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JANUARY 2017 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

Tom Ruth

ON CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND GOODS

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THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TALKS ABOUT WHAT DREW HIM TO EDMONTON, AND WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE EXCITED ABOUT THE AIRPORT RIGHT NOW.



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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 6 | Number 1

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Lessons Learned in 2016 By Josh Bilyk

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CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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 om Ruth on Connecting T People, Places and Goods The president and CEO of Edmonton International Airport talks about what drew him to Edmonton, and why we should all be excited about the airport right now. By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: TOM RUTH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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JANUARY 2017 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

 When U.S. Taxes Go Low, We Should Go Lower By Paige MacPherson

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 6 | Number 1

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

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There’s Still a Long Road Ahead of Fort McMurray By Laura Bohnert

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

53 59

Ice Cream Depot Celebrates 30 Years

28 32 42

Private and Alternative Schools: Serving Students, Parents and Communities Private and Alternative Schools Directory Whether it’s Boom or Bust, Immigration is Vital to Edmonton’s Economy By Laura Bohnert

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Synergy Projects Celebrates 20 Years

Is Work Isolation Adding to Our Sick Days? By Laura Bohnert

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Alberta Needs to Learn from the Eggs in the Basket Fable By Melanie Darbyshire and Nerissa McNaughton

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Your business is our business KPMG advisers combine our multi-disciplinary approach with deep industry knowledge to develop practical recommendations designed to help your organization work smarter, grow faster and compete stronger.

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LESSONS LEARNED IN 2016 // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Lessons Learned in 2016 BY JOSH BILYK

A

lberta businesses needed a win, and they finally got one. The federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Project gave a muchneeded reason to celebrate. In fact, as we rounded out 2016 there were a few bright spots. During a December cold snap the Alberta government announced approval of two petrochemical projects in the Capital Region. A joint venture between Pembina Pipeline Corporation and Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), was approved to receive up to $300 million in royalty credits to build an integrated propylene and polypropylene facility in Sturgeon County. The project is expected to cost from $3.8 billion to $4.2 billion to build. Inter Pipeline was approved to receive up to $200 million in royalty credits to build a $1.85 billion facility in Strathcona County. At the peak of the three-year construction phase, 2,000 full-time equivalent jobs could be created. According to Inter Pipeline, about 1,600 of those would be at the site and the rest would be in fabrication or module shops and engineering firms.

proposed line. My organization – Alberta Enterprise Group – spent years holding events, meeting with political leaders, hosting oil sands tours and planning missions across the country, emphasizing the enormous economic benefits that will come from the project. We now know that all of that and more will be required to gain the necessary approvals for resource development infrastructure in the future. Five years ago, TMX seemed like a slam dunk. In hindsight it’s clear how much the policy environment has changed – not just in Canada but throughout North America. Projects aren’t to be taken for granted and all business leaders need to stand up and be heard. The approval of the proposed petrochemical projects were the result of a royalty credit program that will offset project costs by $500 million in foregone royalties. This is a reminder that cost competitiveness matters. Companies will invest in Alberta if the economics work. In this case, a royalty credit may be the difference between a project proceeding or not proceeding, but if Alberta’s overall tax and royalty system was truly competitive, these credit programs might not be needed in the first place.

In the span of a few weeks we saw a critical pipeline come closer to reality, a glimmer of hope for two significant petrochemical projects, and slowly rising oil prices. Not bad.

In 2017 we must keep our eye on the business fundamentals in Alberta. Corporate taxes are up, the carbon tax imposes significant cost increases and a variety of other policies are making it tougher to invest. This trend must end in 2017.

The approval of Kinder Morgan’s TMX was a hardfought win for Alberta’s energy industry. It took years of community consultation and First Nations outreach. Kinder Morgan CEO Ian Anderson personally met with countless community members up and down the length of the

The Alberta economy is seeing one of the toughest stretches in history, but there were some positive signals as we closed out 2016. As we move out of this downturn, we need to continue to focus on having the right mix of policies to encourage investment in our province.

Throughout all of this, oil prices slowly percolated upward.

ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP IS A MEMBER-BASED, NON-PROFIT BUSINESS ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION. AEG MEMBERS EMPLOY MORE THAN 150,000 CANADIANS IN ALL SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY.

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Audit • Tax • Advisory

Clients see him as their partner. So we made him ours.

At Grant Thornton LLP, we’re delighted to announce Hussein Poonjani has been appointed partner in our Edmonton office. As managing director of our transactions practice, Hussein has helped many owners and management teams realize maximum value for their businesses.

Hussein Poonjani, CPA, CA, CBV Managing Director, Transactions Northern Alberta T +1 780 401 8254 E Hussein.Poonjani@ca.gt.com

Hussein has led countless merger and acquisition initiatives, and we know he’ll make an excellent partner—for us and his clients. Give Hussein a call. He’d be glad to discuss growth opportunities for your business. © 2016 Grant Thornton LLP. A Canadian Member of Grant Thornton International Ltd. All rights reserved.

MAKING A DEAL WORK IN TODAY’S BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

There’s no question that buying or selling a business in Alberta right now is difficult. A challenging economy, coupled with a growing number of baby boomers retiring, has resulted in an increasing divergence between buyers and sellers. So how do you get a deal done in the current environment?

of the business. Whether this works is completely dependent on the situation and whether both parties feel comfortable with the proposed deal. Either way, without properly structured terms, the chances of a successful transaction are reduced.

There are three key areas to focus on that are critical to the success of a transaction in today’s market.

Consider all your options — as a seller, it’s important that all buyers are considered for the company. For example, management may be the best fit to buy the company, but may not have the sophistication to run the business or the capital to purchase it. Don’t discount them as a buyer because of this. There are ways to make a situation like this work for both parties. Alternatively, there may be other parties, such as a competitor or supplier, who could also be a good fit.

The value of the business — there is an increased level of scrutiny from both buyers and sellers around the valuation of a business. Buyers don’t want to overpay and sellers don’t want to be low-balled. The current business market is changing rapidly. As a result, a sound understanding of the future potential of the business is required. A valuation is based on the future potential of a business. Relying only on historical results could result in a skewed view of the company’s valuation, resulting in the potential for a failed, or unfair, deal. Terms — terms are also a critical factor in getting a deal done or losing one. A common situation is where the seller has an asking price but the buyer isn’t willing to pay all cash. Instead, they offer a partial cash payment along with a contingent payment, which is tied to the future performance

These are just some of the considerations that can determine whether buying or selling a business is the right choice, right now. Transaction and valuation experience is invaluable in any transaction, and even more so in the current business climate. Speak with a specialist who is familiar with mergers and acquisitions—it might be the best thing you can do to ensure a successful transaction. By Hussein Poonjani, Managing Director, Transactions, Grant Thornton LLP


WHEN U.S. TAXES GO LOW, WE SHOULD GO LOWER // GUEST COLUMNIST

When U.S. Taxes Go Low, We Should Go Lower BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

O

ur neighbours to the south have elected a new president, Donald Trump. During the campaign he promised many changes that will impact businesses in the U.S. But what does the new regime mean for Edmonton’s business community? For starters, Trump promised to negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement – an agreement that’s been great for Canada. Renegotiating it could have negative or positive outcomes for Canada. The devil will be in the details. This, too, could be bad for American businesses. However, they can take solace in the fact that Trump promised to lower the business tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent – a dramatic decline. That could be a very good news story for American tax revenues. We know that at least a segment of the business tax base is mobile, especially at the high end. For Americans who had chosen to take their businesses out of the country, the U.S. may now look like a much rosier place to file their taxes. Lowered income taxes because of Trump’s promise to collapse the seven income tax brackets into three may have similar effects, attracting the well-off to file their taxes at home. Canada could benefit from economic growth sparked in the U.S. But by the same token, these tax changes could have a magnetic effect, drawing Canadian businesses and wouldbe investors down south. Certainly, a dramatically reduced business tax rate makes Canada less competitive, as was noted in an RBC report. Perhaps we should politely twist the meaning of an oft-used phrase in the U.S. election: “When they go low, we go high.” When it comes to tax rates, when they go low, we should go lower.

At the very least, we shouldn’t be raising taxes. At the federal level, Prime Minister Trudeau lowered income taxes in the middle bracket, but increased income taxes at the top. Provincially, Premier Notley also increased income taxes to those making over $125,000. Premier Notley raised general business taxes by 20 per cent almost immediately upon entering office. Her small business tax cut was welcome, but was easily offset by other tax and wage hikes. All of these tax hikes should be reconsidered if these governments are serious about “creating jobs.” Both the federal and provincial governments must take a more critical look at their multibillion-dollar carbon taxes. The U.S. – the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and Canada’s nearest competitor for investment – isn’t imposing a carbon tax and has vowed to scrap the Paris climate commitments. Canada’s incoming $50/tonne carbon tax will impact our competitiveness. This past year, Edmonton city council increased non-residential property taxes by 2.1 per cent, and residential property taxes increased by an even greater amount. A 2016 poll by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business showed Edmonton dismally ranked 107th on a list of the best places in Canada to start and grow a business. Canadian and Albertan policies, as well as those crafted right here in Edmonton, do not exist within a vacuum, and they should not be modelled as if they do. With incoming U.S. policies opening the door to business, policy-makers should prioritize how they are going to attract and retain jobcreators here at home.

PAIGE MACPHERSON IS ALBERTA DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION.

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Official Nomination Form

Go Online to www.businessinedmonton.com/leaders Submissions Directions: Please complete the application in its entirety. Send the form via email to leaders@businessinedmonton.com; fax to 587.520.5701; or mail to us at: Suite 1780, 10020 - 101 A Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 3G2. For further information on the Leaders program please contact 1-800-465-0322.

Eligibility: All nominees must own, be a partner, CEO, or President of a private or public company, and be a primary stakeholder responsible for the recent performance of the company. In addition, the nominee’s company must be Edmonton-based and have been in existence for a minimum of three years. Judging Panel and Criteria: The independent panel of judges will consist of a selection of successful business leaders from the community. The judges will analyze an extensive list of criteria that will include finances, strategic direction, product or service innovation, company leadership (including personal integrity, values and key employee initiatives), community involvement and philanthropic activities.

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OFF

THE

Details of Capital Power’s Coal Phase Out and PPA Agreements

Capital Power, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, is a North American power producer that develops, acquires, operates and optimizes power generation from a variety of energy sources. The company owns more than 3,200 megawatts of power generation capacity at 18 facilities across North America. Recently, Capital Power released details of agreements the company had reached with the Government of Alberta (Province) as they relate to the 2030 coal phase-out and Power Purchase Arrangement (PPA) issues. It has been agreed that Capital Power will receive cash payments from the Province in the amount of $52.4 million per year for 14 years. Payments will start in July 2017. This is to compensate the capital the company invested in coal generating assets since those investments will now become irrelevant by the end of December 2030. “The settlement is reasonable because it repays shareholders for the stranding of capital due to the 2030 truncation of coal emissions, while also recognizing the potential for extending the economic lives of certain facilities through conversion to natural gas,” says Capital Power’s president and CEO, Brian Vaasjo. “The Province committed to implementing its Climate Leadership Plan in a way that would be fair to communities, companies and workers while avoiding unnecessarily stranding capital. [The] agreement fulfills that promise to our shareholders.” Capital Power will continue to participate in the province’s electricity market and support the communities in which it has coal facilities until the end of 2030. The company will also fulfill its pension and other commitments to its employees. The Province of Alberta also agreed to cease legal action against Capital Power regarding the PPA. The Province will arrange for the Balancing Pool to accept the company’s

decision to end its role as a buyer of the Sundance C Power Purchase Arrangement. In return, Capital Power and its syndicate partners agreed to pay the Balancing Pool $39 million (Capital Power’s portion is $20 million; $15 million after tax). “On balance, this represents a fair settlement, having regard to uncertainty regarding the effective date of the termination and the PPA value decline because of market factors,” said Mr. Vaasjo. “It is important that the uncertainty associated with these issues is behind us so we can continue to develop generation opportunities in Alberta, subject only to market and economic signals. It also helps clear the way for us to consider ways in which we can utilize both new and existing assets to extend the life of the Genesee site as a major contributor to Alberta’s power needs beyond 2030. In addition, we look forward to engaging with the Government of Alberta on the evolution of Alberta’s electricity market design, including participation in stakeholder consultations regarding the design and introduction of a capacity market. A well-designed and fairly implemented capacity market can deliver an affordable power supply for Albertans, reduce market price volatility and provide certainty that generation capacity will be there when needed.”

