for Business, Communications, Understanding Generational Differences, and Social Media. We will also continue offering Foundations for Success.
For more information or to register contact our Training Associate, Mahogany Lucas at 426-8688 or firstname.lastname@example.org Trailblazers - continued from page 26
She hopes she was an inspiration to the women in the program. She wanted to see them have a positive experience, to dispel the stereotypes and just be an individual who would be judged by her merit in the field. “I told them, if you just keep on going, if you just keep on keeping on, it will pay off. You can’t start in the middle and expect to get to the top. You have to start at the bottom and slug your way … it’s a long journey.” It's been a long journey for Bonner but she's not stopping yet. Semi-retired
from carpentry, she does interior work on the side and went back to school to study occupational health and safety. She plans to work in that field until she retires. Her message to Constructing the Future students past, present and future is simple: “Don't let anybody say you can't do it.” Constructing the Future Contact: Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver email@example.com
Rustum Southwell continued from page 6
what they wanted to be when they grew up and they were saying things like engineer, doctor, psychologist ... and I sat back and went ‘Wow’!” Over the past 16 years, the whole has been greater than the sum of the parts. The staff Southwell has worked with has been so strong and committed to the vision and strategy behind the BBI. And, when they have moved on, they have taken the skills and experience they gained at the BBI forward to enhance their new employers’ activities. The transition from one CEO to the next has been seamless. By choosing Mike Wyse as the BBI’s second CEO, the choice was someone who was with the BBI in its early days, who has experience as a board member/board chair, and who has the energy and enthusiasm to guide the BBI forward into the future. Southwell has spent the last few months slowly easing away while letting Wyse ease into his new role “I was away for two and a half weeks on a golf holiday,” he said. “When I got back, I went into the office and spoke with Mike. For the first time in many years, the responsibilities were all Mike’s. I’m sleeping better - the responsibilities are not on my shoulders.” As for his future plans, they’re around a bend in the road, for now. But he is looking forward to attending the Summit as a spectator rather than an organizer and is relishing that new role. 34 ...
The Race to Business Success
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Conference Registration at the World Trade and Convention Centre
Thursday, June 21, 2012 Continental Breakfast Greetings and Conference Opening Opening Plenary – Climbing to New Heights Workshop 1 – Whole Brain Thinking "Creativity at Work" Keynote Luncheon – Roland Martin Vendor Fair and Networking Session After Dinner Boat Cruise
Friday, June 22, 2012 Continental Breakfast Conference Recap Workshop 2 – Raising the Bar
Workshop 3 – Competitive Edge “Drivers of Success” Keynote Luncheon – RS vs RS (Rustum Southwell vs Ross Simmonds) Biz Show / Wrap Up Cocktail Reception AGM Gala Dinner & Dance
2012 Keynote Speaker
Roland S. Martin
Farley Flex A humanitarian, a mentor and a social activist, Farley Flex is perhaps best known as a judge on the most watched Canadian television show in history, Canadian Idol. Flex is an emphatic speaker with a passion to discover, develop and promote the intrinsic talents of young people across the country.
Roland S. Martin is a nationally awardwinning and multifaceted journalist. A nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate, Mr. Martin is the author of Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith, and Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America, and “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.” Mr. Martin is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host and managing editor of “Washington Watch with Roland Martin,” a one-hour Sunday morning news show. He is also a CNN Analyst, appearing on a variety of the network’s shows. In October 2008, he joined the Tom Joyner Morning Show as senior analyst. In 2009, CNN was awarded the Peabody Award for its outstanding 2008 election coverage, of which Martin was a member of the Best Political Team on Television. He has won more than 30 professional awards for journalistic excellence, including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television News Directors; top reporting honors from the National Association of Black Journalists; the National Association of Minorities in Cable. and the National Associated PressManaging Editors Conference.
Flex was recently named a National Ambassador for Unicef, appointed to the Special Advisory Council to the League of Human Rights, and awarded his second Bob Marley Community Role Model award, for his work in education. He is partner in the Recess initiative, a social and organizational network platform, working in partnership with school boards and community organizations worldwide. Flex has also done extensive work motivating youth in First Nation's and other marginalized communities. Flex is the President and CEO of Plasma Management and Productions, has managed multiplatinum artists such as rap pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes, and was the founding music director and former VP of business development at FLOW 93.5, Canada's first urban radio station. He also sits on the boards of BravoFACT, ParticipACTION and the Rotman School of Business ICM Challenge and is a member of Toronto Mayor David Miller's Advisory Panel on Community Safety.
