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Make history before it’s too late. The cranes are down. The pedway is going up. Kelly Ramsey Tower is nearly complete. History is about to be made—and your company can still be part of it. Office sizes from 1,500 square feet and up are now available for businesses ready to take their success to new heights. • Spanning 101 Street to Rice Howard Way • First Financial District Tower in 25 Years • LRT Access with Pedway Connections • Planned LEED Gold Certification • Tenant Improvements Already Underway S E C U R E YO U R L E A S E Contact Dean Wulf at 780.392.1520 or dean@pangmandev.com

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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 7

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 Minimum Wage Increases Bring Unintended Consequences By Josh Bilyk

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 Urbanomics Urban Development Discussion: Home Building Cycles By John Hardy

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

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2016 Leaders Awards Join MNP in Honouring Edmonton’s Visionary Business Leaders

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BDC is where you need us to be: right there with you. There are a lot of different ways to grow a business. As the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, we’re there to give you the financing and advice you need to create yours from scratch. See how we can help at bdc.ca

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

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CONTENTS THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

COMPANY PROFILES

81 87 91

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E  ffect Home Builders Celebrates 15 Years

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A  bove & Beyond Promotions Ltd. Celebrates 10 Years

P  laizier Container Services

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Celebrates 50 Years

Times may be tough economically, but key industry players that believe in Alberta’s strength are helping companies and individuals move forward. By Nerissa McNaughton

 ant to Improve the Economy? W Check out Your Nearest Mall! Going to the mall isn’t just about making an appearance on the social scene anymore. Malls actually play a big role in the economic success of a city. By Laura Bohnert

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Believing in Alberta

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Taking in K-Days 2016 Whether you come for the food, the rides, or the entertainment – this year is going to be great! By Rechell McDonald

A Tale of Two Taxes Do falling lease rates affect the City of Edmonton’s ability to collect the property taxes they need? By Fay Fletcher


Are you missing out on tax incentives available to your business? There are billions of dollars in tax incentives available each year to companies in various sectors that conduct product and process development, which can include improvements to existing products and processes, development of new methodologies and experimentations and system integration. KPMG advisers can help your business identify and apply for funding opportunities or government programs in the current year, or in previous years, that may improve your bottom line. To determine if your business qualifies for tax incentives, speak with an adviser today: Ed Zacharuk Partner, Tax Incentives T: 780-429-7300 E: ezacharuk@kpmg.ca

Mike Thompson Manager, Tax Incentives T: 780-429-6055 E: mikethompson@kpmg.ca

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MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES BRING UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Minimum Wage Increases Bring Unintended Consequences BY JOSH BILYK

T

he governing NDP’s ambitious campaign to increase Alberta’s minimum wage to $15 by 2018 is causing a lot of worry for businesses and non-profit organizations across Alberta, and for good reason. In the first step of the plan, the province increased the rate by $1.00, from $10.20 to $11.20, with the hourly liquor server rate increasing by $1.50 to $10.70. This change vaulted Alberta from having the second lowest minimum wage in Canada to having third highest. We all want to improve the livelihoods of low-income earners, but jacking up the minimum wage might not be the best approach. Every day I talk to business leaders, many of whom are struggling to get by in this downturn. Often, the issue of minimum wage comes up and I have asked them how they dealt with the most recent increase and plan to deal with the planned increases over the next two years. Many business have responded by reducing the number of workers they employ. Others have cancelled plans to expand or limited promotions of existing employees. Some have cut back on training and employee benefits or reduced the number of higher-paid staff members to offset increased costs. Nearly everyone I speak to has absorbed higher costs through reduced profits while increasing prices for their customers. In the final analysis, the only thing worse than earning minimum wage is being unemployed; but the inevitable consequence of a $15 minimum will be fewer job opportunities for entry-level and low-skill workers. As tough as it can be to get by on minimum wage, we need to

remember that in many cases, the minimum wage job is often a person’s first toehold in the economy. According to the government, nearly 60 per cent of minimum wageearners work part time and nearly half are under the age of 25. We also know that Alberta’s 59,000 minimum wage earners often don’t make that wage for long. Once they gain that invaluable work experience, they start moving up the salary ladder. There are other ways to improve the lives of low-income Albertans without killing jobs with rapid minimum wage increases. For starters, let’s look at the tax system. A minimum wage earner in Alberta pays more than $1,700 in income tax – the vast majority of that going to the federal government. The federal government’s Basic Personal Amount is a paltry $11,474, while Alberta’s is $18,214. Increasing the basic exemption would remove thousands from the tax rolls all together. If the government continues to drive toward $15, minimum wage earners’ tax bills will more than double. In addition, a $15 wage could mean the loss of the Canadian Child Tax Benefit, Working Income Tax Benefit and GST credits. You have to wonder whether many workers will benefit at all from a $15 minimum wage. Let’s use the minimum wage debate for broader discussion that includes a review of low income supports, tax policy and the wide range of other government programs in this space. And, don’t forget, the federal government should be at the table as well. 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 // JULY 2016

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ATB Financial Opens Entrepreneur Centre and Offers Free Banking In the wake of Calgary’s successful ATB Entrepreneur Centre, the financial intuition has opened one in Edmonton. Located in their Calgary Trail/Whitemud branch, the Centre is a hub for business owners to network, learn, share and consult with banking and business experts. The Centre will host free seminars and workshops that anyone can attend, not just ATB clients. The progressive range of topics will encompass everything from business banking to social media and crowdfunding. “We’re hearing exceptional feedback from our businesses who have started using our first Entrepreneur Centre,” says Wellington Holbrook, ATB’s executive vicepresident, business & agriculture. “Our team has helped entrepreneurs connect with industry experts and potential customers, even investors.” The Entrepreneur Centre’s website, www. atbentrepreneurcentre.com, also offers a number of tools for startups and existing businesses. There are links for both cities (Calgary and Edmonton) so business owners can easily find the events, networks and resources in their region; the ability to book appointments online; and tools to help entrepreneurs start, grow and maintain their companies. To further help the province’s entrepreneurs, ATB is offering a package called Free Banking for 2016 Startups. Any Albertabased small to mid-sized business that incorporates or registers in 2016 (and is not affiliated with any other business) can qualify for the package. Those that qualify enjoy the following for one year after their ATB account is activated: • A no monthly fee ATB Advantage personal chequing account • Full service chequing account with unlimited transactions • No annual fee on a Business Rewards MasterCard or ATB Business MasterCard

• PAYD merchant device with no setup fee • ATB Online for Business and mobile banking • Cash management tools such as: electronic funds transfers, one-off payments, online wire transfer, corporate creditor services, government tax payment and filing services “We know Alberta could benefit from a few more people taking the leap to start a business right now,” says Holbrook. “But we know starting a business can be stressful, tough and expensive. Free Banking is one way we believe we can help more entrepreneurs get started and enable them to focus a little more on running their business, and a little less on the costs with banking it.”

ABOVE: WELLINGTON HOLBROOK, EXECUTIVE VP, ATB BUSINESS & AGRICULTURE. PHOTO SOURCE: ATB FINANCIAL

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“WE KNOW STARTING A BUSINESS CAN BE STRESSFUL, TOUGH AND EXPENSIVE. FREE BANKING IS ONE WAY WE BELIEVE WE CAN HELP MORE ENTREPRENEURS GET STARTED AND ENABLE THEM TO FOCUS A LITTLE MORE ON RUNNING THEIR BUSINESS, AND A LITTLE LESS ON THE COSTS WITH BANKING IT.” ~ WELLINGTON HOLBROOK

To learn more about the Free Banking package, please visit atb.com/freebanking. The Government of Canada’s key small business statistics (2013) notes that Alberta has approximately 154,495 small business, and only about 200 of those have more than 500 employees. The majority (151,866) has between 1-99 employees. In fact, Alberta, with the number 50.3,

outranks every other province when you look at the number of small and medium-sized business locations per 1,000 population. There is no doubt that Alberta thrives on entrepreneurship, and now with even more resources available to startups and business owners, entrepreneurs in Edmonton will have all the tools they need to succeed.

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Local SilverBirch Hotels win Multiple Awards SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts is pleased to announce the industry recognition of two of their Edmonton hotels. Both the DoubleTree by Hilton™ West Edmonton and Home2 Suites by Hilton® West Edmonton have received multiple awards. The DoubleTree won the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AHLA) Housekeeping Award, Employer of Choice Award and achieved a Level 4 Hospitality Safety Leadership Certificate. The AHLA award’s criteria is strict. Hotels receive unannounced inspections, have their social media analyzed and their TrustScores reviewed to determine who wins the Housekeeping Award; and HR practices must be rated excellent to achieve the Employer of Choice Award. Thanks to the DoubleTree’s safe and healthy workplace practices, their new Level 4 certification puts them among the top 20 Alberta hotels to carry this honour. Donica Wilkie Morrow, general manager of Home2 Suites by Hilton® West Edmonton, won AHLA’s Gold Key Award in recognition of her employees who exemplify the attitude and dedication required to serve guests while promoting Alberta tourism. ”I am very proud that the hard work of our colleagues in Edmonton has been recognized with these prestigious industry awards,” says Steve Giblin, president and CEO of SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts. “We are committed to constantly improving both the guest experience and creating the best possible workplace in all our hotels, and these awards reflect these efforts. I would like to congratulate everybody who works so tirelessly at our hotels for their achievements in winning these awards and thank them for their contribution to SilverBirch’s continued success.”

events and tourism. Well-established as the “Festival City”, Edmonton continues to impress as our region, and specific businesses such as the Duchess Bake Shop, receive national tourism acclaim.

These awards are timely as Edmonton continues to reinvent itself as a place not just for industry, but also conferences,

The Alberta Government’s most recent statistics from 2012 notes that in that year, the Edmonton region received 20

ABOVE: HOME2 SUITES WEST EDMONTON OASIS PHOTO SOURCE: SILVERBIRCH HOTELS & RESORTS

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It’s no small wonder Edmonton is attracting tourists and event planners when there are such great accommodations and conference spaces available. The DoubleTree by Hilton™ West Edmonton boasts 38,000 square feet of meeting space, two grand ballrooms, the Stages Kitchen & Bar and the beloved Edmonton attraction, the Mayfield Dinner Theatre. Homes2 Suites by Hilton is one of Hilton Worldwide’s fastest-growing brands due to its flexible guest room configurations that offer affordable luxury, digital check-in options and pet-friendly spaces, among other amenities that keep this hotel brand in high demand.

per cent of the total visits to Alberta. In a more specific breakdown of those visitors, we see that 19 per cent were Albertan, 24 per cent were Canadian, 15 per cent were American and 18 per cent were from overseas.

The multiple awards won by these two hotels are very well deserved for the hardworking men and women that strive every day to make Edmonton one of the best-loved, mostvisited cities in Alberta, and to provide the ultimate hotel experience when enjoying everything the Capital City has to offer.

The Name In

Active Adult Living With over 35 years of experience, Christenson Group of Companies has been providing Edmonton and surrounding areas with more than just a home. Christenson is committed to affording individuals with endless opportunities to accommodate a number of lifestyles by creating award winning multi-family urban villages for adults and seniors.