ABOVE: BRIAN VAASJO, CAPITAL POWER’S PRESIDENT & CEO

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OFF

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The Pulse of Fintech Report Launches

KPMG, KPMG Enterprise’s Global Network for Innovative Startups and CB Insights have collaborated to create a quarterly report called The Pulse of Fintech. The inaugural report launched in November 2016 and the series will analyze global trends in venture capital (VC) investment data in the fintech sector. “Fintech” refers to financial technology. The concept has grown rapidly during the 21st century, emerging from financial institutions and entering other sectors such as crypto-currency (e.g. Bitcoin), education, investing and retail banking. Examples of recent fintech innovations include peer-to-peer lending sites, digital wallet systems, robotic financial advisors and money management apps. The four main categories of fintech users are banks, banks’ business clients, small businesses and consumers. “Given the significant interest in fintech globally, and its ongoing evolution in terms of market drivers, technologies and potential use-cases, KPMG and CB Insights are partnering to bring you the pulse of fintech investment globally. Each quarter, we’ll highlight key fintech deals, issues and challenges around the world, in addition to key trends and insights related to fintech in key regions, including North America, Asia and Europe,” KPMG said in a media statement. “Despite quarterly decreases, both in terms of the number of deals and the total value of VC investment in fintech, the year-to-date view shows a positive trend. Though it is no longer expected to exceed 2015’s peak investment levels, due in large part to the lack of $1 billion+ mega-deals in Q3, the first 3 quarters of 2016 have already exceeded the annual totals for 2014 and earlier,” the statement continued. The initial report examines the effect of fintech on a global scale, along with a closer look at fintech within key economic regions. The report seeks to identify and answer: https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2016/11/the-pulse-of-fintech-q3-report.pdf

• How fintech continues to evolve • If China has become a stronger fintech leader than the United States • Why corporate investors are interested in fintech • How fintech payment technologies are impacting our world The report highlights several points of interest, including the fact that in Q3 2016, VC-backed fintech companies raised $2.4 billion across 178 deals, and overall fintech investment soared to $2.9 billion. Despite the high interest in fintech on a global scale, however, “investors continue to hold back on making major investments amid ongoing market uncertainty. During Q3’16, both the number of fintech deals and the total value of fintech investment dropped compared to Q2, with the dollars invested falling to less than half of the investment seen in Q3’15. The drop-off in fintech investment is in part due to a lack of $1 billion+ mega-deals, which have helped prop up the numbers in previous quarters. Q1’16 for example, included $1 billion+ funding rounds to JD Finance and Lu.com, which represented almost half of Q1’s total fintech investment. Comparatively, the top two funding rounds this quarter involved $449 million to Qufengi and $310 million to 51xinyongka1,” as per the report. A full copy of The Pulse of Fintech can be downloaded from KPMG’s website (home.kpmg.com). ABOVE: KPMG OPERATES IN 34 LOCATIONS ACROSS CANADA. THE FIRM’S MORE THAN 700 PARTNERS AND MORE THAN 6,000 EMPLOYEES PROVIDE CRUCIAL SERVICES TO MANY OF THE TOP BUSINESS, NOT FOR PROFIT AND GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS IN CANADA. PHOTO SOURCE: KPMG IN CANADA

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THERE’S STILL A LONG ROAD AHEAD FOR FORT MCMURRAY // OIL & GAS

THERE’S STILL A

Long Road Ahead FOR FORT MCMURRAY BY LAURA BOHNERT

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2017

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THERE’S STILL A LONG ROAD AHEAD FOR FORT MCMURRAY // OIL & GAS

I

t has been 10 months since the wildfire began that would cause further devastation in an economy that was already feeling the strain of a recession. While the fire is out and the evacuation is over, things are far from back to normal in Fort McMurray—and with the way things are going, it looks like it might take a while for normal to become visibly foreseeable once again. While everyone felt the effects—and the trauma—of the fire, it was the oil industry that took one of the hardest hits, since oil and gas is the foundation of Fort McMurray’s economy. The blaze, which spread across 590,000 hectares, overtaking 2,400 homes and buildings, consuming forested areas, and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Albertan history, halted oil sands operations in Fort McMurray. Many oil and gas operations heavily scaled back if they weren’t forced to shut down completely. Shell Canada shut down output at its Albian Sands operation,

and Suncor Energy and Syncrude Canada were both forced to scale back operations. The fire disrupted more than a million barrels of daily output—one quarter of Canada’s oil production—costing the Alberta economy an estimated $70 million per day. Two months after the fire began, on July 5, it was declared to be under control, but it is still considered to be the costliest disaster to occur in Canadian history, and the bulk of that financial burden continues to fall on Fort McMurray. Of course, the fire is only one part of the equation for Fort McMurray. The wildfire may have halted operations, but the 2014 drop in oil prices, the recession, the new government and its carbon tax, and a prior decline in research and development investment that has been affecting the industry since as far back as 2001 have all added up to create a city that is hesitating to even begin the recovery process until the economic stars align once more.

ABOVE: THE FORT MCMURRAY WILDLIFE CAUSED PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL DAMAGE, LONG AFTER THE LAST EMBERS DIED DOWN. PHOTO SOURCE: JASON WOODHEAD

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THERE’S STILL A LONG ROAD AHEAD FOR FORT MCMURRAY // OIL & GAS

Leon Beaudoin, owner and operator of L&D Adventures, is one of many business owners who are biding their time, waiting to get back into an oil and gas industry that still has a lot of closed doors. A local consultant for the oil and gas industry who supervises service and drilling rigs for completion and workovers in the oil field in and around Fort McMurray, Beaudoin had been operating his business out of Bonnyville, Alberta since 2004 when the fire brought things to a halt. “We were evacuated and shut down,” describes Beaudoin. “The fire ripped through the plant I was working at and halted production there.” But the fire wasn’t the only thing causing problems for Beaudoin. “The company I was working for had a lot of bad luck—pipeline breaks and weather factors among them.

Operations were still down from the recession. The fires were the last straw, but the economy isn’t helping to get things back in motion even now.” Despite a number of federal approvals for new oil and gas projects, Beaudoin, along with many of his colleagues in the oil and gas industry in Fort McMurray, is hesitant to get too excited. “Approvals are good,” Beaudoin explains, but a lot still depends on how the government manages those approvals. If they continue to increase taxes and royalties to the point where businesses can’t make their profits, then it really limits the number of investments businesses are willing to make in the area. Many are waiting to see how government protocols and decisions will affect Fort McMurray’s future recovery. The

In gratitude to the businesses who are part of the extended Aquarian Family. Together we deliver for our clients.

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THERE’S STILL A LONG ROAD AHEAD FOR FORT MCMURRAY // OIL & GAS

“THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY IS THE HUB OF EVERYTHING, SO THERE IS A HUGE RIPPLE EFFECT THAT TRANSVERSES ALL THE WAY DOWN TO EVEN THE SMALLEST GROCERY STORES. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT INDUSTRY YOU ARE IN—FROM TOURISM TO GROCERY—YOU ARE FEELING THE IMPACTS RIGHT NOW IN FORT MCMURRAY. PEOPLE WHO AREN’T MAKING MONEY AREN’T SPENDING MONEY EITHER.” ~ LEON BEAUDOIN

WHAT DOES TRUMP MEAN FOR OIL AND GAS IN ALBERTA? Donald Trump’s election to U.S. Presidency has left a number of Canadians holding their breath to see what happens with projects and negotiations that are in the works between Canada and the U.S.. The oil and gas industry is no different. While Trump’s favouring of pipeline projects may resurrect a glimmering hope for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, he’s also made a number of comments alluding to his intention to claim a larger share of the profits for the U.S., and his blatant dissent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has left an export industry in economic limbo.

climate tax was imposed in part to repair the oil and gas industry’s reputation as a climate villain, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also made it clear that the world’s 11thlargest economy needs to shift its focus to become a services and knowledge-based sector rather than purely a resource industry if it is going to survive, and while that type of

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diversification is paying off for a number of companies who are using this recession as an opportunity to divert attention to research and development, a lot of businesses in Fort McMurray have lost too many resources to be able to afford recovery, let alone that level of innovation. For Beaudoin, focusing on diversification meant giving up on the oil and gas industry entirely—and a lot of his colleagues, he notes, have followed suit. “I started another business called L&D Marine Rental Repair,” says Beaudoin. “We rent marine equipment and provide small marine engine repairs. It doesn’t provide oil field wages, but it is keeping us afloat.” “A lot of my friends have turned away from the oil and gas industry, too,” Beaudoin adds. “Some are going back into construction work, but some are also taking up tourism.”


THERE’S STILL A LONG ROAD AHEAD FOR FORT MCMURRAY // OIL & GAS

Beaudoin and his son, Darwin, were fortunate to have started L&D Marine Rental Repair in 2012, before the economy took its hit, and well before the fire swept through. When the fire brought L&D Adventures to a halt, he had another business venture to fall back on, but he’s noticed an impact in the recreation and tourism industry, too. “It is definitely a different world out there—it isn’t like it was 10 years ago,” Beaudoin recalls. “Even the rental business has slowed significantly from previous years, but it’s still a lot more stable than the oil and gas industry right now. The oil and gas industry is the hub of everything, so there is a huge ripple effect that transverses all the way down to even the smallest grocery stores. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in—from tourism to grocery—you are feeling the impacts right now in Fort McMurray. People who aren’t making money aren’t spending money either.” For now, Beaudoin describes, it is a waiting game for businesses in Fort McMurray. “We are mostly waiting on oil prices. There isn’t much we can do. We just need to wait it out and hope we get pipeline approval so we can get oil to market on the other side of the country and can start using our own instead of importing.”

are far from back to normal. A lot of people are just sitting and waiting to see what happens before they start getting their money back out.” Emerald Oilfield ATV Services has been in business since 2011. “We’re just hanging on,” Cartney notes. “We’ve been around a while, so we still get regular rental fleets. Things are a lot quieter, but we didn’t lose the business. I see a lot of resourcefulness as a result of the fire and the recession. People are taking anything they can get these days. We just have to hang on. It’s all we can do at this point. We’re waiting on the economy—something has to happen there. A lot of people are relying on the industry to put food back on the table, but there are a lot of variables, and a lot of people are just waiting to see what happens with Trump. No one is moving until we see whether what he says makes things better or worse. For right now, it comes down to time—it really is just a waiting game.”

Greg Cartney, owner of Emerald Oilfield ATV Services, a Sherwood Park company that services ATVs and other equipment for use in the oil fields, agrees that right now, it’s a waiting game for the oil and gas companies in and around Fort McMurray. “Things are a lot quieter,” Cartney describes. “The recession started that ball rolling, but after things slowed down, the fire hit and everything shut down. There has been little movement since. I’ve heard from other people that things are starting to move again, but we

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2017

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TOM RUTH ON CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND GOODS // COVER

Tom Ruth ON CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND GOODS

THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TALKS ABOUT WHAT DREW HIM TO EDMONTON, AND WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE EXCITED ABOUT THE AIRPORT RIGHT NOW.

