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AUGUST 2017 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

Let Your Light Shine

STUART LEE, THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EPCOR TELLS US WHAT MAKES HIM, AND THE COMPANY, SHINE.



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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 8

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Renewables are Powering the World’s Largest Light Bulb By Josh Bilyk

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 The Delicate Dance of Social Licence and Other Intangible Government Promises By Paige MacPherson

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CONTENTS

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

COVER FEATURE

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Let Your Light Shine Stuart Lee, the president and CEO of EPCOR tells us what makes him, and the company, shine. By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: STUART LEE, THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EPCOR PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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WEDDINGS | SPECIAL EVENTS SPORTS | ATHLETICS ENGAGEMENT | COUPLE NEWBORN | MATERNITY FAMILY | EXTENDED FAMILY HOLIDAY MINIS SCHOOL PORTRAITS MINI SESSIONS CAKE SMASHES

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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 8

64 THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

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2017 Business in Edmonton Leaders Awards Highlights

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

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C  hown Electrical Contractors Celebrates 45 Years

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All the Right Moves How to make the most out of round two of your career By Ramona Korpan

Edmonton’s Head Offices Headquarters: why corporations base their operations in Edmonton

 uilding Up, Building Out: B Edmonton’s Changing Landscape As ICE District impacts Edmonton’s office vacancy rates, industry leaders look at the future of working in Edmonton, both downtown and on the outskirts By Zachary Edwards

Sparklean DKI Celebrates 25 Years

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 o Trend or Not to Trend. That T is the Question Instagram says unisex belly baring jumpsuits made of recycled bicycle tires are the next big thing. Can I wear this to work? By Nerissa McNaughton

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 he Royal Alberta Museum T is Building its Impact on Edmonton’s Economy By Laura Bohnert

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


House Pricing: Your Home’s First Impression

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t’s that time of year when many people ready their homes to sell and buyers are eagerly waiting to see what will be the best selection when they look for a home. One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a seller is how to price you home. Your asking price is often your home’s first impression, and it is imperative that you make a good first impression. Usually, buyers will set their price range as the first criteria in their home search. Many homes lose prospective buyers before these homes are given a chance to be shown because they are not in the appropriate price range. It’s important to hit that sweet spot and position a property based on the overall value of the property. It’s the marriage of price and condition. Your REALTOR® will provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) that takes into consideration your competition, which is comprised of all the active inventory on the market that buyers will also be viewing; market value, as determined by what buyers have actually paid for homes similar to yours; and the overall condition/marketability of your specific home. Factors that impact your selling price include: the neighbourhood, the size of your property and lot, the style of home, property amenities and any recent renovations. All of those contribute to market value. A common mistake many sellers make is in overpricing a home, and there are two main problems you will face when you overprice a home. First, you will make your competitors’ homes look like a better value and you will actually be helping those people to sell. Second, your overall time on the market will increase, which can start to draw negative attention and potentially attract nothing but low-ball offers. Contrary to popular belief, pricing close to market value and selling faster is the best strategy to put more money in your pocket. In the unlikely

No more roommates.

James Mabey, Chair, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton

situation where you have underpriced a home, then you may attract multiple offers and could sell for more than list price. In that scenario you will truly see what the market will bear. Markets change as we move from season to season and inventory comes and goes from the market. If you are consistently getting positive feedback but you are “always the bridesmaid and never the bride,” you should consider a price correction to reach a broader market or those whose expectations align with the overall value your home. It’s important not to just set it and forget it. Your REALTOR will let you know when new competitors come to market who may be underpricing you, or if homes in your area are selling for more/less than they were before. It’s important to maintain your positioning in this market so when a bonafide purchaser comes along, your home is the obvious choice.

Moving up in the world.

Trademarks and their associated logos are owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professional who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).


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RENEWABLES ARE POWERING THE WORLD’S LARGEST LIGHT BULB // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Renewables are Powering the World’s Largest Light Bulb BY JOSH BILYK

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as Vegas, and more broadly speaking, the entire state of Nevada, is on the leading edge of a burgeoning industry that we in Alberta ought to pay some attention to. Nevada is going all in on renewable energy. The state’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval just last month signed a total of 11 renewable energy bills into law that cover everything from boosting solar production to net-metering, a move that will reimburse Nevadans who contribute renewable power to the grid. However, Nevada’s legislative agenda is only one side of the renewable energy equation. The Silver State has gone to great lengths to make renewable energy as attractive as possible to would-be investors. The state does not collect corporate income tax. Of course, the billions pumped into state coffers from casinos certainly helps, but this is a huge competitive advantage when it comes to luring investments. Nevada also doesn’t have a minimum payroll tax, franchise tax, or corporate shares tax. Make no mistake, this matters to investors. They’ve also loaded up on all kinds of tax incentives to bring renewable energy into the state, which has resulted in billions in new investment from giants like Telsa, Vivint and Sunrun. We can debate the merits of such tax policy in another column, but I think most would agree that tax incentives trump across-the-board tax increases any day of the week. Which brings me to Alberta. The Alberta government is currently engaged in a massive endeavour to green the electricity grid by phasing out coalfired power plants in favour of renewable energy sources. The

province has set an ambitious target of having 30 per cent of all power generation in Alberta come from renewables by 2030. To get there, they say they need $10.5 billion in private investment. This is in a province that has seen capital flee across borders to more competitive jurisdictions over the last several years in response to low energy prices and increased corporate taxes. Unlike Nevada, Alberta is hardly competing for investment. Instead of lowering or eliminating taxes, Alberta has raised just about every tax, levy, and business input cost available. From corporate taxes to royalties to wages to labour costs, it is now harder than ever to invest and succeed in Alberta. As such, any tax break or subsidy we might offer would be offset by the patchwork of additional costs the government has created. We are sending all the wrong signals to investors at a time when we need it the most. In December, the City of Las Vegas became the largest city in the country to have its entire municipal operation – all 140 of its properties and facilities – powered by renewable energy. This does not mean that every hotel and casino along the strip now only uses wind and sun to light up the sky, although that day may very well be coming. The majority of Nevada’s electricity still comes from fossil fuel, but their dramatic uptake of renewable energy should be noted and studied here in Alberta. Essentially, we are trying to do what Nevada has already done, but we’re going about it exactly the wrong way. Let’s ditch the tax and regulate approach and start building our capacity for renewable energy the right way: by competing and winning.

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 // AUGUST 2017

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THE DELICATE DANCE OF SOCIAL LICENCE // PAIGE MACPHERSON

The Delicate Dance of Social Licence and Other Intangible Government Promises BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

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here is no clearer example of politicians using fluffy, intangible sales pitches to make their tax hikes easier to swallow than the dubiousness of social licence.

Unfortunately, politicians selling policies with intangible benefits to taxpayers is commonplace.

Social licence, taxpayers were told, is necessary to getting Alberta’s oil to market. The only way for Albertans to gain that social licence was to suffer a little (or a lot), and swallow the bitter carbon tax pill that no one voted for.

Municipal elections are coming up. Before Edmontonians go to the polls in October, city politicians should be held to their actions more than their words. Councillors may talk about understanding the need for lower taxes. But their actions matter more.

Could there be a worse news story for social licence salesmen than the election results in British Columbia? B.C.’s election eventually resulted in a NDP-Green coalition government. Among this duo’s shared commitments was bringing a halt to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Rising property taxes are the number one reason the Canadian Taxpayers Federation receives calls from concerned Edmonton residents. For many families and businesses, years of increases have proven unsustainable. But there’s been no firm commitment to any lasting tax relief in the city.

That pipeline expansion is necessary for getting Alberta’s oil to Asian markets. The NDP-Green coalition, permanent or otherwise, shows just how volatile Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s social licence really is.

Anyone with a budget knows that reducing spending is the common-sense way to avoid increased costs.

The sticky question is how one is supposed to quantify socalled social licence. It cannot be measured. It is apparently a chip that taxpayers gained when the carbon tax was forced on them. But it was never guaranteed to bring any benefit, and if pipelines were indeed built, there was no way to prove it was because of social licence (as opposed to, say, actual licences that resource companies are required to earn). In return, however, the government was given a sweet deal. They got an ever-increasing, multibillion-dollar new tax, a rebate program through which they take money from all Albertans then give it back to some of them in crisp new cheques, piles of cash with which to hand out green corporate welfare, and their own expansion through new departments and programs. The only guarantee with a carbon tax, as with most tax hikes, is that people pay more of their money to the government.

Whether it’s a line-by-line review of city spending with an eye toward meaningfully reducing costs, as many Edmonton businesses have done, or whether it’s rolling back compensation in the city, Edmonton’s mayor and council should be making a more serious effort. On top of receiving vehicle allowances and passes for both transit and parking, Edmonton’s mayor and council salaries are generous – in fact the mayor is among the best paid in the country – and scaling them back intentionally, aside from any automatic increases or decreases, would be a good place to start. Entering election season, politicians are likely to talk about the need for both tax relief and shiny new spending items. There’s a good takeaway for Edmontonians from the intangible social licence sales pitch and the carbon tax Albertans got in return: at all levels of government, the rhetoric runs hot. But actions speak louder than words.

PAIGE MACPHERSON IS ALBERTA DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION.

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Stantec Acquires RNL Stantec, the global design firm headquartered in Edmonton, has announced its acquisition of RNL. RNL is based in Denver and is a full service design firm offering commercial architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design and planning. RNL has offices in Denver; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Washington, DC; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and has been recognized for its design of transit facilities, urban design, workplace, civic, higher education, and mixed-use facilities. RNL’s clients are in a variety of sectors, including but not limited to: public transit, civic, federal, energy, software development, telecommunications, and aerospace. The company’s impressive portfolio includes the Research Support Facility (RSF) at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado. This is a 340,000-square-foot, net zero energy facility for which RNL provided a full suite of design services, including architecture, interior design, site planning and landscape architecture. Stantec provided the mechanical, electrical and plumbing design for the RSF. Another high-profile building in the RNL portfolio is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Division 13 Bus Operations & Maintenance Facility. RNL provided the architecture, interior and sustainable design for this 540,000 square-foot facility. It is the first full, from-the-ground-up bus and maintenance facility for the Metro in 30 years. Features include photovoltaic (solar) panels in its very eco-friendly design. A rain capture system that that repurposes water for washing the busses is part of this facility’s system. RNL is the visionary behind the architectural, interior, landscape, and lighting design for Spire, a 41-story, Denver high-rise residential project, and for the Burj Khalifa development (high rise workplace and residential towers) in Dubai. “RNL is an exceptionally-well respected company in the industry, which brings both talent and presence to

complement our continuously growing buildings practice,” said Bob Gomes, Stantec president and chief executive officer. “RNL provides us with a critical geographic buildings design hub between our coasts with incredible service synergies to civic, transit, and commercial clients throughout the United States and Middle East.” “Combining talents with Stantec offers a tremendous opportunity for our team members to collaborate on projects within a larger, established global network while helping to elevate their continually growing buildings practice,” said H. Joshua Gould, RNL chairman and chief executive officer. “We look forward to bringing our multidisciplinary expertise and our strong working relationships to the Stantec team, as well as providing our clients with the power of Stantec’s extensive global reach and resources.” Stantec has approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across six continents. RNL is the latest American acquisition for Stantec, who seeks to strategically expand in the United States. Previous acquisitions include ADD Inc., SWH Group, and VOA Associates, among others. For more information about RNL, please visit www. rnldesign.com. To learn more about Stantec and the acquisition, please visit stantec.com and stantec.com/aboutus/news/2017.