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

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HOME BUILDING CYCLES // URBANOMICS

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

Home Building Cycles The motivation to stay a step ahead BY JOHN HARDY

“T

he housing industry goes through waves. The turns are gradual, but the forces immense. It’s like being in the ocean,” says Miles Kohan, vice president of Sterling Homes. “You get used to the constant ebb and flow of the tide, as well as to the movement from the waves. “Our industry experiences very few straight lines or linear processes that would last for more than a year. About a decade ago, some of us thought things would remain relatively the same for a couple of years. Suddenly the timeline had shrunk to annually and currently, it is not unusual to be dealing with home building winds of change, in one aspect or another, every few months.” The home building industry in Edmonton is one of many businesses where the highs and low, wins and losses, are directly impacted by the economy and consumer confidence. Kohan consider several common variables. “Identifying the key drivers can depend on how far or deep you want to look, and what the root causes are affecting the key drivers. Overall, I monitor 10 factors on a risk dashboard, some at the macro level and others more granular. For new residential construction, the three main drivers are: net migration (is there anyone to sell to?), unemployment rate

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(do they have a job and qualify for a home?) and mortgage rates (can they afford it?).” One key aspect of the business strategy of new home building, according to Kohan, is to stress test assumptions. “In 15 years I have never been 100 per cent accurate in my forecasts. You’re typically either ahead or behind of your baseline assumptions. I like to go into a year with a good grasp on momentum, trends and competitive analysis, and then use the available economic data and trends to forecast out the most likely scenario for the year,” he explains. “Since the baseline is the best guess at the final outcome, we have to plan for increases, as well as decreases to that assumption. We need to factor how we can sustain our company at the lower-than-projected volumes, as well as having a handle on the true capacities to deal with growth, without sacrificing overall quality.” He points out that the region’s residential new home building business is not without its surprises. “We are pleasantly surprised by the levels of activity in the Edmonton market. We are seeing success in some of our more creative product offerings, and have come to realize that Edmonton is a value-driven market. When you can


HOME BUILDING CYCLES // URBANOMICS

“WE STARTED 2016 EXPECTING ABOUT A 20 PER CENT COOLDOWN FROM OUR 2015 LEVELS BUT SO FAR, WE ARE AHEAD OF THOSE PROJECTIONS. IN FACT, WE ARE AHEAD OF PROJECTIONS BY 32 PER CENT, WHICH IS WELL AHEAD OF 2015 ACTIVITY LEVELS!” ~ MILES KOHAN demonstrate that value, the buyers do step up and take action regardless of what is going on in the media. We are seeing some demographics who have been saving up to buy their first home and realize that this may be as good as it’s going to get – lower home prices with attractive mortgage rates. That combination can’t and won’t last forever. “We started 2016 expecting about a 20 per cent cooldown from our 2015 levels but so far, we are ahead of those projections. In fact, we are ahead of projections by 32 per cent, which is well ahead of 2015 activity levels!” At the best of times the planning and strategizing is, itself, a big variable. For the Edmonton market, among the economy, the short and long-term employment situation,

the uncertainty and consumer jitters as well as the business strategy of planning and forecasting, there is an unspoken consensus that this time, things are different. “There will always be some black clouds on the horizon; you look for them,” concludes Kohan. “Of course, the cause of the 2015 cycle is different than the global economic crisis, but the effect itself is not. It has the effect of cycling volumes, allowing us to regroup, take a breath, and get better. I have been involved in our Canadian Home Builders Association at both the provincial and national level for close to a decade, and I strongly feel that Alberta has some of the best housing stock in Canada. These cycles, which will always be there, are just the motivation to stay a step ahead!”

ABOVE: MILES KOHAN, VICE PRESIDENT, STERLING HOMES. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JULY 2016

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BELIEVING IN ALBERTA // OIL & GAS

Believing IN ALBERTA TIMES MAY BE TOUGH ECONOMICALLY, BUT KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS THAT BELIEVE IN ALBERTA’S STRENGTH ARE HELPING COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS MOVE FORWARD.

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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BELIEVING IN ALBERTA // OIL & GAS

K

ent Stormoen, president and CEO of Versatile Energy Services, has been in the energy industry for 35 years, but he’s never seen a recession like this one. He launched Versatile because he was unhappy with the level of service he was seeing in bigger companies, and knew he and a dedicated team could provide excellent, quality work that remained consistent as the company grew. He was right. Within 10 years the company had achieved great success in Western Canada and the Northern United States. He started eyeing additional American locations. Then the bottom fell out of the oil barrel and instead of negotiating new deals, Stormoen found himself trying to negotiate new financing. He had to make some very tough decisions. “We cut our prices to be more competitive, but we still hold a high level of professional integrity and provide excellent service,” he says. Stormoen also looked at every aspect of the company’s processes and assets, trimming, allocating and reorganizing to ensure peak efficiency. It helped but in the end, “We had to reduce our workforce a great deal, by 60 per cent. The remaining staff took pay cuts. Most of the employees that we had to let go had six to eight years of experience with us. We still hope that we can try and attract them back, but many of them have found roles in different industries. This has been the longest slowdown in our industry that I’ve been through.” One thing that is helping Versatile pull through the downturn is the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). “The first thing we did was to try and negotiate our financing with our previous financer, and they were not very receptive,” says Stormoen. “That’s why we approached the Business Development Bank of Canada. We showed them what we are capable of doing when the industry turns around and they were very understanding and more than willing to help us out. It was a pleasure dealing with the BDC. I’ve dealt with many different banks over the last 10 years, but this one understood what our goals are and that things will come around. We are looking for growth opportunities and it’s nice to have a partner that understands our challenges and our focus to develop further.” BDC was thrilled to help Versatile Energy Services and has nothing but praise for Stormoen and the other hardworking entrepreneurs they service every day.

“We only work with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the province of Alberta and Canada,” says Michael Selci, senior vice president, financing and consulting, BDC. “We are complimentary in nature. We partner with other financial institutions and credit unions in Canada. We predominantly offer financing and advice through our 100 business centers across Canada. We help companies grow, start up and merge. “SMEs make up 98.2 per cent of business in Canada. They also account for more than 70 per cent of jobs. It’s important for us to help these companies grow and strengthen our economy. In times like now, companies need flexibility.” The “times like now” accounts for more than an economic downturn. The wildfire in Fort McMurray, aptly named “The Beast,” has taken a huge toll on many Alberta enterprises. In response, BDC offered financial relief to their clients – and it’s not the first time in recent history that they have extended very flexible financing terms. “We have authorized the principal postponement program for the broader companies in Alberta’s oil and gas sector for up to six months for those impacted, not just in Fort McMurray, but in the province.

ABOVE: MICHAEL SELCI, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCING & CONSULTING, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA. PHOTO SOURCE: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA.

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BELIEVING IN ALBERTA // OIL & GAS

“It was important for us to respond [to The Beast] with flexibility to get our clients past thinking about their loans. They need to think about their companies first. We needed to help these men and women get back to work.” This is BDC’s third postponement relief campaign since the slowdown in the oil and gas industry, in addition to similar efforts to help clients affected by the Calgary floods and the last recession. “It’s not easy out there. We know we have businesses that are having a difficult time, but we are there to help them.” BDC believes in Alberta’s entrepreneurs and their ability to survive both The Beast and the Loonie. “Companies need to really look at diversification,” Selci counsels. “We did a study last year looking at 1,000 Alberta businesses and those that diversified across more than one area did 60-70 per cent better. “If you provide only one product or service, you are at risk. We know that many companies are supplying only one oil sands client. If you have many clients, it helps you survive

over the long term. Then there is geographic risk. Service more than one location in the province. Exporting – many successful companies are exporting to Asia, Europe etc. and are doing very well notwithstanding the lower commodities we have seen in the oil sector. We are advocating strongly for business owners to take a stance in these areas.” Another piece of advice from Selci is to invest. “It might sound contrary to what an entrepreneur would do when short on cash, but now is the time that investment is necessary for survival and future success. Innovation and growth come through buying new assets and equipment or buying another company. Invest in hard machinery, digital technology and people. This is the time companies need to think about investing, not just retrenching. These strategies will help business owners survive.” Suncor recently demonstrated their investment in their employees when The Beast caused the shutdown of their Fort McMurray operations. “First and foremost, we’re doing what we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, their families and

ABOVE: VERSATILE ON THE JOB IN ALBERTA. PHOTO SOURCE: VERSATILE ENERGY SERVICES.

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BELIEVING IN ALBERTA // OIL & GAS

members of the broader community,” said Steve Williams, Suncor president and chief executive officer, when the fire first threatened their Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) operations. “To that end, we’ve been demobilizing non-critical staff to ensure that sufficient space is available for employees, their families and other Fort McMurray residents at our camps, we’ve activated our humanitarian grant program and through the Suncor Energy Foundation we have made a preliminary grant to the Red Cross of $150,000 in addition to matching employee donations.” Then came the best news of all. Work may have stopped, but the paychecks didn’t.

I know that staying focused on these priorities will serve us well,” said Williams in a later address to the employees. There is no doubt that these are tough times across Alberta, especially for those in the oil sands; but there is a reason why the hashtag #abstrong is still trending. It’s because people all around the world believe in Alberta – from the South African firefighters that flew in to help battle The Beast, to the BDC that knows a little financial relief goes a long way, to the entrepreneurs that have to balance the books in one hand and their employees in the other. The road from recession to progression is long, winding and Albertans can honestly say “we have been through the fire”; but the road doesn’t end. It keeps on going and Albertans are not just walking on it confidently, they are helping everyone they meet along the way.

“We are confident that all employees will return to work in a phased manner over the next few weeks,” Suncor said in a statement to the staff. “Employees who are not required to return to work will continue to receive their base salary until June 9 [conditions applied]. DynaWest Engineering Ltd. • Delivering Dynamic Dimensions Affected employees can continue to get early access to funds in their Suncor Savings Plan … Whenever DynaWest Enginnering possible, Suncor will work with Ltd. provides fully employees who have pre-booked vacation plans so they are able integrated engineering to take time off. Employees who services for resourcebooked vacation and were called based industries, back to work will not lose their vacation entitlement. The time will manufacturing plants be credited.” and government Suncor put its people first, which had a huge, positive impact on each employee. “Our priorities have and always will be the safety of people, the environment and our assets – in that order. Adhering to these priorities – which are rooted in our values – has helped us navigate through challenges in the past and build this great company of ours, so

sectors. It is based in Edmonton and led by a highly respected team of professionals.

#105 4207 - 98 Street Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6E 5R7 780-469-5622 info@dynawesteng.com www.dynawesteng.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JULY 2016

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WANT TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMY? CHECK OUT YOUR NEAREST MALL! // CITY MALLS

WANT TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMY? GOING TO THE MALL ISN’T JUST ABOUT MAKING AN MALLS ACTUALLY PLAY A BIG ROLE IN T BY LAURA BOHNERT

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ake West Edmonton Mall (WEM), for example. The largest shopping mall in North America and Edmonton’s number-one tourist attraction, WEM generates approximately 30.8 million visits each year to its more than 800 stores and services, which include two hotels, nine world-class attractions, and even an accredited zoo. As Sheri Clegg, manager of media and public relations at WEM describes, “West Edmonton Mall is unique in that it is

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not just a shopping centre; it is also an entertainment centre. You can shop, you can play and you can stay in two hotels. The retail mix has something for everyone and includes luxury retailers. We have a number of retailers that cannot be found elsewhere in the city or province.” Clegg continues, “West Edmonton Mall operates 10 family-friendly attractions. In addition, there are many other entertainment venues under our roof, such as a cinema and


WANT TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMY? CHECK OUT YOUR NEAREST MALL! // CITY MALLS

CHECK OUT YOUR NEAREST MALL! APPEARANCE ON THE SOCIAL SCENE ANYMORE. HE ECONOMIC SUCCESS OF A CITY.

IMAX 3D theatre, casino, dinner theatre, bingo hall, comedy club, piano bar and numerous restaurants. The Mall appeals to families, to couples, to the young and old.” This multifaceted appeal has played a large role in the success of the WEM—and to its economic contributions to the city of Edmonton. A study of the impact of WEM between 1986 and 2006, performed by Triple Five Group of Independent Companies, found that the Mall generated direct incremental

expenditures of $12.9 billion from mall visitors during that time period—and that draw includes tourists who spend money outside of the mall as well. WEM also sustained employment of 24,000 full-time job equivalents, generated $1.15 billion in incremental provincial taxes, and $470 million in incremental local taxes. In spite of changes to both the economy and the retail structure, with the advent of things like online shopping,

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WANT TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMY? CHECK OUT YOUR NEAREST MALL! // CITY MALLS

“WE’VE HAD A LONG PERIOD OF BEING VERY FOCUSED ON FASHION AND GLOBAL BRANDS, BUT MORE THOUGHT IS SUDDENLY BEING GIVEN TO CREATING A COMMUNITY DESTINATION WHERE WE CAN MEET AN ENSEMBLE OF NEEDS IN ONE PLACE.” ~ PETER SIMONS

WEM continues to draw in the crowds. “Attendance at our attractions is on par with previous years,” Clegg confirms. “We’ve even seen a slight increase over the past couple of months.”

the delocalization and decentralization we are seeing within the economy. Malls remain a physical piece anchored in the city. They pay real estate taxes, and that’s the way we’ve chosen to finance our cities.”

Part of the Mall’s continued economic success can be attributed to what Peter Simons, CEO of Simons, perceives to be a shift in what the customer is looking for in their shopping experience. “We are in a transitional moment right now,” he explains. “We’ve had a long period of being very focused on fashion and global brands, but more thought is suddenly being given to creating a community destination where we can meet an ensemble of needs in one place. Clients are coming back to that need for a connection in terms of the experience of shopping, and both West Edmonton Mall and Londonderry Mall [two of Simons’ Edmonton locations] have that understanding.”

Creating that physical connection with the businesses that support the Edmonton economy is important, especially during times of economic distress. “There are clear benefits to having companies implicated in communities,” Simons explains, and one of those benefits includes the assurance that the business won’t pull out when times get tough. “Simons has been in business for 175 years. We know the impact the economy can have, but we’re here for the long term, and that means we are going to continue trying to build along with Edmonton’s economy. We are going to live through the ups and downs with our customers because that is how we will continue to grow, as a company and a community.