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

ABOVE: TOM RUTH, EIA PRESIDENT AND CEO PHOTO SOURCE:EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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TOM RUTH ON CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND GOODS // COVER

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TOM RUTH ON CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND GOODS // COVER

Y

ou don’t need to have a trip planned to be excited about the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) these days. A multi-stage commercial development that will provide an estimated 2,000 jobs to the labour force; the ongoing success of Cargo Village and strategic partnerships that are drawing pilots from all over Canada for training are just some of the projects in progress. It’s busy on and off the tarmac, but things are running smoothly – thanks to the leadership of president and CEO Tom Ruth. Ruth joined EIA in 2014, and brought along a rich cargo hold of experience, and experiences. His entire professional career has been in transportation and logistics, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “What I like, and continue to love, is that every day is different and you get a chance to really be impactful,” he says of his long and successful career. “Every day you are moving people or goods all around the world to their adventures and helping businesses grow. It’s long hours and hard work, but it is very rewarding.” Ruth, a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen, started his career in America as general manager for Northwest Airlines. After 10 years with Northwest, he moved to Canada in 1994 for what was supposed to be a two-year job with Livingston International. The duties that landed him in Toronto to open up ground transportation offices near the border stretched into 10 years of living in Toronto, and a lasting love affair with Canada. “I fell in love with Canada and I fell in love with a Canadian,” Ruth smiles, “but I started to miss the aviation side of things, so I became president of Canadian North Airlines for three years and moved to the Northwest Territories.” Ruth and his wife lived in the north from 2004-2007, where he enjoyed profitably growing the 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned airline. His next stop on his ongoing flight of adventures was Montreal, where he took on the role of president for Oceanex. His time at Oceanex was short lived, however. Just months after he signed on, the company became privatized, so he moved to Halifax where spent the next six years as president and CEO of the Halifax International Airport Authority.

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On November 14, 2013, EIA announced Tom Ruth as the incoming president and CEO of Edmonton Airports. He commenced duties on January 20, 2014, and things at the airport really took off. “After safety and security, air service development is our number one job,” Ruth points out. “Over the last 10 years, even with the economic downturn, we are the fastest-growing major airport in Canada. There has been $500,000,000 in development at the airport in the last few years. Business is going to emanate from the airport, so we plan around it, like a mini city. We have the luxury in Edmonton of having more geographical land than any other airport in Canada. We’ve been blessed with being able to do more economic development. Next year we’ll have 2,000 more jobs thanks to the outlet mall and other developments that are going to open.” “What we do here is all about safety and security. Our mandate is to create economic prosperity for the region in a fiscally responsible way. Everything we do derives from that. More air service means more jobs and more cargo development.” It’s not an easy job. “We’re not directly government funded,” says Ruth, dispelling the long-held notion of where money for EIA’s operations come from. “EIA is a non-share, not-for-profit

“WHAT WE DO HERE IS ALL ABOUT SAFETY AND SECURITY. OUR MANDATE IS TO CREATE ECONOMIC PROSPERITY FOR THE REGION IN A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE WAY. EVERYTHING WE DO DERIVES FROM THAT. MORE AIR SERVICE MEANS MORE JOBS AND MORE CARGO DEVELOPMENT.” ~ TOM RUTH


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TOM RUTH ON CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND GOODS // COVER

company. Worldwide, most airports are funded by the government. We are not. We run EIA like a public company. When we do an expansion at the airport, we have to ensure that we are being fiscally responsible. We need to generate cash for the expansion, but also generate cash to keep our landing fees low. All our revenues get reinvested back into the airport, so it’s basically a closed loop cash system. The lower the fees, the more flights, the more flights, the better the situation is for the economy. “When people come to the airport and buy goods on airport property or park their cars in one of our lots, we take every bit of the revenue we generate on site and turn it into keeping our fees low and expanding the airport in the way customers expect us to. Having that balance between fiscal responsibility and keeping fees low for the airlines and passengers is paramount. “A lot of the general public doesn’t see the integrated steps EIA has in the background to have a myriad of different companies working to ensure the whole experience – from when someone arrives, visits vendors, goes through security, gets on the plane, gets pushed backed on the tarmac and then does the whole thing coming back – is working and teaming well with all the different players. This is absolutely critical for a successful operation.” The airport is also far more than what tourists and travellers experience. It’s quickly becoming an important destination for pilot training and air cargo, too. “We’ve got a burgeoning aerotech centre here!” Ruth says, excitement evident in his voice. “It started about two years ago with a joint venture with the Province of Alberta, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) and Canadian North installing a Boeing 737 flight simulator at the airport. It’s literally like flying a 737! We have pilots coming from all over Canada to train on this simulator.” Recently, pilots got another reason to fly to the airport. On November 10, 2016, EIA’s Alberta Aerospace and Technology Centre (AATC), in partnership with Canadian Helicopters (an HNZ company), Edmonton International Airport, Canadian North, EEDC and the Government of Alberta opened a stateof-the-art helicopter flight simulation training device.

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“[Pilots in training] actually get credit for the hours they are in the simulator. It’s that realistic. Pilots from around the world will be trained here,” says Ruth. AATC’s advancements are happening as another area of the airport, Cargo Village, continues to expand. Cargo Village boasts rapid customs and warehousing services for international cargo, with runways and services available to accommodate the world’s largest cargo aircraft, including the famous Antonov. Edmonton International Airport and private logistics companies have invested over $100 million in upgrades to cargo infrastructure over the past three years, and is home to 24 cargo-carrying airlines, including eight dedicated freight carriers, plus onsite cargo handlers, freight forwarders and customs brokers. “International cargo is important for a region,” confirms Ruth. “Air cargo is two per cent of the volume


TOM RUTH ON CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND GOODS // COVER

of goods shipped in the world, but 35 per cent of the value.” He points out an exciting Cargo Village development. “Air China Cargo is flying the only freighter flight from mainland China into Canada, and it goes through Edmonton. This is the only dedicated freighter flight flying from China to Edmonton and then to the United States. We are connecting these huge economies through Edmonton, which is a boon for small and medium-sized businesses. Ruth loves to see how the world comes together at the airport, and perhaps that’s because he’s lived in so many places around the globe. He has been on the beach of every major ocean as well as the Great Lakes, but now he’s happy to call Edmonton home. “It’s just a fabulous city. I knew Edmonton quite well from my time in Yellowknife and [my wife and I] knew what we were getting into, but it exceeded all our expectations. The business community is, and continues to be, very embracing. My wife is on half a dozen volunteer boards and is engaged in the community. We just love it here. Living near Old Strathcona and downtown, we love the festivals and there is always something to do. We also love biking in the River Valley.” He’s enjoying his time and role at EIA. “I tell people, if you are ever having a bad day, go to the arrivals area and watch families and friends connecting. On a daily basis, we get to connect people and goods from all over the world and it’s a cauldron of emotions. We have people coming inbound and outbound, speaking so many different languages. Some are coming for funerals or going to weddings or graduations. There is all this stuff happening and we get to facilitate all those moments and connections for people. We are impacting people’s lives here. “On the cargo side, as we grow our cargo business we are creating all these air pipelines that are allowing businesses in their regions to help businesses grow.

“If you are part of the 6,000 plus people working at the airport, you have a chance to impact people’s lives. Our company’s culture is so important and is really critical to our success. How people feel about their job, their role, and their chance to make a difference is important. For me, leadership is about fostering a really open and engaged corporate culture. That is paramount. Being able to be transparent and to have open communication and two-way feedback so we can stay close to the pulse of our business is really critical. “When I think about what’s helped me in my career, it is staying connected to my roots, which are the communities I’ve lived in around the world. I’m always influenced and amazed by the goodness of people wherever I’ve been, and I embrace the chance to be involved in a business where I’m interacting with so many people.” For Ruth, community engagement also means giving back, which is something he and his family are happy to do. EIA also invests in the community with over 50 partnerships across a variety of industry sectors. EIA’s most significant charity event is the annual September golf outing that has raised approximately $795,000 over the last six years to be distributed among the Leduc & District Food Bank, Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS) and Riseup Society. For a man so inspired by his past, Ruth loves to keep his eyes on the horizon, where he sees plenty of good things coming down the runway. “What you will see more and more of at EIA is continued work to provide air pipelines – more flights to more places, which is our mission. We will continue to diversify our commercial development around the airport and create ancillary jobs related to aeronautical growth and natural development. As for me, personally, I just want to be part of the continued growth in this region.” As the airport continues to grow under Ruth’s leadership, the entire region benefits from the vision of what EIA strives to be: an economic hub that moves people and goods, metaphorically and physically. It’s a place where dreams take flight. It’s a place of real connections for individuals and businesses; and for Tom Ruth, the man that has lived, worked and played on almost every continent on the globe, it is where he feels right at home.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2017

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SERVING STUDENTS, PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES // PRIVATE AND ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

SERVING STUDENTS, PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES

P

arents are naturally concerned about how well their children do at school and about the quality of education. Schooling is a highly formative experience and convincing parents of the value of a specific school may prove to be challenging among the wide range of options. This article explores independent (private) schools as one such option in Alberta’s diverse education landscape.

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL ENROLMENTS In a 2015-16 provincial system of 690,844 students, 28,627 (approximately four per cent) attended independent (private) schools. Another 5,688 attended community-based private ECS sites (kindergartens) where about 70 per cent of the students have special needs. Some international, First Nations and non-resident students are also educated in independent schools. As an aggregated group, the population of students is approximately five per cent of the education system as a whole. Most of the independent schools enrol less than 200 students per site with a handful teaching over 700 students. The Calgary area is home to approximately 40 independent school authorities.

BOARD STRUCTURES The most distinctive feature of independent schools, similar to charter schools, is that they are generally single-site operations under the supervision of a small board. Each independent school operates with a specific vision and mission that may vary according to the type of education programming. Boards may be elected or appointed and teachers are hired directly.

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Since different governance models are practiced and most management is site-based, independent schools do not have large centralized offices so they tend to not get bogged down in bureaucracy. Decisions can be made more expeditiously and effectively. The schools acquire additional services as required by contracting and collaborating with other local agencies. There may be various support committees to assist in managing all the services and facilities. If a school is not responsive, and parents and students are not satisfied, it will likely fail as parents leave.

TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS Teachers in independent schools hold the same professional certificates as their public school counterparts. Teaching standards are subject to provincial regulation managed by Alberta Education’s Teacher Certification Branch. Teachers are evaluated externally by competent individuals appointed by the registrar in order to qualify for permanent professional teaching certificates and their teaching practice is governed by provincial legislation.

ACCOUNTABILITY OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS All community-based private ECS (kindergarten) operators and all independent schools operate as not-for-profit agencies under the Societies’ Act of Alberta. They must report accordingly to Alberta Education using the same accountability pillars as do public schools but with additional requirements for monitoring, external reporting and teacher evaluation. Standards of


SERVING STUDENTS, PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES // PRIVATE AND ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

accountability generally parallel public schools, which are available on the Alberta Education website.

extracurricular program activities and other program enhancements.

Government-collected data reveals independent schools are safe and caring institutions that are responsive to parents, and do a good job of preparing students for life after high school.

