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NOVEMBER 2016 | $3.50 BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

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OF A TWO BRET(T)S PM41126516

CALGARY ICONS CHAMPION THE LIBRARY TOGETHER



TRANSITIONING AND SUCCESSION PLANNING

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CALGARY CHAMBER SECTION

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Each of Alberta’s over 440,000 entrepreneurs has a story.

Watch one of them at atb.com/amplifybusiness

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Its never too late to make your lights... work. AMPLIFY

Then make sure to challenge your comfort zone soon after you enjoy that win. It's never too late to start your life's work.

No matter what you do be the best at it whether you're a contractor or a designer of graphics/ Success wont come without failure so try, and try again.

Why second guess your decision when really, you're the captain. You may think that you're only the fraction but the whole is based solely on your action

Why wait to take a leap of faith? Why wait to tap into the thing that deep down you know that makes you feel great?

I mean how much time do you have anyway? Nothing is promised, Heaven forbid you may not live to see 60 so why wait?

Its one goal, after the other stay invested (x2) AMPLIFY

in fact its almost part of the method/ battle tested, scarred yet hardly rested/

the dream doesn't happen over night/ resistance is necessary to flight/ so every time that I struggle / I find comfort in understanding that theres light at the end of the tunnel/ you know doubt is expected/

AMPLIFY I've always had this feeling... No task was too small it was all essential to my growth / But That's just scratching the surface/ Barely iterating my intention of how this lifestyle makes me far from nervous/ My DNA laid out basic instructions just like a testament / Hard-wiring me for success integral to early excellence/ My Skills developed from trials and ambition/ Hard work, unstoppable will and intuition/ gut instinct, man Its got me almost wheezin / because The forecast for success has many seasons/ from hot to cold, high tide to dry cash flow/ I know the road can be lonely, but its mine (x2) AMPLIFY you see its, Late nights followed by early mornings/ I chase dreams way too much to start snoring/ gotta beat these, deadlines, so I strategize em/ revise, quality check and finalize em/ satisfaction, happiness from my client/ my confidence grows from every project that I triumph/ tax filing, every year I'm reminded/ Im on the front line so sacrifice is required/


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FINE HOME SPRINGBANK HILL | $1,595,000

8203

F O RTR E S S D R I V E , S W

Oversized triple garage, huge lot w/ 80’ frontage (12,383 SF, with no neighbors behind!), total of 5 bedrooms, panelled den, chef’s kitchen (wine fridge, warming drawer, 2 ovens, 2 dishwashers, 6-burner gas stove, hammered copper hoodfan, Sub-Zero fridge), butler’s pantry & ultimate man-cave basement development (wine cellar, wet bar, theatre & games rooms)! Over 5400 SF of total living space with dark hardwood, extensive woodwork, custom blinds, beamed, coffered & high ceilings, granite counters throughout, 2 laundry rooms, mudroom (built-in lockers), vaulted bonus room, homework space and 5-star hotel-inspired master with spa-like ensuite (stone feature wall, fireplace, steam shower, air-jet tub, remote control toilet), big walk-in, private laundry & catwalk with access to upper deck to enjoy greenbelt & mountain views! Great backyard with multi-level deck, hot tub & sunken patio with firepit.

SPRINGBANK HILL | $1,395,000

17

S P R I N G W I L L O W C O U R T, S W

Nature in your backyard - this home backs into the trees of a beautiful, natural forested area! This 3 (all with private ensuite) + 1 bedroom home offers 3700 of total developed living space & features wide-plank hardwood, vaulted & coffered ceilings, 2 fireplaces, built-in speakers, elevated neighborhood & mountain views, central A/C and backyard/forest views from the breakfast nook, living room, den, master & sitting room as well as from the chef’s kitchen (stainless steel warming drawer, wine fridge & 5-burner gas cooktop), farmhouse sink & granite counters. The vaulted main floor family room has a west-facing deck with mountain views. There are 3 ensuite bedrooms up including a vaulted master with sitting room & big walk-in. Basement has in-floor heat & is developed with family/games room, wet bar, big mudroom, 4th bedroom & full bath & a gym/flex area. Triple garage.

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SHOWCASE BEARSPAW | $4,900,000

SIGNATURE PARKE | $998,000

103

117

WOODL AND L ANE

S I E N N A PA R K G A R D E N S S W

Beautifully updated 5 bedroom home with walkout basement, 3322 SF of total living space & panoramic views from the mountains to the Reservoir! High on the ridge this home sits on a pie lot in a quiet cul-de-sac walking distance to schools, parks & shopping & features lots of updates throughout and offers a vaulted living room, renovated & expanded kitchen, dining room with new built-in buffet, vaulted living room with lots of room to entertain, main floor family room with gas fireplace, 4 bedrooms up (including master with walk-in & ensuite with heated tile flooring) and walkout developed with 5th bedroom, media room, games room, flex space, full bathroom & wet bar!

9341 SF of incredible living space! Tucked away on 2 exquisitely manicured acres with babbling brook, pond, oversized 4 car garage, multi-level deck (with fireplace & hot tub) & even a dream treehouse! This 6 bedroom, 8 bathroom walkout bungalow has an elevator, private master wing, oversized garage (with builtins, separate workshop, storage & sport storage rooms) & huge pool room with secure entry, hot tub, wet bar, gym & pond views. 5 years in the making it boasts all the bells & whistles for convenient & sophisticated living and has a chef’s kitchen, butler’s pantry, 2 dens, media room & 4 walkout level bedrooms!

DISCOVERY RIDGE | $875,000

SPRINGBANK HILL | $875,000

329

3717

D I S C O V E R Y R I D G E WAY, S W

SPRINGBANK DRIVE, SW

High on the ridge this 2-storey with developed walkout basement & south backyard is a must see! Over 3300 total SF with 3 +1 bedrooms, den, island kitchen, formal living & dining rooms, main floor family room and walkout finished with 4th bedroom, full bathroom, games room, gym/flex room & media room. Beautiful curb appeal is only the start, inside you’ll find large rooms, gleaming hardwood, huge windows, granite counters, designer paint colors & stainless steel appliances The master boasts gorgeous mountain views, walk-in & 5-pc ensuite and the walkout is a bright living space with lots of room for family fun as well as a 4th bedrm & cheater ensuite bath (great for a nanny).

Huge pie lot, 14,014 SF (almost 1/3 of an acre!), in a superb location: siding greenbelt, across from park & backing ravine! It has 4 bedrooms, den, walkout basement, mountain/ravine views & lots of updates! Features hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, central A/C, built-in speakers, updated lighting, den with built-ins, granite counters throughout and a big yard! There are 4 bedrooms upstairs. The master suite spans width of back of house & has mountain/ravine views, hardwood flooring, sitting area, big walk-in & 4-pc ensuite (updated shower w/ rainhead & granite topped vanity). 3 other bedrooms share an updated 4-piece bath. Walkout is framed & ready for future development.

QUARRY PARK | $629,000

OAKRIDGE ESTATES | $575,000

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2920

2 01 Q UA R R Y WAY S E

PA L L I S E R D R I V E , S W

Great family home walking distance to Glenmore Park & reservoir! 2500 SF of living space with 4 bedrooms & a kitchen updated with granite counters & newer appliances. Features vaulted living & dining, spacious family room, updated powder room (granite countertop & raised bowl sink), main floor bedroom, oversized double attached garage (+ RV parking) and 3 upper bedrooms, (master has a 4-pc ensuite) + loft with panelled den & built-ins (a great space for kids to do homework or for use as a playroom). Basement development is dedicated to family fun and entertainment with a spacious media room (w/ built-in speakers) as well as a games room with full-sized pool table.

All principal rooms come with river views! This luxurious suite has 2 parking stalls, 2 bedrooms, 2 ensuite baths & a fabulous location backing a 90 acre park & the Bow River! 1303 SF with hardwood, designer carpet, marble-like tile, granite counters, crown mouldings, Kohler fixtures & chic lighting. The kitchen is perfect for entertaining with maple cabinetry, island/eating bar & full stainless steel package (5-burner gas stove). It opens to an inviting living/dining combination with sliding doors to a fullwidth deck with courtyard & river views. The luxurious master suite has a big walk-in & 5-piece ensuite bathroom. Walking distance to new YMCA and close to Glendeer Circle shopping.

c

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t

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SOUTH CALGARY | $950,000

2929

17 T H S T R E E T, S W

Sophisticated townhouse with elevator, city view & party sized rooftop deck! This 2 bedroom 2-storey with its own elevator, city views and distinctive urban look & feel, offers over 2000 SF of living space with extensive upgrades & an awesome 570 SF rooftop deck with sunroom & outdoor kitchen! Carefree lock & leave inner-city living with high-end finishings: hardwood, quartz/marble counters, lacquered cabinets, Fisher & Paykel appliances, built-in speakers, A/C, 3 fireplaces, 2 bedrooms & heated garage. Entertaining is easy in the big living, dining & kitchen. The master is your private retreat with city views, walk-in closet, 2-sided fireplace & 5-pc ensuite with multi-head shower.

SPRINGBANK HILL | $685,000

7308

2 6T H AV E N U E , S W

Walk to C-Train & schools! With almost 3000 SF of living space & a big double garage (long enough for a truck) this stylish home is ready for you to just move in & enjoy. It has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, den, 2 fireplaces, vaulted bonus room, spacious great room & fully developed basement with media/games room, 4th bedroom & full bathroom. Features gleaming hardwood, newer light fixtures, granite counters, designer paint colours & custom window coverings (incl. plantation shutters). The island kitchen (stainless steel appliances, granite counters & walk-through pantry) is open to the living room & a big dining room with sliding doors to a huge & private deck for outdoor entertaining.

BANKVIEW | $525,000

#301

2 3 0 6 17B S T R E E T, S W

Architecturally-designed 2-storey with 2 master bedrooms (on different levels, ideal for room-mates), 2 ensuite baths & 1617 SF of luxurious living space. With an open plan & city views this unit has a 20-ft ceiling & high windows. There is a bonus room + den upstairs & a living room, dining room, breakfast nook & kitchen on the main. Features include: granite counters in kitchen & bathrooms, hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances (including a gas stove), central air conditioning, custom window coverings, fresh & modern paint colours, crown mouldings, designer carpeting and 2 heated indoor parking stalls. If you have been waiting for a high-end loft with unmatched natural light this is the one for you!

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 11

REGULAR COLUMNS

12 14

A Carbon Tax is Still a Tax By Frank Atkins

Alberta Government Should Lead by Example on Costly Carbon Tax By Paige MacPherson

56 74

CONTENTS

78

Leading Business The Calgary Report Current developments for Calgary Telus Convention Centre, Tourism Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and Innovate Calgary

Marketing Matters By David Parker

COVER FEATURE

28

A Team of Two Bret(t)s Calgary icons champion the library together By Melanie Darbyshire

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: W. BRETT WILSON AND BRET ”HITMAN” HART PHOTO SOURCE: EWAN PHOTO VIDEO

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

6

@BUSINCALGARY

NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

32


Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 11

66

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

61 69

26 THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

22

RGO Products Ltd.

Celebrates 50 Years

Youth Singers of Calgary

Celebrates 30 Years

34

D  iversify, Diversify, Diversify! The future of manufacturing By Parker Grant

T  ransitioning and Succession Planning The human process By Parker Grant

44 50

69

54

A  Worker’s World How the job market has changed By Melanie Darbyshire

T  he Dynamic Profession The real estate business is always changing By Colleen Wallace

C  onsumer Choice Award

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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Control your group benefit plan costs… without compromising choice or flexibility.

PUBLISHERS

Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann

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REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Frank Atkins Paige MacPherson David Parker

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Melanie Darbyshire Rennay Craats Parker Grant Colleen Wallace

PHOTOGRAPHY

Cover photo courtesy of Ewan Photo Video

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RUN May, September, November 2016

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A CARBON TAX IS STILL A TAX // FRANK ATKINS

A Carbon Tax is Still a Tax BY FRANK ATKINS

I

find it difficult to understand the left-wing’s love affair with taxes. It is clearly tied up with their belief that there is no problem that cannot be fixed by increasing taxes somewhere. The issue with this view is that implementation of a new tax often does nothing to solve the problem that was purported to exist prior to the tax. The most recent example is the tax on foreign ownership of real estate in British Columbia. The pro-tax people went into an orgy of self-congratulations when it appeared this tax cooled the sales of real estate in Vancouver. However, it now appears that there is evidence sales were cooling prior to implementation of the tax. The net result is that a perceived problem was resolved, the British Columbia government can claim they solved it, and they have a financial windfall from the tax. Now we are faced with the potential implementation of a tax on carbon, forced on the provinces by the federal government. This is a particularly odd one, as it is not clear whether this is supposed to curb the use of fossil fuels, or just create a price on something that has no market price at the moment. It appears to me the environmentalists think it is the former. Either way, once again governments will gain a financial windfall, and be able to use the funds for their pet projects involving some sort of income redistribution. It appears this is Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift reinvented. The problem with a carbon tax is that, contrary to popular belief, it is just another tax, and somebody will ultimately have to pay this tax. In Saskatchewan, Brad Wall has long been an opponent of a carbon tax, and spoke out strongly against the forced implementation of this tax by the Trudeau government. Mr. Wall is clearly defending the interests of industry and consumers in his province. So, here we are in

THERE IS SOME BELIEF AMONGST THE PUNDITS THAT MS. NOTLEY IS OFFERING SUPPORT FOR A CARBON TAX IN EXCHANGE FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT OF PIPELINES. Alberta in the middle of a nasty economic downturn and the Notley government is siding with the implementation of a carbon tax in Alberta. It is hard to believe Ms. Notley cannot see the economic consequences of introducing a new tax in the middle of a downturn. Perhaps left-wing ideology is trumping economic reality once again. There is some belief amongst the pundits that Ms. Notley is offering support for a carbon tax in exchange for federal government support of pipelines. It would be nice if Ms. Notley was truly in support of pipelines, and I would welcome this support. We all understand that getting our oil to markets in a pipeline will help with the current economic woes in Alberta, even with a stubbornly low world price for oil. However, if the cost of federal government support for pipelines is the introduction of a carbon tax, the price is too high. The Notley government needs to stand up for Alberta in the same manner Mr. Wall is standing up for Saskatchewan. We need pipeline approval. But we also do not need a carbon tax. Ms. Notley needs to acknowledge this, and defend the interests of Alberta. Frank Atkins is Research Chair of Finance & Capital Markets at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


Get Creative IDEA COACHING—UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY Need some help coming up with great ideas? Our talented community experts will guide you or your small team through some great brainstorming activities and provide a crash course in creative thinking. No registration required. 60 min | weekly | 5:30 pm Tuesday, November 1 GOT A STARTUP? Meet with other entrepreneurs and generate new ideas in a collaborative environment. Registration required. 90 min | 10:00 am Wednesday, November 2 Wednesday, November 16 IDEATION CALGARY! Join us to meet business owners, community activists, and innovators as we tackle the challenges of our city. Take part in the monthly design challenge and enjoy creativity-enhancing activities. Registration required. 120 min | 4:00 pm Friday, November 4 Friday, December 2

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE In partnership with Calgary+Acumen.

