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JANUARY 2021 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

Food FOR THOUGHT PM42455512

HESCO PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES OF FOOD SERVICE



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EDMONTON CHAMBER SECTION

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 9 | Number 1

REGULAR COLUMNS

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Alberta Has Many Reasons for Optimism in 2021 By John Liston

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Big Challenges and Opportunities for Manufacturers in 2021 By David MacLean

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Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

CONTENTS

Joy Versus Pleasure By Rick Tiedemann

COVER FEATURE

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Food for Thought HESCO pushes the boundaries of food service By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: CORY WAGNER AND ADAM UNGARIAN. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 9 | Number 1

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

16 35 51 COMPANY PROFILES

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Settle in or Full Speed Ahead? How Businesses are Planning for an Uncertain Future By Bethany Neufeld

Alberta Independent Schools: Serving Students, parents and communities (with directory)

 ental Health Awareness M During the COVID-19 Pandemic – and Beyond By Will Porter

H  ESCO

Celebrates 100 Years

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ALBERTA HAS MANY REASONS FOR OPTIMISM IN 2021 // JOHN LISTON

Alberta Has Many Reasons for Optimism in 2021 BY JOHN LISTON, PRESIDENT, ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP

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he last year marked one of the most difficult for many businesses in our community, the result of the cumulative impact of the pandemic on top of an economy already strained by various national and global factors. Yet after a difficult 2020, the new year brings with it some signs of hope and optimism for Alberta businesses. As of the time of writing, the newest Statistics Canada figures available from the fall show a month-over-month increase in monthly retail sales (+2.5 per cent), restaurant and bar sales (+1.4 per cent) and manufacturing sales (+3.9 per cent). While these monthly numbers with small gains still show a decrease when compared to the same time last year, there’s a 3.5 per cent increase in new vehicle sales compared to one year ago, a stat noteworthy given its comparison to a pre-pandemic period. These are the subtle signs of a province turning the corner from a difficult time. While many concerns remain, there is indeed hope on the horizon. While the coronavirus pandemic has been the central public policy focus for governments in Alberta and elsewhere, several recent decisions mean that businesses face significantly less tax and regulatory hurdles. The creation of the new Invest Alberta Corporation last year, to attract and support investment in the province, is a reason for optimism given the realities about our province that the new Crown Corporation has to share.

job creators in mind, and other measures make Alberta stand out from other jurisdictions. In 2021, Canada may finally become more competitive. Joseph Biden has proposed increasing America’s corporate tax rate by seven per cent. If that happens, Canada, and especially Alberta, will become more competitive, a welcome change after years of losing investment to companies south of the border. While small businesses in other jurisdictions have struggled with sudden and expansive restrictions with minimal notice, Alberta businesses have had comparable stability. More recently, new supports are available for small and mediumsized businesses through the second round of the province’s Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, specifically aimed at helping businesses operating in areas under a watch list subject to added health restrictions. While the consequences of the pandemic, the global drop in oil prices, and lockdowns will undoubtedly be felt for some time, there are indications that consumer confidence is returning, that Alberta remains a jurisdiction committed to supporting job creators and growth, and ultimately, that 2021 marks the beginning of the comeback. The year that ended was difficult, there’s no doubt about it, and significant hurdles remain. However, there is reason for hope and optimism in the year to come. Our province has faced many challenges throughout our history. This too is one we can overcome.

The lowest corporate tax rate in the country, the lack of sales taxes and payroll taxes compared to other provinces, the government’s continuing focus on red tape reduction with

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2021

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BIG CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR MANUFACTURERS IN 2021 // DAVID MACLEAN

Big Challenges and Opportunities for Manufacturers in 2021 BY DAVID MACLEAN

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anadian Manufacturers & Exporters’ biennial Management Issues Survey (MIS) is one of our most important tools for taking the pulse of the manufacturing community. It provides important insights into the current conditions of manufacturers, their expectations for the future, and their most pressing challenges and needs. Once again, survey participants represented a broad crosssection of the Canadian manufacturing sector, with 563 respondents spanning at least 19 industries. We heard from small businesses with only a handful of workers, all the way up to large, multinational corporations that boast over 1,000 employees. The MIS has taken on greater significance this year since it was conducted in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic. While the overall industry experienced a strong rebound coming out of the first lockdown, activity has cooled markedly in line with exhausted pent-up demand and a second wave of infections. Not surprisingly, our survey found that more manufacturers have seen their production decrease on a year-over-year basis than those that have seen it increase. Many manufacturers are welcoming government support to help get through the crisis, including more than half that have received or are receiving Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) payments. Unfortunately, the economic scars of the pandemic will linger for years to come. While 30 per cent of manufacturers have already seen their production return to the prepandemic levels of February 2020 and an additional 6 per

cent think they will reach this threshold by the end of this year, many more are anticipating a more drawn-out recovery. About 60 per cent are purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep their workers safe. This has emerged as a major new expense for manufacturers. For those that are purchasing PPE this year due to COVID-19, average costs to-date were estimated at $201,500. For the full year, average costs were expected to rise to $373,400. Longstanding challenges for manufacturers also resurfaced. For example, 60 per cent reported having immediate labour and skills shortages, down from about 70 per cent in 2018 but up from 40 per cent in 2016. While this year’s finding may be counterintuitive, it is conceivable that the extreme circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbating existing labour challenges. First, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and its successor, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), may disincentivize work. Also, people may have pulled back from the labour force because of health concerns or childcare obligations. We mustn’t be complacent. Once the current crisis has passed, Canada has an opportunity to win back manufacturing investment. Due to the disruptions in supply at the beginning of the pandemic, more than half said they are looking to diversify supply chains to avoid overreliance on foreign markets. Canada should step up its global competitiveness so it can attract investment from firms looking to reshore manufacturing. But to stand any chance of success, attention must turn quickly to addressing the main issues identified in this survey—labour and skills shortages and the overall business tax environment. CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS & EXPORTERS (CME) IS THE VOICE OF CANADIAN MANUFACTURING. CME REPRESENTS MORE THAN 2,500 COMPANIES WHO ACCOUNT FOR AN ESTIMATED 82 PER CENT OF MANUFACTURING OUTPUT AND 90 PER CENT OF CANADA’S EXPORTS.

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Lisa Baroldi Named New President and CEO of BOMA Edmonton; Percy Woods Retiring After 23 Years Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Edmonton has hired Lisa Baroldi to succeed long-time president and CEO, Percy Woods, who is retiring after more than two decades of leading the association. Baroldi assumed her role at BOMA Edmonton in late November. As president and CEO, she will serve building owners and managers, service providers, and young commercial real estate professionals through education, advocacy, networking, and information. She will further provide thought leadership on industry trends and issues, such as proptech, business continuity and adaptation, big data, ESG, migration, taxation, city building, safety and security, consumer and investor behaviours, pandemics, the future of work, 5G and more. Baroldi will also partner with members and stakeholders to act as a dedicated ambassador of the industry and promoter of the city, province, and country. Baroldi is an award-winning business and community leader who has a strong reputation in Edmonton and across Canada. Prior to joining BOMA Edmonton, Baroldi acted as senior advisor of the Canada-UAE Business Council in Toronto and Dubai, and executive director of an economic development authority in Northern Alberta. “BOMA Edmonton is a solid organization thanks to Percy’s incredible work over the years, and thanks to the contributions of many talented directors, members, staff, and partners,” says Baroldi. “I look forward to leading BOMA Edmonton into its next chapter, and to representing the industry and broader community as we face new challenges and opportunities. Commercial real estate is an essential industry that shapes the communities in which we live. I’m honoured to assume this new role with BOMA.” Woods joined BOMA Edmonton in 1997. Under Woods, BOMA Edmonton flourished, increasing its membership fivefold. Today, BOMA Edmonton members represent more than 70 per cent of Edmonton companies that own or manage office, retail, industrial, or investment properties.