CURRENT ENVIRONMENT

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL ECONOMICS CONSIDERATIONS In keeping with the 1998 Private School Funding Task Force, Alberta independent schools receive part of the funding public authorities receive per student. Currently, private school funding is limited to a maximum of 70 per cent of the instructional and Plant Operations and Maintenance (POM) funding envelopes provided to public authorities. Independent schools do not receive funding for a number of funding envelopes available to public authorities, including: class size reduction dollars, technology enhancement funding, transportation grants and capital (school building) funds. In addition, independent school teachers do not benefit from the $2.2 billion government provided to the Teachers’ Retirement Fund to cover pension plan shortfalls. Milke (2015) recently pointed out independent schools have saved government some $750 million over the past five years. Milke uses a comparison that a student in the public system costs taxpayers $10,874 in comparison to $5,150 for a student in the private system. It could be argued that tuitions paid by independent school parents make more dollars available to public schools. Special needs students may qualify for additional grants. Some specialized schools, termed Designated Special Education Private Schools, may only admit students requiring specialized supports but their non-special education funding is like that of the other independent schools. No independent school receives funding for capital expenses so a modern facility with specialized theatres or playing fields is not built using taxpayer money. Independent schools charge tuitions in order to pay for the remaining costs of operating the school. Tuition fees will vary considerably depending on the kind of capital investments for buildings, teacher/student ratios,

For more than 100 years, Alberta has been well served with a pluralistic system of education. In keeping with the province’s heritage and values, conscientious objectors, minority groups and people from multiple backgrounds have settled in the area without having to extinguish their foundational identities. One criticism of independent schools is they do not allow everyone to attend. Public schools select students based on geographic location, specific program types and needs of the student, and sometimes gender. Not every student can enrol in any school. A universal education system that is genuinely inclusive must allow some parental choice so parents can make positive choices for the sake of their child. In that sense, Alberta’s aggregated, pluralistic educational system is in fact very inclusive, and independent schools play a key role in complementing the provincial system. Arguments opposing independent schools are nothing new. Opponents often fail to consider the significant contributions independent schools make to society and ignore the fact the primary beneficiaries are children. At the end of the day, all students in both public and independent schools are provided a government-approved education through a curriculum that meets Alberta’s expectations. Independent schools are not a “private” matter; they provide a public function by delivering on educational outcomes through not-for-profit institutions that are approved by and held accountable to the public interest. From the perspective of parents, primary concerns usually revolve around how well their child is doing. They want to know their child is in good hands, and the school has their best interest at heart. They need assurance the situation at school is working. In a child’s 13 years of education, each day counts. For more information, visit the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges (AISCA) at www.aisca.ab.ca. AISCA represents approximately 90 per cent of Alberta’s publicly accredited independent schools as well as 65 per cent of the private Early Childhood Services programs.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2017

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individuality the engine for accelerated education

www.progressiveacademy.ca 780-455-8344

age. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explor


h

elping our children gain competence with the tools they need in the information age provides them with the confidence to share their natural talents and become valued members of our communities. Literacy is the spark. With literacy and technology, there are no limits to learning. With literacy, expression can flow, collaboration radiates, and the future is bright. Our early literacy program is one of the hallmarks of Progressive Academy. In a warm, rich environment, students as young as three learn that reading is key to their everything.

For a child who can read well, the world is open. At Progressive Academy, education is not restrained by time, but accelerated by students’ demonstrations of competence. Building on their own successes, our students take on increasing responsibility for their own learning: by Grade 4 we often see competencies far exceeding strict grade level; by Junior High, students are expected to also demonstrate their skills through internship experiences, which help them cultivate their interests and gain a better understanding of the real world awaiting them. In ultimately marrying their interests in learning with what they need to be learning, the students’ own hunger for answers puts them in gear, and propels them—their intentions and ambitions fuel their progress. Students at Progressive Academy learn to recognize and leap barriers in their pursuit of knowledge, and eagerly tackle the most difficult problems to find the answers they need. Creativity and innovation abound, producing competence, not just in passing tests, but in researching topics and presenting results, in collaboration and in leadership. That competence is the key to learning for the future.

Education is not restrained by time, but accelerated by students’ demonstrations of competence. Our students dive wholeheartedly into learning the sounds of the English language through songs and games, then abruptly, voraciously take up reading everything around them. On the way home from school, street signs suddenly mean something, parents can no longer spell secrets and just like that, young learners are empowered to start their own searches using computers.

Preschool, Full Day Kindergarten, Elementary, Junior High.

outstanding students. outstanding results.

re. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. e


DIRECTORY // PRIVATE AND ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

Columbus Academy Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 6770 129 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7 Phone: (780) 440-0708 Fax: (780) 440-0760 Email: Abh_admin@boscohomes.ca

Coralwood Adventist Academy

Edmonton Bible Heritage Christian School

Gabriela Mistral Latin American School

Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 35-55517 Rge. Rd 240 N.W. Sturgeon County, AB T0A 0K5 Phone: (780) 454-3672 Fax: (780) 488-3672

Pre K, K, Grades 1 – 9, Adults 9359 - 67A Street Edmonton, AB T5J 2N9 Phone:780-914-6574 Email: gabrielamistraledmonton@gmail.com

Edmonton Islamic Academy

German Language School Edmonton

Kindergarten to grade 8 12218-135 St Nw Edmonton, AB T5L 1X1 Phone: (780) 454-2173 Fax: (780) 455-6946 Email: office@coralwood.org Website: www.coralwood.org

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 14525 - 127 Street Edmonton, AB T6V 0B3 Phone: (780) 454-4573 Fax: (780) 454-3498 Email: info@islamicacademy.ca Website: www.islamicacademy.ca

Covenant Canadian Reformed School

Edmonton Khalsa School

ECS, Grades 1 - 6, Grades 7 - 9, Grades 10 – 12 3030 Twp Rd 615A County of Barrhead, AB T0G 1R2 Phone: 780-674-4774 Fax: 780-401-3295 Email: ccrs.office@gmail.com Website: www.covenantschool.ca

Dante Alighieri Italian School K, Grades 1 - 12 c/o Archbishop O’Leary High 14230 – 133 Ave Edmonton, AB T5L 4W4 Phone: (780) 474-1787 Email: aristidem@shaw.ca

Devon Christian School Preschool, ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 205 Miquelon Avenue West Devon, AB T9G 0L8 Phone: (780) 987-4157 Fax: (780) 987-3323 Email: dcs@devonchristianschool.ca Website: www.devonchristianschool.ca

E2 Academy 14907 45 Ave NW Edmonton, AB T6R 2V4 Phone: (780) 966-1419 Email: info@e2academy.com Website: e2academy.com

Edmonton Academy

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 4504 Millwoods Road South Edmonton, AB T6L 6Y8 Phone: (780) 450-8753 Fax: (780) 461-6927 Email: edkhalsa@telus.net Website: www.edmkhalsaschool.org

Edmonton Menorah Academy Preschool, ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10735 McQueen Road Edmonton, AB T5N 3L1 Phone: (780) 451-1848 Fax: (780) 451-2254 Email: office@menorahacademy.org Website: www.menorahacademy.org

Edmonton Vietnamese Language School Centre Grades K to 12 10427-32 Avenue Edmonton, AB T6J 4J1 Phone: (780) 438-0114 Email: vankdu@shaw.ca Elves Child Development Centre ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12

Elves Special Needs Society 10825 - 142 Street Edmonton, AB T5N 3Y7 Phone: (780) 454-5310 Fax: (780) 454-5889 Email: info@elves-society.com Website: www.elves-society.com

Grade 4 to 12 Unit 2, 810 Saddleback Road, Edmonton, AB T6J 4W4 Phone: (780) 482-5449 e.richards@edmontonacademy.com Website: www.edmontonacademy.com

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Kneehill Christian School Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 P.O. Box 370 Linden, AB T0M 1J0 Phone: (403) 546-3781 Fax: (403) 546-3181

Lakeland Christian Academy

Preschool, K-6, Grades 7 – 12, Grades 10 - 12 c/o Rio Terrace School 7608-154 Street Edmonton, AB T5R 1R7 Phone: (780) 435-7540

K, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 P.O. Box 8397 Cold Lake, AB T9M 1N2 Phone: (780) 639-2077 Fax: (780) 639-4151 Email: lca@hlvc.org Website: www.hlvc.org/lca

Harvest Baptist Academy

Living Truth Christian School

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 26404 Highway 16, West Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3H5 Phone: (780) 960-0235 Fax: (780) 960-9235 Email: bdcoldwell@gmail.com

Headway School Society of Alberta ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10435-76 Street NW Edmonton, AB T6A 3B1 Phone: (780) 461-7683 Fax: (780) 485-0507 Email: headman@telus.net Website: www.headwayschool.org

Hillcrest Christian School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10306 - 102 Street Grande Prairie, AB T8V 2W3 Phone: (780) 539-9161 Fax: (780) 532-6932 Email: dpaetkau@hcsgp.ca

Inner City High School Grades 10 - 12 11205 – 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5G 2A4 Phone: (780) 424-9425 Fax: (780) 426-3386 Email: info@innercity.ca Website: www.innercity.ca

Ivan Franko Ukrainian School Grades 10 - 12 17711-89 Street Edmonton, AB T5Z 0A7 Phone: (780) 476-7529 Email: lsukhy@hotmail.com

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10-12 Box 89, Mirror, AB T0B 3C0 Phone: (403) 788-2444 Fax: (403) 788-2445 Email: ltcs@abchristianschools.ca Website: www.abchristianschools.ca

Living Waters Christian Academy ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 5 Grove Drive W. Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3X8 Phone: (780) 962-3331 Fax: (780) 962-3958 Email: kpenner@lwca.ab.ca Website : lwca.ab.ca

MAC Islamic School Accredited Kindergarten to grade 8 11342 127th Street Edmonton, AB T5M 0T8 Phone: (780) 453-2220 Email: office@macislamicschool.com Website: http://www.macislamicschool.com

Maskwachees Cultural School Grades 10 - 12 P.O. Box 960 Hobbema, AB T0C 1N0 Phone: (780) 585-3925 Fax: (780) 585-2080

Meadows Baptist Academy ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 2215 - 17 Street Edmonton, AB T6T 1J1 Phone: (780) 440-1195 Fax: (780) 490-4410 Email: bhunter@meadowlandsbaptist.com Website: www.meadowsbaptist.ca


DIRECTORY // PRIVATE AND ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

Morinville Christian School

Progressive Academy

SML Christian Academy

Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10515 100 Avenue Morinville, AB T8R 1A2 Phone: (780) 939-2987 Fax: (780) 939-6646 Email: mcfs@telus.net www.tfhchurch.ca/care/receive/morinvillechristian-school

Full-Time early childhood program for 3 – 5 year olds, Pre-school, Grades 1-9, Special Interest Programs Grade 10 – 12 (Robotics, Outdoor Education, International Study Tour, Class of One), Out of school care 13212 - 106 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5N 1A3 Phone: (780) 455-8344 Fax: (780) 455-1425 Email: info@progressiveacademy.ca Website: www.progressiveacademy.ca

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 5014 - 53 Avenue Stony Plain, AB T7Z 1R8 Phone: (780) 963-2715 Fax: (780) 963-7324 Email: dressler@smlacademy.ca Website: www.smlacademy.ca

Nebula Academy Preschool to Grade 5 12023 81 Street Edmonton AB T5B 2S9 Phone: 780-761-0250 info@nebulaacademy.ca www.nebulaacademy.ca

Norwood Chinese School K - 12 11124-130 St C/O Westmount School Edmonton, AB T5M 0J2 Phone: (780) 908-6406 Email: info@norwoodca.net

Parkland Immanuel Christian School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 21304 - 35 Avenue N.W. Edmonton, AB T6M 2P6 Phone: (780) 444-6443 Fax: (780) 444-6448 E-mail: infor@parklandimmanuel.ca Website: www.parklandimmanuel.ca

Peace Hills Adventist School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 R.R. 3, Wetaskiwin, AB T9A 1X1 Phone: (780) 352-8555 Fax: 780-352-8540 Email: peacehillsschool@gmail.com Website: www.peacehillsadventistschool.ca

Phoenix Academy Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 6770 129 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7

Polish Sienkiewicz School in Edmonton Accredited Heritage Language School Grades K - 12 P.O.Box 78076 RPO Callingwood Edmonton, AB T5T 6A1 Phone: 780-454-0205 and 780-439-5916 Fax: 780-439-5916 Email: sfurtak@shaw.ca Website: www.pshs.ca

Rimbey Christian School Fingerprints, ECS, Grades 1-9 P.O. Box 90 Rimbey, AB T0C 2J0 Phone: (403) 843-4790 Fax: (403) 843-3904 Email: office@rimbeychristianschool.com Website: www.rimbeychristianschool.com

Russian Education Centre Grades 10 - 12 9566 – 101 Ave Edmonton, AB T6K 3H6 Phone: (780) 966-7157 Email: oprokhorova@hotmail.com

Slave Lake Koinonia Christian K, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 P.O. Box 1548 Slave Lake, AB T0G 2A0 Phone: (780) 849-5400 Fax: (888)881-0428 Email: admin@slkcs.com