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101 Discover your passion and path to change the world. Join us to learn more about how you can improve the world while making a profit. Registration required. Monday, November 14 | 6:00 pm LEAN STARTUP PRINCIPLES FOR SOCIAL IMPACT Explore how to test, validate, and adapt your innovation to achieve social impact. Registration required. Monday, November 21 | 6:00 pm HUMAN-CENTRED DESIGN Learn how design thinking can transform your business. Registration required. Monday, November 28 | 6:00 pm BUSINESS MODELS FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Explore how to develop a sustainable business model to support the success and scale of your social innovation. Registration required. Monday, December 5 | 6:00 pm STORYTELLING FOR CHANGE You’re out there changing the world but how do you communicate it? Join us to develop your skills as a storyteller. Registration required. Monday, December 12 | 6:00 pm

All programs are free and take place at the Idea Lab, 5th Floor, Central Library. For more information, please visit calgarylibrary.ca.


ALBERTA GOVERNMENT SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE ON COSTLY CARBON TAX // PAIGE MACPHERSON

Alberta Government Should Lead by Example on Costly Carbon Tax BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

I

f the Alberta government is asking businesses and families to dish out billions of dollars every year for its needless carbon tax, the least government could do is try to lead by example on reducing carbon emissions. Alberta’s NDP government has said Albertans should change their ways of living and doing business to avoid paying the carbon tax. Even if Albertans trade their trucks in for smart cars and urban tradespeople start lugging their tools via the bus, they’ll still be dinged by increased grocery tabs, property tax bills and education fees due to the carbon tax. But sure, there’s no doubt driving less reduces gas costs. Given the government’s directive to Albertans, it would be nice if they practiced what they preach. The government dished out $2.8 million to purchase vehicles for every member of cabinet, 16 bureaucrats, a handful of other senior politicians and even the person who fills in for the woman who fills in for the Speaker of the assembly when he’s not available. Among them: Ford F-150 trucks, Infiniti SUVs, Audis and more. Taxpayers are also paying for the gas and maintenance. While the government is telling taxpayers to use less gas in more fuel-efficient vehicles, they’re doing the opposite. The government has said the carbon tax is no big deal for Albertans because there are rebates and exemptions. The carbon tax will cost an estimated $600 per family of four in 2018, not including some indirect costs. Some people will get rebates. Next year, those making under $51,250 will be eligible for a full or partial carbon tax rebate to cover the direct costs. The rest of Albertans get none.

“The more wealthy you are, the more capacity you have to reduce your emissions,” Premier Notley said. Suggesting Albertans making $52,000 per year are “wealthy” is flat-out disingenuous. Yes, $52,000 is a good salary, but it certainly doesn’t pad one’s pockets enough to ignore the burden of a heavy new tax. For small businesses that are forced to cut costs, the government’s small business tax cut was welcome. However, it hardly offsets the costs of the carbon tax and minimum wage hikes, and small businesses will only benefit from that tax cut if they’re turning a profit. While business owners are expected to cut down on business necessities like shipping supplies and heating facilities to escape the carbon tax, government is travelling the world for photo ops promoting it. The premier jetted off to New York City in mid-September to promote her carbon tax, costing $39,500. Presumably she and her accompanying six-person entourage didn’t ride their bicycles across the border. Weeks earlier, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips flew to Mexico with two staffers to promote the carbon tax, costing $12,200. Last year, Canada sent more than 300 people to Paris for the UN climate conference, including 13 delegates from Alberta – all on greenhouse gas-spewing jets. The hypocrisy is a bit hard to take. A leak of the government’s own data showed the carbon tax will cost the Alberta economy billions of dollars. The government should be upfront about those costs. And the absolute least the government could do is lead by example.

Paige MacPherson is Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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OFF

THE

Okotoks Ford Lincoln Opens New Facility After a year of construction, Okotoks Ford Lincoln has proudly opened the doors to an amazing new home designed to offer the best in customer service. Located on almost five acres of land, the new facility is 42,000 square feet and features separate Ford and Lincoln vehicle showrooms, a used car centre and a stand-alone Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centre. More than 600 people showed up for the official grand opening event on September 21, 2016 that welcomed customers, suppliers, staff, friends and senior officials from Ford Motor Company of Canada. As part of the celebration, country music singer George Canyon performed for one hour and signed autographs for those in attendance. The Calgary Burns Club Singers and the Rocky Mountain Pipe Band also provided entertainment throughout the late afternoon and evening. Special guest Dianne Craig, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada, thanked Gerry Wood, principal owner, for his investment in the dealership, his commitment to Ford and Lincoln and his dedication to helping the community. Operating as part of the Wood Automotive Group owned by Wood, the new Okotoks Ford Lincoln has increased its service area to 30 bays and is equipped to handle everything from Fiestas to Super Duty diesel trucks. The new amenityrich customer lounge has a fireplace, 60-inch television mounted on the wall and a great new coffee bar. New car owners can explore and learn about their new vehicle’s features without facing the elements in the dealership’s two new indoor delivery pods. Gone will be the days of standing in two-foot snowdrifts with a salesperson as they try to show the exciting features of a brand-new vehicle. The old dealership building has also been given a new life with a renovation and facelift. It is home to the new Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centre which will offer speedy oil change and lube service, as well as automotive detailing services.

The current sales area has also been redeveloped to serve as the home of the Okotoks Ford Lincoln used vehicle sales department. The dealership has a staff of 51 and a full parts department. The team consists of Rick Cherrington, general manager; Rory Wood, general sales manager; Ken Brown, sales manager; Wayne Darcy, used vehicle manager; Mike Smolcic, service manager; and Nellie Sandfly, parts manager. As owner of some of the largest dealerships in Western Canada, Gerry Wood has never lost sight of the importance of personal service and a fair deal. He started his legacy as a pioneer in Calgary’s automotive industry in 1983 when he acquired Southridge Lincoln Mercury, and renamed it Woodridge Ford Lincoln. Ten years later Wood expanded to form Wood Automotive Group, which now encompasses five automotive dealerships and a separate All-Makes Collision Centre facility for auto body repair and maintenance. Okotoks Ford Lincoln has been committed to exceptional customer service and satisfaction for over 25 years. This new facility will continue the tradition, serving Okotoks and the surrounding foothills for many years to come.

TOP: GERRY WOOD BOTTOM: RORY WOOD, GENERAL SALES MANAGER OF OKOTOKS FORD LINCOLN WITH GUEST BRAD STYNER

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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Breaking Ground on Westman Village On Wednesday, September 14, 2016, Westman Village officially broke ground, representing the future of intergenerational living in Calgary. Embodying the harmonization of the values of Jayman’s founder, AC Westman, Westman Village is a community within a community – offering a multitude of housing types for all lifestyles and ages. It is the culmination of everything experienced in the journey of life – all in one place. Situated on a 13.5-acre site on the south arm of Mahogany Lake in southeast Calgary, Westman Village is a community concept that does not exist anywhere else in Western Canada. When finished, it will be composed of apartmentstyle condos, adult-only residences and upscale executive bungalows. Many properties, including multi-family residences, front onto Mahogany Lake. The strategic design and thoughtful amenities brings ecodensity to Calgary and the best of urban living in a suburban community. In total the project will contain approximately 887 residential units, intended for a diverse range of generations, from financially flexible renters to first-time homebuyers, and newly formed families to age-embracers that are downsizing and adding some freedom to their lifestyle. However, it is so much more than just physical structures as the community will allow multigenerational families to stay close together, while promoting social interaction, health and happiness. It is designed with accessibility and walkability in mind, and includes recreational and fitness facilities, medical services, a 24-hour community concierge, dining and entertainment – all in close proximity and all connected by tunnels and +15s. At the heart of the community is the village centre that will be open to all residents. The 35,000-square-foot centre will have a lane pool, splash pool with a two-storey water slide, fitness centre, walking track, spin and yoga studios, gymnasium, movie room, crafts room, wine cellar and so

much more. Boutique-style retailers will also be opening shop in the hub of the village centre. Westman Village is being developed by Jayman BUILT, with the expertise of two architectural firms, Integra and NORR, and operating partner Christenson Developments for the mature living component which can be tailored to meet lifestyle needs by including laundry service, meals and nursing care. The end result promises to be a unique tapestry of architectural design offering diversified housing options and amenities for all generations surrounded by extensive landscaping, wetlands and cultivated water features.

ABOVE: CALLIGRAPHY CONDOS AND THE JOURNEY CLUB INTERIOR PHOTO SOURCE: JAYMANBUILT

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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Bow Valley College Announces New President and CEO Dave Collyer, chair of the board of governors of Bow Valley College, recently announced the appointment of Laura Jo Gunter as the new president and CEO of the college. “Following an extensive search, we are very pleased to announce that Ms. Gunter will serve as the fifth president of the college, and only the second president since we gained independent board governance in 1997,” says Collyer. “Ms. Gunter has a demonstrated record of leadership in post-secondary education, and currently serves as senior vice president, academic, at George Brown College in Toronto.” Collyer continues, “She has all the requisite skills and experience to lead Bow Valley College in the years ahead and we are delighted to announce her appointment.” Gunter has held progressively senior leadership positions in both academic institutions and the private sector. Prior to joining George Brown College, she was dean of two different portfolios at Toronto’s Seneca College. She also previously served as vice-president of programming, special projects and industry partnerships for the Vancouver Film School and as continuing education program director for applied science at Simon Fraser University.

“I’m keenly looking forward to joining Bow Valley College, which is recognized as a leading comprehensive community college,” says Gunter. “And I’m very proud to be assuming this position and building on a strong record of success.” Gunter has a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University, and a master’s of business administration from Queen’s University. She has chaired the Coordinating Committee of Vice Presidents Academic for Colleges Ontario, been a member of the Interactive Ontario Board, and is currently a board member of the North York General Hospital. Gunter succeeds Sharon Carry, who has served as president and CEO of Bow Valley College since 1997. Carry’s extraordinary leadership will be celebrated later this fall prior to the conclusion of her presidency in December, 2016. Gunter will assume the role of president and CEO of the college on January 1, 2017.

Rex Murphy to Speak at Salvation Army Kettle Kickoff Rex Murphy will be visiting Calgary on Thursday, November 17, 2016 to speak at the Salvation Army’s annual Hope in the City luncheon. The event kicks off the Christmas Kettle Campaign which aims to raise $1 million for Salvation Army programs and services in Calgary. “Hope in the City brings together the business community and jump-starts our Kettle Campaign by raising 10 per cent or more of our campaign goal,” says Karen Livick, executive director for the Salvation Army’s Community Services Calgary. “It really sets the momentum for the rest of the Kettle Campaign!” The money raised by the luncheon and kettles ensures the Salvation Army is there to provide children’s art and sports programs, adult education, job search support, emergency

food and baby supplies, and more to Calgarians in need at Christmas and throughout the year. “These are tough times for many families and individuals in Calgary and we have new faces coming through our doors every day,” adds Livick. The Wood Automotive Group is the platinum sponsor of the Hope in the City luncheon and a major supporter of the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. Tickets for the Hope in the City luncheon are available online at https://hopeinthecitycalgary.eventbrite.ca. The November 17, 2016 event will be held at the Hyatt Regency from noon to 1:30 p.m.

ABOVE: LAURA JO GUNTER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BOW VALLEY COLLEGE

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY! // MANUFACTURING

DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY! THE FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING BY PARKER GRANT

“L

et’s face it! A lot of Alberta manufacturing is tied in to the energy sector. Whether that will change or not in the long term, it is the way it is,” says Mike Holden, the Calgary-based chief economist and acting vice president of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) which has been the voice of the industry in Canada since 1871. “And the stats show that in Calgary, and throughout Alberta, it has definitely been a rough year and a half. Manufacturing has tumbled. It was hit hard. The worst may be over. There are indications that it has stabilized and recovery has begun.” Holden is a consistent straight shooter and his years of manufacturing and exporting expertise are usually laced with facts and reality. He underscores the irony that the Alberta positives about conventional manufacturing and exports may also be the shackles holding the sector back: energy prices, diversification and new markets. The undisputed business fact is that petroleum and petroleum-related manufacturing is vital to Alberta manufacturing and many Calgary-based businesses. Unlike Montreal and Toronto, it is undisputedly the prime manufacturing market. And like dominoes, all the manufacturing and export aspects of the petroleum sector are impacted by the price effect. Like other Alberta and Calgary manufacturing and export businesses, the low loonie and the high USD are

usually positives. “One of the challenges a lot of Alberta manufacturers have is an urgent need to diversify markets, seek out new customers and businesses that have international exposure and rely less on just selling into the U.S. market,” Holden says. “Of course petroleum will always be an important driver of our economy but we need to move away from such a heavy reliance on the energy sector.” Although manufacturing is a strong part of the Calgary GDP, according to recent CME figures, the mining, oil and gas industry made up almost 30 per cent of the total GDP. In comparison, finance and insurance is 15 per cent,

ABOVE: MIKE HOLDEN, CALGARY-BASED CHIEF ECONOMIST AND ACTING VICE PRESIDENT OF CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS & EXPORTERS (CME)

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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// MANUFACTURING

construction is nine per cent, professional, scientific and technical services are seven per cent and manufacturing is six per cent. Other notable segments of the Calgary business region are transportation, wholesale trade, retail trade, health and social services, and other business services. Consultants and analysts agree, Calgary has transformed itself into a modern economy with a large services sector, while balancing it with its resource extraction. “Manufacturing employment in the Calgary region is fairly equitably distributed across several manufacturing industries,” the CME’s Holden points out. “The top manufacturing employers of the region are fabricated metal products, machinery and food with around 5,000 employees each. The furniture, chemical products and printing industries also have a sizable employment level. “However, the overall manufacturing employment levels have been in decline since 2006, dropping from around 48,000 to around 40,000 in 2013. Minor increases in manufacturing employment are expected during the next decade. “There’s no doubt about it – the low dollar helps on the export side. But diversification and higher energy prices are the key for manufacturing and exports. Our manufacturers haven’t really done more poorly than American manufacturers. They planned on a strong recovery of the U.S. economy, and it hasn’t really happened.” Despite number crunching and positive projections for Calgary manufacturing, the CME is cautious about yet another manufacturing sector speed bump on the horizon. It predicts the Calgary region will experience significant recruitment challenges in the manufacturing industry, facing a shortage of over 7,000 workers over the next 10 years, due primarily to: • A large demographic challenge, because the manufacturing workforce is older than the overall labour force and, as workers retire in the next 10 years, the manufacturing industry is projected to have difficulty filling skilled trades and technical positions. • Competition from other industries, because occupations such as sheet metal workers, electrical and electronics engineers and industrial mechanics are also highly in demand by other industries such as construction, utilities, and oil and gas. • Low levels of net migration will make it tougher to find workers. • Some occupations are harder to fill, due mostly to low supply. The Calgary area will be particularly challenged to find construction millwrights, electrical and electronics engineers, process control and machine operators, and industrial and manufacturing engineers.

