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Business Review


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Messages & Regular Reports & Board

6 Greetings from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce President 8


Business Review

is published by DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5

– Jordan Ludwig

President David Langstaff

Greetings from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce General Manager

Publisher Jason Stefanik

– Carolynn Cancade

10 2015-2016 Board of Directors 12 Greetings from the Mayor of Brandon – Rick Chrest

14 Benefits of Chamber Membership

Features 15 High Optimism – Message from Economic Development 22 Developed Framework – Economic Development’s new plan proves promising for economic growth

31 From Strong Roots Come Many Branches – Brandon’s strong agriculture sector trickles down the value-added chain

34 A Variety of Solutions – Tapping into a diversified pool of talent to counter a looming labour shortage

36 Money 101 – Improving your financial literacy can improve your business

38 In the Spotlight – Hotelier and club owner wins Business Person of the Year award

40 Lifetime of Hard Work Adds Up – Retired accountant, Jeanne Millis, wins Lifetime Business Builder award

42 Party Professionals Takes the Stage – Event décor company wins Business Excellence of the Year

44 They’ve Got It – got mats? wins Outstanding New Business award 46 Giving Perspiration and Inspiration – Guild Insurance Brokers Inc. founder wins Chamber’s Community Service award

48 Moving Ahead – Innovation key to building manufacturer’s success 52 Putting Family First – What can a family trust do for your business? 54 A Place to Call Home Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC) contributing to downtown Brandon revitalization

Managing Editor Carly Peters Sales Manager Dayna Oulion Toll Free: 1.866.424.6398 Advertising Account Executives gary barrington Cheryl Ezinicki Corey frazer Jennifer Hebert Gladwyn Nickel gary seamans Production services provided by: S.G. Bennett Marketing Services Art Director Kathy Cable Layout / Design Dana Jensen Advertising Art sheri kidd joel gunter © Copyright 2015 DEL Communications Inc. All rights reserved.The contents of this pub­lica­tion may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher­. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in and the reliability of the source, the publisher­in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers­or employees. Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Canada R3L 0G5 Email:

56 Index to Advertisers PRINTED IN CANADA | 09/2015


••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2014

Reg Helwer MLA for Brandon West

20 18th St. Brandon, MB R7A 5A3 Phone: (204) 728-2410 Email:

Cliff Cullen MLA for Spruce Woods

Constituency Office: Box 129, Glenboro, MB R0K 0X0

Phone: (204) 827-3956 Toll Free: 1-866-702-1241 Email:

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2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Greetings from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce President



Welcome to the 2015 edition of the Bran-

like. Pairing our community strengths

balance itself. Our members tell us that

don Business Review. It brings me consid-

with the opportunities identified in Pros-

hiring employees is becoming slightly

erable pleasure to celebrate the success

perity by Design will lay the foundation

less challenging, and that employee re-

of Westman businesses, showcase some

for the future growth of our city.

tention numbers are up. The provincial

of our local success stories, and profile

Each of the five pillars outlined in Pros-

government is slowly amending the hog

our Chamber award winners. We hope

perity By Design are legitimate opportu-

moratorium, which could result in in-

you enjoy the magazine and appreciate

nities for our community to capitalize on.

creased hog production in the western

the time and effort that goes into com-

We’ve become a regional service hub for

portion of our province. Our agriculture

piling a publication of this calibre.

the smaller surrounding communities;

committee has made good strides with a

The business climate in Westman

the more regional retail we can attract,

seems to be holding it’s own, despite

the more likely our neighbours will visit.

changes in the oil sector which has

We have a burgeoning advanced manu-

driven major growth in our area for the

facturing sector beginning to see major

past few years. We’ve proven time and

growth, with Behlen industries being our

again to be resilient and relatively insu-

crown jewel and an international player.

lated from major swings in the overall

We see tremendous opportunity to de-

business climate nationwide. We seldom

velop our value-added agriculture sec-

experience exponential growth, which

tor; we are raw material rich but process-

limits our downswings. Slow and steady

ing poor. We could be shipping finished

growth is easy to plan for and manage,

goods to end users and capitalizing on

which we’ve seen with the recent expan-

the economic benefits of processing

sion of WestJet’s service offerings. They

right here in our community. While oil

took a couple of years to prove their

prices aren’t co-operating right now, I’m

model worked, and took the next step

confident that the Bakken oilfield is here

with a bigger and better product to offer

for the long-haul – we should take this

the Westman market.

slower time to plot our next move so we

policy directed at a facts based, sustainable solution to this problem. While there are still issues with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, we’re starting to see headway being made at the federal level with a task force being struck to ensure that the agri-food and agri-food processing industries have an adequate supply of skilled labour. While this hasn’t begun to bear fruit, we’re hoping that there will be a short term solution to bridge the gap between our present problems and getting our domestic workforce to market. The Brandon Chamber of Commerce board of directors, our committees, and

Brandon’s Economic Development of-

can make sure it’s the right one. And fi-

dedicated staff look forward to working

fice released their new Prosperity By De-

nally, Brandon First has announced a bid

with you to capitalize on every opportu-

sign document in 2015, which you will

to host the Labatt Brier, putting Brandon

nity in the years to come. Our Chamber

see highlighted throughout this maga-

back on the map as the “host city”.

is here to serve you, to make business

zine. This document was the product of

I envision a bright future for Brandon

better for everyone. Please, as you read

community leaders, business people,

and the surrounding area. While the ma-

the pages that follow, be proud of those

and our municipal government discuss-

jor growth in Bakken oilfield is slowing,

in your community that are making a dif-

ing what Brandon’s future should look

it’s allowing our labour market to re-

ference. •••

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

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Greetings from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce General Manager

Carolynn Cancade

Welcome to the annual edition of the

comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes.

professional development sessions, and

Brandon Business Review. At the Bran-

After reading the business profiles you

cost saving benefits, as well as advocat-

don Chamber of Commerce, we know

will know why we are so proud of our

that our greatest strength is our mem-

business community and why our city is

ing on behalf of business. Whether it is

bership and we take tremendous pride

a great place to live, work, play, and do

in this publication because it allows us

business. Along with stories that profile our

to showcase our members and their suc-

award recipients, you will find features


and federal policy issues, or discussions and collaborations with other community stakeholders we will represent your business interests.

In this issue, we once again salute the

that highlight businesses perspective

recipients of our Business Achievement

on opportunities for future growth in

We have been voice of business for

Awards. Through the Chamber awards

Brandon and the prospect of tapping

over 132 years in our community. We

we recognize the contributions of our

into under-utilized workforces. You will

are proud of our long history of helping

business community in business excel-

find tips about improving your business’

Brandon businesses succeed and look

lence, new entrepreneurship, lifetime

financial literacy, and learn about local

achievement, service to the community,

examples of innovation and technology.

for forward to serving our members and

and of those at the “peak” of their career.

There are many exciting things happen-

Our membership represents a diverse

ing in our city and we encourage you to

and broad business community, which

read all the great stories to learn more.

community in the year ahead. Please contact us to learn more about the tools the Brandon Chamber of

is truly reflected in our award recipients.

At the Chamber, we advocate, con-

As in previous issues, all are great exam-

nect, and educate but we also do so

Commerce can give your business to

ples of business success and leadership

much more. We will continue to pro-

prosper and grow. Visit us at

and they demonstrate that excellence

vide great networking opportunities, •••

Daniel Burns, P.Eng.

Michael Maendel, P.Eng.

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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

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board of Directors


Karla Dane Meighen Haddad

Greg Crisanti Tim Hortons


Frank Arndt myITsource & MTS Connect Corral Centre – Corral Communications Ltd.

Jason Thorpe Thorpe Construction Ltd.

Secretary / Treasurer

Terry Carlisle Cando Rail Services Ltd.

Karen MacDonald Assiniboine Community College


Bonnie Nay-Draper Entrepreneurship Manitoba

Jordan Trotter C & C Rentals

Jordan Ludwig Brandon Business Interiors

Terry Burgess RBC Royal Bank

Tami Rae Clements NetSet Communications / I-Netlink Wireless

Todd Birkhan BDO Canada 10

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2014

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Brandon Chamber of Commerce 2015-2016 Board of Directors. 2014 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Greetings from the Mayor of Brandon

Rick Chrest

We Are Brandon! “We Are Brandon!” is a phrase I coined in my State of the City address presented at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce luncheon in May. In my view Brandon has a unique spirit, positive energy, sense of collaboration and record of caring for one another. Many of us take these characteristics for granted until it is mentioned by people who may be newer to Brandon or doing business here from other locales. I failed to find an adjective that properly describes these virtues other than to define it as “We Are Brandon!”. I’m not attempting to create a new slogan or a chant for our sports teams, but indeed we have a unique spirit and we should be proud of the kind of community it creates. Brandon has been a city since its very inception in 1882, never a village nor a town, and has enjoyed positive steady growth over its history with a solid surge in the last decade. One of our biggest assets is Brandon’s role as Manitoba’s second largest city and the regional hub for the entire western part of the province. With a population of 50,000, Brandon offers far more amenities and services than almost any other Canadian city our size. For example, Brandon has both a significant university in Brandon University and a prominent community college with Assiniboine Community College. We are the major regional health hub for the western side of the province with a large and advanced Brandon Regional Health Centre coupled with a recently built Cancer Treatment Centre. Due to its large trading area of upwards of 200,000 Brandon offers a significant selection of retail shopping, restaurants, hotels, and banking and professional services. We have a robust manufacturing sector, a large transportation, and material handling sector and a significant presence in the construction and heavy construction industries. Brandon is bullish on economic development and we are actively engaged in proactive marketing and working collaboratively with development interests. 12

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

Brandon is also well recognized as a “host city”, having hosted numerous national and international events and sporting championships. Through our event marketing organization, Brandon First, our City is amping up efforts to attract major events. One of the first significant targets has been towards national curling events, an area in which Brandon has had significant experience and success. Tourism Brandon also focusses on the broader tourism category which continues to show a solid economic impact for this city. City Hall, through its professional management and staff, maintains and supports the needs of a growing and active community. Our City Council consisting of myself and 10 councillors is approaching its first year of service as a new council, and thus far has shown itself to be a very collegial, constructive, and positive team with a genuine dedication to moving our city forward. We are pleased to work collaboratively with local organizations such as the Brandon Chamber of Commerce to accelerate our positive momentum. Brandon continues to live up to its reputation as one of the greatest little cities to live, work, play, do business, raise a family, become educated, or just to visit. I am privileged to be the mayor of such a fine city and I’m very proud of the spirit, accomplishments, and good nature of our 50,000 residents. We Are Brandon!...and we’d be happy to have you join us. ••• Sincerely,

Rick Chrest – Mayor

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BENEFITS OF CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP Five Reasons to be a Chamber Member


Lobbying & Advocacy


Leads, Referrals & Networking

With approximately 600 member companies, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce is the credible Voice of Business, speaking out on behalf of all members on a variety of topics, including working with the City of Brandon and Brandon School Division on business related issues. The Chamber also lobbies municipal, provincial and federal government representatives regarding issues that face our Chamber members.