Solomon College Grades 10 - 12 Suite 228, 10621 - 100 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 0B3 Phone: (780) 431-1515 Fax: (780) 431-1644 Email: pingping@solomoncollege.ca Website: www.solomoncollege.ca

SCcyber E-Learning Community Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 200, B102 – 5212 48 St. Red Deer, AB T4N 7C3 Phone: (403) 872-0487 Email: administration@sccyber.net Website: www.sccyber.net

ALTERNATIVE The Banff Hockey Academy Grades 7 – 12, College bound hockey athletes Box 2242, Banff, Alberta T1L 1B9 Phone: 1-888-423-6369 Fax: (403) 760-0868 Email: registrar@banffhockey.ab.ca www.banffhockey.ab.ca

Tempo School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 5603 - 148 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 4T7 Phone: (780) 434-1190 Fax: (780) 430-6209 Email: admin@temposchool.org Website: www.temposchool.org

The Chinese Cultural Promotion Society Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 P.O.Box 32, Main Post Office Edmonton, AB T5G 2G9 Phone: (780) 485-9718 Email: ccps.clc@gmail.com

Thomas More Academy Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 6770 129 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7 Phone: (780) 430-6969 Fax: (780) 431-9627 Email: Abh_admin@boscohomes.ca

Waldorf Independent School of Edmonton ECS, Grades 1- 5 7114 98 St, Edmonton, AB T6E 3M1 Email: info@thewise.ca Website: www.thewise.ca

Southside Christian School Kindergarten to grade 9 South Side Christian School (403) 866-2266 P.O. Box 219, Red Deer, AB T4N 5E8 admin@southsidechristianschool.ca Website: www.southsidechristianschool.ca

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2017: Will Policy Plans Translate Into Results for Business? By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

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017 promises to be as much of a roller coaster as 2016 was, so get ready for the ride. We spent much of 2016 in suspense, and we need to see action in this new year—strong, thoughtful action that will build strength in our business community. In 2016 we had no choice but to wait: wait to see what policies the provincial and federal governments would implement, wait on key trade deals to be signed, wait - and desperately hope - for the Alberta economy to begin to show signs of recovery. In 2017, key government policies take effect. There are signs that Alberta’s economy will rebound slightly in 2017. Economists estimate that Alberta’s GDP will grow by just over 2 percent in Alberta, and City of Edmonton economist John Rose is forecasting 1.8 percent growth for Edmonton in 2017, if energy prices improve. That’s a big IF, so energy and climate will be overarching policy areas of focus for the Chamber in 2017. We will be monitoring, evaluating, and scrutinizing initiatives related to climate change overall, and Alberta’s carbon tax in particular. At the end of 2016, the Province had still not released a detailed analysis of the financial impacts of carbon tax. However, based on early estimates from several sources, the direct costs of the carbon tax in 2017 will be substantial: • City of Edmonton – $4 million for products like gasoline, diesel and natural gas • WestJet – $3 million on jet fuel for intra-Alberta flights • The Greenhouse Growers Association of Alberta – $5 million on greenhouse operations While the Chamber supports efforts to address climate change, adopting a carbon tax that is guaranteed to cause economic pain for individuals and businesses is not advisable after two years of economic contraction. We will continue to advocate ways to mitigate the certainty of detrimental effects on businesses and individuals. Another area of focus for the Chamber in 2017 will be expanding trade and market access. Businesses need profits to pay for the higher costs being imposed on them, and protectionist signals from the U.S. place trade and market access even higher on our list of priorities. For example, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on his first day in the White House. If our largest trading partner carries through with this type of protectionism, Alberta and Canada need to take greater advantage of existing trade deals and secure new partnerships.

The facts are painfully obvious—Alberta needs to get our products and services to new markets, and we must move forward with determination to strengthen our trading relationships, nationally and globally. Whatever actions the U.S. may take, we will continue to champion trade opportunities in 2017. Continued on the next page...

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AMVIC Licensed


There are signs that progress is being made on the trade front, both internally and externally: • There are positive signals that the Agreement on Internal Trade will be updated and modernized in 2017, further breaking down interprovincial trade barriers. • With the signing of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the EU has great potential to be a serious market for Alberta. Once it’s fully implemented, 99 percent of EU tariffs will be eliminated. While the policy decisions of provincial and federal governments get a lot of attention, municipal decisions can be equally significant and costly for business. The Edmonton Chamber will be vocal and engaged on the municipal front in 2017, actively speaking to issues like the adoption of Big City Charters for Edmonton and Calgary. Key concerns relate to the potential for new taxation and revenue generating powers that the City of Edmonton might be granted by the Province. Whatever the issue, the Edmonton Chamber will bring our calm approach, a clear vision, and a balanced perspective. We’re ready, we’re focused, and we’re tackling 2017 with intent. The Edmonton Chamber, our members, and the entire business community need results in 2017—concrete, tangible results that drive growth, health, and sustainability in these tough economic times. The Edmonton Chamber would like to hear from you. What issues are top-of-mind for you and your business for 2017? You can contact us by email: policy@edmontonchamber.com.

Contact - Edmonton Chamber of Commerce #600 – 9990 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7 • T: 780.426.4620 • F: 780.424.7946

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Electronic Recycling Association Member profile Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) President & Founder: Bojan Paduh www.era.ca

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ne of the cool things about repurposing an old item that is no longer needed, is thinking about all the new, innovative ways you might be able to reuse it. When I sat down ERA Founder, Bojan Paduh and we exchanged business cards, I was amazed to note that even his business cards were created from partially recycled materials. This small piece of plastic held more than his contact details; it told part of the story of ERA’s commitment to addressing the growing problem of e-waste. Read on to discover more about the ERA, and how your business can help those less fortunate AND have a positive impact on the environment. What’s your story? My family and I emigrated from Croatia in 1996 and couldn’t bring much with us. Shortly after we settled, the church group that my family and I belonged to gave me a computer. This gift allowed me to learn the art of computer science, a skill I regularly draw upon to this day. Later on, I noticed during a trip to the landfill that there were a lot of computers being dumped there. Computers that still had significant useful life in them, a fact I wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for that computer I was given as a young adult. I was surprised that people would just throw away working technology, and so I started collecting those dumped computers and fixing them up. Our society requires technology; it’s one of those things we can’t do without. We cycle through devices for a variety of reasons, but much of the time when something is perceived to be obsolete it actually has a lot of value remaining for someone else. The fact that there is a significant portion of society who cannot afford technology certainly doesn’t negate the necessity of technological equipment in today’s world.

Bojan Paduh, Founder of the Electronic Recycling Association.

I formed the ERA because I saw a great need for better management of the waste created by electronics. The other reason is that I know, from personal experience, how much a donated computer can mean to a family who can’t afford to purchase one. What are three things people are surprised to learn about your business? • We don’t receive government funding (we are a non-profit but not a charity, all of our work depends on donations from the public) • We use only refurbished computers donated to us within the company; we don’t buy new. • That the concept of ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ isn’t common sense, and that we have to work really hard to bring new corporate donors on board despite offering industry leading services and security measures, and the fact that safe management of retiring IT assets is a necessary process for all businesses.

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The team at Boyle St graciously receiving some refurbished computer assets from the ERA. (L-R) ERA’s Jessica Lifely, Boyle Street’s Executive Director Julian Daly, Edmonton City Centre MLA David Shepherd and ERA’s Kristi Gartner.

What has surprised you in the last 12 months? How quickly we went from a “have” province to a “need” province, and how quickly the employment figures changed. What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? Convincing companies to donate (surplus/ unwanted/retiring equipment) and think of that as a priority. What do you think is the biggest issue impacting Edmonton’s small businesses at this time? Shrinking budgets and a big focus on cost savings. Businesses have cut out perceived nonessential expenditures which impact the economy as a whole, especially charities and non-profits. What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? Doing new and exciting things. Updating policies and procedures as my team grows. Offering training and development opportunities, gym time during business hours and company trips and lunches. Do you have a personal mantra? Like Google says “Don’t be evil,” I think it’s “ Be caring.”

What do you enjoy most about being a chamber member? Meeting other members, the feeling of community, and being involved. Our Chamber mandate is to create the best environment for business in Edmonton. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? Enable direct b2b conversations to happen with decision makers based on a need by a solutions provider. Facilitate b2b conversations. What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? Visit West Edmonton Mall and Kinsman Centre. Apple or Android? Apple, but Android is better :) Coffee or tea? Coffee Your most favorite place in the world? Wherever I happen to be at that time. To learn more about the ERA and get involved in the e-waste reduction movement, check out www.era.ca

Members in this Issue ARCH Psychological Services in Is Work Isolation Adding to Our Sick Days? on page 46 BDC and ATB Financial in Alberta Needs to Learn on page 50

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Connecting Business A Discussion with Minister Deron Bilous

Minister Deron Bilous engaging in a lively Q&A session with Chamber members and guests.

Chamber members took the opportunity to connect prior to welcoming Minister Bilous to the stage for the fire-side style chat.

Minister Deron Bilous spoke to the outlook for trade opportunities available for Alberta businesses.

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Connecting Business Kinder Morgan Luncheon: Pipeline Success

Key note speaker and President of Kinder Morgan, Ian Anderson, talks about industry’s role in providing decision-makers the ability to “get to yes” by embracing changing public values and expectations.

Chamber President & CEO Janet Riopel talks to the media in the post event media scrum.

Catching up with friends and making new connections prior to address by Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada.

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Jeff Gaulin, VP Communications, CAPP, addresses Chamber members and guests as presenting sponsor of the luncheon.


Presented by

An Evening of Brilliance

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2017 Doors: 5:30 p.m. • Program & Cocktails: 6:00 p.m. Dress: Black Tie or Business Formal Tickets: $260+GST Members • $340+GST Non-Members Tables of 10 available Celebrating Northern Lights Award Recipient

Platinum-Selling Musical Guest

OILERS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

JOHNNY REID

Sponsors:

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WHETHER IT’S BOOM OR BUST // IMMIGRATION

Boom or Bust, Wh e t h e r i t ’ s

I m m i g r a t i o n i s Vi t a l t o E d m o n t o n ’ s E c o n o m y

BY LAURA BOHNERT

A

opportunities, introduce new skills, and fill gaps in the economy. As Dr. Vivian Abboud, owner and founder of Viva Café Cafeterias Inc., describes, immigration creates a winwin situation for everyone involved.

However, as many industries are struggling to find a way to keep skilled labourers employed in Edmonton, one aspect of Edmonton’s economy is still bringing in—and maintaining—new skills and insights: immigration.

“There are lots of reasons for why people come to Canada, and they are positive ones,” quotes Abboud. “Lots of people come from different countries where there are no opportunities, or where society is not meeting their needs. Immigration creates answers to those needs. It’s a big gift. There are no limits to what a person can do in Canada, but it also benefits the welcoming community who is looking to expand and develop. Immigrants are change makers, and on a global level, they are able to bring richness and learning into the economy.”

Whether Alberta’s economy is robust or in a slow-down, immigration is always helping to create new employment

Abboud emphasizes, “It’s a win-win situation, especially in a country like our country, and in a city like Edmonton.

lberta’s current economy is making everyone a bit anxious. With layoffs and job shortages, most industry leaders are concerned that this recession will lead us back to the critical worker shortage of the early 2000s. Layoffs and job losses now mean Alberta is already starting to lose its skilled labourers as they relocate to find work elsewhere, and that means Alberta might not have the work force it needs to meet the demands of a booming economy when things start to pick up again, and that will push it right back into another recession.

