Business in Calgary - March 2021

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MARCH 2021 | $3.50 BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

THREE GENERATIONS

STRONG

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RGO: A TRUE FAMILY BUSINESS

CALGARY BOMA NEWS - SPRING 2021

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CALGARY CHAMBER SECTION

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 31 | Number 3

REGULAR COLUMNS

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Students Join a Constructive Discussion By Cody Battershill

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Alberta is Not Obsolete By Shane Wenzel

Calgary Chamber of Commerce Parker’s Pen By David Parker

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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Three Generations Strong RGO: A true family business By Melanie Darbyshire

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: CATHY ORR, PRESIDENT AND CEO; SARAH ORR, SUPPLIES & MANAGED PRINT SALES REPRESENTATIVE, RGO TECHNOLOGIES; CASSANDRA ORR, SALES, NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT RGO FURNITURE; ROSS GLEN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN; DAVE ORR, VICE PRESIDENT OF OFFICE ENVIRONMENTS, RGO. PHOTO SOURCE: EWAN PHOTO VIDEO

FIND US ONLINE! B US I N E SS I NCALGARY.COM BUSINESS IN CALGARY

@BUSINCALGARY

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Discover your new dream Estate Home in Artesia Discover your new estate home by

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 31 | Number 3

58 53

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

Destination Dental

Celebrates Their Grand Opening

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Modest gains predicted for 2021 By Erlynn Gococo

Clean Club Calgary

Celebrating Business Excellence

35 41 49

61 6

C algary’s Post-Pandemic SingleFamily Housing Market

MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

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C algary BOMA News Spring 2021

A lright stop, Collaborate and Listen Local tech experts say training, diligence keys to staying say in post-COVID cyber world By Jamie Zachary

I ndustry Rock Stars Defining Success In Their Own Ways By Danyael Halprin

M ixing Business and Pleasure The importance of business golf By John Hardy


Welcoming our newest partners. Tamara Prince

Litigation/Advocacy, Calgary

Derek R. Elliott Real Estate, Calgary


Family Owned, Local Business

Serving Albertans SINCE 1978

PUBLISHERS

Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann

EDITOR

Choose Local, Keep Alberta Strong! The Coffee Connection supports local coffee roasters through our coffee offerings. Ask us how you can enjoy locally roasted coffee at work! We offer bean to cup equipment for your office loaned free with purchase of supplies. Ask about our 30 day free trial. Locally Roasted Espresso & Steamed Milk

Melanie Darbyshire melanie@businessincalgary.com

COPY EDITOR Nikki Mullett

ART DIRECTOR

Jessi Evetts jessi@businessincalgary.com

ADMINISTRATION

Natasha Walz natasha@businessincalgary.com

ACCOUNTING

Nancy Bielecki nancy@businessincalgary.com

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Shane Wenzel Garth Mann Cody Battershill David Parker

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS

1000 Café Beverages only $400 monthly

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Melanie Darbyshire Rennay Craats Erlynn Gococo Jamie Zachary Danyael Halprin

PHOTOGRAPHY

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Evelyn Dehner 587-774-7615 evelyn@businessincalgary.com Chris Miller 587-774-7614 chris@businessincalgary.com

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Online at www.businessincalgary.com Annual rates: $31.50 CDN | $45 USA $85 International | Single Copy $3.50 Business in Calgary is delivered to over 33,500 business people every month including all registered business owners in Calgary, Banff, Canmore, Airdrie, Okotoks, Cochrane and the Calgary Chamber members. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 41126516. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. 1025 101 6th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2P 3P4 info@businessincalgary.com

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Business in Calgary magazine’s circulation is audited twice a year by BPA International.


ADVERTORIAL

Dustin Stirling

One of Calgary’s Exclusive Chambers Plan Advisors

Group Benefits - Travel Insurance and COVID-19 It’s all About the Policy Wording March 11 will be exactly 1 year since WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. To say a lot has changed in our day-to-day lives would be a huge understatement. However, as vaccines roll out and the world starts to return to ‘normal,’ many people are wondering when they can go on a vacation to release the stress of the last year. As of January 2021, the Canadian travel advisory is “avoid non-essential travel” for most of the world. “The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the individual. Travel Advice and Advisories provide recommendations about safety and security conditions abroad to enable Canadians to make their own informed decisions regarding travel.” So how do these travel advisories affect your travel insurance when you do decide to travel outside of the province or country?

This type of wording means that if the travel advisory is at 3 or 4, claims will NOT be paid. Example 2: “Also note, you will not be covered under emergency medical insurance if you contract COVID-19/Coronavirus, and you travel to a destination in which the Government of Canada has advised Canadians to “Avoid all Travel” or “Avoid all non-essential Travel” effective March 13, 2020.” This wording is a bit confusing; does it pertain to contracting COVID-19 before or during travel? Does the policy not cover any claims or just COVID-19 related claims? Wordings like this would warrant you to call to the insurance company for clarification.

First and foremost, not all travel insurance benefits are the same. Always refer to your benefit policy wordings and ask your advisor/insurance company directly how your coverage might be affected by COIVD-19 and government restrictions when traveling.

Example 3: “At this time, coverage offered through our plan remains unaffected, regardless of the travel risk level.” For “Countries listed in Level 3 and 4 – governments may/will not allow the insurance company to communicate with the agencies needed for assistance with medical care and medical evacuation – so if a person has a medical emergency, there is no one they can call for assistance.”

There are “4 levels” of travel advisories: 1 – Exercise normal security precautions 2 – Exercise a high degree of caution 3 – Avoid non-essential travel 4 – Avoid all travel

This means that while claims will still be paid, if you travel to a country with a level 3 or 4 advisory, you may not receive the same assistance or medical evacuation that you would have typically received with your plan at a level 1 or 2 advisory.

What to look for in your policy wordings:

Chambers Plan’s travel benefit, Voyage Assistance, follows example 3 and is one of the best travel insurance policies available for your group benefit program.

Example 1: “No benefit will be provided when you travel to a country after such time that a travel advisory has been issued by the Canadian government recommending that Canadians do not travel to such country, or to specific regions within such country.”

In summary, it is always important to read your policy wordings thoroughly and if you have any questions at all – be sure to reach out to your advisor and/or insurance company directly.

Please visit chamberbenefits.ca/bic for more information on Chambers Plan and how it can help meet your business’s group benefit needs.

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STUDENTS IN SUPPORT OF RESPONSIBLE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT // CODY BATTERSHILL

Students in Support of Responsible Resource Development BY CODY BATTERSHILL

F

rom Nova Scotia to Quebec to British Columbia, Canadian liquified natural gas (LNG) exports look to have real potential. That’s good news for Canadians, as Canada will soon be ready to provide cleaner-burning fuel for energy generation in Asia and other regions. Since Canada ranks number one on virtually any reputable list that compares the top global energy suppliers in the areas of environment, social issues and governance, such a strong rating can bring real value, and could even help earn us preferred supplier status when the markets come to understand our rigorous systems and the benefits they provide for people, communities and the environment. But there’s a lot more to the Canadian energy story than the fact our product leads in every ESG category. The Canadian men and women, the families they raise, the governments they support through their taxes and the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities where they live are a huge part of that story. Some good news is that more Canadians, including students who have taken up the energy dialogue at various university campuses across Canada, are joining the discussion. Students for Canada (SFC) is Canada Action’s youth advocacy initiative, created by students, for students. Recently two SFC student members, U of Alberta MSc students Daniel Baker and Skye Lybbert, initiated a letter to the Prime Minister. They urged the federal government to expand Canada’s energy horizons, support renewable energy development,

ensure Canada has a role in providing technology and environmental leadership for oil and gas and ensure Indigenous communities can reap the benefits of their lands and employment in the resource sector. Signed by 3,000 fellow students and Canadians, the letter resulted in a substantive Zoom meeting with Minister of Natural Resources, the Hon. Seamus O’Regan. Watch for further follow-ups from this important initiative. Analysts expect oil and gas demand – including LNG – will continue to grow for decades, so it’s likely Canadian product will retain its fundamental role within our global energy mix. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world will need between $12 and $17 trillion of additional investment in oil and gas by 2040 to avoid supply shortages. The IEA also expects demand for liquefied natural gas will double in that same timeframe. It seems the students who recently formed SFC are entering the discussion at a crucial time. Let me close with a paragraph from the students’ letter to the Prime Minister: “We’re proud to have worked in, and to be associated with, Canada’s energy sector through our master’s research. We believe an optimistic attitude and a change in language will act as a catalyst for growth towards cleaner energy and more energy opportunities here in Canada. We are looking forward to observing action attributable to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to Canadian energy.” Exactly.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction. ca, a volunteer-initiated group that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

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MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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ALBERTA IS NOT OBSOLETE // SHANE WENZEL

Alberta is Not Obsolete BY SHANE WENZEL

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021 has arrived, COVID is lingering and the XL Pipeline has been cancelled. Business as usual in Alberta!

The call for diversification is ‘back on the table.’ While Government has announced plans for encouraging investment back to the Province, it is time for industry to step up. In 2011, when oil was trading around $100 a barrel and Keystone XL was a no-brainer, economists, academics and businesspeople gathered to talk about diversification. That wasn’t the first or last time for these discussions. While Alberta’s economy is more diversified than 30 years ago, a recent chart suggests the energy sector still accounts for 40 per cent. The global economy has fundamentally changed, and traditional approaches to economic development no longer works. We have reached the point where this new environment calls for ‘all-hands-on-deck’ to move Alberta forward. As new knowledge emerges, industry will need help in making connections, but the best ideas always come from industry. The Industrial Society brought the term ‘jobs,’ so attracting jobs became a key focus. While our key resource industry boomed jobs were plenty and the people came. In past years, forces working against our key industry, along with limited help from Government, has caused a different look. The burning question now is how do we develop a culture that supports continuous innovation and build capacities for a new type of economic development? Past years

focused on increasing productivity, meeting endless regulatory requirements and pursuing more consumption of our product. That has changed, and now is the time for visionaries to step forward. We need to transform continuous innovation and expand beyond just creating jobs. We need to create sub-industries within industries. Alberta’s fossil fuel industry provides the feedstock for pretty much everything the world needs and uses. The desperate shortfall in medical PPE is the most recent example. Why can’t they be produced in Alberta? Governments can lay the foundation for a more robust private sector, but we have to work together, not against each other. We need a forward-thinking economic development strategy and incentives to pave the way to secure investment dollars. Several ambitious Alberta companies are already working ahead to produce building products made from Alberta petroleum at home. Who said Alberta can’t diversify? Education also needs to be reinvented to offer skill training of a wide variety to ensure workforces are capable of succeeding in this new economy. Examples are a need for skills in Cyber Intelligence, and an explosion in demand for Data Analytics. It is expected there will be thousands of future job opportunities in these fields alone. We simply can’t accept Western Diversification’s recent and woeful assessment that “the departure of young people from Calgary are beyond the influence of government and there is a very real possibility that Alberta’s economy will never again resemble what it did prior to the crash in 2014.”