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


// MANUFACTURING

MANUFACTURING BY THE NUMBERS 90,082 TOTAL MANUFACTURING COMPANIES

609.8 BILLION

$

TOTAL SALES

10.5% MANUFACTURING’S CONTRIBUTION TO PROVINCIAL GDP

9.7% PETROLEUM AND COAL PRODUCTS

20.2% TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT

15.7% FOOD PRODUCTS

1,710,900

MEDICAL SPACE FOR LEASE

TOTAL EMPLOYMENT IN MANUFACTURING

348.6 BILLION

$

EXPORTS OF MANUFACTURED GOODS MAJOR DESTINATIONS FOR EXPORTS OF MANUFACTURED GOODS:

3916 MacLeod Trail SE

USA:

80.1% CHINA:

3.4% U.K.:

1.6%

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BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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// MANUFACTURING

HASKAYNE

Executive

MBA

‘‘

I wanted to broaden my understanding of the different aspects of business in order to be a more effective leader. I found that when it came to building my career, it was very difficult to gain practical experience in all areas of business. The Alberta Haskayne Executive MBA was a great way for me to develop my skillset and knowledge base, while still advancing my career.”

Matko Papic, EMBA’11 Vice President, Engineering and Product Development Evans Consoles Corporation

Where Calgary connects.

One dynamic example of Calgary’s innovative manufacturing and exporting potential is Fiberbuilt, a leading manufacturer and exporter of an elaborate line of industrial and custom brushes as well as a world leader in brush design and development. They are also the creators of the Synthetic Grass-patented technology, producing “grass golf mats” and other related golf products for North American and global export. “Diversification is what it’s all about,” says Michael Hooper, president of Calgarybased Fiberbuilt. “One product, completely dependent on one market, is a very risky, big gamble.” Diversifying has been the Fiberbuilt vision and strategy for nearly 60 years. When his father, Jack, had a daring idea in the late ’50s, the business began as a hand assembly operation, focusing on floor brooms. With innovation, research and development and growing the market, Fiberbuilt evolved into a highly mechanized, complex and diversified industry. “Right from the start, my father was a big booster of diversification. And it’s still a key focus for us. Diversification is vital. And understanding and growing your market is also very important. When they zig, you zag.” Today, Fiberbuilt is the only industrial brush manufacturer in Western Canada and it has a global reputation for the design and manufacture of nearly every kind of brush imaginable. Fiberbuilt’s engineered and manufactured industrial brush solutions are sought after in industries like energy, agriculture and food, forestry and wood processing, construction, marine and mining, maintenance and others.

haskayne-emba.ca

26

ABOVE: THE MANUFACTURING OF CUSTOM INDUSTRIAL BRUSHES AND TRADEMARK SYNTHETIC GRASS GOLF MATS IS BOOMING AT CALGARY’S FIBERBUILT

NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


// MANUFACTURING

Hooper has a warm smile as he reminisces about the fluke that became an enormous Fiberbuilt success story. “In the ’90s, my father (an avid golfer) was at a driving range, hitting some balls and said, ‘There has to be a better way.’” After some extensive research and development, Fiberbuilt patented “Synthetic Grass” and has become the world’s premier manufacturer and supplier of grass golf mats (the golf industry’s popular, ‘real grass-like’ hitting surface), long fibre, tee dividers, fairway markers, yardage markers and signage. Hooper is enthusiastic and proud that the golf industry association awarded Fiberbuilt the prestigious Certificate of Excellence, for the best golf mat in the industry. “Manufacturing is a vital part of Canada’s economy,” Hooper points out from experience. “Manufacturing is a bit underrated in the West. Canada is very regional when it comes to attitudes about business and manufacturing. It’s different in other areas, like Ontario, which has a culture of manufacturing. “But the West is innovative and has tremendous potential. Especially Alberta must diversify. Of course this is an energy-driven province and manufacturing is focused on energy. Keeping all our manufacturing eggs in one basket means we must accept a boom and a bust. Fiberbuilt is fortunate and forward thinking. Of course the energy sector is important for us and we are also affected by what’s going on but we make it up elsewhere. We have markets unrelated to energy and outside Canada. “Our guiding light is to innovate and diversify … or die!” he adds with gungho positivity.

ABOVE: MICHAEL HOOPER, PRESIDENT OF THE CALGARY-BASED FIBERBUILT BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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A TEAM OF TWO BRET(T)S // COVER

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


A TEAM OF TWO BRET(T)S // COVER

Team

OF A TWO BRET(T)S CALGARY ICONS CHAMPION THE LIBRARY TOGETHER

BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

S

teel beams – so enormous it’s difficult to fathom their size – stretch high above, part of an intricate maze connecting huge concrete pillars and a complex truss system. Scaffolding scales the height of four storeys, providing a striking approximation of the future building’s light-filled atrium. Hexagonal glass panels are placed into position on the exterior like a jigsaw puzzle, each individual pane being slightly different from the 484 others. And two massive cranes sway back and forth in the sky while down below 150 construction labourers work day and night. The scene of Calgary’s New Central Library is an awesome one. After one year of construction, the gigantic skeleton of concrete, steel and glass bears little resemblance to the eventual 240,000-square-foot space expected to be finished in 2018, though it definitely gets the heart pounding. Begun with encapsulation of the LRT track which now sits in the belly of the building, the New Central Library is the baby of the City of Calgary, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and the Calgary Public Library. The $245-million project is

intended to transform the library into a world-class facility, and is part of the East Village redevelopment. It is also the catalyst for Add In, the Calgary Public Library Foundation’s campaign for Calgary’s library system. “The campaign is a bold, audacious vision to take a great library system and transform it into the best in the world,” explains Brent Buechler, vice president of the Library Foundation. “The $350-million city-wide campaign will build capacity for each and every community library and ensure that the New Central Library is a place of unbridled possibility.” To date, the campaign has raised $298 million and in early 2016, the Library Foundation surpassed 10,000 individual and corporate donors. And now two of Calgary’s finest have joined the campaign. Bret “Hitman” Hart and W. Brett Wilson – known across Canada and the world for their innumerable accomplishments – are the tag dream team for the library. “They are the best at what they do,” says Buechler. “Iconic Calgarians who love this city, are committed to make a

LEFT: W. BRETT WILSON AND BRET ”HITMAN” HART PHOTO SOURCE: EWAN PHOTO VIDEO

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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A TEAM OF TWO BRET(T)S // COVER

positive difference for it, and align together around the library cause as a critical part of Calgary and its future. Hart hardly needs an introduction: a seven-time world champion professional wrestler throughout a 23-year career; the most famous member of Calgary’s Hart family (the eighth of 12 kids), whose patriarch Stu Hart pioneered the sport with his Stampede Wrestling; a survivor of countless wrestling injuries and a debilitating stroke in 2002; a supporter of many charitable causes; a father and grandfather who is today, 16 years post-retirement, still considered to be one of the best pro-wrestlers of all time. Perhaps less well known is that Hart is also a writer. In 2007 he published his autobiography Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling in which he recounts, in great detail and with stark honesty, his life from childhood until the death of his father in 2003. It took him seven years to write – entirely himself – the product of 100 tapes he had dictated, every couple of days or so, throughout his career.

It’s his writing achievements, along with many others, that landed Hart as this year’s Bob Edwards Award winner. The award is handed out annually at the Library Foundation’s signature event to “a provocative individual who is not afraid to speak his mind.” Past winners include Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley and Wilson, who won last year and will MC this year’s gala on November 4. Winning this year’s Bob Edwards Award is, Hart says, a sweet victory – the long-awaited recognition of his writing skills. “I’m very honoured,” he says. “It’s an award that I’ll cherish and take great pride in. I take great pride in my book.” He recalls how his high school English teacher, biased by the Hart name, didn’t believe he was handing in his own work and failed him. “It made me mad because I was doing my own work.” A lover of books, Hart is enthusiastic in his support for the library. “It has helped a lot of people and it’s something worthwhile to be a part of and to check out.” ABOVE: BRENT BUECHLER, VICE PRESIDENT CALGARY PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION; BRET HART, 2016 BOB EDWARDS AWARD RECIPIENT; ELI MATHIESON, STUART OLSON; BRETT WILSON, 2015 BOB EDWARDS AWARD RECIPIENT; AND CARSON KOTNYEK, STUART OLSON. PHOTO SOURCE: EWAN PHOTO VIDEO

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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A TEAM OF TWO BRET(T)S // COVER

Choosing Hart as this year’s Bob Edwards Award recipient was a no-brainer. “Bret has always answered the library’s call to help promote the importance of reading and literacy to children,” says Buechler. Wilson’s success comes from altogether different accomplishments. As a co-founder of FirstEnergy Capital Corp., he became one of Canada’s most successful investment bankers; today he invests in various industries through his company, Prairie Merchant Corporation; he was a panellist on CBC Television’s Dragons’ Den; his philanthropic efforts are legendary – he has supported numerous causes including the Alzheimer Society of Canada, Battlefords’ United Way, Little Warriors and Juno House, to name a few. He too has published a book – Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes, recounting his experiences and lessons in business and life. Wilson was asked to be this year’s MC, Buechler explains, since he is a provocateur in the tradition of Bob Edwards. “He captivated, cajoled and provoked our gala guests last year with his acceptance speech.” The cause is close to Wilson’s heart. “As a kid I was small for my age; I got picked on to the point where I wasn’t comfortable in the playground,” he says. “The library was

where I could hide on a Saturday – I was a voracious reader. It was a place of solace.” He later revelled in taking his own kids to the library. “I have some pretty fond memories.” Since taking over the Bob Edwards Award in 2012, the Library Foundation has raised more than $820,000. Proceeds from this year’s gala will be invested in a comprehensive early literacy strategy. This year’s title sponsor is TD Bank Group. “It is critical to the success of the city to call out the important work the library is doing,” says Brian Gervais, SVP Prairie region of TD Canada Trust. “Whether it’s their dynamic programming, their move to make library cards free for everyone or their push to create lifelong learners, the Calgary Public Library isn’t afraid to take risks. And that’s because they have an exceptionally bold goal. They’re looking to be the best library in the world.” Friends for some time now, Hart and Wilson recall how prostate cancer first brought them together. Hart’s encounter with the disease – his elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were detected in 2013 and he underwent a robotic prostatectomy this past February – prompted him to reach out to Wilson, who has battled the disease twice. “I sent an SOS out to Brett as [my surgery] got closer,” Hart explains. “I really wanted someone to tell me what I was

ABOVE: NEW CENTRAL LIBRARY PHOTO SOURCE: CALGARY MUNICIPAL LAND CORPORATION

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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


A TEAM OF TWO BRET(T)S // COVER

DESPITE SO MANY LAUDABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, BOTH MEN HAVE NO TROUBLE IDENTIFYING WHAT THEY HOPE FOR THEIR LEGACIES. going to deal with and lay it out for me in layman’s terms.” Wilson was honoured. “I had the privilege of Bret opening up to me and I did the same in terms of my journey – because he had some very personal concerns and questions.” Initially reluctant to go public with his experience, Hart eventually did so. Wilson is full of praise. “For Bret to open up I think was a big thing,” Wilson says. “[He] went from having a very private journey to being one of Canada’s leading spokesman in terms of celebrating the testing and awareness that’s required around this disease.” PSA testing is something both men advocate strongly. Wilson believes it saved his life. “I was diagnosed at 43 and at the time the Canadian Cancer Society said they didn’t recommend testing until age 50. As I point out, they would have had to dig up the body to do the tests if I had relied on that data.” He laments the misinformation coming from the medical community. “Knowledge won’t kill you. In other words, get the test. Ignorance might kill you.” Hart’s surgery was a success, and his PSA levels are currently zero. “I had a lot of fears and doubts about what my life would be like afterwards, but everything’s been pretty positive,” he says. “I wish I could say the same about my hand surgery.” Last November, Hart underwent surgery on his right hand related to an old wrestling injury. He believes it severed a nerve. “I’ve lost the feeling in my finger and my thumb, and it’s driving me crazy because I can’t write or draw,” he says, referring to his passion for writing and his talent as a cartoonist. Beyond their names, prostate cancer, the fact they’re both authors and two of Calgary’s most successful and famous men, the Bret(t)s share a few other commonalities. They were born a day apart – Wilson on July 1 and Hart on July 2, 1957 – and are approaching their 60th birthdays. “I measure my life as two-thirds done, which means I’ve got another great 30 years,” says Wilson. “I’m emotionally ready and I think I’m physically ready.” He plans to continue to use

his platform to raise the profile of cancer, the library and many other causes. “There are a lot of overlapping things that look pretty interesting.” Hart too is looking forward. “I feel like tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I don’t have any obstacles, I have lots of goals. I don’t rule anything out. I’d like to write another book. I’d like to win the world title two more times,” he chuckles. He describes a duty he feels to live his life for the many wrestlers – little brother Owen Hart among them – who didn’t survive the industry. “I want to be remembered more for doing positive things here in the community. I want to try to make the best of everything I’ve got and never waste a day.” Despite so many laudable accomplishments, both men have no trouble identifying what they hope for their legacies. “Three kids,” Wilson says with emotion. “How they interact with society is a pure reflection of the values that their mother and I put into them. I really don’t have much else that I care about.” “I’d like a legacy of being a great Calgarian,” Hart says. “To be remembered as a great Canadian. I want to carry the Hart name. I’m very proud of what my dad built, and what I carried forward.” Unapologetically proud of his talent and skill, he notes he never injured another wrestler in roughly 6,900 matches (approximately 300 matches per year). “I stand by my work as a professional wrestler,” he says. “Sometimes it’s misunderstood – my ego about pro-wrestling – but I really think that I was the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.” A dynamic duo if ever one existed, any cause would be lucky to have one of them in their corner, let alone both Hart and Wilson. Today, the library is that fortunate cause. No doubt there will be more to come. For more information on the Add In campaign visit addin.ca.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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TRANSITIONING AND SUCCESSION PLANNING // SUCCESSION PLANNING

Transitioning

AND SUCCESSION PLANNING T H E

H U M A N

P R O C E S S

BY PARKER GRANT

T

he greatest joy and the most complex and delicate challenge in a family business is … family!