John Thomas Grant, Jr. John Thomas Grant, Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer of 100 Black Men of Atlanta (100) and has been a member of the organization for over 20 years. Grant has garnered a reputation among his Atlanta-chapter colleagues for his ability to obtain “blue-chip” corporate sponsors and successfully manage their investments in the organization. Under his leadership, the 100 has attained a level of visibility and prominence that underscores the importance of its philanthropic mission established by its founding members in 1986.
Grant0 has 1 a distinguished S U M M I T Mr. 2 2 history of professional success and leadership. He joined Airborne Express
He is the former executive editor/general manager of the Chicago Defender, the nation’s most historic Black newspaper. He is the former founding news editor for Savoy Magazine under the team of New Yorkbased Vanguarde Media, and the former founding editor of BlackAmericaWeb.com.
in 1979 and just two years later he was promoted to Area Operations Manager in Greenville, S.C. In 1984, he was relocated to Atlanta where he served in several areas including leading the Operations, Customer Service, and Sales organizations. His personal achievements led to numerous company awards, including several National Sales Awards, Sky Courier District Sales Manager of the Year, and the company’s first and only Humanitarian Award. John Grant is the youngest member to join 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and was voted its Man of the Year. John has served on the Board of Directors for 100 since 1990 until his selection as Chief Executive Officer in 2001.
Regional Report Southern Greg Nazaire Over the last three months I have had a number of inquiries from clients who are looking to buy existing businesses instead of starting new ones. For instance, one of my clients has decided to sell his business after ten successful years in the Valley. This can present a great opportunity for fresh ideas to emerge in a region. Over the summer, I refocus my efforts around maximizing the BBI’s relationships with regional partners, including the Black Employment Resources Centres, the Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs), and the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). The goal is to work together on better informing the public around our services through joint workshops and referrals and to better service the business community through joint financing and training programs. Last month I had the privilege of attending the Black Cultural Centre’s 28th anniversary celebration, which was made more significant due to the recent completion of its gallery refresh. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Centre’s staff and leadership for this accomplishment. I look forward to having a more active presence in my region this summer and I encourage existing and potential entrepreneurs to contact me to discuss how the BBI may help you. I can be reached at (902) 426-1625 or 1-888-664-9333. 36 ...
People & Business on the Move
Wayne Adams D.C.L., C.M., E.C.N.S., C.C., has been as an Honorary Colonel (HCol) of 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron (423 MH Sqn) based at 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia. There was a moving church service at All Saints Cathedral on March 30 to mark the end of Her Honour Mayann Francis’ tenure as the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. It was a service filled with music, readings, and reflections on her contribution to this province. Congratulations to Robert Wright on receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers. Evelina Upshaw was named as one of this year’s Paul Harris Fellows by the Rotary Club of Halifax North West, one of the highest honours the Rotary Club can give. There is a move afoot to add the image of William Hall to the Valiants Memorial in Ottawa. There are nine busts and five statues of key military figures of preConfederation Canada through to the Second World War located overlooking the Rideau Canal, near the national war Sgt. Craig Smith received a Harry Jerome award in the media category during a gala dinner in Toronto to recognize the four books he’s written about the African Canadian community. Senator Dr. Donald H. Oliver QC was the guest speaker at the Black Cultural Centre’s 35th Anniversary which was celebrated on April 21st. Gospel singer Theresa Thompson was the guest soloist when “Missa Gaia, a contemporary mass in celebration of the Earth” was performed by the King’s Chorus and Capella Regalis in Halifax. Lola Heavey has opened Drippy Icing, Halifax’s newest sugarcraft supplies store on the corner of Titus Street and Ashdale Avenue in the Halifax area of Fairview. 37 ...
