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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 4

REGULAR COLUMNS

11

 It’s Past Time to Get Serious About Gender Diversity By Josh Bilyk

24

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

26

 rett Desroches’ B Concrete Career

49

 Urbanomics Urban Development Discussion: New Trends in Edmonton’s Housing Market By Parker Grant

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

GUEST COLUMNS

13

 Two Conservative Solitudes Must Unite By Dave Rutherford

Enabling their clients’ success results in Unicon’s rapid growth. By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: BRETT DESROCHES, OWNER OF UNICON CONCRETE PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

FIND US ONLINE! B US I N E SS I N E DMONTON.COM BUSINESS IN EDMONTON

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Top 5

reasons to invest in a corporate health program Your competitive advantage demands that you get the most out of your people what are you doing to invest in the health of your top talent? BY NICOLE AUBERTIN

Why you need to adopt a corporate health program this year: INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY The primary goal of a Corporate Health and Wellness Program is to help your employees lead healthier lives. Improved productivity, increased concentration and heightened energy have all been shown, time and again, to be directly tied to healthier staff. A recent Canadian medical study showed that employee wellness programs increase employee productivity by 51%. ATTRACTION & RETENTION OF TOP TALENT Corporate Health and Wellness programs are an effective tool for attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, 61% of 30-year-old Canadians believe their employer has an obligation to assist them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Companies that do not offer them will quickly be left behind. IMPROVED EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT The results are clear: healthier employees are happier, work harder and are more efficient. According to a Canadian study, employee wellness leads to an impressive 70% increase in engagement and job satisfaction. This is a result of comprehensive programs that go beyond basic healthcare needs to address disease prevention, nutrition, fitness, psychological wellbeing and even brain health.

INCREASED EMPLOYEE LOYALTY Great employees are hard to find and when you’ve got them, you don’t want to lose them. Corporate health programs drive loyalty by showing that companies care about their teams. Studies have shown that employee loyalty is closely correlated with cost containment linked to recruitment, training and employee turnover. CONTAINED HEALTHCARE COSTS While it’s difficult to quantify the benefits of increasing morale, productivity and work performance, the financial impact of decreased sick leave, absenteeism and lower health insurance premiums are easy to see. A Canadian study recently showed that employee wellness programs decreased disability costs by 36% and drug benefit costs by 27%. Nothing drives productivity like happy, healthy employees. Your key people, just like other company assets, are either appreciating or depreciating. A comprehensive health and wellness program helps you mitigate talent risk and place investments where they can drive maximum returns.

Contact us today to discuss your corporate health program options: Treena Popowich at 780-455-2273 tpopowich@copemanhealthcare.com or visit www.copemanhealthcare.com


STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 4

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41

CONTENTS THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

COMPANY PROFILES

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65 69

T  he Preferred Choice

Preferred Carriers celebrates the first 10 years.

B  arb’s Kitchen Centre Turns 30 Habitat for Humanity Edmonton 25 years always thinking families first

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APRIL 2016 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

The market is inundated with properties that are ripe for the taking – but is now the right time to invest? By Rechell McDonald

Shifting Commercial Districts Create Opportunities By Laura Bohnert

41 57

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Investing in a Buyer’s Market

At Ease Being Green

Passionately Committed to the Success of Families in Business

Thanks to Alberta’s energy sector leaders, the province’s reputation as an environmental laggard is looking ever more outdated. By Ben Freeland

The New Edmonton Workplace By John Hardy


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IT’S PAST TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT GENDER DIVERSITY // ECONOMIC FACTORS

It’s Past Time to Get Serious About Gender Diversity BY JOSH BILYK

A

t Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG), I’m lucky to serve a hard-working, energetic volunteer board of directors. We would be nothing without them. However, when I sit down for meetings with our board and look around the table, I see a big problem. There is but one woman. She’s a brilliant and experienced woman, but she is the sole female on at 13-member board. By now, everyone in business should be familiar with the research showing that gender diversity at the board level isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing. A 2011 study by Catalyst, a nonprofit think tank devoted to corporate gender diversity, found that companies with the most women directors outperform those with the least on Return on Invest Capital (ROIC) by 26 per cent. Improving gender diversity could create more prosperity around the world. A study by McKinsey Global Institute found that that the world economy could add trillions of dollars in growth during the next 10 years if countries improved women’s participation in the workforce. Yet despite the staggering potential, female workforce participation is woefully inadequate around the world and improving at a snail’s pace. The McKinsey study found that, while female participation is strong in entry-level positions, only 17 per cent of C-suite offices are occupied by women. Sadly, that number only increased by a single percentage point between 2012 and 2015. Part of the problem is a disparity between the perceptions of men and women on the issue. Another McKinsey study found that 93 per cent of female executives agree with the statement “even with equal skills and qualifications, women have much more difficulty reaching top-management positions.” Only 58 per cent of male executives agreed.

The good news is the research provides some guidance on how to improve gender diversity. Companies that have successfully tackled the problem have leaders who are active and involved in the effort. Leaders role-modeled the behaviour changes they ask their employees to make, and spent at least 50 per cent of their time building more diverse teams. So we know there’s a problem – a lack of gender diversity – and there’s potentially big payoffs for solving it. We also know that many companies have made great strides toward improving their workforce. E-Bay, with a concerted effort, increased female representation in senior ranks by 30 per cent per year between 2011 and 2013. This begs the obvious question – what am I doing to improve gender diversity at AEG? Well, it starts with setting a goal. By 2017 we want to have three women on AEG’s board of directors. Why three? The research suggests that’s the magic number, a kind of tipping point, where there are enough women in the group that men stop seeing their gender as the most important thing about them. It’s a start. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we think it’s time to have an honest conversation about it. That’s why AEG is hosting its inaugural Women in Business luncheon at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on April 18 featuring a keynote address from Leader of the Official Opposition Rona Ambrose. We want to stimulate a discussion around gender diversity, highlight some successes and hopefully come away with some concrete plans for improvement. Join us on April 18 and be part of the conversation. For more information and to register, visit our website at www.albertaenterprise.ca. 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.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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TWO CONSERVATIVE SOLITUDES MUST UNITE // GUEST COLUMNIST

Two Conservative Solitudes Must Unite BY DAVE RUTHERFORD

A

hhh retirement. After 44 years in my industry I was looking forward to sitting back a little, taking my foot off the throttle and maybe just lounging in the sun. My wife and I had been running our own company for the last 20 years and we were both ready to chill, intellectually and physically. We gave it a nice start I must say. But then May 5 happened. To my shock, and to that of millions of other Albertans, the socialist NDP were elected to government, and not just elected but they were given a majority. In my wildest imaginings I had never anticipated that the grumbling little party that was always sniping from the left wings would actually become government with their hands on the public’s chequebook and all of the levers of power. But there it was, reality in black and orange, so now what? I could continue to bask in the sun and complain daily to my wife about what was happening to our beloved Alberta. But we had always participated in the political process of the province and we taught our kids too as well, so I couldn’t stand by and just watch; I had to act. Many wanted me to run for office but that was not for me. Then along came a political action committee called the Alberta Prosperity Fund which had a laser-beam focus on what had to happen: the two political parties that represent the centre to centre-right of the political spectrum had to get back together. It was simple math: with the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose parties operating independently you get the NDP. The vote is split and the socialists go up the middle. Albertans harboured a lot of anger at the PCs before the last election (and the one before that), and much of it was well

deserved. The PCs had become arrogant and aloof, detached from everyday Albertans. As it happened the Wildrose party was not the benefactor of that anger, instead almost inexplicably it was the rump NDP that was thrust into power, surprising even the most optimistic socialist. They have wasted no time in imposing their ideology. Income tax increases for companies and individuals, mandatory wage increases for private sector workers that ironically will kill jobs, a $3-billion carbon tax, draconian social policy that reaches into schools and businesses and farms and ranches, and that’s just the beginning. The NDP is using the blunt instrument of power to take away our freedom; to order us to change without any consultation. At a time when falling oil prices are devastating our economy and forcing tens of thousands from their jobs, the NDP is imposing more and more harsh economic penalties on families. The NDP refuses to support any fossil fuel industry even forcing the coal industry and the communities that rely on it into oblivion. The NDP refuses to support oil pipelines, the arteries of the virtual lifeblood of Alberta. The solution is to defeat the NDP in the next election but to do that the two solitudes must unite. The conservative vote must be united. The Alberta Prosperity Fund is dedicated to educating and assembling grassroots voters in Alberta to force the parties to amalgamate, somehow. The Alberta Prosperity Fund has no preference about the method, just the result. Our polling indicates Albertans prefer a merger of the PCs and Wildrose, and the Alberta Prosperity Fund will continue to create a critical mass of grassroots support for a united commonsense vote. We must return to the Alberta Advantage.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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Small Trucks, Big Impact: An Edmonton Company Wins a Most Promising Start-up Award

“T

hink, ‘Honey, I shrunk the concrete truck,’” laughs Renée Majeau of the company she and partner Kent Majeau co-founded. “City MiniMix is not your average ready mix company. We manufacture and deliver high-quality concrete in small batches using smaller, conveniently sized trucks. Our trucks are light and easy to maneuver, giving excellent access and less risk of damage to project sites. We deliver to a wide range of customers throughout the Edmonton area, ranging from homeowners doing DIY and residential projects to large commercial and construction projects. Since we run our own concrete manufacturing plant, we supply our own projects, allowing us to work closely with our customers to schedule projects at their convenience, all while maintaining a high level of quality. We are focused on providing our customers with the very best service and the very best concrete, batch by batch.” Small batches of concrete is a different business model, but one that caught the eye of The $100,000 Small Business Challenge, sponsored by TELUS® and the Globe & Mail. In 2015 this contest broke entry records with over 3,300 small businesses competing for the grand prize. From among the thousands of competitors, City MiniMix Concrete Inc. was one of three Canadian competitors to win the Most Promising Start-up award. “Needless to say, we were very proud to be selected from across Canada for this award,” smiles Majeau. “We feel this reflects fantastically on Edmonton and the business community in which we operate. “On a personal level, it is quite an achievement. When you are starting up a business there is a lot of trepidation and

we worried if our idea was sound. Getting this recognition within our first year of business was certainly validation that, yes, our business concept was a promising one. “On a business level, winning this award gave City MiniMix phenomenal exposure and immediate credibility with customers and businesses alike. Many customers who saw the article in the Globe & Mail contacted us because, in the words of one customer, ‘My wife told me to call you about redoing our concrete driveway…because if they’ve been featured in the Globe & Mail, we can trust them!’ “The $5,000 advertising prize from Agency59, as well as the public and social media recognition received from the Globe & Mail and TELUS, have gone a long way in helping us get the word out about our business and in helping to build our brand in the Edmonton region.” The company has plans to keep moving, or should we say, pouring, forward. “We intend to keep growing our customer base by focusing on providing exceptional service, branching out into custom concrete furniture, countertops and industrial precast products while continuing to provide project management and coordination of concrete-related projects,” confirms Majeau. “Our core business is and will always remain: Quality Concrete. Small Batches. At Your Door.” The entrepreneurs conclude, “There are many great businesses in Edmonton doing fantastic things, and awards like this one help recognize and validate the entrepreneurial talent in the Capital City.” ABOVE: RENÉE AND KENT MAJEAU WITH A CITY MINIMIX TRUCK PHOTO SOURCE: PROPERTY OF CITY MINIMIX. PHOTO BY JASON FRANSON.

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Mark Nolin is the new President of DRIVING FORCE

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The March 1, 2016 announcement by TDF Group coincided with Nolin’s 23rd anniversary with DRIVING FORCE. His extensive background in automotive rental, sales and leasing, along with his many years of dedicated service to DRIVING FORCE, make him the ideal candidate for this position.

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“The opportunity to become president of DRIVING FORCE is a reflection of a wonderful company culture which is supported by our majority partner, Marubeni Corporate,” says Nolin. “Our company’s bedrock strategy was founded in 1978 by Jeff Polovick in order to survive the cyclical nature of the western resource economy. DRIVING FORCE

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DF Group Inc. is the parent company of DRIVING FORCE Vehicle Rentals, Sales & Leasing, four Hino Central medium-duty truck centres, Coach Auto Sales and the Klondike Motors Inc. in Whitehorse. In early March, TDF Group was pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Nolin as the company’s new president. Nolin succeeds Jeff Polovick, who founded DRIVING FORCE in Spruce Grove in 1978 and remained as the company’s president and CEO until his recent retirement.

