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Built on Values, Driven with Purpose. Over the last year Cashco has accomplished a significant amount of positive change and massive growth, including a merger with Carco Auto Credit which launched Cashco into a new sphere as a full service alternative lender. Cashco continues to advance with the addition of 13 new Cash Canada locations in Alberta and expansion of Carco into the Ontario market. Last year, Cashco Financial was a finalist for one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. Working with Results has helped the leadership team at Cashco transform from a reactive management style to a pro-active style. They now have a plan for sustained growth and success that can be measured and shared with everyone in the organization. The regular rhythm of their meetings, consistent review, and updating of their goals and commitments keeps them grounded and on the same page. The Cashco management team is acomplishing more now than ever thanks to Results.

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Thursday, June 18 | 6pm | The Sutton Place Hotel

780.638.1777 Contact Nancy Bielecki for tickets at ext. 230

Join us in celebrating Business in Edmonton’s Leaders.

We will be honouring 20 individuals for their business acumen, contribution to community and to their industry. These are the people that are making Edmonton a great city to live and work in. Business in Edmonton will feature your Leaders Awards recipients in our July 2015 issue.

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JUNE 2015 | VOL. 04 #06

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time

View our elect ronic issue of this mon th’s mag azin e onlin e at www .busi nessi nedm onto

Regulars Each and every month


Sports, oil, tech and agriculture? Sounds like Edmonton and this issue covers all that, and more!






John Hardy


Josh Bilyk

Cover Len Rhodes’ playbook shows big wins for Edmonton on and off the turf


OFF THE TOP Fresh News Across all Sectors



Real Estate Development Built on Family Values



Celebrates 35 Years


Celebrating 25 Years


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |


Is your business capitalizing on this changing marketplace? At KPMG, successful financial advising starts with the business not with the balance sheet. Our advisers take the time to understand your entire operation before executing an approach that can help to maximize the value of your company and position it for the future. Whether you need to buy or sell a business, refinance, raise capital or manage through turbulent times, our team can assist. To learn how KPMG can assist you, please contact:

Robert Borrelli Office Managing Partner T: 780.429.6081 E:

Jon Edgett Vice President, Corporate Finance T: 780.429.6076 E:

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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time







EDITOR Nerissa McNaughton

COPY EDITOR Nikki Mullett






Josh Bilyk


THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Ben Freeland John Hardy Rechelle McDonald Debra Ward




Cover photo by Epic Photography Inc.


ADVERTISING SALES Evelyn Dehner Renee Neil



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Small and medium-sized enterprises find success beyond Canada’s borders


Farming is a profession that conjures up wholesome ideals and the ‘simple life,’ but is there anything simple about it? Today, farming is just as much about technology and economics as any other industry


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Low global oil prices continue to cast a shadow over Canada’s wealthiest province, but are the province’s worst fears likely to come true?

Business in Edmonton is delivered to 27,000 business addresses every month including all registered business owners in Edmonton and surrounding areas including St Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc/Nisku, Spruce Grov, Stony Plain and Fort Saskatchewan. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 42455512


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Email was developed as a tool to make our working life more efficient, but has it morphed from helper to hindrance?

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New brooms sweep clean,” says the old expression. On May 5 a giant, brand new broom swept away the decades-old Progressive Conservative government. Change can be healthy. Political change of this magnitude can bring in fresh ideas and approaches. Having a brand new governing caucus and new Cabinet ministers is just the beginning of the shift. New political staff will populate key positions and a variety of boards all over the province will be repopulated with new faces. While NDP governments are new to Albertans, the experience in other provinces can provide a taste of what we might expect over the next four years. As a general rule, NDP governments favour government-oriented solutions. The British Columbia NDP government got into the ferry-building business, the Saskatchewan NDP government owned film studios and agricultural operations, and the Manitoba NDP famously started a labour-sponsored investment fund in order to diversify their economy. The government-first approach of the NDP isn’t news to anyone. However, NDP governments have also proven they are capable of being wise fiscal and economic managers. The Saskatchewan NDP under Roy Romanow balanced the government books by controlling spending and public sector wage growth – to much less fanfare than the Klein Tories did in Alberta. Saskatchewan NDP leader Lorne Calvert kick-started their oil patch by reducing oil and gas royalties and began an economic renewal by dramatically cutting business taxes in 2006.


Change can be healthy. Political change of this magnitude can bring in fresh ideas and approaches. Having a brand new governing caucus and new Cabinet ministers is just the beginning of the shift. New leadership in Alberta could open doors for Alberta businesses, but we’re going to keep a close eye on five key files, and advocate for sound policies that enables business to keep thriving in Alberta. Five files to watch under the Alberta NDP: Taxation. It’s right there in the platform – the NDP will increase corporate income taxes by 20 per cent in their first budget. Increasing corporate taxes, as you may have seen in our recent report, is bad policy – as it will cost jobs and investment. As we’ve seen in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, increasing taxes can be habit-forming. Government spending. Before they were abruptly dismissed by voters, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives committed to a 10-year fiscal plan that would control spending. They also promised to tackle public sector salaries and benefits in the next round of collective agreements. These were good policies. Across the board, the Alberta government is the biggest spender in confederation, and this needs to be addressed if we’re going to balance the books. It might be that an Alberta-style NDP government is ideally suited to meet these challenges with some public encouragement.

June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Environment. Premier Notley is passionate about the environment, and served time as an environment critic in the past. Her commitment to sustainable development is to be commended, but an overzealous government bent on reigning in industry would be counter-productive. Direct government investment in the economy. Nothing kills a business plan like suddenly having to compete against your own tax dollars in the form of a crown corporation. During the 1990s Premier Klein announced the Alberta government was no longer “in the business of being in business.” Simply put – business is better at doing business. Market access. Alberta needs pipelines – in every direction – to maximize the economic benefits from our energy resources. Premier Notley said she doesn’t support Enbridge’s Northern Gateway – a project that was conditionally approved by the National Energy Board – but does support TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Energy East. Albertans will be looking for clarity on this issue in the coming months. BIE 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. Visit to inquire about membership in the AEG movement.

Q & A with the President of Digitex

Hugh Porter talks about Digitex’s growth, products and future plans When and why was Digitex launched? Digitex was founded in 1997 in Red Deer by Rob Barden and Chris Brown, they set out to build a company that focused on service first and sales second.

are solely focused on the customer experience. If set up and demonstrated properly that big photocopier everyone loves to hate can become a real asset to your business.

What do you personally find rewarding about Our technological needs were very different Digitex? in 1997. Can you tell us a little about how I love the opportunity to build relationships with things have changed over the years for our customers, suppliers and employees. We have Digitex? some awesome people working for and with this Technology is constantly changing. The brands we company and it’s inspiring to be around so many Hugh Porter carry are from industry leading manufacturers people that care. that spend billions on research and development and offer products that are leading edge. The How is Digitex active in the community? services side is all us and we pride ourselves on staying on top of We support as many local charities as we can. We nominate an the technology so our technicians can do their job to the best of employee of the month every month and along with their award, their ability and fix things right the first time. To do this properly, we we match the donation to a local charity of their choice. We offer provide constant training, just in time car stock replenishment and a free copier to all registered non-profit organizations that ask. a strong support staff that dispatches accurate information on the Additionally, we support the Ronald MacDonald House, breast nature of each call. cancer research, the Salvation Army and the United Way. Our growth since 1997 is sometimes hard to believe and was impossible to predict. Technology shifts definitely force change, but the growth and expansion forced us to keep a close eye on our service model. It is one thing to offer great service in one location but to offer that same great service across several locations has become something we are very proud of. Part of servicing our customers is understanding the software and solutions available in the market, and our account managers understand these solutions and how they can affect or benefit our customers. They spend 90 per cent of their time consulting and 10 per cent selling, which was the opposite 18 years ago. Are clients surprised by how many functions and uses are in the multifunctional devices and how these products can be used as a valuable administration resource? Yes! There are more features on an MFP (copier) these days than there are on most cars! We try to customize their product to their needs and workflow and train their key users on how to use the features they need. We have a team of CSR’s and IT installers that

What’s next for Digitex? Our industry is constantly evolving and focus has shifted to managed services and software that allows businesses to work more efficiently. We have an IT team that is focused on our software offering and we are always looking for ways to offer more services to our loyal customer base. I would like to continue to grow Digitex across this great province and expand our footprint. One thing that is an absolute must when we look at acquisitions is that they must also offer the best service available in their region and have a strong track record for doing so. Our industry is very competitive. To offer a higher level of service you need to be responsive and quick…this all needs to be done with a ‘live’ friendly voice answering your call, not a call center in another country or an automated message centre. If you could tell your clients one thing, what would it be? Alberta is very loyal to local Alberta Business. I’d tell them I appreciate their business.

9943 - 109 Street Edmonton, AB T5K 1H6 Telephone: 780.442.2770 • Fax: 780.426.1555 •






here are many factors that determine Despite ongoing communication, there (and control) the growth and developare some sticky Edmonton growth and ment of Edmonton. Strategic growth and development issues. The two sides don’t development is not only a matter of the loalways agree, but they openly discuss and gistics of urban planning, it’s a matter of deal with issues. public policy and also a complex, big busi“For most matters about the development ness. The most important aspect is what is of Edmonton, we get involved with all levels best for the people who make “The Gateof government, municipal and regional, way to the North” a great community to provincial and occasionally federal,” live, work, play and visit. explains Laurie Scott, vice president of When it comes to the dynamic growth Cameron Communities. “But the timing LAURIE SCOTT, VICE PRESIDENT, CAMERON COMMUNITIES and development of Edmonton, the subtle of the municipal approval process, but vital factor could be rapport and affordability and choice, infrastructure and communication between the elected policy development charges and the hot topic of makers and the builders and developers who actually wetlands are probably the most pressing issues. It’s rarely put shovels into the ground and make it happen. Unlike easy and usually takes time, but we’re dealing with them.” some areas, where the two sides don’t communicate and According to Brad Armstrong, the vice president of the situation is often tense, acrimonious and counterCommunity Development, Northern Alberta for Qualico productive, the relationship between Edmonton Council Communities, “One of the key issues, significant for all and local builders and developers, collectively represented builders and developers, is timing; how long it takes to by the Urban Development Institute-Edmonton Region plan and design a development and bring it to market. We (UDI-ER), is collaborative. constantly have to prove that it is suitable and viable – Edmonton has two master plans. The Municipal and then it takes much too long to get approvals. We must Development Plan (MDP), The Way We Grow, is the address where the delays and bottlenecks are. Fortunately City’s strategic growth and development plan. It’s the way there is willingness by the City to try and streamline the Edmonton shapes the city’s urban form and manages the process. Last fall the City brought in Grant Thornton, one implementation of other specific plans like Transportation of Canada’s largest chartered accountants and management Master Plan (TMP). consultants, to examine Edmonton’s engineering review and


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |






approval process. Hopefully we will get their “Affordability is a very important generic recommendations and get results very soon.” focal point and one of the major keys to A contentious topic in most municipalities success for the region and the industry,” is also a frequent talking point between UDIScott emphasizes. “Over the years there ER and the City. Development costs and have been examples where Edmonton has charges and – who pays? “The biggest issue is forgotten that priority. If people can’t afford infrastructure costs,” Scott points out. it, they won’t buy. In the community and in “Not the basic costs of core infrastructure our business, it is probably the key variable. like sewers, sidewalks and other services, We spend a lot of time working on it with but major infrastructure costs like penetrator the municipalities. We must work together (regional) highways, interchanges and to maintain affordability and choice, a suite BRAD ARMSTRONG, VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, NORTHERN ALBERTA FOR QUALICO overpasses and more. Ultimately, we must of products that varies by age, demographics COMMUNITIES come up with a fair and reasonable formula and cultural mix.” about who should pay for what and how “Unaffordability and limited choice are much. When it comes down to the issue of downloading, concerns for both developers and the city,” Armstrong especially major infrastructure costs, there is only one cautions. “We must reduce the cost of land and we should customer who ends up paying the tab: the buying public.” not try to regulate choice. Let the market decide. A Neither local professional calls it haggling, but Armstrong sustainable community must focus on what people really is respectful and blunt in explaining that “the answer is the want and need to enjoy and live in their community. We City doesn’t have money and the provincial government must consider market-affordable housing. The market isn’t giving us the money. A majority of City funding is from should determine what type of housing buyers want and the tax base and, of course, people don’t want higher taxes. what they are willing to pay.” Forcing developers to pay for infrastructure costs artificially “UDI-ER sees building the city as a partnership; one of the increases the price of homes. Ultimately, the province needs most important parts of our role as UDI,” Scott says. “It’s an to step up to the table.” important key to success in building the city. Development Scott, Armstrong and other UDI-ER members are is a detailed business with many variables. Communication constantly focused on two key aspects of Edmonton’s growth is vital. We don’t agree with each other on all matters but at and development: affordability and choice. least we understand each other.” BIE | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015


THE ART OF HOME There’s a difference at Brookfield Residential that transforms streets into neighbourhoods, fields into backyards, and finished structures into the places we live. From the green space on the corner to the shops down the street, Brookfield’s holistic community design has made residents the centre of everything for over 56 years. Beyond just blueprints and engineering, it’s what we call the Art of Home.







Less than two years after opening their doors in Edmonton, ZGM Collaborative Marketing is making noise in the marketplace. To start with, this integrated marketing communications agency brought in an exceptionally talented, (Cannes) award-winning creative director from Perth, Australia. Kurt Beaudoin was born in Edmonton but learned his craft in Calgary and then moved Perth for the past seven years. Missing family, Kurt jumped at the opportunity to join ZGM Edmonton and bring a fresh approach to their product. “Bringing talent like Kurt back to Edmonton isn’t just good for ZGM, it’s good for the entire market. His ability to deliver effective work for clients is matched by his ability to inspire and lead a creative team. We’re lucky to have him,” says Dan King, president of ZGM. Right around the same time as Kurt joining, ZGM had won three significant new accounts – Canadian North Airlines, The City of Edmonton’s Blatchford Development and a meaningful assignment for Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“All of these new relationships provide us the opportunity to work with great people to develop a great product that makes a difference for them, and the community at large. It’s certainly nice to arrive at a new shop at the same time as new clients – there’s a lot of positive energy at ZGM currently,” says Kurt Beaudoin, creative director. ZGM recognizes that their product is only as good as the strength of its people, and to that end they put a focus on culture to help them recruit and retain the best talent possible. A focus on fitness (including biking and running teams), a peer recognition badge program, Thirsty Thursdays (an homage to Don Draper), and other team activities arranged by the social committee are just some of the things that keep the team tight. With a focus on collaboration, the team needs to feel comfortable sharing ideas. However, the real secret to building a strong culture at ZGM is their focus on hiring new team members based on their established values. “We certainly hire based on talent and skills, but the most important factor in our recruitment is how they reflect our values. When we hire people that fit our values, they inevitably fit with our culture and foster the collaboration we believe is critical for success,” says Mario Amantea, partner and general manager.