Woods was also active outside of Edmonton and has become synonymous with the BOMA brand throughout Canada. He helped to found BOMA Canada and became the first chair of all BOMA executives from coast to coast. Other local legacies attributed to Woods include the successful annual BOMA Edmonton Leasing Guide, and annual awards of excellence and top-rated professional development education to thousands of commercial real estate professionals. “It has been a pleasure working with BOMA members and staff for the last 23 years,” says Woods. “The development, growth and success of BOMA Edmonton during my time can be attributed to the outstanding support of great members and dedicated, hardworking boards over the years. I have also been able to partner with an excellent team of staff.” “On behalf of the Board, I’d like to welcome Lisa to BOMA Edmonton and congratulate Percy for his outstanding 23 years of service. He will definitely be missed,” says BOMA Edmonton chair Sidney Waskiewich. “Lisa will work to elevate BOMA and steer the organization and commercial real estate industry into the future. We’re excited that someone of her caliber has accepted this role with enthusiasm.”

ABOVE: PERCY WOODS AND LISA BAROLDI.

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It Just Wasn’t Party Time

Late last year, when Edmonton’s second wave of COVID hit with health concerns and cautions as well as new provincial restrictions, the planning for MNP’s annual staff holiday party became an urgent dilemma. The timing and the rules – it was simply not party time, for anybody. “The holiday season party has always been a special way for us to recognize and say thanks to our team,” explains Dustin Sundby, MNP’s regional managing partner for Edmonton, Leduc and Fort McMurray. “Due to COVID, getting together wasn’t an option but we still wanted to do something.” MNP’s ingenuity kicked in to spread the party around, help local business and still celebrate the more than 315 members of the MNP Edmonton team. “Our downtown communities in the province are struggling and in particular, the food and beverage sector. In Edmonton, for example, we specifically focused on downtown restaurants as we believed this area was suffering the most with reduced people coming downtown. Those businesses are the foundational fabric of downtown, so it was an easy decision to support them,” Sundby explains. Most hospitality sector stats show that restaurants are a notoriously risky business category and, as a business fact generality, staying open with single digit margins and straddling lockdown-related business struggles, restaurateurs manage a tricky business model. Sundby notes, “Restaurant cash flows have been severely affected. Yes, the government programs have helped but restaurants still have the same fixed costs that they had prior to COVID, while their top-line revenues have been severely eroded. A large percentage of restaurants are now operating in a deficit position. “Many restaurants are not even breaking even. They are being forced to draw down on equity levels built up from

prior years or – even worse – they are doubling down and investing all personal savings just to make up the shortfall. Restaurants are at a critical point and anything our communities can do to support helps be it take out, dine in or curbside delivery. So, within each region we picked a list of local restaurants from which each team member could choose a gift certificate. Our focus was on independently owned, local businesses but we did include one mainstream option in all three locations.” A personalized note from Sundby went out in advance and team members had the option to pick up the gift certificate in their regional office or receive the gift by mail. It was not only an apropos way to seasonally celebrate the MNP Edmonton team, it acknowledged the challenges of the 2020 season and boosted local restaurant businesses with $45,000 worth of support. The exciting project started in Alberta but quickly extended to all MNP regions across Canada. “When we get out of this, we need to ensure the essential services and support sector, like our restaurants, are able to stay in business,” he says with positivity. Since the ripple effects of the COVID fallout also took their toll on various other Edmonton community needs and causes, and because community boosting and giving back is at the core of MNP’s focus, last month the company also made donations to Edmonton’s Food Bank and Santas Anonymous, the Wood Buffalo Food Bank in Fort McMurray and Santa’s Helpers in Leduc.

ABOVE: DUSTIN SUNDBY, REGIONAL MANAGING PARTNER FOR EDMONTON, LEDUC AND FORT MCMURRAY.

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SETTLE IN OR FULL SPEED AHEAD? // FINANCIAL PLANNING

SETTLE IN OR

FULL SPEED AHEAD?

HOW BUSINESSES ARE PLANNING FOR AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE BY BETHANY NEUFELD

T

Juggling health guidelines and dynamic gathering restrictions has presented the industry with significant challenges and a sense of caution when it comes to examining business finances.

For some businesses in the region, staying afloat has required a reconfiguration of business models and a dash of innovation. Finding ways to not only provide services for clients in line with provincial mandates but also keep revenues above the red line is the new ‘normal’.

“We’ve had to look over our books again as everything we do is impacted by this pandemic, from the smallest things like giveaways and wedding planning books. We need to ensure there’s income to justify the money being spent,” Tong explains. “We’re dealing with uncertainties on almost a daily basis. At any point events can be terminated or capacity allowances changed – then, so too does the need for an event planner. We’re projecting this might be the next two years and are working on ways to be able to stay open amidst this pandemic.”

As Jacqueline Tong of Rozé Events shares, the pandemic is no minor obstruction for event planners in the region.

Despite financial hardship, the local business is looking ahead and adjusting business plans to prepare for financial strain.

he end of the year is always a time for retrospection. For businesses, the final quarter presents an opportunity to review annual performance, identify shortfalls, and plan for what hopes to be a prosperous new year. In the midst of the COVID-19 economic climate, there has been no shortage of financial revaluation and strategic maneuvering. The fight to keep profit margins above water rages on as businesses work to navigate health guidelines and a sluggish economy.

ABOVE: TOWN SQUARE BREWING.

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SETTLE IN OR FULL SPEED AHEAD? // FINANCIAL PLANNING

“GOING FORWARD WE’RE GOING TO BE LOOKING AT MORE ONLINE SERVICES, MORE PHYSICAL PRODUCTS, AND REASSESSING PREVIOUS SERVICES THAT WE WERE ABLE TO OFFER FOR FREE, AS EVERYTHING COSTS TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE GENERATING INCOME AND KEEP OUR DOORS OPEN,” TONG SHARES.

Sitting tight and waiting out the storm is not a viable option for those in the event industry – and for Rozé Events, planning for the muddled path ahead includes a revamp of services. “Going forward we’re going to be looking at more online services, more physical products, and reassessing previous services that we were able to offer for free, as everything costs to be able to continue generating income and keep our doors open,” Tong shares. Event planners aren’t alone in the race to stay ahead of the pandemic. For those in customer-facing industries, COVID-19 has been a direct hit. As Brandon Boutin of Town Square Brewing Co. shares, the global health pandemic has presented no shortage of challenges. “We had two very interesting dynamics happen all at once. On one hand, our restaurant was forced to close causing us to have zero revenue from that portion of the business. Then on the other hand, the brewery experienced a spike in demand, which is a saving grace but also a strain when you are racing to get ingredients for the product which would not be available for sale until, on average, a month later,” Boutin says. “The juggling of cash got very interesting and we had to get creative fast. We asked our suppliers for longer terms in a time of global uncertainty and we worked long hours to expedite our product production so we can turn a positive

revenue stream, which was just cut in half by losing the revenue from the restaurant.” For the south Edmonton business, the way forward demanded a revaluation of priorities and a sturdy business plan cognisant of uncertain economic realities. “Priority number one was trying to retrain and rehire our staff to help mitigate the impact of this global crisis. With all the closures, fears, uncertainties and the disruption of our team’s ‘normal,’ we tried to create stability any way we could. Cross training and job creation were key. Cross training our team has helped balance hours for not only us as a company but also our team, while providing them with new skills and additional hours,” Boutin explains. “Priority number two was keeping the love for our craft alive.” Boutin notes a sharp rise in demand for delivery has been a saving grace. While a notable barrier, COVID-19 has been the catalyst for the business to move forward with preliminary plans for online services and new products. “In a time of uncertainty, it is so easy for a business to pull back on new product development to minimize the risk and cost of new product performances. For us, we felt it was key to keep the passion alive and utilize this time as an opportunity to share with as many as we could,” Boutin

ABOVE: JACQUELINE TONG, ROZÉ EVENTS.