ABOVE: BOB GOMES, STANTEC PRESDIENT AND CEO PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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Google’s DeepMind Comes to Edmonton

DeepMind, an artificial intelligence (AI) research and technology company, was founded in London in 2010. The company’s mission is to develop programs that can solve the world’s most complex problems, such as climate change and health care, by using automation, thereby speeding up the process of change. In 2014, Google acquired DeepMind. DeepMind is coming to Edmonton and will open its first international AI research office in collaboration with the University of Alberta. Mayor Iveson praised the collaboration: “We are thrilled that DeepMind has chosen Edmonton as its base for global expansion. Having a research lab of this magnitude will strengthen Edmonton’s reputation as an artificial intelligence hub and will help build a network of ideas that will transform our world. DeepMind is defining what’s possible with AI and we’re proud to be part of that story.” Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, says opening their first lab outside of the UK was a very big decision, but it was one that was made much easier by the respect and admiration of the Canadian research community. Several U of A graduates are actually working at DeepMind, and the tech company has sponsored a university lab and provided funding for PhDs in the past. The ties were already in place for a mutually beneficial collaboration between the two institutions. Canadian collaborators for DeepMind Alberta are U of A professors Rich Sutton, Michael Bowling, and Patrick Pilarski. The three will maintain their professorships at the University while working with DeepMind. Adam White will join at a later date, as will six additional researchers. Professor Sutton’s press statement cited, “DeepMind has had a special emphasis on reinforcement learning right from the

beginning, and the University of Alberta is the world’s academic leader in reinforcement learning, so it’s very natural we should work together. DeepMind Alberta will ABOVE: U OF A PROFESSORS, RICHARD SUTTON, MICHAEL BOWLING AND PATRICK PILARSKI. PHOTO SOURCE: JOHN ULAN

INSET: DEMIS HASSABIS CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF DEEPMIND. PHOTO SOURCE: DEEPMIND

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turbo-charge the research ecosystem, mirroring the partnerships DeepMind has nurtured with the top academic institutions in the UK.”

“From the start of DeepMind I’ve always felt a kinship,” added Bowling; “it was like we held the same view of the challenges of AI and how to tackle them. I am now really excited to be joining up with the great team there to work on those challenges together, while also continuing to train the next generation of AI researchers at the University of Alberta. I hope this new research base will help to keep the great talent here in Edmonton, and even bring back some of those who have left!”

Pilarski noted, “There is incredible alignment between DeepMind and the University of Alberta, both famed for their boundary-pushing research. Their complementary areas of expertise are now being combined through DeepMind Alberta, and I look forward to making new scientific breakthroughs together. I’m thrilled that we can do this while continuing to foster and support Edmonton’s AI talent pipeline, and the AI community’s leaders of tomorrow.”

To learn more about DeepMind and the collaboration with U of A, visit www.deepmind.com and www.ualberta.ca/newsand-events.

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2017 LEADERS AWARDS // LEADERS

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FROM BUSINESS IN EDMONTON’S 2017 LEADERS AWARDS PHOTOS BY MEMORIES BY ME PHOTOGRAPHY

MARK LUNNIN, SERVPRO; LEADER KIRBY ANDERSON, ALBERTA SOUND GROUP OF COMPANIES; DALE BEAUDRY, ATB; DUSTIN SUNDBY, MNP

2ND FROM LEFT: LEADER MARIE SOPROVICH, AQUARIAN RENOVATIONS

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2017 LEADERS AWARDS // LEADERS

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LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE // COVER

Let Your

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LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE // COVER

Light Shine STUART LEE, THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EPCOR TELLS US WHAT MAKES HIM, AND THE COMPANY, SHINE.

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

W

hen electric lights came to Edmonton 126 years ago, so too did innovation, entrepreneurship and a relationship between a company and a city unlike any other. It started on October 23 of 1891, when a group of businesspeople banded together to get a 10-year permit to build the Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company. By 1902, it became Canada’s first municipally owned electric utility company.

No entity survives with this much vitality for well over a century without expert leadership. EPCOR’s leaders have always been forward thinkers; progressive men and women that led, not followed, the demands for clean, stable, efficient utilities. Today, EPCOR is helmed by president and CEO Stuart Lee, and his career path to EPCOR demonstrates how the company has always been led by those that think outside of the box.

Year over year, the company grew and innovated, keeping pace with the expanding city and its residents’ utility needs. A coal fired plant and water treatment facility were built at Rossdale in 1903. Traffic lights were introduced in 1933. Underground power lines were planted in 1947. By 1955, the Rossdale plant switched from coal to gas – an emissionreducing move that was ahead of its time.

“It was not a straight trajectory or one that was well planned!” laughs Lee of his journey to EPCOR. “I graduated from the University of Alberta’s (U of A) commerce program in 1986, and at the time, the advice from my dad was, ‘get a technical background, and then you can spread your wings.’ Following his good advice, I got a degree in accounting and articled with an international firm in Calgary.”

It wasn’t just the processes and plants that were making great strides in the Capital City. The business itself was constantly evolving. Shortly after Edmonton Power’s 100th birthday, EPCOR Utilities Inc. was created to become the first utility company in Canada to consolidate power and water, and later, added natural gas. In 2009, Capital Power Corporation was spun out of EPCOR as a publically-traded company to take over the power generation business. By 2016, EPCOR expanded well beyond Edmonton and it now has facilities across Alberta and in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and soon, Ontario.

Lee worked for a number of small-to-mid-size companies for several years, then spent time overseas experiencing, living and working in China and Bermuda. He spent three years working on a startup in Seattle, then returned to Edmonton in the late 1990s to put down roots and start a family. “In 2003, a corporate controller position at EPCOR became available. I jumped at it,” explains Lee. Later, he became a key player in the initial public offering that created Capital Power, where he spent six years as the CFO. Two years ago, he rejoined EPCOR as CEO.

ABOVE: STUART LEE, THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EPCOR. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE // COVER

“My father was a teacher in entrepreneur studies. When I came out of university in 1986, I thought I was going to be an entrepreneur and start my own business. I was fortunate enough in my career to have that opportunity, but also found there was opportunity in larger companies, too. I didn’t set my sights on becoming the CEO of EPCOR, but when I stop learning, I get bored and look for something more challenging. I’ve been very fortunate to come to EPCOR where things are growing and happening.”

“EPCOR HAS ALWAYS HAD A STRONG

Lee is proud of EPCOR’s impact on the city and across North America.

SENSE OF PURPOSE. PEOPLE COME

“To me, EPCOR has been a tremendous success story for the city. The City of Edmonton made a very brave decision to set up EPCOR with an independent board structure. This allowed the company to grow its business without being limited to its municipal boundaries. EPCOR has generated two of the largest public offerings in Canada and has expanded to the United States. “However, its success is not well understood by Edmontonians. People don’t realize, or appreciate, the significance of the company. We provide services that are essential to life. We have 1.9 million customers across North America that, when they turn on the tap, need fresh, clean water every time. Our customers expect lights to come on when they flip a switch and to always have power. It’s a huge responsibility, but we do it well.” EPCOR is proudly headquartered in Edmonton. “We evolved from Edmonton,” says Lee. “We were part of Edmonton Power and Edmonton Water. Our roots are here. Looking at the water industry and environmental sustainability – Edmonton has incredible expertise in this area. EPCOR has been very successful in expanding its water operations inside and outside of Canada: Stantec is North America’s largest engineering company specializing in water, PCL does a large number of water infrastructure projects, the U of A has over 200 people researching various aspects of water and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) has excellent training programs for water and wastewater operators.” The combined Edmonton industrial water ecosystem is second to none in North America.

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SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND GIVING BACK. WE HAVE PRIDE IN WHAT WE DO IN THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH WE OPERATE. GIVING BACK AS AN ORGANIZATION GIVES US A STRONG TO WORK KNOWING THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND THAT THEIR JOB IS IMPORTANT, PROVIDING VALUE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.” ~ STUART LEE It’s not just the leading edge Edmonton has in water and utilities that Lee loves. “The people here have a very strong sense of community. It’s a great place to raise kids. It’s a community that has not lost its core values. It’s a valuebased city and a great place to live. “EPCOR has always had a strong sense of community and giving back. We have pride in what we do in the communities in which we operate. Giving back as an organization gives us a strong sense of purpose. People come to work knowing they make a difference and that their job is important, providing value back to the community. Talk to any of our employees and you get a sense a pride. It comes back to our philosophy of investing in our community.” In 2016 alone, EPCOR’s employees raised over $500,000 to support the United Way. The company does a lot of work in providing under-privileged youth with the educational opportunities and other tools young people need to be successful. The EPCOR Community Essentials Council donates half a million dollars annually to non-profit organizations, and the company and staff quickly raised $130,000 for the Red Cross to support victims of Fort McMurray’s “The Beast” fire last year.


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SR&ED


LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE // COVER

“EPCOR has a culture that is invested in community,” smiles Lee. As for personally leading EPCOR, Lee has his own way and style of balancing the very high demands of work, and the needs of millions of customers, with the rest of his active lifestyle. “Having worked for lots of different bosses, I know that no single style of leadership is the most effective,” says Lee. “Really strong leaders use different styles at different times. You can start out as more directive, but as your career evolves, your leadership style changes as well. It turns to being more strategic and providing vision for an organization, or more participative in getting people involved in the decision making. The best leaders can go into the toolbox and use different styles to be effective. “It is interesting for folks that aspire to senior leadership. It can be challenging, and there are compromises along the way. I wouldn’t want to suggest you always have work/life balance. You have work/life choices. You must make decisions around priories and focus on them. Functioning effectively in senior positions demands a lot of time and effort. I’ve been fortunate that, between my wife and I, we have been able to manage and provide that balance for our family, but it’s not without compromises on both sides.”

22

He notes that much of the success is due to having a truly outstanding team that he is fortunate to work with.

Lee names Hugh Bolton, the non-executive chair of EPCOR Utilities Inc.’s board of directors, as a man that has been, and continues to be, instrumental to ECPOR’s success. “He’s been the chair since 2000 and he’s really helped to shaped the organization and be a leader. Mr. Bolton is hugely respected across Canada,” says Lee.

“It’s so important to build effective teams. We’d get nothing done without having strong people.”

The multi-talented and charismatic CEO makes the most of his downtime, spending quiet moments enjoying his hobby

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


LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE // COVER

EPCOR will welcome more than 700 drainage employees and be responsible for the City’s entire water utility cycle. “It is a great opportunity for us to take that business on, integrate it with our water operations and provide great service to the city of Edmonton, and to also take those skills and market them into different communities that don’t have those skills. EPCOR has been very successful in water and wastewater, and the company is excited to extend that success to sanitary and stormwater systems,” says Lee. Since Edmonton first turned on its lights more than 100 years ago and sparked the inception of what would become EPCOR, the company has always focused on moving forward, providing excellence in services and products, respecting the environment and doing right by its staff and customers. As EPCOR moves its way towards two centuries of services, Lee is very excited to be a part of the company’s future.

of fly fishing, but back in the ’70s, he had a much more rambunctious hobby. “I competed in the Canadian National Final Rodeo, roping 500-600 pound steers. I had the fastest time!” he confides. EPCOR is still evolving and after a city council decision in April, the City’s drainage utility will be transferred to EPCOR effective September 1. With the transfer,

“I’m still early in my tenure, and will continue to be fully engaged in helping the company grow and be successful for years to come.” When you turn on the lights, when you run the tap, when you enjoy the comfort of a well-lit and powered home, remember to thank one of Edmonton’s oldest institutions. EPCOR is a company that has proved time and time again that it has what it takes to really light up the Capital City.

ABOVE: STUART LEE, THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EPCOR. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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

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ALL THE RIGHT MOVES // TRAINING & EDUCATION

All the Right M HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF ROUND T

T

here was a time when a person could reasonably expect to get a good job right out of high school or college, work their way up within that organization and stay put until retirement. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. According to LinkedIn, the average person may now hold up to 15 jobs over the span of their working years, and that number seems to be climbing all the time.