Fathers and sons from the Preston area were hosted by the RCMP at the Tim Hortons Children's Camp, near Tatamagouche. Cpl. Calvin Byard said that the goal of the father-son camp was to build a sense of community between dads, their sons, and the police. It was a busy weekend filled with such activities as biking, bonfires, basketball, hockey, archery, and wall climbing. Congratulations to Walter Borden for winning the Merritt Award for best actor for his performance as Hoke in “Driving Miss Daisy” during last summer’s Valley Summer Theatre Festival in the Wolfville. The drama claimed three other top honours for best actress, best director, and the play was named the year’s outstanding theatre production. The Prince of Hali’s record now stands at 17-2 after Tyson Cave pummeled Mexico's Jovanny Soto over 10 rounds to defend his WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight title via unanimous decision before 1,500 fans recently at the Halifax Civic Arena. The same evening, Dartmouth light heavyweight Aaron Crawley hammered away at New Brunswick's Norman Peters on his way to a 40-36, 40-36, 40-36 shutout win in his pro debut. Congrats to Derico Symonds winner of the Alumnae Varsity Prize for male athlete at Mount Saint Vincent University. George Elliott Clarke joined spoken word artist El Jones in a province-wide speaking tour, that began early March trying to dispel two centuries of myths about Black refugees to Nova Scotia from the War of 1812. “ To increase participation by the community in the this year’s municipal elections, a series of informational workshops about municipal politics aimed at African Nova Scotians was organized by the province, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, Dalhousie University and the Association of Black Social Workers.
The Dalhousie African Students’ Association and the Saint Mary’s University African Students’ Society held their annual Africa Night at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax. The student-run organizations promote awareness about the diversity of African culture, art and heritage to students, community members and people throughout Nova Scotia through this annual celebration of music, food, fashion, art, dance and music.
because of his race, and this legend was popularized in a famous song by Leadbelly.
The annual service for the Elimination of Racism at Cornwallis St Baptist Church was held on March 18. As usual, members of City Council, and the Halifax Regional Police joined the congregation for the moving service.
Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, winner of the 2004 Drama Critic’s Circle Award for Best Play and the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Play, ran at Neptune Theatre in March. The play is about Esther, a 35-year-old black seamstress living in New York in 1905 and her adventures in love.
Women Making Waves 2012 wrapped up March 11 in Halifax with the 2012 WAVE Awards, honouring outstanding contributions by women in film, television, and new media. Halifax’s Sylvia Hamilton was one of this year’s WAVE Award winners during the second annual conference from Women in Film and Television — Atlantic. Passage to the Caribbean restaurant on Cornwallis Street was featured in Bill Spurr’s popular Thursday restaurant review in the Chronicle Herald. He said, “The curried chicken, made from bone-in thighs, literally falls off the bone, and is mildly spiced and delicious.” Anthony Sherwood premiered his play, “Titanic: The Untold Story” about the only Black person aboard the Titanic. The play is a bout Joseph Philippe Laroche, a Haitian-born engineer, who left France with his pregnant French wife and two daughters, planning to escape racism in Paris and rejoin his wealthy family in Haiti. His wife and daughters survived but his body was never found. Sherwood twinned the Laroche story with the legend that heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson was refused passage aboard the Titanic. It was speculated that Johnson applied for a first-class ticket but was refused
Anthony Sherwood has hired Nova Scotia Community College student Tara Reddick as the stage manager who will travel with “Titanic: The Untold Story: as it tours to Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Montreal, Vancouver and London, England, from July to October.
The Black Islanders of P.E.I. Co-op celebrated the Island's AfricanCanadian history and culture at its fifth annual Baraka Festival, held at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown in late February. The event was held to honour the arrival of Black settlers in P.E.I. in the late 1700s. The festival also marked the first public viewing of "Old Stock," a movie based on a play about P.E.I.'s black history. The federal government has contributed $2.5 million towards the construction of the $4.6-million Black Loyalist Heritage Centre. “The new centre will be a wonderful place to learn about the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia through multimedia presentations and yearround events,” said BLHS president Elizabeth Cromwell. The Rev. Richard Preston, a freed slave, abolitionist and founder of churches, subject of a soon-to-be-completed online video game. The video game, called Preston, traces just one portion of his life — a perilous, courageous journey from a U.S. plantation to Nova Scotia in search of his mother, whom he finally finds in the community of Preston, which he takes for his last
name. The game has been produced by the Empowerful Project founded by Craig Smith and George Jordan with assistance from Dawn Harwood-Jones of Pink Dog Productions and Halifax video game producer Silverback Productions. Reeny Smith, Ced & Marty, and Asia & NuGruv took the rising star, emerging artist and artist of the year awards at the African Nova Scotian Music Awards show held in Halifax’s Spatz Theatre. Other awards were given CompuTraxx, Deacon Harold Johnston and Corey Adams. The lifetime achievement award was given out twice - to Rev. Wallace Smith Sr and to veteran gospel and country singer Alfred T. Bright of Weymouth, Digby County. Const. Randy Wood, a community response officer in North Dartmouth, was named as the Police Officer of the Year for HRM. Wood was hailed by his superiors as an "ideal role model" who brings a "passionate and compassionate perspective" to his job.