They say change is a constant in the agency world, and to that end, the changes at ZGM didn’t stop with a new creative director and new accounts. ZGM and Michael Donovan, managing director, parted ways in early May. As Michael led the agency’s business development efforts, there will be significant shoes to fill and the search is currently underway to find the right person to fit into the unique ZGM culture. ZGM has also added Joe DiFabio to the account team, recently joining ZGM from Calder Bateman. ZGM Edmonton has been in the market for just over a year, coming into existence when ZGM Collaborative Marketing of Calgary purchased Donovan Creative to create the only agency with full-service offices in both of Alberta’s major markets. It’s been a busy and productive year for the team in Edmonton – and with momentum on their side, we look forward to seeing where they go from here. BIE ENTREPRENEURSHIP


The 13th annual TEC VenturePrize competition is over and the grand prize winners walked away with a combined $200,000 value of | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015





cash and in-kind services. TEC VenturePrize, the program that provides business training, mentorship, resources and funding opportunities to Alberta-based early-stage technology startups, hold a competition once a year to inspire and reward entrepreneurs across Alberta. Sensassure was the winner in the fast growth category. Featuring wearable technology, Sensassure provides solutions for incontinent elderly with the aim to restore dignity and add an element of efficient automation to the process of elder care. Check out their product at OMx was the grand prize winner in the TELUS Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) category for their acceleration of the development of advanced molecular diagnostics with technologies to analyze and combine data about chemicals, proteins and DNA in the body. With OMx’s invention, data obtained by a cost-efficient urine test helps to improve diet and lifestyle. Visit them at The student category was won by Alberta Craft Malting, who integrates Alberta-grown barely into the brewing process. Their plan is to develop specialty Alberta-brewed malts to support local craft malters. “An Alberta enterprise dedicated to the production of custom, quality base


and specialty malts for Alberta brewers from Alberta grains,” is how the emerging company describes themselves on their website, which is currently under construction. “If brewers are striving to develop character, distinctiveness and complexity in their beers; if they are searching to express creativity, expertise and identity in their craft; if they are looking for superior, local quality ingredients, then our craft maltery is the answer.” Physio4D took home the Screener’s Award of Merit. This company crated an interactive mobile technology to guide users through physical therapy exercises at home. The 3D animated exercises provide feedback to reduce the risk of re-injury. The Edmonton Journal People’s Choice Award was won by Alieo Games, whose educational technology was behind the recently launched COW (Creative Online Writing) app. COW was designed for students and teachers from K – 12 to provide a safe and fun space for students to practice and build writing fluency and vocabulary. Teachers are able to analyze their students’ progress through the feedback COW provides. To date, COW users have written over 1 million words. Learn more about COW and Alieo games at The award ceremony for the VenturePrize winners had several highlights,

June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

including the announcement of the Ross & Verna Tate Science Entrepreneurship Award presented by the University of Alberta Faculty of Science. A heartwarming moment included the feature of 12-year old Michael Fyfe, a grade eight student and winner of the Peace Country regional science fair. Fyfe’s creation, the Brickin’ Awesome Eco-Brick, has gained him entry to compete in a national science fair. Entrepreneurs interested in learning how to launch a company, brainstorm, and take a vision into reality can benefit from the TEC VenturePrize business plan competition. Visit www. for details. Entrepreneurship is an important part of Alberta’s business landscape, and it is great to see so many up and coming entrepreneurs in Edmonton and across Alberta. BIE CONSTRUCTION


Earlier this year, NCSG Crane and Heavy Haul Corporation (NCSG) and its investor group led by TriWest Capital Partners, Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) and NCA Partners (NCA) announced that a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of NCSG, NCSG Crane and Heavy Haul Holdings Inc., signed a stock purchase agreement to buy 100 per cent of the outstanding shares of B&G Crane Holdings, Inc. (B&G). Prior to this, the majority owner of the business was the Sterling Group, LP. “B&G is a great business with a proud history of providing outstanding service to its many customers in Texas and Louisiana, and the current B&G management team plans to continue to run the business and carry on with that tradition,” says Ted Redmond, president of NCSG. “We believe that the combination of B&G and NCSG is a significantly more diversified business that will allow us to get better overall asset utilization



When it

comes to the



as we can share our project and maintenance cranes across a more diverse set of end markets.” The agreement is yet another strategic move for NCSG as they continue to grow their brand. To date, B&G has over 180 master service agreements with customer locations in the refining, petrochemical, midstream and other heavy industrial end markets. “I am proud of the business we have built, and I believe that NCSG has similar values for building and running a customer-focused business” says Xavier Grilletta, Jr., vice chairman of B&G. “We intend to continue our long history of safely providing outstanding customer service.” “With access to NCSG’s team of 800 employees and fleet of over 295 cranes, 259 lines of hydraulic platform trailers/SPMTs, 400-plus conventional trailers and specialized rigging equipment, we will be able to take on even larger maintenance jobs and projects and meet even more of our customers’ needs,” says Gawain Grilletta, vice president operations for B&G. NCGS was founded in 1987 and completed 12 acquisitions over the last nine years. Currently, NCSG is one of the largest operated and maintained crane and heavy haul companies in North America. Headquartered in Edmonton, the company provides services throughout the North-South Energy Corridor of North America. To learn more, visit BIE

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SHOPPING ON THE FLY EIA’s Outlet Collection Moves Right Along BY BEN FREELAND


hen Edmonton Internaopers remain bullish on the project. tional Airport welcomed its “We see no negative impact of the reinaugural flight in 1960, it was hergional economy on the outlet mall,” alded as Canada’s largest aerodrome. says Myron Keehn, VP of commerFifty-five years on, EIA remains Cancial development at EIA. “Quite to ada’s largest airport by land area, the contrary, outlet malls like this and in recent years, the airport has one tend to fare better in tougher sought to take full advantage of its economic times, when consumers beabundance of on-airport real escome more price focused; and from tate. As early as 2001, EIA was the standpoint of economic developidentified by aviation business exment, it’s going to be a huge draw for pert Dr. John Kasarda as one of only inbound travellers.” three “emerging aerotropolises” in While Keehn contends that a pure Canada (together with Vancouver outlet mall is long overdue in the and Hamilton), and with a vast swath city with the highest per-capita reof commercial development now taktail spending in Canada, he is quick to MYRON KEEHN, VP OF COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT, EIA ing root at the airport, the Edmonton emphasize that the Outlet Collection aerotropolis is flying high. is about more than simply “adding Of the major projects currently underway at EIA, none another mall” to the Edmonton region. “The Outlet Collechas garnered more attention than its highly touted forthtion feeds directly into EIA’s business strategy by adding coming shopping complex. The Outlet Collection at EIA yet another incentive for air carriers to choose EIA,” he will, upon its grand opening in the fall of 2017, become explains. “Our studies have shown that this mall will be a Edmonton’s first “pure” outlet mall and a regional shopregional magnet within a radius of around six hours, but ping travel destination to compete with West Edmonton from the standpoint of carriers like Icelandair, KLM, and Mall and Calgary’s CrossIron Mills. Spearheaded in partothers, amenities like this are a major factor in their route nership with international real estate developers Ivanhoé development decisions. Cambridge, the project was first announced in December In developing the Outlet Collection, much emphasis has 2013, and then re-unveiled in January of 2015 with an inbeen placed on transportation access. A new airport shutcreased footprint of 65,000 square feet, bringing the entire tle service will be in place for the grand opening, which mall to to 415,000 square feet, with space for more than will provide travellers easy access to the Outlet Collec100 outlet brands. tion during layovers. Regional access to the mall will be The timing of EIA’s announcement of the new, expandprovided courtesy of eBus’ new direct service to EIA – ed version of the Outlet Collection took some by surprise, northbound from Calgary and Red Deer and southbound given the growing concerns over the continued viabilifrom Fort McMurray, Athabasca, and various camp loty of such projects in the midst of difficult times in the cations in northern Alberta. Other shopper/passenger province’s oil industry. However, the airport and the develamenities will include a new parcel storage service as well


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |





as coat storage aimed at travellers bound for warm destinations during the winter months. The Outlet Mall is being developed in tandem with EIA’s Cargo Village, which continues to transform Edmonton International Airport into one of Canada’s leading cargo hubs. For the region’s cargo and logistics leaders, the mall forms part of a much larger logistics hub that looks to transform the region. “We’re creating a major hub between ground and air freight by connecting Rosenau with EIA,” explains Carl Rosenau, president of western Canada’s largest trucking company, Rosenau Transport, whose 210,000 square foot distribution warehouse at EIA is set to open in 2016. “This means that freight on one of our trucks can leave anywhere in western Canada and be

on a plane from Edmonton to the world in 24 hours or less. That’s great news for Albertans and their businesses, and I am proud to be part of it.” Be it freight going out via EIA’s ever-expanding air cargo network or goods coming in – including directly into the conveniently located Outlet Collection, the slow but steady expansion of the Edmonton aerotropolis is good news all around for the regional economy, especially amid uncertain economic times. It also bodes well for an airport that has enjoyed the steadiest passenger and cargo growth of any major Canadian airport over the past decade. If nothing else, it’s another selling point for the future Icelandairs and KLMs looking at Edmonton as a possible future destination – as well as a magnet for bargain hunters from across the region. BIE | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015






Is Here to Stay

hen the energy sector or the economy contracts, people might assume that one of the first budget items to be cut is business aviation. That is not the case, and for good reason. Business aircraft are a critical asset for Alberta executives and companies, allowing them to travel in in a highly secure environment to locations not served by scheduled carriers, and to avoid the costly downtime caused by flight hassles, delays and cancellations. Over 400 of Canada’s 1,900 business aircraft are based in the province. Business aviation in Canada (and internationally) is rebounding from the 2009 recession, with growth in new aircraft sales and increasing numbers of domestic, crossborder and international flights. The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) uses a case study to demonstrate why business aviation is a valuable and sustainable corporate asset. The study shows that a typical business trip through four provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario) to serve customers in multiple communities would take three days. Assuming the best-case scenario, with no delays or cancellations, this trip would take 32 hours longer (including an additional night away) than the same itinerary using business aviation flights. If the company makes multiple trips per year, and if more than one traveller is involved, then the total savings over the course of the year increase dramatically. “Most people are aware that business aviation can reduce costs for businesses, increase productivity of managers, technicians, trainers, etc. and dramatically increase customer service and customer contact; but in reality, business aviation contributes much more than that,” says CBAA president and CEO, Rudy Toering. “For example, business aviation offers an unmatched level of privacy. Not only are people able to travel more


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

efficiently, they can use their in-flight time to conduct confidential meetings and stay in touch at all times via Wi-Fi. It’s like taking your office with you wherever you go. Even more important is the positive impact on family life. Being able to do follow up work and ‘clear your desk’ during your flight frees up your time on the ground for family, which is a precious commodity in today’s business world.” Smart companies use their business aircraft to take their sales and marketing to the next level, and close the deal. There is substantial proof that business aviation is not just an expense; it actually improves a company’s bottom line. According to NEXA Capital, business aviation drives overall enterprise value in ways that ripple through the corporation to owners, employees, shareholders and the overall economy. Business aircraft users in small, medium and large companies outperformed non-users in several important financial measures including average annual revenue growth and a greater ability to tap more new business opportunities. While business aviation is best known as an enabler of economic growth for companies and communities, its own substantial economic footprint is not always recognized. In Alberta, business aviation generates $750 million annually in direct economic output, supports over 2,500 full time jobs, directly contributes $320 million in GDP and $169 million to federal, provincial and municipal tax coffers. “Alberta business aviation makes a significant contribution to the province and to Canada,” says Toering. “It generates almost a quarter of our sector’s total economic output, and over 20 per cent of full-time business aviation employment. These are very well paying jobs. Annual businesses aviation wages average about $69,000, compared with the national industrial average of $47,000.” Another aspect of business aviation that is not as well known as it should be is its excellent safety record. “I am



very proud of the fact that Canadian business aviation, and corporate aviation in particular, is the safest form of flight in the world. There is simply no safer way to move people and goods than by Canadian business aircraft,” says Toering. “But, as good as our record is, we are not resting on our laurels. The CBAA recently introduced a new and comprehensive program aimed at instilling a safety culture in every type of operation, regardless of its size. With this program, we can help assure that our members stay committed to that existing safety record.” Sponsored by Bombardier Business Aviation and Nav Canada, Partners in Safety integrates a business aviation safety management system, a national aggregate database and flight data management into one safety initiative. “Even if you’re operating only one aircraft, you can use Partners to substantially increase your safety,” Toering explains. Yet, despite all of its well-documented benefits, business aviation still faces significant challenges. “We battle false impressions of business aviation every day,” says Toering. “There are too many journalists who use the idea of private aircraft as a lazy and clichéd way to describe a certain type of wealth, and too many policy-makers who don’t look beyond the superficial headline.” Merlin Preuss, CBAA vice president of government and regulatory affairs, deals with these issues every day. “We have to continuously educate regulators about how business aviation operates in the real world,” he explains. “For example, Canadian business aviation must follow a complex set of new regulations – the most onerous in the world. The CBAA is working with Transport Canada to ensure that the rules are scaled for the many Canadian companies which operate, and rely on, one aircraft.” Proposed new flight and duty time regulations are also a concern. “Common sense should tell you that private business pilots flying on-demand charters do not operate under the same conditions as pilots on commercial scheduled flights, yet the federal government is trying to lump the two together under new regulations.” Another issue facing business aviation is how the government will manage its new Responsible Aerodrome Development regulations. “Many smaller airports have been shut down, and the ones remaining are critical parts of Canada’s transportation infrastructure,” says Preuss. Canada has 300 certified airports, but only 89 are part of the national airport system. In addition, there are literally thousands of aerodromes and landing strips across the country. “Our national connectivity depends on our ability to fly to where we are needed – and that is exactly what business aviation excels at,” Preuss explains. “Without clear guidelines, airports could be closed or their activity severely limited based on public sentiment, not facts. If we lose our right to land, we lose a fundamental part of how this country functions.” The price of oil may be leading the news cycle, but on the ground, the needs and benefits of business aviation remain as important – if not more important – than ever. BIE




Panattoni Development Company is the developer of Fort McMurray’s newest 90 acre industrial park, it’s second 120 acre development in Acheson and an 80 acre partnership at the Edmonton International Airport. All projects have a variety of industrial lot sizes which are serviced, zoned and permit ready for construction. With an expansive international platform, Panattoni specializes in industrial, office and build-to-suit development. Our 24 offices in the United States, Canada and Europe are responsible for development of over 200 million square feet.


BRAD HOFFMAN AT (780) 409-1152 • | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015



Edmonton Shell Aerocentre

Phoenix Heli-Flight Inc.

Alta Flights Ltd.

Sarah Gratton, Aerocentre Manager Toll Free: 1 888 890 2477 Tel: 780 890 1300

Paul Spring, President Tel: 780.799.0141 Aircraft Operated: EC120B, AS350B2, AS350B3DH, EC130B4, AS355N, AS355NP, EC135T2e

Bob Lamoureux, President Tel: 587.400.9789 Aircraft Operated: (2) Metro 23, (1) King Air 350, (1) Piper PA31, (4) Cessna 172

Adventure Aviation Inc. Michael Mohr, Owner Tel: 780.539.6968 Aircraft Operated: (3) Cessna Skyhawk C172, (1) Piper Twin Comanche PA30, (1) Cessna Centurion P210N, Precision Flight Controls “Cirrus II” Simulator

Ahlstrom Air Ltd. Kyle Wadden, Operations Manager / Chief Pilot Tel: 403.721.2203 Cell: 403.844.0978 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350SD2

Air Partners Corp. Vik Saini, President Toll Free: 1.877.233.9350 Alternate Number 403.291.3644 Aircraft Operated: (3) Cessna Citation X, (1) Beechcraft King Air 200, (2) Beechcraft King Air 350, (3) Cessna Citation Ultra 560, (1) Cessna CJ2, (1) Hawker 800A, (1) Bombardier Learjet 45

Albatros Aircraft Corp.