Whether fleeing an unstable or upended industry, trying to find stability in a precarious gig economy, or simply chasing a dream, many people find themselves ready to take a shot at a new job or a whole new career in their 40s, 50s or even later. What does it take to start over midlife? According to the experts, it’s all about self-exploration, planning and some practical considerations.

ABOVE: NORQUEST COLLEGE PHOTO SOURCE: NORQUEST

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


ALL THE RIGHT MOVES // TRAINING & EDUCATION

oves

According to Alan Kearns, career coach and founder of CareerJoy, you can’t effectively explore your possibilities without first looking at your motivation. BY RAMONA KORPAN

WO OF YOUR CAREER WHY MAKE A CHANGE?

Some people change careers because they’ve identified a field, role or purpose that appeals to them. Others only know that a change is needed, but don’t necessarily know what that change should be. How do you make a change without knowing what you want that change to look like?

“It’s not the what or how or the when or the where. It’s actually the why that you really need to be clear about,” he says. “It’s like dealing with a relationship change or health changes. We all know we should eat less and work out more, but it’s the why that motivates you, and your why and my why might be different. So why do I want to change careers and what’s my driver for doing that? It’s a really important question to understand.” Though the answer to the “why” question will vary from one individual to the next, Kearns says most of those answers will land in one of three categories: passion, practicality or purpose.

ABOVE: ALAN KEARNS, CAREER COACH AND THE HEAD COACH AND FOUNDER OF CAREERJOY

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

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ENERGY BENCHMARKING BENEFITS EDMONTON BUSINESS OWNERS Environmental goals don’t have to come at a cost to growth and development. By registering for the City of Edmonton’s Large Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Program, participating building owners and managers will receive energy performance data that will help them identify energy savings and reduce operating costs. The data collected from all participating large buildings will be used to benchmark energy performance for large buildings in Edmonton, and help Edmonton achieve a low carbon, sustainable energy future.

Program Benefits:

• • • • • • • • •

Learn how you compare to your peers locally, provincially and nationally Gain a competitive advantage and recognition of leadership Access to tenant education workshops and benchmarking support services Receive $1,500/building rebate towards a commercial energy audits (ASHRAE Level 2) Identify cost-effective energy saving opportunities and reduce operating costs Improve building energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions Influence future provincial and federal regulations for building energy use Receive targeted updates to take advantage of relevant government programs Increase property value, tenant satisfaction and well-being


REGISTER YOUR BUILDING TODAY To register your building find the registration and consent form at edmonton.ca/energybenchmarking. Register as soon as possible to allow time for data collection and submission.

Data submission deadline August 15, 2017. For more information on the Large Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Program visit edmonton.ca/energybenchmarking. For questions, to sign up for the program, or to access benchmarking support services email energystar@edmonton.ca or call 1 (855) 999 8012.

Learn more at edmonton.ca/energybenchmarking


Concordia University of Edmonton offers New Dual Degree in Science & Management Concordia University of Edmonton now offers a dual degree, allowing undergraduate students to gain both a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) degree and a Bachelor of Management degree, from the Mihalcheon School of Management, within a 5-year timespan. The dual degree offers students the unique prospect of graduating with both a business and a chemistry background. This will open up a host of career possibilities through independent and ethical intellectual and creative work, the building of ever-important and sought-after transferable skills, and the experience of an industry-specific internship. Industry associations and leaders have recognized this type of dual degree as a significant advantage for career advancement and succession planning. “It would have been advantageous to have had a broader background in business management and principles at this point in my career and a better understanding of what was of importance to corporate management,” said one business leader of his early career. The Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta is also pleased with the new offering. As the following quote from an individual in the association states: “The combined degree in Chemistry and Management will give graduates from your program the skills to set up their own businesses, become successful technical entrepreneurs, or to compete for science management positions in industry and government.” The new dual degree is one of the many new initiatives being offered by Concordia University of Edmonton. Along with the five existing emphases in the Bachelor of Management, within the Mihalcheon School of Management, the university now also offers two new areas: Data Management (with a course in Business Demography) and Conflict Management. Visit Concordia University of Edmonton’s website at www.concordia.ab.ca for more information or contact us at 780-479-8481 or info@concordia.ab.ca.


DISCOVER EDMONTON’S UNIVERSITY OPEN HOUSE OCTOBER 14TH, 2017


ALL THE RIGHT MOVES // TRAINING & EDUCATION

ONCE YOUR SOUL-SEARCHING AND EXPLORATION YIELDS AN “A-HA!” MOMENT, DON’T GO APPLYING FOR THAT NEW DREAM JOB JUST YET. A JOB THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD FIT ON PAPER MIGHT NOT BE THE BEST FOR YOU, AND THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO KNOW THAT.

“Maybe you’ve been at a job for 15, 20 years and you realize, ‘I’m not that passionate about what I do anymore, and I want to go find something that I’m really engaged by,’” he says. “Another reason is that it’s practical. An industry shifts or your skill set shifts and you’re not getting promoted the way you might have been in the past. You’ve plateaued and you might think you’ve stalled or you’re not where you want to be.”

Next, she suggests asking yourself what work you want to do. “Explore occupational fit for the highest possible level of satisfaction and success, and determine personal success metrics.” The final question addresses how you will get to where you want to be. “‘What strategies do I implement to reach my desired career goals?’” she suggests you ask yourself.

“Then the other thing is purpose,” he continues. “People will find themselves being drawn to this subject or drawn to this cause, so they want to direct their career toward a different area.”

Once your soul-searching and exploration yields an “a-ha!” moment, don’t go applying for that new dream job just yet. A job that sounds like a good fit on paper might not be the best for you, and there is only one way to know that.

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?

“Do your research,” says Laura White, student navigator at NorQuest College. “If you have a field that you’re thinking of going into but you’re not sure, talk to people in that field. We also recommend volunteering in the field if you’re not too familiar with the industry.”

Of course, solving the why is only the beginning. Once your motivations are clearly identified, you still have to identify a career that will meet your needs and goals. Career strategist Kathleen Johnston (of kathleenjohnston.com) lays out three specific questions to help you come to the right answer. “The first is ‘who am I?’” she says. “This involves exploration of personality traits, natural talents, motivators, life vision/purpose, interests, values, priorities, competencies, knowledge, training and experience.”

HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

As tempting as it is to get caught up in the rush of starting a brand new career, you have to examine the transition from a practical perspective as well. Changing careers can be a lengthy

ABOVE: KATHLEEN JOHNSTON, CAREER CONSULTANT, COACH AND COUNSELLOR

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


ALL THE RIGHT MOVES // TRAINING & EDUCATION

process depending on what route you take, so it’s important to have a long-term plan in place to make sure it goes smoothly and other parts of your life don’t suffer along the way. It’s not just the new career itself that can upset the rhythm of your life. The education required to make that transition can be a big adjustment. Whereas an 18-year-old first-time postsecondary student can throw themselves entirely into their education, mature students typically have other things competing for their attention. “I find that students who are making a career change later in life tend to have more outside obligations and family obligations.” says White. Kearns agrees. “What is your family situation? What’s your situation economically? You have to look at the big picture and look at what support mechanisms you have around you,” he says. “Practically, economically, family life, if you try to do this and you don’t have the support of your partner, it’s unlikely you’re going to do this well, if at all.” Some of the impact can be minimized by making a lesser transition. For example, rather than starting over in a brand new field, you might consider taking on a new role in your current field. “We call that revolutionary versus evolutionary,” says Kearns. “The revolutionary option is ‘I’m going to go to something completely different. I’m going to go back to school, I’m going to get a masters, I’m going to move myself to this entirely new location.’ But for others it’s ‘I’m in information technology and I don’t want to program anymore, but I can move into marketing or something related, but not the same role.’ That’s what we call evolutionary.”

According to White, preparation for an evolutionary change can often be handled with more flexible, less intensive continuing education courses rather than formal academic credentials. “Continuing education is great if you’re looking to stay in the same field but want to just complement or increase your knowledge in that area, whereas someone who’s looking for a complete change, they would look at getting into a new credential,” she explains. “Continuing education programs typically take less than a year. Some continuing education courses we offer here at NorQuest are only one or two days. If you’re looking to do a completely new credential program, that could take anywhere from four months to two years here.” Jumping into a midlife career change can be scary, but it’s a challenge worth facing, or at the very least worth considering. After all, after years or even decades in the workforce, you know yourself much better than you did when you first began your career, so it’s worth trusting your instincts if you feel there might be something better out there for you. “My advice to anyone facing this decision is to be true to yourself,” says Johnston. “Trust your ability to do the right thing after you’ve thoroughly explored and investigated all the questions you have regarding your needs, wants and priorities.” White frames it in an undeniably practical way. “A lot of students that I speak to say, ‘Oh I’m going to be too old by the time I’m done training for a new career in five years, so I don’t want to start over,’” she says. “And I say, you’re going to be that age in five years anyway, so you might as well be starting over in a career that you love.”

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

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HEADQUARTERS: WHY CORPORATIONS BASE THEIR OPERATIONS IN EDMONTON // HEAD OFFICES

HEADQUARTERS: WHY CORPORATIONS BASE THEIR OPERATIONS IN EDMONTON

L

ast year Edmonton was ranked as the second best place in Canada to do business, but this was not a surprise to the major corporations that choose to headquarter in the Capital City. The City of Edmonton is dedicated to attracting and retaining businesses that want to operate out of Edmonton. The City’s The Way We Prosper: Economic Development Plan lays out a long-range strategy that includes creating an “unrivaled, competitive business climate” and becoming an “internationally renowned powerhouse of industry” as two objectives designed to “create an environment for new and existing businesses to grow and flourish.” Global giants such as PCL Construction Holdings and Stantec; banking institutions like ATB Financial, Servus Credit Union Ltd. and Canada Western Bank; entrepreneurdriven enterprises like K-Bro Linen Inc. – these are just a few names that represent the diverse mix of major companies that are proud to operate with Edmonton as their home base. However, it’s not just these well-known corporations and institutions that are calling Edmonton home. With Startup Edmonton and TEC Edmonton among the many boosters and service providers available to entrepreneurs, smallto-medium sized enterprises are placing their roots in Edmonton too, and enjoying robust success. For example, with just over 40 employees, LAWDEPOT® grew over 280 per cent over a five-year span, and earned more than $10 million in revenue. With less than 40 employees, tech company Silver Creek Software grew over

250 per cent during the same time span, and reported revenue in excess of $2 million. Two short years ago, KV Capital Inc. had just 13 employees, but enjoyed recordbreaking growth of 591 per cent over five years. KPMG recently released its annual CEO Outlook, which provides insight into the growth outlooks, strategic priorities, business concerns and investment objectives of CEOs in more than 50 countries, including Canada. “CEOs from around the globe, across the country and right here in Edmonton tell us that in order to be successful, they need to seize upon today’s opportunities and prepare to meet tomorrow’s challenges,” says Robert Borrelli, office managing partner for KPMG’s office in Edmonton. “In today’s market that means putting a greater focus on innovation, business disruption and transformation.” In KPMG’s report, 75 per cent of CEOs are confident in Canada’s growth prospects and 82 per cent believe their own company will grow in the next three years. “Edmonton has the talent, infrastructure and support systems to allow organizations—and headquarters in particular—to access the resources that enable them to focus on these emerging trends while successfully executing their growth priorities,” says Borrelli. Everyone in the city benefits when a small business, a major corporation or an institution calls Edmonton home. From the creation of jobs to the infusion of new and creative ideas and talent, our business owners are what makes the city an exciting, progressive place to live, work and play.