The Brandon Chamber is about making connections...whether it’s chamber staff getting to know you and telling others about you or whether it’s you attending a variety of gatherings from small group events (Committee meetings and Business After 5’s) to larger functions (Luncheons, the Annual Dinner or Golf Tournament). Or whether it’s you connecting with other Chamber members through our business directory, with its nearly 70 pages of listings and contacts - a who’s who of the business community.


Awareness & Promotion of Your Business


Cost Reduction Programs


Learning, Education and Development

Joining the Brandon Chamber is about raising your profile in the business community. The Chamber offers you numerous opportunities to promote your business through sponsorship of a variety of events from luncheons and networking events to dinner’s and golf tournaments. The Brandon Chamber of Commerce also provides advertising opportunities for your company in both print and electronic media, getting your message out to more than 800 business owners and their employees.

The Brandon Chamber can save you money and make it easier to do business through such member benefits as group insurance, merchant discounts and payroll.

Whether it’s attending our luncheons and hearing from key political, business and community leaders or coming out to our Special Events throughout the year, the Brandon Chamber keeps you up-to-date on topics of current interest. The Brandon Chamber also provides you an opportunity to volunteer and grow as an individual - whether it’s helping to develop policy, speaking at a Chamber meeting or welcoming guests at a Chamber event.


800 business people with one unified voice for business means protection for your business. Businesses faced with unfair government administration, taxation, or legislation can use the Chamber as a valuable resource. Wellestablished channels to government and the power of representing over 800 delegates business people give the Chamber a voice that speaks louder than each business can alone.

Making the Most of It ADVERTISING

Advertise to a targeted audience through our various marketing opportunities: the Chamber Insider e-Newsletter, Chamber at a Glance printed newsletter, Business Review Magazine, website, Membership Roster, mailer inserts and Event Sponsorship. As a new member, you also receive recognition at the first luncheon you attend and an opportunity for a free member profile in the Chamber @ a Glance.


You are your greatest asset in teaching other people about what your business can do for them. By attending a Luncheon, Business After 5, Friday morning Coffee Break and other special events you can spread the word about your business to other Chamber members in the Brandon community. This is also your opportunity to learn about other businesses and how they can be of service to you.


There are many opportunities to assist on a Chamber committee to lend your hand towards various Chamber initiatives on behalf of the business community. To maximize your membership benefit—get involved, meet people and be available for other members. Use the Chamber to broaden your personal network. Other business leaders, who know the pressures of ownership, can offer insight to the local marketplace or can be a sounding board for your newest idea.


Various discounts are available to Chamber members, such as; AAA Security Systems; Ceridian (payroll); Christie’s Office Plus; MTS; The Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plan; and the TD Visa/Mastercard/Interac Merchant Plan.

Through membership in the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, you also benefit directly from your chamber's membership with the Manitoba and Canadian Chambers, whose advocacy efforts and initiatives advance public policy issues that are critical to all businesses here in our community and in communities across the country. For more information please contact the Brandon Chamber of Commerce (204) 571-5344 or email at


••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

High Optimism

The past year has proven to be an interesting one for Manitoba’s second largest city with local and global changes impacting and shaping the local economy. The oil services sector in southwest Manitoba continues to drive economic growth across Brandon and the southwest corner of the province despite the downturn in the global oil sector. That said there have been ripples felt throughout the local and regional economy as result of the low price of oil. The North American retail sector continues to evolve resulting in a few retail closures and opening the door for new opportunities. Our population continues to grow and diversify, positively influencing the construction sector and labour pool. Changes to the value of the American dollar has provided increased opportunities for local manufacturers and paved the way to attract increased visitors from south of the border. True to form, Brandon businesses have proactively dealt with these challenges and seized the opportunities that a constantly changing economy present. Brandon’s GDP is projected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2015 and 2.4 per cent in 2016 driven by gains in a number of sectors, including manufacturing, construction and wholesale, and retail trade. This pace is in keeping with previous year’s growth. The population is anticipated to grow at a rate of roughly 1.5 per cent annually for years to

Photo courtesy of EDB

By Sandy Trudel, director of Economic Development, City of Brandon

2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Photo courtesy of EDB

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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

come. The growing population has placed Brandon in the enviable position of bucking the national trend with a population whose median age is actually decreasing rather than aging. In the past decade over 3,000 new dwelling units have been constructed, with roughly 50 per cent of new construction multi-family units. Despite this activity the rental vacancy remains very low at 1.1 per cent. Residential construction levels slowed in 2014 and 2015, but are still strong when viewed against historical averages. One does not have to look far to see that the benefits of Brandon’s diversified economy. The local economy continues to grow as a result of new businesses and renewed investment from existing businesses. Westvic Common (northwest corner of Victoria Avenue and 34th Street) has changed hands and the new owners are making great strides in formalizing a total facelift for the existing building, bringing the 80,000 square feet of space to impressive current day mall standards. Four pad sites will also be added to the site along Victoria Avenue. Re-tenanting of the existing building has gone well with a number of new retailers that have shown significant interest in locating in Brandon. All indications point toward a start to the redevelopment process in fall 2015 with concerted construction activity underway by spring of 2016. Browns Socialhouse, a hybrid between an upscale casual dining restaurant and a neighbourhood pub opened in 2015, and is proving to be extremely popular. Brandon’s downtown has two iconic buildings being redeveloped. The vacant

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former McKenzie Seeds properties on Ninth Street is being redeveloped into approximately 85 two- and three-bedroom loft-style apartments and commercial space. Phase 1 construction of 40 residential units and 2,500 square feet of commercial space will be completed in late 2016, with phase 2 anticipated to commence shortly thereafter. The century old former Central Fire Station No. 1 is being transformed into a main floor contemporary gastropub (Prairie Firehouse) that will boast an outdoor patio. The restaurant is slated to open late 2015. The second floor of the former fire hall will be developed into commercial space with the third floor destined for residential use. Behlen Industries, Canada’s largest manufacturer of steel building solutions, unveiled a one of a kind innovative combination of software, robotics, and processes enabling the company to use robotic technology for custom manufacturing. Assiniboine Industrial Services is enjoying the benefits of their newly constructed and significantly expanded facility, enabling them to capture today’s business opportunities and still have room for future growth. Koch Fertilizer Canada is investing over $30 million in their Brandon facility and continue to actively recruit a skilled workforce from throughout Canada. Shape Foods, the only manufacturer offering pure, unrefined cold pressed flax oil that does not require refrigeration and is shelf-stable for up to two years has moved to a 24-7 production schedule to keep pace with demand. The company has advanced research and development

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projects underway and continues to explore new markets, while presently exporting to customers around the globe, including Korea, Taiwan, China, southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, and of course within Canada and the United States. Saputo recently completed a significant expansion at their Brandon facility that doubled both their physical size and their work force. Brandon University’s new Innovation Zone is open for business, providing training in the use of computer-aided-design software and 3D printing technology. The Innovation Zone supports entrepreneurs, local businesses, and students in the adoption of this new technology and employing it in the construction (3D printing) of prototypes and models to aid in the development and commercialization of new products. WestJet’s daily service between Brandon and Calgary continues to be extremely successful. WestJet confirmed that they will add a second daily Brandon – Calgary return flight effective January 16, 2016. The new flight will depart at 6 a.m. and return the same day at 10:50 p.m., enabling travellers to conduct a full day of business in Calgary before returning home and make many sun destination connections out of Calgary. The route expansion coincides nicely with the $8.8-million airport redevel20

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

opment that will commence in late 2015, and wrap up in late 2016, tripling the size of the airport. The terminal redevelopment project will greatly improve the information technology infrastructure, security, and passenger lounge areas providing a more enjoyable travel experience for those flying to and from Brandon. Brandon’s growing economic base and population is essential to long-term prosperity but also comes at a short-term price. Sustained growth is catching up with the community. Our infrastructure is strained, the base of readily developable industrial and commercial land is shrinking, land costs are rising, and unemployment rates continue to be low. Recognizing growing infrastructure needs, the City of Brandon approved its highest infrastructure capital budget in history in 2015. Brandon and Area Planning District’s recently completed growth strategy has spurred meaningful ongoing discussions on Brandon’s growth nodes and associated infrastructure needs. These discussions and resulting infrastructure investments will undoubtedly serve as the impetus to proactively direct future growth in Brandon and the immediately surrounding area. A growing population, sustained investments from existing and new businesses, and a strategic yet flexible plan for economic prosperity combined with an abundance of rich agricultural resources, close proximity to the oil services sector and an engaged business community form a solid foundation for continued economic prosperity. Optimism is high in Brandon and rightly so. •••

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Developed Framework Economic Development’s new plan proves promising for economic growth The city of Brandon is on a set path to economic development for at least the next five years thanks to the new Prosperity by Design Plan – 2014/2019 Economic Growth Strategy. Introduced by Economic Development, the strategy builds upon the city’s existing competitive advantages. It focuses resources on six strategic directions and five key sectors – all of which are expected to help grow Brandon in a logical and methodical way that will prove advantageous to all who reside or work in the area. “We want to make sure that our human resources and financial resources are being used in the best way possible,” explains Sandy Trudel, director of Economic Development, City of Brandon. “You have a million different directions available with economic growth and development. We have to make sure that we are channeling the resources in such a way that makes sense for the community, the people, and for what we’re trying to achieve.” 22

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

And what the city is trying to achieve is significant growth in the years ahead. “Between now and 2019, we hope to co-ordinate efforts so Brandon can grow to the next level, to become Manitoba’s second city,” states Todd Birkhan, partner, BDO. “The plan is expected to generate

Sandy Trudel, director of Economic Development, City of Brandon.