E-Z Air Inc. Matt Wecker, Owner Tel: 780.453.2085 Aircraft Operated: Robinson R44

Ralph Henderson, President Tel: 780.454.4531 Aircraft Operated: (3) C172G1000 equipped, (1) C172 SP (FEGU), (2) Diamond DA 20

Richard Hotchkiss, President/CEO Toll Free: 1.888.291.4566 Aircraft Operated: (1) Falcon 900EX, (2) Challenger 604, (2) Challenger 300, (2) Citation Sovereign, (1) Gulfstream 150, (1) Hawker 800XP, (1) Lear 55, (3) Lear 45, (1) Lear 35, (1) Citation V, (4) Dash 8 300, (1) Dash 8 -100, (7) Beech 1900D, (4) Metro 23, (3) King Air 350, (3) King Air 200

Edmonton Police Service

R1 Airlines Ltd.

Edmonton Flying Club

Tel: 780.408.4218 Aircraft Operated: (2) EC120

Enerjet Darcy Morgan, CCO Tel: 403.648.2800 Aircraft Operated: Boeing 737-700NG

Guardian Helicopters Inc.

Joe Viveiros, Ops Manager Tel: 403.274.6103 Aircraft Operated: Beechcraft King Air B200, Cessna Citation CJ4, Citation X, Agusta A109S Grand

Graydon Kowal, President/CEO Tel: 403.730.6333 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206 B Jet Ranger, Bell 206 L1/L3 Long Ranger, Bell 205 A-1, Bell 205 A-1+, AStar 350 BA, AStar 350 Super D, AStar 350 B3, MD 530 FF

Alta Flights Ltd.

Integra Air

Bob Lamoureux, President Tel: 587.400.9789 Aircraft Operated: (2) Metro 23, (1) King Air 350, (1) Piper PA31, (4) Cessna 172

Avmax Group Inc. Don Parkin, Executive VP Tel: 403 291 2464

Calgary Police Service Tel: 403.567.4150 Aircraft Operated: (2) EC120

Can-West Corporate Air Charters Art Schooley, President Tel: 780.849.4552 Aircraft Operated: Citation 560 Ultra, Piper 31 Navajo, Cessna 210 Centurion, Cessna 206 Stationair, Beechcraft King Air 200, Cessna 185 Skywagon, Cessna 182 Skylane

Canadian Helicopters Limited Don Wall, President & CEO Tel: 780.429.6900 Aircraft Operated: Robinson R22B, Robinson R44II, Bell 206B | BIII, Airbus Helicopters EC120B, Bell B206L | L1, Airbus Helicopters AS350BA | B2 | B3 | B3e, Bell B407, Airbus Helicopters, AS355F2 | N, Sikorsky S76A | A++, Bell B212, Bell B412 EP, Sikorsky S61N

Delta Helicopters Ltd. Don Stubbs, President Toll Free: 1.800.665.3564 Aircraft Operated: (7) Bell 206B, (2) A-Star 350 BA, (7) A-Star 350 350B2, (4) Bell 204B


Sunwest Aviation Ltd.

Brent Gateman, CEO Toll Free: 1.877.213.8359 Aircraft Operated: (3) BAE Jetstream – 31, (3) King Air 200, SAAB 340 B

Kenn Borek Air Ltd. Brian Crocker, Operations Manager Tel: 403.291.3300 Aircraft Operated: Twin Otter DHC6, Turbine DC3, King Air BE200, Beechcraft 1900

Mountain View Helicopters Paul Bergeron, President/CP Tel: 403.286.7186 Aircraft Operated: R22 Beta & Beta II, R44 Raven II, Bell 206 Jet Ranger

North Cariboo Air Ehab Matta, Director of Business Development Toll Free: 1.866.359.6222 Aircraft Operated: Dash 8 100/300, Beech 1900D, King Air 200, Challenger 601, AvroRJ100, Q400

OpsMobil Toll Free: 1-877-926-5558 Aircraft Operated: (4) C-172, (1) C-206, (1) C-208, (1) PA-31, (3) R44, (28) R44-II Raven, (5) BH-206B, (1) BH-206L3, (2) AS-350BA, (1) AS-350B2, (11) AS-350FX2, (2) EC-120B

Peregrine Helicopters Tel: 780.865.3353 Aircraft Operated: (1) B206B3, (1) Bell 206 L3

June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Richard Pollock, Business Development Manager Toll Free: 1.888.802.1010 Aircraft Operated: (1) Dash 8-100, (1) Dash 8-300, (2) CRJ100/200, (2) Beechcraft 1900D

Aries Aviation Service Corp Marvin Keyser, President Toll Free: 1.877.730.6499 Aircraft Operated: LR36 Learjet, PA-31 Navajo, King Air 200, Turbo Commander

Canadian North H. (Hart) Mailandt, Director, Business Development Tel: 403 383 3453 Aircraft Operated: (4) Dash 8, (5) 737-200 Combi, (10) 737-300

Can-West Corporate Air Charters Ridge Rotors Inc. Hans Nogel, Ops Mgr Toll Free: 1.877.242.4211 Aircraft Operated: Eurocopter AStar AS350, Bell 206 Jetranger, Robinson RH44

Art Schooley, President Tel: 780.849.4552 Aircraft Operated: Citation 560 Ultra, Piper 31 Navajo, Cessna 210 Centurion, Cessna 206 Stationair, Beechcraft King Air 200, Cessna 185 Skywagon, Cessna 182 Skylane

Rotorworks Inc. Jim Hofland, Chief Pilot/Ops Manager/Instructor; Ryan Cluff, Chief Flight Instructor/Commerical Pilot Tel: 780.778.6600 Aircraft Operated: (2) R22 Robinson, (1) R44 Robinson

Central Aviation Inc.

Westjet Airlines Ltd.

Darcy Morgan, CCO Tel: 403.648.2804 Aircraft Operated: Boeing 737-700NG

Colin MacLeod, Ops Manager Tel: 403.242.9130 Aircraft Operated: (3) WACO Biplane, (1) King Air B200

Enerjet Toll Free: 1.888.937.8538 Aircraft Operated: Boeing Next Generation 737600, 737-700, 737-800, Bombardier Q400 NextGen, Boeing 767-300ER

ALBERTA CHARTER OPERATORS CHARTER FIXED WING Adventure Aviation Inc. Michael Mohr, Owner Tel: 780.539.6968 Aircraft Operated: (3) Cessna Skyhawk C172, (1) Piper Twin Comanche PA30, (1) Cessna Centurion P210N, Precision Flight Controls “Cirrus II” Simulator

Air Partners Corp. Vik Saini, President Toll Free: 1.877.233.9350 Aircraft Operated: (3) Cessna Citation X, (1) Beechcraft King Air 200, (2) Beechcraft King Air 350, (3) Cessna Citation Ultra 560, (1) Cessna CJ2, (1) Hawker 800A, (1) Bombardier Learjet 45

Absolute Aviation Ron VandenDungen, Chief Flight Instructor Tel: 780.352.5643 Aircraft Operated: (5) Cessna 172, (1) Piper Twin Comanche, (1) Piper Aerostar

Integra Air Brent Gateman, CEO Toll Free: 1.877.213.8359 Aircraft Operated: (3) BAE Jetstream – 31, (3) King Air 200, SAAB 340 B

Kenn Borek Air Ltd. Brian Crocker, VP Operations Tel: 403.291.3300 Aircraft Operated: Twin Otter DHC6, Turbine DC3, King Air BE200, Beechcraft 1900

North Cariboo Air Ehab Matta, Director of Business Development Toll Free: 1.866.359.6222 Aircraft Operated: Dash 8 100/300, Beech 1900D, King Air 200, Challenger 601, AvroRJ100, Q400

Northern Air Charter Rob King, President Tel: 780.624.1911 Aircraft Operated: Piper Aztec, Piper Navajo, King Air 100, King Air B200, Beechcraft 1900D

OpsMobil Ron Ellard, Operations Manager - Fixed wing Toll Free: 1-877-926-5558 Aircraft Operated: (4) C-172, (1) C-206, (1) C-208, (1) PA-31

AVIATION DIRECTORY Sky Wings Aviation Academy Ltd.

E-Z Air Inc.

Precision Helicopters Inc.

Canadian North

Dennis Cooper, CEO Toll Free: 1.800.315.8097 Locations in Red Deer and Okotoks Aircraft Operated: (9) Cessna 172, (1) Piper Senaca I, (1) Piper Navajo

Matt Wecker, Owner Tel: 780.453.2085 Aircraft Operated: Robinson R44

John Carlton, DOM Toll Free: 1.877.545.5455 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350BA, (1) AS350D2

Edmonton Police Service

Remote Helicopters Ltd.

Tel: 780.408.4218 Aircraft Operated: (2) EC120

Jeff Lukan, President Tel: 780.849.2222 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206B, A-STAR 350 B2, A-STAR 350 SD2, A-STAR 350 B3E, Bell 205, Bell 212

H. (Hart) Mailandt, Director, Business Development Tel: 403 383 3453 Aircraft Operated: (4) Dash 8, (5) 737-200 Combi, (10) 737-300

R1 Airlines Ltd. Richard Pollock, Business Development Manager Toll Free: 1.888.802.1010 Aircraft Operated: (1) Dash 8-100, (1) Dash 8-300, (2) CRJ100/200, (2) Beechcraft 1900D

Sunwest Aviation Ltd. Richard Hotchkiss, President/CEO Toll Free: 1.888.291.4566 Aircraft Operated: (1) Falcon 900EX, (2) Challenger 604, (2) Challenger 300, (2) Citation Sovereign, (1) Gulfstream 150, (1) Hawker 800XP, (1) Lear 55, (3) Lear 45, (1) Lear 35, (1) Citation V, (4) Dash 8 300, (1) Dash 8 -100, (7) Beech 1900D, (4) Metro 23, (3) King Air 350, (3) King Air 200

Tempest Jet Management Corp Brent Genesis Tel: 866.501.0522 Aircraft Operated: Citation Ultra, King Air 200

Ahlstrom Air Ltd. Kyle Wadden, Operations Manager / Chief Pilot Tel: 403.721.2203 Cell: 403.844.0978 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350SD2

Albatros Aircraft Corp. Joe Viveiros, Ops Manager Tel: 403.274.6103 Aircraft Operated: Agusta A109S Grand

Bailey Helicopters Ltd. Brent Knight Tel: 403.219.2770 Cell: 403.370.2750 Aircraft Operated: Bell 212, Bell 206 B, AS 350 B2/BA

Black Swan Helicopters Ltd. Toll Free: 1.877.475.4774 Aircraft Operated: (1) FX 2, (1) B206B, (2) R44 II, (1) B204C

Canadian Helicopters Limited Don Wall, President & CEO Tel: 780.429.6900 Aircraft Operated: Robinson R22B, Robinson R44II, Bell 206B | BIII, Airbus Helicopters EC120B, Bell B206L | L1, Airbus Helicopters AS350BA | B2 | B3 | B3e, Bell B407, Airbus Helicopters, AS355F2 | N, Sikorsky S76A | A++, Bell B212, Bell B412 EP, Sikorsky S61N

Great Slave Helicopters Ltd. Mark McGowan, President; Corey Taylor, VP, Global Business and Product Development Tel: 867-873-2081 Springbank Base Facility, Tel: 403.286.2040 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206B, Bell 206 LR, Bell 206L3, Bell 206L4, Bell 212, Bell212S, Astar 350 BA, 350B2, 350B3, EC 130B4, BK 117 850D2, Bell 412EP, Bell 407, Bell 205

Guardian Helicopters Inc. Graydon Kowal, President/CEO Tel: 403.730.6333 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206 B Jet Ranger, Bell 206 L1/L3 Long Ranger, Bell 205 A-1, Bell 205 A-1+, AStar 350 BA, AStar 350 Super D, AStar 350 B3, MD 530 FF

High Country Helicopters Hjalmar Tiesenhausen Toll Free: 1.877.777.4354 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206, 206L and Eurocopter A-Star 350

Highland Helicopters Ltd. Terry Jones, Director of Operations Tel: 604.273.6161 Aircraft Operated: (15) Bell 206B, (2) Bell 206 L-3, (2) AS350 BA, (16) AS350 B2

Mountain View Helicopters Paul Bergeron, President/CP Tel: 403.286.7186 Aircraft Operated: R22 Beta & Beta II, R44 Raven II, Bell 206 Jet Ranger

Mustang Helicopters Inc. Tim Boyle, Ops Manager Tel: 403.885.5220 Aircraft Operated: AS350 B3e, AS350 B2, MD500 D, BELL 205A-1++, BELL 212 HP

OpsMobil Bertrand Perron, General Manager - Rotary wing Toll Free: 1-877-926-5558 Aircraft Operated: (3) R44, (28) R44-II Raven, (5) BH-206B, (1) BH-206L3, (2) AS-350BA, (1) AS350B2, (11) AS-350FX2, (2) EC-120B

Peregrine Helicopters Tel: 780.865.3353 Aircraft Operated: (1) B206B3, (1) Bell 206 L3

Delta Helicopters Ltd. Don Stubbs, President Toll Free: 1.800.665.3564 Aircraft Operated: (7) Bell 206B, (2) A-Star 350 BA, (7) A-Star 350 350B2, (4) Bell 204B

Phoenix Heli-Flight Inc. Paul Spring, President Tel: 780.799.0141 Aircraft Operated: EC120B, AS350B2, AS350B3DH, EC130B4, AS355N, AS355NP, EC135T2e

Ridge Rotors Inc. Hans Nogel, Ops Mgr Toll Free: 1.877.242.4211 Aircraft Operated: Eurocopter AStar AS350, Bell 206 Jetranger, Robinson RH44

Slave Lake Helicopters Ltd. George Kelham, President; Debbie Kelham, Owner Tel: 780.849.6666 Aircraft Operated: (3) AS350 B2, (1) Bell 206 BIII, (1) EC120

Sloan Helicopters Ltd. Troy Sloan, President Tel: 780.849.4456 Toll Free: 1-888-756-2610 or 1-888-SLOAN10 Aircraft Operated: (2) RH44, (1) EC120B, (1) AS350B2

Thebacha Helicopters Ltd. Kim Hornsby, President Tel: 780.723.4180 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B2, (1) AS350BA, (1) Bell 206B

Wood Buffalo Helicopters Michael Morin, President Tel: 780.743.5588 Toll Free: 1.866.743.5588 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206B, Eurocopter EC120B, Eurocopter AS350-B2

JET CHARTERS Air Partners Corp. Vik Saini, President Tel: 403.291.3644 Aircraft operated: (3) Cessna Citation X, (1) Beechcraft King Air 200, (2) Beechcraft King Air 350, (3) Cessna Citation Ultra 560, (1) Cessna CJ2, (1) Hawker 800A, (1) Bombardier Learjet 45

Albatros Aircraft Corp. Joe Viveiros, Ops Manager Tel: 403.274.6103 Aircraft Operated: Beechcraft King Air B200, Cessna Citation CJ4, Citation X

Aurora Jet Partners - Head Office / Edmonton Base

Enerjet Darcy Morgan, CCO Tel: 403.648.2804 Aircraft Operated: Boeing 737-700NG

Genesis Aviation Inc. Brent Genesis, President Tel: 403.940.4091 Aircraft Operated: Full complement of turbo props & business jets

Tempest Jet Management Corp Brent Genesis Tel: 866.501.0522 Aircraft Operated: Citation Ultra

AIRCRAFT SALES Genesis Aviation Inc. Brent Genesis, President Tel: 403.940.4091

Prairie Aircraft Sales Ltd. Kathy Wrobel, President; Andrew Fletcher, Sales Associate Tel: 403.286.4277 Aircraft Operated: (1) Caravan