WEM and Londonderry both represent strategic locations for the giant retailer. Simons confirms, “Geographically, we like the way they service the communities of Edmonton. They are at opposite poles of the city and we still believe in the brick and mortar of building a business, which means focusing on our physical locations. Our affiliation with malls like WEM and Londonderry is more than a strategy; it’s a question of partnership.

“Those physical connections are important from a financing perspective, but also from an art and architectural design point of view. For a city to have richness, it needs to have a lot of different facets. These include design, architecture and art, and you need a physical location for that to occur.”

“West Edmonton Mall is a clear tourist destination for the city, but that isn’t the only thing that makes it an important component of the city. WEM is also beneficial in the face of

WEM and Londonderry may be strategic locations for Simons, but stores like Simons also create an equally important impact and draw for malls. As hospitality and service industry specialist Drew Newton suggests, destination shopping plays a key role in the success and impact of the malls themselves.

ABOVE: PETER SIMONS, CEO OF SIMONS.

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// CITY MALLS

“Much attention is placed on the anchor stores (such as Sears) in malls, but they actually only account for a small chunk of operating income for a mall,” Newton explains. “The excitement to visit malls really comes from new introductions of upscale retailers along with experiential retail that you cannot get on-line—like the Disney Store and Build-A-Bear Workshop. It is worth the drive for those must-see stores and the experience of finding those wants versus needs. “Theming, entertainment, escapism and guest engagement play a big part in successful retail operations, and will play a meaningful part in driving visitation to the area. In the case of WEM, there is a large footprint in that regard, and of course there is the work for members of the community that support these operations—from transportation to food preparation, from building service workers to security, and on and on.” Newton, who runs the hospitality institute at NorQuest College, an open enrolment program designed to help train and integrate workers of all demographics into the hospitality industry, is also a faculty member with the American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute. He has seen first-hand the impact a mall can have on the economy surrounding it. “Generally, income earned is spent in the local economy,” Newton explains. “Better service usually means higher gratuities, which are then spent in the local economy too. The public’s expectation of service has increased over time, and so employees need to always be creating value in some way for every guest they interact with so they (the guest) will come back into town and keep the spending cycle going. That creates not only a lot of potential for employment, but also for stable job potential within malls. Malls give people working in the service industry an opportunity to build self-esteem, and feel valued and appreciated for who they are. That’s a wonderful thing.”

ABOVE: DREW NEWTON, HOSPITALITY AND SERVICE INDUSTRY SPECIALIST & FACULTY MEMBER WITH THE AMERICAN HOTEL AND LODGING EDUCATION INSTITUTE. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JULY 2016

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TAKING IN K-DAYS 2016 // K-DAYS

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TAKING IN K-DAYS 2016 // K-DAYS

TAKING IN K-DAYS 2016 WHETHER YOU COME FOR THE FOOD, THE RIDES, OR THE ENTERTAINMENT – THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE GREAT! BY RECHELL MCDONALD

PHOTO SOURCE: NORTHLANDS

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TAKING IN K-DAYS 2016 // K-DAYS

K

-Days is, for many, the event of the year, and each year tends to bring a little something new to the table for Edmontonians. This year Northlands is proud to be presenting some incredible entertainment, including The Tragically Hip’s final tour, which in light of Gord Downie’s terminal cancer diagnosis, will be the last opportunity to catch the band live. On top of The Tragically Hip, festivalgoers will also have the chance to see renowned musicians Sting and Peter Gabriel perform at Rexall Place. There will also be two outdoor music stages this year that will allow attendees to take in a whopping 20 performances by Juno-calibre acts over the course of the 10-day festival. These performers include The Trews, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, Matthew Good, and more. On top of this year’s impressive musical line up, two new rides will be debuting too: The Himalaya and Chopper Charlie. While the Himalaya will be a favourite for anyone who likes

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

to spin and go fast, Chopper Charlie is aimed at the younger festival-goers, but can be ridden by the whole family. Festival fans will be happy to hear that all the old favourites will be returning to the midway, including Mega Drop and Crazy Mouse. TechLife will also be back this year, offering gamers a chance to compete and check out some cool tech exhibits. The Martin Deerline Farm will be on display at the Expo Centre, providing kids and families with an interactive and engaging learning experience about animals and agriculture. The Expo Centre will also be home to The Grand, a massive shopping experience that will feature over 350 exhibits, all promising a unique shopping opportunity for people of all ages. Perhaps one of the greatest things about July in Edmonton is that there is so much to do and see right here at home; and this year, that becomes a particularly important luxury for many Albertans, who, either due to the wildfires or the


TAKING IN K-DAYS 2016 // K-DAYS

economy, find themselves wading through some difficult times. K-Days is a great, accessible escape that is sure to provide not only a great deal of fun, but also a break from the difficulties being endured at this time. Last year 785,290 people attended K-Days, and a great showing is anticipated for this year as well. “K-Days is the destination in Edmonton for some of the biggest names in music, the fastest rides and most outrageous food,” says Lori Cote, manager, public relations, Northlands.

PHOTO SOURCE: NORTHLANDS

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TAKING IN K-DAYS 2016 // K-DAYS

As always, you can expect to find some unique eats on top of all the festival favourites like popcorn, cotton candy and funnel cakes. One thing K-Days cuisine always makes you wonder is, what will they deep fry next? You’ll have to come out and see!

For zombie enthusiasts there will be a zombie outbreak live action simulation to determine who can survive, and who will become dinner. Spaces are limited to participate in this event, but you can be guaranteed that it will get your heart pumping as you try to outrun and outwit the half dead.

“It is a huge part of the Edmonton identity and has been instrumental in shaping how our community celebrates its civic pride in the past, and for years to come,” Cote continues. “It is more than a midway. It is a summer destination that includes entertainment, live thoroughbred racing at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino, as well as world-class concerts at Rexall Place.”

Let’s not forget that there will also be The Neighbourhood, a showcase of local artisans and craftspeople also happening at the Expo Centre, and other great highlights of the festival including: Ribfest, Kidstown, the always hotly anticipated K-Days Parade, fireworks, gold panning for kids, and the chance to be a news anchor with local CTV news talents.

So we’ve got music and food, and even rides covered – but what else is going on?

K-Days is a great way to lift the spirit and morale, and remind us all that it’s okay to have a little fun sometimes. These 10 days represent the spirit of the Edmonton community, its love for culinary exploration, comradery, art, music, and most of all, laughter. While its easy to look at the numbers and tout how beneficial K-Days is for boosting our economy, at times like this it also good to think of it as an opportunity to boost up each other as well.

If you’ve got a trick or two up your sleeve, you may want to check out the K-Days’ talent search. Amateurs ages five and up are invited to register and perform competitively for a chance at the cash prize. Whether you sing, dance, blow fire, or can bend yourself into a pretzel, the judges want to see you. Semi-finalists and finalists will get to appear live on stage during the festival to compete for the grand prize. Registration for the talent search must be received by July 3.

You can find more information about K-Days, including the full musical line ups and performance times, attractions and vendors, on the K-Days website at k-days.com.

PHOTO SOURCE: NORTHLANDS

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2016 Platinum Partner

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The fire and water, cleanup and restoration specialists of SERVPRO ÂŽ of Edmonton Southside are proud to call Canada home. So when the things that matter most are on the line, make sure we are too by calling 780-784-7777 or visiting servproedmonton.com. Services in Canada provided by Independently Owned and Operated Franchises of Servpro International, LLC.

780-784-7777


Honouring Edmonton’s Visionary Business Leaders BY JOHN HARDY

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he word “leader” is multidimensional. On one hand you have the fearless leader that charges into any situation, inspiring his or her team and achieving great feats. On the other hand you have the leader that quietly hangs back while providing direction and encouragement, letting each team member feel empowered to make their own path under their gentle guidance. Leaders run the full spectrum of personalities, traits and leadership styles, but they all have one thing in common – they move us forward.

The Judges

JAMES GILLESPIE

This year Business in Edmonton magazine is pleased to introduce the 2016 Leaders that are shaping the face of how we do business in the Capital City. The judges for the 2016 Leaders competition are Elsie Elford, dean, school of business, MacEwan University; Teresa Clouston, vice president, business and agriculture, ATB Financial; and James Gillespie, partner, assurance services, MNP Chartered Accountants. “There are many opinions as to what makes a great business leader,” says Elford. “Here are my top three: great business leaders are able to build positive energy through a commitment to the mission of the business. They invest in the development and well-being of the employees and they believe in the triple bottom line by investing in their communities and championing sustainable business practices. “Edmonton’s diversity and community spirit are a great foundation for entrepreneurs. Organizations such as Start-Up Edmonton and TEC Edmonton create maker space for innovation and new business growth. Edmonton has the energy and positivity of a young population eager to grow a business.”

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“A great business leader sees a problem to be solved, sources great resources (including people) and rallies them to develop and implement a solution that helps the customer,” says Clouston. “They see beyond the everyday, and identify what their community (which might be geographic, industry-based, or other) really needs to succeed, and strives to contribute to make a difference to that success. “The YEG business community strikes me as supportive of each other – colleagues, competitors and peers. It’s a really small world in terms of connections and network, and yet a world-class place to develop technology and service. This is an innovative place that sees a bigger and brighter future.” All the judges were impressed with the competitors.

ELSIE ELFORD

“The quality of all the leaders in the competition was outstanding,” Elford admits. “It is exciting to see the variety of businesses thriving in the Edmonton area and to learn the stories behind the successful business leaders. Although the stories are individual, the common theme is a passion for what they do and their commitment to the Edmonton community.” Clouston agrees, “How impressed I was, and continue to be, about the extremely diverse nature of business, and leaders here in Edmonton and across the province. Their dedication to delivering value for their customers, contributing to their communities, and building terrific places to work really restores faith in the future success of this business community, and for leadership in general.”

TERESA CLOUSTON

Leaders 2016 may be a competition, but one thing is clear – all the business leaders in our community are winners.

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Luke Williamson Company: Accurate Network Services Inc. Accurate Network Services provides a la carte-managed IT services to businesses in the Edmonton area. They act as a single point of contact for any and all IT requests for customers utilizing a unique, value-driven business model. The what of Accurate Network Services is to manage and support technology for its customers. The why is to leverage the success of the business to improve the lives of employees, vendors, clients and the community. “The defining moment in our journey was realizing that with success comes privilege. We have the power to positively impact not only our team and our clients, but the community around us. The bigger and more successful we are as an organization the more we can give back.� ~ Luke Williamson, President - Accurate Network Services Inc.

Company snapshot

8

Years in Business

21

employees

Information Technology Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

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Lorne M. Wight Company: Allwest Commercial Furnishings

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llwest Commercial Furnishings is a B2B distributor of office furniture, moveable walls and commercial window coverings to businesses, governments and institutions in Northern Alberta and NWT. The company’s value proposition includes the creation, development and growth of internal expertise in all facets of the operations. A Canadian company, Allwest sells and represents Canadian manufacturers in the marketplace. “As I became more involved in business leadership early in my career, it never occurred to me that business activities, community support and philanthropy were separate entities (which of course in my opinion, they are not). My father blended these activities daily in his professional career, showing me, rather than telling me!” ~ Lorne M. Wight, President - Allwest Commercial Furnishings

Company snapshot

42 Years in Business

80

employees

Distribution Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

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CHOOSE FROM THREE CLASSES OF COMFORT ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS.* With Economy, Premium Economy and International Business Class categories, there’s a perfect comfort level for every traveller.

*Offered on a growing number of flights.


Kevin Birkholz Company: Birkholz Homes

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irkholz Homes is a small volume, luxury custom home builder serving the Edmonton, Sherwood Park and St. Albert markets. The Birkholz guarantee is a rewarding, creative, stress-free client process from design inception to key turnover. Setting the standard for innovation and contemporary design, Birkholz Homes has created the ultimate in dream homes for luxury home buyers. “Growing up in the family business, there was nothing I wanted more than the respect I saw my father had earned in the community. I quickly realized success is achieved as a team. I continue to be inspired by the hard working families that trust us with helping them realize their dream.� ~ Kevin Birkholz, Owner - Birkholz Homes

Company snapshot

48 Years in Business

14

employees

Real Estate Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

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Handcrafted Homes Since 1968

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF 2016 BUSINESS IN EDMONTON LEADERS AWARDS WINNERS

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ricks and Mortar, Lumber, Concrete and Stone. From the concrete we pour in our foundations to the hardware on our kitchen cabinets, we believe that every single component in our design and construction process has equal value, and that any compromise in that process is unacceptable. As Birkholz builds your home you can be assured that no facet will be neglected, no detail deemed too small.