By Melanie Franner

action and get people to co-ordinate in the areas where we have strengths, which will lead to population growth, development growth, and expansion of Brandon itself.” According to Birkhan, the new plan stems from the need to focus the community’s economic development efforts in a collaborative way, to gain a better understanding of the city’s advantages, strengths, and opportunities. Planned potential The plan is the result of public consultations and input from close to 100 individuals, organizations, and associations. A business-oriented advisory committee helped direct the process. “The key to everything that makes Brandon such a great place to live is continued economic growth,” says Trudel. “We took a look at where we were and at the key sector strengths of our community. Then we looked at gaps preventing us from realizing opportunities and work to

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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

engage everyone to cohesively fill those gaps. At the end of the day, you have to have growth and prosperity to sustain and build a community where people wish to live.” The six strategic directions that form the framework of the Prosperity by Design plan include: • Industry Attraction and Retention: some 80 per cent of the city’s growth is anticipated to come from existing businesses; • Talent Attraction, Retention, and Workforce Development: critical to industry attraction and retention; • Event Tourism: a growing sector; • Regional Retail Centre: shown that proven demand already exists; • Recognition and Respect: with the city already recognized as being one of opportunity locally, regionally, provincially, and nationally; and • Organizing for Competitiveness: creating a strong foundation for growth. Identifying the city’s key sectors that will drive economic growth is the other critical component of the new Prosperity by Design plan. “The second part of the plan is to make sure we are taking the time to go indepth and fully understand and further develop the city’s key sectors that currently support economic development,” says Trudel. “We’re not looking to scratch

the surface; we’re looking to dive right in.” The five key sectors identified in the plan include: • Agribusiness and Food Processing; • Event Tourism; • Oil Services; • Regional Retail; and • Advanced Manufacturing. “All sectors have very different potential and will reap different rewards,” notes Trudel. “You can’t grow the economy on one sector. And, in this case, all the sectors

identified already contribute to quality of life and economic development.” Agriculture and food processing With its roots in agriculture and farming, the city of Brandon is well positioned to build upon this already strong sector. More than 350 businesses – and 4,000+ employees – directly serve the area’s existing agricultural industry. The plan identifies new potential in the valueadded food, nutraceuticals, and bioen-

ergy industries. This potential is further strengthened by the presence of an Agricultural Canada Cereal Grains Research Centre and two thriving post-secondary institutions (Brandon University and Assiniboine College). Additionally, the province’s leading service for food entrepreneurs – the internationally recognized Food Development Centre – is located 115 kilometres east of Brandon in Portage la Prairie. Shur-Gro & Munro has been a longstanding member of Brandon’s agricul-

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tural community. The supplier of fertilizer and crop protection products is headquartered in the city and has 11 branches throughout the province. Its partnership with another company brings the total number of provincial branches closer to 20. “I relocated the business from the Winnipeg area in 1968,” states Ron Helwer, president, Shur-Gro & Munro. “I looked at the agriculture in the area, the fertilizer usage and the different kinds of soil. It suited what I wanted to do. In the late ‘60s, agricultural went through a tough time. Fertilizer sales dropped almost in half between 1968 and 1971. That created a opportunity for me to grow the company. People in the fertilizer business were looking to get out and I wanted in. It turned out to be good timing on my part.” Shur-Gro Farm Services purchased Munro Farm Supplies in 1990, which had been operating in Westbourne, Manitoba, since 1958. “Brandon has been the top agricultural area for over 100 years,” adds Helwer. “It has great soils. It has the Canadian Research Station, which has been useful over the years. And it is a good place to find employees.” The company currently has about 120 full-time employees, which increases to around 200 in the spring and fall during the busy seasons. “Relocating the company from the Winnipeg area to Brandon was definitely a good move,” states Helwer. “Over the last 15 to 20 years, the city has attracted

many new businesses, most of them agricultural.” And although Helwer believes that the area is probably over-serviced today, he is quick to add that the increased competition forces his company to increase efficiencies. “Competition makes us very cost-effective,” he says. “We have to look at the things that are changing in our industry and enhance the changes to better service our customers. That’s how we manage to stay in business.” Event tourism Tourism has been identified in the plan as a way to not only generate wealth but to provide an opportunity to showcase the community and strengthen the brand as a great place to live, work, and operate a business. Additionally, tourism generates a demand for many services and amenities that serve to attract and retain residents. The plan looks to generate maximum wealth through tourism and has identified event tourism (events, conventions, and meetings) with the most potential to generate overnight stays. “Brandon has 1,400 hotel rooms within the city,” states Jackie Nichol, executive director, Brandon First, a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote the city as a destination for events. “We focus in the areas of sport, agriculture, and corporate meetings, and conventions.”

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The City itself has recognized the importance of event tourism to their continued growth strategy and has recently agreed to provide additional funding to Brandon First from the City’s Accommodation Tax Fund (ATF) program. The ATF stems from a $3 surcharge added to the bill of each hotel room in the city. Brandon First is currently funded by private stakeholders, the City of Brandon, and Travel Manitoba. “This increased funding from the City will be used exclusively for pro-active

event recruitment,” adds Nichol. “This is a game changer for us. It will enable us to take this industry to the next level.” The city of Brandon is also home to the Keystone Centre – a 540,000-square-foot facility all under one roof. The Keystone Centre holds more than 1,500 major events each year. Significant events already on the books for the city include the 2016 Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) Women’s Volleyball National Championships and the 2017 and 2018 Legion National Youth

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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

Track & Field Championships – both of which were made possible with the support of Brandon First. And it doesn’t stop here. Nichol sees great potential in the future of event tourism in Brandon – one that will prove advantageous for everyone. “Every one in the community benefits from event tourism,” she says. “Every store, every service provider, every venue. People buy gas at our gas stations and groceries from our grocery stores. Our residents who work here get more hours at the gas stations and grocery stores. There’s a whole circle of activity generated from event tourism, one that touches all aspects of our city.” Oil services Since 1999, crude oil production in Manitoba has increased four-fold. And it’s doubled since 2008. The city of Brandon has some 14 active oil fields located within a 160 mile radius of its boundaries. Six of them are within an hour’s drive. The oil services sector was identified as a key sector to economic growth for several reasons, among them: the city’s proximity to the oil fields; the availability of urban amenities; the existing oil services cluster; available labour force; and the established businesses well positioned to supply the sector with critical components like engineering services, fabricated metal products, industrial machinery, equipment and services, and structural steel. Synergy Land Services Ltd. is an example of one company that has grown alongside the oil industry. The company handles land issues with right of ways, negotiating and maintaining right of ways on behalf of industry and government. The Brandon branch was set up in early 2012 with one lone individual. Today, there are five full-time employees. “We chose to locate in Brandon because it was well situated for our business, which includes Manitoba and a bit of eastern Saskatchewan,” says Gerry Davis, branch manager, Synergy Land Services. “I believe that our potential for growth in Manitoba is pretty good. And I think that the oil sector warrants being a key sector

in the economic development plan. The town of Virden is the oil and gas hub, but Brandon is the major centre for goods and services in the Westman area.” Regional retail With a trading area involving more than 180,000 people, the city of Brandon has already established a solid retail foundation, one well supported with the Shopper’s Mall and the Corral Centre. But some retail leakage still exists – and represents lost opportunity to retain more discretionary spending within the local economy. “We are the only enclosed fashion shopping centre in the Westman Region,” states Kim James, general manager, Shopper’s Mall, who adds that the mall currently has 89 stores and services. It encompasses 369,000 square feet. “We average about 6.2 million shoppers each year.” Shopper’s Mall will celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2016. “Right now, two of our main anchors have recently vacated,” says James. “So we are in the midst of a redevelopment plan for both ends of the mall. Our leasing department is currently negotiating with a number of potential tenants. There is definitely a lot of interest.” The two anchors that have vacated include Target (108,000 square feet) and Safeway (40,000 square feet). “When our Target went dark, we met with both Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce and both have been very supportive during the redevelopment phase,” says James, who adds that the redevelopment is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2016. “We believe there is lots of room for growth in retail in Brandon and think we will see a lot more of it in the near future.” Advanced manufacturing The competitive attributes that first gave Brandon its start in the manufacturing industry – a strong transportation network, proximity to raw materials, low-cost power, a central location, and a low-cost labour force – are now facing increased competition from countries further afield. As such, the new Prosperity by Design plan has focused on advanced manufacturing – which requires innovation, technology, and high-skilled labour. Many of the city’s existing manufacturers are poised for expansion and some, like Behlen Industries LP, have already begun to implement advanced manufacturing into their business. “All of our manufacturing is done here in Brandon,” states Sean Lepper, vice-president, Behlen Industries. “We have a 300,000-square-foot facility where we produce custom I-Beams and roll-form products, like siding, roofing, etc.” Behlen Industries set down roots in Brandon back in 1969. The company has evolved significantly since then – growing into the Canada’s largest manufacturer of steel building systems. It currently employs some 250 people. “Brandon is geographically very well suited for our main markets, which are primarily in Western Canada,” says Lepper. “It is