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SETTLE IN OR FULL SPEED AHEAD? // FINANCIAL PLANNING

shares. “With the development of our online platform and home deliveries, it provided us a wider array of customers that may never make it down to our brick and mortar.” In addition to quick maneuvering, the local business worked with its financial advisor and banking provider to utilize federal funding. Though welcome, Boutin notes the funding was not a long-term solution. “I am not going to lie, meeting some of the requirements has not been easy and as most, if not all, hospitality-focused businesses would agree, we wish there was more financial support provided for us than currently offered.” Despite the uncertainty posed by the global health pandemic, Town Square Brewing Co. remains focused on expanding capacity and capitalizing on opportunities to grow. “Even though this crisis brings constraints to cash flow, delays on ingredients, rising cost of supplies and possible slower market growth, there are still opportunities and room to grow as a team and a business, which will springboard Town Square Brewing Co. to a new level once this interesting season is over.” Flexibility and drumming up new ways to feed revenue appear to be common trends amongst business owners, and not just for those in the service industry. As explained by Courtney Buhler, CEO of Edmonton-based beauty product supplier Sugarlash PRO, navigating the pandemic has required an honest analysis of financials, flexibility when adjusting to new economic realities, and a forward-looking business plan. “We really had to take a hard look at our finances and understand where we stood. These insights affected all areas from headcount, spending, and product development. Our suppliers were also impacted in varying parts of the world, which impacted our supply chain, making us look at our

“EVEN THOUGH THIS CRISIS BRINGS CONSTRAINTS TO CASH FLOW, DELAYS ON INGREDIENTS, RISING COST OF SUPPLIES AND POSSIBLE SLOWER MARKET GROWTH, THERE ARE STILL OPPORTUNITIES AND ROOM TO GROW AS A TEAM AND A BUSINESS, WHICH WILL SPRINGBOARD TOWN SQUARE BREWING CO. TO A NEW LEVEL ONCE THIS INTERESTING SEASON IS OVER.” inventory and processes differently as well,” she says. “As much as the pandemic forced us to take it day-by-day, we knew we couldn’t stop moving forward with the plans we were supposed to do; we pushed our goals for the following year. If we stopped, we wouldn’t have anything to carry us forward.” Like many businesses impacted by COVID-19, Sugarlash PRO has accessed funding programs and breaks to regain lost traction. The financial assistance provided stable footing but relying on the aid alone would not be enough for the company to achieve its business goals. “The grants and subsidies undoubtedly are helping many businesses, but they weren’t going to help us fast enough. Ultimately, we had a choice: look to a subsidy to help us or implement these initiatives to help us do what we needed to survive.”

ABOVE: TOWN SQUARE BREWING.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2021

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SETTLE IN OR FULL SPEED AHEAD? // FINANCIAL PLANNING

“THE FUTURE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE UNCERTAIN, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE DEALING WITH A PANDEMIC. IF WE WANT TO KEEP GROWING OUR COMPANY, WE HAVE TO TRY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO LIFT OURSELVES OUT OF THE WEEDS OF THE DAY TO DAY AND KEEP OUR GOALS IN CLEAR FOCUS,” BUHLER SHARES. With sales taking a hit, the business has looked to their online services and shifted the focus to promoting learning courses. To stabilize revenue and support lash artists, many of which have found themselves out of work due to shutdowns, Sugarlash PRO has offered product discounts, webinars, and free lifetime access to one of their most popular courses.

50 YEARS STRONG 4710 82 AVE Edmonton AB T6B 0E4 Phone: 780-465-6425 • Fax: 780-466-4943 Email: info@ah-steel.com • ah-steel.com

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“The future is always going to be uncertain, especially when you are dealing with a pandemic. If we want to keep growing our company, we have to try as much as possible to lift ourselves out of the weeds of the day to day and keep our goals in clear focus,” Buhler shares. It should come as no surprise that COVID-19 has placed businesses in precarious positions. A slowing economy paired with a global health pandemic is not what one would call an ideal environment to conduct business. As businesses around the region are exemplifying, making it through a challenging environment takes commitment and a willingness to embrace change.

ABOVE: COURTNEY BUHLER, CEO OF SUGARLASH PRO.


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FOOD FOR THOUGHT // COVER

Food FOR THOUGHT

HESCO PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES OF FOOD SERVICE

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

I

n 1921, the capital city looked a lot different. The population of 58,821 was poised to grow alongside a city – and a province – that was experiencing a construction boom. Visionary and entrepreneur R. J. Talbot knew that as Edmonton and the surrounding towns grew, so would the hotels and restaurants that supported the population. Rather than open a restaurant as did many forward-thinking businesspeople of the times, Talbot opened a business to supply the restaurant industry with stoves, floor wax, cooking utensils, table linens and everything else needed for a successful eatery. Fast forward to 2006 and HESCO is thriving, still supplying Edmonton and area with an increasing array of food service necessities. It was in 2006 that Larry and Adam Ungarian, father and son, bought the business, ushering in the next evolution of the company – the expansion to building commercial kitchens. In 2017 Cory Wagner joined as president. Along with a team of designers, trades, and salespeople, HESCO continues to define everything food service supply is, and what it can become. “My father ran what was, at the time, a competitor’s food service brand,” says Ungarian. “We thought, why are we doing this for others when we can do it for ourselves? So, when the opportunity came along to purchase HESCO, we did.” Wagner adds, “For the longest time it was formally known as the Hotel Equipment and Supply Company, but everyone was calling it HESCO for short. We rebranded with that name in 2020.”

Ungarian and Wagner had been friends for more than a decade, and both had experience in running high profile businesses. Ungarian asked Wagner to join HESCO, and kept asking for three years. “There was finally a ‘beer that broke the camel’s back,’” laughs Wagner. “But looking back, I did feel it would be a unique challenge to take a family-owned business and grow it into a larger enterprise.” He couldn’t be happier about his decision to join and loves the daily aspects of his role as president. “My father, who is still a partner, is slowly retiring,” informs Ungarian. “While he’s still here he isn’t involved in the dayto-day operations as much. As a businessperson I know I can’t do it alone. Having Wagner on board means I can do what I do best, which is sell, create, design teams, and focus on building business relationships.” Over the last century, food service has changed, and so has HESCO. This constant evolution is something the partners welcome. Remaining agile with an eye to the future has enabled the company to thrive, even during the pandemic when many restaurants are struggling. Wagner explains, “We are a young, energetic company in what is often thought of as an old-school line of business. HESCO’s focus is increasingly becoming technology driven, which makes us even more efficient. Additionally, over the last few years we have really driven the business to collaborate

RIGHT: CORY WAGNER AND ADAM UNGARIAN. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT // COVER

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT // COVER

more with architects and project managers so we can offer products and services outside of the restaurant business. Now we build kitchens and provide supplies for laboratory facilities, daycares, hotels, corporate offices, oil and gas camps, and so much more. We are growing beyond the borders of operating within one industry, and geographically we are growing beyond the borders of Alberta and Western Canada.” Ungarian agrees, saying, “We now have seven designers on staff, which is quite a few more than our nearest competitor in Edmonton. We’ve pivoted to work with various chains such as Chopped Leaf, Canadian Brewhouse and Craft Beer Market. We work with senior care facilities, hospital programs and more.”

Being agile and entering new markets has always been the driver of HESCO’s growth, even during times of economic downturn in Alberta. “We have grown in the double digits over the last two years, getting into more capital intensive projects,” says Wagner, “but the things I’m most proud of is taking a company that was paper-driven and leveraging a lot of technology to make us more efficient. This allows us to grow our sales with the team we already have in place. We are now far more efficient with our revamp of processes and our inclusion of technology.” Wagner does admit, however, that making the switch came with some challenges.