Step Forward

ABOVE: MARK NOLIN PHOTO SOURCE: DRIVING FORCE

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has always allowed me to leverage this business model by supporting my strengths with an extremely talented team that strives for success through customer satisfaction and has propelled us to be a 50 Best Managed Company. To them [the team] I have the utmost confidence in their abilities and in their stewardship of our exceptional corporate culture. I would also like to thank our wonderful customer base who have supported our journey of expansion as DRIVING FORCE strives to become the dominant national project rental company in Canada. In addition, lastly, I am so grateful that my wife and family have allowed me the freedom to excel and have supported me throughout my 23year career at DRIVING FORCE.” Nolin is poised to head up an enduring legacy. Founder and board member Jeff Polovick has received accolades such as Entrepreneur Of The Year, prairie region, business-tobusiness services; along with an induction into the Junior Achievement Alberta Business Hall of Fame for his long-

time support of emerging entrepreneurs. DRIVING FORCE has also been named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 10 consecutive years, earning the company both Platinum Club and Alumni member status with the award program. Additional awards include being one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ (2014) as well as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. From its humble beginnings in the suburb of Spruce Grove, DRIVING FORCE Vehicle Rentals, Sales & Leasing has grown to become Canada’s premiere independent vehicle supplier, with over 500 staff in 24 locations across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. In addition to providing vehicle rentals, sales and leasing for all foreign and domestic models through DRIVING FORCE and TDF Group Inc.’s affiliate companies, DRIVING FORCE Fleet Management Services provides fleet management tools and services for small-to mid-sized fleet operators across Canada.

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CDLHomes.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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INVESTING IN A BUYER’S MARKET // RECREATION & INVESTMENT PROPERTIES

INVESTING IN A BUYER’S MARKET BY RECHELL MCDONALD

The market is inundated with properties that are ripe – but is now the right time to invest?

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APRIL 2016 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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INVESTING IN A BUYER’S MARKET // RECREATION & INVESTMENT PROPERTIES

ESSENTIALLY, AS A TRUE INVESTOR LOOKING TO GENERATE REVENUE, YOU CAN’T PURCHASE WITH ANY SENTIMENTALITY IN MIND, SUCH AS YOU WOULD IF YOU WERE SHOPPING FOR YOUR FAMILY HOME.

I

s it a good idea to buy real estate in this buyer’s market? After all, prices are down and you have much more leverage to negotiate a great deal – there isn’t a better time to buy…right? For most people this is true, however, from an investment stand point, our experts had some other idea. For the most part, the general consensus is that if you are investing properly, it’s always a good time to buy. No matter what state of flux the market is in, there is money to be made if you know what you are doing. “I think that Edmonton is a great place to invest in almost any economy due to the great economic diversity within the city,” says Drew Kardash, owner of Streamline Equities. “In addressing whether or not now is a good time to invest, I believe that it is. Of course, investment strategies change in the slump phase of the real estate cycle compared to the boom phase of the cycle. We have to change the way we buy in every phase of the cycle. I believe that when the economy is in a downturn like we are in right now, we need to be cautious that we are buying for the right reasons.” What are those reasons?

“For our business model, in any economy the property needs to cash flow positively the day we buy it, or if it doesn’t, it needs to have some kind of tangible value in it when we purchase it. Maybe the rental rates are not at the current market value, and we see an opportunity to raise them in the near future in order to get it cash flowing positively, or there is also the classic method of buying a property, performing some much needed renovations and adding value that way. I believe that there are always deals to be found, but you need to identify when the change in the market is occurring and adapt your investment approach accordingly.” Essentially, as a true investor looking to generate revenue, you can’t purchase with any sentimentality in mind, such as you would if you were shopping for your family home. Even under those circumstances, your emotions can compromise your ability to make a sound investment and make it far too easy for you to overlook issues with a property. Corey Young, owner of AlbertaOnFire Investor Team, simplifies it further. “Invest where the numbers are the best, not where the heartstrings attach.” Despite owning a

ABOVE: DREW KARDASH, STREAMLINE EQUITIES, COREY YOUNG, ALBERTAONFIRE INVESTMENT TEAM AND TODD MILLAR, GLENN SIMON INC.

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recreational property himself, he points out that it was a purchasing decision made on personal use intentions, not one on which he hoped to turn a profit. Todd Millar, investor relations, Glenn Simon Inc., provides an example of a property stress test that anyone can perform to ensure they remain objective when purchasing an investment property. “We always run the numbers on our prospective properties to see what they can handle. That means, how high can the interest rate go and how low can the rent drop before the property starts bleeding into negative cash flow? If rates are 3 per cent for residential, does the property cash flow at 7 per cent? If it rents for a total of $2,500 in an upmarket, how far could rents fall before it becomes negative…$2,300? This is another filter that helps analyze risk and leaves no room for emotion when buying.” Young also touches on the positives and negatives for those who may be seeking to purchase real estate in a depressed foreign economy. “You never want to invest just because the economy is depressed. Just because it may be cheap to buy somewhere doesn’t mean it’s a good investment. There has to be sure-fire economic indicators that the economy will come out of the depression at some point.

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INVESTING IN A BUYER’S MARKET // RECREATION & INVESTMENT PROPERTIES

“EIGHTY PER CENT OF OUR INVESTORS ARE CANADIAN. THE REMAINING 20 PER CENT ARE FROM THE U.S., JAPAN, AUSTRALIA AND CHINA. THE NATURE OF OUR INVESTMENTS ARE LONG-TERM BUYAND-HOLDS AND ATTRACT A DIFFERENT STYLE OF INVESTOR THAT TENDS TO BE INTERESTED IN CREATING GENERATIONAL WEALTH AND PRESERVING CAPITAL. ” ~ TODD MILLAR

in recent history, then imagine the cash flow it will generate when oil prices and the economy pick up again! Not only do we have a great outlook for a long-term investment here in Alberta, we live in a jurisdiction that is landlord friendly, has no provincial sales taxes and also no land transfer taxes.”

see more Canadians selling their U.S. properties now as the [U.S.] property values have gone higher than when they bought, and combined with the higher U.S. dollar, they see an opportunity to cash out. Of course this depends on the nature and purpose of ownership.”

So, a cash flow positive property is a must.

He does say that seasoned Canadian investors looking to diversify are becoming more interested in specific French, German, and South American markets, but there is a lot of due diligence required to participate in these markets successfully.

Kardash also adds a thought on foreign investments, “I am under the impression that if there are good properties in your backyard that work with your business model and serve your investment strategies well, why would you want to invest in a foreign market in which you are not immersed all the time? I believe that it depends on the investor, and their risk tolerance.” This means the second important point to consider is: buy in a market where you are immersed, knowledgeable, and can exercise control. Millar explains that most Albertans aren’t really interested in making the move to foreign markets, although there are always exceptions. “During Alberta’s ‘boom’ cycles there is always an appetite for buying property somewhere warmer. That doesn’t necessarily mean a fundamentally sound investment, though. You’ll

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“It is important to note that there are many types of property investments and they each require a specific skill set. It is not so much the ‘city’ as it is the investor. Take a look at what is going on in downtown Edmonton; the people, the arena – the vision, it is fantastic. The boom and bust cycle is not for the faint of heart.” Third point: stick to investing within your skill set. Millar, who specializes in researching the Edmonton market to secure clients’ long-term revenue-producing real estate investments, says that there is a foreign community investing here, but it’s waned in recent years. “Eighty per cent of our investors are Canadian. The remaining 20 per cent are from the U.S., Japan, Australia


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and China. The nature of our investments are long-term buy-and-holds and attract a different style of investor that tends to be interested in creating generational wealth and preserving capital. There has been a definite decline in foreign investment over the past few years. Some factors include currency fluctuation and changes in the mortgage rules creating more conservative returns for foreign investors when compared on a global scale.” The fourth point - strongly consider a long-term investment strategy, if you have the means. Does this all seem a little too common sense to you? Are you thinking, “Well, obviously!” If you are, you might be surprised to learn that for us here in Alberta, a lot of this isn’t so obvious, according to Young. “The funny thing is, in general people think the grass is always greener elsewhere. The hardest people to convince to invest in Edmonton are Edmontonians! The majority of our clientele are investors from other parts of Canada and the world. They are buying here because of the strong economic indicators…even in our current economy.” Let’s rewind back to the original question: Is it a good idea to buy real estate in this buyer’s market? The answer is a resounding yes, as long as you follow the rules and make your purchasing decisions with solid business sense. That sense is: buy a property that is currently cash flow positive. If it can cash flow in this economy, it will be a boon when things turn around. Secondly, invest in the market where your feet are planted. Third, it’s not a good time to be experimenting with your investment skills. Stick to what you know; and finally, consider long-term investments on wellresearched properties. The Edmonton market is priming for a turnaround. If you want to make a smart real estate buy while the market is soft, buy right here in the Capital Region.

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www.AFSC.ca • @AFSC_AB 1.877.899.AFSC (2372) BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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NEW TRENDS IN EDMONTON’S HOUSING MARKET // URBANOMICS

U R B A N O M I C S | U R B A N D E V E LO P M E N T D I S C U S S I O N

New Trends in Edmonton’s Housing Market Edmonton’s home building industry evolves and innovates. BY PARKER GRANT

“B

24

uilders adapt...that’s what we do!” says the enthusiastic Steve Ruggiero, president of Kimberly Homes Group and president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Edmonton Region (CHBA-ER), the not-for-profit organization representing 500 member companies. Ruggiero’s statement captures the spirit of the home builder and home renovating industry in what is, so far, a challenging year. There is little doubt that Alberta’s 2016 economy will be different from recent years.

Working with the City of Edmonton and over 20 municipalities in the Edmonton region, CHBA-ER members are engaged in various issues, such as:

Ruggiero emphasizes, “The home building industry evolves and innovates to changing market conditions and demands, and the process will continue to successfully meet the demands of the Edmonton market.”

• The review of numerous residential land use bylaws.

A key aspect is CHBA-ER’s concern for maintaining housing affordability. At the local level, affordability demands a close working relationship with the region’s municipal governments and a chance to collaborate and hopefully mitigate aspects like increased fees, taxes and levies on land and building lots. “At the end of the day,” Ruggiero adds, “these costs are ultimately borne by the homeowner. Each time these costs go up, housing affordability is eroded, especially for young Edmonton buyers.”

• Working with the City of Spruce Grove for managing show home signage.

APRIL 2016 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

• Self-verification processes that allow builders to assume the responsibility for on-site inspections. • Processes to ensure a smooth transition to new building codes that establish higher energy efficiency standards for new homes in 2016.

• Processes to deal with poor site management practices. • A review of the City’s Mature Neighbourhood Overlay.

• Working with the County of Strathcona on implementing the County’s affordable housing strategy. • Working with a number of regional fire departments on site management concerns for large wood frame buildings (greater than four storeys).


NEW TRENDS IN EDMONTON’S HOUSING MARKET // URBANOMICS

EDMONTON’S NEW HOME BUILDERS ARE FACING VARIOUS TRENDS. LAST YEAR, 2015, WAS THE BEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR MULTI-FAMILY STARTS; MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING IS THE DOMINANT FORM OF NEW HOUSING IN THE REGION.

In February, CHBA-ER hosted another successful Residential Construction Industry Conference (RCIC,) to provide members with the tools they need to deal with the new changes. The industry/technical conference featured more than 60 concurrent educational sessions over two days, enabling attendees to learn new strategies, enhance their network and keep up-to-date about the latest trends in the region’s housing market. Edmonton’s new home builders are facing various trends. Last year, 2015, was the best year on record for multi-family starts; multi-family housing is the dominant form of new housing in the region. “Multi-family housing not only helps address the issue of affordability, but the changing demands of the consumers who are increasingly seeking this housing as the preferred option,” Ruggiero notes. “While Edmonton’s rapid growth for the last number of years has created many special challenges, the housing market is also seeing a very different purchaser than past decades. Millennials are a bigger share of the market than Boomers, and both groups of buyers are increasingly looking for a different form of housing than the traditional large home in the suburbs,” Ruggiero explains. “Builders are addressing a market driven by more complex, consumer lifestyle choices, greater cultural diversity as well as a significantly constrained economy. Although there is much talk about the positive impact of low interest rates, mortgage rates have been low for so long that it’s almost assumed to be the norm.