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—  

close to major transportation highways so is convenient to get to —   —   and from, has a relatively low cost of living and offers a strong labour pool of good employees. Brandon is a farm-based community with hard-working people.”    And, according to Lepper, the City of Brandon strives to make it      —     Community Gardens   —   —   an attractive place to do business. “Whenever we’ve looked to the city or Economic Development    Wall of Rememberance for help, they have been very supportive of our needs,” he says.       —       “They are always looking for ways to help us – be it working with Brandon National Aboriginal Day new employees to help them get settled to making them feel at     home with welcome packages.”    Advanced manufacturing is a subject with which Behlen IndusHousing - Rosser Avenue East    tries is already familiar – and one that Lepper believes is key to            future growth of both the company and the city.            “We’ve been heavily in modernizing our manufacturinvesting    - ing facility with robotics and customized engineering software,”     he says. “It’s the only route forward to us. Our focus is to be a pio       -     neer in-- the steel manufacturing industry. And I believe that once Multiculturalism Summer -- Festival -         we get enough companies in the area working along those same Thursday’s By        - The Waterfall,     lines, that advanced manufacturing will become an industry unto Global Market - -- --      Music Series     its own; one that will feed itself. Nothing stays the same for very (Above, Right)        - long and manufacturing is no different. Steel may be an old prod- - -- --  uct  but way we manufacture it continues to evolve.”  the    

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BRANDON 2000-2015 -


    - -- 

A new city The new Prosperity by Design plan has been well received by the community. Many recognize the need – and value – in having this - -- -- type of framework upon which to build future growth. “We’re a growing city,” says Jordan Ludwig, president, Brandon - -- --  Chamber of Commerce. “And to date, we’ve been growing in a few different directions with no real plan of where we’re going. I think growth in itself is good but without a plan like this, things can happen haphazardly.”    BDO’s Birkhan refers to the new plan as a good beginning –     with more work needed.     “I think the Prosperity by Design plan is a very important first   step,” he says. “The plan by itself is an analysis. It’s information, not    an action plan to getting things done. The plan is a critical first step but we now need to develop an action plan to complete the process and create results.” Ludwig is also calling for “boots on the ground” to get the plan moving forward. “Until we formalize a plan of how we’re going to tackle things, it’s just a marketing plan,” he says. “We need boots on the ground to get things moving. And we need business, the community, the city and the province to buy into it in order to succeed.” MIKE CASSELLS Service Centre Manager And, by all appearances, it would appear that the new Prosper204-726-0283 ity by Design plan is certainly generating enthusiasm. 204-570-2326 “From my eyes, there is a new energy in town,” says Ludwig. 204-726-0784 “People are a little bit more aggressive in chasing after growth. 398 Park Ave. East We’re focused on building a bigger and broader economy. With Brandon, MB R7A 7A8 that comes population growth – which is good for the city and good for the economy.” •••

410-9th Street • P: 204-729-2496 • F: 204-729-0101 • -- -- 




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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

From Strong Roots Come Many Branches Brandon’s strong agriculture sector trickles down the value-added chain The first time the Canadian Pacific Railway pulled into Brandon in 1881, about 100 people were there to witness its arrival. One year later, over 3,000 had settled in the area, attracted by the good farmland, seeing opportunities as wide open as the Manitoba sky. Today, the city of Brandon is the second-largest in Manitoba, still surrounded by good farmland and with forward-thinking citizens working to continue that tradition of success and growth. The Brandon Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee, made up of visionaries within all sectors of the agriculture industry – from farmers to food processors, agriculture service companies to postsecondary educators and both provincial and federal government representatives – is dedicated to strengthening and growing the industry in Western Manitoba. “We had to start with the question of what we wanted this committee to be,” says Craig Senchuk, past president of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Ag Committee member and coach for Agri-Trend. “But there was so much, we had to narrow our focus and apply project management controls. We needed to start something and get it to the finish to get some benefits.” The decision was made to move up the agricultural chain and focus on value-added industries. Recent technological and scientific advances in areas such as bio-engineering and crop hybridization, help to keep farms profitable and productive, while the food products sector is one of Manitoba’s largest industries. Putting the two together in Brandon is behind the mission of the Agriculture Committee. “There are lots of opportunities, lots of crops growing around here,” says Senchuk. “But we’re sending out all our grain, our canola, most of our beef. A lot of money happens in the value-added chain, so rather than shipping our products away, we’d like to see some of the processing stay here.” Some businesses have already recognized the Brandon and area advantages. Shape Foods, the only producer in the world of cold-pressed flax oil with a two-year shelf life that does not require refrigeration, operates a 70,000-square-foot, state-of-theart production facility in the city. Along with high-quality flax oil, made through a unique proprietary process, flax meal pellets are produced from the seed cake left behind after crushing. “We source our seed from a number of suppliers with the majority coming from Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” says Dane Lin-

By Deb Smith

denberg, sales manager at Shape Foods, adding she estimates about 40 tonnes of flax seed at a time come in by truck, which is over 400 tonnes every month. “As well we have the capabilities to do all our retail packaging in-house, including private labels – whatever the customer wants.” That’s value added on top of a value-added industry. “The growing gluten-free demand has had a big impact on application of flax meal,” says Lindenberg, adding that means significant growth for the company as it contemplates looking at increasing capacity down the road. “Brandon’s been a great community for us; it’s ideally located from a supply chain standpoint and we’ve found great employees. And it’s right in the middle of the country, perfect for shipping out to North America and the world.” McCain Foods (Canada) also saw the advantage of being close to a quality primary source within the excellent potato-growing soil and weather conditions of Western Manitoba. In 2004, the company acquired its frozen french-fry and potato specialties production plant from Midwest Foods in Carberry, going on to become one of the most highly advanced plants of its kind in North America, often following a 24-7 schedule to keep up with demand. Manitoba Starch Products is an inspiring example of business adding value along the agriculture food chain. “We are the only potato starch manufacturing company in Canada,” says Earl McLaren, president and CEO of Manitoba Starch. “We take a co-product of the french fry and chipping industry, potato starch, and supply it into the food-grade and pet food industries – everything from gluten-free manufacturers to Planters Peanuts where our product holds the flavouring onto the peanuts.” Potato starch is also used in soups, sauces, noodles, and as the binder that holds dog kibble together. In addition, the company has developed an extract used in the swine industry to reduce the use of antibiotics. Earl and Derek McLaren started their company after a 23-year apprenticeship as farmers. Working with research centres, food development centres, and universities across North America, they have come up with many different attributes of potato starch, looking at its extensive use in Europe and continuing to try to bring technology and new markets to North America. 2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


“We started with two people in 2002; today we have 16 full-time along with several more fully engaged in marketing and development. We have good key people with us; people who sometimes have to wear different hats, cross-training wherever they’re needed,” explains McLaren. “We run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the facility is completely automated. On top of that, we have really loyal customers across Canada and the United States.” It has taken a lot of hard work and vision to build Manitoba Starch into the successful agricultural business that it is today. It is this kind of vision and attitude that the Brandon Ag Committee is working to encourage and facilitate. “Consider Behlen Industries,” says Senchuk. “The company is a very big manufacturer here in Brandon, making steel buildings and granaries for the agriculture industry. They’ve been really expanding their agricultural exposure in the last couple of years.” Today, Behlen is the largest supplier of steel building solutions in Canada, selling world-wide. And it all began with selling grain bins to the local farms. Ag Committee members Mona Cornock, director of Rural Development with Manitoba Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) and Derrick Turner from the As-

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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

siniboine Community College in Brandon are facilitating a one-day conference in the fall, looking at how to encourage value-added businesses into the area. Cornock explains, “We’re going to bring forward some ideas in terms of where there might be opportunities and how we can build on our current successes. The conference will highlight some of the services that are available, such as the Composites Innovation Centre and the Food Development Centre.” Senchuk explains, “You don’t really know all that’s happening out in Western Manitoba; it gets everyone thinking about what else there could be. These ag-related companies know what kind of products they’re bringing in and what they’re sending out and what could be enhanced in the middle with what we’ve got here. For example, there are more soy beans being grown around here now, with new varieties coming out a soy bean crusher would be great.” The roots of Brandon are deep in the prairie soil, providing strength to a growing and diversified economy. With its mission to nurture that growth, the Ag Committee is set up and ready to move in whatever direction is necessary to follow up on opportunities and ideas within value-added and all aspects of the agriculture industry. •••

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2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


A Variety of Solutions Tapping into a diversified pool of talent to counter a looming labour shortage It’s no secret that Canada’s workforce is aging and this situation has translated into not only fewer available workers, but a shortage of highly-skilled people. While newcomers have helped fill the gap to a certain extent, many companies have been forced to scramble to find replacements as employees transition into retirement. But what if there was some untapped source of experienced, qualified of workers eager to get to work and contribute to your company’s success? Several Brandon-based organizations have been successful in helping companies and non-profits fill this labour void by tapping into what have traditionally been underrepresented segments of the workforce. Three of those organizations offer their take on why companies should consider all their options when it comes to hiring and how doing so can be good for business. 34

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

Experienced workers available Ageism has been called one of the last bastions of prejudice in the North American workforce. A non-profit organization is working hard to change that. ThirdQuarter is a division of Skills Connect Inc. which specializes in recruitment services for job seekers aged 45 or older and has worked with a number of employers in Brandon and the Westman region. “Somebody came to us the other day and said we’d love to work with you but we don’t want to hire Grampa Simpson. You should have seen the look on my face,” says ThirdQuarter President and CEO Sue Barkman.“ There are a lot of blind spots when it comes to this age group and a lot of assumptions that are all wrong. People assume by the time you are 45 or 50 you don’t want to work anymore. The truth is most of these folks would happily

By Jim Timlick

work [for a company] for 10 years or more whereas a lot of younger people work [somewhere] for two to three years...and then they’re off to new things.” In addition to their loyalty, Barkman says more experienced workers often enjoy a better relationship with a company’s customers because they have more shared life experiences. “They remember about customer service. They have strong customer service skills. They’re empathic,” she says. “They also have the confidence that they’ve been there before and done that. A millennial might start a Google or a company like that. They’ll come up with a great idea...and then they stop in their tracks and go ‘How do we market it? How do we finance it?’ With a more seasoned person they’ll’s how we market it, here’s how we get investment. And they keep a steady hand on things.”