DESIGNED BY YOU. BUILT BY BIRKHOLZ. Phone 780.430.6918 • www.birkholzhomes.com


Bryan Smith Company: Bluetrain Inc.

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luetrain is a boutique digital marketing agency helping clients connect with customers online by offering results-oriented digital marketing services, such as online advertising, content marketing, social media, and web analytics. From a basement start up with an old HP desktop, Bryan Smith has grown Bluetrain into a team of professionals providing digital marketing expertise, and heads one of the most established digital marketing agencies in Alberta. “My defining moment came when I finally decided to quit my job and focus solely on getting Bluetrain off the ground. It was challenging at first striking out on my own, but now I look back with real satisfaction because I know I made the right move.� ~ Bryan Smith, President Bluetrain Inc.

Company snapshot

9

Years in Business

13

employees

Digital Marketing Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

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your business in focus

Only HR professionals with a CHRP, CHRL or CHRE designation have a deep understanding of how businesses work and are trained to be high-impact leaders. Let a Certified Human Resources Professional, Leader or Executive show you how their achievements set them apart.

PU T YOUR BUS IN E S S IN FOC U S hrpa.ca/infocus


Dale S. Wishewan Company: Booster Juice

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ooster Juice is an international quick-service restaurant chain offering customers premium real fruit smoothies, fresh squeezed juices, hot food and snacks in a fun, vibrant atmosphere. Dale Wishewan travelled the world to bring innovative, natural products to Canadian consumers through Booster Juice. With new products continually being sought out to complement the nutritious and delicious menu items, Dale ensures the Booster Juice product line is leading edge. “It is very rewarding to mentor people within the company who are sharing a passion for what Booster Juice has become throughout the country. I look forward to years of building on the original vision and hard work with a talented group of corporate staff and committed franchise partners.� ~ Dale S. Wishewan, President & CEO - Booster Juice

Company snapshot

16 Years in Business

50

employees

Restaurants Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

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Booster Juice is Canada’s Premium Juice & Smoothie Company Thank you to all our valued customers, staff, franchise partners and suppliers for your support over the past 16 years. You are the reason Booster Juice is Canada’s Premium Juice & Smoothie company. With 320 store locations, we look forward to continuing to grow this brand around the world!

DALE S. WISHEWAN

President & CEO – Booster Juice


Jeremy Leonard Company: Canada Pump and Power Corporation

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anada Pump & Power (CPP) Corporation provides dive, pump, barge and dredge services to Alberta. An industrial marine solutions company, CPP provides its products and services to oil and gas, oil sands and industrial customers in western Canada. “You can stand in front of an empty fireplace and say ‘give me heat and I will give you wood’ as long as you want and you will not get heat. You have to put the wood in first.” ~ Jeremy Leonard, CEO - Canada Pump and Power Corporation

Company snapshot

6

Years in Business

75

employees

Manufacturing Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

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

WHO WE ARE:

Engineers, Tradesmen, Supervisors, Operators and Certified Safety Officers

WHAT WE DO:

Our operations group provides marine services to a select group of clients. Our production group manufactures pumping systems, dredges and modular barge units.

HOW WE DO BUSINESS: We say what we are going to do. We do what we said we would do.

We check to make sure that we did it. CANADA

DIVE | PUMP | BARGE | DREDGE

PUMP AND POWER

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


Kimberly & Rob Reeves Company: Castrol Raceway

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astrol Raceway is Canada’s most comprehensive motorsport complex with a 320-acre multi-venue facility including a 3/8 clay oval, internationally-recognized drag strip, 10-acre motocross track and 2.7 kilometre road course. Even as a seasonal venture, Castrol Raceway attracts over 245,000 visitors annually. “We saw something that needed to be done (saving the racetrack from closing), had a passion for motorsports, (and) from there we jumped in with both feet... learning along the way... every day pretty much has a new “defining moment”... after 19 years, I think our days would be very boring if there were no new defining moments - and it’s NEVER boring. We were inspired to make it fun, to create an exceptional facility, welcoming to all ages and all types of motorsports.” ~ Kimberly Reeves, Owner [and Rob Reeves, Owner] - Castrol Raceway

Company snapshot

19 Years in Business

6

(100+ Seasonal) employees

Media & Entertainment Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

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Peter Dawson Company: Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd.

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awson Wallace Construction Ltd. is a team of construction managers who service clients (developers and owner/users) in the light industrial, suburban office and retail market. Dawson Wallace offers general contracting, construction management and design/build services. “…one thing in our history that “turned the corner” for us was when we developed a relationship with London Drugs (in our early years). Once we established this relationship we not only received contracts to build stores for them all over Western Canada but also (from) developers who were building retail centres with an LD store in them. (They) started working with us to build the entire centre, not just the London Drugs. This led to contracts for example like Jasper Gates and Oliver Square.” ~ Peter Dawson, President - Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd.

Company snapshot

29 Years in Business

150 employees

Construction Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

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Jason Pincock Company: DynaLIFEDx   

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ynaLIFEDX is a full service clinical medical laboratory providing critical diagnostic services to hospital acute care, health centre and community patients, that is privately owned and under contract to Alberta Health Services. “True leadership is a gift that is given to us by others. It is not seized in opportunity or climbed like a ladder. It is about the trust and the faith of others who are willing to follow only because they believe in you. I am inspired everyday by those individuals who step up to challenges on behalf of others - those who make a difference in our world not because they should, but simply because they can.” ~ Jason Pincock, CEO - DynaLIFEDX

Company snapshot

57 Years in Business

1,230 employees

Medical Lab Industry Sector

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Drew Schamehorn Company: Elite Sportswear & Awards

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lite Sportswear & Awards is a supplier of branded promotional products, awards and apparel for corporate, institutional and sports teams. With its own production facility in Edmonton, Elite Sportswear & Awards offers fast turnover and delivery. “Over the last 40 years of being in the workforce many individuals have been both positive and inspirational role models to me during this time. While growing a successful business in Edmonton I have also been very fortunate at the same time to be able to give back to my community by staying involved in both local and provincial sports associations as well as local charitable organizations. Without the support of my wife Sharon and our four children none of this could have been possible.“ ~ Drew Schamehorn, President - Elite Sportswear & Awards

Company snapshot

65 Years in Business

80

employees

Consumer Products Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


Claire Theaker-Brown Company: Flatter:Me Belts

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latter:Me Belts launched in 2011 with $2,500 and two goals: creating quality garment industry jobs, and solving a frustrating fit problem with women’s jeans. Flatter:Me manufactures and distributes sizeflexible belts that are invisible under tees and are sewn by a team of fairly-paid tailors. Their belts are available at over 300 retailers across Canada and online to customers around the world. “I will never forget what it was like to see a packaged Flatter:Me Belt for the first time. It was so fulfilling to see my idea become reality, and to see in this single product a thousand obstacles that had been surmounted.” ~ Claire Theaker-Brown, Owner/Founder - Flatter:Me Belts

Company snapshot

5

Years in Business

6

employees

Consumer Products Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


Peter Amerongen Company: Habitat Studio

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abitat Studio builds beautiful energy-efficient homes that are individually designed to meet the needs, tastes and budgets of their discerning customers. Their business model integrates design and construction under one roof, delivered though an open book construction management process that puts their clients in control. Habitat Studio is the leading net zero energy home builder in Canada. “Diversity in our management group is a key driver of our success. We all come from different backgrounds; we have different skills, strengths, interests and sometimes even goals. In the pressure cooker atmosphere of business this makes for interesting and occasionally difficult discussions. It is no surprise that diversity almost always leads to better decisions. By listening to each other we also get better people.� ~ Peter Amerongen, Vice President - Habitat Studio

Company snapshot

24 Years in Business

32

employees

Construction Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


Jared Smith Company: Incite

I

ncite is Alberta’s leader in business-to-business, relationship-based marketing. Focusing on the importance of authentic connections, personal networks, and strategic communications, Incite supports businesses in organizational growth and development. Leveraging relationships and networks to create opportunities and successes for its clients, Incite drives the future of marketing and business practices in Alberta. Going forward, Incite will continue to be shaped by leveraging its networks and connections, expanding its geographical reach to serve companies across Canada. “I’ve always believed that who you are is a reflection of the people who surround you. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by the most amazing mentors, business partners, staff, my loving family, and so many others, and it’s these people who have made Incite such a great success.” ~ Jared Smith, Principal - Incite

Company snapshot

17 Years in Business

25

employees

Marketing Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

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Quinn Holtby Company: Katch Kan Ltd.

K

atch Kan™ is based on a commitment to sustainable development, by protecting and preserving the land and water where the upstream oil and gas industry operates. The central achievements of Katch Kan™ are the Rig Safety System™ and Zero Spill System™. These innovative systems of technology work together to optimize the health and safety of those involved with upstream projects, drastically minimize pollution and enables oil and gas production to occur in a proactive eco-efficient manner. “There are several defining moments in my journey to success. Taking a Dale Carnegie Course when I was 22 years old was one defining moment. (Another one was) reading the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and knowing not all riches are monetary.” ~ Quinn Holtby, Founder, President & CEO - Katch Kan Ltd.

Company snapshot

22 Years in Business

50

employees

Oil & Gas Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

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Reliable, Responsible, Responsive, Respectful, Results

We Facilitate Protecting Lives & Mother Earth

As the president and founder of Katch Kan, I want to thank our customers and my team of committed employees around the globe for their commitment that our systems are making a difference for both the industry and the environment. Two decades ago, I founded Katch Kan on the strength of a product that was new to the industry. Today, I’m proud and honoured that our organization is recognized for our contributions to the industry, the environment and our contributions to both the national and provincial economies. I am so proud of all Katch Kan employees who donated to the Fort McMurray relief efforts. Katch Kan matched those donations via the Red Cross.

Sincerely, Quinn Holtby, Founder, President & CEO

Keeping rig crews dry and safe during wet tripping procedures.

Find out more at katchkan.com

8210 McIntyre Road, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6E 5C4 PH: (780) 414-6083 FX: (780) 414-6084 info@katchkan.com


Grant Fedoruk Company: Leading Edge Physiotherapy

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eading Edge Physiotherapy (LEP) is a locally-owned and operated physiotherapy services firm offering the latest treatments to individuals facing pain or injury in Edmonton and St. Albert. With the 2015 opening of their third location in the Windermere community, LEP is well-positioned to continue its tremendous growth. “My inspiration has evolved as my personal and professional life has. Early in my career, my inspiration came from my patients as their success drove me to master my skills as a therapist. Over time, this grew and my inspiration was to build a family of professionals and staff who could make a bigger impact in our community than I could alone. Once that family was sturdy and impactful, my own family - my wife and my two young daughters - have become my greatest inspiration - to be the clinician, volunteer, builder and person they are proud of.� ~ Grant Fedoruk, Owner & President - Leading Edge Physiotherapy

Company snapshot

8

Years in Business

40

employees

Healthcare Services Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

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Aurora Jet Partners is one of the most innovative and progressive private aviation companies in Canada that specializes in providing custom-tailored, high-quality private travel solutions to discerning clients. Services include jet charters, managing fractional jet partnerships and providing complete turnkey flight departments. With more than four decades in private aviation, our experienced group of dedicated professionals consistently provides on-time and on-budget service to exacting safety standards. With Aurora Jet Partners, The sky is not the limit. Image provided courtesy of Bombardier Inc.

AIRCRAFT MANAGEMENT | ACQUISITIONS & SALES FRACTIONAL PARTNERSHIPS | CHARTERS

aurorajet.ca

sales@aurorajet.ca

888.797.JETS (5387)


Darryl & Warren Nelson Company: Nelson Environmental Remediation Ltd.

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elson Environmental Remediation (NER) was founded by Darryl and Warren Nelson in 1992, a diversification of their family’s earth moving company. With the motto “Clean Dirt, No Doubt!” NER delivers effective thermal soil remediation for a wide variety of conditions. The company’s services include site evaluation, planning and mobilization; soil excavation; material preparation; remedial treatment; reclamation and decommissioning; project closure and review. “We deliver on our promise of ‘Clean Dirt, No Doubt!,’” says Darryl. Our robust technology achieves remediation of nearly any type of soil with almost any type of contaminant. We guarantee remediation while providing certainty that the client’s goals are achieved in the most ecofriendly, best business practice manner, and with the most advanced technology in the world.” ~Darryl Nelson, CEO & President [and Warren Nelson, CEO & Vice President]- Nelson Environmental Remediation Ltd.