Financial Post 500 rankings provided by Financial Post Magazine, published nine times a year by The National Post, and Infomart, a full-service content strategy group providing media monitoring and analytics services, research, executive summaries, content solutions and corporate data to organizations across Canada.

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


HEADQUARTERS: WHY CORPORATIONS BASE THEIR OPERATIONS IN EDMONTON // HEAD OFFICES

PCL Construction Holdings Ltd.

P

Rank: Engineer Cdn (out of 800)

61

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission

A

CL is a group of independent construction companies owned by more than 4,000 employee shareholders across the United States, Canada, Australia and the Caribbean. As a diversified general contractor, PCL celebrates the past and builds for the future.

Bill Robinson

REVENUE

8,152,959,000

$

Stantec Inc.

T

REVENUE

www.pcl.com

Rank: Service Cdn (out of 800)

99

he Stantec community unites more than 15,000 employees working in over 250 locations. They collaborate across disciplines and industries to bring buildings, energy and resource, and infrastructure projects to life. Their work–professional consulting in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics–begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships.

REVENUE

4,300,130,000

$

94

Government of Alberta agency responsible for administering the Gaming and Liquor Act, Regulation and related policy. Ensures the gaming and liquor activities in Alberta are conducted honestly, openly and with integrity, and maximizing the economic benefits of gaming and liquor activities in the province to benefit all Albertans.

Paul G. Douglas

Robert J. Gomes

Rank: Amuse Cdn (out of 800)

4,501,521,000

$

AutoCanada Inc.

A

www.aglc.ca

Rank: Store Cdn (out of 800)

144

utoCanada is one of Canada’s largest multi-location automobile dealership groups, currently operating 48 franchised dealerships in eight provinces and has over 3,400 employees. In 2014, their dealerships sold approximately 57,000 vehicles and processed approximately 786,000 service and collision repair orders in our 822 service bays during that time. Thomas L. Orysiuk REVENUE

www.stantec.com

2,891,581,000

$

www.autocan.ca

THE EDMONTON HEAD OFFICE FEATURE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KPMG

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

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HEADQUARTERS: WHY CORPORATIONS BASE THEIR OPERATIONS IN EDMONTON // HEAD OFFICES

Alberta Treasury Branches

A

Rank: Bank Cdn (out of 800)

194

EPCOR Utilities Inc.

E

lberta Treasury Branches, doing business as ATB Financial, is a financial institution and crown corporation owned by the Province of Alberta. ATB operates in Alberta only, providing financial services to nearly 700,000 Albertans and Alberta-based businesses. ATB has 172 branches and 135 agencies, serving a total of 243 communities in Alberta. Stuart Lee

REVENUE

2,012,422,000

$

Workers’ Compensation Board - Alberta

T

REVENUE

www.atb.com

Rank: Service Cdn (out of 800)

221

1,932,000,000

$

Capital Power Corp.

Brian T. Vaasjo

Guy R. Kerr

1,699,680,000

Canadian Western Bank

C

www.wcb.ab.ca

272

apital Power (TSX: CPX) is a growth-oriented North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. The company develops, acquires, operates and optimizes power generation from a variety of energy sources. Capital Power owns approximately 4,500 megawatts of power generation capacity at 24 facilities and is pursuing contracted generation capacity throughout North America. Capital Power (TSX: CPX) is a growth-oriented North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. The company develops, acquires, operates and optimizes power generation from a variety of energy sources. Capital Power owns approximately 4,500 megawatts of power generation capacity at 24 facilities and is pursuing contracted generation capacity throughout North America.

Rank: Bank Cdn (out of 800)

312

1,214,000,000

$

Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd.

L

anadian Western Bank offers speciality business banking services for small- and medium-sized companies with a focus on general commercial banking, equipment financing and leasing, commercial real estate financing, real estate construction financing, and energy lending. Full-service personal banking options, including chequing and savings accounts, loans, mortgages and investment products, are also available. Stephen Bebis

Christopher H. Fowler

www.capitalpower.com

Rank: Store Cdn (out of 800)

358

iquor Stores N.A. Ltd. (and its predecessor companies) has been a leader in the Alberta retail liquor industry since liquor privatization in 1993. The Company operates over 180 stores in Alberta, over 30 stores in British Columbia, over 20 stores in Alaska and over 10 stores in Kentucky. The Company’s Liquor Stores primarily operate under the brand names Liquor Depot, Liquor Barn, and Wine and Beyond in Alberta; Liquor Depot, Liquor Barn and Wine Cellar in British Columbia; Brown Jug in Alaska, and Liquor Barn, The Ultimate Party Source and Liquor Barn Express in Kentucky.

REVENUE

REVENUE

1,034,661,000

Rank: Utility Cdn (out of 800)

REVENUE

REVENUE

$

www.epcor.ca

C

he Workers Compensation Board is a statutory corporation created by government under the Workersí Compensation Act to administer a system of workplace insurance for the workers and employers of the province of Alberta. The organization is employer funded to provide cost-effective disability and liability insurance.

36

201

PCOR’s story began over 120 years ago, as Edmonton’s power and water utility and Canada’s first municipally owned electric utility. EPCOR Utilities Inc. has been a stand-alone company since 1996. The City of Edmonton is thier sole Shareholder, and they operate as a commercial entity, governed by an independent Board of Directors.

Dave Mowat

$

Rank: Utility Cdn (out of 800)

www.cwb.com

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

817,673,000

$

www.liquorstoresna.ca


What does your tomorrow look like? We can help you get there today. As an owner, the sale of your business can be the culmination of a lifetime’s work. Often, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime transaction – with just one opportunity to get it right. KPMG Enterprise can help you prepare so that when the time comes, you are confident in your future plans and in the structure and value of your company. To find out more, speak with an adviser today. Glen Demke KPMG Tax Partner T: 780-429-7395 E: gdemke@kpmg.ca kpmg.ca/enterprise

© 2017 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 16660


HEADQUARTERS: WHY CORPORATIONS BASE THEIR OPERATIONS IN EDMONTON // HEAD OFFICES

Servus Credit Union Ltd.

S

Rank: Credit Cdn (out of 800)

417

Alberta Investment Management Corp.

A

ervus Credit Union is a member-owned, community-based financial institution with roots dating back to 1938. Based in Edmonton with regional offices in Lloydminster and Red Deer, Servus Credit Union provides a complete line of financial services and solutions.

Garth Warner

Kevin Uebelein

REVENUE

574,365,000

$

Alberta Capital Finance Authority

T Troy Holinski

www.servus.ca

Rank: Finance Cdn (out of 800)

475

REVENUE

431,712,000

Edmonton Regional Airports Authority

T Tom Ruth

www.acfa.gov.ab.ca

Rank: Transport Cdn (out of 800)

643

he Regional Airports Authorities Act of 1989 governs airport authorities in Alberta. The Edmonton Regional Airports Authority (known as Edmonton Airports) was established under the act in 1990. Transport Canada officially handed the management of the Edmonton International Airport to Edmonton Airports on Aug. 1, 1992. EIA leases its land from Transport Canada. The Authority is legally and financially independent. No government or other body has a call on the assets of the Authority, nor are they liable for the debts of the Authority. By law the Authority does not have equity shareholders or to provide any external body with an equity interest in our organization. We operate as a not-for-profit corporation. All income and surpluses must be applied to the promotion of our purposes.

210,422,000

38

454,066,000

$

Melcor Developments Ltd.

M

www.aimco.alberta.ca

Rank: Real Est Cdn (out of 800)

612

elcor Developments manages the full life cycle of real estate development: from acquiring raw land, to community planning, to construction and development, to managing leasable office, retail and residential sites. They develop and manage mixed-use residential communities, business and industrial parks, office buildings, retail commercial centres and golf courses. Darin Rayburn REVENUE

REVENUE

$

464

lberta Investment Management Corporation, AIMCo, is one of Canadaís largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with more than $100 billion of assets under management. Established on January 1, 2008, AIMCoís mandate is to provide superior long-term investment results for its clients. AIMCo operates at arms-length from the Government of Alberta and invests globally on behalf of 32 pension, endowment and government funds in the Province of Alberta.

REVENUE

he Alberta Capital Finance Authority (“ACFA”) is a provincial authority and acts only as an agent of the Alberta crown. Its business is to provide local entities with financing for capital projects. ACFA is able to borrow in capital markets at interest rates which would not be available to local authorities acting independently. ACFA makes loans to Alberta municipalities, school boards and other local entities at interest rates based on the cost of its borrowings.

$

Rank: Finance Cdn (out of 800)

243,639,000

$

ZCL Composites Inc.

E

www.melcor.ca

Rank: Oil Field Cdn (out of 800)

672

stablished in 1987, ZCL COMPOSITES INC. has grown to become North America’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of costeffective fibreglass tank systems to the petroleum industry. An unrelenting drive to manufacture superior fibreglass tanks that simply will not corrode has made ZCL the preferred choice in many industrial and retail sectors. Ronald M. Bachmeier REVENUE

corporate.flyeia.com

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

184,123,000

$

www.zcl.com


Are calm waters ahead? As a business owner you want peace of mind that when it comes time to sell your business, the process will go smoothly. KPMG Enterprise can help you prepare well in advance so that when it is time to exit, the value of your hard work is accounted for and you can aim to set sail for the future. Speak with an adviser today. Deborah MacPherson KPMG Enterprise Lead Tax Partner T: 780-429-7374 E: dmacpherson@kpmg.ca kpmg.ca/enterprise

© 2017 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 17168


HEADQUARTERS: WHY CORPORATIONS BASE THEIR OPERATIONS IN EDMONTON // HEAD OFFICES

K-Bro Linen Inc.

Rank: Service Cdn (out of 800)

K

Linda J. McCurdy

704

Peace Hills General Insurance Co.

P

-Bro was founded in 1954 as Stork Diaper Service and later grew to meet the needs of the healthcare and hospitality industries. To better reflect the company’s evolving role and in honor of its founders – the Kinasewich brothers, the name was changed to K-Bro Linen Systems Inc. in 1984. Today, K-Bro is the largest provider of laundry and linen services in Canada meeting the needs of healthcare, hospitality and other commercial sectors.

REVENUE

Kathy Boychuck

711

eace Hills Insurance is a licensed, general insurance company, which has been insuring Western Canadians since 1982. They are committed to serving the community and feel this is best met by distributing their product though an independent brokerage system. Peace Hills Insurance has over 200 employees who are committed to serving over 478 independent broker offices across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon Territory.

REVENUE

159,089,000

$

www.k-brolinen.com

ENTREC Corp.

H

153,082,000

$

Rank: Transport Cdn (out of 800)

769

eadquartered in Alberta’s Capital Region in Acheson, Alberta (AB) just outside of Edmonton, Alberta - ENTREC has been providing specialized crane and integrated service solutions throughout Western Canada for over 18 years.