Shane Wenzel is president of the Shane Homes Group of Companies. Follow him @ shanewenzel on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Istagram and YouTube.His column is written for the Alberta Enterprise Group, @AEG on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Lifelong Calgarian Brings Award Winning Floor Coverings International to Calgary

Sometimes you just know it’s time, and for Debbie Esayenko, being laid off for the third time in two years was the sign. “For me, the final layoff was my indicator it was time to actively pursue my dream,” says Esayenko. Last November, she launched operations as a new franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International – South Calgary, serves clients throughout Calgary South and Okotoks. Esayenko previously worked in sales and business development for more than 20 years, including time at three Fortune 500 companies, giving her a broad business background. But when it finally came time to pursue her own passion, she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do, though her passions have always been “fitness, fashion, food and design.” After much research Esayenko discovered and fell in love with Atlanta-based Floor Coverings International.

consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising.

“Floor Coverings International hit me hard. I was sold on it for several reasons.” Esayenko said, “I was blown away when I saw the amazing new flooring and tile options available with this company. I love the Floor-to-Your-Door concept and the full-size sample boards we bring to customers. We have design associates but I truly love the business and helping match exquisite and practical flooring solutions right in the home. It’s so much easier when you can see all the colours and surrounding décor that’s already in place in the home.”

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every part of our lives. Floor Coverings International utilizes a number of preventative safety precautions to keep both clients, franchise owners and their employees safe.

In Floor Coverings International, Esayenko found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on

Contact southcalgary.floorcoveringsinternational.com

“With COVID-19, people are wanting to live in their version of beauty, while sharing that environment with friends and family. Their surrounding space has become a priority and they are valuing it and upgrading it,” Esayenko concludes.

ABOVE: DEBBIE ESAYENKO, FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // MARCH 2021

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ALUMNI KEVIN LEA & SIMON HLYWA Kevin Lea and Simon Hlywa both graduated in 2006 from Webber Academy. Kevin went on to study at the University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business in the Risk Management and Insurance programme. Simon studied Software Engineering at McGill University. He then moved back to Calgary to work in digital forensics and eDiscovery, eventually managing the cybersecurity team at Deloitte Calgary. Kevin started in the insurance industry on graduation, and worked his way up to becoming the partner of a major regional brokerage, before leaving to co-found Fuse Insurance with Simon.


During a trip to Colombia, Kevin and Simon were discussing the technological challenges in the commercial insurance business which Kevin was working in at the time. Simon’s technology background led him to suggest that there is a better way to obtain insurance than what is seen in the traditional model. “We brainstormed ways to automate the brainsto commercial insurance process in order to make things more efficient for policy-holders, brokers and insurance companies,” Simon explained. To optimize their growth, Kevin and Simon decided on an agile lean start-up structure with a focus on cloud-based solutions. As they expand their business, they are focusing on implementing and improving industry best practices, with a plan for rapid growth in the near future. In 2019, Fuse Insurance won Insurance Business Canada magazine’s Brokerage of the Year award. ey were named a finalist for this award for the second year in a row in 2020. is year, Fuse Insurance was one of 15 companies, from 70 applicants, selected to participate in Startup Calgary’s annual Launch Party event. “We are honoured to have our brokerage recognized both in Calgary and on a national level. It has been a combined effort of our employees’ continued hard ha work and innovation, the support from our insurers and other industry partners, and most especially, our clients for their support of our brokerage,” said Kevin. As they move into their fourth year of operations, they are excited to see what the

future holds and plan to continue their success for many years to come. ey intend to grow their staff, continue their expansion across Canada and take their specialty knowledge in niche insurance markets to the next level. e education at Webber Academy allowed Kevin and Simon to get a head start on their university education. is permitted them to better balance their course load for a more optimal post-secondary experience. “It also allowed us to network with our peers, which directly lead to the founding of Fuse Insurance,” Insurance Simon said. During their time at Webber Academy, they both ran in the Junior Achievement Club in Grade 10, giving them quality experience in starting and running a company, including supply-chain management, employee relations and financial accounting. “is was a very worthwhile programme for us and the school,” Kevin recalls. e pair advises getting involved in extracurricular activities such as clubs, intramural sports and student government to maximize your enjoyment and experience in post-secondary. “e involvement in these types of activities are shown to increase both student happiness and academic performance, which is extremely beneficial for your ext post-secondary career prospects,” Simon stated. e team at Fuse Insurance is happy to support the businesses of other Webber Academy alumni and encourages you to reach out for any form of help with your commercial insurance programme.

WEBBER ACADEMY Learn more at www.webberacademy.ca


A CHALLENGE IS AN OPPORTUNITY IN DISGUISE: BLUESOURCE METHANE HELPS TAKE ALBERTA IN A NEW DIRECTION

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luesource Methane is changing how Alberta’s energy companies handle emissions, while creating incredible opportunities and showcasing the province’s resources on the international stage. Since 2001, Bluesource has been a pioneer in the field of defraying climate risk by curating sustainability strategies for industries, corporations, non-profits, and governments. Bluesource Methane, a division of Bluesource, is headquartered in Calgary. “We are one of the largest developers of greenhouse gas emission projects in Canada,” explains Yvan Champagne, president of Bluesource Methane. “We develop opportunities for large scale reductions in various sectors and help those projects move forward. Our expertise is quantifying those emission reductions and marketing and selling them.” Champagne admits that the concept of Bluesource Methane can be difficult to understand. He explains further about how the company came about, and the solutions it creates. “Before 2015, there were few barriers to getting capital and approval for energy projects in Alberta. Then, with the downturn in pricing, we saw that even good projects were not getting funded because of balance sheet and oil and gas pressures. Around the same time, Canada, the United States, and Mexico took on an aggressive methane reduction targets in the oil and gas sector. With this target came new emissions regulations in Alberta from the federal government. In some cases, those emission reductions can be turned into carbon credits. Clients were having trouble getting funded and had regulatory obligations requiring them to significantly reduce emissions. Bluesource saw an opportunity. We knew we could apply carbon finance to tackle the problem.” Bluesource Methane was created in 2017. The company identifies emission reduction opportunities, procures new equipment, and manages all the logistics required in replacing and installing the upgrades. Bluesource Methane then quantifies the reduction in emissions and once it receives payback for the capital invested, shares the proceeds among

its partners. This carbon finance approach, takes on the capital investment risk, helps oil and gas companies meet or exceed regulations, and provides a potential new revenue stream. Champagne continues, “It’s time and labour intensive to replace and install equipment, so we leveraged existing companies to do this. Over the last three and a half years we have worked with nine electrical and instrumentation (E&I) companies across the province and provided employment for 120 people during these economically challenging times.” In the short time that Bluesource Methane has been active, it has removed, replaced and retrofitted 11,000 devices for more than 35 companies across Alberta; this will reduce emissions in the province by close to three million tonnes by 2022 – the equivalent of removing emissions from 80 per cent of all the cars in the City of Edmonton for a year. “We took an innovative approach, taking on all the risk by using carbon financing to solve the problems in emissions in a fast and profitable way,” says Champagne. “We are very excited by the results so far. The provincial government is impressed by what we have achieved. It’s a win for us, for industry, and the environment.” ABOVE: YVAN CHAMPAGNE, PRESIDENT, BLUESOURCE.


But it’s a complicated strategy, which meant many lenders shied away from funding the model – but not ATB. “Without carbon credits it is a losing money proposition; and carbon markets are esoteric,” admits Champagne. “Lenders thought our idea was too risky, too unknown, and didn’t fit with established business models. However, ATB ultimately understood the strategic importance of what we were trying to achieve. If we were successful, it would have significant benefits for their clients and also for Alberta. That goes to ATB’s mandate of thinking of not just financing entrepreneurs and businesses in Alberta, but what is important to Alberta.” Champagne continues, “ATB is a critical, and fantastic partner. We wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without them. They were willing to take a chance on carbon financing and it has worked out exceptionally well for all involved.” Bluesource Methane is determined to continue providing solutions to industry and furthering the benefits of carbon finance. “Alberta has a great story to tell, but we have to find room to elevate the conversation,” Champagne concludes. “It’s been tough with the cancelation of Keystone; the province has some challenges ahead. We have some of the most innovative oil and gas companies in the world that are always thinking of lowering emissions. This is an industrywide strategic objective. If we can show how Alberta is a reliable, low carbon source of fossil fuel, we’ll be better able to compete for the long-term.” With its innovative programs and financing partners like ATB, Bluesource Methane is on the way to showcasing Alberta’s strengths on the world stage.

ATB is pleased to present a 2021 profile series on the businesses and people who are facing challenges head-on to build a strong Alberta. ABOVE: BLUESOURCE STAFF ON A VERIFICATION SITE VISIT. BELOW: BLUESOURCE PARTNER FROM CMC CONTROLS INSTALLING EQUIPMENT AT CLIENT SITE.


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New Housing Concept Showhome Opens in University District Brookfield Residential, an award-winning homebuilder and developer for more than 60 years, opened their newest showhome Capella in northwest Calgary’s newest urban community, University District. Termed as a ‘Single Level Residence,’ this new home concept combines the spaciousness of a large bungalow, without stairs, with the low-maintenance convenience of an executive condo. Brookfield Residential is offering two-bedroom and three-bedroom single-level residences, ranging from 1,322 to almost 2,100 square feet. The homes are set within a small four-storey footprint with only six to eight homes per building and feature an elevator and private garages. Once inside, there is a remarkable amount of natural light through large windows, open concept living areas, premium appliances and designer finishings. Another feature unique to Capella is that each home has its own in-suite heating and cooling system, which eliminates common air circulation in the building, adding an additional level of healthier home living. The showhome demonstrates the ‘Vela’ floorplan, with 1,644 square feet, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, flex room and spacious balcony. “The home has an elevated modern take with traditional elements of glass and dark woods through the finishings,” says Chloe Leung, Brookfield Residential’s interior designer. Buyers at Capella have expressed an interest in having a lock-and-leave lifestyle, which is reflected in the showhome. ”The furniture and décor are inspired by world travels and items collected throughout the globe. The ensuite speaks for itself. It is very elegant and bold, with inspiration of cobblestone paths in Italy. The shower bench and curb is one to remember,” adds Leung. “Right from the start, we have seen incredible interest in our estate single-level residences,” says Elisa Plett, community

manager for Capella. “Our buyers see value in the larger floor plans offered, the ability to choose their interior finishings at our design studio, and the ease of condo living. They can have their whole family over one week and be traveling the world the next – Capella just fits their life.” Capella puts you at the centre of University District, an urban community that promotes connectivity and walkability. Close to Market Mall, the University of Calgary and its own nine-block retail mainstreet, the community offers parks and pathways, recreation facilities, retail, dining and so much more. The Vela Showhome at Capella is available for safe, private tours. Tours can be booked by calling Elisa Plett at 403516-5840 or visiting VisitCapella.ca. Tours will be in adherence with provincial recommendations with occupancy limitations and safety protocols in place. ABOVE: OPEN CONCEPT LUXURY IN THE VELA SHOWHOME AT CAPELLA. PHOTO SOURCE: BROOKFIELD RESIDENTIAL

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Welcome to World of Choices! Bringing students together with career mentors is what it is all about. At JA Southern Alberta, we know that equipping young people with the skills, knowledge and mentorship needed to succeed is more critical than ever. The compound effects of a global pandemic, recession and the current economic state of Alberta means that young people about to enter post-secondary education or the work world are up against major challenges. Studies have found that students who graduate during an economic downturn are likely to lose career opportunities and experience jeopardized earning potential. Furthermore, according to a 2019 RBC survey, those who graduate during a recession are more likely to work part-time or in roles that do not match their education level - both of which contribute to poorer financial health and a deficit in career advancement opportunities over time. This year, we’re doing things a little differently. Classrooms across southern Alberta will be tuning in to virtual events featuring inspiring talks and engaging discussions with career professionals representing dozens of industries and sectors. It is up to all of us to guide, support and help today’s youth on their path to success. This is how we foster the next generation of hard working and innovative business leaders.