Most family businesses are not in the icon league of the Shaws, the Westons, the Southerns, the Thomsons, the Irvings and the Molsons. A vast majority of family businesses, especially in the Calgary area, are close-to-home, private and personal with hardearned reputations and success. Lawyers, accountants, consultants and professional succession planners are unanimous: family dynamics, sensitivities, and individual and private family-member quirks, feelings and emotional considerations are often the minefield of differences between family-owned businesses and other companies. While the family business is invariably a hard-earned success story and a great source of family pride, it can be a significant, stealth and overwhelming challenge.

“IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW SUCCESSFUL A FAMILY BUSINESS IS IN ONE GENERATION IF IT ISN’T ABLE TO EFFECTIVELY TRANSFER THE MOMENTUM TO THE NEXT GENERATION.” ~ DEBORAH A. MACPHERSON

“Handing over a family business to the next generation, especially the first succession, is a make or break time for most family-run businesses,” cautions Deborah A. MacPherson, partner, KPMG, tax business unit leader, regions west. “That’s why it’s imperative to approach this situation with forethought, and create a clear succession plan ahead of time that can be implemented when the time arises. “It doesn’t matter how successful a family business is in one generation if it isn’t able to effectively transfer the momentum to the next generation. Without a good succession plan in place, each time the business passes into the hands of the next generation, it could face failure, no matter how well it was doing previously.”

ABOVE: DEBORAH A. MACPHERSON, PARTNER, KPMG, TAX BUSINESS UNIT LEADER, REGIONS WEST

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MASTERING THE ART OF PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE BY R E N N AY C R A ATS

W

hen people think about life insurance, they imagine a high-pressure salesperson pushing cookie-cutter plans. For more than four decades, Don Smith, Chartered Life Underwriter has blown that stereotype to pieces by offering his brand of dedicated service and financial solutions tailor-made for every client.

Don Smith

In 1975, Don Smith earned his Bachelor of Commerce and immediately started working in the life insurance industry. Four years later he incorporated DSI Estate Planning Inc. and began working with business owners, professionals and executives in Calgary. He offered plans for income averaging annuities as a way to tax shelter capital gains until the practice was abolished in 1981, but that experience led him to his current expertise. “It really sprung me into a group of higher net worth clients. I started working with entrepreneurs in the area of shareholder agreements and capital gains tax in their estates,” says Don Smith, principal of DSI Estate Planning. “Later in the ’80s, I broadened it to start focusing on estate planning for family business owners.” Today, DSI has a client base of about 100 entrepreneurial families, professionals and wealth holders. Don creates customized strategies for these clients to ensure they have the money needed for their retirement and estate requirements, while reducing the tax liabilities that come with settling an estate. After all, these successful business owners have worked hard and reinvested profits back into growing their businesses. They also want their companies to continue long after they are gone. When an entrepreneur dies, the Income Tax Act treats the business as if it was sold at fair market value in order to determine how much tax is required, which equals about 25 per cent. Not many companies have 25 per cent of their value in cash available for such a payout. That liquidity traditionally comes from one of two sources: selling assets or borrowing from the bank. DSI offers a third option, which is life insurance. “We show clients how life insurance owned in the corporation can be a very effective financial tool to deliver the cash on a tax-free basis to pay the tax liability on the shares,” he says.

Don’s plans are essentially king-sized tax-free savings accounts – the premiums clients invest aren’t tax deductible but the proceeds and the growth of the investment are tax-free. These tax-exempt insurance products provide a rate of return that is equivalent in most cases to getting eight to 10 per cent on a bond with very little variability, so it’s attractive to clients. But what’s truly attractive to one client may not be to another. Don takes the time to get to know clients well and to understand their individual situation and what is motivating before customizing the plan to fit their specific needs. Some clients use

801 13th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2R 0L1 P: 403.228.4260 • don@dsiestate.com • www.dsiestate.com


D O N W ORKS W I TH ENTREPRENEU RI AL FAM ILIE S A N D W E A LT H HOLDE RS TO S T RUC T UR E IN SUR E D ESTATE PLANS THAT MAXIM IZE T HE P RE S E R VAT ION OF C AP ITAL AN D MI NI MI ZE T HE IM PAC T OF TAX.

the life insurance as a way to minimize the impact of estate taxes and preserve capital while others use it for spousal or descendent trusts. Still others set up insurance plans to be exempt from creditors or to support their philanthropic interests. “We help clients move the chips on the table in a way that directs their capital where they want it. They are enhancing family capital, their philanthropic causes and reducing the amount that goes out in tax,” he says. Don has spent 41 years learning what clients need and how to provide it for them. Whether in good times when business owners are confident in the future or times when the future is uncertain, DSI has been there to guide clients toward good estate planning. And in all those years, he has experienced the ebb and flow of Alberta’s economy alongside his clients. He weathered the storms of the national energy program in the early 1980s and again when oil prices plummeted below $10 in 1986. He worked through the local recession in 1991-92 when Calgary’s economy faltered and the global downturn of 2008. “This is my fifth recession,” he says. “It’s really hit a lot of Calgary businesses and wealth holders.” To make matters worse, tax rates have skyrocketed this year, especially for many of DSI’s high net worth clients. He has come up with new strategies and tax-exempt insurance plans for clients, helping them make the best decisions given the market as well as legislation. Don is continually expanding his knowledge in order to better serve clients and as an industry leader, he’s often found speaking at events. He’s also one of the founding directors of Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE) Calgary and a founding member of the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU) in Ottawa.

“I’m seeing the money do the job that it was intended to do by benefiting the family, the business and their philanthropic causes – and it’s very rewarding,” says Don life insurance and clarifying the rules around the amount Canadians can tax shelter inside a policy. CALU was able to negotiate grandfathering into the legislation so plans in place before December 31, 2016 would follow current tax laws. Those submitted after would be subject to the new rules, which increase the amount that’s taxable and lengthen the time it takes to get all of the proceeds out of the company tax-free. While the rules will still be favourable, clients will have to pay higher premiums to get the same rate of return as existing policies. Changes are inevitable, both within a company and beyond. He is closely involved with his clients and can offer alternate or additional plans to meet their changing needs. Plans are ongoing and relationships are long term, and Don becomes a partner invested in making sure clients are covered and satisfied. And when a client passes, he mourns the loss but can see the importance of the work he’s doing. “I’m seeing the money do the job that it was intended to do by benefiting the family, the business and their philanthropic causes – and it’s very rewarding,” says Don.

As Chair of CALU in 2013-14, Don met with the Department of Finance in Ottawa to consult on the new tax rules affecting

801 13th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2R 0L1 P: 403.228.4260 • don@dsiestate.com • www.dsiestate.com


TRANSITIONING AND SUCCESSION PLANNING // SUCCESSION PLANNING

“ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IS NOT UNDERSTANDING THAT SUCCESSION IS NOT AN EVENT. IT’S A PROCESS. COMMUNICATION BEFORE, DURING AND EVEN AFTER THE PROCESS IS CRUCIAL.” ~ SHANE KING

of our role as consultants is to establish communication and get the conversation going. It’s almost basic reality that, despite tremendous business smarts and success, the founder sometimes just doesn’t want to bring it up. Of course it’s complex but … communication, sitting down, putting everything on the table and talking about it is the most important.” The personal aspects of transitioning a family business are as vital as the fine print and the business aspects. John Hughes is national leader, private enterprise, and Shane King is national leader, succession services at MNP, Canada’s leading national accounting, tax and business consulting firm. With years of experience and expertise, they have a wealth of suggestions – including how to avoid possible pitfalls – regarding the transfer of family businesses. Regardless of size and the nature of the business, Canadian stats show the cold, hard and indisputable family business risks and trends. Fewer than 30 per cent of family businesses survive into the second generation, 12 per cent are still viable into the third generation, and maybe three per cent are still in business by the fourth generation or beyond. Research shows many family business failures are invariably traceable to one underlying and common factor: a lack of calm and carefully thought-out succession planning – from the gut-wrenching or inevitable decisions to signing the multi-page documents on the dotted lines. “The exhilarating part of our business is that most situations are interesting and individual,” MacPherson says. “And a key aspect

“One of the biggest challenges is not understanding that succession is not an event. It’s a process,” King points out. “Communication before, during and even after the process is crucial. Most business people don’t think or plan for what happens after the process.” “The dialogue takes time,” Hughes emphasizes. “It’s not a do-it-next-week project. It takes years. Part of our role is helping the owners, and their families, understand that it could take one or two years, or longer. A vast majority, 70 per cent or more, of mid-market family businesses don’t have an articulated plan. Most of the details are in the owner’s head.” “Trends and situations show that, if the business doesn’t start soon enough and transition properly, they leave value on the table,” King says.

TOP: SHANE KING, NATIONAL LEADER, SUCCESSION SERVICES AT MNP BOTTOM: JOHN HUGHES, NATIONAL LEADER, PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AT MNP

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TRANSITIONING AND SUCCESSION PLANNING // SUCCESSION PLANNING

three to five years from now? And what it’s going to take to find an effective way to get there. Do they plan to be out completely or be part of a transition? Establishing value and price is vital and can get tricky. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize they can enhance the interest of potential buyers, and increase the actual value of the business, with an effective and experienced management team in place and ready to run the business. “If the business is all about the owner,” he cautions, “then the buyer isn’t buying a business as much as buying a job.” MacPherson and the KPMG approach recommends a three-part business succession plan. “Review current goals and objectives. Document the succession plan. Create a plan for the transition.”

Most succession planning experts agree that, on a not-somanagement and hard-core business level, one enormous but inevitable speed bump of the family business is the human emotion of letting go. Before the planning, the strategy and the details of maximizing the momentum comes the dauntingly difficult task of stepping back and handing over the keys, the access cards and restricted login codes – after years of struggle, sacrifice, making deals, building relationships, early mornings, late nights and what seems like several lifetimes of hard work. It’s not easy. And no management or succession planning professional will pretend it is. But the unique aspects of individual family businesses – regardless the business model, the product or the service – create situations and details that must be dealt with to ensure an effective transition and to maximize ongoing and future success. “In many situations, successful entrepreneurs have identified themselves as ‘the business’ and they are passionately focused on the legacy they have built up,” says Harold Kunik, president of Mosaic Capital Corporation, the innovative and Calgary-based investment company that owns a solid and diverse portfolio of established businesses operating in the infrastructure, printing, oil and gas services, technology, manufacturing and real estate industries. “Not to be simplistic, but we urge owners to carefully think through the process. Where do they and the business want to be

With all the stereotypical fine print, subclauses and transition details like balance sheets, strategic plans and the stack of terms and conditions, a significant aspect of the process is remarkably basic and surprisingly human. “No two situations are the same,” MNP’s Hughes adds. “The owner has invested money and life, worked hard, managed the risks and breathed the business. But they only sell once and, for many, it’s simply not part of their skill set. They look for help. Our real value is to set out the options. We’re facilitators. We get them to think it through.” “Of course it’s complex but things continue to change at such a rate,” Shane King says. “It’s no longer (if it ever was) ‘just hand over the keys.’ The next generation may have to work even harder. But working harder doesn’t mean longer hours. It means working smarter. The important aspect is what value do you create? Not the hours you work.” Succession planning professionals agree: communication is the key. The succession plan should include a timeline for how the succession will take place. Once the plan has been drawn up, the details and contents must be communicated to the family, those active within the business, as well as non-active members. In order for the succession plan to be successful, and afford the company a seamless transition between generations, every family member must fully understand how the succession will work, and what their specific part is in the entire plan.

ABOVE: HAROLD KUNIK, PRESIDENT OF MOSAIC CAPITAL CORPORATION

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Finding Financial Freedom with Calgary Property Partners BY RENNAY CRAATS PHOTO BY MICHAEL CUDJOE PHOTOGRAPHY LTD.

We are in the business of building relationships and saving lives -- financial lives!

I

n a work-obsessed world, finding balance can be challenging. Chan Kawaguchi and her husband, Shin, found a way to achieve just that.

When both their fathers were diagnosed with cancer, the couple re-evaluated their lifestyle. Their priority became spending more time with family and doing things they loved. They explored different business options that would allow them to do this but they didn’t have the capital required to make them a reality. “My husband used to say it would be like leaving one job with a good salary for another job with an unknown salary,” Chan Kawaguchi says. That wasn’t an appealing option. Instead they decided to educate themselves in real estate. When they started Calgary Property Partners in 2012 the goal was to eventually quit their other jobs to focus on real estate full time. Within a year the company was thriving, and they were able to do just that, directing their energy toward helping people solve financial problems. “Ours is a holistic approach to catering to a client,” she says, which involves both providing solutions as well as educating clients on their options. Calgary Property Partners helps people with real estate problems find creative solutions to achieve financial freedom. In some cases, clients don’t qualify for a mortgage and Kawaguchi helps bridge the gap between renting and owning. In others she helps people avoid foreclosure, sell a property quickly or find a rental home. Kawaguchi used real estate as a jumping off point and began exploring additional businesses and services including specialized insurance plans. “We’ve seen too many people lose their homes from foreclosure because of a financial setback due to being sick or injured,” she says. As a licensed accident and sickness insurance agent she offers specialized insurance packages for long- and short-term coverage to further financially protect clients. She covers clients who are sports enthusiasts, world travellers, construction workers, athletes, firefighters, self-employed business owners, infants and retired people. It’s the most unique coverage in the industry, protecting clients while they are at work, off work or on vacation. Her clients have received payments due to such injuries as broken bones, concussions and stitches as well as major illnesses.