Barkman says bringing experienced workers into a company is easy: just look at their skill set rather than their birth certificate. “Take a look at the person and what they can bring to the organization rather than what they can’t,” she says, adding employers should ensure that all job postings and job descriptions are inclusive rather than exclusive. An indigenous talent pool While the labour pool may be shrinking, the employment rate among Aboriginal people has remained relatively static during the past several years. The local chapter of a national, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the employment of Aboriginal people would like to reverse the former by increasing the latter. Barry French, past chair of the Westman chapter of the Inter-provincial Association on Native Employment (IANE), says with the number of Canadians over the age of 65 expected to double by 2030 and Aboriginal people being the country’s fastest growing under-20 segment “that looks like a natural fit to me when it comes to employee replacement.” French cautions that employers shouldn’t look at hiring Aboriginal workers as simply a civic responsibility or good will gesture. Because many Aboriginal people have extended families and come from tightly-knit communities “when you have one person who’s successful in a company what will happen is they’ll talk it up to others,” he says, which can give a business an edge when it comes to recruiting. Another benefit to accessing the Aboriginal talent pool, French says, is that it can have a spinoff effect for the employer and other local businesses. “If you can engage that [segment] and get them working for you and you become the business of choice in that industry that can speak to a fairly significant increase in business for you,” he says. French says the most important thing a business needs to do if it’s serious about hiring Aboriginal employees is to build an effective strategy in concert with First Nations communities.

“When you engage the community the whole community gets behind it. It creates more of a supportive network plus you’ll understand how to get the best out of your Aboriginal employees by getting that community buy-in,” he says. Abilities over disabilities According to data gathered by Statistics Canada, the employment rate among Canadians with a disability was 49 per cent in 2011 compared to 79 per cent for individuals without a disability. While great strides have been made in that regard in recent years, a director with a Brandon-based agency that assists people with disabilities to find and maintain employment says there is still a long way to go. “We say that the jobless rate in Canada is roughly seven to eight per cent...but the rate among people with disabilities is certainly higher than that,” says Wade Winmill, director of marketing for Career Connections. Winmill says the number one reason companies should consider hiring a person with a disability is they make good employees. “People with disabilities are proven to have a higher rate of reliability in the workforce and just as high a rate of success,” he says. “People with disabilities make very good long-term, reliable employees and are very, very dedicated. They’re appreciative of the opportunity they’re given.” Winmill’s advice to company’s who are serious about hiring individuals with a disability is to work with a non-profit agency like Career Connections. Most provide their services to employers at no cost and will continue to work with both employees and employers for as long as they are needed. “Working with an agency like ours really improves the chance of success for both the employer and the employee,” he says. Why diversify? Barbara Bowes says there is a simple reason why employers need to consider

all their options when it comes to staffing. “Companies and organizations should really represent the environments they [are] in. You need to reflect that [diversity],” says Bowes, president of the Legacy Bowes Group, one of the top human resources firms in Manitoba. “When you walk into a business you need to see people who live in that environment. Why? Because they are the people who buy your products and services. The more diversity you have in your organization the more you can reach out to a bigger clientele.” Bowes says that by reaching out to include underrepresented groups in their workforce companies can avoid the “cloning” trap that many organizations fall into where everyone shares the same views. “You’re going to have much more innovation and many more ideas and problem-solving capabilities,” she says. Bowes says the best way for companies to achieve that is to use targeted recruitment campaigns and work with agencies that represent the specific groups they are seeking to hire. They should also consider flexible work arrangements that are geared to an individual’s specific circumstances. •••


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Money 101 Improving your financial literacy can improve your business Boosting financial literacy is one of the most important things small businesses can do to improve their odds of long-term success. The single biggest reason that more small businesses don’t succeed is that they lack the financial literacy skills needed to navigate obstacles. Evidence of this comes directly from small business owners themselves. Intuit, provider of business, financial and tax management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses across Canada, asked 500 Canadian small business owners to take a 10-question financial literacy quiz. The quiz included basic questions, such

as: “What is the role of the balance sheet? What is the definition of accruals? How can short-term cash-flow be improved?” The results show there is a real need to help Canadian small businesses with their financial literacy and knowledge: • Only two per cent scored great (nine to 10 correct answers) • 16 per cent had a good score (seven to eight) • 39 per cent received a passing grade (five to six) • 44 per cent failed (one to four) The study also uncovered a likely root cause. Half of small businesses surveyed

realized they needed to spend time on financial management. However, very few of them sought professional help and resources. “It is crucial for small business owners to have a close relationship with their accountant and banker as they are professionals who understand all financial situations and can foresee the evolution of an organization,” explains Nick Foisy, Ag/Business Service Team Manager from Brandonbased Vanguard Credit Union. “Often business owners aren’t able to spend the time reviewing their current financial situation which can lead to unnecessary issues and


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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

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setbacks. Establishing good communication can allow for full financial understanding and provide the ability to seek assistance and advice.” Money management becomes even more important when cash is flowing into the business and to the owner. Although handling business accounting and taxes may be within the capabilities of most business owners, professional help is highly recommended. The complexity of business bookkeeping increases with each client, employee, sale and inventory order therefore seeking professional direction

can provide solutions and encouragement for success. “Not understanding finances can limit the growth potential of the business and its future. The business could become unsuccessful before it has a real opportunity. Both the business and the owner could lose funds through poorly managed financial decisions, improper budgeting due to not understanding the business’s cash flow, and allocating funds to the wrong expenses,” explains Foisy. “There’s a greater potential of lacking the ability to plan for unexpected situations, poor years, future

expenses and growth. This also opens up for paying more for accounting and bookkeeping as these services would need to be outsourced.” Noisy suggests business owners utilize local and online colleges that offer basic accounting and management courses that provide a good starting point for better financial understanding. Financial seminars are also offered and dates can be provided by contacting a local Vanguard Credit Union, he adds. •••

Other quick tips to improving your financial literacy as a business owner

courtesy of The Globe and Mail include:

Bone-up on the basics (at the very least). Even if you have a professional helping you with your finances, you still need to understand them. Know how to read – and make use of – income statements and balance sheets, understand your inventories, and learn how to manage your cash flow and supply chain. • Embrace technology. Intuit’s most recent study on small business success found a sizeable majority (86 per cent) of Canadian entrepreneurs believe the contributing value technology adds to their business is worth the cost. By using mobile devices and tools like financial management software, online banking, and secure cloud-based document storage, entrepreneurs can work effectively from anywhere, making life as a business owner easier, faster, and more enjoyable. • Do the math. Do you know how much money it takes to run your business? Determine the true costs of your products and services, including labour, transportation, rent, marketing, insurance, phone, Internet, utilities, taxes, and whatever else you require to function. That’s just the beginning. You need to learn how to effectively track mon-

ey in and out of your business, a first step of which would be setting invoicing periods. • Uncover your hidden costs. Have you ever needed to obtain a permit? Or get a license? The expense of these things can start adding up, especially when you factor in the cost of legal services, your own salary, return on investor capital, and capital for future expansion. Don’t forget to add the cost of borrowing money and the interest and debt you may have already accrued. Then start thinking ahead: once you can put numbers to everything that takes money out of your business, you can plan how much you will need to grow going forward. • Establish priorities. Making a profit is an obvious goal, but what else should you aim to accomplish? Do you want to see your product on every shelf or only in select boutique stores? Do you want to expand or franchise your services or keep your company small in order to provide customized experiences to those willing to pay for them? Identifying your priorities will help determine the future course of your business, and the correct costs for your products or services.

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2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Business Person r of the Yea

In the Spotlight Hotelier and club owner wins Business Person of the Year award Growing up with Canadian country music legend Elizabeth (Ma) Henning as her mother, Heidi Howarth has always been used to sharing the spotlight. Whether it’s the musical acts that grace her stage at the 40 Nightclub, guests at her hotel, Trails West Inn, or the community she serves with tireless dedication, Howarth has always been more focused on those around her. But Howarth is now getting her time in the limelight as the recipient of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year award. Since 1983, Howarth has owned and managed Brandon’s Trails West Inn, and has worked tirelessly to continually improve the business, including regular renovations to maintain the hotel’s quality standards. Over the years, she has introduced new amenities, not just for guests but the Brandon community, including the city’s first waterslide in 1990 and a unique smoking patio with heated floors. “I’ve been through three decades of seeing what the business can do. You work with it and you try to keep active and you keep your ear to the ground, coming up with ideas and being creative,” says Howarth. “I love challenges and doing different things, and I can’t say no.” A large component of the Trails West Inn property is the popular nightclub, The 40, which is renowned for live entertainment in Brandon. The club is so well known, the hotel is often referred to as The 40 by association. In a city often overlooked by touring artists because there isn’t a large arena, Howarth has been instrumental in bringing dozens of major names to the community, from Blue Rodeo and Jeff Healey to Bif Naked and Emerson Drive “I don’t think there’s many clubs that can really boast or say they’ve had the opportunity to have that collection of bands. And one of the reasons why that people don’t really recognize is we have a venue that has a really good sound system. The room is focused for live entertainment and the bands appreciate that. Believe it or not, I’m not the one chasing them, they’re the ones knocking on our doors to see if they could come to our club and put on a show. Some of them have surprised me,” says Howarth, explaining that the location of Brandon is well situated in between bigger cities such as Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon, making it an ideal anchor in between tour dates.