“The potential impact of changing rates on housing affordability is a concern for home builders,” he cautions. “The Bank of Canada’s recent statement about expecting little change, if any, in mortgage rates through 2016 is reassuring for housing starts.” Ruggiero points out that despite the downturn broadside, “With all that happened in Alberta, Edmonton actually ended 2015 with job growth. While housing numbers will be constrained in 2016, the Edmonton region is situated to better weather these times than many locations in Canada. “The Edmonton market is diverse and benefitted from many years of strong growth that will continue to drive housing demand. Many people immigrated to Canada, and Edmonton in particular, and they often spend the first few years establishing themselves before entering the housing market. We anticipate that this will this translate into new demand for a number of years. Net migration will continue to drive significant job growth and positive population growth.” The big Alberta question lingers: is this the new normal? “In many aspects it is!” Ruggiero speculates. “Home buyers are demanding a greater range of products, affordability will increasingly be an important decision factor, regulatory processes need to recognize the impact on housing starts and affordability, and home builders must continue to innovate and adapt to market realities. Growth may be slower than past years, but Edmonton’s growth will still remain among the strongest in the country.”

ABOVE: STEVE RUGGIERO, PRESIDENT OF KIMBERLY HOMES GROUP & PRESIDENT OF THE CANADIAN HOME BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION – EDMONTON REGION (CHBA-ER)

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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BRETT DESROCHES’ CONCRETE CAREER // COVER

BRETT DESROCHES’

CONCRETE

Career ENABLING THEIR CLIENTS’ SUCCESS RESULTS IN UNICON’S RAPID GROWTH.

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

B

rett Desroches, owner of Unicon Concrete, looks around the company’s new 15,000-square-foot show room. After taking over the old RONA building on Edmonton’s west side, the facility represents not only Unicon’s rapid expansion, but also their new way of engaging customers. For example, having large carts and more stock on the floor allows busy contractors to get what they need and get back to their job sites quickly. Desroches knows considerations like being mindful of contractor’s time and selling unique items such as heated hoodies that allow for a full range of movement while working in Alberta’s famously cold winters, are integral to the company’s success, but Unicon’s achievements are rooted in more than

business acumen. It all started nearly 30 years ago with an entrepreneur that was too restless to retire. “My dad, Ernie, had semi-retired but he wasn’t ready to quit working,” explains Desroches. “Through his career experience, he knew there was a need for a concrete specialist company that focused on products and services. I was fresh out of high school at that time and eager to work – but I had no idea what I was getting into!” Until that point, Desroches’ work history was in retail where everything was structured. He found himself plunged headfirst into the family business where regular work hours, lunch breaks and holidays were not part of the plan.

RIGHT: BRETT DESROCHES, OWNER OF UNICON CONCRETE PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY IN.C

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BRETT DESROCHES’ CONCRETE CAREER // COVER

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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BRETT DESROCHES’ CONCRETE CAREER // COVER

HE SET UP A UNIQUE 8,000 SQUARE FOOT SHOWROOM. THE TIMING WAS GREAT. A CONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC BOOM KEPT THEM BUSY RIGHT UP TO THE 2008 RECESSION; AND THEIR REPUTATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE GOT THEM THROUGH THE DOWNTURN. “We opened at 6 a.m., missed lunch and worked as long as we had to. After 12 – 14 hours we would close and start the paperwork to see how much – if anything – we had made that day. Like every young person, I had aspirations of doing things that were big and grand. I didn’t see a future in concrete, but I took an interest when the store closed and that paperwork came out. I found it fascinating that we could buy something, sell it for a profit and after paying ourselves, we were profitable. I thought, ‘Wow…if you can take a nickel and turn it into a dime, maybe you can take a dime and turn it into a quarter!’ That’s what got me going. Coming from a corporate retail background, I never really understood the complexities of business before or what it took behind the scenes to make a company work.” It wasn’t easy. “My dad fired me about five times,” Desroches admits. “He was a really difficult guy to work for. The early years were very frustrating. I worked in the warehouse, as a loader, in customer service – everything. We would work long, tiring hours but the experience taught me valuable lessons. I learned if you were available for your customers, they would recognize that and keep coming back.” The key, Desroches discovered, wasn’t just in the products. The high-quality products they continue to procure are wellknown to their clients but what made Unicon stand out was how they treated customers. “We were the first business in this industry to open on Saturdays. Contractors don’t shut down on weekends so we needed to be there for them. We gained a lot of traction doing that.” A little luck didn’t hurt either. “In 1995 one of our competitors shut down and all of a sudden we had access to new product lines and experienced

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staff. Taking advantage of this, we were able to open the Calgary branch.” That year, 1995, was a significant milestone for Unicon. Ernie decided to fully retire. Desroches and his brother became equal shareholders. “In 1995 we grew to three times our size. That was the start of our rapid growth. We attracted more and more customers because we serviced them so well.” One of the many examples of “servicing customers so well” came in the form of an early morning supply run. “I remember waking up at 3 a.m. recalling that I didn’t drop off someone’s order!” Desroches laughs. “I got out of bed, got the order, drove to the site and delivered it quietly without waking up the customer. Then I went home and went back to bed. When he [the client] woke up, his order was there. If you make a mistake, you can lose a customer. We did everything we could for our clients and we still do.” By 2005 the company was bursting at the seams so when the building across the street came up for sale, Desroches jumped at the chance to expand. He set up a unique 8,000-square-foot showroom. The timing was great. A construction and economic boom kept them busy right up to the 2008 recession, and their reputation and customer service got them through the downturn. By the time the recession was over in 2011, Desroches was ready to buy his brother out and he became the sole owner of Unicon. Although he knows that he was “there from the beginning,” his start as the sole owner was marked with a big problem – one that came about due to rapid sales. “From 2011 – 2015 we had a 50 per cent increase in sales. It became difficult for us to run the company out of two


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BRETT DESROCHES’ CONCRETE CAREER // COVER

buildings. Our level of service began to deteriorate. We couldn’t increase our product lines or our inventory.” The entrepreneur went on the hunt for a solution and when he saw the old RONA building, he thought to himself, “jackpot.” “Our customers are very specific. They drive big trucks and have huge trailers. We needed a high-traffic location that could accommodate semi-trucks. This location gave us that plus a larger showroom. We moved in December 2015, and I don’t think I could have found a better location.” Unicon helped build Edmonton. “Our products are everywhere. We sell everything to most of Edmonton’s contractors, big and small. From the concrete products in your basement to the high rise towers downtown, Unicon has been a part of Edmonton’s foundation since 1989.” With the two Edmonton locations unified and the Calgary location thriving, Desroches focuses on the most important aspect of his company – service. It’s not just service to the clients that motivates him; he is very dedicated to the staff.

The employees are thrilled with a fun lounge that includes a bubble hockey machine (which is also used in tournaments against the Calgary location), a choice of fine coffee and frozen slush drinks, roomy offices, and a manager that considers their wellbeing a priority. “We try to stay ahead of everyone,” Desroches confirms. “The concrete finishers are getting younger and smarter and want ABOVE: A FULLY STOCKED, ORGANIZED SHOWROOM GIVES CONTRACTORS AND SHOPPERS QUICK ACCESS TO THE PRODUCTS THEY NEED. INSET: UNICON’S LARGE WAREHOUSES ENSURE PRODUCTS ARE ALWAYS IN STOCK. PHOTO SOURCE: UNICON CONCRETE

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BRETT DESROCHES’ CONCRETE CAREER // COVER

that whatever happened, good or bad, I was responsible. I wouldn’t fail or succeed because of anyone else. I was in control of my own destiny.” It’s a destiny he takes very seriously. “We are one of the very few distributors in our market that is not owned by a foreign corporation. We are an Alberta-based company.” As the company’s 30 year anniversary looms, Desroches shares some of the lessons he’s learned along the way. “Support local business when you can. Don’t wait for things to happen; make things happen. Be clear and consistent. Recognize that people interpret things differently.” tools that make their job easier. If we give them the tools they want and need, they’ll keep coming back. “Our business is evolving. Customers are going to come here and realize that we didn’t just get bigger, we got better. Our clients have more control over their experience. For example, instead of coming to us with a list of needs and having to wait while an order is filled from the warehouse, we have more products on our sales floor. Customers simply pick up what they need and get back to work. It’s a more interactive, faster and rewarding experience for all involved.” Desroches knows running a company is very consuming and he readily admits that his first foray into Unicon at 18 had him not liking his job very much. These days, however, he sings a different tune. When he started at Unicon, he grumbled about moving from department to department, constantly hustling to get work done. These days the company CEO still finds himself in the back loading customer’s trucks, offloading containers, and working the sales floor, but now he loves every minute of it. “It keeps me grounded and shows the team that we can do the hard work together. “I love my job now. Turning an idea into something real and tangible is very rewarding. The moment I became the sole owner in 2011 really stands out for me. It made me realize

When he is not in the office he enjoys that work/life balance that eluded him for so long. He’s been happily married for 22 years to the company CFO, Melanie. They enjoy hiking and spending time fishing in British Columbia with their children. The family-oriented company supports the Hair Massacre (an organization that raises money to treat children with lifethreatening illnesses). Walking the walk, Desroches did more than encourage his staff and clients to help out the worthy cause. Unicon donated thousands of toques and Desroches has even taken the plunge, dyed his hair pink and had it shaved off to raise funds. Unicon also supports numerous sports, charities, silent auctions, dance teams and non-profit organizations around the city. As he looks fondly around the massive showroom of Unicon’s new home, he can’t help but smile. From a young teen without experience to running the company and being in charge of the wellbeing of clients and staff, it’s been quite an exciting experience. He knows he’s arrived at his destination, but that just means he’s packing his bags for the next leg of the journey. “I’m open to the future. It’s hard to determine where we are headed but I can assure you, we won’t get there by accident.”

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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SHIFTING COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS CREATE OPPORTUNITIES // COMMERICAL REAL ESTATE

SHIFTING COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS CREATE OPPORTUNITIES

BY LAURA BOHNERT

D

owntown Edmonton is under construction in a project that is going to re-envision and revitalize the area’s business landscape, but the project is posing a few concerns for the areas that exist outside of ICE District. With the new development creating a surge of new space—and demand—that is drawing businesses towards commercial real estate downtown, where are current business districts being left amidst the shuffle? “It is an interesting, yet contentious development,” quotes Adel Hanafi, commercial real estate associate in investment sales and leasing at Cushman & Wakefield Edmonton. “There is a lot of action going on right now that is being catalyzed by the upcoming ICE District. New development in and around ICE District is bringing with it new office space, parkades, hotels, residences, retail spaces, and, of course, the arena. A lot of opportunities are being created for retailers and even office tenants, but with that development comes a substantial downside for existing real estate landlords in Edmonton: increased vacancy. “From a landlord perspective, Edmonton’s office space market is less than ideal. With overall vacancy having surpassed the 11 per cent mark towards the end of 2015, and with all the scheduled office space coming into the market when the Stantec Tower is scheduled to be completed in 2018, central class-A office vacancy rates are projected to be as high as 18.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2018. When lead tenants, such as the two thirds of the City of Edmonton’s employees and Enbridge, relocate to the new towers (near ICE District) we will see a sharp surge in trailing vacancies from existing buildings.”

ABOVE: ADEL HANAFI, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATE, INVESTMENT SALES AND LEASING, CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD IN EDMONTON

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SHIFTING COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS CREATE OPPORTUNITIES // COMMERICAL REAL ESTATE

IN OTHER WORDS, THE COLISEUM, BUILT IN 1974, IS LOSING ITS TWO BIGGEST DRAWS—THE OILERS AND FUNCTIONALITY AS AN ENTERTAINMENT VENUE. HOWEVER, WHILE THIS DEVELOPMENT IS CREATING CONCERN FOR THOSE EMPLOYED BY REXALL PLACE, IT IS ALSO CREATING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE COLISEUM TO ADAPT TO THE NEEDS THAT ARE BEING EXPRESSED BY ITS COMMUNITY.

The office block isn’t the only area that is getting hit by the sudden draw of downtown’s ICE District. With the construction of Rogers Place and the relocation of the Edmonton Oilers, Rexall Place is losing its main tenant.

“There is a current need in Edmonton for more arenas in which kids can play sports like hockey,” Filevich says. “The plans to repurpose Rexall Place are well used in this focus. It’s not about money, it’s about doing what’s right for the community.”

As Trish Filevich, public relations manager for Northlands says, “Something will need to happen with Rexall Place. When the Oilers exit, the concerts that used to be held at Rexall Place will not be able to happen there anymore.”