John Stevens REVENUE

114,070,000

$

40

Rank: Prop Ins Cdn (out of 800)

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

www.entrec.com

www.peacehillsinsurance.com


BUILDING UP, BUILDING OUT: EDMONTON’S CHANGING LANDSCAPE // CONSTRUCTION

Building Up, Building Out: EDMONTON’S CHANGING LANDSCAPE AS ICE DISTRICT IMPACTS EDMONTON’S OFFICE VACANCY RATES, INDUSTRY LEADERS LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF WORKING IN EDMONTON, BOTH DOWNTOWN AND ON THE OUTSKIRTS. BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

O

ver the past year, Edmonton Tower and Enbridge Centre opened their doors as the first office buildings in Edmonton’s ICE District. The area, now a beacon for Edmonton’s future, is set to flood the city with millions of square feet of premium office space as the city experiences high, worrisome office vacancy rates. Many industry leaders are wondering if ICE District could end up working against the city and its own goal of centralizing Edmonton in its downtown core. According to a report released by Avison Young, Edmonton’s office vacancy rate has nearly doubled since last year, from 8.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to 15.1 per cent in the same quarter this year. Granted, the leap includes the opening of Edmonton Tower and Enbridge Centre, which

provided the downtown market with a combined total office space of 1.7 million square feet, but Avison Young’s report is quick to point out that these new spaces are already filled. It is not the top-tier buildings opening that will have issues, but rather the offices being vacated that could be the problem, especially as vacancy rates climb to above 20 per cent in the coming years. “The space available to the market becomes the backfill space, which the new tenants will vacate,” the report says. “This is an important distinction when describing the overall condition of the downtown office market. We feel the downstream impact of the new tower inventory will result in a tiered pricing effect and not in the collapse of the entire downtown office market.”

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BUILDING UP, BUILDING OUT: EDMONTON’S CHANGING LANDSCAPE // CONSTRUCTION

This tiered effect is already happening. Downtown spaces, especially those on 104th Street, have experienced a steady uptick in rental costs since the arena was first announced. Despite ICE District’s push to bring business downtown, the migration has been slow due, in part, to rising rental prices.

their office space. Unit B specifically offers three things, which Jenkins and Panesar call the coworking triangle: location, amenities of the space itself, and cost. But the intangible benefits, they say, come from occupying the same space as other likeminded business professionals.

The fact is, 104th Street has seen businesses leave as rent prices steadily go up, sometimes by as much as double, even though vacancy on the street remains a problem. As businesses on 104th Street open and either close or leave, Edmonton’s first coworking space, Unit B Coworking, has stayed. The space, which offers desks and collaborative office space for small-to-medium businesses, is a success story for businesses moving downtown. Jas Panesar and Sam Jenkins, who run their business out of Unit B Coworking, argue that success is in part due to how work itself is changing and will continue to change, something the City needs to address.

“At the centre of the triangle is what we call ‘the community factor.’ Who are the people in the space and how are they creating value together?” Jenkins explains, “This isn’t something you see in traditional real estate. You don’t see neighbours collaborating nearly as much and you don’t see what I call ‘collaborative collisions,’ which you see all the time in coworking spaces.”

“The nature of work itself is changing, in that it is meant to use space much more efficiently. The footprints needed before are no longer needed,” Panesar explains. “We’re seeing that there’s this extra space, but businesses need less. What they do need is community connections and collaborative spaces.” Jenkins agrees, saying coworking spaces represent a future of working that was started by people working digitally from home, but are now looking for something beneficial from

Scott Varga, the City of Edmonton’s workspace design lead for Edmonton Tower, says sustainability and stability are key aspects of the City’s own move to ICE District, but the collaborative environment found in coworking spaces also seems to be part of the design. “We take into consideration city building, business functionality, and geographic location to improve service delivery while ensuring real estate costs are stable based on the operation,” he explains. “Environmental sustainability in the leasing world is becoming of increasing importance to us, specifically in the office sector. Edmonton Tower is a strong example, where the building will be certified LEED Gold.”

ABOVE: JAS PANESAR AND SAM JENKINS RUN THEIR BUSINESS FROM UNIT B COWORKING ON 104TH STREET. PHOTO SOURCE: JEFF DAY

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BUILDING UP, BUILDING OUT: EDMONTON’S CHANGING LANDSCAPE // CONSTRUCTION

PART OF THE CHALLENGE OF MAKING THESE MODERN WORKING SPACES FOR EDMONTON IS THAT THE CITY’S POPULATION, UNLIKE CALGARY, IS DECENTRALIZED, DUE IN PART TO ITS INDUSTRIES. UNLIKE CALGARY, WHICH CENTRALIZED MUCH OF ITS WORKFORCE IN ITS DOWNTOWN CORE, EDMONTON’S BUSINESSES STILL POPULATE THE OUTSKIRTS.

Mayor Iveson spoke to how Edmonton Tower is changing how the city works already. “This tower’s significance for the City of Edmonton as a municipal corporation is that it is already changing the way we work as an organization,” he said at the official opening of the Tower. “I’ve heard stories of planners bumping into engineers who wouldn’t have bumped into each other before, and were able to solve problems literally over the kitchen counter.” Part of the challenge of making these modern working spaces for Edmonton is that the city’s population, unlike Calgary, is decentralized, due in part to its industries. Unlike Calgary, which centralized much of its workforce in its downtown core, Edmonton’s businesses still populate the outskirts. President Tegan Martin-Drysdale, of the RedBrick Group of Companies, points to cities like Nisku and Fort Saskatchewan as examples of Edmonton’s sprawling workforce. “We have more people working on the perimeter of the city,” she explains. “We have a different situation [from Calgary] where people don’t have to be downtown.” Martin-Drysdale says the task in remaking Edmonton will be in moving things downtown, which could be a challenge because of the market conditions ICE District has created. It’s ironic because ICE District was created to bring people

downtown. If the city wants to build up instead of out, she says, it needs to diversify what industries it entices to come downtown. “Edmonton could really be benefit from other industries that we don’t normally chase after,” she says. “Edmonton has the right metrics in place to be a real innovator and I would like to see it try to entice other industries into its downtown core.” Naturally, the low rent costs of office space outside of ICE District will attract many businesses to Edmonton, especially on the perimeter, but this runs counter to ICE District’s attempts to centralize the economy. One solution often touted is repurposing older office buildings for other purposes, especially residential, but this may be unfeasible for two reasons. First, repurposing Edmonton office space on the outskirts only continues the sprawl. Second, many purpose-built office spaces are impossible to renovate into residential, regardless of potential cost. “I’m all for building up…people should be living close to where they work,” Martin-Drysdale says. “But if someone works in Nisku it doesn’t make sense that they live downtown. We have to, as a region, look at where our jobs are centralized and create mini-centres around those, which could also include our downtown core.”

ABOVE: TEGAN MARTIN-DRYSDALE, PRESIDENT OF THE REDBRICK GROUP OF COMPANIES.

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LUXURY IN LIVING

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“We contacted Aquarian because of the many awards that they had won. We wanted someone special. What we ended up with was a new family. One we trust and respect who delivered their services on time and on budget.” ~ Angus Watt The chiseled Emperador marble sink is art in action. Aquarian Renovations has a decidedly personal approach to their work. This is not just about a renovation – it is about helping clients find their personal style and bringing their style to life in a way they can enjoy it every day. In doing this work, Aquarian has built a level of trust that is often rare in the renovation industry.

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TO TREND OR NOT TO TREND. THAT IS THE QUESTION // DRESS FOR SUCCESS

To Trend or Not to Trend THAT IS THE QUESTION

INSTAGRAM SAYS UNISEX BELLY BARING JUMPSUITS MADE OF RECYCLED BICYCLE TIRES ARE THE NEXT BIG THING. CAN I WEAR THIS TO WORK?

“Dress for the job you want.” “Just look at what the boss is wearing, and emulate.” “Clothes make the man.” “Business casual with casual Friday.”

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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s it just me or has dressing for work become really complicated lately? What is business casual? Jeans and a blazer? But then what will I wear on casual Friday? How does one dress like the boss when you’re 30 and female and he’s 50 and a male? The answer, like most answers, lies online. Let’s check out Instagram. Let’s ask Google. Let’s see what the influencers are up to. Lace short sets and rompers for men. Plastic overlay over jeans. Glitter eyebrows and pom poms for eyeshadow. Jeans pre-stained with mud. Ready to give up?

So, bring on the pom poms, right? Not so much, says Gurney. “Some trends are fun to experiment with and some should never have surfaced. You can incorporate unique patterns, bold colours and fun textures into your wardrobe, but pom-poms as eyeshadow, glitter eyebrows, the proposed RompHim rompers and lace shorts for men are inappropriate, unprofessional and a distraction. You want to be taken seriously in the corporate world, and your presentation defines you in a way that could make or break your career. You want people to think you are knowledgeable, sophisticated, professional and put together. As for casual Fridays, sure you can ditch the suit, but make sure you are still dressed to impress.”

Stylist Jessica Gurney, founder of Walking My Runway (walkingmyrunway.com, @walkingmyrunway), is here to help.

She notes that trends often have a dubious motive.

“Social media and influencers are great to turn to for inspiration, but you need to be selective with the trends you choose to follow,” says Gurney. “Trends are tricky. They can make or break your presentation. Before looking to others for inspiration, you need to start by establishing your personal style, which takes into account your career, your personality and your lifestyle. Once you have figured out your personal style, you can start to experiment and evolve.”

“A trend is a marketing technique created by stores and magazines to move product. They look to celebrities and other people of influence to find these trends, then they will use those same people to advertise them, and finally, society will incorporate them into their wardrobe. It can be consuming and pricey to keep up with the latest trends. Everyone is different, too, so one trend rarely works for everyone. I firmly believe that once you know your personal style, you do not need to rely on trends.”

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TO TREND OR NOT TO TREND. THAT IS THE QUESTION // DRESS FOR SUCCESS

KPMG provides audit, tax and advisory services to clients around the world. The firm has more than 6,000 employees and 700 partners. One of those partners in the Edmonton office is Robyn Eeson. Eeson, whose professional and stylish wardrobe has been well documented in the city and is appreciated by clients and team members alike, is happy to share how one of the largest firms in Canada views dressing for success in the corporate world. “We are not overly rigid, but we expect a baseline that reflects our values,” says Eeson. “We don’t say ‘long sleeves and nylons.’ By being flexible and letting people decide for themselves, there is lots of room for personal expression and to be on point in terms of style. We also have casual Fridays, which gives people the opportunity to be more creative.”

Eeson has yet to see any of the gentlemen in the office sporting a romper, or any of the ladies enjoying the convenience of tear-a-way plastic jeans, let alone shiny star stickers for blush and ocean themed eye-shadow (complete with tiny fish). “I haven’t seen any of those trends in our office! First, there is the nature of our business: we are accountants, consultants and auditors selling a service to businesses and organizations. We have clients who expect a high level of professionalism from us and we must exude a nature of integrity and trust. You don’t want creative accounting or an exciting audit! Knowing that, there is an expectation to conform – not to stifle style, but to meet expectations. If someone was to be in on these cutting-edge styles, it’s not ABOVE: STYLIST JESSICA GURNEY, FOUNDER OF WALKING MY RUNWAY. INSET: ROMPHIM MAKES MEN’S ROMPERS AND IS HOPING THIS TREND WILL BE A HUGE HIT FOR THE CONFIDENT MAN. PHOTO SOURCE: ROMPHIM

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TO TREND OR NOT TO TREND. THAT IS THE QUESTION // DRESS FOR SUCCESS

that we are not embracing their spirt, but it would limit them. We have to embrace what the client wants. [Crazy trends] would, to some extent, limit their advancement. It’s not up to us. It has to resonate with the client. Saying that, we do pride ourselves on promoting based on ability, but you need an opportunity to showcase that ability.” Eeson points out why employees need to consider the company’s brand as well as their own personal style when dressing for success. “We are selling a service and we need to represent the quality of that service. If our physical appearance is not matching the service, it distorts the view of the service. If you show up rumpled and unwashed, people translate that to the service offering. You can be brilliant and creative, but the packaging distracts from the service. “In the office, we encourage staff to bring their whole selves to work but to also be mindful of how others feel, and to contribute to a healthy working environment. We don’t have to be clones, but if I showed up in a bikini, it would make my coworkers uncomfortable!” The KPMG partner knows, however, that it takes time and money to build a corporate wardrobe. “I’m sensitive to this because we do have lots of junior staff, fresh out of school, who are watching their bills. It’s important to pay attention to that and not to make people feel like they have to spend thousands on a suit. Having some key pieces and good, solid basics can really go a long way.” What are those basics? Gurney is happy to share her expertise. “Every businessman should have three or four tailored suits, each in a different colour and/or pattern. The suits are the foundation. Dress shirts are a crucial component and are meant to stand out, so always remember to keep the prints charming! You want a versatile selection that will work with each of the suits. Ties and bowties distinguish you from the rest and seal the deal. They must work with what you have and they must be bold.” “As for footwear, three pairs are enough to start with. A black dress shoe, a brown dress shoe and a brown boot. It is