CHAN KAWAGUCHI

If clients have other insurance or investment needs, Kawaguchi can architect a plan that offers customized protection for a client’s lifestyle and circumstance using a network of specialists including lawyers, other insurance agents and accountants to ensure the best result. Over the past few years, Kawaguchi has created a unique way for clients to make their money work for them through strategic tax planning, specialized insurance and real estate investment. And she is happy to share her network and knowledge with clients so they can achieve financial freedom. “If an average person like me can do it, then anyone can,” she says. But as a top-ranked Canadian insurance agent and real estate investor as well as mother of two, Chan Kawaguchi is clearly anything but average.

chan@calgarypropertypartners.com • calgarypropertypartners.com


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A WORKER’S WORLD // HUMAN RESOURCES

A WORKER’S WORLD HOW THE JOB MARKET HAS CHANGED

BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

F

inding a job in Calgary today, especially in the energy industry, is like finding a needle in a haystack – extremely difficult, though not entirely impossible. The multitude of candidates vying for the few available jobs means that to get hired, one must stand out from the crowd in new and creative ways. Flexibility, learnability and possession of the right qualifications are key. Even with these things, however, landing a job is not easy. While Alberta’s situation – the direct result of a precipitous drop in oil prices and the primacy of the energy industry to the province’s economy – is unique, jobseekers nationwide face new, often bleak, realities. Times have changed, and the days of long-term employment with traditional pensions and benefits are, unfortunately, over. There are jobs in Canada, to be sure; it’s for those who know where they are and how to land them that things will work out well. “If you’ve got the right background, education and degree, it’s very much an employee’s market [in Canada],” explains Bill Greenhalgh, CEO of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). “There’s big demand. When you look at Ontario, people coming out of [university] with computer backgrounds are hired instantly.” Students graduating with ‘STEM’ degrees – in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics – are generally in a good position. “This is where the jobs are – in software, computers, technology – there’s big demand,” Greenhalgh says. Despite the preponderance of technology-related jobs, Greenhalgh says three-quarters of students graduating from post-secondary institutions in Canada are doing so with

degrees in the soft sciences – the arts and social sciences. They then struggle to find jobs. The continuation of the shift away from manufacturing jobs has been offset somewhat by growth in other industries. “There’s been some [job] replacement through services, particularly in areas like tourism, culture, restaurants and the hospitality industry,” Greenhalgh says. Jobs in the trades, too, are plentiful. “There’s a huge shortage of people in the trades and there’s all kinds of apprenticeships available,” he says. “They have longterm security, and you don’t need a degree. You need skills.”

ABOVE: BILL GREENHALGH, CEO OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION.

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ADVERTISEMENT The easiest way to describe what it is you do is “Outsourced HR”. Let’s start at the beginning – what does that mean exactly? Great question. I hate that term. It’s so antiquated but if I get cute with what we do by saying we “reimagine HR”, I just get blank stares. That said, we do HR for businesses the same way anyone internally would do it. We just believe we don’t need to actually be sitting in your office to do it. In addition, it’s a fraction of the cost of a team internally.

But how do you get the culture piece if you’re not sitting in the office with the team? I bet we “get” culture way better by not being in the office. After all, we tend to hear things without bias that way. Now that said, our job isn’t technically to “get” culture. That’s what management should be paid to do. Often when we begin engagements, we talk to various people througout the organization and recognize right away what’s wrong with culture. 9 times out of 10 there is a values misalignment. And that’s where we help management and leadership get back on track; we build programming around values with the goal of cascading the messaging down.

Q q&a:

Can outsourced HR work in any organization regardless of size? First – size does not matter. (And yes, she snickered.) The truth is, Elevated doesn’t work in every organization. If you’re asking us only to do the traditional HR stuff like policies and procedures, recruitment, payroll etc., you’re not going to get the full value by working with us. First you have to focus on your values and getting the culture pieces right. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time with us. We’ve worked with a few companies where we were the traditional scape goat for a period of time, but it never lasts. Could outsourced HR work in any organization? Sure – as long as there was a point person internally to help move projects forward, it has and does work in any organization. We love working with internal HR teams to shake things up and move things forward – especially teams that are growing and looking for mentorship.

You’ve got a few, oh shall we say, fairly offside videos online. Has that hurt your reputation at all? I’d be lying if I said they haven’t raised a few eyebrows at times. And actually, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve even lost a few opportunities because of them. We’ve toiled with taking them down, changing up our brand a bit. We’ve been told by clients that the dis-

With the Leading Lady of Elevated HR,

MICHELLE BERG

Disruption and HR aren’t traditionally two words you’d see in a sentence. But Michelle and her team at Elevated have certainly earned their renegade status over the last 6 years.

Best known for calling out her colleagues to do HR better, to look beyond policies and procedures or rules and guidelines, Michelle’s art in re-imagining HR has earned her several accolades over the years. We caught up with the local disruptor of HR to discuss culture, the competition and how Calgary needs to focus on the employee experience now more than ever.

ruptiveness of who we are externally can be a bit much. But at the end of the day, it’s who we are. We value being offside in an industry that is so consumed with rules. As a result, we get to work with some seriously amazing brands of all sizes and help them to create real employee experiences that matter. So here’s a question for you – is it possible to re-create a culture after years of not working on it? Absolutely. But it’s all about the commitment from the top first. Their buy in is key and if you don’t have that, HR, regardless if it’s internal or outsourced won’t influence it. Employee engagement can’t happen without leadership engagement. And leadership has to be real about the culture they want to create. Culture is about defining behaviours. If you want people to be at your office at 7 AM because you think that’s the definition of working hard, then own it. If you think that wine fuels creativity, then stop hiring people that prefer to sit in front of a computer rather than socialize. You sound like you are trending very close to marketing in a way? Absolutely. In fact, we can’t do what we do without the support of marketing. HR is known for policies and procedures, data and analytics. We use that info to make decisions with our strategies, but that’s not where Elevated lives. We like to collaborate with marketing so that the messaging is consistent, internally and externally. If we’re doing our job right, then we are creating walking billboards for the organization. The tactics change based on values and cultural goals but the output remains the same. And no – we’re not talking about a full beer fridge or a foosball table. Or spending a ton of money for that matter. That’s not culture. If you had one piece of advice you would give to Calgary business owners right now, what would it be? Now is your time. Sure you may not be hiring. And maybe you’re not even done downsizing yet…but now is your time. Get your values right now so that you can get your culture right. Then you will know who needs to get off the bus and focus on hiring the right people for when the economy does turn around. The time you have to do this now is a gift and you’ll never get it back – especially if you suddenly find yourself back in hyper-growth. Last question: Are you speaking anywhere in the near future so we can learn more? I’ll be the MC for Disrupt HR that’s at Wildrose Brewery on November 16, 2016. It’s a really cool format where people get up and challenge every day norms in HR – they get 15 seconds a slide to a max of 20 slides. It’s thought leadership meets public speaking on steroids. In addition, I’ll be hosting a values and culture session in Banff at The Gathering Conference February 25, 2017. Actually if you want to save $100.00 off a conference ticket, just use Elevated100. Visit cultgathering.com for more info! How can www.elevatedhr.com help you? Call 1-403-463-3593 to start reimagining your HR.


A WORKER’S WORLD // HUMAN RESOURCES

“THE TALENT POOL RIGHT NOW IS NOT ONLY LARGE, BUT THERE ARE ALSO MANY HIGHLY-CREDENTIALED AND HIGHLY-QUALIFIED PEOPLE ON THE MARKET RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE OF THE VAST TALENT POOL, EMPLOYERS HAVE THEIR PICK OF THE LITTER. THEY CAN AFFORD TO BE CHOOSY.” ~ LEAH FOCHUK

Within Alberta, it hardly needs to be said that it’s an employer’s market. “The talent pool right now is not only large, but there are also many highly-credentialed and highly-qualified people on the market right now,” explains Leah Fochuk, CHRP and consulting services manager with Salopek & Associates Ltd., a human resources consulting firm in Calgary. “Because of the vast talent pool, employers have their pick of the litter. They can afford to be choosy.” With so much competition, Fochuk says applicants must be strategic in their job search: target and tighten up the resumé and cover letter, focus the resumé on results, update or create a LinkedIn profile, and leverage the network. “Start talking to people, go for coffee, let people know you are looking and what you are looking for,” she advises. “Candidates may have more of an ‘in’ if you know someone – personal referrals have always been a way to get your foot in the door.” Mark Quesada, a petroleum engineer who has been out of work since June 2015, experienced first-hand Alberta’s

employer market. “Basically all of the jobs are in the hidden job market, through word of mouth,” he says. “And even then, most of the jobs required very specific skill sets – almost as if they had a precise problem that needed to be fixed in the short term.” While job opportunities in Alberta’s energy sector are rare, some do exist. “Some companies are strategically recruiting for select roles to attract some of these great professionals who have entered the job market,” explains Fochuk. “The budgets for 2017 have now come out and there is a budget for drilling. The budgets aren’t big, but there are budgets this year, whereas in 2016, there was no budget.” The IT and technology sectors, and companies whose businesses are tied to the U.S. and international markets, are seeing some growth, while the non-profit sector, which has enjoyed recent provincial government funding, has seen some activity as well.

ABOVE: LEAH FOCHUK, CHRP AND CONSULTING SERVICES MANAGER WITH SALOPEK & ASSOCIATES LTD.

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A WORKER’S WORLD // HUMAN RESOURCES

NATIONWIDE, SALARIES ARE NOT INCREASING BY MUCH; GREENHALGH ESTIMATES THEY’VE GONE UP BY ABOUT TWO TO TWO-AND-A-HALF PER CENT YEAR-OVER-YEAR, JUST ENOUGH TO KEEP UP WITH INFLATION.

Given tighter budgets and a larger talent pool, recruitment too has become more strategic, with companies looking for employees with long-term potential. “While organizations may have higher confidence that they can find great talent today, being able to retain this talent when the market turns around is very important,” Fochuk explains. “So companies are focusing on ensuring the candidate is truly interested in working with the organization, is aligned with their values and is excited about the opportunity with the organization.” Strong employment track records and specialized certifications and training can also give applicants an edge. Worker perceptions about (current and prospective) employment have also changed. “Whereas the baby boomers might have had six jobs in their career, the next generation had six jobs in a couple of years and the current generation has six jobs at once,” says Greenhalgh. “They’re doing all kinds of different things, it’s like a portfolio career.” Employees also desire greater flexibility in their jobs – from workplace and hours to benefits packages – as well as learning and development opportunities at work. Positive corporate cultures and industries with stability (i.e. outside of the oil and gas industry) are also attractive. Expectations about salaries and benefits have shifted too. For those not in the public service, the concept of a pension with guaranteed income has just about vanished, and can typically be approximated only through the use of RRSPs, CPP or personal savings. Guaranteed benefit plans have replaced guaranteed contribution ones, placing greater responsibility for the future on employees’ shoulders. The time at which those employees take their pensions – at retirement – has also changed. Whereas people used to retired at 65, many today simply don’t, either because they aren’t obliged to, because they have to keep working to maintain their standard of living, or because they simply

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want to work. “It’s a whole demographic shift, where you have four, maybe five generations in the workplace,” Greenhalgh marvels. Nationwide, salaries are not increasing by much; Greenhalgh estimates they’ve gone up by about two to twoand-a-half per cent year-over-year, just enough to keep up with inflation. Prior to the downturn, Calgary salaries outpaced the Canadian average, and have since had an approximate 10 per cent correction, putting them on par with Toronto and probably still higher than in Vancouver, according to Fochuk. “We are also seeing salary freezes, and fewer companies offering cost-of-living raises,” she adds. Still looking for ways to save costs, many Alberta companies are making cuts and changes to their benefit plans, cutting their short-term disability benefits and drug coverages by lowering their limit maximums. Many have tiered their plans into classes based on years of service, so that newer employees have reduced plans. “Companies are also trending towards providing basic coverage for employees but then having a large health spending account (HSA),” Fochuk explains. These allow companies to better control costs, so when they need to cut back they can simply reduce the amount provided to the HSA rather than redesign the entire plan. “Employees like the flexibility of an HSA as it gives them more control over how they spend their benefit dollars,” Fochuk adds. For those in the job market, in Calgary and across Canada, understanding the market itself is integral to thriving in it. What was normal 20, 10, even two years ago, is no longer the case. Today’s worker must be savvy, ambitious and unafraid to qualify herself or himself for the jobs that are available. The reward of employment is well worth it.


Risk and Risk Management Navigating the risks in business

Let’s Ask an EOer

By Melanie Darbyshire

R

isk in business is like risk in life: while it cannot be entirely avoided (unless you subsist in a sterile bubble), it can be planned for and managed, to a certain extent, to limit its negative consequences. While we’d all like to live in a riskfree world, we simply don’t, and managing risk is something that must be done day in and day out. For business owners, effectively dealing with risk is key to survival. To understand how businesses should approach risk, we elicited the advice of three Calgary businessmen, who are EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) members. Shawn Freeman is founder and CEO of TWT Group, an IT solution provider; Paul Valentine is the general manager of Valentine Volvo, Calgary’s only Volvo dealership; and Rob Kelly is owner and president of Kelly Brothers Productions, a producer of integrated video and performance experiences. They categorize risks in a few different ways – known versus unknown, external versus internal – but identify one preeminent, major risk: money (or lake of). “Biggest risk is always that you run out of cash,” says Kelly. “Every business is different, but we all have that in common.” Freeman frames it in terms of understanding your financials. “I believe the most common risk is lack of knowledge of your important numbers, for example cash flow, profit margins and tax liabilities. A lot of new business owners ignore those numbers because everything’s going well, but they can get caught – it’s a huge risk.” Valentine recommends continuously looking to the future to try to anticipate how things might change and affect your

risk exposure. “The world and economy change daily and by staying in touch with the key aspects of your business, you can sometimes see things coming that you adapt to with less effort,” he says. Identifying risks is half the battle; you need to understand them in order to be ready for them. “You want to align the risks and get clarity around them in terms of how they would affect your business in different cases,” Freeman says. Those different cases should include the dire outcomes. “Understand the worst-case scenario, play that out, and be comfortable with the outcome,” Kelly advises. “Also important is to either have experience with that worst-case scenario, or having people around who have that experience.” They all agree, while plan A is essential, so too is plan B and perhaps plan C, D and E. “Always keep an alternative plan handy if something happens at a crucial time,” says Valentine. “Diversification in all things always helps minimize risk.” While unforeseen and unplanned risks may be unavoidable, there may be an upside to surviving them. “It’ll probably give you a thicker skin and your business will probably be better off in the long term because now you know of the risk and you’ve hopefully successfully dealt with it,” Freeman offers. Kelly agrees, “The thing that almost kills you doesn’t make you stronger; the people and support and learning that saved you from being killed are the things that make you stronger.” Sound advice for doing business in a world full of risk.

Contributing Members:

Upcoming Events: Nov 2 • Leadership Breakfast Series Nov 8 • The Phoenix Rising Nov 17 • Cdn Moderator Summit

Shawn Freeman

Rob Kelly

Paul Valentine

founder and CEO of TWT Group.

owner and president of Kelly Brothers Productions.

general manager of Valentine Volvo.