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WHETHER IT’S BOOM OR BUST // IMMIGRATION

I’ve always felt there is a uniqueness here. Edmonton is a city that struggles to include, adapt, and modify—just look at what’s happening downtown. All those events were not happening 10 years ago. Edmonton is taking on a leadership role, and immigrants are a part of that driving force. “Although the economy is slow, there are still opportunities, and those opportunities rely on our role as engaged and ethical citizens who refuse to give up. Edmonton’s economy will ramp up and get better, but we need to be ready. If we aren’t ready for the economy, we’ll end up back where we were: with a shortage of workers and skilled labourers.” Immigration plays an important role in Edmonton’s ability to hold onto its skilled labourers, Abboud continues. “Even

“ALTHOUGH THE ECONOMY IS SLOW, THERE ARE STILL OPPORTUNITIES, AND THOSE OPPORTUNITIES RELY ON OUR ROLE AS ENGAGED AND ETHICAL CITIZENS WHO REFUSE TO GIVE UP. ~ VIVIAN ABBOUD though there are not enough jobs in specific industries, there are still jobs in Edmonton, and immigrants are willing to work different jobs. They want to learn English and develop skills. They want to help the communities they’ve been

ABOVE: OWNER AND FOUNDER, DR. VIVIAN ABBOUD, STANDS IN FRONT OF THE SIGN FOR VIVA CAFÉ CAFETERIAS INC. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2017

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WHETHER IT’S BOOM OR BUST // IMMIGRATION

“CONSIDERING HOW YOUNG ALBERTA IS, IMMIGRATIONS BRINGS TO THE PROVINCE A RICHNESS IN CULTURE, KNOWLEDGE, AND EXPERIENCE THAT A YOUNG PROVINCE NEEDS. IN RETURN, MANY OF THE IMMIGRANTS INVEST IN THE PROVINCE, AND THAT HELPS IT ECONOMICALLY.” ~ NANCY ZEIN

welcomed into, they want to earn wages, and they bring new insights, skills, and wisdom into the work force as a result.” Sponsored by her husband, Abboud immigrated to Canada from Lebanon when she was 17, after finishing her exams and receiving her diploma as a doctor. “It was destiny,” she describes. “It was not an arranged wedding. I was just born to live in Canada. “I’ve always volunteered in the community, and through volunteering, I realized there were lots of women who don’t get the opportunity to leave their homes and connect with others. It felt like there were lots of glass ceilings; it was hard to know how to get to places and bridge out. It made me realize that I wanted to be a change maker and make opportunities for others. “I noticed a business opportunity where I could open cafeterias and have immigrant women build on their experiences, improve their English, connect with other women, and understand more of what is available so they can make their own choices.”

That’s how Viva Café got started. Operating through high school cafeterias and in the botanical gardens at the University of Alberta, Viva Café is a family and communityrun catering company that focuses on providing healthy meal options while creating jobs for immigrant women. “These women have a lot of wisdom, knowledge, skills, and commitment,” Abboud explains. “They all have big dreams, and not many people have believed in them or taken them seriously, but we can learn so much from them if we just listen. “What makes Edmonton so rich and unique is its diversity,” Abboud concludes. “Immigration creates a plurality in thinking, doing, and acting; it introduces talents and skills that we don’t always have here, and it fills gaps to diversify our economic society. If Edmonton wants to continue to be a leader of change and part of globalization, then we need to open our doors and allow immigration to create a diverse economy and a multicultural society that can perform on the global level.” Nancy Zein, executive director of the Canadian Arab Friendship Association, agrees that the route to economic success lies in immigration. “Immigration is very

ABOVE: NANCY ZEIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN ARAB FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION

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WHETHER IT’S BOOM OR BUST // IMMIGRATION

important to Alberta, both culturally and financially,” Zein explains. “Considering how young Alberta is, immigrations brings to the province a richness in culture, knowledge, and experience that a young province needs. In return, many of the immigrants invest in the province, and that helps it economically.” Sponsored by an older brother who was already in Canada, Zein immigrated to Edmonton with her parents when she was still in elementary school. Zein later joined the Canadian Arab Friendship Association (CAFA), first volunteering in a board member position before becoming executive director. “The reason I decided to join CAFA,” she explains, “is because I believed in their mandate, and I believed in CAFA’s mission and vision.”

Immigration has proven to be crucial to Edmonton’s economic environment, too. Zein explains, “Immigrants are 30 per cent more likely to start a business, and immigrantowned businesses create jobs. Immigrants in Canada are our engineers, scientists, and innovators, therefore boosting earnings for Canadian workers, but they also have a lot of purchasing power, and that alone is crucial to our economic success. Increased immigration to Canada has increased the earnings of Canadians because immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods.” If the key to Edmonton’s economic success is through holding onto its skilled workers, then the diversity of skills that can be brought into Edmonton through immigration is an important aspect of Edmonton’s ability to move forward, both financially and culturally, towards a stronger economy.

First established in 1965, CAFA is a community services agency that seeks to preserve Arab heritage while housing a variety of projects that are designed to provide immigrants with support, a community, a voice, and a bridge to the resources that are available in Edmonton. Services include assisting with prenatal and postnatal care for Arab women who have language and cultural difficulties, creating an Arab-English playschool for kids, ESL and citizenship classes, and assistance with applying for official documentation, including It is with great pleasure George Brookman and Irene Price, passports, travel permissions, and Principals of West Canadian Industries, announce the appointment of Mr. Sid Nieuwdorp to the position of visitor’s visas. “I believe it is a great thing to have an organization that can truly help newcomers and give them all the support possible. When my family and I were new to Canada, there was not much of a support system in place for newcomers,” notes Zein. “Edmonton is a great city to move to. Edmontonians respect and accept the ethnic mosaic that makes up this great country.”

President and Chief Operating Officer of West Canadian Digital Imaging—one of Canada’s most advanced document management, document scanning, digital printing, direct marketing and signage companies. In this role, Sid will be responsible for all of West Canadian’s Digital Imaging operations in Canada. Mr. Nieuwdorp has been on the executive of West Canadian for sixteen years, most recently as Executive Vice-President and has played a key role in the growth and development of the entire organization. Sid brings to this new challenge, the knowledge, the energy and the drive to move West Canadian Digital Imaging forward into the competitive twenty-first century marketplace.

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IS WORK ISOLATION ADDING TO OUR SICK DAYS? // CORPORATE HEALTH, WELLNESS & REJUVENATION

IS WORK

Isolation ADDING TO OUR SICK DAYS?

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IS WORK ISOLATION ADDING TO OUR SICK DAYS? // CORPORATE HEALTH, WELLNESS & REJUVENATION

BY LAURA BOHNERT

R

esearchers have been studying the effects of loneliness and isolation on our physical health for years. In fact, the University of Chicago Medical Center conducted a study on mice in 2009 that showed negative social isolation to have connections to altered gene expression, a phenomenon that is linked to tumor growth. Further studies published in Science Magazine suggest that social isolation has a broad range of negative health effects, the most notable being on the brain and cardiovascular system. Social isolation increases stress on the heart and lowers the immune system, putting people at higher risk of illness and disease, and it is shown to have mortality rates that rival those of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and even smoking. The detrimental effects of social isolation are becoming better known, but the occurrence of social isolation itself may be a lot more prevalent in our workplaces than we realize.

ARCH Psychological Services has been an established clinical psychology practice for close to 30 years with local offices in Edmonton and St. Albert. “We know that we are experiencing an excess of stress when we experience greater levels of anxiety, frustration, or other sustained arousal, when it interferes with sleep, relationships, or leads to increased reliance on unhealthy coping mechanisms (alcohol, changes in food intake),” describes Lucki. “Ultimately, an excess of stress over a period of time runs people down and makes them sick.” When stress-related illnesses begin to occur, says Lucki, it is important to assess where they are coming from. “Work conditions that only address productivity without considering health and wellbeing are likely to cost both employers and employees. Creating healthier workplaces is a win-win. It improves staff productivity, well-being (reduction of absences), and employee retention.

Social isolation can result from a number of causes, including maternity leave, sick leave, conditions that leave employees working independently in rooms or cubicles, tense working conditions that don’t allow employees the opportunity to connect outside the constraints of the boardroom, and even from discrimination.

“Individuals do differ in their capacity to handle different levels of stress, and each person could develop their skills to manage stress to some extent, but for every individual there is a level of stress beyond which there are only increasingly negative impacts, both on performance and health.

“There are negative impacts on mental health that come from any unhealthy working conditions. Isolation from others and unwarranted behavioral restrictions increase the stress people experience,” explains George Lucki, psychologist and partner at ARCH Psychological Services. “Stress is cumulative, and so any unhealthy work condition adds to the other stress that is present.”

“Even when workplace conditions are difficult due to factors beyond the employer and employee’s control, it is always important to assess and respond to concerns, to monitor impact on individuals, and to make available appropriate supports. This is best done collaboratively with input from both employers and employees, and if needed, consultation with human resource or organizational psychology professionals.

THE DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS OF SOCIAL ISOLATION ARE BECOMING BETTER KNOWN, BUT THE OCCURRENCE OF SOCIAL ISOLATION ITSELF MAY BE A LOT MORE PREVALENT IN OUR WORKPLACES THAN WE REALIZE.

LEFT: YOGA SESSION AT SHANTI YOGA

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IS WORK ISOLATION ADDING TO OUR SICK DAYS? // CORPORATE HEALTH, WELLNESS & REJUVENATION

“WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS BREATHING, MOVING THE BODY IN A WAY THAT ALLOWS YOU TO PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BREATH, AND GIVING YOURSELF TIME TO JUST BREATHE.” ~ MELANIE CHECKNITA

“Human resources are exceedingly valuable, and investing in staff health pays dividends – great staff give any business an edge. The issue of creating healthy workplaces is a huge opportunity for businesses (and for workers) to improve productivity, gain advantage, develop, and retain staff. There is the potential to positively impact society as a whole by reducing the personal and healthcare costs that arise from stress-related conditions that are, to a great extent, preventable.” Stress and isolation prevention in the workplace has also contributed to the success of other businesses in the Edmonton area. Many yoga studios and businesses alike are noticing the benefits of introducing corporate yoga into their daily routines. As Melanie Checknita, owner, senior teacher and trainer at Yoga Within describes, yoga provides a level of self-care that can not only help the body to replenish, but can also enable the body and mind to better handle the stresses that are put on us by our work lives. “We need to learn to treat ourselves with kindness, and that will transfer out into our daily lives, melting stress away and enabling us to learn better coping strategies,” explains

Checknita. “We tend to wear it like a badge of honour that we don’t have time for ourselves, but it’s like they tell you on an airplane: you need to take the time to put your own mask on first. By looking after yourself, you are better equipping yourself to deal with life’s stresses.” Checknita has been running her Edmonton studio for close to 10 years and has made overall wellbeing a primary focus. “What’s important is breathing, moving the body in a way that allows you to pay attention to your breath, and giving yourself time to just breathe,” says Checknita as she quotes Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Miracle of Mindfulness. “We need to learn that ‘Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts’.” Our psychological stresses directly impact our ability to breathe, Checknita explains, “Look at the way someone is sitting or standing. People who are hunched over and closed in at the heart are feeling disconnected and closed off, and when they close themselves off physically, it closes off the chest area. “When we aren’t mindful of our breathing, it tends to mean our bodies are in pain and discomfort, or our minds are not present. We can’t change the past, and we don’t know from

LEFT: MELANIE CHECKNITA, OWNER, SENIOR TEACHER, AND TRAINER AT YOGA WITHIN

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IS WORK ISOLATION ADDING TO OUR SICK DAYS? // CORPORATE HEALTH, WELLNESS & REJUVENATION

“EVEN IF IT’S JUST A 45-MINUTE LUNCHTIME CLASS, IT CAN GET PEOPLE MOVING AND CONNECTING TO OTHERS AROUND THEM, AND THAT’S THE BEST GIFT AN EMPLOYER CAN GIVE.” ~ RENE JOHNSON

one breath to the next what is going to happen tomorrow, but we can teach ourselves the skills of how to be in the moment.” “Yoga studios are social places, too,” Checknita adds. “They create a sense of community for people to come and feel welcome and not isolated.” That environment can be incorporated directly into the workplace with corporate yoga. “Yoga creates a mental as well as a physical space for healing,” agrees Rene Johnson, owner of Shanti Yoga. “Being collectively with people, breathing together and moving together, is good for the mental health as well as for productivity.” “There is collective energy in yoga,” explains Johnson, who has been running Shanti Yoga for 11 years. “Sitting in a boardroom with people who don’t want to be there creates a lot of negative energy. Plus, fluorescent lights are draining energetically. When we are in isolation, it can affect us on emotional as well as physical levels. Our bodies get tight and sore and weak, but isolation causes chemical reactions in our brains, too. We become depressed and lonely.