This shift in focus is something that is being noticed by tenants as well. As Hanafi explains, “What we are noticing right now is that commercial real estate landlords are trying to incentivize tenants, either through rent reductions, or by offering more competitive tenant improvement allowances.

In other words, the coliseum, built in 1974, is losing its two biggest draws—the Oilers and functionality as an entertainment venue. However, while this development is creating concern for those employed by Rexall Place, it is also creating an opportunity for the coliseum to adapt to the needs that are being expressed by its community. In a press release given by Northlands’ CEO Tim Reid on February 17, 2016, Northlands unveiled its plans (Vision 2020) to repurpose their existing facilities; plans which include the renovation of Rexall Place into the Northlands Ice Coliseum, an athletic complex that will feature two levels of ice and can be converted to accommodate alternative indoor sports. Vision 2020 also includes plans for the repurposing of Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino into a multi-use urban festival site that has the capacity to host up to 140,000 people, as well as plans for the renovation of Hall D into a 5,000 seat venue for events like minor hockey tournaments and championship games, rodeos, and professional lacrosse.

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“I do think there is a positive outlook for landlords, tenants, and brokers. This isn’t an ideal economy, and some landlords are getting less rent than they would ideally like to, but vacant spaces still accumulate operating costs. A tenant, even one who is paying less rent, is still contributing, and this is a good thing. “Also, tough times often create investment opportunities, and we will be seeing investors and their firms (many coming with foreign capital) acquiring depreciating buildings in Edmonton to give them a much needed facelift in an attempt to reposition these assets.” The current construction of ICE District also poses a further advantage for tenants. Hanafi explains, “The resulting surge in office vacancy means that landlords do not want to wait too long to fill those vacancies, for fear of things worsening.” This means tenants have more options at more accessible rates in areas that could be very advantageous for their businesses.


Make Your Image Shine with Westcan Sign & Lighting Service Inc. Westcan Sign & Lighting Service Inc. uses an in-house fleet of over thirty 45 foot, fully stocked bucket trucks along with crews in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver Island, Langley and the Greater Kelowna area to provide Western Canada with a full complement of services, including: • Interior/exterior lighting service • Electrical maintenance • Signage lighting, maintenance, installation & manufacturing • LED retrofit programs & incentives • Free night lighting outage audits of properties • Parking lot pole lighting supply and installation “We are the largest company in Western Canada utilizing our own crews on the ground, completing the work for our valued clients,” says business development manager Wes Eggink. “Only on rare occasions are service calls dispatched using a trusted, experienced subcontractor. Having our own fleet of bucket trucks and location-based crews gives us an edge over the competition. We are proud to offer the quickest turnaround time in the industry and a proven track record of treating each and every client and job with the importance they deserve.” Nothing is left to chance in providing an outstanding customer service experience. For example, since Westcan services the entirety of the Western Canada, work in remote areas is planned in groups so clients can save money by sharing trip charges. Westcan is on call 24/7. “We understand, and our clients appreciate knowing that if a delivery truck backs into a portion of the building or building signage, they can call us at any time of day, knowing we will have a crew sent out right away. This is our policy, our customers expect it, and we are happy to provide this high level of service.” With affordable rates, a 100 per cent customer satisfaction guarantee and safety-certified team members, your experience with Westcan Signage & Lighting Inc. is always bright. It’s time to show the world what your company is about by using superior signage and lighting. “Give us a shot!” smiles Eggink. “I’m confident you’ll be more than happy with the services we provide.”

Ask about our spring cleaning program. Your image needs spring cleaning to release it from winter’s dirt and grime! Call one of our account managers at 1-877-644-0441 today to keep your signage – and brand – squeaky clean.

westcanlighting.com


SHIFTING COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS CREATE OPPORTUNITIES // COMMERICAL REAL ESTATE

AS DREW NEWTON, HOSPITALITY AND SERVICE SKILLS INDUSTRY SPECIALIST IN THE BRAND AND MARKETING DEVELOPMENT UNIT AT NORQUEST COLLEGE EXPLAINS, “ICE DISTRICT, WITH ITS NEW HOTELS AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, IS CREATING TONS OF NEW JOBS FOR PEOPLE DOWNTOWN.”

“Tenants have more options for downtown locations as they continue to capitalize on the shift in bargaining leverage,” Hanafi confirms. “It is also important to note that the fight to draw tenants means landlords are investing in improving the quality of their office buildings via larger improvement allowances that will hopefully bring more jobs for the contractors who are working on these offices spaces. A prime retail hub is essentially being created in an area that has traditionally not been vibrant and, given that space tends to be more scarce in our downtown core, this development brings with it new opportunities for various groups.” The development of ICE District is also making way for more jobs, primarily in the retail, entertainment, and hospitality industries, and also in the areas that are being vacated, repurposed, and opened up for new and potentially more community-based opportunities in connection with this relocation of demand.

workers into the hospitality industry. Newton, along with 50 other instructors and with the help of $1.5 million donated by the Edmonton Oilers for student bursaries, is working to develop course content that will lead to a world-class guest services designation that companies will recognize across the nation. The program is also designed to help more people get into the workforce. “The college as a whole is growing,” states Newton. “We are on track to have 20,000 learners with workforce-relative training by 2025. We are a true organization in motion and our passion to move things forward lies in world-class training and in our refusal to leave anybody out.

As Drew Newton, hospitality and service skills industry specialist in the brand and marketing development unit at NorQuest College explains, “ICE District, with its new hotels and entertainment centre, is creating tons of new jobs for people downtown.”

“There is massive potential in accessing the whole of the workforce, including the people who are not currently able to get involved in the workforce, such as those who are marginalized and disadvantaged or those who are new to Canada, refugees who are highly educated and need a helping hand. NorQuest works to make hospitality industry-specific training accessible to give everyone a chance to join the work force. There is massive demand in the hospitality industry. It is the fastest growing segment of the economy.”

NorQuest College’s Hospitality Institute has been working since 2014 to develop an open enrolment program, with no specifically targeted demographic, to help train and integrate

Newton sees the increase in demand for workers in the hospitality industry arising as a result of the development of ICE District as an open doorway in NorQuest’s aim to ABOVE: DREW NEWTON, HOSPITALITY AND SERVICE SKILLS INDUSTRY SPECIALIST IN THE BRAND AND MARKETING DEVELOPMENT UNIT AT NORQUEST COLLEGE

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achieve a professional network of people—a network that could have a lot of economic benefits once the stigma of the hospitality industry is broken down. “If we can really open the door to allow workers to see the hospitality industry as a career path, not just as an opening to something else, not just as a dead-end job, but as a career path in itself that can result in partnerships and that can take people many places across the country and around the world,” says Newton, “we could decrease employee turnover and contribute to a much more stable economy.” Now, with the development of ICE District creating a new economic hub, Newton says, “The world is coming to Edmonton, and commercial real estate is a major factor in opening the door for the economic boost that world can bring into play as a result.”

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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AT EASE BEING GREEN // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

EASE

AT BEING GREEN THANKS TO ALBERTA’S ENERGY SECTOR LEADERS, THE PROVINCE’S REPUTATION AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL LAGGARD IS LOOKING EVER MORE OUTDATED.

BY BEN FREELAND

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hen it comes to environmental policy making, Canadians can take comfort in the fact that their country is no longer the international bête noire of the global ecological movement. That dubious honour has now fallen to Australia, whose governing centre-right Liberal Party this year announced vast, sweeping cuts to the country’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), a move which critics allege will breach the country’s obligations under the recent Paris agreement and incur massive long-term economic costs. By contrast, Canada’s newly minted federal government has embarked in a decisively new direction on the environment, announcing the development of new emissions targets for 2020 and 2030 and an end to Harper-era communications restrictions placed on government scientists. Nowhere in Canada has the current conversation around environmental protection been more vivid than in the country’s main energy-producing province, wherein the still-young NDP government has touted the environment as a top policy priority from the start. Some of the Notley government’s boldest moves have come on the environmental front, namely its November 22, 2015, announcement calling for an economy-wide carbon tax

starting in 2017, a cap on emissions from the oil sands, a 15year phase-out of coal-fired power, a 10-year goal to nearly halve methane emissions, and new fiscal incentives for renewable energy development—a pivot that Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid calls “the most radical policy shift ever seen in Alberta.” The plan, while predictably opposed by some as a job killer that would result in higher energy prices for Albertans (see Sidebar: Carbon Tax Talk) has engendered some unlikely support from the province’s energy sector leaders, including the likes of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. chairman Murray Edwards, who had previously been among the sharpest critics of the new government. Edmonton-based political affairs blogger Dave Cournoyer likened this wave of industry support to “flying pigs,” while fellow provincial affairs pundit David Climenhaga applauded the move as “once again placing Albertans in the driver’s seat,” and making the province “a leader, once again, in the Confederation.” Energy industry insiders, however, contend that industry support for the province’s green shift is more a matter of public policy catching up with developments in industry than of government forcing industry’s hand. From the oil

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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AT EASE BEING GREEN // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

SUNCOR ENERGY PRESIDENT AND CEO STEVE WILLIAMS IS AMONG THE MOST VOCAL ADVOCATES OF CLIMATE ACTION AMONG ENERGY INDUSTRY LEADERS. sands to urban utilities, the province’s companies have long taken the threat of climate change and resource depletion seriously, and have been taking incremental steps towards better environmental practices and at long last, the provincial and federal public appears to be taking notice. Suncor Energy president and CEO Steve Williams is among the most vocal advocates of climate action among energy industry leaders. A member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, a high-level non-partisan environmental advisory commission whose members include Paul Martin, Jean Charest and Preston Manning, Williams has emerged as one of industry’s most vocal supporters of the NDP’s planned carbon tax, a stance he articulated in a speech in Calgary two days before the May 2015 provincial election. In his speech he not only urged decisive industry action on global climate change, but also emphasized that the province has not been a laggard on the issue, despite often being portrayed as such. “Alberta was the first province in Canada to act on climate change through the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation,” he noted. “A lot of people would criticize it now for not being

ambitious enough, but it’s worth remembering that we were the first to recognize the need to take action.” While Suncor’s vocal espousal of Alberta’s new carbon pricing initiative has boosted the company’s social capital amid sliding oil prices and a slumping economy, the company’s green shift dates back at least a decade with the establishment of the Boreal Habitat Conservation Initiative (BHCI) in 2003. In a longstanding partnership with the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), the Suncor Energy Foundation has made great strides over the past 10 years in mitigating the cumulative effects of loss and fragmentation of animal habitat due to industrial disturbances. Through an investment of over $4 million, Suncor has helped protect more than 8,550 acres of natural boreal forest through the creation of 37 conservation sites. While companies like Suncor have taken a prominent role in greening Alberta’s economy, others have been doing so more quietly. The importance of preserving the province’s valuable water supply gained overdue attention in 2008 with the unveiling of the provincial government’s new ABOVE: STEVE WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT, SUNCOR ENERGY PHOTO SOURCE: SUNCOR ENERGY

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Nelson Environmental Remediation Ltd.

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rothers Darryl and Warren Nelson know that you can’t sweep a problem under a rug as that problem leaves a bump that will trip you up sooner or later, but that is exactly what too many companies around the world are doing with contaminated soil. Rather than investing in the time and procedures needed to reclaim contaminated soil, most opt to dump it in a landfill. The Nelsons aren’t having that. Year after year they tirelessly promote their Nelson Environmental Remediation Ltd. (NER) solutions and finally, the victory scales are tipping in their favour – or, as the men know, in the favour of current and future generations. “We deliver on our promise of ‘Clean Dirt, No Doubt!’” says Darryl. Our robust technology achieves remediation of nearly any type of soil with almost any type of contaminant. We guarantee remediation while providing certainty that the client’s goals are achieved in the most eco-friendly, best business practice manner, and with the most advanced technology in the world.” NER projects include large scale clean-ups of sites with organic contamination like petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, soil sterilant, wood preservatives, PCB’s, etc. One of the driving factors of NER’s success is its ability to work in any weather condition, from humid and tropical heat to the blistering cold winds of Canada’s far north. For example, NER has deployed equipment over ice roads to process drilling mud near Tuktoyaktuk, then later used a barge to transport equipment to Hawaii to clean up a 90-year old fuel storage facility in the middle of an urban centre. Distance and project conditions never deter NER from making the world a cleaner place. What can NER do for you? No matter where you are or how contaminated the soil, NER will take on your project. For oil and chemical spills, don’t think “landfill”. Think “remediation”. The problem of contaminated soil doesn’t stop if you hide it away. It stops by doing the right thing and calling in the experts to make dirty dirt clean.