Nov 24 • Sandler Training Workshop

The international Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is the respected, world-wide business networking group — with more than 10,000 members in 35 countries — where business leaders meet informally to brainstorm, compare notes, learn and share relevant discussions about business. EO has 122 chapters around the world, including the Calgary chapter which is the fifth largest and one of the most active EO chapters in the world.

www.eocalgary.com

|

For membership inquiries: membership@eocalgary.com


THE DYNAMIC PROFESSION // REAL ESTATE

Dynamic THE

PROFESSION THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS IS ALWAYS CHANGING

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THE DYNAMIC PROFESSION // REAL ESTATE

BY COLLEEN WALLACE

ome things never change. And some things constantly change. Like the life, the role and the job of Calgary real estate professionals.

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the largest real estate boards in Canada, with 5,200 licensed brokers and registered associates, representing more than 240 Calgary-area offices.

Although everybody calls them “agents,” they are legally and professionally “Realtors.” Because, according to the law, the brokerage conducts the business and is, technically, the agent for the buyer or seller.

Not that it was ever as simple as some people thought, but real estate is so much more than taking a listing, placing ads, putting up the “For Sale” sign, doing showings, sitting in open houses and presenting offers.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta is the independent governing authority that sets, regulates and enforces standards for real estate brokerage, mortgage brokerage, property management and real estate appraisal professionals in Alberta. The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) is one of

Of course prices and Calgary market factors change. But real estate contends with the realities that consumer trends change, consumer expectations change and, for the real estate vendor, buyer and the professional, technology changes everything.

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THE DYNAMIC PROFESSION // REAL ESTATE

“Despite so many changes,” says Ian Burns, CEO of the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), the professional organization that represents the interests of more than 10,000 Realtors in Alberta, “buying and selling real estate remains a person-to-person transaction. More than 90 per cent of Alberta real estate transactions are completed using a Realtor, reinforcing the value real estate professionals bring to a transaction with their expertise and market knowledge. “Real estate in Calgary is a good example. Its identity is evolving. Instead of urban sprawl, there are conversations about energy efficiency, sustainability, public transportation, densification and aging in place. In this marketplace, Realtors have an increasing role as advisers and information interpreters for their clients on an ever-expanding list of housing options and considerations.” According to Bob Jablonski, a respected Calgary Realtor and AREA’s president-elect, “Expectations are changing for Realtors. They need to be more on top of trends in the real estate market, more knowledgeable about the communities in which they work, and more knowledgeable about topics like construction.

“Because buyers and sellers are finding more information online, they want their real estate professional to be prepared to interpret it and provide guidance to them.” The basics of becoming a Calgary-based real estate professional and doing business – buying and selling real estate – in the Calgary market have constant upgrades and occasional changes. Prospective Calgary Realtors opt to earn certification by signing up for the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) fundamentals of real estate ($1,400) course which is an Alberta prerequisite for the more specific practice ($850) course, commonly the practice of residential real estate for residential Realtors. RECA is the independent, nongovernment agency responsible for the regulation of the Alberta real estate industry and requires that prospective Realtors complete the licensing requirements within 18 months of starting the program. One key factor that is vital and constantly changeable – for the real estate professional and the selling or buying consumer – is technology. It has and will continue to redefine real estate in Calgary.

ABOVE: IAN BURNS, CEO OF THE ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION (AREA), CLIFF STEVENSON, PRESIDENT OF THE CALGARY REAL ESTATE BOARD (CREB) AND BOB JABLONSKI, CALGARY REALTOR AND AREA’S PRESIDENT-ELECT

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THE DYNAMIC PROFESSION // REAL ESTATE

“THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSION HAVEN’T CHANGED,” BURNS NOTES, “BUT TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENTS ARE IMPACTING THE PROFESSION IN POSITIVE WAYS. FOR EXAMPLE, OUR AREA FORMS – THE CONTRACTS THAT SOLIDIFY BUYER AND SELLER AGREEMENTS AND OTHERS – ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AND CAN BE COMPLETED AND SIGNED ELECTRONICALLY ON TABLETS AND SMARTPHONES, SAVING TIME.” ~ IAN BURNS

Burns underscores how very much real estate consumers have embraced this technology. “Today, 65 per cent of consumers start their property search on www.REALTOR.ca, even before contacting an agent.” “Technology is an exciting dynamic of so many aspects of the real estate profession,” says CREB president, Cliff Stevenson. “Mostly, it brings so much information to the consumer, and I’m a big booster of providing consumers with as much information as possible. Technology has also been an important easy-access way to a listing in front of the consumer. It’s also extremely effective for the Realtor and how we can now showcase the properties. It has changed how we search for and market properties, and more and more agents are getting involved in online and the social media marketing of listings.” There is consensus technology makes the business of real estate more effective and the Realtor’s time and effort more efficient. “The fundamentals of the real estate profession haven’t changed,” Burns notes, “but technological improvements are impacting the profession in positive ways. For example, our AREA forms – the contracts that solidify buyer and seller agreements and others – are available online and can be completed and signed electronically on tablets and smartphones, saving time. Not long ago, a Realtor

would have to drive across the city to get a signature, or fax documents back and forth from their offices.” “In the business, there is a tremendous amount of information to gather,” Stevenson says. “Especially the last three years or so, technology in our CREB system has tremendously improved access to business intelligence for our agents: so many aspects, from the presentations of offers to electronic signatures and new 3D cameras giving the MLS browser panoramic views. “Technology is a tremendous tool for the real estate agent. There’s no doubt that it creates a bit of a gap in the communication protocol, compared to what we may be used to, but it allows the Realtor to be more remote, immediate and not so tied to the necessity to have meetings and faceto-face interaction.” “Most importantly, we see the quantity and quality of real estate information continuing to increase, meaning that Realtors will remain at the heart of the transaction as market experts, guiding clients toward informed choices when buying or selling their largest assets. This data also enriches the conversations we, as Calgarians, can have about how we grow as a city, enhancing our existing communities in smart, sustainable ways,” Burns adds with enthusiasm.

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SKILLED

DILIGENT ESTABLISHED ESTABLISHED

LYNN DONALDSON DONALDSON & & ASSOCIATES ASSOCIATES LYNN D EE SS II G GN N A AN ND D C CO ON N TT R RA AC C TT II N NG G D www.lynndonaldson.ca www.lynndonaldson.ca

ph:403•263•6296 ph:403•263•6296

Renomark Member Master Renovator Renomark Member Master Renovator 94Consecutive Consumer Choice Awards 2008- -2011 2016 Consumer Choice Awards 2008 4 Consumer Choice Awards 2008 - 2011

The Second Generation Continues the Success of Lynn Donaldson & Associates

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ince 1988, Lynn Donaldson & Associates has been Calgary’s family-owned design-build firm that delivers SKILLED on excellence without fail. In-house interior designers, carpenters, custom cabinetmakers and project managers work together seamlessly to fulfil the needs of each unique project. Lynn Donaldson & Associates is the proud owner of nine Consumer Choice Awards in the Best Interior Design firm category and the firm earned a Calgary Top Business Leaders award in 2016. Founder Lynn Donaldson has been named a W100 Top Female Entrepreneur twice over the course of her career. Donaldson started the company in her basement with little more than her iron determination, a big dream, a solid education and the business savvy needed to make the company a success. These days, with a robust staff roster and an outstanding five-star rating on Houzz, Donaldson is happy to watch her sons Neil Bailey, and construction manager Daryl Bailey, take the reins.

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SKILLED Neil has worked at Lynn Donaldson & Associates since 1999. “When I started there was no construction department, but I had been a certified carpenter for seven years before joining the firm. Lynn asked me to help build the company and I said ‘yes.’” Neil started by putting together a team of carpenters and project managers, and he assembled the fabrication shop. An example of Lynn Donaldson & Associates’ innovation can be seen in one of the firm’s most memorable projects to date. “A client wanted a net-zero home created through renovation. We took the skeleton of the house and left the structure intact,” says Neil. “That particular project took a lot of science, research and involved a lot of engineers. It took nearly three years for it all to come to fruition.” The client loved it and the firm is justifiably proud of this, and all the other specialized work they are known for. “We have a very clear set of core values on which we base all of our decision-making,” confirms Neil. “Those values always place our clients’ needs ahead of our profits.”


Consistency, Quality, Craftmanship

Come in and talk to us about your project!

Our showroom is open from Monday - Friday 8am - 4:30pm | www.prestigerailings.com “We’re passionate about bringing spaces to life. Together with you.”

2777 Hopewell Place NE Calgary (403) 250-1020 • Toll Free: 1-800-382-8502

www.calgaryroofingsunik.com 403.280.2803 BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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Leading Business NOVEMBER 2016

IN THIS ISSUE... • Policy Bites: National policy initiatives to help your business grow • Business and Golf Tee Up Success for Alberta Charities at Shaw Charity Classic • Member Profiles

CalgaryChamber.com

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AMVIC Licensed


2016 Board of

Directors

Policy Bites: National policy initiatives to help your business grow

Executive Chair: Denis Painchaud, Director of International Government Relations, Nexen, a CNOOK Limited Company Past Chair: Rob Hawley, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Vice Chair: David Allen, Founder & President, Situated Co. Treasurer: Wellington Holbrook, Executive Vice-President, ATB Financial CEO: Adam Legge, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber

Directors Bill Brunton, Vice President of Marketing and External Relations, Habitat for Humanity, Southern Alberta Carlos Alvarez, Audit Partner, KPMG Lorenzo DeCicco, Vice-President, TELUS Business Solutions Phil Roberts, President, Vintri Technologies Linda Shea, Senior Vice-President, AltaLink Mike Williams, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services, Encana James Boettcher, Chief Idea Officer, Fiasco Gelato Brent Cooper, Partner, McLeod Law LLP Desirée Bombenon, President & CEO, SureCall Contact Centres Ltd. Management Adam Legge – President and CEO Michael Andriescu – Director of Finance and Administration Kim Koss – Vice President, Business Development and Sponsorship Scott Crockatt – Director of Marketing and Communications Rebecca Wood – Director of Member Services Justin Smith – Director of Policy, Research and Government Relations Leading Business magazine is a co-publication of the Calgary Chamber and Business in Calgary Calgary Chamber 600, 237 8th Avenue S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 5C3 Phone: (403) 750-0400 Fax: (403) 266-3413 calgarychamber.com

As an important part of your Calgary Chamber membership, we advocate for the policy changes that will help your business be more successful – from city hall to Parliament Hill. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (association of chambers from across Canada) connects businesses of all sizes, from all sectors and from all regions of the country, to advocate collectively for public policies that will foster a strong, competitive economic environment that benefits businesses, communities and families across Canada. Every year, chambers of commerce and boards of trade across Canada submit resolutions of a national scope to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce policy committees. The policy process finishes off the year in a democratic vote on the floor at the annual general meeting. These policies are respected and sought after by government, business leaders and the media, thanks to the well-researched reports, analyses and position papers that serve as their basis. The current difficult economic environment is for the most part externally driven and beyond our control. However, it is being exacerbated by actions of municipalities, provincial governments and the Government of Canada. Each order of government is announcing policy shifts that will impact the competitiveness, sustainability and cost of doing business. Seventy policy resolutions and government recommendations were debated by the entire federation of chambers in September. The Canadian chamber network discussed particular issues surrounding finance and taxation, natural resources and environment, transportation and infrastructure, industry, international affairs, human resources and special issues of social policy. Below are some of the vital resolutions that were formally adopted, and will be lobbied for at the federal government level: 1) Federal Fiscal Policy: This policy called on government reform for fiscal restraint, tax policy and strategic infrastructure stimulus. 2) Enhancing Canada’s Air Travel Competitiveness: This policy calls upon the government to address the extreme costs of air travel in Canada. Due to a lack of airline competition, barriers to facilitation and government imposed fees/surcharges, businesses are continuing to suffer. 3) Incentivizing Integrity - Adoption of a Canadian False Claims Act: This policy calls upon the federal government to institute a series of reforms, including a more powerful incentive to support whistleblowers, in order to more effectively ferret out fraudulent conduct. This policy was proposed by the Calgary Chamber. 4) Restoring Canada’s Innovation Competitiveness: Canada is trailing behind most of its peer countries in innovation, technology and research. This policy recommends quick action to address this, particularly by restoring faith in and simplifying a tax credit regime that nurtures private sector investment across all industries in R&D and technology. 5) Ensuring the Future of Canadian Oil and Gas: Canada still spends $26 billion on oil imports annually, and failure to develop our own projects leads to negative impacts on Canadian businesses and ultimately families. We recommend the federal government prioritize supplying all Canadians with a secure and stable source of Canada’s natural resources. This policy calls to

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expedite the objective review and environmental assessment of pipeline projects and facilitate the development of pipeline infrastructure to ensure Canadian oil can be delivered to tidewater and sold on global markets. The current economic climate is in a downward spiral and we may not have seen the bottom, yet. Businesses are hurting and

the ripple effects are impacting all sectors of our economy. The above government policy work will help Calgary businesses have their interests represented to the federal government. The Calgary Chamber’s strong and respected voice brings the issues the business community faces to the forefront. We are working diligently in order for local business to thrive and grow over the long term.

Business and Golf Tee Up Success for Alberta Charities at Shaw Charity Classic

Canadians from coast to coast to coast are tapping into the success of the Shaw Charity Classic, and while doing so, are having a major impact on Alberta-based youth. From major corporations to small businesses – not to mention hundreds of individuals of all ages spanning the country – more than 1,600 donors helped raise more than $5 million in 2016 for 113 youth-based charities extending far beyond sport. Kids across the province are gaining new opportunities in areas of education, arts and culture, and accessing summer camps, not to mention the most important benefit of all, living a healthy lifestyle. Spearheaded by 81 of the top PGA TOUR Champions professionals, including Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, and 2016 champion Carlos Franco, who battled it out on the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club track in September, the key player in the tournament’s national fundraising success was Birdies for Kids. The Birdies for Kids program, presented by AltaLink, was created in 2015. It gives corporations and individual donors alike the opportunity to make a one-time or per-birdie donation. Those donations are further leveraged through a tiered-matching program on a percentage of the first $250,000 donated to each charity. “Our goals were very clear in bringing this tournament to Calgary four years ago – to bring world-class golf to the city, and raise big money for youth-based charities across the province,” says Sean Van Kesteren, executive director of the Shaw Charity Classic. “Thanks to the generosity of corporate Alberta, we had a very strong charitable component from the

beginning, but with the creation of Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink, we have been able to take our fundraising to the next level. I think all Canadians should be very proud of what we have been able to do for youth in this province while uniting behind this tournament during a very challenging economy.” The Shaw Charity Classic has made record-setting charitable donations for a PGA TOUR Champions event in each of its first four years, bringing its combined charitable contribution to more than $13.5 million. Birdies for Kids aside, the Shaw Charity Classic tees up something for corporations big and small, not to mention families looking for a memorable experience in their community. Whether it’s testing your mettle against the greats of the game in one of the championship pro-ams, interacting with the tens-of-thousands of daily spectators, hosting VIPs in style, a women’s day of networking and golf on the course, or toeing the start line with many of golf’s greats, while participating in the five-kilometre run around the course, the Shaw Charity Classic provides world-class sponsorship opportunities that are budget-friendly. Exciting action, a relaxed atmosphere, luxury hosting and a menu full of family activities are all part of the equation for businesses looking to leverage the opportunities at the Shaw Charity Classic. For more information on the sponsorship and hosting opportunities for the fifth anniversary of the Shaw Charity Classic in 2017, please visit shawcharityclassic.com or contact Caitlin Buckell at caitlin@shawcharityclassic.com. BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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Chamber Member Spotlights The Calgary Chamber is proud to represent many Calgary businesses large and small; this month we are highlighting some of our industry leading members.