Hopkinson Aircraft Sales Andrew Hopkinson, VP Tel: 403.291.9027 Fax: 403.250.2459 Aircraft: Specializing in commercial and corporate aircraft

FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP & JET MANAGEMENT Airsprint Inc. Judson Macor, Chairman & CEO Toll Free: 1.877.588.2344 Selling interests in Citation XL/S and CJ2+

Toll Free: 1.888.797.5387 Fax: 780.453.6057 Aircraft Operated: Gulfstream Astra SPX, Phenom 100/300, Challenger 300/605, Global 5000 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015







Len Rhodes’ playbook shows big wins for Edmonton on and off the turf


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |


LEN RHODES SCORES A TOUCHDOWN FOR EDMONTON | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015





e was the senior vice president and general manager of Reebok-CCM Hockey, a division of Adidas Group. He was a brand director at Molson Breweries. Now he is the president and CEO of the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club. “Beer, hockey, football!” laughs Len Rhodes. “It doesn’t get any better than that. I am the luckiest man on Earth!” Surely someone whose trajectory went from managing multimillion dollar revenues and over 1,000 staff at a time, who travelled the world to meet with pro hockey players and who helped position the Molson brand got to this point in life by leveraging connections and donating to build hospital wings, right? Wrong. Rhodes realized early on in life that the path to success was through hard work and formal education and he came to this realization as he shared a lowincome basement apartment with three other children and two parents. There was plenty of love, but no silver spoon. Rhodes entered the workforce at 14 and concurrently worked and sought education through high school and university. To pay for his post-secondary education, he launched a carpet cleaning and floor sanding service, working full time while spending just as many hours in school. Today, as the interview takes place overlooking the turf at Commonwealth Stadium, Rhodes glances around his spacious office, the balcony that gives him the perfect view of the game and the autographed memorabilia, and he doesn’t see it as the culmination of his hard work. He sees it as the perfect platform to open doors in the most needed parts of Edmonton’s communities. The man that gave up solid job offers for a long shot at working with the Edmonton Eskimos makes over 100 appearances annually – on his own time – to promote or bring awareness to causes such as Dogs with Wings, the Humane Society, the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, WIN House, Artists for Life and many, many more. “As a community-owned team, our Edmonton Eskimos are unique within the business of professional sports franchises,” Rhodes points out. In this league you are the guy next door. You do it for the love of the game. You set the example. As an Edmonton Eskimo, you are engaging yourself to be part of a higher purpose, one where the first measure of success is not the bottom line. It’s about delivering a sports and entertainment experience worthy of champions. It’s about financial sustainability and your commitment to the community.”

That community commitment is what drives Rhodes every day. He admits that the words “Edmonton Eskimos” opens doors, and he has no qualms about using those words to open doors where changes are needed. For example, take the star quarterback, put him in an inner city high school and listen to him tell young men that it is not okay to hit women, and you’ve got a group of men looking up at their idol and listening to every word. Rhodes says it’s not enough to donate money to causes like WIN House. He wants to address the issues at their core. “Our players, coaches and staff made more than 800 community appearances in 2014,” he says with pride. “One of our key corporate values is accessibility. Our players are more accessible than any other pro sports franchise. I personally attended more than 100 community initiatives in 2014. As president and CEO of this Club, I want to set the tone, the culture and the commitment in our great community. When I go to bed at night, I want to know that I played a part in making this a better community. I choose Edmonton because it fits with my values and lifestyle.” Choosing Edmonton was a clear choice for the man that was raised in eastern Canada. His father was a huge Eskimos fan and Rhodes had always been enthralled by the spirit of the team. His job interview involved meeting with the governance board for the Club, after which he promptly said no to two great opportunities in the east without knowing if he would be the successful candidate for the Eskimos. “I said to myself, if those people reflect the spirit of the community, this is where I want to be.” He was hired in 2011 and at the press conference announcing his position, he turned his face and heart to the sky and whispered, “this is for you dad.” Then he rolled up his sleeves and did what he has been doing his whole life – working hard. “Think of this as a store,” Rhodes gestures at the turf which is being primed for the upcoming season. The stadium is empty except for the workers on the field. The chairs are turned up and the grounds are quiet. “This is a ‘store’ that opens 10 times a year. The majority of our revenue comes from those 10 times, all of which are vulnerable to weather conditions. We have so much riding on those 10 days, we have to excel in customer service. That means from fans meeting their favourite player to a staff member noticing a child dropping his ice cream bar and doing something about it.”

Rhodes entered the workforce at 14 and concurrently worked and sought education through high school and university. To pay for his postsecondary education, he launched a carpet cleaning and floor sanding service, working full time while spending just as many hours in school. 26

June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |


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No matter what kind of challenge is thrown at Rhodes, he catches the pass and tries to score a touchdown, even when all he can see in front of him is the defense. He doesn’t really notice the challenges. He only sees opportunities.


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |



Determined to give fans the best game day experience of their life, Rhodes called the organization lauded for creating the happiest place on Earth. That’s right. Rhodes called the Disney Institute. “We went to the experts in customer service for live events,” he points out with intensity, his gaze portraying how passionately he feels about delivering lifelong memories for each and every fan. “With their support and guidance, we developed a common purpose throughout our organization. To deliver on that vision, we focus on four areas of quality service standards: safety, engagement, adaptability and fun.” There is no denying that game day is fun, but there is a little something else fans notice as the season winds down. Game days get colder and colder. “We’re working in it,” Rhodes says with a wry and slightly frustrated smile as he reflects on his initiative to start the season two to three weeks earlier. “We are the only league where attendance in outdoor stadiums declines during the playoffs when compared to our regular season average. There is only one factor causing this and it is called cold weather. I am a firm believer that starting our season at least two weeks earlier will be met with positive fan response.” A survey conducted by the Club confirms that 92 per cent of the respondents favoured the notion. “We’re working on it,” repeats the optimistic Rhodes. “We’re not there yet, but hopefully we’ll get there by next year.” Rhodes, ever the visionary, also found a way to combine fan experience with future team prospects. “We, unfortunately, had a history of losing some of our best young prospects to other markets. In 2012 we automated our 50/50 program and it has generated a significant growth in dollars. All the proceeds [of the Club’s half of the winnings] go toward supporting amateur football in Northern Alberta. In 2014 we donated $715,000 to minor football, junior football and university football, including a scholarship program at the University of Alberta.” No matter what kind of challenge is thrown at Rhodes, he catches the pass and tries to score a touchdown, even when all he can see in front of him is the defense. He doesn’t really notice the challenges. He only sees opportunities. “We are a mid-sized business but a big brand,” he sighs. “There is so much more I would love to do, but we live in a world of limited resources. Prioritizing what will move the dial while focusing on our key areas of strategy, all while having patience that not everything can be done overnight are the biggest trials. We have developed both short and long range plans, but fans are very passionate about this business and every move I make is done under a microscope.” Then he bursts into his trademark grin and confesses, “But I love it! This is far beyond a job. This is a calling. Being involved with the Eskimos means always being surrounded by good people. Our Club’s connection with our community is second to none and our team is revered by our fans. Our team has the ability to make a positive impact on the overall mood of our entire city. Knowing that I work for ‘the people’s team’ is the greatest reward of all.”

His enthusiasm is infectious and his warmth inspiring. I ask him to share his thoughts on how to get his spark that has captured fans all over the city. “The key ingredient is a high level of dedication,” he counsels. “Be passionate about what you do and be strategic in your approach. You, as an entrepreneur, have to separate emotion from rational decision making. That is a challenge for a lot of people, but you have to have a strategic plan and execute it to perfection. I believe in a strongly executed plan. Don’t err on that execution. Be proud of what you do and whatever you do, give it 100 per cent. Don’t leave anything on the table.” Rhodes also has a message for the fans. “Commonwealth Stadium is only an empty building. While it is a beautiful structure, it is the people that bring this place to life. There is nothing like having 40,000 fans cheering on the Eskimos! It gives me goosebumps! They [the fans] are the difference makers for the players and the staff.” As for those players, “When you put an Eskimo jersey on, you are accepting a big responsibility. You are representing 13 Grey Cup Championships. Your actions on and off the field reflect the values of our community. Don’t let our city down!” Rhodes turns to a photo on the wall. Among the many pieces of memorabilia and pictures in his office, this one has a place of honour. It’s impossible to view the turf without seeing this photo. “These are the unsung heroes,” he says, pointing the framed piece. These are the nine members of the board. They are from all different walks of the community and they are volunteers. They do this because they care about this Club and about the city. Without them, this Club would not be half of what it is today, but they don’t get, or seek, credit or exposure. A large part of my accepting this job was because of the wonderful leaders that sit on this board. They serve for all the right reasons.” What’s next for the Club? Rhodes responds to this question with all the enthusiasm of lifelong football fan. “We want to win the next Grey Cup Championship! We have 13 and we want 14!” But his passion for community service excites him just as much. “We want to make sure we are a strong contender on the field and a strong corporate citizen off the field.” As for Rhodes, his future will take him where it has always taken him. Wherever the road intersects between passion and hard work. “I hope to be with the Eskimos for a long time, but when that day arrives when I’m not, I want to leave the Club stronger and more successful than it was when I joined the team. As a Club we can do incredible things. We set some audacious goals and I know we can reach them.” His eyes wander once more to the turf. The workers have made good progress. As if on cue, the clouds drift apart and sunlight streams into the stadium. “Did I think 30 years ago I would be here?” he turns back to me with a beaming smile. No. I just wanted a good career and to do something that made me happy.” Well that only leaves one more thing to say. You know what it is. Come on, say it with me…Go Esks Go! BIE | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015



! c i n a P ’t


Low global oil prices continue to cast a shadow over Canada’s wealthiest province, but are the province’s worst fears likely to come true? BY BEN FREELAND


he past year has seen Alberta become the focus of national attention like never before. From a faltering oil and gas sector to political upheaval, there has been no shortage of drama – as well as no shortage of wild speculations about the province’s future. Maclean’s, in a typically overwrought fashion, predicted a crash worse than 2008, while the Globe and Mail went even further with the October 2014 headline “Panic time: As oil goes, so does Canada’s economy.” Perhaps the most out-in-left-field musing on Alberta came from U.S. geopolitical analyst and forecaster Peter Zeihan, who in March 2015, contemplated



June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

that Alberta would perhaps be better off leaving Confederation and joining the United States. But in the midst of this ongoing consternation, life continues more or less normally in Alberta. The price of oil, while still worryingly low, remains well above its 2009 low of $33 a barrel. In a recent interview with the Calgary Sun, ATB chief economist Todd Hirsch contended that oil prices would most likely stabilize and begin to improve by mid-year once the world’s lower cost producers begin to up production. “The general consensus I’m hearing is that probably by summer (or) early fall, we’ll start to see OPEC’s grip on oil pro-



duction start to weaken, only because actually added 7,800 jobs in the first Saudi Arabia is a very low-cost proquarter of 2015 and continues to see ducer,” Hirsch explains. “It’s costing low unemployment and outstanding their government a lot of money, but housing numbers. in terms of cost of production, you City of Edmonton chief economist can pretty much stick a pipe in the John Rose maintains that the mesand in Saudi Arabia and gasoline dia’s doomsday prophets are looking comes out.” more and more like Chicken Little That said, the late 2014 drop in oil than Cassandra. “I think you’re going prices has indisputably had major reto see a modest recovery in oil pricpercussions in the province’s labour es back to the US$60 benchmark by market. “There’s no question we are the end of 2015,” he asserts. “What going into a labour market downturn,” we’ve seen happen is a sharp reducsays Hirsch, who anticipates a rise in tion in U.S. drilling activity, which the province’s unemployment rate has resulted in a temporary dip in from 4.5 per cent in January 2015 to global prices, but I don’t think we’re around six per cent by the end of the far off from an uptick. Once we’re JOHN ROSE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, CITY OF EDMONTON year – albeit still safely below the curback over the $60 West Texas Interrent national average of 6.8 per cent. mediate mark, we’ll be in good shape However, what is perhaps most noteworthy about again, and we’ll see continued oil sands production. The Alberta’s volatile labour situation is the unevenness with real long-term issue is new investment in oil sands develwhich these job losses have been; and, seemingly immune opment, and with the cost of production you’re unlikely from the situation has been the province’s Capital, which to see an uptick below $90, and we’re a long way off from

“What we’ve seen happen is a sharp reduction in U.S. drilling activity, which has resulted in a temporary dip in global prices, but I don’t think we’re far off from an uptick. Once we’re back over the $60 West Texas Intermediate mark, we’ll be in good shape again, and we’ll see continued oil sands production.” ~ John Rose

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that. But at least there will be sustainargue that this is due in part to a able activity again.” cultural change in human resource Rose argues that continued inframanagement, both within the enstructure development, including ergy industry and elsewhere. “Our pipelines, needs to be among the promember companies have definitevincial government’s top priorities ly seen a downturn in activity on the moving forward. “We’ve seen a proindustrial construction side, but with vincial budget that recognizes the far fewer layoffs than we’ve seen in need to work with a deficit,” he notes, the past,” says Merit Contractors praising the Prentice’s PCs for their Association president Malcolm Kirkcommitment to continued infraland. “There’s a growing recognition structure spending in spite of deficit of the value of employees as a susworries. “We’re still playing catchtainable resource, and that retaining up with our infrastructure in this employees rather than laying people province, and it’s still a real mess. We off and then hiring new people, is far also really need additional pipeline more beneficial in the long run.” capacity to ensure stability in our enATB’s Hirsch adds that the downMALCOLM KIRKLAND, PRESIDENT, MERIT CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION ergy industry. This has been a huge turn could result in unexpected restraint. We’ve been temporarily benefits for the industry once oil pricsaved by an increase in rail transport, but we’ve all seen how es return to health. “The best case scenario is that we’ll come this is not the way to go environmentally, and fundamentally out of this in healthier shape than we were in a year ago,” he not a sustainable solution.” says. “Oil at $107 masks a lot of waste and inefficiency.” From a labour market standpoint, the downturn in oil While the past year has been a bumpy ride for much of prices, nerve-wracking as it has been for many, looks to Alberta, Edmonton has shown itself to be remarkably imbe less injurious than in 2009 when the province’s unmune from the province’s economic struggles. “So far this employment rate reached a whopping 7.5 per cent. Some year the Edmonton economy has demonstrated tremendous





June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |




The verdict? No need for panic, but a definite need for reflection and perhaps a reassessment of economic priorities. resilience,” asserts Rose. The city’s top economist credits Edmonton’s continued success to its growing economic diversity and its booming professional service sector, a lesson he believes Alberta and the country as a whole could do well to learn. “We hear a lot about economic diversification in this province, but there really needs to be more action,” he argues. “We’ve become immensely successful in this city at selling professional services, with Stantec and others leading the way. It’s always going to be easier to sell a service than a good, and in the Edmonton region in particular we’re seeing a shift towards exporting brains rather than just oil.” Rose adds that he is eager to see greater emphasis on economic diversification, as well as renewable energy, from the federal government. “The feds and the Alberta government need to show more leadership in developing energy resources, as well as incentivizing research and development,” he says. “On the research and development side,

we’re seeing overwhelming emphasis on research tied to natural resources that produce immediate economic benefits. This is not the way to go. We’re already becoming a leader in intellectual capital here in Edmonton, but I’d really like to see more leadership from our federal and provincial leaders in that direction.” The verdict? No need for panic, but a definite need for reflection and perhaps a reassessment of economic priorities, and judging by Edmonton’s top economist’s assessment, Edmonton’s increasingly multifaceted and versatile economy might just be the perfect model for how to successfully weather Alberta’s seemingly never-ending boom and bust cycles. “We really haven’t experienced the shock that the rest of the province has,” he notes. “As a province I definitely think we’re going to make it through without a true recession this time, and as for Edmonton we’re more than holding steady—we’re doing extremely well.” BIE