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very important that you have a belt in the exact same colour and shade to match each pair. Pair these key pieces together correctly and you will own any room you walk into. “Every businesswoman should have three great blazers in a different cut, fit and colour. I usually suggest a white, black and navy. Those colours may seem boring, but they are so versatile. You need four pairs of dress pants, consisting of a black pair, a navy pair, a pop of colour pair (red is always a great choice) and a pattern pair. The pattern should be subtle, but distinguishable on your pants. “When choosing a pant with pattern, you want to make sure it is on a muted colour like grey, navy, or black. Your tops are where you introduce the bold colour and patterns. You can go wild with tops, because they can be taken down a notch once paired with muted pants and a solid blazer. “Dresses are easy, especially in the summer. A structured dress with a fun pattern needs nothing more than a pair of shoes and a bag and out the door you go! When choosing a dress for work, look for structured fabrics rather than a jersey. You want to make sure your dress means business and not beach. “Skirts are a great break from pants, but not a necessity. A gathered or pleated skirt and a pencil skirt are all you need to switch up the pant looks. “When it comes to footwear, I think three pairs are all you need. I am not saying to get rid of your wall of shoes if you have one, but if you are starting a collection from scratch, a black flat, a nude pump and a coloured pump will go a long way. “Every businesswoman needs a power bag. It does not have to be a luxury brand, but make sure it is bold and structured.” Gurney finishes with one time-honoured fashion quote that never goes out of style: “Confidence is your best accessory.” There is no shortage of ideas online when it comes to dressing for success, but that does not mean they are good ones. Unless your job is showcasing haute couture as a model, avoid pushing the boundaries with daring fashion at work, and instead let your confidence, personality and professionalism shine through in a wardrobe that takes you right to the top of the corporate ladder.


THE ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM IS BUILDING ITS IMPACT ON EDMONTON’S ECONOMY // ARTS & CULTURE

THE ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM IS BUILDING ITS IMPACT ON EDMONTON’S ECONOMY BY LAURA BOHNERT

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he Royal Alberta Museum is a longstanding part of Edmonton’s culture and economy. It first opened in December 1967 as part of Canada’s centennial celebrations, and since then, it has maintained its dedication to preserving and making publicly accessible aspects of Alberta’s natural and cultural heritage—and it has welcomed 13.7 million visitors in the process. That isn’t about to change because of the new building. “Both the building and the exhibits are nearing completion,” Chris Robinson, executive director of the Royal Alberta Museum explains. The opening is planned for 2018. “With 72,000 square feet of permanent exhibition space, nearly 400 individual exhibits, more than 5,300 objects on display, 80 film and audio elements, 11 casts of ice-age mammals, five dinosaurs, and dioramas – old and new, there is, as you can imagine, a lot of activity going on. “The process of making a museum is involved and specialized. From building features to the immense array of moving parts and expertise, all aspects of moving a museum must be handled with care and attention. The galleries are now being outfitted with their exhibit infrastructure. After that, we will begin the process of moving and installing the objects and interpretive materials that tell stories about Alberta’s natural and cultural heritage, stories that will be told through the collections we have assembled over the past 50 years.” Those 50 years’ worth of collections are part of why the new location is so necessary.

“It really comes down to size,” says Robinson. “The museum has outgrown the Glenora location. Alberta has changed in many ways since the museum opened, and our collections have grown as well. With twice the space, the new Royal Alberta Museum will reflect Albertans’ interests and will put more collections on display. “New galleries in both the natural and human history wings will showcase Alberta’s incredible stories, from changing landscapes, to First Peoples, to where we are today and the challenges we face as a vibrant, growing multicultural community. “The new museum will also feature an expansive bug room and an interactive children’s gallery focused on learning through play. More importantly, we want to draw connections between the past and present, so exhibits explore our recent past as well as those that go back millennia.” Speaking of the exhibits, there’s one question on everyone’s mind: how did they move those massive dioramas? “Carefully!” Robinson laughs. “They weren’t designed to move, but museum staff, with the assistance of specialized movers, got them stabilized, out of the building, and into their new galleries downtown. It was quite a scene with wildlife dioramas moving through downtown on flatbed trucks. The clearances out of Glenora and into downtown galleries were tight, but we had designed the new museum knowing these dimensions. Everything went well!” “We aim to be a place that fosters wonder, inquiry, and new understandings about Alberta,” Robinson explains. “The

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THE ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM IS BUILDING ITS IMPACT ON EDMONTON’S ECONOMY // ARTS & CULTURE

ABOVE: THE ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM GETS A NEW LOOK AT A NEW LOCATION AS IT CLOSES ITS DOORS AT ITS GLENORA SITE.

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THE ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM IS BUILDING ITS IMPACT ON EDMONTON’S ECONOMY // ARTS & CULTURE

over the province will be interested in coming to Edmonton to check it out and see what it has to offer.” “Our team is chomping at the bit to start selling to international visitors and sales investors,” she laughs. “It’s probably one of the buildings in the downtown core that has everyone the most excited. “The industry is so interconnected in Edmonton. If someone in northern Alberta decides to come into Edmonton to visit the Royal Alberta Museum, they will also be looking for places to eat, they might do some shopping, they might stay at hotels in the area, or might seek out more of the entertainment industry—we are certainly going to see impacts to the entire industry as a result.” “The Edmonton tourism industry crosses multiple sectors, from the hospitality and hotel industry to retail attractions and the entertainment sector. It is an economic driver that is helping to keep Edmonton floating through the economic downturn in an economy that is so heavily built on the resource sector. When things in the resource sector are not at the top of their game (due to impacts on the political stage, the administrative stage, and other areas), you start to look to other economic drivers.

design allows for more diverse exhibitions and will provide an engaging and informative look into some of the people, events, process, and moments that make Alberta what it is today. We are home to 2.4 million objects and 5,300 of those have been selected to tell unique stories of Alberta. “The new facility provides a tremendous opportunity to attract visitors here at home and around the world. The Royal Alberta Museum will help to drive heritage tourism in the province, while contributing to the local and provincial economy.” The Royal Alberta Museum’s potential tourist draw is something Renee Williams, director of communications and distribution, Travel Edmonton, is very aware of. “It’s a stunning facility, and once those doors open, people from all

“Tourism is a massive industry. According to 2014 statistics, tourism brought in $8 billion in visitor expenditure, and that’s huge. It employs upwards of 36,000 within the province, and 127,000+ in the country. It introduces new jobs, new money, and new investments into the economy,” Williams emphasizes, “and tourism draws like the Royal Alberta Museum, which appeals to international visitors, have an impact on multiple sectors, airlines included.” She adds, “The museum’s location positions it well to be a driver. It is located a block away from Rogers Place, it’s up the street from the Alberta Art Gallery, and the entire arts district lies in behind it and to the east.” Melanie Stroh, director of sales and marketing at The Westin Edmonton, agrees. “The Westin Edmonton’s trendy downtown location puts you within steps of the city’s most sought-after attractions. With the new location and amazing building, it will be another fantastic attraction to add to the long list of reasons to visit downtown Edmonton,” Stroh

ABOVE: GAIL WOZNY, CONSULTANT, CURRICULUM AND RESOURCE SUPPORT, EDMONTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS. BELOW: MELANIE STROH, DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING AT THE WESTIN EDMONTON. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // AUGUST 2017

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THE ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM IS BUILDING ITS IMPACT ON EDMONTON’S ECONOMY // ARTS & CULTURE

as the development of ICE District, one cannot help but be excited for the future of downtown Edmonton.” The Royal Alberta Museum’s benefits aren’t limited to Edmonton’s economy. As Gail Wozny, consultant, curriculum and resource support, Edmonton Public Schools, explains, from an education standpoint, museums aren’t just beneficial, they are crucial. “Museums like the Royal provide us with a professional partner that is designed to engage its visitors and stimulate their curiosity,” says Wozny. “Any time we can make meaningful connections with community partners, we are helping our students.”

“WITHOUT OUR VALUABLE TOURISM PARTNERS AND LEISURE GUESTS, THE HOTEL INDUSTRY WOULD STRUGGLE DURING NON-CONFERENCE PERIODS.” ~ MELANIE STROH notes, adding that “we may see more foot traffic and leisure guests visiting our downtown” as a result, and that “could lead to more overnight stays as well as increased traffic into Share Restaurant and Lounge.” The museum represents an important development for the tourism industry, and the tourism economy has direct impacts on the hotel industry. “Without our valuable tourism partners and leisure guests, the hotel industry would struggle during non-conference periods,” Stroh explains. “Our leisure guests provide great insight into news trends as well as new ideas to improve the overall guest experience. These guests are critical to not only the hotel industry’s success, but also to all of the industries that work in the tourism sector. This is a very exhilarating time to be an Edmontonian. With the opening of the new museum as well

She laughs, “Museums are not the dusty holders of artifacts people might envision from long ago! Institutions like the Royal Alberta Museum provide hands-on, engaging experiences that enhance the curriculum in a wide range of subjects. Teachers can build authentic cross-curricular projects around these experiences. We know some of the most meaningful learning happens when a variety of subjects are integrated with projects, and the museum can really help with that. “The Royal Alberta Museum has staff who actively create programs that connect with the Alberta curriculum. Teachers can work with guides at the museum to create something specific for them, work with a self-guided tour, or bring their students out for some independent exploration. The Royal Alberta Museum also lends out Edu-Kits that place artifacts in classrooms along with lesson plans to go with them.” Wozny concludes, “Making hands-on, engaging connections to various subjects and seeing them at work in the real world can have a powerful impact on students. Any time you can make real life connections to your subject matter, that’s a win. Getting youth out into the community, practicing their social skills, adapting to new environments, and engaging with public spaces is a learning opportunity in itself. Ultimately, having an educated population is the backbone of our economy and civil society.”

ABOVE: THE WESTIN EDMONTON PREPARES ITS ROOMS FOR A NEW TOURIST DRAW AS A NEW DOWNTOWN ATTRACTION GETS READY TO OPEN ITS DOORS.

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2017 Board of Directors Executive

Chair: James Merkosky Partner, Tax Services, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP

Policy Takes No Holidays By Danuta Woronowicz, Vice President, Policy and Outreach

A

s we enjoy Edmonton in the summer, with the sunshine, festivals, and fireworks, we can relax. But not too much!

Vice Chair: Len Rhodes President & CEO, Edmonton Eskimo Football Club

We’re facing plenty of issues and they’ll all be coming to a head over the next few months. This summer is a great time to think about what kind of city, province, and country we want, and what economic opportunities to pursue.

Treasurer: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Capital Power

Among the many considerations are:

Past Chair: Bill Blais President and CEO Maclab Development Group

• The municipal election is coming up in October. What vision for the city are candidates putting forward?

Directors

• We haven’t seen $100 oil since 2014. We’ve been averaging $50 this year. How do we find the advantage in our current economic circumstances?