ABOVE: HESCO’S SHOWROOM. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT // COVER

“When I came in there was fear that there would be changes, which is understandable. But now the team can look back and see how those changes were worthwhile.” They both credit the team as a large part of the company’s success, saying, “We hire people that work hard, but more importantly, work smart. It’s important to do the hard work, but also to have fun. HESCO seeks out entrepreneurial minded individuals that help us grow the brand. We are open to suggestions and ideas and enjoy it when our team helps make decisions on behalf of the company.” Relying on the team has become increasingly important to Ungarian. “As the company is growing, my role is changing,” he says. “I’m more involved with the daily operations, not just with the customers, and I have been enjoying that. We have really good people on the team that have taken over the contracting side. At first I wanted to do everything on my own, but I’ve learned to let go of the reins and delegate.” “The pandemic has really allowed us to reflect on the value of the people who are here,” adds Wagner. “We have seen the results many times over of valuing our team and putting them first.” The duo are not only intent on growing the company; they both are focused on personal and professional development to ensure they can be at their best as family men and as business leaders. “I grow my skillset by reading and gathering as much information as possible,” admits Wagner. “Adam probably cringes when I send him links at 11 pm at night saying, ‘look at what they are doing in this company! Look what they are doing in Europe to make kitchens more efficient!’ I love gathering information and seeing how it can help what we are doing at HESCO.” Ungarian raises an eyebrow. “I grow my skill set by reading what he sends me,” he replies dryly. Whether they are reading about food service innovation overseas or pivoting to serve a wider variety of industries, one thing is certain: Edmonton will remain, as Wagner calls it, HESCO’s nucleus.

“I was born and raised in Edmonton. It’s a city that I have always loved,” Wagner confirms. Although we have had an office in Calgary since 2015 and are looking at opportunities throughout western Canada, we have no desire to move our headquarters or leave this city. Ever. I love the people. I love the benefit that you get to celebrate more seasons. Winters make us appreciate our trips down south (when we could safely travel). I have four kids, and this is a great place to raise a family.” Ungarian agrees, “I have two girls; my family and I love the framework of the city. A lot of businesses like to support

ABOVE: HESCO’S WAREHOUSE AND TEST KITCHEN. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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JANUARY 2021 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


FOOD FOR THOUGHT // COVER

TO COOK OR NOT TO COOK

contributions, the management team says, “we like to keep under the radar.” Instead, they let the impact of their work speak for itself.

U

HESCO started a century ago to supply Edmonton and area’s rapidly growing food service sector, and that visionary spirit has seen the company through countless economic, political, population, and industrial changes. Now, with the pandemic upending the food industry on a global scale, HESCO is poised to evolve again.

ngarian and Wagner have dedicated their career to food service and the advancement of eco-friendly, efficient, products – from takeout containers to linens to appliances and everything in between – across all industries. Wherever food is prepared in Western Canada, they want to have an influence. So, inquiring minds want to know…do they cook? “I robustly support our local restaurants by ordering in,” laughs Ungarian. “I do love cooking,” admits Wagner. “Both my wife and I cook. The best time for me is cooking at the cabin or using our smoker or barbeque. I like to slow cook things all day when I have unlimited time.”

other local businesses here, and we have been blessed with that. There is a true sense of community. The Oilers, the river valley… in the summer Edmonton is one of the nicest places around. There is always plenty to do and the city continues to grow.” In support of the city they love, Wagner and Ungarian give back to the community personally as well as professional through HESCO. The food service company has been a big supporter of The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation for more than a decade. Patrons of HESCO can receive a discount on products by bringing food hamper items to the showroom. Bottles are collected at the offices for charity, and ongoing innovation is undertaken to ensure HESCO’s products are as environmentally friendly as possible. The management team and staff are routinely found volunteering at a variety of events around the city. Although HESCO has won supplier awards and has been recognized throughout the industry for its innovations and

“As we change and diversify, it’s fine to keep up with the best technology in pots and pans, but now we are becoming experts in eco-friendly disposables and chemicals as well,” says Ungarian, speaking to the need to supply restaurants with takeout containers, and designing appliances like dishwashers with more environmentally friendly chemical solutions. “There is also the need to rethink the very design of kitchens to accommodate things like SkipTheDishes and Uber Eats. Important aspects to consider are separate places where the drivers pick up food. Does the establishment want them walking through the whole restaurant? Things to consider instead are heated take out lockers and take out windows. Even in the world of fine dining there are new aspects to accommodate where the world is going,” Wagner adds. For more than a century HESCO has been ahead of the curve by anticipating where the industry would go and arriving a step or two ahead. With Edmonton, Alberta, and indeed the world changing rapidly, HESCO not only keeps pace, it leads the charge. “I thank my father, Cory, our customers and the staff for helping us to continue to grow,” concludes Ungarian. “I thank Adam and Larry for the opportunity to help take HESCO into the future,” counters Wagner. They both look forward to continuing to attract entrepreneurialminded talent to the team, growing into new markets and new lines of business, new acquisitions, and creating efficient, eco-friendly, clean and innovative ways for everyone in every industry to enjoy the meals of their choice.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2021

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Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

HESCO: Still Agile at 100 The food service company always looks ahead to meet the industry’s changing and challenging needs by Nerissa McNaughton

H

ESCO is a kitchen design and supply company that creates efficient, modern, eco-friendly food service spaces for restaurants, corporations, institutions, oil and gas camps, and hotels. Established in 1921, the company has consistently evolved to meet a changing market. As HESCO prepares to celebrate 100 years in business, the brand pivots again, taking on the new challenges ushered in by the pandemic.

HESCO || Celebrating 100 Years 28

Takeout containers and pickup stations for individuals, SkipTheDishes and Uber Eats drivers are just a few of ways HESCO is innovating and leading in the food service industry. The story of HESCO began in 1921 when founder R.J. Talbot opened the doors to supply a growing restaurant sector in Edmonton with appliances,


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One of the ways the company is proving its agility and responsiveness is how quickly it expanded its product line during the pandemic. cleaning supplies, utensils and linens. Larry and Doris Ungarian and their son Adam bought HESCO in 2006 and expanded the business model to include designing and building commercial kitchens. In 2015, HESCO expanded to Calgary in a move that Adam Ungarian vice president, sales calls, “an opportunity to diversify in two markets.” In 2017, Cory Wagner joined as president and spearheaded the implementation of technology that would make HESCO even more agile and customer-focused.

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With projects that see them outfitting oil and gas camps, upgrading food service in daycares, providing outstanding design for corporate breakrooms, and – of course – transforming old and new restaurants and chains across western Canada, there isn’t a project HESCO isn’t willing to take on. Currently HESCO is renovating an airplane hangar into a banquet facility, among other projects that run the gambit from $20,000 to $5 million. Ungarian and Wagner feel both humbled and proud that HESCO has continued to grow even though the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on the food service industry. They credit this ongoing success to their ability to consult, design for, and provide products for any industry, not just restaurants; HESCO’s ability to pivot; and the strong relationships they have carefully cultivated over the years. “Our team stands out,” says Ungarian. “At the end of the day, food service companies sell a lot of the same products, so it comes down to relationships. You can make promises but if you don’t live up to your word, you lose customers. Wagner agrees, adding, “Networking and communicating with the team and with customers is also very important to us, and are key components of our success.”

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HESCO || Celebrating 100 Years || 3

One of the ways the company is proving its agility and responsiveness is how quickly it expanded its product line during the pandemic. In addition to supplying


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100TH ANNIVERSARY! Congratulations on 100 years in business Head Office: Ostrem Chemical Co. Ltd. 2310 - 80th Avenue • Edmonton, AB, Canada • T6P 1N2 Phone: 780.440.1911 • Fax: 780.440.1241

Congratulations HESCO Foodservice Ltd. on your 100 th year anniversary!

HESCO customers with face shields, masks, gloves, anti-theft hand sanitizing stations, and cleaning supplies, the company offers a line of eco-friendly compostable food packaging containers that keep food hot and fresh for takeout and delivery, while allowing the restaurant to remain committed to reducing landfill waste. This option is very much needed in a time when restaurants are doing everything they can to safely serve customers and keep their doors open, despite dining curfews and reduced seating capacity. Edmonton restrictions on indoor gatherings pushed many restaurants to not only reduce or close diningin service, but to create takeout menus and offer

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HESCO || Celebrating 100 Years || 4


delivery. Despite working hard in the past to reduce the use of plastic containers and cutlery, for many, the only option in keeping the doors open was to stock up on single-use wares. HESCO’s solution of biodegradable takeout containers and cutlery offers an affordable solution.