WORLD OF CHOICES IS FREE FOR STUDENTS THANKS TO THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF OUR PARTNERS

Interested in sharing your career journey witth young southern Albertans? Contact Kristen Scott to find out more at kscott@jasouthalberta.org


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South Centre Volkswagen Joins the Wood Automotive Group Major Franchise Dealership Becomes Sixth and Newest Member of the Group For a few years now, Gerry Wood would look over the fence from his flagship Woodridge Ford to his next-door neighbour South Centre Volkswagen and contemplate adding another dealership to his successful group. “I’ve always been a VW fan,” says Wood. “They have a reputation for quality and excellence and owners are fiercely loyal to the brand. On top of that, South Centre Volkswagen is a very well run dealership, so I thought this could be a perfect fit.” Both of Gerry’s sons, Rory who is the dealer at Okotoks Ford Lincoln, and Cailean who is the dealer at Advantage Ford say their father has been interested in the VW brand for a long time. “For a guy who grew up with Ford, Gerry was always talking about VWs and what great vehicles they make,” says Rory. Negotiations with the Shostak family, long-time owners of South Centre, began about nine months ago and in February 2021, the deal was done. “The Shostaks were just great to work with and we really want to thank them for their assistance and cooperation in making this happen,” says Wood. South Centre Volkswagen is the newest member of the Wood Automotive Group, which includes Woodridge Ford Lincoln, Okotoks Ford Lincoln, Advantage Ford, Big 4 Motors, Village Honda, Driverz Auto, Cavalcade Auto Acceptance Corp, All Makes Collison Repair Centre and the just-opened Wood Automotive Rental division. “We’re really proud to be growing our businesses, especially during these challenging times,” says Wood. “A lot of credit goes to our staff for keeping us on top.” South Centre Volkswagen becomes the second import dealership in the group. “This is great news,” says Bob Aaltonen from his Southland VW dealership in Medicine Hat. Aaltonen is also the chair of the Volkswagen National Advisory Council. “The Wood Group is known for its customer service and for its progressive way of doing business and so this is sure to be a win-win.”

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MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

Volkswagen is the world’s second largest car manufacturer and a leader in electric vehicle technology. “The manufacturer has big plans for the future,” says Aaltonen and this really is the opportune time for the Wood Group to become part of the VW team. We’re excited to be working with Gerry and his group.” South Centre Volkswagen, located just off Deerfoot Trail in the Douglasglen, is one of just four VW dealerships in Calgary and the only one located in the south end of the city. The state-of-the art facility opened in 2012 and features a large showroom, 26 fully equipped service bays, and one of Alberta’s largest VW parts departments. The job to integrate the dealership into the Wood Automotive Group is now progressing. “Customers can expect the quality service they’ve come to know from South Centre,” says Wood. “One of our keys to success has always been to offer exceptional service and that’s a commitment we make to all our customers – old and new.” Wood says they’re excited to welcome the South Centre staff into the Wood Automotive Group. “We have almost 600 employees,” says Wood, “but we really are more like one big family.” For Gerry Wood, now he can walk through the front door at South Centre VW, instead of just looking over the fence.

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CALGARY’S POST-PANDEMIC SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING MARKET // REAL ESTATE

CALGARY’S POST-PANDEMIC SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING MARKET MODEST GAINS PREDICTED FOR 2021

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MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

BY ERLYNN GOCOCO

C

algary’s real estate market is an interesting and always hot topic. The 2020 market was mostly unkind, thanks to a faltering economy and a pandemic, which shutdown the city for many months. Despite the record-breaking unemployment rates that resulted in significant job loss, the housing market last year did have some surprising outcomes. The recently published 2021 CREB® Forecast Summary revealed that the second half of the year experienced a “stronger-than-expected” rebound. Though the third and fourth quarters did not hit record-high sales or prices, they did post some of the strongest sales relative to the most recent five years. The report confirms these results were “nearly enough to offset the initial losses recorded during the first shutdown caused by the pandemic.”


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CALGARY’S POST-PANDEMIC SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING MARKET // REAL ESTATE

CIR realtor Sarah Scott says, “The good news is that business really picked up in the month of June when the city started to re-open for business. Even with the current restrictions in place, I personally have seen a ramp-up of single-family home sales. Given the circumstances, we had an extremely strong 2020 year.” The Forecast Summary also pointed out that “reduction in supply relative to sales is the primary reason the Calgary housing market returned to more balanced conditions by the end of 2020. The pullback in new listings relative to sales activity resulted in inventory levels falling to the lowest levels seen in the past several years.” Brokerage owner and realtor Dennis Plintz agrees and says, “The pandemic consequently inspired a shortage of listings, which caused real estate to move at a high-level. Higher than we’ve seen in a long time. For us in Alberta, this is directly related to the fact that we were already under five years of economic pressure. COVID wasn’t the nail in the coffin but rather an added layer of complexity and a springboard to clarity.” He acknowledges that the first half of 2020 was paralyzing and brought a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty. “Nobody was buying much of anything except toilet paper, never mind real estate.” He is optimistic about 2021 and says, “The spring will bring a tremendous amount of inventory. Listings will climb substantially as people gain confidence in the processes and protocols of real estate and develop an overall desire to move.” “Interestingly,” says Plintz, “we’re now seeing COVID babies, COVID divorces, COVID investors, COVID-related bankruptcies, COVID mergers of families and COVID clarity. The latter meaning people are becoming clearer on what matters and what feels safe, when it comes to where they live. As we navigated through the pandemic, like many other challenges, we emerged with a clearer perspective on real estate and its importance and ultimately the real value it holds for all of us,” he says. CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie says, “It is expected some of the momentum recorded at the end of 2020 will continue into 2021, fueled by exceptionally low lending rates and pent-up demand.”

CIR REALTOR SARAH SCOTT SAYS, “THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT BUSINESS REALLY PICKED UP IN THE MONTH OF JUNE WHEN THE CITY STARTED TO RE-OPEN FOR BUSINESS.” Scott concurs and emphasizes that low mortgage rates continue to attract both buyers and sellers. “Sellers want to sell as the market is on the move and current mortgage rates will allow them to join the buying market. The strength in the mortgage rates have also brought people out of the rental market and into the housing market. First-time buyers are also taking advantage of the low rates.” She adds, “People are recognizing the value in home purchases because they are seeing the added need of space in their personal life situation. More room for kids and offices, living closer to parks and all around more space. This is giving way to transition in terms of deciding whether or not it is the right time to buy.” One area Scott is seeing real growth in is investment real estate. According to her, these opportunities have spiked in the last few months. “I really first noticed it in October (2020) but it ramped up in my own business by the end of November and is still moving. These types of buyers are out looking to supplement income and they are taking advantage of the low mortgage rates.” ABOVE: CIR REALTOR, SARAH SCOTT.

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MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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// REAL ESTATE

LURIE SAYS, “CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN RELATIVELY TIGHT FOR LOWER-PRICED AND MID-RANGE HOMES IN THE MARKET, LIKELY RESULTING IN STRONGER PRICE GAINS.” The Forecast Summary predicts sales are expected to rise by nearly five per cent on an annual basis in 2021; however, persistent economic challenges may prevent stronger growth in the housing market. “Growth in supply is expected to offset some of the gains in sales, pushing our market to the upper bounds of balanced conditions and slowing price recovery. However, the price gains that occurred at the end of 2020 are not expected to be eroded and 2021 annual prices are forecasted to improve by over one per cent,” says Lurie. Lurie mentions a few top considerations for 2021, which include, lending, inventory, economy and industry. “The low interest rate environment is expected to continue to support sales activity this year, but the pace of improvement is expected to slow by the end of 2021. Supply levels are expected to rise, keeping the market relatively balanced. However, the supply gains are expected to slow the pace of price growth in the market. There is considerable risk regarding the pace of recovery and the longer-term impacts of the economic fallout from the pandemic. And finally, consolidation in the energy sector is expected to continue, which could impact employment and housing activity, especially in the higher price ranges.” Real estate professionals expect 2021 to feature new listings, as many homeowners deferred selling their home due to the pandemic. It is, however, anticipated that a lack of job growth for higher-paid professional positions could result in persistent imbalances in the higher price ranges, impacting price recovery in the upper end of the market. In her summary, Lurie says, “Conditions are expected to remain relatively tight for lower-priced and mid-range homes in the market, likely resulting in stronger price gains.”

ABOVE: CREB® CHIEF ECONOMIST, ANN-MARIE LURIE.

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MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


CALGARY’S POST-PANDEMIC SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING MARKET // REAL ESTATE

While the pandemic has certainly changed the landscape of real estate, it, like so many other sectors, has pivoted to accommodate a post-pandemic world. For example, if workfrom-home policies continue to remain in place, which they very well may, people may consider moving to a new home in order to have a more suitable and adequately sized home work space. “This year has been filled with twists and turns all over the world. The Calgary housing market was no exception,” says Alan Tennant, CREB® president and CEO.

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THREE GENERATIONS STRONG // COVER

ABOVE: CATHY ORR, PRESIDENT AND CEO; SARAH ORR, SUPPLIES & MANAGED PRINT SALES REPRESENTATIVE, RGO TECHNOLOGIES; CASSANDRA ORR, SALES, NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT RGO FURNITURE; ROSS GLEN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN; DAVE ORR, VICE PRESIDENT OF OFFICE ENVIRONMENTS, RGO. PHOTO SOURCE: EWAN PHOTO VIDEO

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THREE GENERATIONS STRONG // COVER

THREE GENERATIONS

STRONG RGO: A TRUE FAMILY BUSINESS

BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

F

ifty-five years ago, Ross Glen, founder and chairman of RGO, set out to make a living selling office furniture in Calgary. It was 1966 and the young city was full of promise; oil companies were setting up shop in droves, the population was growing rapidly and Calgary’s modest downtown - three years from gaining the Husky (Calgary) Tower - was on its way to becoming the forest of skyscrapers that it is today. The young Ross, a first-generation Calgarian, had no indication that some half-century later his company, now a leading and diversified total office interior solutions provider in Western Canada, would include four members from the next two generations of his family: daughter Cathy Orr, who took over as president and CEO five years ago, son-in-law Dave Orr, VP Office Environments, and granddaughters Cassandra Will in furniture sales and Sarah Orr, the most recent addition to RGO’s Technologies. He would in 1966, as he is now, be supremely proud.