In Memoriam The BBI would like to extend its condolences to the Kanyamunyu family at the passing of Doreen Kanyamunyu, wife of former Regional Business Development Manager Julius Kanyamunyu. Our deepest sympathies are with you during this time of sorrow. The immediate family travelled with Mrs. Kanyamunyu’s body to its final resting place in Uganda and with the high cost involved in transporting the body, financial support is greatly appreciated. Funds may be deposited to: The Uganda Canadian Association of the Maritimes Royal Bank of Canada 271 Lacewood Drive, Halifax, NS, B3M 4K3 Account Number: 05783 100-937-2 Contact: Herman Ssebazza, Chairperson @ 902 457 1913
continued from page 20
acknowledge that you worked very hard and showed utmost dedication in your duty as CEO. In sports they say ‘no pain, no gain’; in finance we say ‘no risk, no return’. You served the public good with distinction and now I hope you spend the rest of your days reaping the rewards of your hard work. Please Rus, remember, no more ‘freebees’! I volunteer to do all the negotiations for only 10%! Enjoy every bit of your welldeserved retirement. Thank you Gracie, for loaning Rustum to us. Please make him rest, and help him to improve his golf game. For sure, think of Ghana as a vacation spot. See you, my friends. All the best and God richly bless you! Gordon Adisenu-Doe Director of Business Development "Witty Rustum has run the race; but not before setting the pace. He leaves behind a trail that cannot be erased." Peter Marsman Photographer You offered me an opportunity during a time of transition in my career for which I will be forever grateful. For your leadership, ideas, understanding, unwavering support, loyalty and fun, I wish you the best. Rustum, it has been a pleasure working with you. You will be missed! Angela Johnson Managing Editor 39 ...
Rustum: Thanks for a job well done. I have enjoyed, learned, and matured working with you as a board member. You led BBI with passion, kindness, and vision. I and Mary wish you good health and enjoyable retirement. Dr. Andrews Oppong Board Member Congratulations Rustum on all you’ve achieved & best wishes on your next steps! Shauntay Grant Writer You have nurtured and guided this organization from its infancy to its teen years and what a wonderful job you did indeed. The shoes you have left are large and may be hard to fill but the values and culture you have instilled in BBI will live on. Thank you for the leadership you have provided at the helm of this organization and now it is time to bid you - Salute and I give to you a big thanks for being the dynamic person that you are - God Bless! Cynthia Dorrington Board Member Rustum, thank you for the opportunity to write for the Black to Business Magazine over the past two years. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to speak with and tell the stories of so many inspirational members of the Black Nova Scotian community. Thank you too for your warm and inviting smile anytime I stopped by the office. Charlene Davis Writer
Congratulations on all your success over the years you will truly be missed. Mahogany Lucas Training Associate A chance conversation with Rustum on a Saturday morning at a trade show led to one of my longest, most interesting and rewarding relationships with a client. There are always so many interesting stories to tell in Black to Business and it has been a privilege working with you, Rustum, lo these many years. Will miss you! Carol Dobson Rustum, It has truly been an honour working with you for the past 16 years. I came on board with Issue #1 of B2B and you kept me around ever since. Thank you for the opportunity of working with one of the best business minds around, it has been a pleasure and an education. Dan O'Brien Designer Thank you for your exemplary leadership in building and steering the BBI’s ship to what it is today from day one. It was an absolute pleasure working with you. Congratulations Rustum and all the best in your retirement. Funmi Joseph Former Training Manager I met Rustum at Dal a long time ago but one day out of the blue I received