••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

Since Howarth began managing the Brandon business, she always looked to her mom who acted as her business partner and mentor before passing in 2009. When the Chamber announced Howarth as the winner of the Business Person of the Year, the hotelier immediately thought of her mom, and knew she would be proud of her for the achievement. “Whatever I do, I think of my mom. She was the first business person in my life and led my path.” As a mother and grandmother herself, Howarth is only now contemplating the idea of slowing down to spend more time with family. With the next generation of business leaders looking up to her, Howarth will continue to share the spotlight as she remains dedicated to her business, guests, and community. •••

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2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Lifetime Business d war A r e d l i u B

Lifetime of Hard Work Adds Up Retired accountant, Jeanne Millis, wins Lifetime Business Builder award By Lea Currie Jeanne Millis is lounging on a boat off Vancouver Island. It’s a much-deserved retirement – her reward after a rich career in finance. Adding to her return on investment, Millis was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Business Builder award from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. “It meant a lot. It was the nicest retirement gift I could have gotten. It just felt really good to have people say nice things,” says Millis, who is grateful to co-workers, Ryan and Carlie, for her nomination. “I really appreciate receiving the award and the award will always have a special place in my home. It was an evening I will always remember and not for just me, but to hear of the other recipients and the work being done. Hats off to the Chamber for that.” Millis jokingly says she won the award “’cause I’m old”, but admits that she likes to think she made a difference in the community through her career and philanthropic efforts. Millis spent 30 years working at BDO Canada, becoming partner in 1997 and working as the accountant in charge of small business clients in Brandon, as well as being actively involved in the restoration of BDO’s office at 148 10th Street. All despite the fact that she had no intention of becoming an accountant. Millis was in need of a job after moving to Brandon with her husband, Doug Pickering, but looking back, she says, “It’s one of those things you back into, but I couldn’t imagine a better career for me. It was really fun. It changed; even though I was with the same firm and in public accounting, tax rules change, my position changed, so it didn’t feel like one career, it felt like many.” Throughout this time, Millis was also actively involved on the boards of several non-profits: the Brandon Area Community Foundation, Renaissance Brandon, Manitoba Public Insurance, Brandon Chamber of Commerce, and YMCA. “I really felt part of the community. You work with people as clients and staff and then you also work with them on non-profit boards and you do things that make Brandon a better place to live,” says Millis. “And Brandon’s exactly the right size – it’s big enough to have some pretty great resources and small enough that you can still go home for lunch. So I just feel really lucky to have been a part


••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

Your Community. Your Community. Your University.

of a community that was changing and I felt part of the change and you could see the change and all for the better.” Despite her current west coast location, Millis is still involved back home, commuting to Manitoba regularly to attend meetings for two boards, and her husband is still working in Brandon. Most of her days though are spent relaxing on the water, hiking and helping to clean up B.C.’s beaches. It’s the breather she’s earned after years dedicated to her career and community. While Millis does wish she had worried less and laughed more in the past, she has no regrets with the total sum to date: “Everything you’ve done gets you to where you are and I’m just so happy with where I am. Even some of the things that weren’t totally fun got me here!” •••

Your University. YourYour Community. Community. Your Community. YourYour University. University. Your University.

The bricks of the original campus buildings were laid in 1899, just a few short years after Brandon was founded. Since then, identities of the The ofthe the original campus buildings laid in 1899, a few The bricks bricks of original campus buildings werewere laid in 1899, just a just fewthe short years afterBrandon Brandon was founded. Since the identities shortand yearsUniversity after was founded. Since then,then, thelinked. identities of the of the city have been inherently

city and and University inherently Universityhave havebeen been inherently linked. just a few The bricks of the original campuscity buildings were laid inlinked. 1899, The bricks of the original campus buildings were laid in 1899, just a few short years after Brandon was founded. Since the identities the short years then, after Brandon was founded. of Since then, the identities of th city and University have been inherently linked. city and University have been inherently linked.

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2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Business e Excellenc Award

Party Professionals Takes the Stage Event décor company wins Business Excellence of the Year

You may not recognize Katrina Sigurdson on the street, but if you’ve been to any local event as of late, you have definitely seen her stunning work. As the owneroperator of Party Professionals, Sigurdson is the woman behind the scenes of over 300 events in 2015 alone, taking the event décor business to new heights. Sigurdson’s hard work set the (beautiful) stage to be honoured, alongside her business partner and husband, Sean, with the Business Excellence of the Year award from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. While most people think of weddings when they hear event décor – and that is the primary focus of Party Professionals – Sigurdson has expanded the business into the corporate world, including galas, trade shows, and fundraisers. From the Manitoba Dental Association’s four-day convention to the Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s own annual dinner earlier this year, Party Professionals has become the source for event décor in the Westman area. This natural expansion is a smart move, creating a continuous stream of work long after Manitoba’s short wedding season is over. While Party Professionals already had a solid footing in the corporate event world, Sigurdson credits the award win from the Chamber for the influx of additional publicity and ultimately a larger clientele. “We’ve gotten even more recognition throughout the community,” says Sigurd42

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

While most people think of weddings when they hear event décor – and that is the primary focus of Party Professionals – Sigurdson has expanded the business into the corporate world, including galas, trade shows, and fundraisers.

Room Draping Lighting Backdrops Centerpieces Ceiling Drape Specialty Linens Chair Covers Dishware & Glassware Full Decorating Services and Much More!

son, who has owned Party Professionals for five years. “I feel just like we really got an even bigger base of people that know about us, follow us now; our social media has gone through the roof. Our corporate business has really increased, which I think is just an understanding of more people knowing about us.” The award itself is just icing on the cake from the Brandon’s Chamber of Commerce, as Sigurdson is appreciative to the organization for much more. “The Chamber has just been so incredible to us. Meeting new people, networking, just kind of really putting us into the community. Getting us in touch with the right people that can increase our business or we can help other people. So it’s just been a great networking space for us,” says Sigurdson, who also credits other local businesses and entrepreneurs for their support and recognition. With the size of weddings nowadays – the average cost of a wedding in Canada has ballooned to over $30,000 – and corporate

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events taking up the remaining time, Sigurdson has no immediate plans to expand into other markets. But with a strong dedication to her customers and the community – attributes that helped solidify the award win – she will strive to enhance the company’s décor offerings to local brides and grooms. “We are continuing to find new looks, new trends to bring all those things back to the brides here, and offer them what larger centres are getting offered as well. We are able to bring the ideas and décor and things that maybe people didn’t know were possible to smaller areas like us,” says Sigurdson, who praises her husband, Sean, with taking her event ideas and creations and bringing them to life. While the Party Professionals, Katrina and Sean Sigurdson, are more likely to focus on creating the event from behind the scenes, they can finally take the stage for the much-deserved recognition. •••

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204-726-3239 Unit 10 763 Tenth Street Brandon MB R7A 4G7 2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


ing Outstand ss ne i s u B w e N Award

They’ve Got It got mats? wins Outstanding New Business award Imagine strapping a pair of snowshoes on a drilling rig. Seems like a ridiculous idea, but that concept is the main offering of the successful new venture, got mats?, and one that helped the company earn the 2015 Outstanding New Business of the Year award from the Brandon Chamber of Com-merce. “The way I like to describe to someone what our product does is by comparing our access mat to that of a snowshoe. A snowshoe distributes the weight of a person so they don’t sink in the snow when walking. Our snowshoes are just bigger to fit bigger guys, such as semis, cranes, drilling rigs, etc.,” says Eric Ducharme, president and co-owner of got mats?. Started in 2011, got mats? provides businesses with access mats that offer protection and safety by stabilizing soft and unstable ground where people and machines need to work. The mats also safe-guard things below the ground, such as fibre optic lines and pipelines. Ducharme and business partner, Chris Allison – who each also have geological consulting companies, came up with the concept after seeing how the soft ground affected companies. “When you are exposed to field conditions, you start to develop and see what is working and where improvements could be made,” says Ducharme. Ducharme and Allison employ that same initiative to their own business, constantly striving to offer the best product for clients, as well as the environment. Got mats? introduced Manitoba’s first and only state-of-the-art mat washing and sanitizing plant; there are only four others in North America. The wash plant is designed to minimize the spread of potential biohazards in contaminated soils. “This shows we are using the best available technology in order to achieve the best management practice of any company in Manitoba,” says


••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

Ducharme. “We are very proud to continue to push industries to set higher and better standards to protect our Manitoba agricultural lands from biological risks such as clubroot and other unwanted pests and diseases.” The strength of the company and its client base is in part due to the welcome mat put out by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the strong community connections it helped Ducharme acquire. “Being a Chamber member has exposed us to a broader range of people and markets that were not aware of our products and service. It has helped our phones keep ringing for more jobs,” says Ducharme, who is very appreciative the Chamber recognized got mats? for the prestigious Outstanding New Business award. “We started something new in the province, and we definitely had doubts at times if what we were doing was the correct business move. So, when other business-minded people show belief in what we are doing, it really boosts our confidence. It feels good. To win the award was icing on the cake.” While got mats? faces stiff competition from the big Alberta-based companies moving into the province, Ducharme stands firm on the company’s ability to maintain market share and continue to grow by consistently providing amazing service to clients. While the image of snowshoes on big machines may entice a few eyebrow raises, Ducharme is prepared to go to the mat for his company, and he has a solid footing underneath him. •••

We offer the transport, placement, and extraction of mats for a variety of industries such as drilling rig sites, oil pipelines, environmental digs, train derailments, commercial construction, and Hydro projects!