Company snapshot

24 Years in Business

50

employees

Environmental Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

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Justine & Kendall Barber Company: Poppy Barley

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isters Kendall and Justine Barber launched Poppy Barley in 2012 to address the problem of finding footwear that fits properly. With the unique concept of combining a customer’s measurements and pattern algorithms with advance pattern technology, Poppy Barley delivers superiorfitting, high-quality footwear. Meticulously crafted and radically priced by selling directly (and thus collapsing the supply chain), Poppy Barley invests in the highest-quality materials instead of markups to a wholesaler. “We’re inspired by the planet and the creativity of people. We truly believe in re-thinking the footwear industry to create better, more loved, thoughtfully-designed products that are ethically-made. We believe owning a business gives you a platform for social and environmental change. We take that very seriously at Poppy Barley.” ~ Justine & Kendall Barber, Co-Founders - Poppy Barley

Company snapshot

4

Years in Business

10

employees

Consumer Products Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


Radhe Gupta Company: Rohit Group of Companies

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ohit Group of Companies is a premier real estate company dealing in all aspects of the industry, with operations in western Canada that include residential construction, development commercial construction, property management, and capital lending. The company continues to grow and diversify operations to include additional home styles, products and new locations now throughout the Prairies. “The defining moment of my success started in the early 1990s when I began associating with great business partners like Dave Terriff, Chris Rypkema and Bill Book of Canadian Western Bank,” says Radhe Gupta. “We made a pledge that we should be known by the company we keep, and promise that we would work for creating a brand name by meeting and exceeding the expectations of all the stake holders, in all attributes.” ~ Radhe Gupta, CEO - Rohit Group of Companies

Company snapshot

30 Years in Business

121 employees

Real Estate Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


Terry & Russell Hay Company: Scandinavian Building Services

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candinavian Building Services is a nation-wide, industry-leading commercial janitorial and facilities maintenance company. With offices across Canada, Scandinavian Building Services employs more than 2,500 people on a full-time permanent basis, and cleans over 50 million square feet of space each day. Terry and Russell Hay have pioneered a Quality Assurance program that has revolutionized the janitorial industry, including their industry-leading proprietary program, ScandiTRAC. “Since day one, my mentor and inspiration has been my father. Every step of the way, he has shown me that hard work and dedication are essential to success. Even when something would fail, he would look at me and say: “Russell, you have to keep moving forward,” and that mantra has been a guiding principal for me since my very first day at work.” ~ Russell Hay, President [and Terry Hay, CEO] - Scandinavian Building Services

Company snapshot

60 Years in Business

2,500+ employees

Commercial Janitorial Industry Sector Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


On behalf Of the entire Scandi family, we wOuld like tO cOngratulate all Of the hard-wOrking

leaderS in edmOntOn! ruSSell hay, PreSident

terry hay, ceO

CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF CLEANING EXCELLENCE


Ron Brown Company: Shippers Supply Inc.

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hippers Supply manufactures boxes, material handling equipment, printed labels, tape and tags in addition to distributing thousands of shipping and warehouse products. With ten showrooms and warehouse locations in Western Canada and with 190 employees, Shippers Supply has grown from a handful of employees 40 years ago to a dynamic and expanding company today. “My best business advisors have always been my customers and my employees. By truly listening to them, I was able to differentiate myself in the market and build a company that is genuinely one of a kind.� ~ Ron Brown, Founder & President - Shippers Supply Inc.

Company snapshot

41 Years in Business

190 employees

manufacturing Industry Sector

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is proud to congratulate the 2016 Leaders on their efforts and achievements.

T 780.426.4620 | F 780.424.7946 | edmontonchamber.com/events


WHAT LEADING COMPANIES DO TO ENSURE LASTING VALUE BY LISA PIERSON

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ith today’s competitive business environment, bowls of fruit in the staff room and lunchtime yoga are no longer enough to attract and retain top talent. Companies wanting to recession proof their business must be committed to keeping their employees happy and healthy beyond some token perks. “Having healthy employees is not a nice to have, it’s a need to have. With the complexities and demands of today’s ever changing business landscape, executive health is not a perk, it is an essential part of building a high performing leadership team,” says Rick Tiedeman of Copeman Healthcare. And it’s not just employees who benefit from comprehensive corporate wellness programs. Companies who invest in these programs see an increase in employee productivity of 51% according to a recent Canadian medical study. “In my more than 35 years in a corporate role, the highest performing teams consistently have the healthiest members and the least amount of leadership downtime due to health issues,” says Mr. Tiedeman. Today’s high pressure work environment is placing more stress on high-performing individuals. The subsequent health impact of this stress diminishes the ability of business leaders to stay focused and fully engaged in the business. So how do leading and progressive companies ensure that valuable human resources are appreciating assets rather than depreciating assets? One of the first steps is to place investments in healthcare programs to keep your people healthy, and to prevent losses in the event of an employee taking sick leave, or worse. “Companies are paying an enormous amount for life insurance, but ignoring the importance of preventing health problems in the first place,” says Mr. Tiedeman. “Dr. Larry Ohlhauser said it best in his book, The Healthy CEO: ‘dead CEOs don’t hit their targets.’” Provocative statements like these are starting to be heard in the business community, but more progress is still needed to ensure that a company’s most valuable asset – its people – stays protected.

In today’s more volatile business climate, companies are engaging in strategic risk mitigation in many dimensions of their business. But are they being strategic against risk with their executives? Streamlined leadership teams realize they are more vulnerable than ever to the increased possibility that they or one of their colleagues may be sidelined with a health issue. This would cause an immediate and dramatic shift of additional responsibilities to already overstressed colleagues. So businesses are recognizing they need to apply risk mitigation strategies to the health of their leadership teams. Strategic and tactical leaders see the implementation of health and wellness programs as an investment rather than a financial burden. A comprehensive program helps companies avoid talent risk and place investments where they can drive maximum returns. A Canadian study recently showed that employee wellness programs decreased disability costs by 36% and drug benefit costs by 27%. And with fewer Workers’ Compensation Board claims, there is a decrease in insurance premiums. Companies also experience enhanced company culture, increased retention, lower staff turnover, fewer sick days and increased productivity. Healthy people are happy people. They are productive and loyal. And today, 61% of 30-year-old Canadians believe their employer has an obligation to assist them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Companies wanting to guide their business to success and profit need to invest in the health and wellness of their people. It shows a clear understanding of their priorities: a desire to attract and retain top talent. TO LEARN MORE about Corporate Health Programs, call 780-455-2273 or visit www.copemanhealthcare.com


Alberta entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of a challenge and a little hard work. OK, a lot of hard work. But it’s worth it. Watch these entrepreneurs’ stories and get expert insights at

atb.com / WeGrowAlberta |

#wegrowalberta

Who works hard to make things easier for you? We do. ™ Trademarks of Alberta Treasury Branches.


YOUR VISION GOT YOU THIS FAR.

Where do you go from here? The mark of a true leader is the ability to embrace today’s challenges head on while uncovering opportunities to shape a successful tomorrow. The mark of a visionary is defined by a leader’s ability to capitalize on those opportunities while effectively using their available resources to do so. Our national scope and local focus positions leading organizations – and the visionaries behind them – for success, no matter where business takes you. MNP proudly congratulates the Business in Edmonton 2016 Leaders. We celebrate your achievements and anticipate the positive impact you’ll have on our business community. Contact: James Gillespie, CPA, CA T: 780.453.5380 E: james.gillespie@mnp.ca

Ian MacDonald, CPA, CA T: 780.969.1423 E: ian.macdonald@mnp.ca


2016 Board of Directors Executive

Chair: Bill Blais Vice President, Land Development, MacLab Enterprises Vice Chair: James Merkosky Partner, Tax Services, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Treasurer: Len Rhodes, President & CEO, Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Past Chair: Jerri Cairns, Partner, Parlee McLaws LLP

Directors

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

Chamber Executive

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

Why the Government Should Encourage More Lemonade Stands in Alberta By Warren Singh, VP of Policy and Outreach

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midst the chaos of the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire, it was heartening to see Albertans and Canadians at their very best. People immediately reaching out to help one another. People who jumped in their own vehicles and delivered gas to stranded evacuees. People living south and north of the evacuation zone opening their homes to stranded and confused families. That harbinger of the first days of summer—the lemonade stand—opened up a bit early in many locations across the province. Alberta’s children saw the distress on the faces of their peers in Wood Buffalo on television and did what had to be done. They went to work setting up lemonade stands to raise money to support evacuees. They used a wide variety of marketing techniques. “Arm waving works well,” reported the entrepreneurial philanthropists at one stand – and catchy slogans like, “we’ve got your back, Fort Mac!” to attract customers and raise thousands of dollars for evacuees. One stand in Edmonton alone raised $2,000 for the Red Cross. Running a humble lemonade stand is often the first entrepreneurial step for children. They learn basic career lessons while they run their stand: budgeting, planning, marketing, customer service. They also learn that the effort they put into a job can pay off in profits. They also learn that businesses have a positive impact on our community as a whole, as in the case of the wildfire. That entrepreneurial impulse is one that the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce wants to foster, develop and grow in children and youth. It’s imperative that Alberta youth are educated about workforce options and opportunities. It is important that they learn how to connect and develop their interests. And it is vital they have the knowledge and ability to transition into the rewarding careers and futures that they want and deserve.

That entrepreneurial impulse is one that the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce wants to foster, develop and grow in children and youth.

Contact

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

Alberta’s Ministry of Education is launching its new Career and Technology Foundations program for students in Grades 5 to 9 in Fall 2016. The Chamber absolutely supports this program, which will introduce youth to career options at a relatively early age and will help them explore various occupational areas. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JULY 2016

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This program is followed with high school training in Career and Technology Studies (CTS), and in this way we will better prepare students to make informed choices about their career futures. While the flexibility offered through CTS will help students find their passion, it is unfortunate that the vast majority of courses in CTS are either elective or extracurricular. With this structure, it is likely that only the most driven, career-focused students will benefit from the program. It bypasses the youth who require more guidance and direction. The students who need the help the most – those who drop out of high school altogether – also won’t benefit from CTS studies. For the Ministry of Education to achieve its objectives, it must ensure that all students are exposed equally to career education opportunities. Provincial education policy should support positive employer-studenteducator connections by building on successful programs like Youth Connections. Youth Connections opened pathways for employers and students to connect directly. Many students learned about career opportunities directly from employers through presentations about their organizations and job requirements. For the

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business community, compulsory career training and these strong connections were highly valuable characteristics that have remained largely absent from the Alberta curriculum since 2011. The Edmonton Chamber supports strong career training in the curriculum. Career and Technology Foundations is a positive step forward, but there is still a need for employers to present career and workforce opportunities directly to students. We would also welcome the opportunity to partner with the provincial government to promote these kinds of programs and to encourage and facilitate partnerships with industry associations, employers, and valuable groups like CAREERS: The Next Generation. There is nothing like the humble lemonade stand to help children better understand business and directly explore a number of career options. A well-developed career explorations educational program does the same and it does it for all students. As with the lemonade stands set up to support evacuees, the benefits will accrue both to individual students and to the entire community. The Edmonton Chambers wants to know how your business connects with students and youth. Contact us at policy@ edmontonchamber.com.