Learn more about NER by visiting www.NERglobal.com.


Inglis Environmental’s Green Mission for Edmonton By Fay Fletcher

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rent Hamilton, president of Inglis Environmental Ltd., knows his composting system plays a crucial part in keeping Edmonton green. He focuses on the whole system, starting with collecting waste and keeping it out of landfills, through to selling compost so it can be used to improve the health of soil. With this inclusive method, Inglis works with all manner of outdoor spaces, from the garden behind your home to croplands, from storm water runoff to mining reclamation – and more. Inglis collaborates with the City of Edmonton and private companies to make compositing and recycling as convenient as possible for the city’s many industries. For example, Inglis provides its clients with containers, Inglis collects the mate-

rial, a compost facility (City or private) processes the material, and then Inglis sells the finished product. Other services Inglis provides include diversion consulting, to educate corporations on how to keep as much material as possible out of landfills, and freight services, in conjunction with private contractors, to provide eco-friendly short-and long-haul delivery options for projects in northern Alberta. It’s a diverse range of offerings, but one that continues to serve the city well. Keeping Edmonton green since 2004, Hamilton is pleased to note that his first (and very notable) clients are still with him today, proving their commitment to eco-friendly practices in the Capital City. In addition to organic waste collection and providing services for Edmonton’s

inglisenvironmental.com • edmontoncompost.com


largest venues, facilities, and hospitality vendors, Inglis now counts the horticulture industry among its valued clients, growing its relationships with the city’s greenhouses along with professional and DIY landscape artists. “It’s amazing to be able to work with people from all different backgrounds: agriculture, horticulture, landscaping, oil and gas, hospitality and retail,” says Hamilton. “Working with compost is a niche market and Inglis is proud to be an innovator in this field. We offer the customer service and flexibility required to meet every client’s needs.” The company continues to innovate new and exciting products and services to further its client’s green initiatives. The impact Inglis has on the Edmonton area is outstanding. In 2015, Inglis customers diverted 285 metric tonnes of or-

ganic waste from landfills, and purchased over 20,000 metric tonnes of compost. Over the last year, Inglis donated time and resources to divert 1,820 kilograms of waste for the Edmonton Ronald McDonald House, and greatly enjoyed being involved with this charitable organization. “Inglis appreciates each and every customer that is working with us to make Alberta a greener place,” confirms Hamilton. “I’m particularly grateful to the clients that were with us from day one, who believed in the Inglis promise and the health of our environment; these clients helped Inglis get started and continue to help the company thrive. Every day I am inspired by their commitment to our programs. Working together, we make a difference.”

inglisenvironmental.com • edmontoncompost.com


AT EASE BEING GREEN // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Land-use Framework (LUF) centred on protecting key watersheds, but as with carbon pricing and habitat protection, private sector action preceded public policy change. Since the 1980s, EPCOR Utilities (formerly Aqualta and Eltec) has been quietly overhauling the Edmonton region’s water infrastructure while consistently impressing upon consumers the need to conserve water. “In the ’80s we had an average of around 1,600 water main breaks a year,” says EPCOR spokesman Tim le Riche. “Today we have less than 300 a year. We’ve accomplished this through a program of replacing old cast iron mains dating back to the postwar era, and replacing them year by year in a gradual fashion so as not to cause major disruptions. I’d say we’ve been well ahead of most other cities in terms of accomplishing substantial water savings.” With the city’s water infrastructure now thoroughly updated, EPCOR’s priority is now consumer-end water conservation efforts. This, le Riche asserts, is being accomplished through public education as well as purchase programs for rain barrels, lowflush toilets, and other environmentally friendly installations. He also contends that EPCOR’s promotion of block pricing has helped transform Edmonton into a relatively low per-capita user of water among major cities. “Block pricing has become standard practice in Edmonton, giving people a real incentive to stay below average in terms of water consumption. This has made a big difference.” While priorities differ among companies, all industry leaders appear to agree that even amid low oil prices and a struggling economy, decisive environmental action needs to be prioritized. “You can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, and vice versa,” says Williams. “It’s very difficult to predict where things are going to go in terms of the price of crude, but that uncertainty makes it all the more important that we strengthen Canada’s competitiveness and the environment all in the same conversation.”

CARBON TAX TALK BY JOHN HARDY

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rom the Edmonton offices of Syncrude, Royal Dutch Shell, Nexen and Suncor Energy to the gas pumps in Leduc and St. Albert, climate change is proven, real and undisputable. Although it is still a controversially hot button revelation for some media and politicians, industry – particularly Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), the alliance of 13 of Alberta’s oil and gas producers – has been focused and proactively doing something about climate change for decades. Then there’s carbon tax. Initially a well-intentioned, planet-saving viable idea, carbon taxes are usually defined as a tax based on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from burning fuels. Late last year, the Alberta government announced its aggressive, new climate change plan, which will levy a carbon tax on every Albertan, phase out coal pollution and plants by 2030 and set a greenhouse gas emissions cap on oils sands, making Alberta a global leader in fighting climate change. Analysts (and critics) calculate that the government’s carbon tax plan will raise $3 billion but cost Albertans 4.7 cents more per litre of gas at the pumps in 2017, and 5.5 cents more per litre of diesel; an extra $320 to heat their homes in 2017, which will spike to $470 by 2018. For Paige MacPherson, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Alberta’s carbon tax is poorly timed and overrated when it comes to making any significant climate change difference. “The Alberta government’s new carbon tax will undoubtedly hit Albertan businesses, taxpayers and rural communities hard. The negative impact of a $3-billion carbon tax far outweighs the minuscule impact the carbon tax could have on global climate change,” she says.

ABOVE: PAIGE MACPHERSON, ALBERTA DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION

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CANADA PUMP AND POWER: Western Canada’s Premier Marine Industrial Equipment and Services Provider

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anada Pump & Power (CPP) and its branch company Mighty Pumps are the dive, pump, barge and dredge service leaders in Alberta that safely and effectively solve marine industrial problems with innovative equipment and experienced, qualified and committed staff. “It is our mission to be the best and easiest solution for fluid pumping and marine industrial services for all our existing and future clients,” says Jeremy Leonard, founder and CEO. We have conventional equipment available, plus “made in Alberta” pump, barge, and dredge products that offer unique technological innovations that increase safety, are greener, more reliable, and cost less to operate. We say what we are going to do. We do what we said we would do. We check to ensure that we did it. We are committed to safety, our environment, and client satisfaction.” The company’s products greatly reduce maintenance downtime and increase productivity. For example, patented dredging technology eliminates the need for personnel on dredging equipment, proprietary pump priming technology is easier to maintain and more efficient than other brands, and pumping and dredging systems talk to your cell phone to tell you where they are and what they are doing. These are just some of the many solutions available. In 2016, Mighty Pumps partnered with Bell Pumps, the Dutch manufacturer of dredge and sand pumps, and now ships Bell Dredge Pumps to Canada to provide their clients with the most cost-effective solution for pumping MFT’s, sludge, sand, and solids with high heads and flow rates up to 2,400 cubic meters per hour. The pumps are a submersible dredge pump with a cutter head, all in one compact unit. “Our solutions go far beyond providing equipment,” Leonard, points out. “Client’s come to us for our expertise; every member of our team has extensive industry experience. We are obsessed with providing the best customer experience and respond promptly to inquiries with industry-backed knowledge.” Experience the difference by visiting canadapumpandpower.com and mightypumps.com, and don’t hesitate to give Jeremy a call.

CANADA

DIVE | PUMP | BARGE | DREDGE

PUMP AND POWER

www.canadapumpandpower.com | 1-877-898-3494 | sales@mightypumps.com


Nominations are now closed. Thanks to all who have nominated, and to the nominees who are part of this year’s program. We look forward to assembling another group of influential people from our business community who will be honoured for their contributions towards making Edmonton a great place to live and work! Business in Edmonton will celebrate the 2016 winners at our 4th Annual Awards Gala, and our July issue will feature the Leaders and their companies.

Save the Date Wednesday, June 22th | 6pm To stay informed on details for our event, visit www.businessinedmonton.com/leaders or email leaders@businessinedmonton.com.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


2016 Board of Directors

Finding Opportunity During Economic Instability

Executive

Chair: Bill Blais Vice President, Land Development, MacLab Enterprises Vice Chair: James Merkosky Partner, Tax Services, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Treasurer: Len Rhodes, President & CEO, Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Janet Riopel President & CEO Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Max Frank Vice President, Membership & Operations Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Warren Singh Vice President, Policy & Outreach Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Ian Morris Director, Finance Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Past Chair: Jerri Cairns, Partner, Parlee McLaws LLP

Directors

Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Capital Power Dr. Glenn Feltham President & CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Crystal Graham Partner & Licensed Interior Designer, Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd. Dawn Harsch Owner, Exquisicare Inc. Alyson Hodson President & CEO, zag creative Elan MacDonald President, Impact Consulting Scott McEachern Vice President, Engineering & Projects, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Craig Thorkelsson Manager of Corporate Taxation, PCL Constructors Inc.

Contact

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

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

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dmonton’s economy is only going to get worse before it gets better. This is what I have been saying to a number of businesses, service clubs, not-for-profits, trade associations, media outlets, government officials, banking institutions, and just about any other person who will listen. For an optimist like me, it’s not an easy thing to talk about. But it is our current reality and at this point we can’t ignore it. We hear a lot about the bad news, but not enough about the success stories in our region. Many industries and businesses in the Edmonton region are seeing an opportunity to expand, rather than contract. They are spending when many are saving. They are hiring even as unemployment levels rise. And they are projecting a positive vision of growth and development for their businesses. Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, home to over 40 companies in the chemical, petrochemical, energy, and advanced manufacturing sectors, is benefiting from the reduced cost pressures of low oil prices, and the low Canadian dollar has made the region more competitive. There are currently over $14 billion in projects actively under construction that will create almost 12,000 jobs once fully complete. And the Region anticipates a potential for $27.5 billion in capital investment that will add a further 24,000 construction jobs. These projects offer the potential for our Region to become a world leader in hydrocarbon processing. Despite a tough economy, the Heartland is a true bright spot on our horizon! We can look to our business community as a source of inspiration. Edmonton-based Chandos Construction is not slowing its pace. They are planning to expand operations across Canada, in Ontario and B.C. This impressive “mid-size builder” is poised to generate record revenues for the company of about $380 million this year, up from $350 million in 2015. And, looking at their vision for 2020, Chandos plans to grow its operations and become a $600 million company. Tom Redl, CEO of Chandos, summed up his thoughts in a recent Edmonton Journal article. “I think by nature the DNA of Alberta is comprised of creative entrepreneurs, and we’ll figure out whatever the world throws at us. Things might not be quite as easy as they once were, but we’ll be fine.” Even in times of economic uncertainty there are opportunities – opportunities that will help us to grow and prosper. We are eager to hear your story. What steps are you taking to realize success in these challenging times? We’d love to hear from you at: policy@ edmontonchamber.com.

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Another Case for Building Pipelines By Warren Singh, Vice-President of Policy and Outreach

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here is no question about it. Our province needs access to tidewater to export our products and services. This can take many different modes of transport. And we need this to happen in the most efficient and safe manner possible. No matter if it is with planes, trains, trucks or pipelines, Edmonton, Alberta and Canada needs it badly. Pipelines being a focal point for transportation over the past few years is not new. But, the increasing need to build them in order to reinvigorate our economy is becoming more and more prevalent. With our current provincial recession and near-zero national GDP growth, now more than ever our economy needs to build pipelines. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce fully supports dealing with any potential environmental and safety concerns. Mitigation plans must be of the highest standard before going ahead with any large-scale project. In the case of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, the National Energy Board (NEB) put 209 conditions on the project. Those include not just spill prevention methods, but also assessing and mitigating any impacts on waterways, sensitive species, whale migration, culturally modified trees and bird migration. And, that is just in the pre-construction phase. There are also numerous engagement responsibilities with indigenous peoples and local communities that need to happen even before pre-construction in the project design phase. This all needs to happen and satisfy the NEB prior to going forward. And, this undertaking should happen prior to any approval or movement of earth in the ground. But once it is complete, we should begin building these projects.