a call. He told me about a new Black business organization called the BBI and they were looking for new board members. I have been associated with the BBI ever since. Rustum has taken the organization from grass roots to a major player in business development in Nova Scotia. It is through his wisdom and insight that we have been accepted by government to be a responsible business partner. I wish Rustum all the best in his retirement and I know he will see him again. Bruce Johnson BIJ Board Member Wishing you all the best in your retirement. Walter Muise Financial Manager Rustum is truly a mentor. As a BBI board member, I have seen Rustum mentor the younger staff from the time they first step into the BBI. As a supervisor, he constantly provided support, opportunity and encouragement. I believe Rustum, in his unassuming, humble way helps staff see their potential and then creates the environment for them to move in that direction. Rustum has never wavered from the vision of BBI and created a positive, supportive environment for BBI's clients and staff to operate. He truly has set the bar high. It has been my privilege to have been a BBI board member with Rustum at the helm. Thanks for everything Rustum. Enjoy your retirement!!" Jocelyn Dorrington Board Member
When I first became a Board member of the Black Business Initiative, MR Rustum Southwell was very welcoming and supportive. My first impression of him was that he was a very humble man. During our initial meeting, I remember thinking “This guy is very knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate about BBI!” As time went on, he continued to impress me with this same passion for what he was doing, and leading by example—as this is what he looked for in his employees. What I liked most about Rustum was the fact that he always took the time to thank not only the Board members, but also publicly recognize the fact that he was not alone in the success of BBI. When there was cause for celebration, he shared this with the staff involved recognizing their dedication and commending them on their expertise. This is what makes great leaders great, and indeed, Rustum Southwell was and is a true leader and champion for the Black Business Initiative. The time has come for Rustum to pass the “torch” to another great leader, and it is with sadness and joy that I say “adieu”. Shirley Robinson-Levering Board Member Congratulations MR Rustum Southwell, (and I say that with intended bolded letters for a reason) because the name to me needs to be accentuated for it brings with it real meaning. It means accomplishments, it means perseverance, it means dedication beyond employee. Rustum made the BBI his Baby! He believed in its mission, (he made it his mission) to foster a dynamic &
Vibrant Black presence within the NS Business Community. I certainly admired him for what he did day to day when I was a board Member and chair. I saw the late night, weekend events. I witnessed the stressful funding meetings with the Board and Funding agencies not fully knowing if all your hard work was for not. I can say that I got to see and experience the passion Rustum has towards his role and I know that without him as the organizations dedicated leader the BBI as an organization would not be what it is today. I am however confident that the torch has been passed onto another extremely dedicated, and driven leader who will I’m sure take it upon himself to work to continue the success the organization has had to date. All the best to you Rustum, enjoy your retirement. Maybe now you can spend some more time practicing golf (Hey Gracey). I thank you for the opportunity to say to my son “I worked with that guy on the BBI Board years ago”! Garnet Wright Board Chair, past Dear Rustum - I look upon your retirement as a real personal loss. Your contributions have been great, and though you will be missed, you deserve an enjoyable retirement. I’ll miss getting you coffee. Beverley Parker Administrative Assistant continued on page 41
Rustum, it has been a pleasure working with you. You will be greatly missed in the entrepreneurship circle in Nova Scotia. All the best in everything that you do in your retirement.” David Eisnor BBCIFL Board Member Rus, It has been a great pleasure being associated with you during my time on the BBI Board. The combination of energy, vision, empathy and passion that you possess is rare, and I have been privileged to have a ringside seat as you put these qualities to work in advancing the organization. You should be justifiably proud of the legacy that you leave to your successors. All the best to you, Gracie and your family in this next phase of your life. Congratulations! Pat Ryan Board Member When I think of this wonderful gentle... gentleman, many characteristics come to mind, including good businessman, father and husband who loves his wife and family first of all. At first glance he looks serious but is actually quite funny. Rustum makes everyone around him better and puts them at ease but most of all, as the BBI’s first CEO, he set the standard for honour, honesty, courage, integrity and loyalty. I am privileged to have been a board member during Rustum's tenure. I am also happy to say that I know this man, whose stature will continue to rise among his peers. Job well done friend! Carlo Simmons BBC Board Member 41 ...