“Should have called

DRIVING FORCE”

Because arranging a band performance is a big enough job already! 11025–184 Street, Edmonton West TF:

1•877•760•4515

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1•877•630•2399


Become an Export Expert

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xpanding your business internationally by entering the export market is a challenge for any business, especially in today’s economic climate. Exporting creates the potential to increase profits and benefit from the success that international trade brings. It can also create other benefits for your business including increased stability and new client generation: thus enabling your business to hire, acquire and balance one market cycle against another. But entering the export market is no small feat. It can be daunting and there are many factors to consider before your first shipment can be sealed, labeled and shipped off to destinations beyond our border. So where do you start? If you have been considering exploring export opportunities for your business, one of the first things that you need to know, is there are a great range of resources available to you. One of the biggest gaps for businesses thinking about entering new markets is the lack of awareness around the range of government and professional resources available. Clark Grue, President & CEO of Rainmaker Global Business Development, says ‘Companies too often don’t reach out for help when thinking about exploring new market opportunities. Businesses can benefit greatly by tapping into the valuable knowledge resources on offer from government and professional organisations.’ Organisations like Export Development Canada (EDC) (canadabusiness.ca), provide a range of information, tools, and templates to help businesses learn the basics of the export process, and evaluate your export readiness. These resources include: • • • • •

Building an export strategy Practical tips Finding export opportunities Accessing support Insights and continuous learning

Business development Bank (BDC) (bdc.ca) is another network that provides valuable insights to entering the export

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market and covers topics including ‘Am I ready to export?’, ‘Financing my exports’ and ‘Managing online sales and exports.’ Webinars are another great source of information. Enterprise Canada Network (ECN) (enterprisecanadanetwork.ca) delivers free webinars through its Export IQ Seminars program. Seminars cover the latest developments in international markets, critical intelligence on business opportunities, and tips on expanding your business, minimizing risk and profiting globally. Online resources are not the only source of information available to you. There is also a great range of educational seminars and workshops on offer. At the recent Alberta Export Readiness Roadshow, presented in partnership with


Rainmaker Global Business Development and leading Canadian business organisations including the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, participants received strategic insights on how to evaluate their company to build a plan for expansion into new markets. This free half-day seminar provided participants with the tools for assessing and scoring their company’s internal capacity and ability to expand into new markets. These types of events enable you to directly connect with experts on international expansion and build relationships with other business leaders currently in the export industry, as well as those thinking about entering. Another exclusive resource available to members of the Edmonton Chamber is access to the World Trade Centre Association (WTC). The World Trade Centers Association is a global network of 330 trade centers in 100 countries around the world and supports businesses looking to connect globally and prosper locally. The WTC

We don’t build a road, we live it.

provides trade services including education and knowledge creation, and offers a range of office space, conference/exhibition space, and temporary office facilities located within the prestigious World Trade Centre building downtown Edmonton. So, when you are ready to begin your journey of expansion into the global marketplace, start by accessing some of the great resources that are available to you. When your reach that exciting moment when that first shipment of goods is ready to be sealed, labeled and sent on its way, know that the Edmonton Chamber will be on hand to provide you with your Certificate of Origin (CO), certifying that your goods have been proudly produced in Canada. If you have any questions or comments on this article, or wish to suggest topics for a future column, please drop us a line at communications@edmontonchamber.com

Devlin Construction and Icon Ready Mix would like to thank all of our sponsors for their continued support past and present in making our 2nd annual charity golf a huge success with proceeds going to support the children in need at the Stollery Hospital.

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Connecting Business 2016 Mayor’s State of the City Address

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Janet Riopel delivers closing remarks to another successful State of the City Address.

Mayor Don Iveson holding up the iTClamp, as he announces a new strategy to turn Edmonton into ‘Canada’s Health City’.

Guests taking the opportunity to network at this sold-out event with over 2,200 guests in attendance.

Head Table Guests L to R: Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee - Alberta Government, Bill Blais - Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Chair, Mayor Don Iveson - City of Edmonton, Janet M. Riopel - Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, James Merkosky - Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair, Chief William Morin - Enoch Cree Nation, Brian Vaasjo - Capital Power President & CEO.

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Connecting Business Indigenous Business Success and the North’s Untapped Resources

Wayne Gordon, Chair, Inuvialuit Development Corporation (IDC), keeping the audience engaged as he provides insight on IDC operations.

Mayor Don Iveson welcomes guests and speakers Duane Ningaqsiq Smith and Wayne Gordon to Indigenous Business Success and the North’s Untapped Resources Lunch & Learn.

Chamber President and CEO Janet Riopel thanking Wayne and Duane for their illuminating presentations and presenting them with an art piece from local artist Darcy Gusse-Edinga.

Members in this Issue West Edmonton Mall and NorQuest College! in Want to Improve the Economy? Check out Your Nearest Mall! on page 18 Northlands in Taking in K-Days 2016 on page 23

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

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Advocate The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce advocates on your behalf through… • Policy Committees and Task Forces • Strategic Policy Priorities • Small Business-Centric Advocacy

Educate The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce educates you with… • Premium Speakers, Information Sessions • Policy Updates, Advocacy Awareness • Articles, Blogs, News

Connect The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce connects you to…

Take advantage of all the benefits that Edmonton Chamber membership provides.

• Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Edmonton Chamber Members • Policy Advocates, Legislators, Decision Makers • Business Resources, Trainers, Mentors

Contact us today for more information at membership@edmontonchamber.com or 780.426.4620

Follow us! @EdmontonChamber

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EdmontonChamber.com


A TALE OF TWO TAXES // RRSP, TFSA & TAX PLANNING

A TALE of Two Taxes BY FAY FLETCHER

DO FALLING LEASE RATES AFFECT THE CITY OF EDMONTON’S ABILITY TO COLLECT THE PROPERTY TAXES THEY NEED?

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ate last year, news articles about Edmonton’s real estate viability and predicted excess of office space led Business in Edmonton to wonder: How do these fluctuations affect property taxes and how does the City recoup lost revenue when lease rates go down? “These questions are certainly important ones as the answers are often misunderstood,” says Rod Risling, branch manager, assessment and taxation with the City of Edmonton. “The assessment and taxation branch is aware of several articles that have been published suggesting that reductions to property values results in lost revenue for the City. This is, in fact, not the case.” Risling is happy to help dispel myths about property values and taxes. “To help explain,” he starts, “you must understand the two basic formulas for the property assessment and taxation area.”

ABOVE: ROD RISLING, BRANCH MANAGER, ASSESSMENT AND TAXATION WITH THE CITY OF EDMONTON. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JULY 2016

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A TALE OF TWO TAXES // RRSP, TFSA & TAX PLANNING

“EDMONTON WILL CONTINUE [TO GROW], ALBEIT AT A MORE MODEST PACE THAN RECENTLY SEEN. HOUSING STATISTICS IN EDMONTON WILL SLOW MODERATELY OVER 2016 AND THEN FALL SIGNIFICANTLY IN 2017. THE REDUCTIONS WILL BE LARGELY IN MULTI-FAMILY UNITS. HOUSE PRICES IN EDMONTON WILL WEAKEN SLIGHTLY IN 2016 IN THE RANGE OF 1 PER CENT TO 3 PER CENT DOWN, AND THEN STABILIZE IN 2017.” ~ JOHN ROSE

FORMULA 1:

Property Assessment x Tax Rate = Total Taxes “Everyone knows that their taxes are based on their property assessment and their tax rate,” Risling continues. “Therefore, it stands to reason that when their property assessment decreases, their taxes also decrease. However, it is also important to understand how the tax rate is determined.”

FORMULA 2:

City Tax Revenue Requirement/Total Property Class Assessment = Tax Rate “In Formula 2, you can see that the tax rate is just a product of how much money the City needs (tax revenue requirement) divided by the total amount of assessment in a given property class – in this case, non-residential property,” Risling continues. “Based on this formula, the tax

rate moves inversely to the change in assessment. In other words, when the overall assessment goes up, tax rates go down. When the overall assessment goes down, tax rates go up. At the end of the day, the City still collects exactly what it budgets no matter what happens to property values. This provides security to the City’s revenue base when economic times are bad, but it also means the City does not collect any additional money through market value uplift when economic times are good.” Surprised? Risling asserts that while this is public information, it is not common knowledge. “It is a matter of distribution. Edmonton is legislated by the provincial government to have only one tax rate for all non-residential property owners. That means when one sector of the nonresidential economy is doing relatively poorly, their share of the total tax burden decreases. However, when a sector of the non-residential economy is doing relatively better, their share of the total tax burden increases.”

ABOVE: JOHN ROSE, CITY OF EDMONTON’S CHIEF ECONOMIST.

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A TALE OF TWO TAXES // RRSP, TFSA & TAX PLANNING

To further explain this concept, he says to think of a large group of people going to dinner. Some will have the steak and a couple drinks. Some will have just a salad. Everyone eats a different amount so they are all responsible for a portion of the bill. When the bill arrives, each pays according to their share. Regardless of who ate what, the total bill remains the same and must be collected. The next time that group goes out, the salad eater may decide to have the lobster and the steak eater may not be drinking. Consumption and the distribution of payment has changed, but the full amount of the bill is still collected accordingly.

“Edmonton will continue [to grow], albeit at a more modest pace than recently seen. Housing statistics in Edmonton will slow moderately over 2016 and then fall significantly in 2017. The reductions will be largely in multi-family units. House prices in Edmonton will weaken slightly in 2016 in the range of 1 per cent to 3 per cent down, and then stabilize in 2017,” the City of Edmonton’s chief economist, John Rose predicted as last year drew to a close. He had recently released his Economic Outlook for Edmonton in which he pointed out the many factors contributing to the change in real estate prices. Oil was an issue, but uneven economies of countries around the world also played a part.

That brings us to another important piece of this puzzle. Just what is the state Edmonton’s real estate sector?

That being said, as economies shrunk around the world, Canada, comparatively, boomed. As 2015 drew to a close, the Greek economy was down 30 per cent from 2008, and the Italian economy was 8 per cent smaller. Spain was 4 per cent smaller and both Portugal and Ireland were down 5 per cent too. However, during the same time frame, the Canadian

Let’s look at residential real estate for a moment as the temperature of residential real estate drives the pulse of commercial.

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A TALE OF TWO TAXES // RRSP, TFSA & TAX PLANNING

THROUGH THE PROGRAM, GRANTS MOTIVATE OWNERS TO IMPROVE THEIR STOREFRONTS, THEREFORE MAKING THE STREETS MORE INVITING, ATTRACTING NEW CLIENTS, AND IMPROVING THE MARKETABILITY OF THE AREA. A REIMBURSEMENT GRANT OF UP TO 50 PER CENT OF ELIGIBLE CONSTRUCTION (TO A MAXIMUM OF $30,000 FOR A STREET SIDE BUILDING AND A MAXIMUM OF $60,000 FOR A CORNER BUILDING WITH TWO FACADES FACING PUBLIC ROADS) IS AVAILABLE.

economy grew by 6 per cent. Clearly, while things are not as rosy as they used to be (and that goes for everywhere in the world), when you look at the data, Canadians still have plenty to be thankful for. That brings us back to commercial real estate. When oil prices and world economies fell, many companies hunkered down and turned to improving their internal process so when sales soared again, they would be strong and fast out of the gate. This is something any business can do, and the City of Edmonton has a way to help company owners in revitalization zones improve their foot traffic while boosting Edmonton’s economy. The City of Edmonton’s Façade Improvement Program is aimed at business and commercial property owners in revitalization zones. Through the Program, grants motivate owners to improve their storefronts, therefore making the streets more inviting, attracting new clients, and improving the marketability of the area. A reimbursement grant of up to 50 per cent of eligible construction (to a maximum of $30,000 for a street side building and a maximum of $60,000 for a corner building with two facades facing public roads) is available. “We want our core commercial areas and businesses to have strong curb appeal,” says Lara Pinchbeck, a principal planner in the commercial property revitalization team at the City of Edmonton. “Having an attractive and inviting storefront is a form of marketing for these businesses.”

“The notion of curb appeal does not factor in when determining taxes. We have, many times, gone back to our tax assessors to determine if there has been a property tax increase and they reassure us there isn’t.”

Does the program work? Absolutely. “The capital improvement generates more sales,” Pinchbeck says of the program’s results.

Despite what some headlines say, the news is good for the city of Edmonton. Taxes are collected as needed, the economic situation is far better than in other cities around the world and the programs and services business owners need are in place.

Does it increase taxes?

Carry on, Edmonton. Carry on.

ABOVE: LARA PINCHBECK, A PRINCIPAL PLANNER IN THE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY REVITALIZATION TEAM AT THE CITY OF EDMONTON.

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The Affect of Effect

By Nerissa McNaughton

Custom, eco-friendly and net-zero energy homes has Effect Home Builders changing and challenging the industry in very positive ways.

Dave Brettelle, Dominic Emmelkamp, Sydney Bond, Mark Vorster, Les Wold, Nick Harrington, Dale Rott, Will Berger, Krista Polukoshko, and Richard Burton.

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ome people say they want to change the world for the better. Other people roll up their sleeves and start making those changes, backing up their words with actions. Effect Home Builders falls squarely into that second group and not only are they making tremendous change, they are inspiring others to do so as well. “We saw a real need in the market and we wanted to challenge ourselves to work with people to build the homes that meet their

Congratulations to Effect Home Builders on their success. Aqua Plumbing and Heating Ltd. 12855 170 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5V 1L8 Phone:(780) 452-7610

needs, but are far superior to the standard construction that was going on. We thought we could improve the industry and have a positive impact on the environment at the same time,” says managing partner Les Wold, who co-launched the company 15 years ago with Dale Rott and Dave Brettelle. “To Effect, it’s more than just building a home. It’s incorporating your lifestyle and having a positive impact with it, Wold continues. “We create the least amount of negative impact and the highest amount of positive impact. For every home, we take the time to ensure you are optimizing everything the location has to offer, such as south exposure to the sun’s energy. We work with the homeowners to see what their current needs are and what their needs will be in the future. “Some things might not get done at the start, such as a full solarelectric system, but we have the house ready for it – the roof engineered for the extra weight of the modules, the roof designed to face south and conduit run down to the electrical room. For limited extra cost it is built properly and a solar-electric system can be put up later without intrusion on the residents. All of our homes are built to be solar ready.” Effect’s motto is to build homes that are “quieter, more comfortable and healthier” than the standard and above all, sustainable. How do they achieve this? Effect Home Builders | 15 Years | 1

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Our system preheats it so you only have to heat the difference. It’s efficient and much healthier as opposed to older and poorly constructed homes where the air leaks in and out of The perfect blend of materials, texture, and colour showcase the home’s contemporary design in this efficient home.

the cracks.