This massive economic boom could invigorate our economic potential rather than leave an asset in the ground or receiving less for our product on the open market. Just one pipeline, in this case the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, could generate 123,000 person-years of work during construction and the first 20 years of operations, including 15,000 jobs in Alberta and 36,000 in B.C. This also includes a boost of $4.5 billion in direct tax revenues for federal government and $527 million and $1.2 billion for Alberta and B.C. respectively. This massive economic boom could invigorate our economic potential rather than leave an asset in the ground or receiving less for our product on the open market. To quote the Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty: “The pipeline debate is about more than just the oil and gas sector in more ways than one. Allowing the merits of an individual project to take second place to the symbolic value of opposing them is hurting Canada’s competitiveness in the global economy, and that hurts all Canadians.”

Members in this Issue NorQuest College, Northlands and Cushman & Wakefield Edmonton in Shifting Commercial Districts Create Opportunities on page 32 EPCOR in At Ease Being Green on page 41

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Thank You to our customers, staff and partners for helping us become one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the 10th year in a row.

Edmonton West 11025–184 Street

780•483•9559

Locations coast-to-coast-to-coast Toll Free 1•800•936•9353 | www.drivingforce.ca

Edmonton South 9503–34 Avenue

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A Top Fuel Mixture for Trending on Twitter By Lee Ferris, Marketing & Digital Communications Manager

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n Friday, January 29, 2016, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce hosted our annual Chamber Ball featuring Colin James & The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Titled ‘An Evening of Brilliance,’ this sold-out event brought together Edmonton’s business and community leaders for a night of rock & roll revelry. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Ball….Twitter blew up! As you can see from the above graphic, the hashtag for the gala (#chamberballyeg) became the #1 trending topic in Edmonton for the entirety of the evening, and continued on through the weekend, far eclipsing the activity associated with the capital city’s core hashtag, #yeg. Better still, #chamberballyeg became a top #10 trending topic across Canada, resulting in an estimated 1.7 million social impressions reaching a total audience of 243.5k. While the high profile nature of the event certainly helped, trending the #chamberballyeg hashtag across the nation was the result of a carefully orchestrated strategy designed with the express purpose of ‘trending on Twitter.’ Here’s how it was done.

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APRIL 2016 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

1. Design Your Social Media Strategy to Create Social Media ‘Fuel’ In the initial planning stages for the Chamber Ball, we focused our event strategy on two core elements: 1) Creating a VIP guest experience to emulate the glamour and buzz of a red carpet arrival. In short, we wanted our business leaders to receive the ‘star treatment’ they provide to their valued customers on a daily basis. Chamber Ball would be their night to ‘shine.’ 2) Leveraging pre-event hashtag buzz building and the red carpet experience to create valuable social media currency glamorous, flattering photos that attendees would definitely want to share with their colleagues, friends and family. It sounds obvious, but it bears emphasizing. We decided it wasn’t enough just to promote a hashtag and provide easy channel access across platforms. It was equally important, if not moreso, to create an environment that lent itself to the easy creation of striking and memorable photos. Such photos would become the fuel that fired the engine to trend on Twitter.


2. Create Multiple Touch-points to ‘Fire the Fuel’ In planning our strategy to ‘Trend on Twitter,’ we knew that a small window of opportunity would be the flashpoint to start trend momentum building or lose it altogether: that 30-60 minute window when guests were arriving on the red carpet. With that in mind, we marshalled both internal and partner resources to create multiple photo touch-points, to ensure that our Chamber Ball guests would get caught up in the ‘paparazzi’ hype & hoopla as they entered the event. These touch-points included: 1) Professional photographers lining the red carpet (with wifi equipped cameras), enabling us to quickly create and share glamorous guest photos. 2) An interactive photo booth with predesigned red carpet backgrounds, enabling guests to easily create keepsake photos and share them socially both in-event and externally. 3) A local theatre group acting as on-site media reporters and paparazzi, once again to reinforce the red carpet ambience while encouraging guests to share posed photos, selfies, or even videos. 4) Roving Chamber shutterbugs to cover any gaps missed by our other touch-points. Contingency planning to ensure comprehensive photo coverage throughout the event space ensured that not only did our social media strategy have the initial fuel to fire the engine, it guaranteed that the engine itself was a high performance machine, capable of racing to the front of the pack. 3. Maintain ‘Fuel Flow’ through Visual Reinforcement & Agile Technology As the photos flooded in and our Chamber Ball guests joined in the fun, we reached the pivotal period in our quest to trend on Twitter. We had created an energized environment to encourage our guests to take and share photos, and we had effectively consolidated that activity around our #chamberballyeg hashtag to focus the momentum. At this critical juncture, the key to trending nationally rested on our ability to efficiently and speedily channel this growing momentum. With our top fuel dragster now racing off the starting line, winning the race now depended on two key elements:

Chamber Ball guests becoming their own ‘paparazzi’ with a smiling selfie on the red carpet.

1) For attendees to a gala event, the only thing more exciting than sharing a glamour photo of yourself in your finest evening wear, is seeing a group reaction to that photo in real-time. This was accomplished by funneling all of the #chamberballyeg activity to a large ‘social wall’ easily visible within the main ballroom. Seeing these photos reminded our guests of all the fun going on with #chamberballyeg and spurred them to join the party, if they hadn’t done so already. Envy followed by emulation: this is the core behavior that starts trends! 2) Winning a drag race requires the willingness to keep the ‘pedal to the metal.’ In other words, you need to keep your high performance fuel flowing through the engine from start to finish. At the 2016 Chamber Ball, we kept our social media ‘fuel’ flowing through an engine designed by Zoomph, a social media platform that empowers marketers to quickly capitalize on the social activity flowing through all of an organization’s social media channels. Utilizing this versatile social engagement suite, ensured that only one or two Chamber staff were needed to review, retweet and publish the rapid barrage of incoming tweets, posts, and tagged photos. By keeping the fuel flowing, we kept our social media audiences highly engaged throughout the evening and into the following weekend, and with the trend firmly established and the momentum growing, we simply needed to keep our dragster pointed in the right direction towards the checkered flag and victory. Want to see some of the photos? Turn the page or drop by edmontonchamber.com/ chamberball. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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‘An Evening of Brilliance’ The 2016 Chamber Ball A packed house of Edmonton business and community leaders enjoyed the red carpet treatment at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce’s annual gala.

The Naqvi Family and Cameron Corporation accept the applause of the crowd in celebration of their 2016 Northern Lights Award win.

Edmonton Chamber President & CEO Janet Riopel welcomes Edmonton’s business and community leaders to the Chamber’s annual black-tie gala.

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APRIL 2016 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

Mayor Don Iveson welcomes Incoming Chamber Board Chair, Bill Blais.


The birds eye view from an Edmonton Symphony Orchestra chair with Colin James and a sold-out crowd in the foreground.

Craig Thorkelsson, Chair of the Edmonton Chamber’s Finance and Taxation Committee proudly displaying his Volunteer of the Year Award.

Performing for the first time wih the ESO, the feature performer for the 2016 Chamber Ball, Canadian legend Colin James.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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THE NEW EDMONTON WORKPLACE // HUMAN RESOURCES

THE NEW EDMONTON

Workplace BY JOHN HARDY

E

mployer and employee situations change. The economy’s impact on the company and on the individual change. Individual attitudes and priorities change, and there’s a new normal about stability and job security. One particular fact of workplace life has become a hot trend, particularly in Edmonton: self-employment. According to Statistics Canada, 2.7 million Canadians are self-employed and make up between 14-16 per cent of today’s workforce. “It’s been a fact of the Canadian workplace since the 1990s,” says Rob Roach, director of Insight, with ATB Financial’s economics and research team. “Today, there are 383,000 self-employed in Alberta, almost 17 per cent of Canada’s total self-employed. They work in almost all parts of the economy and close to half (46 per cent) work in one of three sectors: construction (18 per cent); professional, scientific and technical services (17 per cent); and agriculture (11 per cent). Typical jobs include a wide range, from contractors providing home renovation services, family doctors and real estate lawyers to ranchers and freelance geologists working in the energy patch.” “Particularly in Alberta, one of fastest growing trends among the self-employed are independent contractors (ICs),” explains HR expert Aly Bandali CHRP, who is CEO

ABOVE: ROB ROACH, DIRECTOR OF INSIGHT, ECONOMICS AND RESEARCH, ATB FINANCIAL

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2016

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THE NEW EDMONTON WORKPLACE // HUMAN RESOURCES

AS HE POINTS OUT, THE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OPTION HAS POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES, THE RIPPLE-EFFECTS ARE CORPORATE AND PERSONAL, ASSUMPTIONS AND PERCEPTIONS MAY BE MISLEADING AND MISUNDERSTOOD, AND THERE ARE LEVELS OF RISK – FOR BOTH SIDES.

of Professional Contractor Solutions Inc. (PCSI), the professional services organization that provides a full complement of administrative HR services for contractors and the companies that manage resources. PCSI also provides opportunity for both to significantly mitigate risk and preserve the contractor model. “Besides highly specialized skills and talents, ICs bring flexibility to organizations that need to grow and shrink, relative to their specific markets and needs. In fact, many organizations rely on those looking to leave the workforce to stay as ICs, to maintain corporate history and apply retained expertise. Anyone paying attention to the labour market knows that we are simply not producing enough talent to meet the needs of the retiring labour force.” Bandali has extensive HR experience and has served on the executive of the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA.) He explains that, for various reasons, the independent contractor trend is popular and gaining momentum. “It seems that many new entrants into the

workforce, like Millennials, are gravitating to become ICs. The new entrants see independent contractor status as a new way to define a career. Contrary to general perception, most independent contractors see themselves as a legitimate small business and often feel they are contributing to the economy in a way greater than some large businesses. A career is no longer about collecting a gold watch or bragging about how long you have been with a company,” he continues. “It is more about companies working extremely hard to attract the best talent and working even harder to retain them.” As he points out, the independent contractor option has positives and negatives, the ripple-effects are corporate and personal, assumptions and perceptions may be misleading and misunderstood, and there are levels of risk – for both sides. “ICs are often seen as the last in/first out. The most recent economic times have underscored that. Often, companies will announce the first cuts being independent contractors before employees; but in many organizations, independent contractors have remained, particularly due to their high

ABOVE: ALY BANDALI CHRP, CEO, PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS INC.

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APRIL 2016 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


THE NEW EDMONTON WORKPLACE // HUMAN RESOURCES

value. Some are flexible to have their rates adjusted easily to meet the new needs of the businesses so the employer does not lose that skill or talent. In fact, many businesses cannot afford to lose ICs, even in these low economic times, because their experience and proven skills help the company win with work that is needed for the company’s survival and growth.”

Some recent court challenges helped clarify the criteria CRA uses to determine PSB status:

Bandali confirms that ICs typically earn more money than employees and that is often cited as the biggest negative when you ask an employee about a contractor.

• Integration: How integrated is the person into the business? Office space, business cards, etc.

By far the most important factors, and the biggest mine field, for independent contractors and employers is to properly understand and effectively deal with the complex, tricky, convoluted and sometimes baffling Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules, regulations, definitions and protocols. “The self-employed must be careful,” Roach warns. “It’s not as easy as hanging out the shingle and being your own boss. Particularly, CRA implications get tricky. It can get complex managing finances, cash flow and taxes.” Bandali emphasizes that, either from the perspective of the company or the independent contractor, not understanding and following the CRA guidelines about independent contractor status can trigger complications, fines and even going to court. “Although the CRA provides a handbook as a guide for choosing between being self-employed or an employee, guidelines are far from objective, because each section is weighted based on individual circumstances,” he cautions. “The assessment by CRA is to show that an independent contractor who is incorporated is a personal services business (PSB) and that, basically, they are an incorporated employee.”

• Control: Who controls the work? • Ownership of tools and equipment: Does the person bring their own tools?

• Risk of Loss/Profit: Does the person bear any risk of loss or profit during the contractual engagement or employment? It’s how Bandali and the HR professionals at PCSI are carving out a much-in-demand niche and turning the IC trend into a specialty, by helping to knowledgeably choose between independent contractor or employee status, properly establishing independent contractor roles, hiring ICs and effectively dealing with CRA rules about income, taxes and liabilities. “What we do is provide a one-stop shop for independent contractor services that are essential to properly run their business and to help protect them from CRA considering them as incorporated employees and also help employers mitigate the risks to being considered employing dependent contractors. Our job is to help independent contractors and employers properly navigate the new workplace normal.” “Whatever the pros and cons, self-employment is a critical piece of Alberta’s economic puzzle,” Roach points out. “It’s where new businesses are born and where the famous entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans can truly soar.”