Rustum Southwell has done a wonderful job running the BBI to stimulate Black business in Nova Scotia. His dedication to high quality and principled operations is laudable. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Dr. Pemberton Cyrus, P.Eng. Chair, BBCIFL Rustum, it has been a privilege to have been able to work with you over the years. You have been a great asset to the BBI and the Black Community of Nova Scotia. You have always shared the accolades you've received with the team you have surrounded yourself with and that is a trait that I admire about you. I wish you all that best in your retirement. Joseph Parris Chair, BIJ
golf slice that he has been trying to get rid of. Milton Williams Board Member Sorry to see Rustum go, his shoes will be hard to fill! He served the BBI well. Rustum please know the greatest sweetener of human life is friendship. You were a good and loyal friend. I pray your retirement will be a new beginning and a time to harvest the benefits from a life of planting for all you have done and a time to sow new seeds with your beautiful family. Love and best wishes always, Geraldine Browning Board Member, past
Rustum made the Thank you for being a great role model, professionally and personally, and for always insisting on excellence. I was proud to call you a colleague/boss and now a dear friend. Enjoy your retirement and know that you’ve fostered a legacy of business excellence in the African Nova Scotian community. Your hard work and dedication is recognized and celebrated. Tracey Thomas Staff Member, 1999-2007 I have worked with Rus for the last number of years. I would like to wish him all the best in his retirement, And now that he has some time we can work on that
BBI his Baby! He believed in its mission, (he made it his mission) to foster a dynamic & Vibrant Black presence within the NOVA SCOTIA Business Community. - Garnet Wright Board Chair, past
Business Development Report
Message from the Chair continued from page 1
Jocelyn’s wisdom and experience will be missed at the board meetings, but I look forward to her new role as a lifetime board member. We are so thankful to the support of our core funding partners – the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, as well as the Nova Scotia Department of Rural and Economic Development and Tourism. And finally, a huge thank you to the BBI staff and board members. As we host our sixteenth Annual General Meeting and Summit, we celebrate the successful year that was – and look forward many more to follow.
Greg Browning, Chair
Message from the CEO continued from page 2
I believe that a country’s economic potential flows above all from its human capital, from what its people can do and want to do. Therefore…… I would like to thank the BBI team past and present and those who have given for the cause. It is about building a dynamic business presence that is relevant to all Nova Scotians long after we are gone. It is about willing yourself to try one more time and work together. “A true leader produces more leaders.” - Zig Ziglar
S.I. Rustum Southwell, CEO
Gordon Doe I will be taking some time off to visit my home country Ghana after 13 years in Nova Scotia and 11 years with the Black Business Initiative (BBI). It has been an exciting and blessed journey each of these years. So this report is a review of some of my favorite projects. CEDIF: Invest in Nova Scotia Now in its ninth year, the fund has raised a total of $606,000 from Nova Scotians. We have gone to market each of the past nine years, except 2008 at the height of the recent global financial crisis. With each offering, we have also been able to grow our investor base from 41 in 2003, to 97 today. Each passing year brings us closer to achieving our vision of creating a sustainable fund to support black-owned businesses in Nova Scotia. Growing this portfolio required steady effort, and we are certain that in time, the fund will increase in size and impact as more Nova Scotians support our effort to create a dynamic and vibrant Black presence in the business community. We invite you to join us as an investor in our next offering in December this year. Construction Training Our Constructing the Future (CTF) program is in its fourth year and has enjoyed tremendous success. A total of 45 participants have graduated. Of these, 19 participants gained admission to Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). 17 are working in the industry, 7 are indentured apprentices, and 5 are running their own small businesses. This 32-week construction training and job readiness program is an excellent example of what BBI does best: promoting and supporting business
development and training opportunities within our community. Beyond the quantifiable results seen in the number of participants who, upon graduation, have either entered into a construction-related training institution or employment, the program provides vital personal development skills that lay a solid foundation for success. During the past year, BBI strengthened its relationship with the NSCC by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Constructing The Future. Our partnership with NSCC and the Department of Labour, combined with the program’s excellent results, and the many long-term, full-time jobs anticipated from the awarding of the federal shipbuilding contract to Irving Shipbuilding makes a good case for rolling out this program to other parts of the province. Construction Management ADEPA is a BBI-affiliated company focused on construction management. It is currently wholly owned by Black Business Consulting (BBC).This past year, in addition to supporting the delivery of Constructing the Future program and undertaking some residential projects, we partnered with Select Company to provide the opportunity for a number of our Black construction businesses to be involved in the North Preston Recreational Centre expansion. As a result of our experience on this project, ADEPA plans to engage more Black construction workers in the upcoming building season. Our emphasis would be on construction management training, skills and business development opportunities. For inquires about any of these programs, please call 426-2224. 42 ...