Thank you to all who supported us in the last edition of Business in Edmonton and for helping our customers achieve their goals. | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015






GLOBAL DREAMS Small and medium-sized enterprises find success beyond Canada’s borders



June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |




he business world is becoming The attendees represented a wide more and more global and the range of industries, including forestdesire to export goods and servicry, environmental, manufacturing, oil es is increasingly attractive among and gas, green energy, logistics, legal Edmonton and area entrepreneurs. and insurance. This interest is not lost on Canada’s “The Government of Canada is Department of Foreign Trade and looking to diversify Canada’s export Investment. Their Go Global workmarkets beyond the U.S. and to deshop provides tools and information crease the trade imbalance, McKenzie for small and medium-sized enterinforms. “Canadian companies are prise (SMEs) to learn the ins and well positioned to access global marouts of international exporting. kets as Canadian goods are valued “The Department of Foreign in the international marketplace for Trade and Investment approached their quality and innovation. Howevus to partner with them for the only er, only a very small portion of SMEs Alberta event on their Go Globaccess export markets. Minster Ed al tour, and being that we have a Fast told us in his presentation that of BARBARA MCKENZIE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LEDUC-NISKU ECONOMIC strong manufacturing sector in the the one million SME’s in Canada, only DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION Leduc-Nisku area as well as the met40,000 entertain export opportuniropolitan Edmonton region, we knew that this was the ties; and of that only 10,000 export outside of the U.S.. right fit for our organization,” says Barbara McKenzie, ex“Access to the information and services that the ecutive director of Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Government of Canada provides and increasing the knowlAssociation. “The event was organized on very short noedge of the possibility of the export market may encourage tice and we worked with many partners to ensure that more SMEs to look at export markets, creating more resilthe information had a wide dissemination. We appreciience and profit for their business and more diversity and ate the regional Chambers of Commerce and economic economic prosperity for our region, Alberta and Canada.” development professionals sending this out to their netFrac Shack International is one of Edmonton’s SMEs works as well as the partners from the Department of that takes full advantage of export opportunities. LocalForeign Trade and Investment reaching out to all their ly owned and operated from Acheson’s industrial park, contacts. This teamwork enabled us to generate an attenthe company has been designing, manufacturing, owning dance of over 100 people, which was within the goal of and operating proprietary refuelling systems for hydraulic the Department and Minster’s office. We were extremely fracturing equipment since 2011. pleased with the number of businesses that showed inter“After a full year of operations in Canada, we looked to the est in learning about export opportunities, showing that U.S. for additional opportunities,” says Lance Holmstrom, we have a strong industry that is seeking to reach beyond Frac Shack’s vice president, finance. “It took a year after our borders for business opportunities.” making that decision to get the company up and running in

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the U.S. market. The U.S. oil and gas new locations for demonstrations or industry is more than 10 times the to start up operations. size of the Canadian market. To grow • Hire locally. A local business successfully we knew we needed to partner or employee can help you access that larger market.” make contacts that an outside compaHolmstrom continues, “It is exny can’t get on their own. tremely important for Alberta • Get local advice on legal and procompanies to export technology fessional services matters such as tax and expertise to other markets. The and registrations. While much can be Alberta market is ideal for testdone over the internet, a local reping new technology and techniques. resentative knows what needs to be Alberta oilfield technologies are very done and how to do it. well respected in other markets. • Expect delays and issues. Don’t International oilfield companies recget discouraged, every problem has ognize Alberta as having very high a solution. It will take time and monstandards and difficult environments. ey to overcome them, but they can be CHRIS LEMKE, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, KUEHNE + NAGEL GROUP This means that technologies develovercome. oped, tried and tested in Alberta are • Expect that there will be cultursome of the best in the world. Once proven in this market, al differences in the work environment and selling styles. accessing the larger U.S. market, in particular, can be critiThese can be mitigated with research and local partners. cal to continued growth. Many companies need the growth • Stay in touch regularly. Personal visits are best, but usto reach a critical mass of operational efficiency.” ing technology to do video conferences and other similar Based on experience, Holmstrom knows entering marmethods keeps people in touch and connected to the rest kets outside of Canada is not easy. His advice for SMEs of the team. branching beyond local borders includes the following: Another local company that has found success in ex• Contact the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service to porting is Kuehne + Nagel Ltd. see what services are available to assist in exploring new “Kuehne + Nagel Group is one of the world’s leading logismarkets. They can provide useful insight into the current tics companies. Its strong market position lies in sea freight, state of the industry and if there are Canadian companies air freight, road, rail and contract logistics, with a clear fooperating in those markets, so you can contact them locally cus on providing IT-based integrated logistics solutions,” before making the investment in overseas expansion. explains business development manager Chris Lemke, • Look for opportunities that are geographically close to who works in the Edmonton branch. “Since 1890, we have your current base of operations first. Travel to new locahelped companies improve their global logistics framework, tions can be difficult. The time and effort to set up those enhance customer service, and optimize supply chains, endoperations is made more difficult by time zones and disto-end. Our network of 1,000 offices and more than 63,000 tance. Particularly, if you have to transport equipment to employees around the world is continually growing to pro-

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June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |




vide the support of an integrated global presence, a network of reliable, skilled partners and the agility to customize logistics solutions when and where you need them. We are a complete logistics partner, from sourcing raw material through to coordinating distribution to end-users. We can improve efficiencies and help meet ever-changing challenges going above and beyond every day to deliver specialized, fully-integrated logistics solutions.” The company has deep roots. The business launched in 1890 and registered the name they used today in 1900. The first two offices were in Montreal and Toronto. Lemke points out the importance of SMEs active engagement in exporting. “There are a plethora of important reasons for Alberta companies to engage in exporting, [such as] profitability. Exporting can be profitable for businesses of all sizes. On average, sales grow faster, more jobs are created and employees earn more than in non-exporting businesses. Today, accessing markets, including the worldwide market and trade finances, has dramatically increased from previous years. There is demand at home as ‘buy local’ gains more momentum, but also in global markets where Canadian products are sought after.” His advice for SMEs looking to get into exporting is, “When deciding the best route to get your product to the market place, research and more research; especially when choosing a service provider to get your goods to the marketplace. Get to know your freight partner as they need to be an extension of your business. They need to understand what you do and more importantly, how your business runs.” In a world that thrives on connectivity and with the many tools at our disposal to take advantage of the world’s marketplace, there has never been a better time for SMEs to go global. “Business should access the resources and financing options that are provided by government as this advice and support will help them be more successful in the long term in the export market,” concludes McKenzie. “There is no need to go it alone as the resources are there to be used. Using these resources can position you for success and help you avoid lots of pitfalls that export markets may present.” BIE

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Advocate. Educate. Connect.

What impact would a City Charter have on Edmonton’s business environment? By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO


arge urban centres like the City of Edmonton play an important role for the region they operate within, and create many benefits for surrounding municipalities within the same region. With those benefits come certain challenges. The demands placed upon urban centers are further amplified by growth and development. For the City of Edmonton to provide services that meet the increasing needs created by regional growth there needs to be a discussion on what tools are needed to deliver services in a timely and effective manner. How this is done forms part of the debate that currently surrounds “Big City Charters.” Typically, municipalities offer a myriad of services including ambulance, building codes, fire protection, policing, planning, zoning, development, garbage collection and public transportation. There is an ongoing and legitimate debate as to the level of responsibility that the province has “downloaded” on to our large urban centers, thereby creating even more pressures that demand attention. To pay for these services, municipalities are able to raise funds through property tax, business tax or machinery and equipment tax, borrowing, fines and fees. The City of Edmonton and City of Calgary believe that the next step forward to meet the demands of their growth is through legislated agreements. The Framework Agreement for Charters, signed by both cities and the province, allows for the “development of the appropriate legislation with the relevant regulations, agreements and other mechanisms” to govern the relationship. And,

with the passage of amendments to the Municipal Government Act this spring, the discussion on the need for Big City Charters is heating up. The Agreement currently does not provide enough detail. The Agreement brings forward significant topics that need careful thought, debate, planning and designing before they are implemented. For example, we are uncertain what “new and/or enhanced tools” will be implemented and what the expected impact will be on our business environment. Additionally, there is a provision within the Agreement for the cities to “establish forprofit corporations to deliver services within and beyond its boundaries.” Many of our members are wondering what effect this will have, as these tax-funded corporations could compete directly with their current private sector business operations. Our relationship with the City of Edmonton has been strong and constructive for over a century. Together we have worked on strategies, policies and standards in order to continuously improve the environment for local businesses to grow and thrive. The Edmonton Chamber is keen to be a part of the conversation on Big City Charters. We want to build on this positive working relationship as the City moves forward to negotiate our City’s Charter. A Charter for our City if, or when, implemented would be strengthened by having all partners at the table and fully invested. We will keep you informed as the issue moves forward, and we would welcome your thoughts and ideas.

Please feel free to send any comments or questions on City Charters or any other issues that affect your business operations to us at:


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

2015 Mayor’s State of the City Address


n Monday, April 27, 2015, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce welcomed 2,200 Edmonton business leaders and community influencers to our annual Mayor’s State of the City Address. During the Shaw Conference Centre’s largest luncheon of the year, Mayor Don Iveson addressed the local business community about his thoughts on the upcoming year in our great northern city. He opened with an engaging story about Edmonton’s history and transitioned into speaking about our city’s economy, reputation, infrastructure needs, competiveness, regional economic development and business momentum. He also spoke about the City of Edmonton’s efforts to end poverty and build relationships with Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Edmontonians. Mayor Iveson called upon the province to recognize the importance of cities in Alberta as economic engines, incubators of diversity and providers of service.

Jerri L. Cairns, board chair of the Edmonton Chamber, Partner, Parlee McLaws; Brian Vaasjo, President & CEO, Capital Power; and Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber

Sarah Chan with a group of young community members.

Mayor Don Iveson addressed the Edmonton business community during his second Mayor’s State of the City Address.

Floris Sjer of KLM announced the winner of two KLM tickets.

Guests connected before hearing from Mayor Iveson. | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015


Lessons Learned By Bobbi Menard


hether you walk, ride or drive to your business, it can be easy to take infrastructure for granted. That perspective can change in an instant when the infrastructure that supports your business goes “under construction.” For a small- or medium-sized business that relies on customers coming to their door, infrastructure construction can be a challenge. But, there are tried and true methods of coping with the challenge and thriving. Jillian Kaliel, owner of Studio J Urban Spa, Edmonton Chamber member since 2013, has been operating her business in its street level Jasper Avenue location since 2008. She opened her doors in 2001 and built her business through a location move followed by a significant infrastructure project that, at times, obscured her storefront completely. Studio J is now thriving and Kaliel can now look back and share her insights on how to navigate a business through the challenges of infrastructure change. Studio J moved to Jasper Avenue because it was bursting at the seams and Kaliel needed more space for her growing clientele. The Jasper Avenue location was perfect and she built strong relationships with both her landlord and her neighbouring businesses. Those relationships formed a large part of her strategy for coping with the Jasper Avenue project from 2012 to 2014. “You need to utilize all of your connections. I went around and talked to nearby businesses. We cross-promoted our businesses together,” says Kaliel. The spa industry is built on word of mouth. Kaliel recognizes the need for traditional marketing strategies, but relationships and trust are paramount for building clientele. Kaliel says that working at building referrals is a valuable approach to keep clients returning to your door and enticing new clients. Social media is something that Kaliel wishes she had invested in more because online presence supports word of mouth advertising. It enables new customers to learn about the business and decide to engage and come and find a company when there is


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Jillian Kaliel, owner of Studio J Urban Spa

construction. “I would hire out more help for social media,” remarks Kaleil. The other thing she would do differently is engage with the City of Edmonton and the construction project sooner. Whether it was an oversight, or just bad timing, Kaliel found out about the Jasper Avenue project through the media. The result was that, while she knew of the planned project, she lacked the details she needed early on to make business operations decisions. While she had reached out directly to her client base to let them know about the construction, she didn’t always know the speed and scope of the changes happening just outside her door – and keeping her customers informed of progress became more and more important as the project carried on. She recalls patiently waiting for the construction to move forward and everything to return back to normal in short order. “You have to ask questions, don’t wait for the information to come to you. I don’t blame the construction company, things were challenging. And, the City hired a team that did all they could, but you need to plan for things to not go smoothly and start talking to people right away.” Strong relationships in the downtown core are just one of the reasons that Kaliel plans on keeping Studio J right where it is. The population growth, the cultural and entertainment investments and the sense of excitement have her convinced that coping with the necessary, short-term infrastructure improvements is all worthwhile in the end. “It is manageable, it is doable, but plan for the worst. If the best happens then you’re laughing. Then you’re flying.”

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Connecting Business Honourable James Moore Luncheon

Special guest Hon. Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, proudly introduced Minister Moore.

Federal Minister of Industry James Moore addressed the Edmonton business community.

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce was pleased to welcome the Honourable James Moore, federal Minister of Industry, for a luncheon on Monday, April 13, 2015. During the luncheon, our President and CEO, Janet Riopel, about the need for federal leadership on the reduction of inter-provincial regulator barriers that companies face when dealing with different provinces. She also spoke to the critical infrastructure deficit and the impact on businesses that require that infrastructure to move goods and people. In Minister Moore’s engaging and fast-paced remarks, he acknowledged the need to address interprovincial trade barriers. Minister Moore also spoke to the work undertaken by the federal government on encouraging international trade and issues that impact the growth of industry.

Guests connected before hearing from Minister Moore.

Edmonton Chamber luncheons are an opportunity to connect over a meal and learn from leaders and decision makers.

Members in this Issue Cameron Communities, under the Cameron Development banner, Urban Development Institute, in Urbanomics on page 12


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

John Herdman Luncheon

John Herdman took time to speak to some of Junior Achievement’s student guests.

John Herdman shared an engaging, motivational presentation with the Edmonton business community.

On Monday, April 20, 2015, John Herdman, head coach of the Canadian women’s national soccer team, took Edmonton Chamber members and guests on an exciting journey of how the women’s national team has risen to world-wide prominence. In his captivating, motivational presentation, he stressed the importance of developing a high performance culture, learning to overcome adversity with grace and the role of leaders to inspire trust, confidence and success. Watch Herdman’s team and insights in action during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. Edmonton is host to the opening ceremonies and Canada’s first home game versus China.

Guests had the opportunity to connect before hearing from Herdman.

Excited fans eagerly awaited the start of the day’s program and the message from Coach Herdman.

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KNOW youRhere

t’s difficult to know which way to go if you don’t know where you are starting from. That’s the reason directional signage started. What had begun as simple inuksuk and directional arrows has now developed into an industry that helps people find their way around offices, shopping malls, universities, hospitals and many other sites using Interactive Touch Screen Technology. Although the Digital Way Finding industry is not yet 15 years old and many companies have tried to develop a true coast to coast operation to service national and local clients alike one company stands out in both its history and its development of technology. YouRhere Inc was founded in Alberta in 2004 by former Microsoft employee Wojtek Kowalczewski. During the past decade the company has grown to become a national industry leader with offices in major cities across Canada. The company is a true end-to-end vertical systems integrator providing design, fabrication, installation, and after-sales support to its customers. It boasts and impressive list of clients which include virtually all the major real estate owners and managers across Canada. One of the ways youRhere has come to better understand its customers’ needs is through various industry associations, most notably BOMA, including Edmonton. “Our membership in BOMA has helped us immensely, both in interacting socially with our current and future customers, but also through its educational initiatives on such topics as sustainability and accessibility, which has given us the insights to further develop our software,” says Mr. Kowalczewski. For example, youRhere directories are capable of receiving information from building management systems and presenting that information in an attractive format to allow the building to communicate with its tenants and visitors alike on such topics as building sustainability initiatives.