“We started this thing and it’s turned out pretty good,” Ross says matter-of-factly, with the benefit of five decades of hindsight. “Diversification has allowed the business to progress very well and having the family members is really good. We’ve got great product lines and suppliers. There’s nothing I’d do differently.” Diversification has been the key strategy since early days: from office furniture, partnering with Steelcase, one of the world’s largest furniture manufacturers today, Ross expanded into office technology (mostly typewriters and Dictaphones) then into flooring and window coverings. Over time, one of RGO’s significant differentiators - its large service offerings - developed to include asset management, moves and storage; RGO services all the products they sell. Beyond the downtown office sector too, RGO has expanded their client roster into the education, health care, senior living and non-profit sectors. Today, the ONE RGO brand encompasses all of these products, services and sectors.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // MARCH 2021

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THREE GENERATIONS STRONG // COVER

“Our ONE RGO strategy means we’re well-positioned to meet our clients’ many and different needs,” Cathy explains. “We can provide their furniture, flooring, window coverings and technology. And even if we can’t get all the scopes in an opportunity, we are at the table, sharing our story, and will gain some integration because of that.” For her part, Cathy started in the small drapery division (the precursor to window coverings) in 1983, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from the University of Alberta. Though she initially had dreams of an interior design career, the job at her dad’s company suited her perfectly, combining elements of design and business in one role. “I was entry level, I knew nothing,” she recalls. “I learned everything the hard way because there was nobody in RGO with any expertise in commercial window coverings. I just happened to get surrounded by some really good people.” Being in window coverings meant that Cathy didn’t have a lot of day-to-day interface with Ross during her first 30 years

at the company. Nor did she work directly with her husband when he joined in 1993. Originally from Toronto, Dave met Cathy in the 1980s and eventually made his way out west by 1989. The couple were married in 1991 and after completing an MBA at the Haskayne School of Business, Dave joined RGO. “It was in the accounting and finance area, which was in my background,” he recalls. “I stayed in that role for a few years and then moved into more core business roles on the furniture side. Supervising our facilities and design / project management team, sales team support.” Though they didn’t see much of each other during those working days, their support for each other was invaluable. “I just love having him here,” Cathy says earnestly. “I would never be where I am in my career today without him. It’s a partnership because we understand what each other needs. It’s one of the benefits of a family business, because you really are teaming together.” ABOVE: RGO SHOWROOM. PHOTO SOURCE: RGO

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MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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THREE GENERATIONS STRONG // COVER

A perfect match for one another, the couple had previously completed a succession plan assessment with an industrial psychologist as part of an exercise for Steelcase. “They tested both Dave and I and we were exactly a compliment to each other,” she marvels, “which was pretty cool when you think back on it!” In 2015, Cassandra (Ross’ granddaughter from daughter Debbie Will) graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She had interned with the family business the two previous summers, in 2014 at the Steelcase Worklife Centre and in 2013 at RGO, each experience cementing her interest in the business. “I also really valued the opportunity to work in the business while my grandfather is here,” she says, “not a lot of people get the opportunity to do that. It’s really special to me.” “Grandpa was very, very keen for Cassandra to come and work with us,” Cathy confirms of her niece who started in social media and marketing, and later became involved in a few sales projects on the side. “That’s when I decided that I was really passionate about sales,” Cassandra explains, “and was fortunate enough to be able to transition to that. I really love my sales role. I’m always learning and meeting new people.”

Soon after taking the helm, Alberta’s economy took a pretty serious dive, making Cathy’s job all the more difficult. This was compounded by the COVID pandemic and lockdown. “There’s been a lot of challenges in the last few years,” she admits, “but I have a great team around me.” Last year, that team expanded to include Cathy and Dave’s daughter Sarah, who graduated in April with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Royal University. “RGO was always a part of my life, my parents were there all the time,” she says. “I was always running around when I was little with my mom to different job sites, helping her measure, write down notes for her, picking out fabrics. The window covering side was a huge part of my life.” Like her cousin, Sarah spent a couple of summers working at RGO, in customer first impressions and then window coverings. However, when it came to hiring her for a full-time position, Cathy had a dilemma: the COVID-19 pandemic had just hit and she had just had to put employees on furlough.

It’s an interest she shares with her grandfather: “My grandpa has always had a passion for sales and he’s always calling me into his office to introduce me to someone. I really like that aspect of the job.”

“It wouldn’t have been appropriate to hire Sarah then in our other areas,” Cathy says. “So while she hadn’t intended to come into technology there was a maternity leave that needed to be filled, so she stepped up and took the opportunity.”

Customer service and relationships have indeed been emphasized by Ross from the start. “Even before it was fashionable,” Dave notes. “It’s been a core value at RGO for 55 years. To focus on the customer and provide them with solutions that are beneficial. To understand them, work with them and meet their needs. And to create and build good business relationships.”

It has turned out very well. Sarah has worked in supply sales, managed print sales services, and marketing. She has also worked on larger projects and is developing relationships with technology partners. “I love it,” she says happily. “It’s been really fun.”

In her sales role, Cassandra has worked in several sectors, including senior living, commercial, education and nonprofit. “The really interesting thing about my job is it’s always different,” she says. “I’m always learning, especially with all the different sectors. I really enjoy the diversity of the job.” In 2016, during RGO’s 50th anniversary year, Cathy assumed leadership of the business from her father. “As much as I was in the business on a lot of levels, there’s still a

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huge, steep learning curve, because we are very diverse,” she admits. “And I’m still learning all the time.”

MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

Cathy is impressed with both girls: “We all have had to earn our way, and I’m really proud of both Cassandra and Sarah and the fact that they’re pulling their weight, learning and growing in their respective areas. It’s fundamental to this family business, because you have to work twice as hard to earn your spot sometimes.” “That’s the way I think,” Ross concurs. “It’s really good.” Both girls are relishing being able to work together, and with their grandfather. “One thing we both love is whenever we


THREE GENERATIONS STRONG // COVER

Consistency Quality Craftsmanship

see our grandpa in the hall near the end of the day he always asks ‘So what did you sell today? Did you sell anything?’” Sarah recounts. “It’s a highlight for me.” “It’s the name of the game,” Ross points out. Indeed, sales are in Ross’ family’s blood. His own father, William Glen, was in sales most of his career, was a mentor to Cathy and an original investor in RGO. While Alberta’s economic and COVID-related woes have seen RGO pivot - into different sectors and towards a greater emphasis on leveraging technology and work-from-home options – Ross, Cathy and Dave are all confident in the business’ foundation to see them through these challenging times. In fact, Dave sees reason for optimism: “The research points to the fact that going forward we’ll probably have a form of hybrid workplace. Not necessarily all in the office, but certainly not all at home. And likely a majority of the time in the office.” For RGO, this means opportunities to provide safe products which create a compelling reason to come to the office, to interact and work with people. It also means the family business will continue the tradition of giving back, a tradition spearheaded by Ross for many years. “Calgary has been a great place for RGO,” Cathy explains. “It’s provided a lot of opportunity and we’ve been happy to give back to the community, not only through projects but also by providing support to organizations. We plan to continue that into the future.” With three generations in the family business, RGO aims to build upon its past, thrive in the present and grasp every opportunity the future has to offer. The only question is: how many more generations will eventually join?

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ABOVE: ROSS GLEN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN; RGO. PHOTO SOURCE: EWAN PHOTO VIDEO

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Page 1 - Resilience in Tumultuous Times Page 4 - BOMA BEST Corner

NEWS SPRING 2021

Resilience in Tumultuous Times By Lloyd Suchet, Executive Director, BOMA Calgary

R

esilience is a word we hear a lot about these days, particular as a strategy to address the tumultuous times we’ve all found ourselves in. In contrast to fragility where you are highly susceptible to damage from external forces, resilience is then the ability to absorb the blows and come out no worse for wear. While surviving turmoil is paramount, what if we go a step further and actually become stronger through turmoil? Philosopher and author Nasim Taleb coined the term antifragile to mean something that instead of just resisting shocks, actually becomes better. When we look at the role of voluntary industry associations like BOMA Calgary in times of turmoil, the idea of being antifragile is key to the value proposition we propose to members. The BOMA Calgary value proposition is built on three pillars: education and market knowledge, government advocacy, and professional networking. When we view these pillars through the lens of the COVID19 pandemic it’s easy to see why the role of an association is even more important.

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BOMA Calgary News

BOMA Calgary News is a co-publication of BOMA Calgary and Business in Calgary.

Business in Calgary

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Communications Committee Christine White, Chair, Oxford Properties Group Rita Borrow, Brookfield Properties Lance Merrifield, Epic Roofing Jon Holmes, Camfil Aydan Aslan, BOMA Calgary

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CHAIR Richard Morden, QuadReal Property Group CHAIR-ELECT Rob Blackwell, Aspen Properties SECRETARY TREASURER Candace Walker, Brookfield Properties PAST CHAIR Lee Thiessen, MNP LLP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Lloyd Suchet, BOMA Calgary

Directors

Blair Carbert, Carbert Waite LLP Carla Fedele, Choice Properties REIT Dan Lindsay, GDI Integrated Facility Services Aaron Pratt, Allied REIT Art Skow, BentallGreenOak Todd Throndson, Avison Young Christine White, Oxford Properties The Building Owners and Managers Association of Calgary publishes BOMA Calgary News quarterly. For advertising rates and information contact Business in Calgary. Publication of advertising should not be deemed as endorsement by BOMA Calgary. The publisher reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to reject any advertising at any time submitted by any party. Material contained herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion of BOMA Calgary, its members or its staff. © 2015 by BOMA Calgary. Printed in Canada.

Whether its commercial rent subsidies, evictions moratoriums, or clarity on health orders, our advocacy had to be nimble and timely to respond to the changing policy landscape. In an environment where important information around public health, emergency preparedness, and mandatory closures seems to change by the hour, associations are ideally positioned to be able to gather and distribute this crucial information to the industry. We saw this each time health orders were tightened and loosened, and through our role as an invited partner of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency BOMA Calgary was able to relay timely information back to the industry. This information was crucial in protecting properties and their tenants at a time when information was at a premium. We have also seen governments intervening in the economy in unprecedented ways, requiring associations to advocate for and defend the industry’s interests on new fronts. Whether its commercial rent subsidies, evictions moratoriums, or clarity on health orders, our advocacy had to be nimble and timely to respond to the changing policy landscape. The value of these efforts to the industry cannot be overstated and equate to real cost savings all while enhancing the safety for all of those who enter commercial buildings. Finally, the in-person social gathering restrictions have to many in the industry hammered home the importance of the BOMA Calgary community as a way to connect with industry peers. These connections both enrich careers and strengthen the properties and organizations that comprise the industry. This was never more apparent than during the virtual 2020 TC Energy BOMA Calgary Excellence Awards where the industry took the opportunity to recognize their peers who went above and beyond in a true celebration of the industry. So if the above examples of how we have delivered on our three pillars demonstrate our reliance, the question is then how to take it one step further and actually become stronger in the face of adversity, to become antifragile? For us at BOMA Calgary it means that we internalize the lesson that tough times make our work even more important to the industry. In knowing this, the challenge of 2021 is then to be even more focused on delivering value through our three pillars. And that is just what BOMA Calgary is in store for in 2021: timely information from our seat in the Emergency Operations Centre, resources that bring additional value to your career and your organization, standing up for the industry at all levels of government, and the professional connections that make your job easier and more rewarding. If this sounds like something you or your organizations want to be a part of, we encourage you to join us.