“When our nervous systems are in fight or flight response, our digestion slows down, hormone production slows down—any bodily functions that aren’t necessary slow down, and everything else heightens up. We get jumpy and tense, dry mouths and dilated pupils. “Stress builds, layer upon layer upon layer, until the body breaks down under it.” Johnson says, “The main solution is to take time for yourself. Even if it’s locking yourself in the bathroom or hiding under your desk, there are ways to find space and take time for yourself.” Of course, employers can make a huge difference simply by providing spaces for employees to go when they start feeling overwhelmed as a result of isolation or stress: “Offering a room to go to when employees are in need is a start, but employers can also have yoga instructors come in to teach. Doing something as small as encouraging meditation, or even just encouraging people to take breaks can go a long way,” Johnson stresses. “It really is the best thing for businesses to do,” Checknita concludes. “Even if it’s just a 45-minute lunchtime class, it can get people moving and connecting to others around them, and that’s the best gift an employer can give.”

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ALBERTA NEEDS TO LEARN FROM THE EGGS IN THE BASKET FABLE // CORPORATE DIVERSIFICATION

ALBERTA T NEEDS TO LEARN

BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE AND NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

he classic phrase don’t put all your eggs in one basket accurately sums up a predicament many Alberta businesses find themselves in as the recession wears on.

“We are into a bit of a journey here in Alberta because shortly we’ll be into the third year of this new environment,” admits BDC’s Michael Selci, senior vice president, financing – Prairies. “The requirement of the new environment is diversification. Prior to the downturn, [Alberta had] solid, profitable companies, but very few business owners had to wonder how to diversify. They had great business models that allowed them, under the previous environment, to do well; but frankly, they weren’t diversified.”

FROM THE EGGS IN THE BASKET FABLE

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BDC is an entrepreneur-focused banking institution, which gives it a big-picture view of how companies have (or have not) coped with the economic reality. “The new environment for one year is one thing, but a new environment for two or three years going forward is different,” Selci continues. “Now, these business owners must explore alternatives. They need to diversify now, if they haven’t already started.” Selci is happy to point out that many companies have responded with agility, and have branched out by: • Looking into new products and services that build on their existing strengths. • Having more than one major client. “Reliance on one or two large companies in not a formula for success. No one client should occupy more than 10-15 per cent of receivables,” cautions Selci. • Seeing how their services can apply in other industry sectors such as agriculture, construction and beyond, not just in oil and gas. • Expanding their service regions outside of Alberta, and outside of the country. “What are the winners doing?” Selci says they are “Taking their products and services to new markets. Their technologies. Their processes. They might be into risk


ALBERTA NEEDS TO LEARN FROM THE EGGS IN THE BASKET FABLE // CORPORATE DIVERSIFICATION

skills and training in sales and marketing for their people, or they have hired marketers. They need to have a presence of sales and marking people in the new geographic area that they are looking at going into. If it’s a new province or town or country, having a marketing presence there is one of the keys to success when it comes to increasing your customer base.” BDC has a free online tool on its website to help companies assess their productivity, determine how they measure up to their competitors and identify areas where they can improve and diversity. Teresa Clouston, executive VP, business and agriculture, ATB Financial® also has some key insights about diversification. “Have more than one major client,” Clouston counsels. “When we look at a business and talk with them about financing, this comes up. We look at their clients, account receivables, and talk to them about how they make money and how they get paid. “How might having one major client and being really focused on them limit your ability to take on new opportunities, or pose risk due to this reliance?”

management or safety services that were really big in oil and gas, but there is mining or construction, for example, that need risk and safety services as well, both in and out of Alberta. They take these services to them and are finding complementary services or products. They may have a niche in fixing machinery in oil and gas. Well, you can fix machinery in trucking, agri-equipment logistics – other types of areas that are complementary to what they do, and maybe in a different region or country. “They are implementing internal solutions. Many have tried to cut costs and put in digital solutions along with improving

Clouston notes, however, that one must take calculated steps down the diversification path. For example, “Being located in more than one location can really increase your brand, but it may be important to control distribution in your expanded market; you have to think about how you would do that. Do you also have to set up a distribution network to protect the promise you put out there to your clients? You have make sure you go all the way into those various markets to protect the value proposition. “When expanding product or service offerings, we always want to understand what the products and services are and how they work. When diversifying the product suite, understand what each enterprise brings to the business.” She gives an example of a coffee shop that is doing really well, so they decide to include pastry sales. The shop would have to identify how the addition of pastry can support coffee sales, and what types of baked goods are trending. If the venture into pastry does not work out, how do they back out of that market gracefully?

ABOVE: MICHAEL SELCI, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCING – PRAIRIES, BDC BELOW: TERESA CLOUSTON, EXECUTIVE VP, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURE, ATB FINANCIAL BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2017

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ALBERTA NEEDS TO LEARN FROM THE EGGS IN THE BASKET FABLE // CORPORATE DIVERSIFICATION

“The notion of having a diverse service suite: we really like it because it mitigates that risk – but it also divides the attention of the entrepreneur. I’m a big advocate of having diversity, but you need to be able to support it. There is a fine line between diversity and divided. Vendors get nervous if your attention is fractured.” That being said, Clouston notes an undeniable upside of diversification. “One of the really attractive things about diversifying is that component of innovation and creation. The concept of entrepreneurs and companies inventing something that their competitors or customers haven’t recognized as an opportunity is really Albertan, and it’s one thing we love in our entrepreneurs! If companies are satisfied and successful with what they are doing, we would be missing the opportunities to innovate and create something new and special. Diversification opens the door to doing something brave and new and bringing that opportunity into this marketplace.” At Maggnum Ventures Inc., diversification has always been a part of the core strategic plan. The real estate development and investment company has a history of expanding its business beyond its main focus by becoming involved in software, media, hospitality and oil and gas businesses. Now, as a result of Alberta’s economic woes, Maggnum is diversifying once again. First, it has taken a new approach to its real estate business. “We first set out to build in Alberta,” explains Matthew Grieve, president, “and now we look to purchase. There were a lot of buildings built in Alberta during the boom. Now the opportunity is to purchase existing buildings far more than it is to build new ones.” The company is looking at acquiring opportunities across Alberta, and has made a recent purchase in Edmonton. Maggnum has also diversified by expanding its property development business outside of Alberta. Grieve highlights Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, in particular, as places of opportunity on the development side. “We have always focused on Western Canada,” he says. “We’re building a fourphase suburban office park called Harbour Landing Business Park in Regina right now.” Second, the company has diversified into a new business. Last year, Maggnum funded and became a partner in a new waste management company called Local Waste Services

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in Edmonton. “We became involved because the people are great, it’s still in Alberta and it diversifies us outside of the real estate market,” explains Grieve. “We’re definitely excited about it. We believe there are a lot of upside opportunities.” At ResourceYYC, diversification equals opportunity. The company, born last year as a direct result of the recession and a corporate need to survive, is a co-working space for professionals in downtown Calgary. It was started after cofounder Bill Scott was forced to put his own environmental service company into hibernation. “In 2015 it became evident that there would be nothing left to do,” Scott explains. “We still had a great management team and were looking for something else to do with that team.” With a long-term lease for a beltline property on his hands, he partnered with co-founder Ron Bettin (whose petroleum company was also on ice due to the downturn) to start the new business. They partnered with several local software vendors including geoLOGIC, Energy Navigator, SeisWare, Divestco and OpenTec who provided ResourceYYC with professional software to use on their closed network. The software is available for use by individuals and companies with various accessibility options and rates. The company also offers office and/or desk rentals, meeting and event space and various other member services. “We put an invitation out to the geologists and other professionals sitting at home who wanted access to the tools and the peer group,” explains Scott. The venture has been a success, with eight companies and many individual members – including engineering, land development, geothermal and hydrogeology consulting, architecture and design, and mobile app development businesses – joining the space. “The cool part of the story is how we brought all these people together and they were able to communicate, collaborate and bring their strengths to the table,” says Bettin. “They were able to start over again.” Selci sums up Alberta’s overall situation as he says, “Diversification isn’t an easy feat. It’s not something you can make happen overnight, but many companies are doing it. You still have time, but it’s about time you got going!”


The Legend of the Ice Cream King The Ice Cream Depot has been making people smile for over 30 years. By Nerissa McNaughton

M

ike Rogiani is the ice cream king, and he has a golden spoon and title card framed in his office to prove it. How did he get this title? Well, it’s not just because he is the Guinness World Records™ holder for creating the world’s largest ice cream sundae; it’s more than the fact that he services areas of Alberta, North West Territories, Yukon and parts of British Columbia. It supersedes the fact that he has a depot in Calgary and headquarters in Edmonton, with a robust 31,500 square foot warehouse (with an additional 4,000 square foot freezer under construction), managed by over 30 employees. It is not the fact his warehouse has a capacity for 1,500 pallets of ice cream (which loosely translates to ice cream as far as the eye can see). What makes Mike the undisputed ice cream king is that he lives, loves, breathes and eats all things ice cream –

every day. He is the owner, general manager, ice cream scooper, marketer and face of the Ice Cream Depot; and as he’s happy to point out, it’s a very sweet job. “Back in 1980, I was in Seattle, Washington on the pier,” Mike recounts. “There were people at this ice cream shop lined up around the block waiting for a hand-made waffle cone. Intrigued, I waited in line and I got one. The warm cone, the ice cream slowly melting, the smell, the cherry on top – incredible! When I came back to Edmonton, I couldn’t get that cone out of my mind.” Eager to recreate the taste sensation and customer satisfaction he witnessed in Washington, Mike sourced two waffle irons and started selling cones at trade shows and fairs. The Ice Cream Depot | Page 1

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Then he met the Chapmans. Mike smiles, “Twenty years ago, Dave and Penny Chapman asked me to be a master distributor for their brand. I was the first to bring Chapman’s® from Ontario to Western Canada.” “Lineups were incredible!” he laughs. “I called it the Monster Cone. I started selling large volumes of Palm Dairies ice cream – so much that they asked me to distribute for them, too. After Palm Dairies got bought out, I was the first to distribute HäagenDazs® in Western Canada. After they got bought out, I became part of the Ben and Jerry’s network when it came to Canada.”

Chapman’s is family-friendly, carrying a wide range of options for adults (such as their creamy premium caramel praline in a tub) and children (wrapped cones in fun flavours and in sizes suitable for little hands). As the demand for ice cream continues to evolve, Mike sees that people want more natural products. He’s happy to note that Chapman’s has not changed their formula to meet this demand—they didn’t have to because they were already well ahead of the curve. “Chapman’s has always been true to the form and always makes everything with 100 per cent natural cream, supporting the dairy farmers of Canada. Chapman’s hasn’t changed because they don’t need to.” While the Ice Cream Depot’s flagship brand is Chapman’s, the distributorship carries 480 different types and sizes of ice cream, and it represents 11 brands. Mike also runs the Ice Cream Depot’s sister company, Royal Treats. You’ve seen Royal Treats in action. If you have been at a trade show, festival, attraction or any other popular event in the city

The Ice Cream Depot | Page 2


where there was an ice cream chest full of goodies, popcorn, cotton candy or pretzels for sale, chances are, it was from Royal Treats. “We do over 100 events per year!” says Mike. Two very successful businesses haven’t slowed down the ice cream king one bit. He’s currently developing his own brand called Mike’s Ice Cream. It’s ice cream in kid’s-sized tubs, and it will come in delightful flavours, such as Mike’s marvelous malt, cookies n’ cream dream and Mike’s bubble gum burst. And that’s not all; Mike owns two dogs, both of which are welcome at the office. His dogs have inspired him to work on a new product line: ice cream treats for dogs! Collision Repair • Auto Body Work • Auto Body Painting • Auto Frame Work • Paintless Dent Repair

Congratulations Ice Cream Depot!