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Let Preferred Carriers be your Preferred Carrier

Preferred THE

CHOICE

Preferred Carriers celebrates the first 10 years. By Nerissa McNaughton

Preferred Carriers | 10 Years | 1

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A full-service company, Preferred Carriers specializes in flat deck, step deck and double drop equipment. Truckload and LTL service is offered across North America, thanks to a professional network of lease operators and PCI certified sub-contractors.

W

ith over 40 years of trucking experience, Ray Fennig knew he had the insider knowledge of what it takes to expertly run a carrier company. “That’s all I’ve ever done all my life. I started driving a truck in 1964. It’s been good to me. I’ve made a living and raised my family with it,” smiles the company’s president. He opened the doors in 2005 with his wife and daughter Michelle as the only other employees. They brokered loads until March of 2006, when they got operating licence. From there, things moved fast – on and off the road. “By the end of 2006 we had 15 trucks,” explains Fennig. “Then in 2007 we did two windmill projects in southern Alberta, and that really helped our growth. Today we have 36 trucks, 45 trailers and did $8 million in sales last year.

A full-service company, Preferred Carriers specializes in flat deck, step deck and double drop equipment. Truckload and LTL service is offered across North America, thanks to a professional network of lease operators and PCI certified sub-contractors. “We can handle anything from a partial shipment to a modular unit, anywhere in North America,” Fennig says with pride. “One load or 50, a small skid or a load that requires a multiple axle truck, we get the job done. With our Interline connections with two Mexican carriers at Laredo, we can offer through-rates to or from Mexico into Canada, and with the ocean-forwarding connections we have in Houston we can get ocean rates from ports in Houston to other ports across the water. Basically, we are large enough to handle all kinds of shipments but small enough to respond quickly to any customer request.”

Preferred Carriers | 10 Years | 2


For example, Preferred Carriers recently ran 50 loads in two weeks from Vancouver to Camrose. “They needed it done quickly so we did it quickly,” Fennig laughs. It’s all in a day’s work for Preferred. No matter how quickly they can move products, however, safety is the main concern and something that is never compromised. “We are COR™ certified and we do a safety audit every year.” To provide superior customer service and the safest work conditions for each driver, Preferred Carriers uses Shaw Tracking in their trucks.

President, Ray Fennig

“We started our company using them right at the early stages and it’s a very important part of our operation,” notes Fennig. This communication, logging and tracking system updates hourly so both Preferred Carriers and the client know where their load is at all times. “If there is a redirect of the shipment, we can contact the driver within minutes. It also logs everything: automated hours of service, scanning, navigation, performance monitoring and critical event reporting. Shaw Tracking’s wireless technology makes our operations safer and more efficient.”

Vice president, Michelle Fennig

Preferred Carriers | 10 Years | 3


Fennig continues, “Our service and commitment set us apart from the competition. We focus on safety and service, honesty and integrity. That is important. That is our corporate culture. We have a dispatch team, we have a sales team and we have a safety department. We all work in tandem with each other. We have a good group of experienced drivers on the road that do a really good job for us and our customers. “Are we always the lowest cost carrier? No, and for a very important reason. We look at ourselves as an extension of the customer’s business. They manufacture the product and it goes to their customer. We are the in-between that gets that product to their customer. We look at that as a partnership, not just a customer/ client/carrier relationship. Simply undercutting the price does not allow us to provide the superior service that honours our clients’ brands. Our fair, affordable pricing structure is indicative

of the good wages we pay our highly qualified team members, the maintenance on our trucks and equipment, our tracking service – everything our clients need and deserve for the best possible Preferred experience. We don’t cut corners, and it shows.” Even with more than four decades in the industry and a successful trucking company under his belt, Fennig knows he didn’t get to where he is today on his own. “I would like to thank the staff for their support and dedication for the job they have done for us. The staff helped the company grow. It’s not anything I’ve done myself. I get to work with all kinds of different personalities and take each person where they are at and create a group of winners. I’ve learned to select a team that does the job as well or better than I would do it myself, and to always keep in mind that no game was ever won with just one player. It’s a team effort.” Fennig is also grateful to Preferred Carriers’ clients and vendors. “Three of my vendors have been really instrumental in the growth of Preferred Carriers: GreatWest Kenworth Ltd. in Calgary, Ocean Trailer and Diamond International Trucks. Over the last 10 years we made many purchases from Kenworth. We have 20 of their trucks on the road.” This year marks the 10th anniversary of the trucking company and Fennig can’t believe how things have changed. From a staff of three to a full staff of administrators and drivers, from paper records to computerized automation and satellite tracking, he just keeps rolling with any change that makes the company more efficient and customer focused. To achieve work/life balance, the company president enjoys his hobbies of golfing, fishing and camping, but you don’t spend 40 years on the road and not feel the tug of those turning wheels. Fennig loves being in the office making sure client’s loads get to where they need to go, and he looks forward to continuing the trucking life, from the other side of the road.

Edmonton: 780.962.5801 Outside of Edmonton: 866.962.5801 Fax: 780.962.5925 www.preferredcarriers.com

Preferred Carriers | 10 Years | 4


Barb’s Kitchen T Centre Turns 30 Barbara Lockert has served up the best the kitchen has to offer and included a heaping side of enthusiasm for 30 years. BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

Congratulations Barb’s Kitchen Centre on your 30th Anniversary!

here is only one authorized retail Bosch Kitchen Centre in Canada, and it’s operated as Barb’s Kitchen Centre by a dynamo that many Edmontonians know and love: Barbara Lockert. She is always on the run in her funky footwear, showing off an enviable level of high energy, superhuman organization and the ability to do many things at once. Her sense of humour is infectious, her product knowledge is astounding and her cooking classes sell out. Lockert bought the distributor rights to the Bosch Kitchen Machine (dough maker, mixmaster, blender, food processor, etc.) and flour mill (grinds grains, beans, corn and rice) in 1986. This was shortly after she graduated from the University of Alberta where she emerged with a bachelor degree in math and physical education. She taught public school for a few years but when the opportunity came to open the store, she jumped at it. “I had a baby in November and started incorporation in January,” Lockert rattles off the dates with ease. “Within two months and two days of the original call to buy the distributorship, we opened the store. I was nursing a baby, running a store and marking papers for the Alberta Distance Learning Centre all at the same time.” How did she do that? “I have been blessed with a tremendous amount of energy and a positive attitude!” Lockert laughs. Learning about nutrition and eating healthfully has helped me to maintain my energy level to this day.” It’s true. During the course of this interview she bounced among staff, customers and delivery personnel, never missing a beat and never making any BARB’S KITCHEN CENTRE | 30 YEARS | 1

65


party feel rushed or neglected. She seamlessly ran the store, interacted with staff, got a class set up for the evening, did the interview and helped clients, somehow (and inexplicably) all at the same time. When Lockert started Barb’s (Bosch) Kitchen Centre, she had a goal in mind for everyone who walked through the doors: save time, save money, retain nutrition. Those are the factors that drive everything she sells, every class she teaches and every business decision she makes (such as offering knife sharpening, a bridal registry, accepting custom special orders, providing repair services for items she sells and shipping products around the world). Every customer is greeted when they walk through the door, many on a first name basis, and every question is answered honestly. “The store really took off because customers wanted quality equipment (small electrical appliances), innovative and practical gadgets, unique and hard-to-find items and fresh baking and cooking supplies. It only made sense to teach customers how to use the products we sell,” she explains. “We burst out of our first location by 1989. We moved from a 400-square-foot store with a 400-square-foot classroom and a 1,200-square-foot warehouse to this location (9766-51 Avenue NW) that has a 1,200-square-foot showroom and store, a 900-square-foot food room and a 525-square-foot test kitchen and classroom – and that doesn’t include the warehouse.” Holding cooking classes that teach lifelong kitchen skills to adults and children, while helping clients get the most out of their purchases, made good sense to Lockert. From day one, she taught bread making in the efficient Bosch Kitchen Machine, using freshly ground flour from grain, milled in the NutriMill flour mill. Although the focus is still on bread making, classes have expanded to include: dehydrating, specialty cookware, holiday cakes and treats, chocolate making, desserts, Scandinavian Night, Baba’s Ukrainian dinner (perogies, cabbage rolls, borscht…oh my!) to spicing up your life with the Mexican Fiesta. Men, women and children flock to her kitchen to learn. From the moment you step over the threshold, you realize you are in for a truly unique experience. The showroom/store has hundreds of products, but it doesn’t feel crowded or cluttered. It is relaxing, comfortable, organized and most notably, inspiring. While music wafts through the store, you feel right at home. The knowledgeable and helpful staff in quirky aprons (the aprons have Lockert’s bread recipe printed upside down on the front) attend to your every need. You instantly want to own

“Many companies purchase items from our store as gifts for their clients and staff,” Lockert says.

the exclusively sold Bosch Kitchen Machine and NutriMill flour mill, as well as imported ceramics from Italy and Spain, and hand blown glassware from France. Other fabulous products include the largest selection of Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives, gadgets and cookware; Staub cast iron; Demeyere stainless steel cookware from Belgium; dehydrators; juicers; pressure canners; pressure cookers by Kuhn Rikon from Switzerland; Emile Henry; Le Creuset; Cuisipro; Chef’s Choice waffle irons; USA bakeware and April Cornell, to name a few. As you move from the showroom to the food room, you are delighted with the huge variety and selection of fresh food: grains, beans, rice, fresh nuts, seeds, flours, candied fruit,

Congratulations to

Barb’s Kitchen Centre/Lockert Distributors! Happy 30th Anniversary from your partners at:

Congratulations Barb’s Kitchen Centre! 1 Swiss brand of cookware and cooks’ tools, loved by millions of home cooks and professional chefs worldwide. Visit us at KuhnRikon.com.

#

BARB’S KITCHEN CENTRE | 30 YEARS | 2

www.danescoinc.com


juniper berries, powdered egg whites, buttermilk, citric acid, chocolate, cake decorating supplies and MSG-free soup bases, inspire you to create truly healthy, delicious meals. You’ll have no trouble doing just that with the many choices of products in Barb’s (Bosch) Kitchen Centre including the famous alligator. Alligator? “We import the stainless steel alligator from Sweden,” gushes Lockert. “It’s the best cry-free onion chopper, easy to use and clean, but you can use it to chop many other vegetables. I laugh every time I use it! I really do! I just can’t help myself! It’s the neatest functional time-saving kitchen tool!” Lockert tries not to show favouritism, but with so many exciting and efficient items in the store, it’s hard not to have one or two that always make her smile. “The Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers from Switzerland save time, energy and money while holding in the nutrition, smell and flavour. These pressure cookers are easy and safe to use and easy to clean. The one-pot meals, hearty soups and chowders, Mexican fiesta and Christmas in August classes focus on using the pressure cookers. You can cook everything from bread to cheesecake to baked potatoes, tenderize meat, make soup stock in minutes and cook beans without soaking.” There is good news about her many classes: you get to eat the food. It’s not a class where you just watch the meals get prepared and then go home hungry while the teachers devour the feast. The adult classes are demonstration-style, and kid’s summer cooking classes are hands-on learning, interactive and leave each student with the ability to make the dishes on their own again and again. The only time you don’t get to partake in the feast is if you are watching her

kitchen demonstrations on television. She’s been lighting up screens since her first 1986 appearance on Good, Good Morning (ITV). Lockert has also appeared on CFRN, CBC, Breakfast Television, Red Deer Live, CTV Morning Live and Global’s Morning News and Weekend Morning News. On top of the feast of cookware, bakeware and gadgets, along with the highest quality food, recipe books and classes, you can travel and cook with Lockert in exotic European locations. “We do cooking classes and unique tastings right on site, along with sightseeing,” she explains of her culinary tours. She often incorporates what is learned on these tours into her Edmonton classes. Lockerts’ enthusiasm and energy for what she does has not gone unnoticed. In addition to numerous awards and recognitions, in 1994 she was the proud recipient of the Canadian Women EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® award for Retail in Alberta and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®, in Retail - Western Region of Canada. “It’s hard to believe it’s already been 30 years,” Lockert looks around at her legacy. “I’m still happy doing what I’m doing and I still have the energy to do it. With such excellent staff I plan to enjoy my children, grandchildren and travel more but…” the twinkle in her eye betrays her. Everyone knows where she loves to be: working hard and providing excellent products and customer service. The staffs’ integrity, the outstanding selection, the inspiration in every aisle and the product pricing has solidified the Barb’s (Bosch) Kitchen Centres’ reputation in Edmonton, across Canada and beyond. Check out the store and see for yourself why Barb’s (Bosch) Kitchen Centre is the gourmet kitchen store worth visiting!