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ALRIGHT STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN // CYBER SECURITY

ALRIGHT STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN LOCAL TECH EXPERTS SAY TRAINING, DILIGENCE KEYS TO STAYING SAY IN POST-COVID CYBER WORLD BY JAMIE ZACHARY

T

he past 16 months have been a wakeup call for businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic deconstructed the once-traditional office environment overnight and replaced it with legions of remote workers. Local digital security experts point to many learnings realized along the way for employers and employees alike, yet specifically to the need for company owners and their management teams to further strengthen their respective digital infrastructures and revisit cyber security best practices. “A lot has been brought up over the past nine months about business continuity and how business continuity plans need to be kind of activated,” says Shawn Edwards, director of security operations at Ignite Collaboration Services Group, a Calgary-headquartered video collaboration and audio/visual integration company. “In the small-to-medium enterprise, the situation we’ve run into very frequently is that the business continuity plan was an ‘in-development conversation’ where there was no business continuity plan to really help describe what happened in the pandemic world.” With those quick hallway conversations now paused and traditional meeting rooms dark, digital communications tools saw unprecedented growth in 2020. Collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams, for

“A LOT HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP OVER THE PAST NINE MONTHS ABOUT BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND HOW BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANS NEED TO BE KIND OF ACTIVATED,” SAYS SHAWN EDWARDS.

ABOVE: SHAWN EDWARDS, DIRECTOR OF SECURITY OPERATIONS AT IGNITE COLLABORATION SERVICES GROUP.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // MARCH 2021

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ALRIGHT STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN // CYBER SECURITY

example, saw a 160 per cent increase in users from March to October alone. Research and advisory company Gartner anticipates the worldwide market for social software and collaboration in the workplace will nearly double to $4.8 billion within the next two years. Video conferencing has similarly exploded. Zoom has logged more than 300 million daily participants during some months of the pandemic thus far. Meanwhile, In April 2020 alone, Cisco’s video conferencing business Webex reported upward of 25 billion meeting minutes per month on its platform – 10 billion more the total meeting minutes reported just one month earlier. The challenge, say experts, is the information being shared during on these digital channels is no longer being done strictly within the business – meaning often highly confidential business information is coming out of workers’ homes and thereby opening a potential Pandora’s Box of security problems. “In the COVID world, where we are finding a lot of issues is people are moving away from their work, which has the necessary firewalls, and are now working from home on computers that might not offer that same level of security,” says 403Tech president Scott Gallupe, whose Calgary-based IT support and services company caters to small and medium businesses. “They could be working on their personal computers that could be on older operating systems or do not have proper anti-virus software. In these scenarios, they are much more exposed to online threats, which can be tricky for companies to deal with given the footprint they have to protect is much vaster than it once was.” Edwards adds that in the rush of creating business continuity plans when COVID-19 first hit, that oversight from internal business units to ensure systems were protecting company information adequately was often an afterthought – thereby creating a double-edged sword. “When we talk about the systems that were traditionally protected around a traditional security barrier … having those extended out beyond in the post pandemic world put a lot of concern around risk to the organization,” he says. “The ability for collaboration solutions to harness collaboration, to share information, has been both a positive and a very risky negative when it comes to information.”

The consequences of which have been made headlines. Cybersecurity Ventures estimates the costs of cybercrime topped $6 trillion U.S. worldwide in 2020, up from $3 trillion in 2015. In one case, an estimated 500,000 Zoom passwords were found being sold on the dark web in April 2020. “The goal isn’t necessarily to hack into your call to gain information through that platform. It’s to piggyback onto another platform that you might use,” says Gallupe. “Maybe you’re sharing similar credentials with your server account or your email? Once they’re in, that’s the scary part.” Gallupe notes the consequences of a data breach through a video collaboration or conferencing platform sometimes can not be immediate. “Typically, people don’t know they’re exposed right away. Hackers will come into the system and lie dormant for weeks or months before taking some sort of action,” he says. Gallupe has seen success in mitigating these types of threats through the use of two-factor authentication – a security process in which users provide two different authentication factors to verify themselves, with the second often being accessed through an app on their smartphones. “Zoombombing” has also become an unfortunate reality for many. This involves an uninvited guest joining a videoconference call, often hijacking the screen, chat box or manipulating the audio. Last year, Zoombombers made their way into a virtual town hall held by YWCA Canada, shouting racial epithets and harassing many of the 250 participants through the chat function. ABOVE: 403TECH PRESIDENT SCOTT GALLUPE.

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ALRIGHT STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN // CYBER SECURITY

GALLUPE NOTES THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DATA BREACH THROUGH A VIDEO COLLABORATION OR CONFERENCING PLATFORM SOMETIMES CAN NOT BE IMMEDIATE. While Edwards notes Zoombombing has revealed security flaws with the application, it has also highlighted additional problems. “Some of (the flaws) were because the user was just not using the technology securely – not knowing how to use this technology securely,” he says. “There are secure collaboration solutions. There are unsecure collaboration solutions. And there are ways that you can make secure collaboration solutions, very insecure.” The first step to creating a secure digital environment is to think beyond the traditional piecemeal approach common within many organization’s digital infrastructure, says Ignite president and CEO Steven Taylor.

Taylor says the second step is for organizations to approach cyber security as not just an IT function, but as a corporate responsibility. “That’s one of the things we work with heavily in our adoption education side – that the messaging has to come from the very top of the organization,” he says. “The very top of the organization has to not just talk about security in its traditional platitude-type of way, but has to talk about security as being a fundamental responsibility of everybody in the business and help people understand why it’s so important not just the fact that has been decreed as important.”

“One of the bigger challenges that we see is a lot of times organizations will choose just singular independent point product – this is for the firewall and this is for email security and this is for that next component,” he says. “A lot of times, there’s not that overarching piece where somebody says, ‘OK, we’ve got five different solutions that sort of cover five different pieces. Does it actually create security in the space?’ “I would suggest (working with) an organization that will sit down with you and work with you through the strategy of where you are today, where you need to get to … what are the critical business component information pieces that we have to deal with? Out of that comes kind of the next step of what you need to look for.”

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Launch your 2021 business year with success by joining now! Membership incentives available.

• Membership is open to ALL businesses • Transferable Corporate Memberships • 15 meeting & event spaces, with physical distancing capabilities • Exclusive Member networking events • Business Centre & Brew 319 workspaces to get you out of the office • Connected to the +15 for easy access to and from business towers • Award winning Chef and wine cellar • 70+ Affiliated clubs to access You Belong Here When I arrived in Calgary, I wanted to be part of the business community. Since joining the Calgary Petroleum Club, my network has expanded dramatically; hosting business & networking events, taking my wife for dinner or just grabbing a coffee, the club provides a great space to do anything. When I’m downtown, you can find me at the Petroleum Club. - Jon Cornish, CFA | RBC Dominion Securities


The Calgary Chamber is the voice of the business community. We double down on commerce and work with businesses to create catalysts for growth.

From Seed to Table:

The Technology Propelling Canada’s Agriculture Industry Forward Reliable and resilient: Agriculture’s importance to the Canadian economy

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he agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada provides the food we need and enjoy, and has been a critical source of economic growth. In 2018, the industry employed 2.3 million Canadians, generated 7.4 per cent of Canada’s GDP, and provided the industry leads in sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. Early analysis suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has caused several challenges, from the changes in consumer buying habits and labour supply to ensuring the stability of transportation networks, logistics and international trade – and each of these challenges will require new solutions. Based on the innovation we have seen so far, it’s clear the industry is ready to meet this challenge. The agriculture and agri-food sector displayed resilience, harnessed new opportunities, and emerged through

2020 stronger than it started. Analysis from ATB and Statistics Canada shows that the gross revenue of farm businesses in Alberta rose by 13 per cent in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019. These gains occurred across the sector, with wheat, canola, barely, oats, cannabis, lentils, beans, livestock, and livestock products all yielding revenue increases in 2020.

TRENDS IN ALBERTA AGRICULTURE The work being done at Olds College Smart Farm provides a snapshot of trends that have and will continue to shape the future of agriculture. 1. Autonomous agriculture equipment Advancements in autonomous agricultural equipment, such as the DOT autonomous platform, facilitated automated BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // MARCH 2021

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and machine-guided seeding, spraying, and fertilizing on commercial farms. To support this work, researchers are developing more advanced mapping tools and techniques, and to allow for better use of equipment, also testing the lifecycles of both autonomous and traditional equipment. Along the way, experts at the Smart Farm are also looking ahead to the skills we’ll need as more of this technology is adopted.

•Animal health solutions: To support improved animal health, TELUS Agriculture solutions like Feedlot Health integrate data and technology to help drive profitability and sustainability. For example, Feedlot’s iFHMS program helps feedlots to manage cattle on an individual basis rather than by lot, including digital tracking of cattle receiving, animal treatment and movement.

2. Sensor development Sensors are critical to ensure accurate data collection. Research is ongoing into the implementation of multi-sensor clusters to evaluate and compare different types of soil, climate, and crop sensors, as well as the impact of different installation methods on measurement accuracy. 3. Innovative data collection

•Crop input innovation: Crop inputs are protection products that help farmers achieve higher yields. Innovation in molecule development, such as new Glu-L™ technology, has the potential to reduce the needed amount of weed control product by up to 50 per cent.

To utilize even a fraction of the new technology in market, farmers will need data. Work is underway to bring relevant data directly to farmer’s fingertips, leading to advancements in geospatial data collection, mapping soil nutrients, and identifying factors that limit crop yield. Machine learning techniques are being used to build novel soil and crop mapping techniques and improve the accessibility of many farm data management platforms.

•Xarvio: To help support farmers optimize the potential of their fields, this mobile-friendly software provides personalized recommendations by analyzing field-zonespecific and real-time information. With information directly from a farmer’s field, data-driven recommendations are made regarding nutrient management, disease and pest control, and features variable application maps with automatically integrated buffer zones as well as wireless machine connectivity.

FEEDING THE WORLD THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

•InVigor: Yield innovation and advancements over the last twenty years have contributed to InVigor® hybrid canola being grown on over 160 million acres across Canada. Clubroot-resistant and Pod Shatter Reduction hybrids are two of the industry-leading technology advancements; the patented InVigor® hybrid canola Pod Shatter Reduction trait is unique in that it strengthens pod seams and stems to safely retain the seeds in the pod until farmers are ready to harvest.