Here’s to many more years of success to come!

4507-55 Ave. Edmonton, Alberta T6B 3S8 Phone: 780-438-2879 • Fax: 780-435-2875 • citycollision.ca

The Ice Cream Depot | Page 4

“Everybody loves our product!” Beams Mike. “Nothing is better than seeing a kid get a scoop of ice cream and smiling. It’s just incredible!” This is exactly why the company’s tagline is making you smile. As countless adults can attest, getting a scoop of ice cream puts a big smile on their face, too. Mike ensures as many people as possible in his distributorship region get to smile because of ice cream. “Since we have the only nut and gluten free ice cream in Canada, we have been able to donate a lot to schools and festivals,” he says. “I’ve been a local Edmontonian my whole life, and I enjoy giving back to the community.” However, ice cream is not without its challenges. With two busy companies on the go and a slew of competitors all vying for the same shelf space in grocery stores, along with his own brands under development, Mike’s hands, and life, are very full. “Market share and competing against the large multi-nationals in the industry is one of the Ice Cream Depot’s biggest challenges,” he confirms. “We are always pushing for shelf space, but it’s coming along. Consumers are demanding our product at store level, and that is very exciting.” He continues, “I work seven days a week from April to the middle of September. It’s non-stop and I’m a very handson owner. It’s taken its toll. It’s very challenging as an entrepreneur because you have to be hands-on to see the business grow. I strive for teamwork and try to let the floor managers look after their divisions, from administration to operations to sales. I empower [the managers] to help us build and grow the business.”


Mike created the world’s largest sundae in Edmonton on July 1988. It weighed:

54,914 pounds, 13 ounces. It took:

44,689 pounds, 8 ounces of ice cream; 9,688 pounds, 2 ounces of syrup and

537 pounds, 3 ounces of toppings to pull off this massive feat.

At one point, Mike also made the world’s largest milkshake, but that record has since been slurped up a company in the UK.

Mission accomplished Ice Cream Depot

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snyder.ca For a free consultation please call 780-426-4133

Our firm provides high quality results-oriented legal services and our lawyers take pride in helping our clients find effective solutions to their legal problem.

We would like to congratulate Ice Cream Depot on 35+ years of great service!

The Ice Cream Depot | Page 5


In addition to being grateful to the Chapmans for their leadership and support, Mike heaps scoops of praise on his employees (especially the ones that work in the large -30 Celsius freezer); his three daughters that help with the business and the development of new flavours; the late Don Young, whom Mike hails as an “inventor and guru of ice cream”; each and every client and every man, woman and child that loves to eat ice cream.

In the end, it’s all worth it for Mike because he “knows that we are bringing happiness to everybody and making everyone smile. Our customers really enjoy the products and the quality of the products we have to offer.” This year marks the Ice Cream Depot’s 36th anniversary of business, and 20 years as a master distributor for Chapman’s. “David and Penny Chapman have been amazing people to deal with. They have always treated me with the highest regard,” says Mike, going on to say that their business is so well organized, so well run and so highly respected that, when a fire destroyed part

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Congratulations Ice Cream Depot! On 35+ years of great service! “Customer Service is our Commitment” 12209 Fort Road, Edmonton AB Phone: 780-473-4076 www.icomrefrigeration.com

of their operations in Ontario, people and companies rallied to make sure Chapman’s didn’t miss a single delivery. In addition to being grateful to the Chapmans for their leadership and support, Mike heaps scoops of praise on his employees (especially the ones that work in the large -30 Celsius freezer); his three daughters that help with the business and the development of new flavours; the late Don Young, whom Mike hails as an “inventor and guru of ice cream”; each and every client and every man, woman and child that loves to eat ice cream. “My favourite flavour is rocky road,” says Mike. “That’s dark chocolate with a ribbon of marshmallow and walnuts running through it. It’s kind of like my life story. Dark moments but a continuous stream of sweetness and light, albeit a few stumbling blocks along the path. If there is one thing being the ice cream king has taught me, it’s never quit; never give up. And eat a scoop of ice cream every day.”

3508 56 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6B 3S7 Phone: (780) 463-2423 • theicecreamdepot.ca

Congratulations to Ice Cream Depot on 35+ Years of Success!! Thermo Design Insulation Ltd. provides construction supply & installation services for pre-insulated metal panels throughout Canada. S u r re y • K e l o w n a • C a l g a r y • E d m o n t o n • S a s k a t o o n • Wi n n i p e g • To ro n t o

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The Ice Cream Depot | Page 6


Edmonton Brewery District. Courtesy of Synergy.

1996 - Years 2016

Synergy Projects: Building Solid Relationships for 20 Years By Nerissa McNaughton

D

ennis Mozak created Synergy Projects in 1996 because he was ready for a change. After working for a large corporation for 15 years, he saw the need for a company that could really invest in its people, reward them for their hard work and help them grow personally and professionally. “That’s why this company is named Synergy,” smiles Mozak, president and CEO. “It’s about all the components coming together to build a better unit.” Synergy Projects is a full service construction firm specializing in general construction, design build and construction management. The company’s projects span the commercial, institutional, industrial and multi-family market sectors of the building construction industry. “We are a small company

with big aspirations. It’s not our intent to become the largest construction provider in Edmonton or Western Canada. It is our position to become one that creates the most value for all of our clients from beginning to end, including warranty and service after the projects are completed. Currently we work with our clients across all of Western Canada, but we expand our territory depending on the needs of our clients.” When he launched the company 20 years ago, it was named Synergy Developments. “At that point, we were looking at becoming more of a property developer and owing real estate, instead of being localized to the building function of real estate,” Mozak informs. “Fortunately for us, we negotiated a deal with a very good supplier who has since became a longterm partner: All Weather Windows. Our development purpose

Synergy Projects Ltd. | 20 Years | 1

59


at the time was to take their eight facilities and amalgamate them into one 240,000 square foot building, but the building contractors we approached were very reluctant to perform this scope. With our deadline for the project in mind, we decided to leverage our construction expertise and perform the building scope ourselves. Synergy Projects Ltd was born and we performed our first project, building the All Weather Windows facility. We were so fortunate to have Gord Wiebe (founder, All Weather Windows) believing in us then and now. “It soon became very apparent that our clients were looking for bigger solutions to their construction needs, so we created a model called Complete Building Solutions. The model was built to assist clients with the whole real estate lifecycle, from purchasing and evaluating the land, conceptual financial planning (proforma construction budgeting) and decision making, project financing, engineering, project management and more. Clients that want to own real estate can depend on our knowledge and on our good relationships with all aspects of the industry. We have often heard from our clients that their backers like to see Synergy’s name on projects. They know it increases the chances of success.” Another part of Synergy’s complete system is called Synero, which maintains contact with clients after their building is turned over to them to ensure their ongoing satisfaction. Edmonton Brewery District. Courtesy of Synergy.

Mozak’s dream of investing in his staff has also come true.

Manhattan Concrete would like to Congratulate Synergy Projects Ltd. on 20 years of Successful Business!

We are proud to work with Synergy Projects Ltd.! Wishing you many more years of success.

Commercial Mechanical Contractor Serving Western Canada since 1960

Specializing in Design Build, Commercial, Industrial, Multi-Family and Construction Management

9003-127Ave Edmonton,AB P: (780)414-1586 • Fax: (780)472-7532 www.manhattanconcrete.com Email: admin@manhattanconcrete.com

Plumbing and Gas Fitting • HVAC • Controls Sprinkler • Insulation • Refrigeration Site Services 12180 152 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5V 1S1 Ph: (780) 451-4943 Email: reception@petrinmechanical.com

Synergy Projects Ltd. | 20 Years | 2


20 YEARS One particular example is Synergy’s longstanding relationship with Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton. “My wife Laurie and I got involved five years ago after we were introduced to the organization by Terri Duncan. We could see just how difficult it was for parents that had autistic children; we successfully worked with the group and raised capital to build a facility that has made so many parents’ lives easier. Most recently we completed a second facility on the south side to allow for the organization’s expanding needs.” Mozak, Laurie and Synergy are also involved in St. Michael’s Health Group’s adult long term care facility. When Mozak and his wife visited the facility a few years ago, they felt Edmonton’s seniors deserved something more. After collaborating with other interested parties, they raised $6 million to improve the residence. This included renovations and an elevator expansion.

Dennis Mozak, president and CEO

“One of my visions was to have the employees have ownership in the company. To date, very proudly, over 20 per cent is owned by our people. We are very fortunate to have many longterm staff that have been with us for 17 years. Our team has pride of ownership and you can see it in our efforts to make sure our clients are happy with our services. It’s not all about financial gain. It’s about customer satisfaction.” Among the many projects Synergy has completed over its 20 years in business, Mozak is particularly proud of the Edmonton Brewery District, and his connection to this historic piece of the city. “My father actually worked in the District when it was a Brewery,” reminisces Mozak. “The opportunity to build there was quite an honour.” Synergy completed the underground six acre single-story parkade, all associated site work, and the development’s main buildings, and they did it all on time and on budget. Mozak, and Synergy are also very fond of the community in which they have their roots. Synergy employees are encouraged to be active members in the community.

Synergy is also active with the Mental Health Foundation in Edmonton. “We are happy to focus on these and many other community initiatives, even though we face our own challenges right now.”

Congratulations to Synergy Projects Ltd. on 20 years! We wish you many more years of continued success. Ronrock Contracting Ltd. 105-18 Rayborn Cres St. Albert, AB T8N 4B1 780-458-5656

Congratulations to Synergy Projects Ltd. on their 20 year anniversary!! Thermo Design Insulation Ltd. provides construction supply & installation services for pre-insulated metal panels throughout Canada. S u r re y • K e l o w n a • C a l g a r y • E d m o n t o n • S a s k a t o o n • Wi n n i p e g • To ro n t o

www.thermo-design.com Synergy Projects Ltd. | 20 Years | 3


Synergy over the years: particularly, celebrating their 20th anniversary together. Synergy is proud to have earned five Merit Contractors Association awards for being an employer of excellence. “It’s not based on peers. It’s based on employees submitting for you. To earn those through the years is very rewarding,” says Mozak with pride. Every day, Mozak is thankful to his family, staff, management team, clients, vendors and everyone that has helped to make Synergy a 20-year-and-counting success. He would also like to thank his accountant, Jim Stout, for his many years of service and partnership with the business.

“We have had so much uncertainty over the last three years with oil prices and a new government that any business owner has really put a halt on wanting to do business in Alberta,” sighs Mozak. “Now, with the very recent approval of two pipelines, I think that will help, but it will still take time for Alberta’s major corporations to feel confident in Alberta.” But the man that created a company specifically to help people and service clients knows that economic ups and downs in Edmonton are just part of the overall landscape, and he is thankful for the many great things he’s experienced with

“Our next five years is really about continuing to focus on client satisfaction,” Mozak says about Synergy’s future plans. “We have been and will continue to expand into new markets.” With an eye on those new markets and with 20 years of experience backing a bright future, he concludes, “Give us the opportunity. We’ll earn your trust.”

110 Carleton Dr #120, St Albert, AB T8N 3Y4 Phone: (780) 459-3344 • synergybuilds.com

We Listen. We Think. We Deliver.

Congratulations to Synergy Projects Ltd. on their 20th Anniversary! We are proud to be part of their team and wish them continued success.

INSURANCE, BONDING, & RISK MANAGEMENT

Congratulations to

SYNERGY PROJECTS LTD. ON THEIR 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Mark McKinley & Garth Lane

1.800.665.5243 Calgary | Edmonton | Grande Prairie

9259 -35 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5Y1 Phone: 780-435-3636 • Fax: 780-450-3550 www.prioritymechanical.com Synergy Projects Ltd. | 20 Years | 4

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