CONGRATULATIONS ON

100 YEARS WELL DONE!

In addition to PPE, biodegradable takeout containers, and other items that help restaurants weather the storm of COVID-19, HESCO provides a variety of products that business owners can use to expand their services and offer increased safety to their teams. For example, an event planning company can purchase slushie machines to rent to families celebrating milestones at home. Daycares and other facilities benefit from dishwashers and fridges with safer coolants and chemicals. “We cater to any market, breaking the mold of what people think we are,” says Wagner. “Everyone in any industry is a customer.”

“We cater to any market, breaking the mold of what people think we are,” says Wagner. “Everyone in any industry is a customer.”

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HESCO || Celebrating 100 Years || 5

With their finger on the pulse of the food service industry, Ungarian and Wagner are also aware of the ever-growing influence of the Food Network, Cooking Channel, and other shows that promote food and food service. “What cooking channels have done is made the chef lifestyle sexy,” admits Wagner. “It has created a young and budding group of very talented, sophisticated chefs in our cities. When you look at the chefs now, they are in their early 20s and 30s; the industry has benefited from the younger generation getting into food service.” Ungarian adds, “Everyone likes to eat, and many people want to open a restaurant. We see, understand, and respond to this influence.” The new generation of chefs are very interested in being as efficient as possible while minimizing waste. To accommodate both longstanding and the newest influx of clients, HESCO recently purchased a fabrication shop to move the creation, innovation, and manufacturing of stainless steel appliances in-house. Through its own facility HESCO works with chemists and engineers to reduce the amount of chemicals needed in its appliances, and to replace parts and liquid solutions with safer long-term options. HESCO has had many successes over the past 100 years and continues to be the company of choice


to take brands like JW Marriot, Chopped Leaf, The Canadian Brewhouse, and more into the future with sustainably run, efficient kitchens. Ungarian and Wagner are particularly proud of HESCO’s work on JW Marriot Edmonton ICE District, where project restrictions only allowed contractors on site during certain hours, and deliveries were only permitted in the wee hours of the morning. HESCO had the expertise to work within these parameters and deliver the project (a catering kitchen, two dining kitchens, bars) on time. “We are currently building a massive food service facility for the Kitimat LNG project,” says Ungarian. “This project will service a 5,000+ person workcamp.” Despite being busy with a variety of projects across an even greater variety of industries, HESCO finds

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HESCO || Celebrating 100 Years || 6


time to give back. Being community minded is of the utmost importance to the entire team in Edmonton and Calgary, which is why you’ll find HESCO employees and management volunteering, sponsoring events, collecting bottles for charity and supporting local food banks. As HESCO gears up to celebrate 100 years, the brand proudly looks back on its roots. Talbot’s foresight in seeing how the restaurant industry in Edmonton would grow, the Ungarian’s vision of expanding into commercial kitchens and opening up a branch in Calgary, Wagner’s proactivity in moving up the company to a technological focus, and the many projects of all sizes provide a firm foundation for future success. With the fast move to biodegradables to help restaurants maintain low carbon loads while adapting to new industry needs, and with a variety of products and in-house engineering to provide best quality, safest products and services, HESCO looks forward to another century of success.

Congratulations HESCO Food Service Ltd.

Ungarian and Wagner conclude, “The future is about growth: growth in market share, growth of the core business, growth geographically, and growing into new segments.” Ungarian and Wagner conclude, “The future is about growth: growth in market share, growth of the core business, growth geographically, and growing into new segments.” Learn more about HESCO’s history and exciting future by following the brand on Facebook and by visiting www.hesco.ca.

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

ALBERTA INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS:

SERVING STUDENTS, PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES

I

ndependent schools (referred to as private schools in legislation) have been part of the fabric of Alberta since the province joined confederation. In fact there are independent schools that have been operating consistently since the early 1900s. Over the years there has been incremental growth in the number of students attending independent schools, as well as expansion in the number and types of schools. This year there are over 40,000 students in Alberta who attend an independent school. This includes students who attend community based Early Childhood Services organizations, and students who are home educated but are registered with an independent school.

Parents choose to send their children to independent schools for many reasons. Some schools are operated with a special focus on students with specific learning needs. Others are built to offer a unique type of educational approach like Montessori or Waldorf. Sometimes parents choose a school that respects and supports their child’s faith and world view (like Sikh, Jewish, Muslim or Christian), or because they want their child to learn about their culture, or for a specific academic, athletic or other educational focus. This past summer the government of Alberta formally recognized the rights of parents to choose the education for their children by passing school choice legislation.

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There are misconceptions about private school, namely that it is a perk available only to the wealthy, privileged, or exceptionally talented. As Eifert points out, those myths are untrue.


Private Schools: The Power of Choice

C

anada ranks high on the global index when it comes to countries with the best education systems, and that is due, in part, to the range of options that allow parents to match schools to the needs of their child. For some, that means private school. “From a parental perspective, choice is all about doing what is in the best interest of your children. Parents, more than anyone else, know their children. They know their children’s strengths and challenges, their likes and dislikes, and their personality quirks,” says David Eifert, superintendent of Progressive Academy. “Choice in education provides parents with the ability to find a setting that will best enable each child to be successful, engaged, supported, and challenged. As any parent who has more than one child knows, no two children are the same and what may work for one child may not be the best choice for another.” He goes on to note that its more than a choice – it’s a right. “From a philosophical perspective, parental choice in education is a basic human right. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Rights, Article 26 (3) states that “parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Canada’s Constitutional Documents more indirectly recognize this, but the province of Alberta has clearly voiced its commitment to parental choice in its Education Act and the various regulations that flow from this act.” There are misconceptions about private school, namely that it is a perk available only to the wealthy, privileged, or exceptionally talented. As Eifert points out, those myths are untrue. “We prefer the term independent to private, as the term ‘private’ has connotations of elitism and the vast majority of Alberta’s private schools are not elite schools,” Eifert confirms. “A 2017 Fraser Institute report showed that only 17.7 per cent of independent schools in the province could be considered to be elite. If those schools are taken out of the mix, families who enrolled their children in independent schools have levels of average after-tax income comparable to or slightly below those of families in public schools.”

13212 106 Ave Edmonton AB T5N-1A3 Telephone: (780) 455-8344 Email: info@progressiveacademy.ca

“Some schools offer some bursaries and financial aid, but their ability to do this is limited,” Eifert further explains. “The per student revenue available to these schools from tuition fees and government grants is most often below the per student revenue available to public schools. Therefore, most families make a conscious choice to place their children in the school that is best for them. They often choose to pay tuition fees instead of spending on sports, travel, larger homes or newer vehicles. Some parents enroll the support of grandparents to help finance the tuition expenses.” For the parents that choose private school, the value is in the fit between the child’s needs and the delivery of education. “Many parents want a school that is the best fit for their children,” Eifert reiterates. “That might mean they want a school where teachers very deliberately look at the qualities of each child and work with the parents to set up programs that will engage and challenge the child. It also might mean they want a school with smaller class sizes that allow teachers to better know and support each child. Some parents choose it because of a specific program focus, such as experiential education, high academics, international languages, fine arts, sports, or technology. Others make the choice because the school is founded on values and beliefs that parallel those taught in the home. Yet others realize that their children need specialized supports that can be provided within a specific school.” Eifert concludes, “Private schools are almost always schools who are begun by groups of parents or individuals who care deeply about the education of their children and who are passionate about a certain educational philosophy, method, belief system, or focus. These school communities are made up of families who support the mission and vision of the school and believe it is the best match for their child(ren). Thus, it is important for parents to know their child, research the school and find a good fit in which the school will engage, while challenging and supporting the child in a way that compliments the parents’ approach at home.” To learn more about how private schools operate in Alberta, visit www.alberta.ca/private-schools.aspx.