How will the food system adjust to a changing climate, and how can we feed a growing population? The challenge of sustainable agriculture is paramount for the industry, and through transforming the industry, technology has an important role to play. The companies listed below are just a few examples of how Canada is leading the charge. TELUS •Farm management solutions: TELUS Agriculture’s farm management solutions, including Agrian, Decisive Farming and Farm At Hand, help farmers operate more efficiently and improve traceability and profitability. Features include yield planning, a product label database, and centralized digital recordkeeping and analysis that can simplify collaboration with other members of their team. •Supply chain management solutions: Focused on connecting organizations and individuals throughout the supply chain, solutions like Muddy Boots and Exceedra enable better traceability, visibility and responsiveness. Food processors and retail customers can leverage supply chain mapping, sales tracking and performance tracking against ethical, CSR and sustainability standards. Farmers and agronomists, meanwhile, can leverage centralization of crop records and fertilizer and nutrient plans and expense and finance management.

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Nutrien •Digital experience hub: A digital platform that provides a centralized place for growers and Nutrien crop consultants to engage, providing comprehensive digital crop planning, agronomic insights and recommendations, and streamlined payment and invoicing options. •Blue ammonia production decarbonization: Advancements and innovation in ammonia production have significantly decarbonized the process, including carbon capture, utilization and storage; energy efficiency opportunities; and self-generation of site power requirements to improve emissions intensity of product produced. •Next-generation mining: Nutrien’s ‘NextGen’ Potash initiative furthers innovation and development in potash through autonomous mining and intelligent planning and data-driven asset optimization.


FulcrumAir Awarded $25,000 In Funding to Boost Growth Plans

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algary-based FulcrumAir, an industry-leading aerial robotics and commercial drone manufacturing and servicing firm, has been named the recipient of the ENMAX Amplifier Fund – administered by the Calgary Chamber – and will receive a $25,000 grant to bolster its growth and expansion plans. With four years in business and over 15,000 hours of design and engineering research, FulcrumAir has developed two of the world’s leading industrial unmanned aerial vehicles – the E2500 and E7500. They have also developed an innovative robotic machine that installs bird flight diverters, reducing avian mortality in the powerline industry, called the LineFly. “On behalf of the entire staff at FulcrumAir, we are extremely proud to be awarded the ENMAX Amplifier Fund for 2021,”

403-269-1600| Lunch | Dinner | Private Events | Catering & Delivery | centini.com BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // MARCH 2021

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“FulcrumAir embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of Calgary’s business community,” says Murray Sigler, interim CEO of the Calgary Chamber. “They are an innovative leader in their field, and we are honoured to join with ENMAX to empower them to reach the next level through this funding.”

says Patrick Arnell, CEO of FulcrumAir. “Calgary is a great place for us to build and grow our business, with its depth of engineering talent, entrepreneurial culture, and support from the community.” Over the next three years, FulcrumAir has ambitious plans to evolve the product line by adding more aerial robotics to further service the powerline industry. They also plan to expand their team to increase the pace of technology development and meet higher demand for their products. These activities will be bolstered by the ENMAX Amplifier, a business development fund created as a partnership between the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and ENMAX.

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“The ENMAX Amplifier Fund is about investing in the future of Calgary, and we are pleased to offer this year’s award to FulcrumAir, a company that embodies the award’s spirit of furthering innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Jana Mosley, senior vice president, Power Delivery at ENMAX. “We look forward to seeing them continue to grow as a small business and contribute to the Calgary community.” Valued at $25,000, the ENMAX Amplifier Fund will be granted to one small business per year for the duration of two years and is administered by the Calgary Chamber. The application round for 2022 will open this fall via the Calgary Chamber website: www.calgarychamber.com/enmaxamplifier-fund


INDUSTRY ROCK STARS // WOMEN OF INFLUENCE

INDUSTRY Rock Stars DEFINING SUCCESS IN THEIR OWN WAYS BY DANYAEL HALPRIN

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auded with awards and stellar reputations that precede them, these women are rockin’ their respective industries. In this annual feature, they are the true influencers.

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INDUSTRY ROCK STARS // WOMEN OF INFLUENCE

CATHRYN CARRUTHERS EXECUTIVE COACH, CARRUTHERS COMMUNICATIONS INC.

Cathryn Carruthers is a high performance coach specializing in major career transitions with an international client roster of senior leaders at name-dropping organizations. She began her finance career in London, England at Merrill Lynch’s global analyst program and then in private equity at BlackRock. After crossing the pond to Calgary in 2009, she landed a consulting project which then led to the creation of her own consulting practice. During that time she gained great insight into human performance. Time and again she observed that while some people took decisive actions to achieve their goals, others only thought and talked about it. “I became really interested in the psychology of what makes people tick and how to harness that knowledge to help people perform,” says Carruthers, 40, who hails from Bushmills, Ireland. As she further examined motivation, focus and discipline, her career naturally segued into coaching, and in 2015 she formalized Carruthers Communications Inc., growing it primarily through referrals and testimonials. She has helped transition former intelligence operatives at the US Department of Defense into private practice, a New Yorkbased Amazon executive into her next chapter… Her other upper echelon clients are from Adidas, Airbnb, Microsoft, Uber and other Fortune 50 companies. Described as deeply intuitive, pragmatic and an incredible asset, Carruthers delivers a holistic, tough love approach. “Navigating that line — respectfully telling clients the things they need to know but don’t necessarily want to hear while also motivating them — is key, and one of my favourite parts of the job,” says the mother of two. For her own pivot, Carruthers will continue evolving her executive brand consulting for the individual. Strategizing with her proprietary material and working networks, she vectors her clients’ strengths and re-positions their personal brands to find that perfect role, or to bring it into existence.

“NAVIGATING THAT LINE — RESPECTFULLY TELLING CLIENTS THE THINGS THEY NEED TO KNOW BUT DON’T NECESSARILY WANT TO HEAR WHILE ALSO MOTIVATING THEM — IS KEY, AND ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PARTS OF THE JOB,” SAYS CARRUTHERS. In September 2020, Business Insider magazine named Carruthers one of the most innovative career coaches in the world. She measures her success by the results she creates with her clients. “Coaching is so solitary and behind the scenes. You can rarely say with whom you’re working or what they’ve done. I celebrate the client wins privately with them and that for me is a huge motivator.”

ABOVE: CATHRYN CARRUTHERS, EXECUTIVE COACH, CARRUTHERS COMMUNICATIONS INC.

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INDUSTRY ROCK STARS // WOMEN OF INFLUENCE

“I WAS EXACTLY ME. I REALLY DIDN’T SEE IT AS A FEMALE VERSUS MALE ISSUE,” GRAFTON SAYS. “I BELIEVE THAT SUCCESS IS THE GREATEST EQUALIZER, AND ONE OF MY DEFINITIONS OF SUCCESS IS MAKING MY INDUSTRY BETTER.” Today it’s an annual $50-million plus business employing 25 full-time staff and more than 400 contractors and tradespeople. It has built 140 homes in Calgary, a city she extolls for its entrepreneurial spirit, courage and resiliency. Having grown up in Kelowna and holding that place dear to her, in 2017 Rockwood expanded into the Okanagan with 10 lakeside builds to date. It will develop its first Rockwood exclusive lakeside community in Kelowna this year.

ALLISON GRAFTON PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, ROCKWOOD CUSTOM HOMES

We’ve never spent more time in our homes than in the past year and with that comes a greater importance and desire for comfort, style and security. Helping others create an exquisite, sacred space is one of the reasons why Allison Grafton founded Rockwood Custom Homes in 2009. While completing 15 of her own renovations and constructions as passion projects prior to that, Grafton observed deviations and inefficiencies in the process and formed her own ideas about how a build should be executed. Leaving her 12-year career in investment banking and with $5,000 and a clear vision of professionalism, financial stewardship and client relationship, she established the highend luxury homebuilding company.

Grafton prides herself on running a company that completes its builds on time and on budget with exceptional quality and with complete transparency. “There’s very little care for the financial security of people building custom homes. The average ‘over budget’ in residential homebuilding is 35 to 40 per cent, and that can destroy a family financially,” says Grafton, mother of three. In 2020, Rockwood was one of 27 businesses awarded Canada’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte. And Grafton herself has received countless awards over the years, such as top female entrepreneur, top 100 most powerful women, and Women’s Executive Network’s Hall of Fame inductee. One of few women in this male-dominated industry, Grafton, who turned 53 on Valentine’s Day, says it was her grit, knowledge, ethics and strong vision that empowered her to vanquish the initial hurdles and naysayers. “I was exactly me. I really didn’t see it as a female versus male issue,” she says. “I believe that success is the greatest equalizer, and one of my definitions of success is making my industry better.”

ABOVE: ALLISON GRAFTON, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, ROCKWOOD CUSTOM HOMES BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // MARCH 2021

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INDUSTRY ROCK STARS // WOMEN OF INFLUENCE

“FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE MOTIVATED TO PURSUE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PATH AND BELIEVE THEY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, MY ADVICE IS ‘JUST DO IT!’” SAYS EVERETT. “IT’S EASY TO OVERANALYZE A PLAN, BUT IT’S REALLY ABOUT TAKING THE PLUNGE.” in the custom soles and paired with an app on the patient’s smartphone; it’s wirelessly charged, Bluetooth enabled, and the data is stored in a cloud-based back-end for remote monitoring by the clinicians overseeing the patient’s care.

DR. BREANNE EVERETT PRESIDENT, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, ORPYX MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES INC.

Wielding a higher mortality rate than breast cancer and colon cancer, once a patient develops a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) their mortality rate in the next five years is 45 per cent. With her ingenious contribution to the medical field, Dr. Breanne Everett is saving lives. It was during the research component in the first year of her plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the University of Calgary in 2009 when Everett innovated the revolutionary device for the treatment of periphery neuropathy, a loss of sensation affecting about two-thirds of people with diabetes. Due to the inability to detect pain in their feet and adjust their movements accordingly, the continued pressure leads to severe complications such as DFUs, loss of mobility, amputation, and morbidities that ultimately lead to death. Everett devised a sensor-based shoe insole that takes pressure readings and then notifies the individual how to correct the problem. “Innovation is a process,” says 36-year-old Everett of the most recent iteration of the Orpyx SI Sensory Insoles launched in January 2021. Here, the technology is embedded

Brilliant, right? There’s more. In 2011 Everett took an educational leave from her residency to enroll in the executive MBA program at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. And with that knowledge she and four others – doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs specializing in consumer electronics development – co-founded Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc. in 2010 to bring the sensory insoles to market and to create other technologies enabling longevity of movement and improving quality of life. Last year Orpyx spun out the company Kinetyx Sciences Inc., of which Everett is the CEO, to manage Orypx SI Sensory Insoles’ more consumer-facing athletic performance and injury prevention applications. “We’re doing a ton of research and development in the wearable space, and we’re very focused on this vision of a future where footwear is sensorized.” Since 2013, Everett has focused exclusively on the growth of the company. “For people who are motivated to pursue an entrepreneurial path and believe they can make a difference, my advice is ‘Just do it!’” says the mother of two. “It’s easy to overanalyze a plan, but it’s really about taking the plunge.” Everett is the recipient of numerous honours, one of which is the Governor General’s Innovation Award in 2016. She is most proud of the Orpyx team and their hard work and commitment to the way that care is being delivered in diabetes.