Canadian Pacific

BDO Canada LLP

With more direct route options than their competitors, CP has Western Canada covered; getting products to its destination faster. Rail-based transportation is one of the safest, most cost-effective ways to ship. Serving everything from the automotive, energy, food and agriculture industries, CP takes a first-hand approach to understanding business. For more information, visit CPR.ca.

This month, BDO Canada LLP is celebrating 10 years as a Calgary Chamber member. As one of the largest accounting and advisory firms in Canada, BDO provides assurance, accounting, tax and advisory services to a broad range of clients across the country. BDO’s industry expertise in natural resources, real estate and construction, manufacturing, automotive dealerships and financial services ensures each client receives personalized guidance and unparalleled service. For more information, visit BDO.ca.

Human Resources Professionals Association The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) protects the public interest by governing and regulating the professional practice of its more than 22,000 member registrants. HRPA advances the professionalization of HR and acknowledgment of the profession as a key driver of organizational success by: • ensuring competent and ethical HR practice, • creating compelling value propositions for all in HR to become members, • providing strong and respected designations based on a globally recognized body of knowledge, and • validation of that capability through rigorous examination and supervision of experience. For more information, visit HRPA.ca.

Thanks

Calgary Archives Corp. Cougar Contractors Ltd. Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd. BDO Canada LLP Blaze Trail Systems Inc. Centini Restaurant & Lounge Alberta Fire & Flood DIRTT Environmental Solutions McMillan-McGee Corp.

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As one of the largest, fully-integrated, privately-owned real estate companies in Western Canada, Qualico is committed to offering a full range of home options, while delivering homes of superior quality and design. Specializing in single- and multi-family homebuilding, commercial and industrial development, property management, residential development and building supply manufacturing, more than 3,000 Canadian families choose Qualico as their homebuilder each year. For more information, visit Qualico.com.

RBC

The Chamber thanks the following long-standing member companies celebrating anniversaries this month for their years of support to the Calgary Chamber, and their commitment to the growth and development of Calgary. Member name

Qualico

Years as a member 15 15 15 10 10 10 5 5 5

NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. They are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. They have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 36 other countries. RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. For more information, please visit rbc.com.


JONATHAN (JAKE) GEBERT, DAVE ORR, CATHY ORR, ROSS GLEN & CASSANDRA WILL

PHOTO BY MICHAEL CUDJOE PHOTOGRAPHY LTD.

RGO Products Ltd. Celebrates 50-Year Legacy by Rennay Craats

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with Steelcase to provide high-quality products to clients. A few years later, he returned to the typewriter business by adding office equipment to RGO’s list of products. Since then RGO has grown to include the gamut of office requirements, from copiers and furniture to flooring and window coverings.

As a young man he serviced typewriters at Underwood Ltd.-Olivetti and soon moved into the sales department. He learned the business and honed his skills and in 1966, Glen decided to start his own business with partner Gordon Oliver. The obstacle was finding the initial capital. He scraped together some money and borrowed the last $5,000 from his father to get the company up and running. His father wasn’t confident in the plan but supported his son anyway. Glen proudly proved his father wrong.

RGO only carries the best names in the industry to ensure Glen’s high standards are met. Steelcase is a worldwide leader in the furniture business, producing innovative yet functional pieces to fit every space. Hunter Douglas, Nysan Solar Control and Lutron are strong partners in window coverings, which include automated shading systems and LEED-compliant products. And with flooring partners like Shaw Contract Group and Milliken, RGO boasts a wide range of options for broadloom, carpeting tile and ceramics.

“My father thought he was going to lose it, but at the end of the day, before he passed away, that $5,000 was worth a million bucks,” says Ross Glen, president of RGO Products Ltd.

RGO is one of Alberta’s largest independent suppliers of office document technology, so it’s no surprise that it stays on top of technological advancements and partners with the best manufacturers. The company offers top-tier products, complete with training, from brands such as Canon and Kyocera. Clients can purchase or lease equipment that RGO

Glen bought out Oliver in 1970 and plotted his own course to success. RGO started out selling office furniture, partnering

RGO Products Ltd. | 50 Years | 1

hen Ross Glen was 13, he had a paper route. But it wasn’t just any paper route – it was the biggest route in the city with 150 houses. He converted most of his clients to monthly to streamline collections, and an entrepreneur was born.

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PHOTO BY MICHAEL CUDJOE PHOTOGRAPHY LTD.

TREVOR CLARKE AND ROSS GLEN

will proactively support through their field service support team. In addition to hardware sales, the RGO technology group provides software solutions that manage print costs and help companies go paperless.

our own building has been really big. We’re not at the whim of other people. We’re creating a bit of our own destiny,” says Glen’s daughter and vice president of window coverings and corporate initiatives, Cathy Orr.

Over the years, RGO has become the leader in the industry and is the city’s premier one-stop shop for setting up an office. And this varied repertoire has been a key to the company’s success. Glen was more the tortoise than the hare, growing the business slowly and always doing what was best for the company.

And management is excited to watch that destiny unfold. The 50-year anniversary of the company has given them an opportunity to reflect on the past and celebrate everything that Glen has achieved, but they aren’t done yet. Far from satisfied, they are looking forward and continuing to grow with the market. RGO has moved beyond just selling furniture; it is creating comfortable and efficient environments in which people can work, live, learn and heal.

“You have to continue to grow. The biggest thing that got us going was we didn’t take money out of the business. We reinvested and focused on building it,” Glen says. “And diversification has been important.”

RGO Products Ltd. | 50 Years | 2

If one of the four divisions is lagging, the others are there to pick up the slack and keep the company on track. This strategy, along with Glen’s strong fiscal planning, has carried RGO through several economic downturns and made it the largest office supplier in Western Canada. Glen further diversified his holdings through real estate investments. Twenty-four years ago he partnered with close friend and business partner Don Taylor to purchase the building RGO calls home. In addition, Glen acquired other real estate holdings by keeping the buildings that the company outgrew. Rather than selling the buildings, he held onto them and now rents them out. “My dad had a vision and a strategy of how we were going to keep ourselves sustainable and I think partnering to own

The best example of such an environment is RGO’s head office just off Memorial Drive. After so many years in the building, Glen decided it was time to renovate. The offices were dated and he wanted to make the space match the mandate of the company, which is to encourage a positive work experience with dynamic, collaborative work processes. “The space wasn’t really reflecting the kind of work we were doing in the marketplace,” says Orr. “We really tried to walk the talk and understand what our clients go through during renovations.” The renovation was a very deliberate, careful one born from extensive research and planning. Glen and Orr wanted to highlight the four areas of their business and have them integrated so that as clients walked through the building, they could get a feel for the company’s story. To be efficient with planning was challenging given that the showroom


Š2015 Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved. Trademarks used herein are the property of Steelcase Inc. or of their respective owners.

THINK BETTER By Designing for Distraction

www.steelcase.com

Together, Steelcase and RGO offer a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed to unlock human promise. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re proud to have RGO as our dealer partner in Alberta. Congratulations RGO on your 50th anniversary.


offices span 50,000 square feet, but they resisted the temptation to sprawl.

RGO Products Ltd. | 50 Years | 4

Instead, they focused on showing clients products in spaces that are relatable to most business owners. That way, stations and spaces could inspire clients, giving them ideas about how to use products in different applications. “We wanted to define work areas and space by what people do, not by their tenure or their position,” says Orr, so jobs that require more space like window coverings have larger workstations than accounting, which is more contained.

Today’s employees are mobile and flexible, not just sitting at a desk. RGO’s products encourage this more fluid workplace to ensure the staff is happy, engaged and productive.

The renovation gave RGO a chance to showcase the changes that are happening in office spaces and to incorporate them into their own corporate culture as well. Work is done in many different ways and Steelcase researches how people work best before deciding on the products they will create.

Common areas and crash points encourage dialogue, collaboration and friendly conversation so staff can get to know each other and work together. These areas are also open to those who want to get away from their desks and work elsewhere.


There are unique work and break stations throughout the office showing off the innovative products Steelcase offers, from benching for collaboration to private stations for heads-down work. There are spaces for rest as well. The Brody WorkLounge offers a comfortable place to sit for a break and is complete with plug-ins for devices, ergonomic seating, footstool and wrap-around walls for privacy. Whether the furniture is supporting individual work or group projects, many of the chairs and work surfaces RGO uses and sells are highly adjustable to suit the employee. They even have a treadmill station so staff can get some steps in while returning phone calls or catching up on emails. The atmosphere is collaborative and comfortable. In fact, the showroom at the front of the building has a homey vibe, so clients feel more like family as they sit and test out the furniture and talk over their needs with RGO consultants. “There’s been a real shift in the workplace in office furniture to more of a residential look,” says Orr, so sofas and chairs for office spaces are more comfortable and inviting.

PHOTO BY MICHAEL CUDJOE PHOTOGRAPHY LTD.

RGO has a lot of inventory and changes out the furniture in this area regularly to keep the space fresh and current. Clients can order what they see on the floor or customize most pieces by choosing their colours, fabrics and finishes.

CONGRATULATIONS

OF SUCCESS

RGO Products Ltd. | 50 Years | 5

ON 50 YEARS


Congratulating RGO Products Ltd on 50 years of success Shaw Contract values purpose and authenticity, in our practice and in our flooring products. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Visit shawcontract.com

RGO has made office spaces beautiful, and that beauty carries through from end to end in its showroom. The space was designed with an open concept in mind in order to facilitate movement and maximize light. The entire space has been renovated for style, function and marketing, and it is a working model of what RGO can do for its clients. RGO prides itself on providing the best products and services and building strong relationships with both suppliers and customers, just as Ross Glen has done for the past 50 years. While Glen isn’t looking to retire completely from the company, his daughter is poised to take on the role of president to allow Glen to focus on other interests. “I have high expectations,” says Glen. He also has high expectations for his granddaughter Cassandra, who joined RGO’s marketing team. Orr’s husband Dave is also at the company as vice president of office environments, so it really is a family operation. It’s also a community-focused one. Calgary has been good to Ross Glen and it’s important to him to give back. His passions are education and health care, and he gives generously. All of the post-secondary institutions in Calgary have a room or building named after him or RGO to thank him for his contributions. Glen is a pillar in the business community, and Orr plans to carry on her father’s direction of the company while looking for opportunities to expand and grow, especially in technology. She is also dedicated to increasing service levels based on what customers want. “We can come up with every great idea but if it’s not what customers need, there’s no value proposition there,” she says.

RGO Products Ltd. | 50 Years | 6

But providing value has never been a problem for RGO Products. For 50 years, the company has been serving clients and the community, and the next generations are ready to carry Ross Glen’s legacy into the next half-century.

extraordinary collection

229 33 St NE #100, Calgary, AB T2A 4Y6 (403) 569-4400 • calgary.rgo.ca


Lutron Electronics is very proud to be included as a partner to RGO Products Ltd. Together we bring elegance, convenience, comfort and energy savings to RGOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many clients. Congratulations on 50 years in business and your recognition as a Calgary business leader.

www.lutron.com


IF THE DOCUMENT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU, IT’S IMPORTANT TO US. A TOTAL DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS APPROACH... ONLY FROM KYOCERA. Kyocera is honored to have RGO as partner dealer for the Alberta marketplace. RGO’s Advance Care program leads the industry by providing proactive, predictive service support to deliver the highest levels of up-time.

Congratulations RGO on 50 years of caring for your customers and your community.


Singing the Praises of

Youth Singers of Calgary

We are proud to work with the Youth Singers of Calgary on projects that ensure their continued success

Commercial Mechanical Contractor Serving Western Canada since 1960

Specializing in Design Build, Commercial, Industrial, Multi-Family and Construction Management Plumbing and Gas Fitting • HVAC • Controls Sprinkler • Insulation • Refrigeration Site Services 6445 10 Street SE Calgary, Alberta T2H 2Z9 Ph: (403) 279-6881 Fx: (403) 279-6898 Email: petrin@telusplanet.net

By Rennay Craats

A

n Indian guru once said “Life is a song – sing it,” and Shirley Penner and her team at Youth Singers of Calgary (YSC) have taken that advice to heart. For the past 30 years, their group of instructors and performers has been sharing their unique musical program with audiences close to home and around the world. The program began 30 years ago at Mount Royal Conservatory when Penner was asked to design a junior high choir for 26 students. Penner merged classically-based singing with dancing and acting, and the class soon took on a life of its own. Within a few years, this class grew to 80 students however the college was only able to accommodate one class. “I had to make a decision. I stayed on working on fund development at the college, but I took the Youth Singers out into the community,” says Shirley Penner, CEO of Youth Singers of Calgary. After relocating a few times, the fledgling company found a home in Victoria Park Community Centre where it remained for 12 years, growing into one of the largest not-for-profit choral organizations in the country. Having outgrown the community centre, and after countless volunteer hours as well as donations from their supporters, YSC recently renovated a warehouse and relocated to its new Performing Arts Youth Centre in the southeast.