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

For the past 50 years the government has also recognized that independent schools serve the public good by providing partial funding for students attending independent schools. This partial funding has allowed parents of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to access independent schools; recent research suggests that in more than 80 per cent of independent schools in Alberta the average household income of the parents is slightly below the provincial household income average. While the partial public funding helps, in order to be able to operate, many independent schools have to charge tuition. These fees will vary considerably depending on the kind of capital investments for buildings, teacher/ student ratios, extracurricular program activities and other program enhancements. Additionally, there are often other fundraising initiatives that are run to help alleviate the cost

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JANUARY 2021 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

of operating a school. Some schools also offer bursaries to assist parents in managing the tuition requirements. Parents from a broad socio-economic, cultural, religious and geographic background choose to send their children to independent schools. Although each independent school is operated by its own school board, Alberta Education ensures thorough accountability measures are in place. Each year, the schools must submit an audited financial statement; this confirms that the public dollars the school receives are appropriately spent on the educational needs of the students. Most independent schools are accredited; to maintain this accreditation they must teach a program of studies that is approved by the minister of education, and they must hire Alberta-certified teachers. There is also regular onsite monitoring by Alberta Education staff, and schools must annually submit education results reports, and three-year plans.


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

ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS IS ALSO THE MOST BASIC. THEY SERVE A PUBLIC GOOD. EDUCATION, AT ITS CORE, IS ABOUT PROVIDING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDREN TO LEARN, GROW AND EQUIP THEMSELVES TO BE ETHICAL, ENGAGED AND INNOVATIVE CITIZENS.

Independent schools are also incredibly accountable to their parents; as schools of choice, there must be strong alignment between the needs of the student and the program being offered, or else parents will choose to place their child in a different institution. To ensure the school is meeting the needs of the child, there is often a heightened emphasis on collaboration and parental engagement in independent schools. One of the most powerful arguments in support of independent schools is also the most basic. They serve a public good. Education, at its core, is about providing an opportunity for children to learn, grow and equip themselves to be ethical, engaged and innovative citizens. To ensure this occurs, Alberta Education surveys students, parents and teachers in all schools in Alberta each year. The results show that independent schools are very successful at meeting student needs.

During this past year, the pandemic has impacted the lives of all Albertans. For students in independent schools the shift saw similar challenges to the rest of the education system: switching to at-home learning in the spring, adjusting to new technologies, protocols for re-entry as school re-started in the fall. The value of independent schooling has only increased during this time. The close connection between the school and the home has allowed independent school leaders and teachers to make the required adjustments to learning in a way that fits the needs of their specific groups of students. The nimble and targeted response that independent schools have been able to demonstrate has ensured that the students in their care have continued to receive a high level of support as they navigated these uncertain times. Independent schools are an integral component of Alberta’s excellent system of school choice.

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Edmonton Willow Home Education Managers: Jackie Michaels, Farren Hawkes, Joanne MacDonald, Janelle Jamieson and Karen Whitehead. Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt.

ursa More Support for Families Choosing Home Education

“O

ur whole world has changed. That requires education to adapt and innovate for the new learning landscape. The fact is, the centuriesold model of education is broken.” Those are the feelings of Sunil Mattu executive director, ursa. Long before the pandemic, Mattu was focused on supporting parental choice for home educators, having established Willow Home Ed in 2014.

ursa is an independent school that offers three programming streams: Willow Home Ed, which is traditional home education, ursa shared responsibility, and fully ursa distance online and/or print programming for students grades 1-12 across Alberta. With ursa, parents who are home schooling their children, many for the first time because of COVID-19, now have access to much more support by choosing an ursa program. Mattu continues, “With Willow Home Ed, a parent can choose a traditional home education program. But, if you need more support, especially in the core subjects, you can

choose an ursa shared program. ursa shared allows for part of the program to be delivered by an Alberta Certified teacher (distance online and/or print based) and the balance delivered by the parent at home for grades 1-12. It’s your choice, whatever works best for your family to provide quality education while keeping safe at home.” Karen Whitehead, home education manager, knows the value of home education firsthand. She has been homeschooling her children for many years and joined the Willow Home Ed program to help parents in Edmonton that have also chosen home education for their children. “There are so many great things about home education,” says Whitehead. “Being part of Willow means being in a close knit community that stems from our Friends of Willow Facebook page, which is open to anyone in the program and anyone wanting to learn more about what we do. Parents really work together to answer other parents’ questions. It’s a very cool community. People will post that they are going to a playground and other


families join in and meet them there – it is very social and supportive, and a wonderful way to stay connected during these times. You feel like part of a group.” She continues, “People remark all the time on how responsive Willow Home Ed managers are. When you have questions, a Willow Home Ed manager is always available to quickly assist you.” For September 2020, Willow Home Ed’s enrollment tripled, reaching 1,500 students as a direct impact of parental concerns over returning to a regular classroom under COVID-19. ursa shared is a big part of that growth and is an ideal choice for families new to home education or for those families who find it more challenging to instruct their children in some junior high and high school subjects. “For 2020-2021, we have 500 Edmonton students in our Willow Home Ed program,” informs Mattu. “As this community grows to 1,000 students over the next three years, we will offer ursa shared and ursa distance (100 per cent teacher directed distance online and/or print based programming) choices to the community. By 2025, we aim to establish a campus site in the Edmonton area that models special education programming choices currently offered in Calgary through Third Academy, Willow Home Ed/ursa shared, and ursa distance. We will have created a binary system with two stars – Calgary and Edmonton.” Mattu and his Willow Home Ed/ursa team of 39 are very thankful to the parents and students in their programs. Mattu also expresses gratitude to Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charity for helping to establish the first bursary fund in 2000; Prosser Charitable Foundation, for almost $1 million in bursaries awarded to families over the past 10 years who otherwise could not afford to access a program of choice for their child; and to Ravi & Rajni Bale for establishing the Ritvik Bale Memorial Bursary Fund. “Thanks to the generosity of the community, every Alberta family can afford to access our programs,” Mattu concludes. “As leaders in the independent education space, we are here to serve. By innovating, we are able to support parental choice in education. Parents know what is best for their family and children. So, how can we help you?”

www.willowhome.ca/ www.goursa.education


DIRECTORY // PRIVATE AND ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

DIRECTORY Columbus Academy

Edmonton Academy

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

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

Coralwood Adventist Academy Kindergarten to grade 12 12218-135 St Nw Edmonton, AB T5L 1X1 Phone: (780) 454-2173 Fax: (780) 455-6946 office@coralwood.org Website: www.coralwood.org

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

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

Devon Christian School Preschool to Grade 9 205 Miquelon Avenue West Devon, AB T9G 0L8 Phone: (780) 987-4157 dcs@devonchristianschool.ca Website: www.devonchristianschool.ca

E2 Academy

Edmonton Bible Heritage Christian School

Ivan Franko School of Ukrainian Studies

Pre K, K, Grades 1 – 9, Adults 9359 - 67A Street Edmonton, AB T6B 1R7 Phone:780-914-6574 gabrielamistraledmonton@gmail.com

Grades 10 - 12 10611-110 Ave Edmonton, AB T5H 2W9 Phone: (780) 476-7529 lsukhy@hotmail.com Facebook: @IvanFrankoSchoolCommunity

German Language School Edmonton

Kneehill Christian School

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

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

Edmonton Islamic Academy

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

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

Edmonton Khalsa School

Harvest Baptist Academy

Headway School Society of Alberta

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

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

Elves Special Needs Society Elves School program

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10306 - 102 Street Grande Prairie, AB T8V 2W3 Phone: (780) 539-9161 Fax: (780) 532-6932

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10825 - 142 Street Edmonton, AB T5N 3Y7 Phone: (780) 454-5310 ext. 232 Fax: (780) 454-5889 info@elves-society.com Website: www.elves-society.com

14907 45 Ave NW Edmonton, AB T6H 5K8 Phone: (780)438-0824 info@e2academy.com Website: www.e2academy.com

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Gabriela Mistral Latin American School