ABOVE: DR. BREANNE EVERETT, PRESIDENT, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, ORPYX MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES INC.

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MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE // GOLF

Mixing BUSINESS AND PLEASURE THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS GOLF BY JOHN HARDY

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aiting anxiously for the 2021 season at Calgary’s Springbank Links, The Glencoe, Inglewood, The Hamptons, Heritage Pointe or Bearspaw is a seasonal reminder that, while golf is relaxing, challenging, frustrating and enjoyable, golf is different things to different people. There’s the sunshine-y, good friends and kibitzing golf. There’s focused, charity-boosting tournament golf. And there’s the chinwag and relationship-building business golf.

There’s consensus that a golf course is a great place to get to know someone. A recent survey by Guideline Research, an American consulting firm, guesstimated that at least 30 per cent (one in every three) of golfers are on the greens doing some kind of business. Some 97 per cent of executives felt that golf with a business associate was a way to establish a close relationship, 92 per cent used golf as a way to make business contacts, and 59 per cent said the way a person played golf was the way they would likely behave in business.

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MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE // GOLF

“Golf is a great and easy activity to do while conducting business,” says Jason Stanier, general manager and executive professional at Calgary’s Inglewood Golf Club. “Spending four or five hours with a potential client is an invaluable opportunity. Very few activities or settings allow potential business contacts that much one-on-one time.” A golf swing takes five seconds, so one game involves a total of about 500 seconds (under nine minutes) of swinging, while the whole game lasts about four hours. The basic logic asks: what is happening the rest of the time when the business golfers are together? “Observing someone during a round of golf can tell you a lot about the person that you’re playing with,” notes the personable Ash Chadha, general manager at The Glencoe Golf & Country Club. “You learn a lot about someone’s personality, character and personal values. Golf provides many opportunities for players to demonstrate wonderful or dubious behavior. If they cheat at golf, they just may cheat in business. If they throw clubs after a bad shot, they may be prone to temper tantrums at work. On the other hand, if they can keep themselves under control and count every stroke, chances are they’ll handle adversity in stride and be honest in the work setting.” Kevin Heise, general manager at Springbank Links shrugs and chuckles from experience. “A lot of business happens on the course. A lot of it is relationship building. Golf is important B2B communication. If you’d rather not work with a hot-head, beware of someone who throws their 7-iron across the fairway. If you don’t want inventory missing through the backdoor, don’t hire the player who shot 8, said they took a 5 and wrote down a 4 on the scorecard.” Golf experts, coaches (and life coaches) underscore the character and personality-factors about business golf. Observing self-behavior during golf may reveal business tendencies. “There are very few environments where you can build relationships like you can on a golf course,” says Barry Ehlert, the dynamic managing partner of Calgary’s Windmill Golf Group. “You definitely learn a lot about someone – good or bad – during a round of golf. “Being on the first tee can feel like a fish bowl experience of people watching. It is nerve wracking and may reveal

“A LOT OF BUSINESS HAPPENS ON THE COURSE. A LOT OF IT IS RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. GOLF IS IMPORTANT B2B COMMUNICATION,” SAYS HEISE. reactions under pressure. Like hitting the first tee shot. The reaction could be an indicator about how they work under stress. Do they worry about first tee jitters and duff it? Or walk up cool, calm and collected and deliver a clean strike? The similar kinds of reactions happen in business.” On various levels, corporate golf is also a vital aspect of the business of golf. Waiting for the Calgary 2021 golf season, there is no denying that the impact of the Alberta economy and last year’s pandemic have taken their toll on the momentum of corporate golf in Calgary. “Like all golf clubs, The Glencoe offers a sanctuary for members to conduct corporate or personal business,”

ABOVE: KEVIN HEISE, GENERAL MANAGER AT SPRINGBANK LINKS. RIGHT: ASH CHADHA, GENERAL MANAGER AT THE GLENCOE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB.

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MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE // GOLF

“WE BELIEVE GOLF CLUBS PROVIDE A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO DO BUSINESS BECAUSE WHEN THEY ARE ON THE COURSE, THEY HAVE A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE, IN A KNOWN SECURED ENVIRONMENT,” SAYS CHADHA. Chadha points out. “It’s a place where they feel pride of ownership and a sense of belonging. We believe golf clubs provide a unique opportunity to do business because when they are on the course, they have a captive audience, in a known secured environment.” There’s a quirky anomaly about the 2020 golf season in Calgary. The stats about the outdoor and socially distanced

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MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE // GOLF

game – and actual rounds played – spiked, while popular, large corporate and charity tournaments sagged. After all, 2020 was the infamous year when The Stampede, the CFL season and even the Olympics and other mass events were cancelled. Heise explained that Springbank’s rounds played increased by nearly 14 per cent, while there was a 22 per cent Alberta increase and a 19 per cent national increase. “The rounds played helped clubs stay healthy, even though weddings, banquets and tournaments dropped off a cliff. Corporate golf spins off food and beverage, some pro shop sales and is also played on weekdays – our less busy days. With a resurgence in golf, we sure were a very lucky and thankful industry last year.” Last year’s pandemic negatives actually turned into a positive spark for Calgary’s 2020 golf season. “We saw an approximately 35 per cent increase in last year’s total rounds played,” notes Chadha. “The increase is consistent with what happened throughout North American clubs. COVID-19 restrictions forced our lifestyles to change overnight – there was no more gym, no more tennis and not much was permitted for activity. Golf was one of the few sports people could play to have an active lifestyle, socialize and support their mental health. With cautious optimism about the vaccine, the end of lockdowns and slowdowns and positivity about this year’s season, Chadha even suggests a silver lining about the life speedbumps of the past year. “Golf is a generational sport for all age demographics and we saw a change in not only how often people played, but who they played with. It introduced many new golfers as well as bringing back past golfers.” He acknowledges that although it may sound strange considering the horrible price paid by public health, business and school shutdowns, workplace disruptions, job losses and added damage to the economy, “at least for the game of golf, the COVID-19 impact has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise.” Jason Stainer points out that while the actual slump in corporate golf can mostly be blamed on the economy, the pandemic has actually boosted Calgary golf since it was one of only a few approved activities last year. He illustrates with Inglewood stats that show 35,000 rounds played in 2018, 36,000 rounds in 2019 and 39,500 rounds in 2020. “Once we get past the pandemic, it will be interesting to see if the game continues its momentum and the corporate business returns.”

EHLERT IS REVVED AND ENTHUSIASTIC. “WE THINK THERE ARE INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES TO BUCK THE TREND AND GET CORPORATE GOLF BACK TO WHERE IT USED TO BE.” When it comes to corporate and tournament bookings for this year, Springbank Links, Inglewood, The Glencoe and most Calgary clubs are in the same holding pattern. While the calendar shows many events booked for 2021 – many postponed from last yearfor obvious reasons – Calgary’s corporate golf events and tournament schedules are “pending” and planning is tentative. Current provincial restrictions, dates of booking and other factors will determine if they happen or not. Ehlert is revved and enthusiastic. “The overall corporate golf market has definitely been soft for a few years. Many corporations hosted golf events years and probably didn’t change a whole lot. We think there are incredible opportunities to buck the trend and get corporate golf back to where it used to be.”

ABOVE: BARRY EHLERT, MANAGING PARTNER OF CALGARY’S WINDMILL GOLF GROUP.

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Photo by Phil Crozier.

Offering an Elevated Dental Experience I by Rennay Craats

t can be difficult to find the silver lining in adversity but Dr. Jaspreet Wirring did just that. She took over a dental practice in March 2020, excited to bring her vision of a different kind of practice to life. Then the next day, the government announced a mandate to flatten the COVID-19 curve that saw her doors shut before they could even open. “We were scrambling to figure out what we were going to do and how we were going to survive the year. It was tough but the driving force was always that vision,” says Dr. Wirring, owner and dentist at Destination Dental & Wellness. Her vision was one of an elevated dental experience for her patients. The shutdown gave her the opportunity to create the perfect space without having to worry about accommodating patients at the same time. The first step was to update the lime green, 1980s-inspired décor to create a calming and beautiful modern space. After walls were knocked down to facilitate a natural flow, the fixtures were changed and the furniture was updated, Destination Dental & Wellness was ready for business.

Destination Dental & Wellness • Grand opening 57


Dr. Wirring and her associate Dr. Ailin Yu started seeing patients in September, since then they have continued to grow the practice and work toward realizing the vision of complete care for patients. This care starts as soon as patients walk through the door. They are greeted with soft colour tones and aromatherapy to help relax those for whom a trip to the dentist can be stressful. In their individual treatment rooms, patients can choose from a variety of essential aromatherapy oils for a personalized, calming experience. The practice also features a comfortable consult room where staff can discuss treatment plans and options with patients. The expansive windows throughout the Deerfoot Trail and 17 Avenue SE practice offer the best views in Calgary, showcasing the downtown skyline and the Rocky Mountain vista to the west. This central location allows Destination Dental & Wellness to serve patients from all over the city, whether they are seeking a dental cleaning or something above what you’d find at a traditional dental office. The “wellness” in the practice name extends past exceptional care of a patient’s teeth and the offerings expand beyond standard fillings, hygiene, crowns, bridges, implants and dentures. The practice also offers the new Invisalign Go program that facilitates drastically shorter treatment times. It was important to Dr. Wirring that the practice see to the health of the whole patient. “Cosmetic dentistry wasn’t something I was initially interested in. My focus was form and function,” she says. “What I began to realize was the profound effect my patient’s Manpreet Dhaliwal, Dr. Jaspreet Wirring and Darlene Sinclair. Photo by Riverwood Photography. appearance had on their self-worth—that people don’t advocate for themselves, whether in a job interview or looking for love, if they don’t feel confident. This transformed my approach to incorporate this area of frozen, expressionless faces of Hollywood, these treatments can dentistry on top of my foundation of function and health.” actually be life changing for patients with headaches or jaw pain. By targeting the muscle that closes the jaw, Botox can relax Dr. Wirring has further broken the traditional dental practice mould the jaw which in turn relaxes the shoulders and can eliminate by offering additional wellness treatments to patients. On February headaches caused by clenching or grinding. Dr. Wirring is happy 1, Destination Dental & Wellness added two aesthetic rooms for to also help patients boost confidence with Botox treatments in microneedling and facial treatments, as well as sessions with areas with wrinkles and scowl lines. Calgary’s first Alma Accent Prime body sculpting technology. On top of that, the practice has a massage therapist on staff who has “I really wanted this to be a hub for beauty and wellness. Your experience working with areas of the body in dysfunction. As so wellness is going to enhance your beauty. If you’re feeling good many people carry their stress in their jaws, necks and shoulders, and confident, you’re going to look more beautiful because therapists can focus on those areas to enhance patients’ dental you’re radiating from a deeper place,” she says. “The whole team is health as well as offering full-body massage for overall wellness. committed to complete, elevated care.” Dr. Wirring is trained in Botox therapy and offers patients a range of Botox options. While many people associate Botox with the Destination Dental & Wellness • Grand opening • 2

The team of eight—the two dentists, office manager Darlene Sinclair, hygiene manager Manpreet Dhaliwal partnering with


Photos by Phil Crozier.

the receptionist, hygienists, dental assistants, aestheticians and massage therapists—work together to create a positive experience for patients. The dynamic management team has been integral to the success of the practice and to bringing Dr. Wirring’s vision to life. Darlene brings 27 years’ experience in the field and prides herself on providing patients with accessible care to help them reach their dental health and smile goals. Manpreet, a registered dental hygienist for 12 years has established hygiene systems that achieve superior patient care and outcomes while keeping patients comfortable throughout their experience. The team goes above and beyond to provide a soothing, stressfree environment, especially in these extraordinary times. The practice has put strict COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure patients and staff are safe in order to allay fears about infections during dental procedures.