1 June 2015 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

Given that fundamentally youRhere is in the business of deploying and supporting information technology, it’s not surprising to learn that that technology has evolved significantly over the past decade. What started as simple directo-

ries, has evolved to information boards showing sustainability, and is now a two way communication between visitors and property management. youRhere was one of the first adopters of large screen formats, with current installations demanding 75” screens with multi touch capabilities, mobile applications, NFC communications, iBeacons, and more. Large custom fabricated kiosks compliment the fine finishes expected in most venues. The second aspect of this development lies in the company’s proprietary software that its programmers use to power the touchscreen application which can be customized in both look and content to each installation. While such basic search capabilities as 3D mapping with “footprints” to make way finding easier have become standard, the company continues to develop new applications, features and enhancements to its offering. For example, one of the company’s most recent shopping mall installations provides live feeds to the local transit authority, so that busy shoppers can learn that “the Number 52 Bus to downtown will be at the South mall entrance in eight minutes” relieving them of the need to wait and wonder when the next bus would be coming. Another of the applications the company developed was to comply with new legislation enacted in several provinces mandating that buildings be made accessible to individuals of all abilities. To do so, youRhere’s directories offer an on-screen button providing visitors in wheelchairs the ability to lower the interface menu and direct visitors to paths avoiding escalators. Operating the largest national interactive company out of Alberta was not without challenges, but it did give youRhere access to great manufacturing facilities and a highly skilled work force. It’s interesting to note that currently Western Canada continues to lead in the adoption rates of interactive directories. In the end, this bet paid off for

EDMONTON INDUSTRIAL VACANCY Q1 2015 City of Edmonton Vacancy Rate

3.4% (Overall) SOUTHEAST













Surrounding Districts Vacancy Rate

4.9% (Overall) youRhere with installations from Halifax to Vancouver. Early on youRhere embraced the principle to giving back to the community with services and time, including RCMP memorial in Edmonton and many other charities in need of interactive directory services. Mr. Kowalczewski says: “Despite the growth, we do not forget where


we came from, and treat every client, supplier, and partner as part of our extended Property Management family.” For more information about youRhere, please visit You may want to visit their impressive gallery section.



n 2011, Edmonton City Council set aspirational goals for Edmonton to be a carbon-neutral, energy resilient city. On April 29, 2015 City Council cemented its vision by unanimously endorsing Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy. The strategy aims (by 2035) to reduce Edmonton’s greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent, reduce energy use by 25 per cent per person and take steps to generate 10 per cent of Edmonton’s electricity within City limits. In addition to environmental benefits, the strategy is expected to deliver $2.5 billion in savings for citizens through lower energy bills.

The energy-sustainable Edmonton reflected in the strategy includes: • energy-literate citizens with energyconserving lifestyles, • world-class energy efficiency in all types of buildings, • world-class energy efficiency in industrial processes, • a strong shift to active and public transportation as preferred modes of travel, • an urban form that is carefully designed to avoid unnecessary energy use and optimize free energy from the sun, • greener electricity for Alberta’s

















Total Vacant Space (sf )

4,251,560 sf city

surrounding districts 789,129 sf

3,462,431 sf

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electricity grid and local generating facilities, • a greater portion of electricity produced close to where it is used through district energy systems, combined heat and power systems and renewable and alternative energy technologies, and • increased electrification of Edmonton’s transportation system with passenger vehicles, buses, light trucks and trains powered by clean electricity. According to Mayor Don Iveson, “Achieving these goals is vital to our quality of life and our aspiration to be a global city. Their achievement will help protect us from major climate and energy risks and position us for exciting opportunities as the world transitions to cleaner energy. We know the global energy system is changing and that Edmonton needs to be prepared for these changes. At the same time, the city understands the need for fossil fuels in the world’s current energy mix.” The strategy’s Eight-Year Action Plan focuses on seven opportunity areas and more than 150 tactics. In explaining the need for so many tactics, City staffer, Jim Andrais says “We’re convinced there are no silver bullet solutions or small set of tactics that will get us to our goals. It’s our position that many opportunities need to be pursued across many sectors. In other words, energy transition is a challenge that belongs to everyone in the community, not just a few.”

Naturally, energy use in buildings is one of the strategy’s key focuses given that buildings account for 42 per cent of Edmonton’s energy use. A wide range of tactics are recommended in this regard including voluntary energy labelling programs for new and existing residential buildings, energy education campaigns, voluntary energy reporting programs and building retrofit programs. “We will be looking for leadership, advice and direct participation from BOMA-Edmonton and CHBA-Edmonton Region to advance these projects,” says Andrais. “Their involvement isn’t just nice to have, it is critical for success.” Immediate steps for advancing the strategy include the drafting of a related City Policy and development of the 2016-2018 Operating Budget to provide necessary funding. As well, according to Mayor Iveson, first steps will involve making sure our approaches are “aligned with other governments.” “These aren’t outlandish ideas,” says the Mayor. “They mearly allow us to keep pace with what other cities around the world are already doing.” The strategy can be found at










3 June 2015 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

At Devlin Construction Ltd, we believe in providing you the best services in the market today.





he 9Triple8 Jasper building, now 75 per cent leased, is turning heads in Edmonton’s downtown office and retail scene with its newest tenant, Associated Engineering. Formerly ATB Place, 9Triple8 Jasper has been redesigned for a new generation of business, catering to connectivity and modern style. It began with a glass-walled showcase for retail storefronts designed to increase the building’s visual appeal and create a more engaging experience for pedestrians. The 1970s infrastructure was replaced with environmentally friendly efficiencies that reduced utility consumption by half from 4.2 million kilowatt hours to 2.1 million annually, an improvement that also lowers operating costs for tenants. 9Triple8 Jasper will be one of the most energy-efficient office towers downtown, consuming approximately 60 per cent less energy than the average Canadian office building. The 181,664 square-foot building offers tenants multi-floor leasing opportunities, underground parking, direct access to

5 June 2015 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

public transportation, and a location that’s walking distance to the beautiful river valley, lively Arts District, diverse retailers, and quality restaurants. With the growth of Edmonton’s commercial and retail sectors downtown, as well as the new Rogers Place arena and Royal Alberta Museum projects, 9Triple8 Jasper’s location and amenities can increase both professional and personal quality of life for employers and employees. “I think that the developments that are happening over the next five years are going to substantially increase the appeal for Edmontonians of being downtown — to work, to play, and to live. And that’s good for all stakeholders in the area,” says Jordan Hokanson, president of Hokanson Capital Inc. and owner of 9Triple8 Jasper. The first tenant to move into the building (June 2015) will be the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET), a membership organization

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that regulates, produces, and promotes safe, high-quality professional technology practice. ASET’s staff were impressed with the on-site amenities — the street-front retail, the 4,158 square-foot private fitness centre, and the beautiful meeting space. The second tenant, Kingston Ross Pasnak (KRP), a local full-service accounting firm established in 1945, will move in July 2015. Having outgrown its long-time office space, KRP looks forward to the convenient location with increased parking, a more usable space to increase work efficiencies, and enough room to grow the firm. As an anchor tenant, KRP also secured the naming rights to the building. Associated Engineering (AE), the most recently announced tenant, will move in January 2016, and will occupy four floors of the building. AE is an employee-owned Canadian consulting firm that provides planning, engineering, environmental science, and landscape architecture services. With more than 900 staff operating in 21 offices across Canada, AE has twice won the Schreyer Award, the highest award for Canadian consulting engineers, and has achieved Platinum Club status with Canada’s Best Managed Companies. “Almost 70 years ago, Associated Engineering started our business in downtown Edmonton just around the corner from 9Triple8 Jasper,” says vice president and general manager


June 2015 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

Helder Afonso. “Moving there will be like moving home.” For AE, sustainability is a key focus of business, and 9Triple8 Jasper offers an energy-efficient, innovative workspace. AE believes that sustainable design is not a discipline on its own, but rather a practice that crosses all disciplines of thoughtful, creative, and innovative engineering. With its new space, AE can now design a dynamic office that better fits its needs. “We are proud to welcome Associated Engineering as a new tenant,” says Jordan Hokanson. “Their dedication to sustainability fits perfectly and they also bring a rich history of excellence.” These long-standing companies recognize the importance of being located downtown in a rejuvenated building without the premium pricing of the brand new, commercial office properties. Steps away from places to eat, shop, or enjoy green space, 9Triple8 Jasper is the hub that connects work, life, and play. Office space and ground-level retail space is currently available for tenants wanting to upgrade at a reasonable cost. Inquiries can be made to Colliers International at 780.420.1585 or visit for more information about the building. The 9Triple8 Jasper redevelopment is a project of Hokanson Capital Inc., a family-owned corporation that has interests in commercial real estate properties across Western Canada.




Farming is a profession that conjures up wholesome ideals and the ‘simple life,’ but is there anything simple about it? Today, farming is just as much about technology and economics as any other industry. BY RECHELL MCDONALD


arming of the most rustic form developed some 12,000 years ago, but agricultural technology has made the most significant leaps and bounds in the last two centuries. From the days of trying to domesticate plants and animals, to pulling iron ploughs through fields with horses, to cultivators, seed drills and irrigations systems, the entire system has changed. What was once a toil for personal sustenance, has become a multi-billion dollar, world-wide industry. Perhaps the most staggering change has been what it costs to farm. The humble days of planting seed by hand and relying on the weather to provide enough water mostly required a farmer to simply have the land to farm, which for personal use didn’t require much. Today, however, getting into farming means you need land (which is the most expensive aspect), expensive machinery, laborers and in some places, water control equipment. Kathy Bosse, new venture specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, explains that in today’s world, with a variety of farming options and all the variables, it’s almost impossible to come up with tangible figure on what it costs to get into farming. “There are many ways to reduce costs when farming. Farmland doesn’t have to be owned it can be leased, but land costs vary widely across the province with the Highway 2 corridor being one of the most expensive.” So the cost to get into farming today depends heavily on where you want to farm in the province, how you acquire

access to the land (lease or purchase) and what sort of crop or animals you are interested in. “There are other important factors to consider too,” explains Bosse. “It’s like any other business. You have to have a thorough plan in place long before you begin. You have to decide if your farming idea can be profitable. Whatever you raise or grow, you need to be sure that there is a market for your end product.” Crop science and farming research, not to mention the development of farming equipment, has greatly enhanced current farming practices and show a lot of promise for the future of farming as well. One very interesting development that may seem so obvious when you think about, but which is not common practice, is precision agriculture. “Precision agriculture (PA) is simply doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place,” says Dr. Linda Hall, professor, Weed Science and Environmental Biosafety of Transgenic Crops, at the University of Alberta. “Modern farming has become efficient because of large fields and machinery and has made dramatic gains in yields, however, we have sacrificed the ability to treat each area in the most effective way.” With PA, it’s about measuring and responding to the variability of a crop and the field in general. One challenge researchers are having is developing a way to identify management zones within a field. Despite many different approaches and methods, it is difficult to map out such | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015





areas over a prolonged period of time. Why? Because things change, constantly. Professor Hall explains that some PA practices include a choice of variety through planting different varieties of corn, soybean, wheat and canola in different areas of the field, precision seeding so every seed is planted at the correct depth, fertilizer – which has very different requirements based on slope and soil type and crop needs – being placed at many different times with different types of products to enhance uptake and reduce green-


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

house gas emissions. The use of pesticides (only putting the product where the weeds/insects/disease are will reduce broad scale spray applications), and mechanical control of weeds and insects, as well as the monitoring of crop health through the whole season. “All of these innovations are currently coming forward with considerable investment and research. It will take a while to put the pieces together and see the value of PA brought to the average farmer, but innovation is coming,” concludes Professor Hall.





Other crop sciences are at work too. Research into disease resistant and higher yield strains of crops are just a couple of the more common types of research that are being done on cereal grains at the moment in Alberta. “To allow breeders working at the Field Crop Development Centre access to new molecular tools, for example, the development and use of molecular markers for the selection of important traits, will improve gene deployment, allow gene pyramiding and ultimately produce better quality varieties. Improved understanding of the molecular

mechanisms behind disease resistance and crop quality may allow plant breeders to better design breeding and crop protection strategies,” says the 2014 Cereal Research Report, released by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in tandem with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The same study briefly touches on the complicated and time-intensive process of getting new strains of cereals registered, and otherwise permitted for use. “In order to receive registration, cereal lines in Canada must be tested in the recognized co-operative tests for a minimum | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015




period of two years for barley and three years for wheat and triticale.” Now, where farm equipment is concerned, its value, importance and significance depends entirely on the type of farming a person is doing. Someone who raises cattle, for instance, won’t benefit from the development of new seeding equipment, but with that being said, there is some equipment that can be beneficial across the board, like a tractor. Regardless of the type of farm you run, a tractor is an essential tool for hauling just about anything. From moving feed materials and tools, to dragging or pulling other pieces of machinery, tractors are arguably one of the most beneficial farming developments of modern farming. But there have been other developments, specifically in agriculture, that have resulted in the invention of a lot of useful machinery. Combines, threshers, mechanized plows and seeders help to replace a vast amount of human labour and reduce the time it takes to sow a field, care for it, and harvest it. They save a lot of money too, making the whole process more profitable. However, despite the development of these massive pieces of equipment, human labour is still very much a part of the farming process. People run the machines and inspect the crops, and depending on the farm and its size, people may be responsible for even more. Niche farms, organic farms and farms that may negate the use of the abovementioned machines (a fruit tree farm, for example), will all face different challenges, limitations and


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |



guidelines that will affect how they farm and the technology they can use in the process. Modern farming has become an integral industry for the world. As the world population creeps closer to the nine billion mark, the demand on the planet for food production continually grows, and issues such as diseases, soil pollution and inclement weather, continue to affect the annual yields of all kinds of crops. Crop science and research aim to combat these problems by creating stronger strains of crops that can withstand extreme heat, drought, and certain diseases, while also producing a greater amount of usable crop come harvest. Farming equipment has also been developing, and in recent years has left the fields and taken to the skies, with GPS and satellite imagery becoming important tools for even the most common farming practices and techniques. Although the fundamentals of farming haven’t changed much over the centuries, it is clear that the economics of it have. With some pieces of farm equipment retailing in and around the million dollar mark (new), it’s easy to see how gathering all the necessities of farming (land, equipment, labour, and water supply) can become quite a costly venture these days. Perhaps the most cost-effective way to become a farmer today is to inherit it or buy a farm with everything you need included in the sale, but no matter how you go about getting into the farm industry, it is certain that it’s an industry on the cusp of some more big technological advancements with the weight of the world on its shoulders. BIE

Cameron Development Corporation:

Real Estate Development Built on Family Values By Nerissa McNaughton Cameron Development Corporation has developed over 8 million square feet of commercial property in Edmonton and area, and it all started 35 years ago with a couple who saw an opportunity and took a risk. 57

Cameron Development Corporation Management Team.



erry (Javaid) Naqvi has always had an ability to see opportunities, so when a kind and generous young woman working at the Army and Navy boutique sold him a shirt, he knew he found something special – and it wasn’t the shirt. The woman, Henrietta, became his wife. The couple would later go on to found Camtina Developments Ltd. and Camrose Developments Ltd. As a close-knit family, the names paid tribute to the couple’s three children, Tina, Cameron and Rosalynn. In the mid-1990s, the companies amalgamated into Cameron Development Corporation. The story of one of Edmonton’s most successful development corporations started in 1964, when Mr. Naqvi arrived in Canada on an engineering scholarship, but upon graduating, jobs in his field were scarce. The family man started selling homes, and by the mid-70s he became the vice president of development at Allarco Developments Ltd. His mentor at Allarco was Dr. Charles Allard, whose contributions to Edmonton still continue today through the Allard family. Some shy away when opportunity knocks, but that was never Jerry’s, nor Henrietta’s style. Learning from the best in the industry, along with hard work and a solid education, led to the decision to venture out on his own. On April 1, 1980, the company opened its doors with Jerry and two other employees as the only staff. Opening, ironically, on April Fool’s day in the ’80s real estate market meant many difficult challenges, but true to form the Naqvis used those challenges as opportunities. By the time the real estate market improved in the early to mid-90s, Cameron Development Corporation was firmly established in Edmonton and well on its way to success. In 2002, Cameron entered the home building market and built its first home, the Alyssa Ashley (named after a granddaughter), under the Cameron Homes banner.