Youth Singers of Calgary | 30 Years | 1 69


The 18,000-square-foot space houses four studios, a sound room, set and costume storage, and a priceless library of music titles. The space is simple, functional and solid, much like the organization itself. “The important thing is what happens inside the building,” says Penner. “It’s the young people! Building self-esteem and confidence and giving them all the opportunities to lead and grow.” Performers have fun while earning high school credits and learning important life skills: time management, organization

and teamwork. They learn to win with grace, work hard and make lifelong friends who share a love of music. And they’ve learned from the best. Shirley Penner was recently inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence for her contribution and impact on the arts and the community. She has had an impact on thousands of youth in the three decades YSC has operated. Today, the organization gives 500 performers in 15 divisions ranging from three years old to adult an inclusive place to perform. For 10 months per year, YSC performers work to perfect the group’s two main-stage productions at the

Youth Singers of Calgary | 30 Years | 2


“As a shy but talented teen, the course of my life was changed when I joined Youth Singers…. Yes, I got to train my voice and explore choral music and choreography, but my confidence and life skills really had a chance to develop and I found a group of core friends. It instilled

Congratulations

Youth Singers of Calgary for creating 30 years of opportunities for youth

a lifelong passion for the arts, and shaped the course of my career. I have now been contributing to the arts in Calgary as a director, choreographer and performance coach for over 20 years, including being part of the artistic staff of Youth Singers. By far the most amazing part of my life is now watching other shy-yet-talented teens beginning their journey with Youth Singers, and I see so much for their future. I would encourage every singer of every age in Calgary to join Youth Singers. It’s a success story for everyone.” ~ Chris Thompson

ut of youMrCA o t s o m e h t Get 6 year at the Y grade e! - for fre

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium which showcase the talents of hundreds of singers on one stage. With original arrangements and thoughtful theme and music selections, the main-stage shows are a city highlight. Youth Singers performs approximately 100 shows each year including community events, corporate functions, malls, schools and charity events. The two semiprofessional 12-member ensembles SHINE & ONCUE are more mobile than the larger groups and are able to perform throughout the community year-round. Singers also enjoy the opportunity to take their shows on concert tours and enter competitions around the world. They have performed in more than 20 countries including Japan, China, Australia, Europe, South America and throughout USA and Canada. The high standards, talented performers and credentialed instructors means Youth Singers always comes home with trophies and awards including first place in classes they enter, best overall choir honours, and the Esprit de Corps award for congeniality and sportsmanship, an award that is important to Penner as the organization was built on tolerance and support of other performers and is dedicated to developing leaders in the community. One of Penner’s proudest additions to the roster of YSC programs is the STAR division (Special Talents in Arts and Recreation). STAR allows children aged eight to 17 with cognitive delays to discover the joys and benefits of music education in a safe, stimulating and fun environment.

From empowering a sense of community in Aboriginal and new immigrant youth to leadership programs and free sport leagues, YMCA Calgary - like Youth Singers of Calgary - is helping create a positive, healthy youth culture. Another way the YMCA is helping Calgary youth is through the Calgary Flames Grade 6 YMCA Program. Thanks to the support of the Calgary Flames Foundation, every grade 6 student in Calgary receives a FREE YMCA membership and active youth programming in their grade 6 year.

“We’re not here just to develop artists and musicians. Youth Singers is about producing wonderful young people,” says Penner. And for 30 years, Shirley Penner and her artistic, administrative and volunteer teams have produced both wonderful performers and wonderful people at Youth Singers of Calgary. 1371 Hastings Crescent SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4C8 Phone: (403) 234-9549 • youthsingers.org Youth Singers of Calgary | 30 Years | 3

SIGN UP TODAY. IT’S FREE! A year of healthy fun -unplugged. ymcacalgary.org/grade6

visit ymcacalgary.org/grade6


PETER GARRETT CEO INNOVATE CALGARY

“Events at the Convention Centre are really important to developing CONNECT WITH THE the whole WORLD AT THE innovation CENTRE OF ENERGY ecosystem.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:

calgary-convention.com


Governments Align on Support for HQ Attraction in Calgary BY STEPHEN EWART

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s Calgary works to recover from the collapse in oil prices and a recession that’s endured for over two years through a strategy to promote economic diversification and attract new companies to the city, we are teaming up with the Alberta and federal governments. Calgary Economic Development is working with Alberta Economic Development and Trade and Western Economic Diversification Canada to stimulate Calgary’s economy with a multi-year campaign that builds on efforts to attract corporate headquarters and branch plants. The goal for Calgary Economic Development under the Opportunity Calgary funding initiative approved by city council in February is to engage and attract over 70 companies in the next three years. The Government of Alberta is now providing $2 million to support the headquarters attraction strategy and the Government of Canada is contributing $1 million. “Attracting more headquarters to Calgary will bring longterm economic benefits – not only to the municipality but to Alberta as a whole – through creating jobs, building stronger trade and investment relationships,” said Deron Bilous, Alberta’s minister of economic development and trade. The money will provide resources for Calgary Economic Development to market and promote Calgary, conduct research, participate in international trade missions and generate leads for future economic activity. The focus is on companies in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Support from higher levels of government is critical to ensuring a strategic, coordinated and sustained effort to maximize financial resources and be successful. Collaboration with the federal and provincial governments is particularly important in international markets.

People may see the ads running in major media outlets across Canada promoting the entrepreneurial and innovative people and companies that are turning bright ideas into thriving businesses in Calgary but the heavy lifting takes place far from the media spotlight. The real work is done by the business development managers at Calgary Economic Development tirelessly promoting Calgary. As a city, we have much to offer. Calgary is an affordable, business-friendly, low-tax location home to the head offices of 134 corporations, second only to Toronto in Canada. There are all of the financial, legal and other services corporations require as well as travel connections, a welleducated workforce and an enviable lifestyle. There’s no silver bullet to resolve Calgary’s challenges but we’re leaving no stone unturned to revitalize the economy. If a company establishes a major presence in a city the payoff is huge. When De Beers Canada relocated its headquarters and 67 employees to Calgary from Toronto in June, the company calculated it will add $24 million a year to the Calgary economy in a decade from its corporate activities, employee incomes, its wider supply chain and consumer spending at its facilitates. There’s a high degree of accountability when spending taxpayers’ money and none of the money will be used to provide companies financial incentives to move. It’s also critical to be aligned with the public. When the Calgary Foundation released its vital signs report on citizen satisfaction in October, 58 per cent of people responded “continue to diversify our economic base” when asked what should be the number one business priority for government. It’s a big job, it’s important to Calgarians, and it’s not something you can do alone.

Stephen Ewart is communications and content manager for Calgary Economic Development.

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Calgary’s Promotional Agencies Join Forces to Encourage Expressions of Civic Pride A new campaign will inspire Calgarians to celebrate everything that makes our city great BY CASSANDRA MCAULEY

T

ourism Calgary and Calgary Economic Development are partnering on a local marketing initiative with a simple, powerful message that celebrates our city, our people and the countless things that make Calgary one of the most amazing cities in the world. “Through our work of bringing Calgary to the world, and the world to Calgary, Tourism Calgary and Calgary Economic Development are in the optimal position to see the best in our city. There’s no doubt that we’re facing tough times, but through it all, the best parts of who we are haven’t changed,” says Cindy Ady, CEO, Tourism Calgary. “We think it’s important to help Calgarians renew their love for Calgary by reminding them of the reasons our city is such a great place in which to live, do business and visit.” The focus of this initiative is to highlight the passion and pride that resides within Calgary, with the objective of inspiring Calgarians to become advocates for their city, engage in their community, and to spend locally.

“It’s important to get people talking about our city. Calgarians are our best ambassadors and the best people to explain the unique spirit of our city to their families and friends down the street or across the country,” says Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “Simply by telling people the things you love about Calgary will make a difference.” Three campaign videos are being broadcast on local television and online channels. The video series is designed to capture Calgary’s unique spirit through showcasing the many hands that come together to make Calgary an amazing city. Calgarians are encouraged to use the #LoveYYC hashtag to celebrate what makes our city unique and build awareness about the many known and unknown things that contribute to making our city terrific. For more information about #LoveYYC: bepartoftheenergy.ca |@TourismCalgary | @calgaryeconomic

PHOTO SOURCE: BOOKSTRUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // NOVEMBER 2016

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Famine, Flood and a Plague of Bugs An entrepreneur’s journey BY KERRI SAVAGE

U

niversity of Calgary computer science graduate and founding partner of Peak Pixel Games, Nathaniel Tan, describes his experience living in a cramped Shanghai apartment building, existing on instant noodles, akin to a “horror movie.” Tan relocated to this progressive Chinese city as part of an internship, gaining valuable experience with Ubisoft, a multinational video game development company. “We shared a kitchen with the whole floor; some people just didn’t care and they’d leave food out,” describes Tan. “This apartment is 1970s China, with huge cracks in the walls, and cockroaches would just swarm out by the hundreds. There were cockroaches, lice, mosquitoes; every type of creepy crawly you can imagine in a place like that.” And thus the inspiration for AlexG Infinity was born. The game is set amidst a bug invasion and allows you to run, shoot and bomb your way through over 40 types of bugs. Even with a gifted skill set and a great idea, getting a product to market was no easy task. Peak Pixel is primarily a self-funded venture in a city with very little presence of game developers and potential funders. During those lean years the team, which includes fellow U of C computer science graduates Jason Zhang and Adam Kromm, supported their startup with award winnings from the university, pulled funds from their savings accounts and consulted on the side. Just as the fourth co-owner and audio producer, Josh Furey, joined the team, the devastating flood of 2013 destroyed the company’s infrastructure. “We were really making great headway that year and the flood hit,” reflects founding partner Zhang. Thankfully most of the data was stored and saved, but the financial strain translated into huge setbacks for Peak Pixel Games, especially for the initial AlexG game concept. After three years of sweat equity, the team was able to launch

the game on iTunes and Google Play with an approval from Microsoft for release on Xbox One. Through their work ethic and philosophy, Peak Pixel has attracted a roster of talented animators, artists and modellers. “We want to grow as our own studio and just be able to create meaningful and diverse entertainment experiences,” says Tan. “But we want to innovate and push the industry to evolve. There are so many businesses out there that just want to get rich quick – copy, clone, do another game – that’s not us. As a small studio, we pride ourselves in being able to create different game experiences that other developers might find risky. We want to have sustainability but always bring better experiences, better game playing and excitement, to those who play our games. We can always do better.” To learn more about Peak Pixel Games, visit peakpixelgames.com or download the AlexG Infinity game from iTunes or Google Play. To learn more about Innovate Calgary and how it supports new and emerging technology, visit innovatecalgary.com. ABOVE: NATHANIEL TAN AND JASON ZHANG SHOWCASE THE ALEXG INFINITY GAME AT INNOVATE CALGARY’S TECHSTOCK EVENT ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2016. PHOTO SOURCE: ASHIKA THAKER, ATHAKER PHOTOGRAPHY.

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PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING Location, location, location. It’s all you need in real estate. Likewise, with meetings and conventions, success hinges on three factors: planning, planning, planning. Yet meeting and convention planning is increasingly overlooked or compressed into shorter and shorter timeframes. “Timelines are the most important element of meeting and convention planning, but they are often ignored,” says Gillian Podlubny, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre’s director of Event Management. Her advice for planning is based on a four-part formula: collaborate, communicate, create and carry-on. “If you don’t have time, then communication is essential. And you can use the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre as a resource to creatively seat, feed and accommodate your guests within your budget.” Podlubny and her team offer these tips for effective meetings and conventions: 1. Know your goals and objectives. Be clear on the needs of both organizers and attendees. Understand what people will get out of your event. 2. Consider your date and time—and that others may be booking then too. Have alternate dates just in case. 3. Pick your venue and suppliers. The right ones will become invaluable partners in planning. 4. Set your budget. Understand what your resources will and won’t be able to bring to the meeting floor, dinner table or party. 5. Plan the experience. Collaborate and communicate often with your venue team and suppliers for flawless execution. 6. Promote/invite. Create a plan within a plan to get the word out—and people to—your gathering. 7. Watch the calendar. “You can find a lot of effectiveness and efficiency in advance planning,” Podlubny says. “Leave the final 36 to 48 hours before your event for fine-tuning your event, not planning the basics.” 8. Evaluate. Ask everyone involved in your event for feedback. Determine if you delivered on your goals and objectives. 9. Start working on your next event. The earlier the better. For advice and insight on planning your next event, contact the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre at 403.261.8500 or sales@calgary-convention.com.

calgary-convention.com


MARKETING MATTERS // DAVID PARKER

Marketing Matters BY DAVID PARKER

ClearMotive Marketing Group is working with Costa Coffee, the largest coffee chain in the U.K., to help it become established in Canada. The company has been rolling out its Costa Express Machines over the past 11 months with no publicity or advertising. Now that it has reached a larger degree of coverage in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver, Costa has engaged CEO Tyler Chisholm and his ClearMotive team to support its brand strategy and positioning as well as creating all of its advertising in the Canadian marketplace. Costa has partnered with Shell Canada to offer fresh milk and freshly-ground beans to provide gourmet coffee-to-go; to date it has over 140 locations across Canada. Chisholm has also announced that Megan Hardisty, who spent the last year and a half with Evans Hunt and prior to that worked with Critical Mass in Calgary, Sid Lee in Montreal and BBDO in Toronto, is joining ClearMotive’s Toronto office in the role of managing director.

Leslie Echino, owner and restaurant director at Blink (the uniquely impressive fine dining establishment on Stephen Avenue), knows her wines and although she offers many from family-run wineries across many regions, her personal favourites are from Spain. Echino has contracted with a winery in the Terra Alta region of southern Spain to provide Blink with its own exclusive bottles of Garnacha Tinta and Garnacha Blancs, and she selected Sharie Hunter of Arthur/Hunter to create the brand, design the labels and packaging, and to produce marketing materials.

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I like the Conte-Mei (named after Echino’s grandmothers) labels Hunter illustrated in pen, ink and watercolour showing Echino doing a “punch down” combined with handwritten and modern fonts. Conte-Mei is due to arrive in Calgary this month.

No doubt the many ways in which social media is used in promotion is deemed a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. But Ryan Townend, CEO of William Joseph, realizes the power of the press as he has published WJ Magazine containing articles and features that cover a broad range of topics related to the company’s marketing and communications, branding, and industry trends, as well as highlighting some of the company’s clients. And I see William Joseph offers its boardroom to Calgary’s non-profits over lunch and after hours at no cost. Well done.

I am disappointed and a little frustrated Travel Alberta felt the need to hire a Toronto-based agency to work on its marketing efforts to target Asia.

Parker’s Pick The fabulous Making Waves ceiling at Studio Bell – 6,068 polished aluminum rods fabricated and installed by Calgary’s Heavy Industries.


Chiu Rule of Business no. 014 |

The "King of the Hill"

1. The Playing Field

Extend your right hand and form a handshake, hereafter referred to as the Hill.

2. The Battle

While keeping the Hill intact, place your left hand on top.

3. The War The opposing player then places their left hand on top of the Hill, saying words of encouragement such as “No, you’re the best,” or “You’re so welcome.” Just as they finish, quickly slip your left hand out of the Hill and place it back on top. Do not get stuck beneath theirs. Whoever stays on top at the end of the interaction is crowned King and wins a plot of land somewhere north of Airdrie.

A proper introduction begins with a handshake

Chiu School of Business

Chiu School of Business

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