Lisa Lowe-Makene, Patterson Dental Sales Consultant

BUILDING AND RENOVATING DENTAL OFFICES FOR OVER FIFTEEN YEARS. This past year has been tough on dental offices; however, it has provided an opportunity for dentists to change the narrative of their stories and redefine their businesses to challenge, create and build something better for their patients. Now more than ever, it is important for offices to stay current and embrace technologies and treatment options that focus on patient care. I congratulate Dr. Wirring for her forward-thinking mentality in building a beautiful space for her patients and for taking a patient centered approach to dentistry. Exceptional patient experience is everything and patients will get that at Destination Dental & Wellness. Lisa Makene | Field Sales Consultant | Patterson Dental Canada, Inc. (c) 403.874.9557 | (w) 403.648.2000 | lisa.lowe@pattersondental.ca TRUSTED EXPERTISE. UNRIVALED SUPPORT.™

Destination Dental & Wellness • Grand opening • 3


CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW CLINIC. Thanks for letting us be part of it!

Steve Loewen, steve@wdconstruction.ca (403) 250-3622 • wdconstruction.ca

Congratulations on your grand opening

Destination Dental & Wellness from the team at Valuemed

Photo by Phil Crozier.

The practice employs two Surgically Clean Air units that filter and purify the air. Outgoing air is zapped by ultraviolet light to ensure complete sanitization so patients can rest easy during treatments knowing that the air is safe. Staff wear medical masks that have a high level of filtration along with face shields to keep everyone safe and all areas, from operatories to bathrooms, are sanitized regularly. Destination Dental & Wellness accommodates seniors and patients with underlying health issues by reserving the first appointments of the day for them to reduce their exposure to others and to give them peace of mind. The practice also accommodates a variety of patient schedules to make visits more convenient by offering evening and Saturday appointments. The entire team strives to put patients at ease as they maintain their dental and overall health at the practice. “Everyone who works here is committed to the vision and is just as passionate about it as I am,” says Dr. Wirring. From the spectacular view to comforting aromatherapy to cosmetic services, that vision of an elevated dental experience is apparent throughout Destination Dental & Wellness.

Delivering Better Value Visit us at www.valuemed.ca

Valuemed Professional Products Ltd.

1-800-919-8444 | sales@valuemed.ca SERVING CANADIANS FOR OVER 30 YEARS

Destination Dental & Wellness • Grand opening • 4

#700, 2710 17 Ave SE, Calgary, T2A 0P6 403.272.0616 • info@destination.dental www.destination.dental


Judith Virag, owner, with the Clean Club Calgary staff.

Professional Cleaning by Rennay Craats

During COVID-19

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ever before has cleaning received such attention and importance as with the emergence of COVID-19. Whether it’s a company looking to sanitize workspaces or a family wanting the safety of a deeply cleaned home, Clean Club Calgary has stepped up to provide amazing cleaning services to residential and commercial clients. Clean Club Calgary offers a variety of services tailored to the unique needs of each client. The professional cleaners specialize in move in/move out cleaning, post-renovation and construction cleans, deep cleans and Coronavirus sanitization. While some are one-off jobs, the vast majority of Clean Club Calgary clients are long-time regularly scheduled clients. What keeps them coming back is the high level of attention and service they receive from founder Judith Virag and her team. “Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting are all different things. We clean all surfaces first and then we apply a disinfectant,” says Virag. “We’re not up-charging the customer for that. We just want to make sure our clients feel safe.” To further put clients’ minds at ease, the team disinfects the tools between clients and uses freshly sanitized cloths, mindful to use different cloths for different areas to avoid crosscontamination. Staff also stay home if they are feeling unwell and don’t return to work until they have a negative COVID test

to ensure everyone—the team and the clients—are protected. This can mean an employee is off work for several days, and Virag has created a business model that ensures that Clean Club Calgary is always there for clients. “I have to rearrange the schedule again and again, which requires a lot of flexibility from the team members. It takes understanding and flexibility from the customers, too,” she says. “But in 11 years, I have only had to cancel clients once because of a snowstorm. We’re not solo cleaners so we always show up.” To ensure they can always meet clients’ needs, the team of 14 professional cleaners is supplemented by a team of subcontractors who meet the high Clean Club standards. Judith Virag is dedicated to providing the best service to clients in the most convenient way; clients can get quotes and book appointments online. Virag follows up with every quote request and ensures clients get exactly what they want through Jobber, the service scheduling software the company uses. “The system supports us to be able to deliver,” she says. And what Clean Club Calgary delivers is professional cleaning and conscientious service to its residential and commercial clients.

202, 7730 Macleod Trail SE Calgary, Alberta T2H 0L9 Tel: 403 973-CLUB (2582) | www.cleanclubcalgary.com 61


PARKER’S PEN // DAVID PARKER

Parker’s Pen BY DAVID PARKER

D

arby Lee Young deserves a really good round of applause in being named as a 2021 Top 25 Women of Influence, recognized as one of Canada’s diverse women role models. I can remember being parked alongside her at Heritage Park and helping lift her heavy scooter out of the back of her vehicle. Young was born with mild cerebral palsy and frustrated with the problems caused by so many barriers to people with disabilities, she founded Level Playing Field, an agency focused on the implementation of universal design principles and accessible best practices. Her company is now appreciated across the country, but the award came about because of her positive influence with a well-known shoe designer. She loved John Fluevog shoes but her gait meant they became scuffed too quickly and wore out at a particular spot. Young approached the designer with her problem and Fluevog proposed a collaboration that resulted in the creation of a new line of shoes – The Darby. With a sole that is rubber, removable and easy to repair, the stylish ‘Darby’ line is now a bestseller across Canada and internationally.

I’ve mentioned before the loss to Calgary of large warehousing and distribution centres to the Balzac area but there are benefits to the city in the number of people they employ. Workers from the northeast sector can be on the job in only a few minutes from home. The success of developments east of Cross Iron Mills shopping centre continues at a fast pace. Access to major corridors, lower mill rates and no business tax are big savings for big users. Steady has prompted High Plains Industrial Park to add another 298 acres to the 1,000 acres already

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MARCH 2021 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

being developed. Over the past five years the company has grown to nearly five million square feet of industrial space, and is currently going ahead with two new spec buildings of 409,360 and 150,000 square feet.

Watching the performance of Silvera for Seniors, and being more than impressed, caused an anonymous donor to approach Silvera CEO Arlene Adamson with an offer to help the non-profit organization to set up for future growth in housing for adults. Thanks to a magnificent donation of $12 million – the largest in its 60 years of service – Silvera was able to purchase 2.3 acres of land in a desirable location in the Varsity Acres community, just east of Bow Valley Church facing onto Crowchild Trail. Board chair Rob Eason says, “Silvera is determined to provide affordable housing for older Calgarians, being able to buy Varsity Estates Village is a major, unanticipated step forward in that mission.”

As I watch people driving by my home on these snowcovered streets, I have to wonder how on earth they will ever make it to the 40 KPH our wise councillors have declared as the correct speed. And nevermind the $2 million plus to change signs, who is going to police them?

Final Words Time spent being angry is time lost being happy.


Lori Suba, Catherine Grygar & Laurae Spindler

WOMEN IN CALGARY REAL ESTATE

Leading with Resilience, Drive and Community Forging careers in the male dominated real estate industry requires resilience and tenacity, but the successes are rewarding. Three Calgary women share their story. Catherine Grygar, a partner with Calgary’s Stikeman Elliott’s real estate legal team, brings a fresh perspective, a drive for excellence and down to earth prairie values to her clients.

“Developing a career in this industry has its challenges but there are good people out there that see talent and are willing to give you a chance regardless of gender or ethnicity. By staying focused on personal and professional growth, and by being authentic, resilient and surrounding myself with good people, there’s less room to dwell on barriers. Building a good community around you and learning from your community is key”, stated Grygar. Catherine is committed to developing creative, practical and sustainable solutions for business law clients. “As a lawyer I am an advocate, collaborator, builder and translator working with clients to achieve their goals. Real estate law is creative and tangible and my attention was captured early on. Seeing a client project transform from paper to skyscraper is rewarding.”

Building a strong network is a theme among the three women, now friends and colleagues, who �irst crossed paths at CREW, a business network dedicated to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally.

Lori Suba, President & Broker of Scout Real Estate, states, “While I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented and supportive people over the course of my career, unconscious bias exists in the workplace. However, the adversity that I faced helped me to grow. My successes came from being myself, focusing on doing my best work and surrounding myself with people who value my contributions.” Joining CREW was the biggest game changer for Lori’s career. “I met and connected with people who had similar experiences and offered support and encouragement in taking my career to the next level. There is power in diverse thought and perspective. It is critical to have professionals from all backgrounds supported in the industry.”

Laurae Spindler, Vice President & Associate of Scout Real Estate, shares “My work ethic and conscientious tendencies made me valued on a team, but I realized early on that it was hard to shake free of

being perceived only in a support role. It takes extra work, along with actively seeking opportunities to stand out. Staying focused allowed me to never give up on pursuing goals with unapologetic ambition. I trust my intuition, knowing my contributions are valuable and keep a long-term, relationship focused outlook. I have been fortunate to cultivate a strong professional and personal network, which has allowed me to make bold choices and I embrace them with gratitude. No one does it alone.” Lori and Laurae also host the podcast, Leasing Out Loud, a show focused on exploring hot topics impacting the Calgary commercial real estate market. Tune in for an upcoming episode featuring Catherine as their guest.

Leasing Out Loud streams on Apple, Spotify and Audible, and is available at ScoutRealEstate.ca.


Meet the newest member of our team.

South Centre Volkswagen is now part of the Wood Automotive Group • • • •

Hundreds of new and pre-owned cars, SUVs and trucks Experienced manufacturer-trained service technicians A full service parts department Shop online or in person

Come and see the precision and quality of the complete Volkswagen fleet of vehicles at Calgary’s premier Volkswagen dealership, and now part of one of Calgary’s oldest and most trusted dealership groups.

SOUTH CENTRE VOLKSWAGEN southcentrevw.com

Sales (403) 255-6681 Service (403) 255-6687 Parts (403) 255-7671 11527 29 Street SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2Z 0N4