Dr. Glenn Feltham President & CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Crystal Graham Partner & Licensed Interior Designer, Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd. Dawn Harsch President & CEO, Exquisicare Inc. Alyson Hodson President & CEO, zag creative Elan MacDonald President, Impact Consulting Scott McEachern Vice President, Engineering & Projects, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Dennis Schmidt Partner, Dentons Canada LLP Craig Thorkelsson Manager, Corporate Taxation PCL Constructors Inc. Liza Wold Partner, Miller Thomson LLP

Chamber Executive

Janet Riopel President & CEO Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Max Frank Vice President, Membership & Operations Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Ian Morris Vice President, Finance Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Danuta Woronowicz Vice President, Policy & Outreach Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Contact

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce #600 – 9990 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7

• For years, we’ve taken our relationship with the United States as a given. Now our biggest trading partner wants to rewrite the rules. Where does that leave Canada? In the 2016 State of the City Address, Mayor Don Iveson introduced the idea of Edmonton as a Health City. Since then, business, academic, government, and community leaders have been working together to identify the barriers faced by small, medium and large businesses, in bringing ideas to local and global markets. Work also continues to help identify what’s needed to attract more entrepreneurs in the health space, and to identify what’s needed for this sector to thrive in the Edmonton region. Earlier in June, Provincial Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deron Bilous, together with Alberta biotechnology and health science organizations, brought Edmonton and Alberta’s emerging strength in the health sector to the BIO International Convention in California. In May, Minister Bilous welcomed representatives from 300 Chinese businesses to Edmonton and Calgary, together with over 100 Alberta businesses, to participate in a business-to-business exchange. On June 6, 2017, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, delivered a speech in the House of Commons outlining the Government of Canada’s vision for our relationship with the world. Minister Freeland reiterated Canada’s commitment to free trade: “Far from seeing trade as a zero-sum game, we believe in trading relationships that benefit all parties. We look forward to working with our continental partners to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, and to making a great trading partnership even better.” Innovation, access to markets, diversification—these are all themes that we, businesses and our governments need to pursue across all sectors of our economy. To explore these themes in more depth, the Edmonton Chamber will be launching the first in a series of articles next month on innovation and market diversification in Edmonton. We’ll begin by talking to business leaders who are creating and commercializing new ideas in the health sector. We’ll follow up with features on artificial intelligence and robotics, manufacturing, and clean tech.

T: 780.426.4620 • F: 780.424.7946

Continued on the next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // AUGUST 2017

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We’ll continue to examine the impact of cannabis legalization. The Federal Government has indicated that legalization is going full steam ahead for July 1, 2018. That said, there are many issues to be resolved: • How will recreational marijuana be sold in Alberta? • How will it be marketed? • How will workplace safety concerns be addressed? • Will we have cannabis lounges? • How will the product be taxed? So many questions, and we’ll be exploring them all over the remainder of the year and into the next.

We’ll also be looking at trade – internally and internationally. The Canadian Free Trade Agreement took effect on July 1st. It’s time to look at the fine print. Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is coming this fall. Will Canada engage in negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement with China? These are all topics that we’ll be following as well. Enjoy the rest of summer, but remember: there’s lots to think about. Fall will be busy. The Edmonton Chamber welcomes your thoughts on innovation and economic diversification. Email us at policy@ edmontonchamber.com.

More “Simple Truths” About Social Media Lee Ferris, Marketing & Digital Communications Manager

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he pervasive popularity of social media has led many pundits to arrive at the simple truth that, ‘your business has to be on social media!’ In the first part of this series, I discussed this ‘simple truth’ in greater detail to see if this bold claim holds up as a bulletproof hypothesis, particularly for companies at different stages in their business lifecycle. Upon closer examination, some qualifiers did indeed emerge, both for already profitable businesses or those treading water at a break-even or plateau point: • ‘Your business has to be on social media, but only if it does not distract from or siphon the resources driving your competitive advantage.’ • ‘Your business has to be on social media, but only if you’re at the point in your business lifecycle where doing so aligns with your crucial business plan and marketing strategy priorities.’ Putting those seemingly reasonable conclusions aside for the moment, let’s now delve into the prospects of social media as a solution for the still nascent business looking to establish itself in the marketplace.

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that it remains but one arrow in a much larger quiver of communication tools for your business, each of which possesses its own unique attributes in regards to reach, affordability, brand positioning and customer engagement. Building your base One of the most powerful aspects of social media is it enables contributors to be whatever they want to be, with sufficient choice to empower users to play to their strengths. From video to photography to text to music, wherever your talents lie in terms of content creation, there is a channel to promote your media – and if you’re a true Renaissance artist, you can mix and match mediums tailored to your needs. More importantly, this versatility extends to subject matter as well, with a suitable, and likely well trafficked, niche for every topic under the sun.

So, where do you start? Before you move to specific tactics, the key is to define an approach or ethos that will enable your business to cut through the clutter. Differentiate to Elevate

Social Media is one segment of a much larger communications portfolio

Imagine you’re at an upscale dinner party and unknown to most of the guests. What is your ‘go to’ ice breaker in this situation?

Because social media has become so omnipresent in our daily lives, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact

For some, it’s humour. For others, an interesting perspective on current events. And for some,

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simply being genuine, candid and honest in these settings places everyone else at ease and opens the door to fun and fruitful social interaction. Herein lies the core challenge of social media for business. You’re in the land of social interaction. Nobody wants a sales pitch here. What they want is contributors that add to and enliven the user experience. And what they really want is something different and new. An original take in social media? Now that garners some views and responses. Here’s some key action points to get you started. 1. Where does your target audience live and what type of content do they most respond to? 2. Once you’ve settled on some key target audiences, define who the key influencers are within those communities and pay attention to the types of content they endorse and share. 3. How can your interaction enliven the conversation? Can you effectively differentiate as a contributor? Most importantly, can you tie this to your key product and brand differentiators? 4. How do you elegantly transition from community ‘supporter’ to community ‘influencer?’ The last point is particularly vital because once you’ve been successful in differentiating your voice to elevate it above the clutter of the crowd, you should be well placed to assume a more influential role as a community leader. Reputation + Authenticity = Influence So, let’s assume you’re doing everything right off the hop. You’re an active and valued contributor in the right communities. Participants have come to respect and appreciate your input. How do you now transition from social interactions to actual transactional relationships? After all, if you’re not selling products or services, how do you justify all these efforts from an ROI perspective? Firstly, if you’ve made your audience aware of your business affiliation but have resisted the temptation to give them an overt sales pitch (instead deferring to the preferred topics of the community), you’ve likely established

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

yourself as both reputable and authentic. This behavior creates brand affinity and customer goodwill, both of which are well worth the time investment spent. Much like an effective PR strategy, creating credibility for your brand within your key social influence spheres can form the foundation of the business case required to validate your ongoing investment in social engagement. Secondly, once your reputation and authenticity is firmly established within a community, most communities will gracefully accept social interactions specific to your business goals, provided your approach respects the 3 core tenets of beneficial social media interaction: 1. The interaction adds value for the majority of the community 2. The interaction is consistent with the authentic and respected social brand you have cultivated 3. The interaction respects the consumers right to make their own choices Turning TOI (Time of Influence) to ROI (Return on Investment) For example, let’s pretend your business is an IT consultancy...etc. that specializes in custom application deployments for an enterprise scale clientele. Given your now successful move from stranger at the dinner party to a respected voice at the table, you can now look for opportunities in which your experience and expertise will add value to the conversation. One of the most effective ways to introduce this content


is by monitoring your fellow ‘key influencers’ for situations in which they’re complaining or articulating a problem with their current IT infrastructure. When that situation inevitably arises, as it will frequently, you can now step forward with informed and credible advice. The best approach is to establish a quick ‘hook’ that potentially gets the larger overall audience considering your advice as a viable solution for their own companies, while inviting the initial participant to continue the conversation offline wherein you can lend them further advice and assistance. Pursuing the latter approach empowers you to better cement the relationship and close the deal, without bogging down the larger social conservation with the minutiae of your more detailed presentation. Your Gift to the Party In summary, the effective rules of engagement for social media are not unlike the rules of discourse for any social engagement – with an upscale dinner party providing some clear parallels. Provided you observe these rules, you

should enjoy fruitful social interactions that you can eventually and elegantly transition into monetized business relationships. So, how do you ensure that you’re always a welcome guest? The key, as always, is to show your appreciation for the host AND to not show up to the party empty handed. Now, I’m not suggesting you arrive with a bottle of wine every time you log onto your preferred social media channels, but it is important to remind yourself that if you can consistently show up with ‘added value’ for your social audience in terms of unique content and perspectives, they will warmly embrace your participation. Furthermore, if you’re consistently a polite and courteous guest that compliments others and respect their opinions, not only will be participation be welcomed, you’ll be ‘liked’ as well. And once you’re liked? Then you’re ready to be the ‘life of the party’ with all the good fortune (both socially and commercially) that comes with it. Until next time, stay strong and stay social!

Pure Canadian Gaming Member profile Pure Canadian Gaming George Goldhoff, President & CEO purecanadiangaming.com Glassdoor recently named George Goldhoff one of Canada’s top 25 CEO’s for 2017, so we decided to find out more about George, and how he is shaping the future of Pure Canadian Gaming, and why employees are voting him one of the top CEO’s in Canada. What’s your story? We are proud to be Alberta’s largest and longest operating casino organization, delivering our unique brand of gaming to Albertans since 1973. We changed our name to Pure Canadian Gaming in 2013, but our history goes back to 1973, with the inception of Alberta Bingo Supplies, which later became known as Casino ABS. Company founder, Heinz Oldach built Casino ABS into one of Alberta’s best gaming companies and we’re pleased to carry his legacy into a new era.

George Goldhoff, president & CEO, Pure Canadian Gaming

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

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Since joining the team as CEO in November, 2011, I continue to develop and strengthen our service-driven culture, while creating a high level entertainment experience for our guests across all 4 casino locations. We are committed to the communities in which we live and work, and are proud to be Alberta’s largest charitable gaming operator offering a premiere gaming experience to people across the province. What are three things people are surprised to learn about your business? 1. The casino operator’s share of slot revenue is 15%; Government – 70% and charities – 15% 2. We have over 300 surveillance cameras in each of our casinos 3. The house does not always win What has surprised you in the last 12 months? Despite the downturn in the economy, our loyal guests may not spend as much as they once did, but they still visit the casino frequently even if just for a meal or to see their favorite team member. What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? Finding creative ways to keep our best staff while improving the morale of all team members. What do you think is the biggest issue impacting Edmonton’s small businesses at this time? The new government taxes including increased liquor tax, tobacco tax, carbon tax, corporate tax, property tax and minimum wage increase, while the economy has weakened providing less discretionary entertainment spending for the average Albertan.

them on an individual level. Pure displays appreciation for a job well done and prides itself on two-way communication. Do you have a personal mantra? Always have a positive attitude, listen to others and have a thirst to continuously learn. As a new Chamber Member, what have your first impressions been? My first impression is that the staff at the Chamber are enthusiastic and welcoming, and becoming a member provides a unified voice for the business community. Our Chamber mandate is to create the best environment for business in Edmonton. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? Persuade government to support business so we can create more jobs. What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? Taking walks though the river valley with my two Australian Shepard’s, Blackjack and Roulette. Apple or android? Apple Your most favorite place in the world? The Adirondack Park Coffee or tea? Tea For more information about Pure Canadian Gaming, head over to purecanadiangaming.com

What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? I take a sincere personal interest in each staff member, and make an effort to connect with

Members in this Issue NorQuest College in All the Right Moves on page 25 City of Edmonton in Building Up, Building Out: Edmonton’s Changing Landscape on page 42 KPMG in To Trend or Not to Trend, That is the Question on page 48 Travel Alberta and The Westin Edmonton in The Royal Alberta Museum is Building its Impact on Edmonton’s Economy on page 52

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


Connecting Business 48th Annual Golf Tournament, Presented By Gateway Casinos

Team PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, led by Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Board Chair James Merkosky enjoying the game from the top of the picturesque Quarry Golf Course.