Congratulations to Barb’s Kitchen Centre on 30 Years of Success! ZWILLING J.A.Henckels is proud to be part of this great achievement.

BARB’S KITCHEN CENTRE | 30 YEARS | 3


Proudly available at Barb’s Kitchen Centre for over 30 years! Cookware | Bakeware | Tableware | Accessories

BARB’S KITCHEN CENTRE | 30 YEARS | 4


1991 - 2016

Celebrating

25

Years

25 Years

Always Thinking Families First 69


1991 - 2016

Celebrating

25

Years

H

abitat for Humanity has been privileged to serve families in Edmonton since 1991. Over the past 25 years, we have seen the spirit of neighbour-helping-neighbour transform the lives of over 450 families and has touched the lives of tens of thousands of volunteers. Families move into a stable living environment and are able to set a firm foundation for the next generation. They are able to dream again because they have a safe and decent place where they can lay their heads at night – on terms they can afford to pay. Habitat for Humanity does not build homes and hope alone. We rely on strategic partnerships to help us carry out our mission of providing affordable home ownership to low-income families. We are truly blessed to serve in a generous community that values charity, embodies hope and exudes love, kindness, and neighborliness.

ALFRED NIKOLAI, PRESIDENT & CEO OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON

Our charity finished building the first Edmonton home in 1992. We built one to two homes for families each year. Things began to change when in 2009 we handed a family keys to the 100th home. Since that time, we’ve given a “hand up” to over 350 families – a total of 450 families since our inception. Our success has only been possible due to the consistent support of individuals, corporations, governments and the community. We hope all Edmontonians share our pride in what has been accomplished in our great city. As the largest Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Canada, we value the support we receive to continue transforming families’ lives.

How the Habitat for Humanity Edmonton Program Works Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (HFHE) builds homes for hardworking families who need to move from an unstable living situation into affordable home ownership. Prospective families apply to the program and must meet eligibility requirements in order to qualify. Once a family has completed 500 hours of sweat equity and has moved into their HFHE home, they pay an interest-free mortgage with payments that never exceed 25 per cent of their household income. HFHE reinvests each family’s mortgage payment into the revolving Fund for Humanity, which is used to build more homes and serve more families. The more homes that HFHE builds, the closer they move towards being a charity that is completely self-sustainable. If a family’s life situation changes and they decide to move on from the program, they sell their home back to HFHE for the exact amount that they have paid in mortgage payments. HFHE then sells that house to another qualified partner family, and the cycle continues. All fundraising administration costs are funded by the proceeds of ReStore, HFHE’s social enterprise. ReStore accepts donations of new and gently-used building materials and home improvement items and sells them to the general public at a highly discounted rate. This allows HFHE to allocate all donations towards building homes and serving families.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 2


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HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 3


1991 - 2016

Celebrating

25

Years

FAMILIES

F

or 25 years Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (HFHE) has been honoured to provide families with an opportunity to move from an unstable living situation into affordable home ownership. The program creates the possibility for generational change, as children are able to start off life on a solid foundation. HFHE partner families are hard-working single parents or two-parent families with a dream of a better future for their children. Prospective families apply to the program. Each is carefully screened and must meet eligibility criteria before being selected.

In order to qualify for the HFHE program, families must: • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada (living in Canada for a minimum of three years), and also be a resident of the community for which they are applying for a minimum of one year • Have at least one child under the age of 18 living at home • Have not previously owned a home • Have one adult employed full-time year round • Have a gross family income between $32,000 – and $64,500* annually in order to carry the interest-free mortgage (*range may vary between communities) • Be willing to partner with HFHE by agreeing to work 500 hours in place of a cash down payment • Agree to follow all HFHE policies

To learn more about our program, please visit HFH.org. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 4


HAPPY 25 ANNIVERSARY! TH

Thank you to all at Habitat for the great work you do serving families and building stronger communities. ~ Bill and Paulette Winter and Family

Serving communities. Changing lives. What matters to you matters to us. At EY, we’re proud to support Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. A better world begins when we all build together. Visit ey.com/ca

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HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 5


1991 - 2016

Celebrating

25

Years

25 YEARS OF BUILDING STRONG

T

here is nothing quite like the volunteer experience at Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (HFHE). Volunteers see, hear, smell, taste and touch our program. The results are tangible; hope becomes tangible. Volunteers see tears of joy at a key ceremony, hear the sound of a hammer echoing across a build site, smell freshly cut wood, taste a shared meal during lunch break, feel the warmth of a “thank you” embrace and witness a child’s face as they see their bedroom door open for the first time. We build homes and hope. It’s what we’ve been doing for 25 years. It’s what we’ll always do. HFHE volunteers are provided with everything they need for a safe, fun day of work – including proper PPE (personal protective equipment), safety training and lunch. Whether using a nail gun or skill saw, stocking shelves at ReStore, or landscaping, volunteers receive all the training they need to make their day fun and memorable. The Habitat volunteer experience is for people who have never picked up a tool to those who are professional tradespeople. There is a place for every volunteer who wants to help our organization.

A TRUE “HAND UP”

T

his is a story of success, our story, in which my husband and I lived each moment the best we could. My husband and I had been married for five years and had three wonderful children. We were happy, but we were just making ends meet each month. We were living in a townhouse in south Edmonton and the rent was a real struggle for us. An acquaintance told us about Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (HFHE) and it sounded like something we would qualify for. We put in an application thinking the whole time that it was a long shot, but that it also just felt right. We waited a fair amount of time before we gave up hope on our chances to own any home, let alone a Habitat home. We resigned ourselves to the thought of renting for a long time. The home we were living in was becoming out of our reach as rent was rising. Sure enough, as soon as we stopped waiting, we got the call from Habitat to come in for an interview for a new home. We couldn’t have been more excited. Finally we had the chance to own a home of our own! To make a long story short, we got the house and our kids grew up with best friends as neighbours. It was a real blessing. In the first 2.5 years of living in our Habitat home we had managed to pay off debt that had been accumulating for quite some time and we were able to live in our home with only our monthly mortgage payment to pay each month. We lived a modest lifestyle but we had everything we needed. We needed the help of HFHE to get our financial feet under us and we are so grateful to them for giving us the chance to do so. We had a four-to-six-year plan for the Habitat home, and we wanted to get our finances in order and move on so that another family in need could have the same opportunity that we did. It took us four and a half years to do it, but it happened. Our new home is still a humble home, but we moved in with a generous down payment from the equity of our Habitat home. Except for our mortgage, my family and I are debt free! Really, who can ask for more? Thank you to all of the people at HFHE and the volunteers who make it possible for families like us to own a home and have such a bright future! Jessica, Doug & Family

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 6


All Weather Windows Supporting Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. All Weather Windows is committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate across Canada. And since our expertise is in helping people create better homes, we are proud to have been a long time supporter of Habitat for Humanity Canada, the not-for-profit organization that helps families move into homes they can afford.

Congratulations on

25

Years

of helping Edmonton and surrounding communities 0001050.23.02.16

Whatever your business, whatever its size, CHS Benefits has got you covered.

Congratulations to Habitat for Humanity Edmonton on 25 great years!

3175 Manulife Place 10180 -101 Street • Carl H. Shields (780)415-5759 • Graham H. Shields (780)415-5754 www.chsbenefitsconsulting.com

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 7


1991 - 2016

Celebrating

25

Years

HABITAT DAY IN THE CAPITAL REGION THREE HABITAT DAY DONORS DISCUSS THEIR MOTIVATION

Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (HFHE) is the largest Habitat affiliate in Canada and it is largely due to the wonderful support they receive from those in the corporate sector who see philanthropy as part of their business in giving back to the community. We asked the 2016 Habitat Day donors, “What is it about builders giving back that you feel is important to our community and why do you feel it is important to help low-income families who are striving to own their own home?” Their heartwarming answers are below.

6

Reza Nasseri, the Founder and CEO of Landmark Group of Builders says, “My philosophy in life is that we were born with the purpose of leaving this world a better place than we found it. A strong community makes a better world and shelter, after food, is the second most fundamental requirement for a strong and vigorous community. Today’s low-income family is tomorrow’s high-income family who needs a helping hand to get there and contribute to the community to make it better. A strong community is good for the soul and good for the business.”

REZA NASSERI (R), PRESIDENT & CEO OF LANDMARK GROUP OF BUILDERS, PRESENTED HOUSE KEYS TO AN EDMONTON FAMILY IN 2014.

Lloyd Dumonceaux, Vice President of Pacesetter Homes says, “Sometimes all a family needs is an affordable home in a safe community in order to get their feet back on the ground. Pacesetter Homes recognizes this need and believes its contribution to a deserving family is the foundation from which they will grow and flourish. The impact of a stable home is not only profound for the family, but for the community as a whole as those who receive often give back twofold. “A key component of Pacesetter’s core values is exemplified by our donation of a home to demonstrate that we truly care about people. We have selected a site in a Qualico neighbourhood that is close to new schools and other amenities important to young families. Additionally, we offer our staff the opportunity for team building through this cause, and over a dozen staff have volunteered on various Habitat builds throughout the years – an experience that has unfailingly A STONY PLAIN FAMILY RECEIVED KEYS TO THEIR HABITAT HOME FROM PACESETTER HOMES IN PARTNERSHIP WITH strengthened their commitment and desire to be part of such QUALICO COMMUNITIES IN 2013. a significant initiative. “As part of Qualico’s long-term vision and mandate, it also recognizes that the corporation has a commitment not only to its employees, but to the community at large, in terms of environmental stewardship, community support and the growth and strength of the fabric of our society. Qualico recognizes that there is a clear connection between the health of Qualico and the health of the communities in which we serve and that drives our commitment to supporting efforts that build stronger communities. “A community is only as strong as its people. Pacesetter Homes and the Qualico Group strive to be continuing partners in the growth of strong families.”

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 8


TALLY HUTCHINSON (L), PRESIDENT OF DAYTONA GROUP, PRESENTED KEYS TO A ST. ALBERT FAMILY IN 2011.

Tally Hutchinson is the President of Daytona Group. “Giving someone a key to a new home is a huge moment!” Hutchinson confirms. “This family’s life is about to change in a big way and it’s such an exciting thing to be a part of. I think moving into a new home, especially a first home, is something people never forget and I love that we can help make that happen for a Habitat family. “A house is the home base of everyone’s life, and it means a lot to me that Daytona Homes can help give a family the security of a home and get them started on their way to a very happy future. “We’re a family owned company, so we’re really focused on building great homes for families. It’s what our team loves to do. Being able to help out a deserving cause by sharing something we’ve worked so hard on definitely has a positive effect on everyone at Daytona. Giving back is rooted in our company’s values and we’re involved in community programs in every city in which we operate. As a homebuilder, we believe it is our responsibility to help establish strong communities for families, and that’s why Habitat for Humanity is such a perfect fit for us.”

THANK YOU TO OUR 2016 HABITAT DAY IN THE CAPITAL REGION SPONSORS!

RESTORE

ReStore is Habitat for Humanity Edmonton’s (HFHE) social enterprise, which provides funds to cover the charity’s fundraising administration costs. ReStores are retail outlets that accept donations of new and gently-used building materials and home improvement items and sell them to the general public at a highly discounted rate. HFHE operates three ReStores in Edmonton. Donations to ReStore come from people who are downsizing, spring cleaning, or looking to support a great cause. Corporations and small businesses also donate end-of-the-line products, returns, overstock or even items from a renovation or remodeling. All donations are eligible for a tax receipt. Items can be arranged for pick up by phone or the web.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 9


ANDERSON GARDENS – 2010

CALDER – 2006 FIRST HOME COMPLETED – 1992

KIRKNESS – 2009

NORWOOD – 2007

NEUFELD LANDING – 2015

THE LARGEST HABITAT BUILD IN CANADIAN HISTORY.

AURORA PLACE – 2012

HELP OPEN THE DOORS TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR HARD-WORKING FAMILIES. Support Habitat for Humanity Edmonton by · Making a cash donation · Donating construction materials · Volunteering · Donating items to ReStore · Hosting a fundraising event · Shopping at ReStore 8210 Yellowhead Trail NW, Edmonton, AB T5B 1G5 Phone: (780) 479-3566 | Fax: (780) 479-0762 | HFH.org HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EDMONTON | 25 YEARS | 10


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Rob Reeves, Owner, Castrol Raceway

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