JANUARY 2021 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

Hillcrest Christian School

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

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

Lakeland Christian Academy K, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 P.O. Box 8397 Cold Lake, AB T9M 1N2 Phone: (780) 639-2077 Fax: (780) 639-4151

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

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

MAC Islamic School Accredited Accredited Kindergarten to G9 11342 127th Street Edmonton, AB T5M 0T8 Phone: (780) 453-2220 Fax: (780) 453-2233 office@macislamicschool.com Website: www.macislamicschool.com


DIRECTORY // PRIVATE AND ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

Maskwachees Cultural School

Norwood Chinese School

Russian Educational Centre

Tempo School

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

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

K to Grade 12 9566 – 101 Ave Edmonton, AB T6K 3H6 Phone: (780) 966-7157 oprokhorova@hotmail.com

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 8 2215 - 17 Street Edmonton, AB T6T 1J1 Phone: (780) 440-1195 Fax: (780) 490-4410 bhunter@meadowlandsbaptist.com Website: www.meadowsbaptist.ca

Peace Hills Adventist School

K, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 328 2nd St. NE Slave Lake, AB T0G 2A0 Phone: (780) 849-5400 Fax: (888)881-0428 admin@slkcs.com

ECS, (Lower School) Grades 1-4, (Middle School) Grades 5-8 and (Upper School) Grades 9-12 5603 - 148 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 4T7 Phone: (780) 434-1190 Fax: (780) 430-6209 admin@temposchool.org

Menorah Academy

Phoenix Academy

10735 McQueen Rd NW Edmonton, AB T5N 3L1 Phone: (780) 451-1848 office@menorahacademy.org Website: menorahacademy.org

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

Meadows Baptist Academy

Morinville Christian School Kindergarten to Grade 9, Home Education Grade 1 - 12 10515 100 Avenue Morinville, AB T8R 1A2 Phone: (780) 939-2987 Fax: (780) 939-6646 mcfs@telus.net Website: www.tfhchurch.ca/care/receive/ morinville-christian-school

Nebula Academy Kindergarten to Grade 6 12023 81 Street Edmonton AB T5B 2S9 Phone: 780-761-0250 info@nebulaacademy.ca Website: www.nebulaacademy.ca

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

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

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

Slave Lake Koinonia Christian

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

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

Progressive Academy

SML Christian Academy

Full-Time early childhood program for 3 – 5 year olds, Pre-school, Grades 1-12, Gifted and Talented Program, Special Interest Programs (Robotics, Outdoor Education, International Travel), Out of school care, Summer programs 13212 - 106 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5N 1A3 Phone: (780) 455-8344 Fax: (780) 455-1425 info@progressiveacademy.ca Website: www.progressiveacademy.ca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2021

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2021 Board of Directors Board Executive

Chair: Elan MacDonald Vice President (External Relations), University of Alberta Vice Chair: Jeffrey Sundquist Chief Executive Officer, EDC Environmental Group of Companies Inc. Secretary-Treasurer: Craig Thorkelsson Head of Tax, PCL Constructors Inc. Past Chair: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President, Business Development and Commercial Services, Capital Power Janet M. Riopel President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Board Directors

Haydar Al Dahhan President and CEO, Design Works Engineering

Memberships that help your business. It’s what we do.

Aziz Bootwala Managing Principal, Edmonton, Vice President, Business Development, Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd. Nathan Carter Vice President, Operations Audit, ATCO Sandy Jacobson Vice President, Richardson Executive Search Annemarie Petrov President and CEO, Francis Winspear Centre for Music Jason Pincock CEO, DynaLIFE Medical Labs Dennis R. Schmidt Principal, ALTURA Legal Advisory

Edmonton Chamber Executive

Scott Channon Director, Marketing and Communications Brent Francis Director, Advocacy and Outreach Christen Rumbles Director, Finance Amin Samji Director, Member Services Kevin Thomas Director, Operations

As a member of one of the largest chambers in Canada, you have access to a wide range of contacts, resources, discounts, events, and brand exposure. You’re also part of our strong collective voice to government that will help give your business the support it needs. Call us today at 780.426.4620 and start leveraging your membership.

Contact

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

edmontonchamber.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2021

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“The difference in IT, is our people!” We provide Managed IT Solutions with integrity, reliability, and service excellence. We built this business to help people and still operate to help others grow their businesses with the peace of mind that Generation is proactive at ensuring their data is secure and fully functioning to guarantee a smooth operation.

Generation Technology Solutions Member Profile Mike Jackman, President, Generation Technology Solutions www.generation.ca What’s your story? Generation Technology Solutions provides IT solutions with integrity, reliability, and service excellence. Our President, Mike Jackman, built the company after purchasing a computer without knowing the fundamentals of the hardware or software. His mission was to open a business that allowed others a trustworthy space to ask questions and find comfort that the Generation staff are everyday people just like our customers. We understand the stress of relying on ‘experts’ to look out for our best interest. Over time, we grew out of retail and now provide small to medium-sized businesses managed IT

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JANUARY 2021 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

solutions they can trust and rely on. With our team of dedicated technicians, we provide a personable experience every time we go out—whether that’s on a job or taking a phone call to support our customers remotely. We are dedicated to offering a safe space to understand the technology you need! What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? We enjoy learning about our local community and interacting with fellow local businesses. It’s a supportive network where we meet other businesses and support one another through our services.


A business with 20+ users or employees would be our ideal client. No matter your business size, we offer a variety of technology services. Your business can select a solution that aligns with business goals, number of users and budget. Plus, you can adjust your package as you grow. Your success is our success!

What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? Our customers quickly learn that we are just like them. At Generation Technology Solutions, our technicians are personable and easy-going yet highly professional. We understand that adopting technology-based solutions can be challenging and intimidating. It’s our job to keep your day-to-day running smoothly whether your business is in the medical field, industrial, transportation, or professional services. We offer a variety of options to accommodate your business needs! Who is your ideal client? A business with 20+ users or employees would be our ideal client. No matter your business size, we offer a variety of technology services. Your business can select a solution that aligns with business goals, number of users and budget. Plus, you can adjust your package as you grow. Your success is our success! What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge is the fluctuating economy— it affects our customers as well as us. However, we are committed to working with our clients to adapt to their changing needs. While a client may have originally tasked us to support with data backup, they may then want increased security to protect their data while their employees work remotely. At Generation Technology solutions, we work with our customers to find solutions for them. What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton? I love to embrace the fun and vibrant YEG culture. The beautiful River Valley trails could keep you occupied for hours. And the Muttart Conservatory gardens is a great place to find your zen.

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BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2021

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Stay connected.

@EdmontonChamber edmontonchamber.com

Follow us and be up-to-date with events, policies, member news and more.

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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC // CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLNESS

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – AND BEYOND BY WILL PORTER

T

he year 2020 was a historic one for the world with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in struggles in every facet of everyday life, including mental health strain. Whether people work in an office, in the trades, at home, or are considered an essential worker, mental health issues have increased across the board. Work/life balance has been thrown into disarray for those switching to work-fromhome, and essential workers have the anxiety of needing to be physically at work despite the risk of COVID-19 exposure. An example of what has been happening with corporations is explained through, Fahad Khan, CEO of Canada Prime Marketing. Khan gives us a glimpse of how their employees stepped up to the challenge when pandemic restrictions were implemented.

“We were fortunate to have a team that adapts rapidly to different situations; we did face some issues with getting accustomed to reporting at scheduled time to the office. This is a very different and completely new situation, so we were not sure how to deal with the social distancing. But we have become used to this new situation and have been able to continue thriving and growing as a team.” Khan mentions that their employees did have to make some adjustments with work/life balance, especially when it came to taking care of family. To ensure reduced stress levels, the company accommodated their employees’ needs. “Some required adjusted schedules. Transportation was also an issue for some.”

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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC // CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLNESS

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS HAS BEEN ON THE RISE OVER THE LAST COUPLE DECADES, AND MANY SOLUTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR WORKERS THAT FEEL THE STRAIN OF THE PANDEMIC. THE INCREASED FOCUS ON MENTAL HEALTH CARE MEANS THAT ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS HAS INCREASED AND MADE MORE AFFORDABLE AS GOVERNMENTS INCREASED THE FUNDING AVAILABLE.