Fuelled up on a winning breakfast, golfers at the 48th Annual Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Golf Tourney took to their carts to head out for the shotgun start.

Dealing the winning entertainment was Grand Villa Casino with their blackjack table on the green.

After a spirited 18 holes, guests relaxed in the clubhouse and built on the connections made on the course.

Guests had lots of time to connect and network at this always popular annual event.

The team from Gateway Casinos and Entertainment and presenting sponsor of the tourney, having a super fun good time on the green!

Speed Leads

Chamber members and guests enjoying the connection and canapĂŠs at our ever popular Speed Leads event, kindly hosted by our preferred partner Microsoft Edmonton.

The room was energized with guests sharing their elevator pitch and business cards in 45 seconds.

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

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CHOWN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS LTD

Celebrates 45 Years Built on family values; sustained through hard work, reputation and dedication; moving forward boldly to a bright future. By Nerissa McNaughton

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hown Electrical Contractors provides a variety of residential and commercial services, including electrical installations, electrical maintenance, bucket truck and 24-hour emergency service. This year, the company turns 45.

“My father, Bud Chown, started this company in 1972,” reminisces his son, Les Chown. “Bud was a good businessman and an excellent father who understood the distinction between time at work and quality time with his family.” Les remembers a very happy and fulfilling childhood, and Bud’s clients remember him as the hardworking, pleasant man to which they trusted their electrical needs. “When I was young, I worked with my dad,” says Les. “I was that 12-year-old child on job sites! We were very close. When I graduated, it was a given that I’d work for my dad. When he passed away in 2003, I became the company president.”

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Luxury car dealerships are just some of Chown’s high-profile projects

The growth of Chown Electrical over the past decades has been underlined by their willingness to incorporate technology and progressive business practices, while remaining rooted in the values instilled by Bud. “We are very stable,” smiles Les. “We benchmark our annual sales figures and we hit them every year. We are not focused on growth, but rather on doing what we do to the best of our ability, and on maintaining sustainable volume. When that is the focus, growth happens naturally. We are a company dedicated to providing superior service to new and existing clientele, and we take pride in each and every job. Chown could not accomplish this without a loyal and excellent group of people on staff to help us achieve these goals.” Chown Electrical’s portfolio is varied. In addition to residential work, the company is pleased to work with new schools for the Catholic and public school board. They were behind the electrical installations at luxury car dealers Lexus and BMW (Stony Plain Road), and were recently selected to do the electrical work for multi-family condominium builder.

CHOWN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS

780.451.5400 15319 - 116 Ave www.albertaneon.com Alberta Neon would like to congratulate Chown Electrical on 45 years in business! 2

Only 45 years old? Sure doesn't show on ya! Cheers and congrats on your anniversary!

NORTH 780.451.2311

| SOUTH 780.432.2400 | SH.PK. 780.417.9770


Chown counts the South Terwillegar II development among it’s multi-family residence projects.

“I like working with the clients, vendors and staff, and I enjoy the challenge of being able to pick up work in a competitive marketplace,” says Les. He goes on to note that the company has faced its fair share of challenges, but it has yet to find one that they couldn’t overcome together. “The loss of my father in 2003 was very difficult. Those were a large pair of shoes to fill. Some clients and staff wondered if the company would go on. Fortunately, in addition to my father’s influence and instruction, I had several long-term team members to rely on.” Les is profoundly grateful. “These days a challenge is how tightly jobs are scheduled. It’s very competitive out there, but we make sure we have everything covered with staff, tools and the right equipment for each job. We finish our jobs on time.” Chown Electrical remains competitive and efficient by investing in the company and in the staff, empowering the team to grow into positions for which they are best suited.

Schendel Mechanical Contracting Ltd. is a leader in prime mechanical contracting and construction. Central office in Edmonton. Facilities in Edmonton and Red Deer. Serving Alberta and Northern Canada. Phone: 780.447.3400 • Fax: 780.447.4313 • E: schendel@schendel.ca

Congratulations Chown Electrical Contractors on 45 years of success!

17803 - 118 Ave, Edmonton, AB | tirecraft.com

Congratulations on 45 great years to Chown Electrical Contractors. Thank you for allowing us to share in your success. - From all of us at Edmonton Tirecraft 178 St & 118 Ave location • (780) 452-4481

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Chown Electrical completed work on Parkland County’s office addition.

“It’s about staying rooted in those family values, remaining steadfast and rising to meet the challenges as they come,” smiles the company president. He continues, “My father once told me that you have to be able to do someone else’s job if you want to make changes, so you have to get along with everyone. We all have our own input and when we combine our input, we get a better result. Teamwork is the heart of our business. We all work together to achieve a common goal.” One of Chown Electrical’s goals is to give back to the community, and they do this by supporting the Canadian Cancer Society through charitable donations and golf tournament sponsorships. “There is not one person that we could point to and say he or she is responsible for the success of Chown Electrical,” Les admits. “We owe our success to my father for founding the company, to our mechanical and general contractor clients, to the community that supports us and allows us to actively engage in giving back, to each team member and to our potential clients down the road. “As for what comes next, I’m hoping that one day my children will take over the company. Right now, my daughter works in reception and my son is an apprentice. The kids live at home, too, so sometimes work stuff comes up at the dinner table. My wife says, ‘leave work at work!’ “As we look to the future, Chown focuses on sustaining our current work volumes and providing opportunities for our team. We are proud to have 45 years under our belt, and this is just the beginning. This is a company that will be around, doing what we do best, for many more decades. I like to think that my dad would be proud of where we are, too.”

CHOWN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS LTD 12230 163 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5V 1S2 Phone: (780) 447-4525 • chownelectric.com 4


Mike Howes

Sparklean Turns 25 Sparklean uses the latest technology to remediate homes after flood, fire and mould strike. By Nerissa McNaughton

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parklean, part of the DKIÂŽ network, is an emergency restoration company that provides cleaning and janitorial services; and flood, fire and mould remediation. Using an incredible array of technology, Howes and his team are among the fastest and most efficient companies in the Edmonton area to clean, dry and restore damaged homes. The company was launched 25 years ago by Mike Howes, a man with a ready smile and a great sense of humour. Before Sparklean, Howes was the president of a carpet cleaning

company, but he wanted the stability that comes from being one’s own boss, as well as the challenge of more diverse tasks and hands-on work. Howes realized that investing in talent and technology was the way to distinguish Sparklean in the restoration business. The company quickly evolved physically, taking over three bays in their previous location, before moving to a larger location in St. Albert. Over two and a half decades, it evolved in its service offerings as well, providing work in the private, public and insurance sectors.

Sparklean DKI • 25 Years 67


“Technology is what enabled us to grow,” says Howes. “We’ve implemented technology in-house on every level, and that keeps us at the top of our game. “For example, we’ve replaced sand blasting with dry ice blasting. The dry ice sublimates to CO2 gas and dissipates, saving us from having to clean up several thousand pounds of sand at the end of a job. “Ultrasonics clean by vibration and afford the opportunity to clean household contents such as silk plants, toys and electronics that would be too time consuming to clean in the past. “Our Esporta laundry machine is seven feet tall and eight feet wide. It can remediate 160 pounds of laundry at a time using an intense but gentle method. With Esporta, we salvage 85 per cent of items that have been in a fire or affected by a backed up sewer. This is good news for wedding dresses, vintage quilts, leather shoes, etc. “We also have a dry heat trailer that bakes the moisture out of things. In 48 hours, you can get back into a house you thought you had to vacate for 90 days! In the past, a flood meant throwing out drywall and carpets.

®

9659-49 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6E 5Z5 • 780.438.6110

Fibreclean for Sparklean DKI Congratulations to Sparklean on 25 Years of Success!

Garry’s Heating Services Congratulates Sparklean DKI on their 25 years in Business!

#20-320 Circle Close St. Albert AB. T8N 7L5

Ph: 780-459-4919 • garrysheatingservices.com

Sparklean DKI • 25 Years • 2


“It’s a family business,” smiles Howes, noting that his wife is part of the business, and several employees work alongside their sons and daughters, too. “I make this a fun place to work where my staff can have a better life. I tell them ‘you don’t work for me, you work for yourself.’ They understand that.”

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ob, the office cat, adopted the Sparklean family several years ago and now functions as the company’s guard cat. Rather than attacking intruders, he takes the soft approach of gazing at them with huge, curious eyes, which always results in a melted heart, the offering of treats, and many pats. Bob is paid for his dedicated service with comfortable places to nap, treats kept in every office (he knows how to knock on treat doors when he wants a nibble) and the undying love and affection of his work family and Sparklean’s customers.

After 25 years of cleaning and restoring homes, Howes knows that “everyone’s home is their castle. Whatever we are doing to your place, be it taking care of a small patch of mould in an apartment or restoring fire damage in a big house overlooking the River Valley, to us, it’s a high-profile job. The loss is large to you no matter where you live, and we treat each job with the same level of courtesy and efficiency. We are honest about each situation, and we tell customers what they can remediate quickly and easily on their own, or if we need to come in with special equipment.” Sparklean is also very active in the community. When the Fort McMurray fires devastated the northern city, Howes

Congratulations Sparklean DKI on your 25 th anniversary!

With the dry heat trailer, we dry and steam the carpets and get all the moisture out of the drywall. We even polish your furniture. Customers are always saying, ‘how did you do that?’!” The customers are not the only ones that are impressed. It took a while for the insurance companies to believe that Sparklean could clean, dry and remediate homes with their signature speed and efficiency, but once they saw what their technology could do, they were happy to send Sparklean to homes that had insurance claims. “Insurance carriers score remediation companies with a system based on how well they perform, and we have internal dashboards to make sure our score cards are where they need to be,” informs Howes. “Through our technology, reputation and our refined systems, we are getting more and more insurance work. As an independent company in Edmonton, we can keep up.” But it takes more than great tools to run a company. It takes a cohesive team.

from your partners at the carpet studio www.carpetstudio.ca

Sparklean DKI • 25 Years • 3


took 45 people to the site as part of a contingent of 600 DKI operators. He ran project meetings outside of a trailer and rolled up his sleeves with the many men and women that helped to restore the city. Howes is also heavily involved in Rock N’ August, has sat on every committee in St. Albert’s Chamber of Commerce and is on the board of the Eagles Club. Sparklean regularly donates to Stop Abuse in Families Society (SAIF), the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation and many more. “What comes next for Sparklean?” muses Howes. “I know I’m supposed to be thinking about succession planning, but I just love what I do and I have no plans to quit. I see myself still coming to work when I’m 75 and driving my staff crazy. Maybe with a nicer office, though! I enjoy watching the company and my staff grow. I’m at a stage where, for the first time, I can work on the business instead of in the business. It took 25 years to get here, and I want to work on it for another 25 years.”

Expert Insulation Contracting Ltd. would like to congratulate Sparklean DKI on 25 years of business excellence.

Edmonton, Alberta (780) 995.2533 • www.expertinsulation.ca

8 Riel Dr #10, St Albert, AB T8N 3Z7 (780) 459-4539 www.sparkleanrestoration.ca • New Installations • Distribution Systems • Overhead/Underground Services • Lighting Upgrade • Fire Alarm Installations • Utility Coordination • Energy Retrofits/Management • Main Service Upgrades • Voice and Data Cabling • Maintenance and Service Work • Design Build Services • Site Services And Much More

Congratulations Sparklean DKI on 25 years of success!

7 8 0 - 5 6 9 - 5 2 3 2 • w w w. b e c e l e c t r i c . c a

Sparklean DKI • 25 Years • 4


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