Community & Business Events
June 1 – Sept. 1
July 6 – 14
August 10 – 11
Black Loyalist Heritage Society - Old School House Museum
TD Halifax Jazz Festival
Mondays by appointment Tuesdays to Sunday 11am to 5pm Admission: Adults $3.00 / Children 12 & under – free
June 21 – 22
BBI Summit 2012
World Trade & Convention Centre (902) 426-8683 / firstname.lastname@example.org www.bbi.ns.ca
June 22 – 24
RBC Multicultural Festival Halifax Seaport www.multifest.ca
June 29 – July 1
Canada Day Weekend Annual CanJam
at Upper Hammonds Plains www.hrmcanadaday.ca
July 9 – 14
The International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID) World Trade and Convention Centre www.iassid.org
Black Educators Association Annual Golf Tournament
Old Ashburn Golf Course, Halifax, NS www.bea.ns.ca
July 19 – 29
Parade of Sail - July 23 http://my-waterfront.ca/ tallships
BIJ Summer Camps
July 19 – 22
Info: (902) 426-8683 / BBI@bbi.ns.ca www.bbi.ns.ca
Pictou Monument Rededication Ceremony Pictou, NS (902) 434-6223 or 1-(800)465-0767 www.bccns.Com
July 1 – 8
2012 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Halifax Metro Centre www.nstattoo.ca/
Three Great Races, One EPIC Day!
epicdartmouth.com/courses 43 ...
Founders Day Weekend Shelburne, NS www.town.shelburne.ns.ca/
July 29 – 31
Telus World Skins www.telusskins.com
July 27 – 29
Africville Reunion www.africville.ca
August 2 – 12
Halifax International Busker Festival 500+ performances www.buskers.ca/
August 5 – 6
APEX Golf Tournament Truro Golf Club www.trurogolfclub.com
Halifax Seaport Market www.seaportbeerfest.com/
August 28 – Sept. 3
FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Junior World Championships www.sandjamhalifax.ca/
August 29 – Sept. 2
Wharf Rat Rally
Digby, NS Atlantic Canada’s largest motorcycle rally www.wharfratrally.com
September 13 – 22
Atlantic Film Festival
Halifax Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Challenge Glen Arbour Golf Course www.halifaxchamber.com
Pictou County Multicultural Festival Glasgow Square Theatre New Glasgow www.newglasgow.ca/ planyourvisit
October 3 – 8
Maritime Fall Fair
Exhibition Park, Halifax www.maritimefallfair.com
To submit items for the Black to Business Community and Business Calendar, please contact: Beverley Parker (902) 426-8683; Fax: 426-8699 or email email@example.com
Kitchens & Baths Roofs & Siding Windows & Doors Plumbing & Electrical Decks & Fences Flooring & Trim Painting and Much More Committed to Service Excellence!
No Job too Big or Small give us a call...
PHONE: (902) 468-0606 - firstname.lastname@example.org A part the BBI’s Composite Group of Companies
Fully Insured - Registered Member of the Atlantic Home Warranty Program
New Heights june 21–22, 2012 World Trade and Convention Centre , Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Black Business Initiative is proud to host the 8th Black Business Summit Workshops Networking
Boat Cruise Biz Show
AGM Dinner & Dance Keynote Speakers
Economic and Rural Development and Tourism
For more information, please call 902·426·2224 or visit our web site at www.bbi.ca
If undeliverable return to: The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7
Publications Mail Agreement No.
numéro de convention
Cover: Rustum Southwell, Retiring BBI CEO BBI Summit 2012 Trailblazers: Women in Trades