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2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


ty Communi Service Award

By Lea Currie

Giving Perspiration and Inspiration Guild Insurance Brokers Inc. founder wins Chamber’s Community Service award It’s not enough for Darryl Andrews to donate his time and efforts to causes near and dear to his heart; he also wants to encourage and recruit more people to serve the community. And while Andrews’ tremendous volunteer initiatives are what won him the Community Service award from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, it’s this plea to others to get involved that will be his ultimate gift to the community. “If you look at a lot of things like the Kinsmen and Kiwanis and Lions, if you go to any of their meetings, they’re getting older and a little whiter on top, and I don’t know what it is nowadays, but it’s really tough to get young people involved,” says Andrews, who is a founding partner of Guild Insurance Brokers Inc., and, until a recent merger, was president and CEO. To help get more people volunteering their time, the philanthropist would encourage his staff to give back to the community through bonus programs. He also recently urged his son, Ryan and his co-workers to “do something. It doesn’t have to be much, but just do a little bit.” In addition to those close to him, Andrews wants to see more people donate their time and get the – as Andrews calls it – “warm and fuzzy” that comes with giving back. His recommendation is to start small, and find something you’re passionate about, which will make you more likely to want to be there. Many of Andrews’ own projects stem from his passion for sports and helping youth. Since he was young, Andrews has been involved with countless non-profit boards and community projects too vast to list in full, but include: business fundraising campaigns for the United Way of Brandon, instructing and coaching baseball and curling, Red Cross blood donor clinics, Brandon Minor Baseball board, Brandon Community Builders Inc. and the steering committee of Simplot’s Millennium Park, which resulted in the city’s eight-diamond baseball and softball complex. This giving nature is inherent in Andrews. “Do onto others as you would have them do onto to you. That’s


••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

just kind of something we went by and something we were taught early,” says Andrews of the golden rule he and his brother learned from their mom and dad. “My parents were always involved. Out on the farm, we never had a lot, but we never did without. Mother always had a huge garden and she was always donating stuff here and there, and they were always involved with different organizations, so I guess we saw that and carried it on.” While Andrews doesn’t volunteer to get a pat on the back, he was happy to be recognized by the chamber: “It gives

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you some satisfaction that people have maybe realized what you’ve done and appreciate what you’ve done.” People have definitely realized what Andrews has done for the community with his hard work visible around the city, but it’s the work he’s doing that cannot be seen that will truly make the difference in Brandon as more and more people are inspired by Andrews to help out. •••



2015 ••• Brandon Business Review ••• b&w


Moving Ahead Innovation key to building manufacturer’s success


By Jim Timlick

When Brandon-based Behlen Industries

stan, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, and

part of our growth plan is to diversify into

first opened for business back in 1969,

even Mongolia.

new countries and geography. We’re not

its bread and butter was manufacturing

Sean Lepper, Behlen’s vice-president

just focused on Manitoba or Western Can-

steel grain bins and its customer base was

and general manager, says the company’s

ada or Canada. We want to go wherever

largely Western Canadian farmers.

growth has been part of a natural evolu-

we can find a good fit for our product.”

Today the company is the largest

tion to utilize the tools at its disposal – in-

One of the keys to Behlen’s success, ac-

manufacturer of steel building systems

cluding the knowledge of its employees

cording to Lepper, has been the compa-

in Canada and designs everything from

– to expand its product offerings and ex-

ny’s commitment to innovation. Much of

storage units and warehouses to sawmills

tend its market reach, both domestically

the credit for that innovation, he says, be-

and massive indoor recreation complexes.

and internationally.

longs to Behlen’s team of engineers and

And while it still does a significant amount

“There’s no question we’re pushing

metal workers who are constantly work-

of business in Western Canada, it now has

hard to expand our marketplace into the

ing on new ideas and to the company’s

customers as far away as Russia, Kazakh-

international realm,” says Lepper. “A big

ownership for its ongoing support.

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

“I don’t think in business you can ever be satisfied. Technology is constantly changing, equipment is constantly improving and designs are continually changing,” he says. “That’s where the strength of our ownership kicks in. We get a tonne of support to go after those innovations in design and production technologies.” One of the latest innovations taking place at Behlen is the recent introduction of a robot welder designed specifically for custom manufacturing. Unlike traditional robot welding technology which is designed for simple, repetitive tasks and offers little variability, this new welder is capable of creating custom steel pieces using cutting-edge 3D software. Behlen is the first steel building manufacturer in North America to use the technology, which was created by the company’s team of engineers and designers using state-of-the-art software. The software allows the robot to be programmed for a new task in as little as 20


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2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Sean Lepper, Behlen’s vice-president and general manager.

minutes compared to previous versions which could take as long as two days to program. “Our business is very cyclical so we have very high peaks in the summer months and we’re slow at times in the winter,” says Lepper . “Our goal has been to flatten that out and the robotics really allows us to take those peaks off in the summertime

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and have that extra capacity when we wouldn’t have it otherwise. It’s going to allow our business to continue to grow and expand.” The system employs a three-step process which begins with the creation of a hyper-detailed and organized 3D model


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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

which is then fed into another piece of software. A robotic arm is then used to detect potential errors and produces a visual simulation of the weld. Finally, the robot arm is used to create any kind of weld imaginable. Although it’s is still in the trial phase, Lepper says he expects the technology will allow the company to significantly boost productivity and reduce errors at its Brandon plant. The company invested

more than $1 million and three years of research in the project. While new technology can sometimes mean job losses, the new robotic system will allow Behlen to hire more human workers. Lepper says the company expects to hire more than a dozen new welders later this year as the system eliminates some of the bottlenecks that have slowed production in the past. The robotic welding system is just one of a number of high-profile projects Behlen has been involved with of late. It recently designed and manufactured a massive indoor soccer facility in Krasnoyarsk, Russia that measures 313 feet wide by 400 feet long and is regarded as the largest convex-style building in the world. It was also involved in the design of the roof for the new PyeongChang curling rink in South Korea that will be used as part of the 2018 Winter Olympics. As its reach continues to expand across the globe, Lepper says his company has no intention of abandoning its Brandon roots. “We are a Brandon company. For us to move out of Brandon would not work.” Behlen is one of the largest employers in southwestern Manitoba and currently employs more than 300 people in Brandon. It’s commitment to community extends beyond its workforce. It’s also an active member of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and has worked closely with the Chamber on a number of initiatives including deliberations on the launch of a Lean consortium for Western Manitoba and discussions with the different levels of government.

Drew Caldwell Working for Brandon East

“We feel it’s very important to be part of the Chamber,” says Lepper. “The Chamber does a great job of representing our interests, whether it’s with local government or at the provincial level. They’re in touch

MLA for Brandon East, 119 10th St. Brandon, MB 204-727-8734 |

with the needs of [businesses] and they actively promote Brandon and the business community very well.” ••• 2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Putting Family First What can a family trust do for your business? The introduction of a family trust into your current structure or as part of a larger reorganization allows for the maximum flexibility with respect to a wide range of issues that a family-owned business will face. Properly structured, a family trust can be the ultimate planning tool for a familyowned business.

What can a family trust do? Asset protection – All businesses and their assets are subject to a certain amount of risk. A family trust (in conjunction with a corporate beneficiary) can be used to move excess value out of the family business corporation and into a separate family holding corporation where it is safe from the inherent risk of the business operations. Succession planning – Many family businesses are passed inter-generationally and it is difficult to know which, if any, child or children will take over the family business. Using a family trust, parents are given time to decide which children are going to receive shares of the family business corporation and at the appropriate time.

What is a family trust? A family trust is an alternative to having family members directly own shares in the family business corporation while still being able to enjoy many of the benefits of direct ownership. It is this “indirect” ownership that makes a family trust an extremely flexible tax-planning tool for your family business.

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Taxation of family trusts and their beneficiaries – A family trust is a separate taxpayer under the Income Tax Act. Amounts allocated to one or more of the beneficiaries are deducted from the taxable income of the family trust. This allocation of income ensures the family trust has little or no taxable income and not subject to any income tax. Any amount of income allocated to a beneficiary will be added to their taxable income and taxed at their graduated tax rate. Purification and the Capital Gain Exemption (CGE) – For owners of private business corporations, the CGE is one of the most important and useful tax-planning tools available provided the shares of the family business corporation qualify. When a cor-

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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015


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poration holds assets that are not being used in the day-to-day operation of the

eficiaries so that it does not get taxed as part of their estate.

business, its shares could be at risk of not qualifying for the use of the CGE. A family trust provides the ability to move excess cash and inactive assets by way of a tax deferred dividend to a holding company

How do I set up a family trust? The set up of family trusts can be quite complicated as there are a number of specific steps involved that require proper

timing and implementation. Failing to set up the trust in the proper manner can invalidate the family trust and lead to serious tax consequences. We advise you to consult with an advisor that has significant experience in family trust taxation and law. •••

to maintain a corporation’s qualifying status and the ability for its shareholders to use their CGE. Income splitting – One of the most common uses of a family trust is the flow of

To find out more about family trusts, or how

dividends to adult children whose par-

MNP can help you,

ents want to help them out financially.