One benefit for the future at Canada Prime Marketing is that they are now able to better accommodate work-from-home employees. “We were able to implement a new calling system that, if needed, would allow some team members to work completely from home,” Khan explains. Mental health awareness has been on the rise over the last couple decades, and many solutions are available for workers that feel the strain of the pandemic. The increased focus on mental health care means that access to mental health experts has increased and made more affordable as governments increased the funding available. Alara Hedebring, R.Psych, clinical supervisor for therapy & counseling at The Family Centre, talks about the effects of the pandemic. “At the Family Centre we are proud to serve the community of Edmonton and offer drop-in counselling. We also have the ‘talk in’ option for people to receive counselling over the phone or through video, depending on their needs. We have seen a huge increase in those reaching out for help virtually since the start of the pandemic.” Hedebring says that from their experiences at The Family Centre, depression and anxiety is a common issue among workers transitioning to work-from-home.

CHS Benefits offers a new type of coverage. They add the coverage provided by knowledge. With decades of experience in the group benefits consulting industry, their knowledge is second to none. In an enjoyable process that begins with getting to know your company and continues with the implementation and maintenance of your plan, the partners at CHS Benefits are at your side. Whatever your business, whatever its size, CHS Benefits has got you covered. 3175 Manulife Place 10180 - 101 Street Edmonton, AB Carl H. Shields – 780-415-5759 | carl@chsbenefitsconsulting.com Graham H. Shields – 780-415-5754 | graham@chsbenefitsconsulting.com Leslie Gauchier – 780-415-5769 | admin@chsbenefitsconsulting.com

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“Since the start of the pandemic, we at The Family Centre have seen an increase in individuals grappling with anxiety and depression reaching out. Individuals who have been moved to working from home are struggling with how to balance parenting and work duties while having less personal space for themselves. Parents have been looking for help with their children, including how to support their own mental health while putting their children’s needs first.” Similar incidences are being reported at Momentum Walk-In Counselling in Edmonton as well. Aimee Reimer, registered psychologist and clinical supervisor, confirms, “The clients we work with report many uncertainties and stressors,


MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC // CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLNESS

and we have seen an increase in clients that are feeling distressed. They describe financial stress, job uncertainties, themselves or their partners being laid off, or fears around become ill or contracting COVID-19. There is also the added strain of physical distancing and other restrictions.” Reimer continues. “Many clients describe the difficulty with finding balance while working from home. Some describe feeling less motivated. Some describe feeling overwhelmed trying to balance work and other priorities, such as caring for children or online learning for children, often with little childcare. Some clients share about the difficulties that arise when their children are sick, which requires them to take time off work and to arrange testing for COVID-19. Because of recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many clients do not have access to the same network of social support systems, which have an impact on their mental health.” For those that cannot transition to working from home and must physically go to work, anxiety levels are often high. Hedebring explains. “Anxiety is ever present in workers who still physically are required to go to work. The fear of catching COVID-19 is real and is exacerbating pre-existing anxiety concerns. We are hearing and working with those who are very afraid of catching COVID-19, but also need to make a living to support their families.” Reimer adds, “For those clients who are employed in settings where they cannot work from home, we have heard feelings of exhaustion; some reporting feeling burned out. They report staffing shortages and therefore increased workloads, fears about contracting COVID-19 and the impact that it would have on their families.” For employers looking to help alleviate the issues of their employees’ mental health, Hedebring has some suggestions. “Some recommendations we at The Family Centre would have for employers looking to support their employees would be to: recognize that the anxiety and depression are as debilitating a

physical illness and can manifest physically, have compassion and understanding embedded in all communications to employees, consider the working conditions of the employee, clear communication regarding work expectation as well as protective measures the organization is undertaking to keep everyone safe, and finally – support employees to access the mental health supports they desperately need. These factors are critical to ensuring the workforce remains engaged, psychologically healthy, and able to continue working through these trying times. The Family Centre itself has increased the number of therapy groups it runs to specifically support those who are struggling with anxiety and depression exacerbated by COVID-19.” Expanding on this, Reimer also suggests, “Be a leader. Model caring for your own mental health. Check in with employees about how they are doing, feeling, or what they need. Be a clear and compassionate leader, focusing on resiliency. Be transparent. Being open and transparent about changes helps to reduce the stress and anxiety that come from uncertainty. Include staff in decision making wherever possible. Be flexible. Staff may require an adapted work schedule to take care of their own mental health, or to care for the needs of family members. Encourage employees to reach out for professional support. Speaking with a counsellor can be a helpful strategy for managing stress or mental health symptoms. I would encourage employers and workplaces to be proactive in addressing the mental health needs of employees. Make mental health a priority in your workplace.” While the pandemic has caused a lot of stress, anxiety and depression for employees in the short term, it has highlighted the ever-growing need for balance in employees’ lives, and access to mental health support. More willingness to adjust to the needs of employees will result in less time lost, especially when they need to work from home. Finally, employers should be willing to be more proactive with their employees’ mental health, as it’ll only lead to happier, and more productive employees in the end.

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JOY VERSUS PLEASURE // RICK TIEDEMANN

Joy Versus Pleasure BY RICK TIEDEMANN

R

ecently I wrote about how we can create the happiest, healthiest and highest performing versions of ourselves by adopting the behaviours associated with becoming a corporate athlete. Fundamental to achieving this life and performance-enhancing goal is the need for us to nurture and optimize our spiritual health. When we talk about our spiritual health, we are not necessarily talking about religion, but for some, prayer and other religious related engagements may be important. This dimension of wellness is supported by bringing the pursuit of joy into focus. A number of years ago a priest astutely asked our congregation what five dimensions of our lives gave us the most amount of joy. The conversation for my wife and I, and those around us, consistently gravitated towards five people. Then he asked us if we understood the difference between joy versus pleasure. A little more dialogue resulted in us fundamentally agreeing that joy was more associated with people and pleasure was associated with stuff. Finally he asked, “What percentage of your day, week, month and year is spend in pursuit of joy versus pleasure?” The answer for most of us was clear, we all wanted more joy, but were focused disproportionately on pleasure. Light bulbs came on for all of us. David Brooks in his book titled “The Road to Character” puts it another way. He talks about the pursuit of resume versus eulogy virtues. Resume virtues are about accomplishment and accumulation (pleasure), while eulogy virtues are about legacy and being of service to others (joy). While the pursuit of resume virtues in and of themselves is not a bad thing, he suggests that there is an opportunity for many of us to dial up our pursuit of eulogy virtues. So, why do I bring this up in the context of us becoming corporate athletes? It is because we as business leaders all

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too often double down on our businesses during difficult and turbulent times, and this results in us spending less time with friends and family. We consciously or unconsciously shift from joy to pleasure and over time this drains our spiritual bank account and can even put important relationships at risk. COVID has required many of us to take stock and more closely define our tribe (cohort); and for many of us we have only allowed people that give us joy into this limited group. Personally, no one who has caused friction in my life is part of my COVID tribe and that has, in some ways, enhanced my joy. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still love some of the people that aren’t in my tribe, it just means that I am now loving them from a distance. This has freed up time and cerebral energy and has allowed me to be more focused on my joy generators and other business interests that require me to be at my best. As you think about your joy versus pleasure recipe, it is important to remember that if you want to be a maximalist (awesome) at anything, by definition you need to be a minimalist at other things. It is not possible to be fantastic at everything. James Lawrence (the Iron Cowboy) says it best, “There is no success outside the home that compensates for failure within.” What pleasures will you dispense with in order to experience more joy? Figuring out your joy recipe is an important step in ensuring that you burn bright versus burn out. If you, your leadership team or organization want to explore improving your sleep and performance or getting everyone off the burn out path and back onto a burn bright one, just give me a call. Wishing you the best of health.


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Profile for Business in Edmonton Magazine

Business in Edmonton Magazine - January 2021  

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