Wold is happy to inform, “One of the key things is to have a well-insulated building envelope. That is critical to ensure you have the least amount of heat loss. Our homes are virtually airtight, so you are retaining the heat and further contributing to the home’s efficiency. “We have a heat recovery ventilation system (fresh air pump) that draws in fresh air to be used in the home. It extracts the stale air and releases it, but it preheats incoming air coming in an efficient way. In a normal home, you are blowing out +20 air and drawing in -20 air.

In this Net Zero Energy Home the polished concrete floors absorb and release passive solar energy.

Our system preheats it so you only have to heat the difference. It’s efficient and much healthier as opposed to older and poorly constructed homes where the air leaks in and out of the cracks. The system has very fine filters which remove allergens and toxins. “We incorporate as many green options as are practical and make sense. For example. All of our homes have insulation under the basement slab. This allows you to have a warmer, more comfortable basement floor. It’s not a major cost, but you are always getting the comfort and efficiency of it because it’s always working to prevent the cold from infiltrating through the floor. “We use insulated concrete form (ICF) foundations, which offer significantly improved insulation values for the foundation, and all of our homes have triplepane low-e argon-filled windows.

Open, bright kitchen with innovative island design allows viewing of the Courtyard. Effect Home Builders | 15 Years | 2

“Wherever possible, we source local materials. If we are removing an existing home, we reuse and recycle materials. The concrete in the existing foundation is recycled and used as road crush. We keep as much as possible out of the landfills.”


Congrats Effect Home Builders on 15 years!

2679 - 96 Street Edmonton, Alberta T6N 1C3 Ph: 780-690-1481 • Fax: 780-756-1643 • www.waygoodskitchens.com

A trusted leader in Commercial and Residential roofing services. Including Flat Roofing, Sloped Roofing, and Roof Repairs in Edmonton and surrounding areas.

780.466.1601 • 6808 78 Avenue • crestroofing.ca CONGRATULATIONS EFFECT HOME BUILDERS ON YOUR 15TH ANNIVERSARY!

Congratulations Effect Home Builders on 15 years!! We wish you many years of continued success!

593 Cottonwood Avenue, Sherwood Park, Alberta T8A 1Y5 estateexteriors@gmail.com Phone: 780-904-9976 • Fax: 780-570-5066 estateexteriors.ca Effect Home Builders | 15 Years | 3


“We did three net-zero energy homes in Belgravia that garnered a lot of interest and recognition,” Wold explains. “The project won local, provincial and national awards from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) as well as from many other organizations. Those homes caught the attention of Mike Holmes and his Group.” Holmes was impressed. Very impressed. “Now all of our homes are registered with the Holmes Approved program. They come and inspect the homes and provide a binder to the homeowners to give them peace of mind to see the structure and mechanical before it’s covered up. It’s an authentication of the process and products.

Dave Brettelle, Dale Rott and Les Wold.

In 2012, Effect Home Builders did their first net-zero energy project. A net-zero energy home consumes the same amount of energy it produces over the course of a year. It’s no small feat to achieve a net-zero energy home, which is why this project caught the eye of one of the most recognized celebrity builders in Canada – Mike Holmes.

Congratulations to Effect Home Builders on 15 years of Customer Excellence!

Corsi Tile & Stone

10409-82 street Edmonton, AB T6A 3M6 Effect Home Builders | 15 Years | 4

“I’m very impressed with the Holmes Group. They stand behind what they believe in. They are about quality and doing things right. It is quite rewarding to work with them. They have never wavered in building better homes across North America and they are putting a lot of effort into doing that. Partnering with the Holmes Group dovetails nicely with what we are trying to achieve.” Perhaps the most inspiring thing about Effect Home Builders, however, is not the fact that they impressed Mike Holmes, that they can build houses so efficient there is no energy waste, or

Congratulations

to Effect Home Builders on 15 years of Innovation from George’s Ditching and Trucking Ltd.! We wish you many more years of continued success. George’s Ditching & Trucking Ltd. has been proudly serving Edmonton and its surrounding communities since 1969. Your In-Fill Specialist’s with Bin Service 15227 119 Ave NW • 780-452-4545 • www.georgesditching.ca


The impact Effect Home Builders has made in the industry in such a short period

C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S Effect Home Builders on 15 years of success!

of time is astounding, and the progressive company hopes the way they build will become the standard for all home builders across Canada.

HELPING PEOPLE SUCCEED Edmonton 780.463.8101 • w w w.kbh.ca

even that they have achieved the feat of an independent 100 per cent consumer satisfaction rating on Houzz. It’s not their awards cabinet that is bulging at the seams or the special requests they accommodate, such as a two-storey indoor slide in one home and a massive aquarium in another. No, what makes this company truly special is the fact that they share what makes them unique. In a move completely contrary to most industry mandates, Effect Home Builders put their net-zero energy homes on display as they were constructing them, allowing students, utility companies and other builders to learn and grow with them. They flung their doors open, so as many people as possible could learn about, use and build with the technology.

www.hagensurveys.com

Congratulations Effect Home Builders on 15 years! Wishing you many years of continued success.

That is amazing, but they didn’t stop there. “On a national level, we are part of CHBA’s Net Zero Energy Housing Council,” says Wold with pride. We are working with the Council to be rolling out the net-zero energy home labeling program and to make homeowners, as well as other builders, aware of better ways to build. We are trying to lead by example on innovative and effective ways to increase the quality and efficiency of homes. Founding partner Dale Rott is an active member with the Council.”

AB Sound Roofing Roofing Roofing The impact Effect Home Builders has made in the industry in such a short period of time is astounding, and the progressive company hopes the way they build will become the standard for all home builders across Canada. “It’s been an evolution,” Wold concludes. “We have always wanted to build better homes and really meet the needs of the clients. As the homes grew, we were continually researching and developing better building methods and healthier, more durable ways to build. Our homes were becoming more and more efficient and more and more comfortable. “We really listen to clients about their wants and needs and marry that into efficiencies when creating their dream home.” He smiles when he thinks of Effect’s future and sums it up with one simple, but impactful statement. “We love building new energy-efficient homes. There is going to be lots more of that.”

Congratulations

on 15 years of leadership and excellence in the home building industry, we are proud to be a part of your history! absoundexteriors.com

Congratulations to Effect Home Builders on 15 years of building excellence! F. Andersen Drywall (1998) Ltd

Suite 201, 8815 – 92 Street NW Edmonton, AB T6C 3P9 p: 780.450.1399 • f: 780.450.1994 effecthomes.ca

Residential/ Commercial Insulation, Drywall, Taping, Texturing, Spray Foam, Attic, Steel Stud, T-Bar

46 Riel Dr, St Albert, AB T8N 3Z8 Phone:(780) 459-3707 Effect Home Builders | 15 Years | 5


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Exceeding Expectations - Every Time: Above & Beyond Promotions Ltd. Celebrates their 10th Anniversary By Nerissa McNaughton

“Our goal isn’t to be the biggest, it’s to be the best.” – Rick Nutting

R

ick Nutting, president of Above & Beyond Promotions Ltd., is the first to admit that the drive to be the “best and not the biggest” sounds cliché, but after 10 years in business, there is simply no better motto for this incredibly unique promotional company. “We are not an exclusively online store where people don’t know what they’re getting until it’s delivered to them. When you call or order from Above & Beyond, you are talking directly with a knowledgeable person, not to someone on the other side of the world, the way many other large companies operate. Our process involves working with people on a personal level to get them the products they want while keeping within their budget. We value our relationships with our clients and always do our best to ensure they are satisfied with both the product and the experience,” says Nutting. He runs the company alongside his wife and vice president Karla Kushniruk. Together, they and their staff use first-hand product knowledge to help clients choose from among thousands of items. They only sell quality products and they prefer to meet their clients so they can have the tactile experience of seeing, touching and using the promotional products before they buy them.

Above & Beyond Promotions Ltd. | 10 Years | 1

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“I am the first one to admit that 85 per cent of promotional items are garbage,” says Nutting, “and it is my job to find the 15 per cent that are not.” An entrepreneur at heart, Nutting left the copy machine business so he could work in an industry that he found truly exciting. At first he tested the waters by running the company from home, but when the orders came in so fast that boxes started to block their front door, Nutting and his wife invested in a larger house that had a full basement for their employees, along with a garage that served as a warehouse. Above & Beyond promptly outgrew that space too, so in 2012 the company moved to their current location on 97 Street and 41 Avenue. As Above & Beyond celebrates their 10th anniversary, they show no signs of slowing down.

Above & Beyond works closely with the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Neurosurgery Kids Fund (NKF), providing items to comfort sick children and to create memorial items for children that have passed on.

“We believe in KYP and KYC, which stands for know your product and know your client,” Kushniruk says. She comes from a finance background where the philosophy of KYC is very important. After taking a short career break to help Nutting with the administrative side of the company, she discovered her own passion for Above & Beyond – and delved into running it alongside Nutting. “You need to educate yourself on who the client is, their goals and what they are trying to achieve. If you do your legwork and know their event, you can steer them to the right product.” With over tens of thousands of products available, KYC and KYP is vitally important. Anyone can grab a bunch of pens from a supplier and slap their brand on it, but a carefully thought out promotional product provides an incredible return on investment (ROI). For example, a thin blanket with a company’s logo embroidered in

the corner is nice – but a plush, thick throw lined on one side with sheep’s wool and screened with a beautiful photo (like the skyline of the city) and the company’s name and logo properly placed on the other side is so much better. Why? Because it is an item the recipient will love, use and display. Nutting and Kushniruk love the advances in the industry that allow them to offer products with sublimation (threads dyed in instead of simply embroidered on top), laser cutting, 3D, and CAD cuts. “Technology has made things that are more fun and creative,” laughs Nutting. In addition to knowing their products inside out and working with their clients to deliver the best promotional items for their needs,

Above & Beyond Promotions Ltd. | 10 Years | 2


Unique items from Above & Beyond include: Alcohol breathalyzers Custom bobble heads Apparel School gear Tote bags Breast cancer awareness items Banking items Custom socks Awards Signs Candy and treats Computer gadgets Drinkware Desk accessories Backpacks Flashlights Wristbands Medical apparel Towels Trade show gear Watches Umbrellas

Dedication and passion. Those are the two best words to describe what Above & Beyond is all about, and there are numerous examples to prove it.

And so much more!

Above & Beyond prides itself on its purchasing power. The company has access to manufacturers both locally and abroad to ensure every client gets the product – and the price point – they need. Promotional products are not the only thing Above & Beyond is passionate about. Their devotion to their community inspires them every day. The company supports many non-profit initiatives, and one that is very close to their hearts is the Stollery’s Neurosurgery Kids Fund (NKF). As a major sponsor of the NKF, Kushniruk works directly with parents whose children are undergoing treatment for neurological issues, and with parents who have lost a child. Never shirking from the task of meeting with grieving parents to create personalized memorial items, or providing comforting baby blankets for kids receiving care, the Above & Beyond team is committed to making a real, lasting difference in the lives of the people around them.

Example 1: In the early days when Above & Beyond was still working out of a residence, they got a request for patio umbrellas. They said yes. When the 750 boxes of umbrellas showed up, their garage was dwarfed. They needed to get the umbrellas separated from the stems so they could be logoed. Friends and family were commandeered. A production line stretched into the back alley. The impromptu team feasted on homemade chili between shifts. They worked around the clock unpacking and repacking the order. “These days we have the space and the staff to do that for us,” laughs Kushniruk, “but back then, we did everything ourselves.” Example 2: Nutting was attending a wedding and the food, catered by a friend of his, was outstanding. “How come only three or four people here know your company provided this food?” Nutting asked his friend. “Everyone should have a napkin with your company’s name on it so they can literally wipe their face with your logo!” The friend agreed, ordered 10,000 napkins and enjoyed the boost it brought his business.