Amounts allocated to a beneficiary are

Patti Bell, CA

taxed in their hands at their personal marginal tax rates. If the beneficiary is in

at 204.571.7670 or

a lower tax bracket than the parents, tax

savings result. Estate planning – Upon the death of a taxpayer, they are deemed to have disposed of all their assets at fair market value­and pay tax accordingly. A family trust is a useful estate planning tool as it

or Mike Poole, CA at 204.571.7641 or

allows a taxpayer to pass value to the ben-

Putting Your Family Trust First Introducing a family trust into your current structure or as part of a larger reorganization allows for the maximum flexibility with respect to a wide range of issues that a family-owned business can face. Properly structured, a family trust can be the ultimate planning tool for a family-owned business, providing benefits that often more than outweigh the cost of implementation and annual maintenance. Contact Michael Poole, CA at 204.727.0661 or

2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


A Place to Call Home Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC) contributing to downtown Brandon revitalization In 2013, the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC) purchased the building located at 440 Rosser Avenue which was originally built in 1951 to host Brandon Motors, a Chevrolet car and truck dealership. An addition was added in 1960, and the facility became Fowler Pontiac. Then the building hosted a number of businesses from 1980 until the early 2000s. The building and property has been vacant and deteriorating for over 10 years The building is now completely renovated revitalizing an eyesore in the heart of downtown Brandon. The BNRC and Brandon Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) renovated the 14,000-squarefoot facility and it now serves MX group and a variety of BNRC programs. The BNRC and MX Group employ 40 full time jobs out of this building. BEEP organized and completed the majority of the renovations. BEEP is a carpentry training program providing previously unemployed individuals with barriers to employment the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and experience in the construction trade preparing them for employment in the private sector. BEEP provides this training while meeting important community needs addressing energy and water efficiency while building and renovating affordable housing. BEEP achieves its social enterprise goals by partnering with a variety of organizations including Manitoba Housing, Provincial Training and Employment Services, Manitoba Hydro, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), and the City of Brandon. BEEP program participants and various contractors needed to replace just about everything in the building. “The building was in a state of advanced deterioration from years of neglected maintenance. There were pieces of ceiling on the floors, water leaks in the roof and basement, eightfoot-tall trees growing on the roof, and broken windows that allowed pigeons to nest in the building. Through BRNC board and staff commitment, determination, and perseverance along 54

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

This revitalized BNRC facility in downtown Brandon generates over $2 million in economic development annually and is now a “hub” of community activity.

with community support we were able to revitalize this building that will serve BEEP and BNRC programs for years. Together board and staff set a very high goal to revitalize this facility into a modern energy efficient building for the downtown community,” explains Marty Snelling, BNRC general manager. The remodel went through several various stages: Stage 1: Cleanup and roof – After acquiring the building the first order of business was the clean-up and removal of many years of debris and garbage. This involved over 400 trips to the landfill with a 20-foot trailer. The trees growing on the roof were removed and the existing roof was stripped before a spray foam roof providing R30 insulation was installed. Then energy-efficient roof top units were installed along with duct work to heat and cool the entire building. Energy efficient windows, doors, and lighting were installed, fire proof walls were constructed on the south and east sides of the building as well as between the two businesses, and all exterior walls were insulated to R20. Furthermore, many updates were required to meet current building codes. Stage 2: MX Group Rental – A tenant was secured enabling construction based on their needs to commence including the construction of walls, installation of electrical, plumbing, large energy efficient showcase windows, and a new overhead garage door. In May 2014, MX Group moved in occupying the original 1950 building. MX Group is part of a larger conglomerate of construction related companies. In Brandon, MX Group work includes disaster restoration, flooring sales, and training. Stage 3: BEEP offices and shop area – The 1960 addition to the building required even more work than the front: clearing out garbage, removing the original boiler covered in asbestos and stripping walls of mould, installing electrical and plumbing, constructing walls, washrooms, and offices. The major projects were filling in five of the original 14-foot-high garage doors and replacing one, redesigning the building with new energy efficient windows to provide interior daylight, and insulating walls to R20 to reduce heat loss. Throughout the building energy efficient LED fluorescent lights were installed. Today, BEEP benefits with a training facility designed for the program. The BEEP facility supports the Brandon Neighbourhood

Power Smart Project in partnership with Manitoba Hydro, The Bug n’ Scrub program in partnership with Provincial Housing and Community Development, and the Homelessness Partnership Strategy housing the Community Entities serving homelessness in Brandon, Aboriginals outside Winnipeg and rural and remote projects in partnership with Services Canada and many community partners. This revitalized BNRC facility in downtown Brandon generates over $2 million in economic development annually and is now a “hub” of community activity. The BNRC, BEEP, and MX Group are proud to be located at 440 Rosser Avenue for many years to come. •••

2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Index to Advertisers Accel Towing & Transport Ltd................................................21

C.M.S. Services Inc. ..................................................................13

Allen & Bolack Excavating.........................................................9

D & B Sprinklers.........................................................................37

Assiniboine Community College............................................26

Discover You – Siere.............................................................OBC

Behlen Industries LP..................................................................49

Drew Caldwell MLA Brandon East........................................51


Ducks Unlimited Canada.........................................................33

Blue Moon Water.......................................................................13

Entrepreneurship Manitoba.....................................................27

Brandon Bus Lines Ltd..............................................................19

Excel Design & Construction..................................................57

Brandon Business Interiors........................................................8

Fort Garry Industries Ltd.........................................................20

Brandon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.......................................52

Giant Tiger...................................................................................27

Brandon Economic Development....................................... IFC

Glacier Wash Inc. ......................................................................41

Brandon Neighborhood Renewal Corporation............ 30, 55

got mats?.......................................................................................45

Brandon University....................................................................41

Guild Insurance Brokers...........................................................47

Branstone Financial Strategies Inc.........................................13

Image & Wellness Centre.........................................................19

Burns Maendel Consulting Engineers.....................................8

J and G Group...............................................................................9

C & E Locksmiths.......................................................................13

J & M Industries Ltd. ................................................................30

Canadian Linen & Uniform Service.......................................30

Jacobson & Greiner Group of Companies..............................9

Cancade Restoration..................................................................23

Jani-King of Manitoba...............................................................13

Cando Rail Services Ltd............................................................26

Juggernaut Computers..............................................................19

Cliff Cullen & Reg Helwer MLA...............................................5

kc&b ..............................................................................................23


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••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

Index to Advertisers Leech Printing...................................................................... Insert


Manitoba Hydro.........................................................................24

Sunrise Credit Union...................................................................3

Manitoba Pork Council.............................................................47

Synergy Land Services Ltd. .....................................................35

Maple Leaf Foods.......................................................................19

TD Canada Trust........................................................................28


The Green Spot Home & Garden...........................................32

McMunn & Yates Building Supplies......................................41

The Paw Resort & Wellness Centre........................................17

Minute Muffler Brake & Wheel..............................................23

Roy Johnston TDS...................................................................IBC

Mnp Llp.....................................................................................53

Vanguard Credit Union.............................................................57


Venture Accounting Group Ltd..............................................43

New Beginnings Intimate Apparel.........................................25

Visa2Canada Immigration & Settlement Services..............41

Overland Waste & Recycling...................................................41


Paddock Drilling Ltd..................................................................29

Western Concrete........................................................................9

Partners In Discovery Ltd...........................................................7

Western Financial Group.........................................................23

Party Professionals.....................................................................43

Western Manitoba Public Library..........................................17

Persnickety Furniture Refinishers...........................................17

Westman Immigrant Services.................................................27

Pinchin Ltd...................................................................................20

Westman Spray Foam................................................................36

Powell Construction..................................................................17

Westoba Credit Union Ltd. .......................................................5

Progressive Sanitation...............................................................23

Wheat City Concrete Products Ltd. .....................................37

Roland Weir Appraisal Associates..........................................50

Windsor Plywood.......................................................................19

Safe Work Manitoba..................................................................16

Zenith Paving..............................................................................23

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204.726.0400 Serving Westman for over 18 years

2015 ••• Brandon Business Review •••


Mark Your Calendars

The Brandon Chamber of Commerce offers a wide variety of events throughout the year. These events are not just valuable for networking but also for education and information updates. There are various sponsorship opportunities related to most of the Chamber events. The Chamber is always open to suggestions of different types of events we can offer our members.


8th – Forum:

Federal Election Debate Keystone Centre, UCT Pavilion

21st – Luncheon: Small Business Week Royal Oak Inn & Suites Sponsor: Entrepreneurship Manitoba

22nd – BA5: Daughter on Call Unit B-2412 Victoria Avenue

28th – Information Session: Chamber 101


B2B Luncheon & Conference


10th – Luncheon: MB Success Story Royal Oak Inn & Suites

17th – Annual Dinner


Chamber Office

7th – Luncheon: Election Forum


Sponsor: Westman Communications Group Victoria Inn, Grand Salon

19th – Harvesting Value Ag Conference

Champion of Agriculture Luncheon BA5: Innovation for Tomorrow Reception Keystone Centre Luncheon Sponsor: Assiniboine Community College


10th – Christmas Luncheon

Victoria Inn, Grand Salon Sponsor: Keywest Photo Image by Design


27th – Luncheon: Business Climate Survey Keystone Centre, MNP Hall Sponsor: Corral Communications


17th – Information Session: Chamber 101 Chamber Office

19th – Luncheon: State of the City Address Keystone Centre, UCT Pavilion Sponsor: Brandon First


9th – Luncheon: Changeover Ceremony Royal Oak Inn & Suites Sponsor: Crocus Credit Union

15th – Chamber Golf Tournament

28th – Information Session: Chamber 101 Chamber Office

Please contact us to learn more about Brandon Chamber of Commerce events – event dates and times are subject to change. Please visit us at for up-to-date events listings. 58

••• Brandon Business Review ••• 2015

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– we speak your language.

At Roy Johnston TDS, we not only serve our clients, we also speak the language of their communities. In our Brandon, Boissevain and Carberry offices, you’ll find the same local lawyers, committed to the same local communities. With our expanded Manitoba presence, including our Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg offices, we offer our clients the benefit of a full-service firm covering 24 areas of practice, with global connections in 100+ markets around the world. For a diverse team of lawyers, who understand your needs and your community, you never need to look further than Roy Johnston TDS.

363 Tenth Street, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada R7A 4E9 | Direct: 204.727.0761 | Toll-Free: 855.483.7529

Learn more at

Your lawyer advises you on legal matters.

Your accountant advises you on tax matters.

Who’s advising you on business matters?

You don’t need to go it alone, few business leaders ever do. You hire specialized professionals for legal and tax issues. When dealing with complex business issues, bring in a professional management advisor. At Siere, we provide the practical experience and proven best management practices to improve the profit and growth of your business. Guaranteed. Contact us for an initial business assessment. We’ll check all the right boxes. (204) 571-6923 or e-mail

Advising independent business owners

Brandon Business Review 2015