Above & Beyond Promotions Ltd. | 10 Years | 3


“Looking back over the last 10 years, did I envision that we would be where we are today?” Nutting muses. “Absolutely! I came from the office equipment industry where nobody got excited to buy photocopiers, but now I get to sell products that people love and are interested in. It is ‘fun’ sales!”

Founder Rick Nutting, vice president and wife Karla Kushniruk and their son enjoy their time together in and out of the office.

Example 3: Employee Stephen Way felt like Santa Claus when he personally delivered products to a company promoting a fashion line. “Everyone was trying to get a peek inside the boxes,” beams Way. “They instantly Instagrammed their order.”

He loves running the company alongside his staff, empowering and encouraging them every day. “Being a leader means recognising people have different approaches and working with them to identify their strengths and weaknesses to ensure their own personal success. To my team, I say your strengths are what have gotten you here. Never forget them, but always work on your weaknesses. We always want to progress as individuals. People get excited to meet with us and to see what kind of cool things we can offer, so let’s have fun!”

“The excitement on the client’s face when we deliver their product is what we live for,” admits Nutting. The examples could go on and on but the best way to be a part of the Above & Beyond experience is to see what this devoted, passionate, dedicated team can do for your business. For 10 years their company has grown rapidly based on strong referrals from satisfied clients and even though Alberta is in the grip of a recession, Above & Beyond is thriving.

To learn more about how you can promote your brand while receiving an incredible ROI contact: 52, 9703-41 Ave Edmonton, AB T6E 6M9 Phone: (780) 637-0776 info@abpromo.ca • www.abpromo.ca

Above & Beyond Promotions Ltd. | 10 Years | 4


Trenton Plaizier, Jaden Plaizier, John Jr. Plaizier, Emma Plaizier, Jason Plaizier, Jackie Plaizier, John Plaizier Sr. and Darcy Kessler.

Plaizier PERSEVERES In business for 50 years, the family behind Plaizier Container Services has learnt a lot about how to thrive in business – and in life. By Nerissa McNaughton Casey Plaizier

T

he Netherlands translates to “low-lying country” and Holland translates to “wooded land.” It’s a small country, edged by the sea, and some would argue that it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. From this low-lying wooded land comes the most beautiful tulips and some of the best cheese in Europe; and 65 years ago, Holland also gave Canada John Plaizier Sr. At first glance, he’s a non-descript man. He doesn’t wear a flashy suit and he doesn’t boast about his accomplishments – although, as you will soon learn, he has much he could boast about. He doesn’t drive a fancy sports car. In fact, if you notice anything about him it’s the vintage Cadillac that he keeps in prime condition, a car that he’s driven for well over 20 years. Yet it just takes a few minutes of talking to John to realize there is something truly special about him and his family. There is an undercurrent of strength, determination and humility seldom seen in a company founder whose business has endured for more than half a century. You see, for John it all comes down to one simple word. A word that carried him overseas to Canada, a word that sustained him when his business was in jeopardy and a word that helped him keep body and soul together after the death of one of his sons. It’s a word that he will lean on all his life. That word is: perseverance.

This is the story of how John learned to persevere. It started with the war. “I had a brother that went to Germany and never came back,” John explains. “After the war, things were not very fun. A few fellows from Holland didn’t come back. I was supposed to go into the army but instead, put in an application to come to Canada. I arrived here in 1951. It was hard for my parents to let go of more children. My sister came with me. She was a little older. My parents thought she would look after me.” He wasn’t a man that needed a lot of looking after. His feet barely touched Canadian soil before he found himself a job. In a theme that would reoccur throughout his life, he simply “went to work”. He was 19 years old. “I started working on a farm, and then started working in construction and got married in 1953. Then I worked for a company. I tried farming in 1960 but between freezing out and drying out, I had to give it up.” With seemingly boundless energy, John had tried farming and working in construction at the same time, so when the farm didn’t pan out, he was, luckily, still employed. “I bought a repossessed truck and a guy came to work for me, giving me a staff of one. That guy would stay with me for 17 years. Then slowly through the years, I bought another truck

Plaizier Container Service | 50 Years | 1

91


P LAIZIER Container Service

and then another. Then I bought some Caterpillars. I had eight drivers plus office staff. About 12 people altogether. “Luckily I had a good wife! She was looking after the animals when I had the farm and the kids while I was working in town.” John chuckles. “She was not a farm girl!” Then he smiles. “We have been married 63 years.” His fleet wasn’t the only thing growing. His family was too. Together the couple had three children, all of whom became involved in the family business: Emma, Johnny (John Jr.) and Casey. “I launched J. Plaizier Trucking and Excavation Ltd. in 1965 to handle excavating and demolitions. In 1974, I started in containers.” John knew a lot of construction people in the city and told them he was going to do his own hauling. One of his clients asked for a bin. The rest is history. “That’s how I started bringing people bins,” John laughs. At that time he was still doing construction and demolition in tandem with containers. Eventually he would switch to just providing containers, dumping and recycling services under the name Plaizier Container Services. When he first bought the land for Plaizier Container Services, people thought he was crazy. The location, and it’s the same location they still operate from today, is on the far northwest side of the city. Even though it is now a prime location for industrial services, it was, at the time, way out of town. It was also a little above budget, on account of the fact that John didn’t have any money to buy the property. “I didn’t have a dime,” he admits, but once again, he persevered. “I went to so many places to borrow money. Everyone said I had to have collateral. When you’re working for $1 an hour, where do you get collateral? To get money was

Jackie and John Plaizier Sr. with photos showing how their lives have changed over the years.

John Plaizier Sr. proudly holds a photo of his first truck. Plaizier Container Service | 50 Years | 2


50 YEARS

Jason Plaizier

hard. I found someone that could Plaizier Container Services was a part of the construction of West Edmonton Mall’s water park. trust me. When you find someone that can trust you, that’s something.” best customer service in town. We have had some of the With his property secured, he quickly paid off his loan. same clients for years and years.” “Business is 90 per cent management of your affairs and Daughter Emma works in administration at Plaizier, money,” John says firmly. “Don’t spend as much as your alongside her brother Johnny. income. Pay all your bills. Be responsible!” It’s advice that has “I was always proud of my father. I went with him for a served him well for 50 years, and has made him debt-free. lot of car rides to look at a lot of old houses. After supper I “Today, if anyone finds a person I owe money to, I will pay remember being on the back of a Caterpillar with him bethem double!” cause he had to dig a hole while it was still light out. I was It wasn’t a Cinderella rags-to-riches story, however. While always proud of him, and I still am,” smiles Emma. the overall trajectory of the company was always on the Plaizier has had some of the same crew members for over rise, John and his family would face crises that would nearly 20 years, which is quite a feat in today’s rapidly moving marbring everything he worked so hard for to a grinding halt. ketplace. John knows this and is grateful to each and every The first blow struck in the 80s. one of his staff members and drivers, thanking them and “The 80s were very bad times. In the 70s things were noting the difference a well-trained, long-serving, tight-knit booming and I had 15 people. Then interest went from 13 crew makes to his business and his customers. per cent to 24.5 per cent. I figured I could keep on going But one crew member is missing. The second blow came but after six months, there was no work anymore.” How did just months ago in August 2015 when John’s son, Casey, Plaizier survive? Perseverance – and a little unexpected luck. passed away. “I had a bunch of dump trucks and people bought them “My biggest challenge is what just happened, my son passfrom me. That’s how we survived. But then someone stole a ing away,” John shakes his head sadly. “Now you wonder if it is Cat – a front end loader. I never found it but the insurance worthwhile staying in business or just packing it in.” paid out and I used that money to pay some bills. I also “My brother was very dedicated,” Emma adds. “He kept worked some farmland. Then the recession finished and saying he had to get better so he could get back to work. slowly, things started picking up in construction again. We miss him dearly and I wish he was here with us. He Many companies went bust during the 80s recession, had a big impact on this company too. He had a huge just as many are struggling through the recent economic influence.” downturn, but the man from Holland that had already In a way, Casey is still influencing the company. His son, endured the loss of his older brother, his homeland and his Jason, and two grandsons Jaden and Trenton, work at Plaizier, first farm was never a quitter. happy to follow in Casey’s footsteps, even though he left “When I came to this location there was only one street light huge shoes to fill. and only three people in the container business. Now there Grief-stricken, the family had arrived at a fork in the road. are, what…40 more?” he laughs. “How did we stay in business? At the time of Casey’s passing, John had been running the We grew with the city and we give people real service. I have company for 49 years. He had survived a terrible recession never had a salesman. We simply provide service. People ask and was staring another one in the face. He was grieving. for one truck or five trucks and we are there within the hour.” Was it time to retire? “We always get compliments about how fast we do our “I’m 84 years old and hope to give construction service delivery and pickup,” Emma enters the conversation. “It’s the for another 50 years,” John decided emphatically.

Plaizier Container Service | 50 Years | 3


Office administrator Donna Seib, Jackie Plaizier, Emma Plaizier, John Plaizier Sr. and John (Johnny) Plaizier Jr. stand in front of the company’s headquarters.

“Through all the ups and downs, we made it,” adds his wife, Jackie, who has always been her husband’s biggest cheerleader and supporter; from holding down the farm to bringing up the kids to answering the office phone when the only office John had was inside their house. “We made it. That is perseverance.” Perseverance indeed. Whatever life throws at John, he’s willing to go down, but not out – and he always gets right back up. This attitude has been adopted by his sons, daughter, grandchildren and employees, and that is how Plaizier perseveres through thick and thin. Thankfully, there have been plenty of good moments to offset the bad. In 1991 John, who had always regretted having to give up his farm, bought a hobby farm and kept it for 20 years. It was a haven to relax with his wife and children...and cattle, and donkeys and chickens! He also counts becoming a Canadian citizen among his fondest memories. “I could not wait to become a Canadian citizen and I did so within five years of coming to Canada. I think Canada is the best country in the world. After I moved here with my sister, three of my other brothers came down here too.” Does he do any hobbies when he’s not working? “Farming is a hobby. And work. I don’t do nothing for fun!” The twinkle in his eye betrays that he finds work to be a lot of fun. “I’m a working man. I never hated to go to work, even when I was young. Work is my hobby.” Emma shakes her head. “They (my parents) have travelled the world!” John has to grudgingly admit with a little prodding from Jackie, “We’ve been to China, Mexico, Paris, Rome, Venice and while my parents were alive, after some time in Canada I went back to Holland once a year to visit them.” Yet, half a century of working hard is a long time for any man, no matter how much he loves his work – and John knows it. “People think riches come easy. People think it comes overnight. It sure doesn’t. You need perseverance. There are ups and downs and recessions. I won’t say I’m rich, but for-

tunately we made it. I keep my silence and I don’t stick my nose into anybody’s purse. I just keep going and provide service to the public. “The people that stuck with me make all the difference for the company to grow; and the clients - I sure appreciate that you come back to me all the time. We lose some customers and they come back after they try other companies. They come back for our service. “I appreciate my family for sticking it out with me. Sometimes it has not been easy.” After 50 years is there a milestone, achievement or recognition that sticks out the most for John? Is there a defining moment of clarity when he knew he and the company would be alright? Is there a memoir-worthy epiphany or benchmark on which he can measure his decades-long success? Not really. “I just keep going on.” And his plan for the future of the company? “Just carrying on.” Jackie shakes her head at her husband, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. “He’s 84 and he just keeps carrying on.” I guess that’s the true definition of perseverance. It’s got him and Plaizier Containers Services this far. It’ll get them all through another 50 years. Plaizier Container Services provides bins for hauling dry and construction waste. Transfer and recycling services are also available on site. The company services Edmonton and the surrounding area of Fort Saskatchewan, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Leduc, Nisku and Sherwood Park. Business in Edmonton magazine, along with the company’s friends, clients and supporters, congratulate John and his company on 50 years of service to the Edmonton region, and for teaching us how to persevere through the ups and downs of life.

P LAIZIER Container Service

Ph: 780-484-5213 • 780-447-1074 Fax: 780-447-1979 www.plaiziercontainers.com

Plaizier Container Service | 50 Years | 4


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Andrew Obrecht, Warren Matzelle , Grady Topak | Co-Owners, YYC Cycle Spin Studio Putting a positive spin on entrepreneurship

“I wish I knew it was going to be

this much fun. Yeah, I probably would have started it earlier. Andrew Obrecht, Co-Owner, YYC Cycle Spin Studio

Together, Andrew, Warren and Grady have made it through the ups and downs of starting a business. (And it helped to have the right bank along for the ride.)

Watch these entrepreneurs’ stories and get expert insights at

atb.com / WeGrowAlberta |

#wegrowalberta

Who helps bring your ideas to life? We do. ™ Trademarks of Alberta Treasury Branches.

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