Some shy away when opportunity knocks, but that was never Jerry’s, nor Henrietta’s style. Learning from the best in the industry, along with hard work and a solid education, led to the decision to venture out on his own.

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The Carrington Group of Companies pioneered the concept of affordable luxury, surpassing expectations for design and quality. Our Mission is: “To design, build, and market communities incorporating the newest technology with unsurpassed quality and service at affordable prices to create lasting value for our clients.”

CARRINGTON CORPORATE 4075-106 Street NW Edmonton, Alberta T6J 7H3 T 780.439.5000 | F 780.489.1300 Visit us online at




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In 2011, the land development division, Cameron Communities Inc. (CCI), was formed, managed by Mr. Laurie Scott. In 2014, a multi-family division, Cameron Lifestyles, entered the market, managed by Mr. Amit Shah. Today, Cameron is one of the most active development companies in the Alberta market with over eight million square feet of completed and active projects; is multi-faceted with investments in commercial, retail, land development, home building and multi-family; and with both office and industrial opportunities on the horizon. Cameron designs, develops owns and manages all of its assets, either for itself or jointly with various partners. Long-term holding of assets and strategic partnerships have always been the impetus. Some of the Corporation’s many partners include the Allard family, MLC Land Corporation, Grosvenor Group, Harvard Developments Inc., Delcon Development Group Ltd., Maclab Enterprises, Landmark Homes, Daytona Group, Beaverbrook Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT), Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMco), and the Ontario Pension Board. “After coming through the major economic downturn of the ’80s, in 1996 Jerry had a vision to take a 320-acre field on the south side of Edmonton and endeavour to turn it into a viable commercial retail development,” explains Tina Naqvi-Rota, president of Cameron Development Corporation. “The initial opportunity to create the development came about when Cameron purchased the subject lands from Canadian Pacific Railway. This coincided with the continued development of new residential communities at Edmonton’s south edge, and the fact that the Calgary Trail commercial corridor at that time was at capacity, with little opportunity for the new wave of commercial development (big box retailers). South Edmonton Common was well situated to meet that ongoing demand. ” With an agreement from Home Depot and Walmart, South Edmonton Common’s first tenants signaled the beginning of the development. “While most thought this to be overly ambitious at the time, today, at over 2.3 million square feet of retail development, we are grateful to say that South Edmonton Common is among the most successful retail power centres in Canada, and one of the largest in North America,” says Tina. Tina joined the company in 1991 and although none of the children were asked or expected to join the company, son Cameron, executive vice president, Cameron and daughter Rose, vice president, Cameron Homes, also have active roles within the organization; as do sons-in-law, Tony Rota and Darcey Parasynchuk. “It is interesting to note that our decision to join and continue to be part of the company was not pre-ordained. However, when you grow up in a family business, sometimes it is inevitable that you end up there, whether you intended to or

Chances are, you’ve shopped at, been in or even live in a Cameron developed property. Some of their most popular shopping centres include: • South Edmonton Common • Currents of Windermere • Manning Town Centre • Hollick Kenyan Shopping Centre • Southbrook Shopping Centre • Albany Market Square • Emerald Hills Urban Village

Cameron Communities residential land development project are: • Cavanagh located for living • Blackstone in Leduc • Manning Village • Keswick on the River

Cameron Homes is now building in the communities of: • Walker Lakes • Hudson Park • Keswick on the River • Manning Village

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DURABILITY DRIVES VALUE A home is your largest investment. You can live in a durable home for much longer with minimal maintenance costs, and enjoy a home that shows little wear and tear. Millimetre precision (from building with cutting edge technology without harsh outdoor weather or human error) combined with unmatched strength (through spray foam insulation and engineered lumber) is key to a durable home.

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In over 30 years of business, I believe the company has achieved a reputation in the development industry as being forthright, with a direct approach to its dealings.

not,” smiles Tina, noting that family values are at the core of every decision the company makes. “The thing that makes Cameron what it is, is the family business culture, where a team-based approached encourages everyone to help each other and endeavor to do what is best. We have taken great care to hire a team of individuals that bring experience, business skills and technical expertise to the organization. There is an expectation that everyone maintains a professional, hardworking, committed and honest approach to their dealings – attributes that we as a family expect of ourselves as well.” Currently, Cameron employs over 60 staff members across its four divisions, and describes its ideal team members as “skilled and capable, autonomous, yet team-oriented, personable, enthusiastic and prideful about and in their work, whether it is in the job description or not, and who appreciate a work culture that is both professional and family-based at the same time.” Tina says, “Cameron’s corporate standards include a consistent approach of honesty, integrity, respect, hard work and ethical diligence, while endeavoring towards a win-win scenario in its business dealings, where all parties achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. In over 30 years of business, I believe the company has achieved a reputation in the development industry as being forthright, with a direct approach to its dealings. The company is always open to new opportunities, relying on an opportunistic long-term approach when it comes to evaluating potential developments. Throughout the years we have built long-standing relationships with retailers, lending institutions, contractors, consultants and development partners. The company has always relied on out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to opportunities, having learned that one size does not fit all.”

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Congratulations Since 1956

O’Hanlon Paving Ltd. 16511 116 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5M 3V1


Congratulations to CAMERON DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION on celebrating 35 Years!






Dawson Wallace Construction has partnered with Cameron Development Corporation on many projects over the last 35 years. Mutual respect and cooperation has been a key element in the success of these projects.

Cameron Development Corporation

on your 35 year anniversary.

We congratulate Cameron Developments on their 35th Anniversary and wish them continued growth & success. 4611 Eleniak Road, Edmonton, Alberta Telephone: (780) 466-8700 3 5 Y E A R S • C A M E R O N D E V E LO P M E N T C O R P O R AT I O N • PA G E 7


3 5 Y E A R S • C A M E R O N D E V E LO P M E N T C O R P O R AT I O N • PA G E 8

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The success of over 30 years of business is admirable, but also hard work. “The volatility of the economy and how it impacts the business is always a challenge,” confides Tina. “The company has had to be nimble and resourceful in order to not only take advantage of the opportunities, but also manage the challenges.” However, the challenges are more than offset by the feeling the team gets from driving by an active shopping centre or residential neighbourhood and knowing that they helped build that community in which people and families live, shop and work. Three decades of success comes from learning – both in and out of educational institutions. While the skills you need to do a job can be taught in school, the traits to be a leader in the community or manage the risks and uncertainties of entrepreneurship are learned on the job and in life. “Entrepreneurship is a mindset of being proactive rather than reactive,” says Tina. “It’s being a risk-taker and opportunistic, but always basing progress on sound judgement, logical due diligence, and of course, a bit of luck. For us, it is also creating a legacy of developing high-standard projects and products which not only stand the test of time, but are representative of a quality approach to business for the community and the City of Edmonton.

The Naqvi family believes in giving back to those in need. Each family member has a special charitable interest and together, the family and the company support numerous organizations in Edmonton, particularly women, children and families in need. Some of the charities and organizations they have supported and been involved with over the years include: • Autism Society of Edmonton Area • Canadian Mental Health Association • Catholic Social Services • The Glenrose Hospital Foundation • Habitat for Humanity • Lois Hole Hospital for Women • Mazenkowski Alberta Heart Institute • Citadel Theatre • University of Alberta Senate • Canadian Home Builders Association • Hockey Helps the Homeless • McDougall House • Canadian Red Cross • Sorrentino’s Compassion House • Edmonton Food Bank • Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

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Congratulations to Cameron Development Corporation on 35 Years of Success 7224 50th Street NW Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2J8 Phone Number: (780) 466-5832 Fax Number: (780) 465-7020 Email Address:

On behalf of the entire team at Raywalt, we would like to congratulate

Congratulations to Cameron Development Corporation on 35 Years of Success

on 35 years of excellence! We wish you many more years of success. Raywalt Construction Co. Ltd. #506, 53016 HWY 60 Acheson, Alberta T7X-5A7 Phone: (780) 962-0030 Email:

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“Leadership is wholeheartedly supporting the individual growth of personnel from within the company, allowing and encouraging a broadening of experiences, and looking at relationships with retailers, partners, consultants and lenders as a joint relationship where all parties come out a winner. “When he decided to go out on his own, Jerry knew that he could utilize the learned skills to compliment what is an innate sense of seeing the possibility in opportunity,” says Tina. “With Jerry, there is little sense of ‘why?’ but invariably one of ‘why not?’.” Saying “why not?” brought the first and second generation into the Cameron Development fold. Saying “why not?” primed their future generations to carry on the legacy. Thirteen grandchildren stand poised to take Cameron into the future, building on the solid foundation laid by their grandparents and parents. And what a future it is! With plans to continue with the many projects the Corporation has underway, while identifying new opportunities, growing smartly and sustainably, and helping the employee and team members reach their potential through mentoring and training, there is no limit to how far Cameron Development Corporation can grow. Yet, no matter how many successes, how many accolades, and how many trophies the company has collected for their many achievements over the years, they remain humble, low key and thankful. This year, as the company marks its 35th anniversary, the family points to Jerry for the courage to move far from his homeland to build a life in Edmonton, and to both Jerry and Henrietta for taking the risk together to start Cameron Development Corporation. The company and the family are

Yet, no matter how many successes, how many accolades, and how many trophies the company has collected for their many achievements over the years, they remain humble, low key and thankful.

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Congratulations to Cameron Developments for 35 years of business, from your friends and partners at MLC.

Suite 1000 Bell Tower - 10104 - 103 Avenue | Edmonton, AB T5J 0H8 Ph. 780.420.0044 | Fax. 780.423.0044 |

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South Edmonton Common by the Numbers Shopping, entertainment, dining! The development of South Edmonton Common is a crowning achievement for Cameron. Here’s what power centre looks like by the numbers.

• South Edmonton Common encompasses 320 acres – including over 2 million sq. ft. of retail space! • Over 160 service include retail, banking and dining • Several major anchor tenants, including IKEA, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Cineplex and a brand new state-of-the-art Canadian Tire (opening summer 2015) • Strategic location – it’s at one of the highest traffic locations in the city • Trendsetter – many other power centres in North America look to South Edmonton Common as the standard 3 5 Y E A R S • C A M E R O N D E V E LO P M E N T C O R P O R AT I O N • PA G E 1 4

Celebrating 35 years! Congratulations Cameron Development Corporation

(780) 452-2325 Structural Engineering ▪ Building Science ▪ Structural Restoration ▪ Parking Facility Design

Congratulations to


3 5 Y E A R S • C A M E R O N D E V E LO P M E N T C O R P O R AT I O N • PA G E 1 5


very grateful to their clients and partners for the trust and belief placed in them for three decades, and they laud their employees for their hard work, commitment and dedication.

“Most of all, we are thankful to God for without his goodwill and guidance we would not be where we are today,” smiles Tina. Whether powering through South Edmonton Common, browsing the Currents of Windermere, shopping at Manning Town Centre or strolling through Keswick on the River, one can appreciate the history of the Naqvi family and how they, through Cameron Development Corporation, brought Edmonton many of the shopping centres and communities that we know and love.


10180 111 ST NW, EDMONTON, AB 780-424-8008 • WWW.CAMDEVCORP.COM 3 5 Y E A R S • C A M E R O N D E V E LO P M E N T C O R P O R AT I O N • PA G E 1 6

The best success stories are the ones written right here. Congratulations to Cameron Development Corporation on 35 years in business. Your contributions towards building our communities exemplifies all that make Western Canada a great place to live, work and play. We look forward to helping you reach even loftier heights in the years to come.

Edmonton Main branch / 12230 Jasper Avenue / T. 780.424.4846

It is with great pleasure that CREIT congratulates

C AMERON D EVELOPMENT C ORPORATION as they celebrate their 35th anniversary.

Cameron‘s expertise in commercial and residential development has led them to become one of Edmonton’s most successful real estate companies. CREIT is proud to have them as a business partner. CREIT (Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol REF.UN. CREIT’s primary business objective is to carefully accumulate and aggressively manage a portfolio of high-quality real estate assets and to deliver the benefits of real estate ownership to our investors.

Celebrating a strong Past Working in the Present Building for the Future

Congratulations to Cameron Development Corporation on their 35th Anniversary! To your extended family at Cameron ~ From your friends at Shamrock Valley. Edmonton and Elk Point, Alberta • Ph: 780.478.3100 • Fax: 780.478.3102 •

3 5 Y E A R S • C A M E R O N D E V E LO P M E N T C O R P O R AT I O N • PA G E 1 7

Congratulations Cameron Development Corporation on 35 years in the industry. We’ve got you covered. For over 30 years, Sorrell Financial has been collaborating with successful business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs, and their team of expert advisors to develop best in class planning. We blend our knowledge with tax and financial expertise to build insurance-based strategies to protect financial and business assets in an efficient manner. Contact us today to find out how we can help secure your future.

Edmonton Suite 1401 TD Tower 10088-102 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 2Z1 Tel: 780 424 1424

Toronto Suite 2014 181 University Avenue Toronto, ON M5H 3M7 Tel: 416 504 1424

Vancouver Suite 1530 609 Granville Street Vancouver, BC V7Y 1G5 Tel: 604 683 1424

We wish you many years of continued success!

CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. Celebrates 35 Years


By Nerissa McNaughton

aking a risk and opening a business takes courage. Opening an oilfield-based business in 1980 when the industry was in the throes of the National Energy Program took the type of courage found in Don and Shirley Cox. The couple not only started CRC Wellhead, they ran it very successfully for 34 years. Sadly, Don passed away in 2009 and after running the company on her own for a few years, Shirley made the decision to sell. Daughter Nina remains at CRC Wellhead as the office manager and Drew Morris, who joined as president in January of this year, is committed to running the company in a way that would have made the original owners proud. “They felt there was a niche in the industry for what they could provide – a machine shop,” says Morris of the Cox’s decision to open CRC. “Don’s history was in valves and he was with a large supplier to the industry. He saw the need for a quality machine shop to provide secondary machining to the industry. The major suppliers of wellhead equipment, at that time, did not have the resources to sustain the volume of business they were doing. They needed contract machine shops, and that’s how it started. Don grew the company based on the needs of his customers.” Since that time, CRC Wellhead has been an industry-leading supplier of common A.P.I. wellhead parts, as well as other components for oil and gas companies across North America. Morris’ journey with the company has been an encouraging one so far. Joining just before the downturn has made for some interesting, and inspiring days. “A lot of companies are laying

CRC Wellhead has been an industryleading supplier of common A.P.I. wellhead parts, as well as other components for oil and gas companies across North America. people off. A lot are closing their doors,” says Morris. “It’s hit our industry hard. I told these guys when I first started that I would try to keep things status quo. I saw some deficiencies in what we had been doing and we were going to improve on that and improve our sales. This was in January when things were going well. In February we got hit hard by the downturn. By mid-March we decided to cut costs.” Morris’ way of cutting costs was not to compromise on quality or lay people off. He found a solution that benefited the company, clients and staff. “In early March, I brought up with the employees that we were going to apply to Service Canada for a Work-Sharing (WS) agreement. On Apr 12 it was initiated. This way all the employees can keep their jobs during the downturn and hopefully, by the end of the six-month period of the program, things will be back to normal.”

CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. • Celebrates 35 Years


Downturn or not, customer confidence remains high among CRC’s clientele and the 100 per cent Canadian-made products they supply.

Above: Quality is number one at CRC. Here Nathan Jodoin is dimensionally inspecting Male Pin Bonnets to ensure they meet the requirements of the project. Below: Although CRC has twelve CNC machines at its disposal, Stephan Quintin is exhibiting the precision required to provide our customers with the best possible product utilizing one of CRC’s 5 manual lathes.

WS is a government initiative where employees split the amount of time they spend at work. For CRC, this means one shift works Monday and Tuesday, everyone works on Wednesday and the remaining crew works Thursday and Friday. The company pays for 60 per cent of the salaries, and the government pays 40 per cent. “It’s good for the government, otherwise they would be paying laid off workers 100 per cent Employment Insurance. It’s not my first rodeo,” Morris continues with a confident smile. “In this industry, there seems to be a six-year cycle where we go into a recession or a correction mode. CRC has the ability to weather this storm and come back stronger than ever.” Downturn or not, customer confidence remains high among CRC’s clientele and the 100 per cent Canadian-made products they supply. “We have an American Petroleum Institute (A.P.I.) licence that allows us to monogram the products we are selling in accordance with A.P.I. standards,” Morris says proudly. “It allows our customers to incorporate the products we are supplying into their complete A.P.I. package.” With an eye for a stronger future for the company, Morris is currently looking at potential products CRC can design, manufacture and sell as their own brand. This would not be difficult to integrate into the current workflow as the company purchases and stocks the raw materials their customers need. CRC machines, tests, inspects and prepares products for shipping. “This is something I told the guys the moment I walked through the door,” says Morris. “I want good quality and

The Stream-Flo Group of Companies


At Stream-Flo , we build long-term partnerships with our customers. That requires us to build long-term partnerships with suppliers we can rely on for world-class quality and service. One of those suppliers is CRC Wellhead Supply.


on 35 years of providing world-class quality and service to the oil and gas industry.

Wellheads | Gate Valves | Check Valves | Surface Safety Valves

CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. • Celebrates 35 Years

Stream-Flo Industries Ltd. 4505 – 74 Avenue, Edmonton, AB Tel: 780.468.6789 |

35 Years

CRC’s forte is producing product to meet our customers’ needs as required. However we will hold in stock the most common products for quick delivery.

workmanship on the products that we supply and that we maintain a healthy environment so everyone can go home safe at night – every night.” CRC has more than achieved this goal. The goal of safety extends to the end users of their products. “Products have to be tried and tested to ensure they are no accidents. All product has to be to code – and CRC exceeds the standard code.”

CanForge is proud to be a supplier to CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. Congratulations on 35 years!

Each item is serialized for traceability. Ho and Duong Truong are seen stamping and performing hardness tests on manufactured product.

Just over 20 shop employees have enjoyed long careers with CRC, with 15 years being the average time on the job. Two senior staff members, Jamie Hazzard and Cal Lange, have over 55 combined years with CRC. In an industry renowned for fluctuating oil prices and high turnover, this speaks to the outstanding management and employee satisfaction at CRC. “The staff is diversified in culture and generations,” explains Morris. “We

Congratulations to CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. on your 35th year!

P.O. Box 308 Stn Main - 130 Hagar St., Welland, Ontario Tel: 905.735.1220 • Fax: 905.735.6992 • Toll Free (US & canada): 1.800.263.0440

Congratulations to CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. on 35 years of Success!!

Distributor of Metal Cutting & Machine Tools - Measuring Instruments - Work/Tool Holding Accessories

3755 74 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB • 1-780-466-5876

6620 - 100 Street Edmonton, AB Ph: 780-414-0613 • Fax: 780-439-1131 •

Manufacturers of high quality closed die forgings

CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. • Celebrates 35 Years

CRC Wellhead has been here for 35 years and they have no plans to go away anytime soon. Morris looks forward to continuing the legacy started by Don and Shirley, from the employee care, to the outstanding products, to community support. Drew Morris (President) and Nina Cyre (Office Manager).

have a strong core of experienced employees providing quality products. This instills confidence in our customers. They know what they are going to get – quality and on-time delivery. All the employees work towards that.” “We are not standing still,” he concludes. “We are looking at our systems internally to ensure when things start picking up, we will be in a better position going forward. There is going to be some investment during this period and investment doesn’t always mean money.” He pauses, then says with a smile, “In an

industry that has so many changes and acquisitions, CRC has maintained its competitiveness. We’re still here.” CRC Wellhead has been here for 35 years and they have no plans to go away anytime soon. Morris looks forward to continuing the legacy started by Don and Shirley, from the employee care, to the outstanding products, to community support. Don was a strong supporter of Ducks Unlimited and the company continues to donate and support Boyle Street Community Services. On behalf of CRC Wellhead, Morris thanks the “strong support from the supply chain, excellent participation from the customers and Don and Shirley who started a company that has had such a positive effect on so many lives.”

Thank You to our customers, vendors and staff for the 35 years of association!

3771 74 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6B 2T7, Canada 1 780-465-5414 •

CRC Wellhead Supply Co. Ltd. • Celebrates 35 Years

Bentley Condo’s being built by Yorkton in Prestigious Windsor Park

Yorkton Group International Ltd.

Celebrating 25 Years

By Nerissa McNaughton


ics using a systematic approach before stablished in 1989 and re-branded implementation.” to Yorkton Group International in Liyanage is the executive vice presi2001 by Ben Lui and Reg Liyanage, dent. Joey Sun is the vice president of this company has become a full serfinance, Sam Sit is in charge of Yorkton vice real estate development firm with Realty and Debra Gvozdic heads up Yorits corporate headquarters located in kton Management and operations. “ToEdmonton. Areas of expertise include gether we continue to strive for the next land development, home building, comhigher level of excellence with a strong mercial construction, real estate investand healthy culture of engagement ment and asset management. “With extensive knowledge and a among all our employees,” Lui explains. What sets Yorkton apart from their proven track record in real estate investcompetitors is “strong leadership and ment, the founders decided to share their employee contribution that provides a expertise with general investors and colsound corporate culture with extensive lectively benefit from the vast opportunities in the real estate market,” explains knowledge and experience in the indusLui, president and CEO of Yorkton Group. try; along with foresight, vision, and the “I just love it. To me, working at Yorkton is ability and willingness to take calculated Yorkton Towers Approved by city of risks using our conservative approach happiness. The time I spend on my work Edmonton in 2014 that can achieve superior results.” is happier for me than traveling, golfing Approximately 100 Yorkton employees are what Lui calls or going on a cruise. This is what I enjoy. That is why I put in “team players with positive attitudes and a strong culture of a lot of hours at work without feeling any pressure or stress, because this is what I love.” engagement, solution oriented, self-motivated, respectful, loyal and trustworthy.” Collectively, they enjoy providing exceptional Lui, whose background was in IT (Information technology) and accounting before he decided to focus full time results for the shareholders and clients by investing in secured and hassle-free real estate portfolios and developments. on real estate investment, development and asset management, finds his previous career helps Yorkton succeed. “Employees are the most valuable asset of Yorkton. With“I’m very systematic,” he smiles. “I believe in establishing out them, Yorkton would not be what it is today. We give our heartfelt thanks to all our staff for their dedication, loyalty, well planned and organized business models and analytYorkton Group International Ltd. | 25 Years | Page 1 79

Ben Lui

and sacrifice, as well as making our workplace a happy and enjoyable one for everyone,” smiles Lui. Among the company’s many projects, Bellamy Hill stands out. It was one of Yorkton’s recent projects, and remains one of their most successful to date. “Our clients invested $20,000 for each investment unit in early 2000 and achieved up to a $330,000 payout per unit over a six year time frame,” Lui points out. Recent projects include marketing and developing the Bentley luxury condominiums in Windsor Park, acquisition and rezoning of the Pacific Rim Mall property for a twin tower (up to $200 million mix use development), successfully acquiring approximately 1,000 acres of raw land in the Edmonton region for long term holding and development, and a Howard Johnson Hotel to diversify into the hospitality industry. These and other projects fit Yorkton’s mandate of looking at what Lui calls “undervalued properties with significant upside potential and/or going through change of use development process in an anticipated growing economy at the right time.” As diverse as they are experienced, Yorkton’s interests include over 40 affiliate companies and agencies around the globe. “We are on a mission to expand our knowledge and areas of expertise, and to encompass as many areas in the

Congratulations to the Yorkton team on their success!

real estate field as possible. Investing in hotels is just another recent step in our forward march,” explains Lui. Yorkton is active in the community. “We believe in sharing success with the communities,” says Lui. We are proud supporters of: Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Youth Empowerment & Support Services, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, World Vision, Ronald MacDonald House, etc.” It’s been a long time since Lui was working in IT, but the lessons he has learned over the course of his career have served him well on the job and in life. “Be visionary and innovative, open to unlimited possibilities,” he encourages fellow entrepre-

Congratulations to Yorkton Group on their 25th anniversary! Best Wishes from the Partners of Collins Barrow.

DANIEL HAGG, Q.C. LEGAL COUNSEL P. 780.425.1900 | F. 780.429.5054 | E.

Page 2 | Yorkton Group International Ltd. | 25 Years

neurs. “Plan strategically and be decisive. Be self-disciplinary, humble and respectful. Always reach out to learn from others successes and failures. Build lifetime partnerships with clients, employees, suppliers, and contractors, and bankers to flourish the win-win environment. Remain fully dedicated, yet maintain a healthy balance between work and family. Be responsible to society and to share success with your community.” Yorkton Group would like to thank their dedicated and loyal staff, investors, shareholders and their families for believing in them and for their continued support. They would also like to thank their suppliers, consultants and bankers for their strong support. “We operate our business with integrity and trust,” Lui concludes. “We put our clients first, looking out for their best interests. We develop and construct properties by delivering the best possible values and quality for our buyers and tenants. We treat our shareholders’ and investors’ hard-earned money as if it was our own.” Moving forward, Yorkton perceives the recent economic downturn in Alberta is a temporally correction; a window of opportunity to expand and build on a sound foundation to achieve Yorkton’s 2020 vision.

2430 Manulife Place 10180-101 Street Edmonton, Alberta Office: 780-409-8228 • Fax: 780-409-9228 Toll Free: 1-866-409-8228

Congratulations to Yorkton Group on their 25th anniversary. We are proud to support Yorkton Group’s success with the provision of legal services.


WHERE INSTALLATION MATTERS! Windows and Doors Congratulations to Yorkton Group International Ltd. for 25 outstanding years of business in Alberta. We at Capitall Exterior Solutions are proud to work with such a great Company and look forward to many more years of making Alberta a great place to live and work.

What makes capitall different? • We don’t give estimates we give promises! • Family owned and operated • Full installation available by employed crews (NO SUBS) • Deal direct with the installer/owner

• All employees trained by owner • Most competitive *LIFETIME* warranty in the industry • Custom windows built for Alberta’s winter • Custom manufactured doors in house • Visit our newly renovated showroom

“Our focus is quality, not quantity” (780) 757-3930 | 11569-149 St | Edmonton, AB | Yorkton Group International Ltd. | 25 Years | Page 3

Congratulations YORKTON on 25 years of success. Together, we look forward to redefining the architecture of Edmonton’s skyline.






Email was developed as a tool to make our working life more efficient, BY FAY FLETCHER but has it morphed from helper to hindrance?


n the early 1970s, American programmer Raymond Tomlinson was rumored to have sent “QWERTYUIOP” as the first email. By 1985, government and military employees, students and academic professionals were using email for research and communication. In 1989, Tim BernersLee created the World Wide Web. Just a few short years later, in 1998, the word “spam” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary – and it wasn’t a definition of meat that comes in a tin. Originally created to maximize efficiency, email (according to McKinsey Global Institute) clicks away 28 per cent of the average workers time – DR. PAM ROBERTSON and that’s just at work. Email, at first glance, is the digital version of Frankenstein’s monster. We created it and now we are dealing with the consequences; the time-consuming, spam-filled consequences. But don’t panic. With the right tools and strategies you can make the world of digital communication work for you. “I have some pretty strong opinions about this issue, seeing as how email has threatened to take over my life from time to time,” laughs Dr. Pam Robertson, a life and career coach and founder of the company The Ladybird Files. As she explains, “If people prefer to receive messages by email

rather than talk to me on the phone, I’ve got to cooperate in order to give them what they are asking for.” She goes on to offer user-friendly advice. “Most email programs have a filtering system so you can direct emails to where you want them. Newsletters can be directed to one folder and read at your leisure. Meeting minutes can go to a specific folder, and project updates to another. Important messages, like those from your boss or business partner, can be directed to a folder that you will check every six hours. Everything else that comes in gets efficiently managed by you once a day as you direct messages to folders for immediate handling or schedule a time to deal with them later. If you are worried about missing something, watch a couple of YouTube videos or consult with someone who is proficient at handling email, and commit to learning to be more efficient about it. “Another inbox management technique is to make absolutely certain that emails you receive are synchronized between your computer and your phone so that you are not staring at a message on one device and trying to recall whether you managed it on another one. | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015



“Business emails are intended for people who are busy, so if you design your emails for speed reading, that’s best. Restrict yourself to one topic per email, and no more than about 300 words, so they can be easily consumed. If you need to send a longer missive, like meeting minutes or project updates, try to use different platforms, like project management software, where you can share documents and messages outside of email. Alternately, attach the document instead of putting it in the body of the email. That way the email itself is quick and easy to manage.”


June 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Dr. Robertson has advice for getting your emails noticed as well. “When people tell me they haven’t read my emails because they are just too busy, I know I’ve got to get concise with my messaging, create subject lines that beg to be opened and then follow up. Say what you want in the subject line. If you are sending a follow up, use something like ‘information as requested in today’s meeting’. If you need a signature, try ‘signature required, please return by Wednesday’. An important attachment could say ‘president’s report - please read’ and something that must be


There is no doubt that the way we work has changed dramatically over the years and email has been a big factor in that change. However, instead of letting email slow us down, there are ways to manage it to become more, not less, efficient. replied to could say ‘event notice - reply required’.” The coach has a very effective way to make sure you get your important projects get completed despite the constant chime of the notification bell on your computer or mobile device. “Turn it off so you can get your work done,” she counsels. “There are very few jobs that require someone to be constantly answering email, although we have let it become an insidious habit that promotes the idea of being constantly available while actually interfering with our ability to stay focused on high-priority projects. We KENNY VAN ZANT cannot focus properly if we are trying to work on a critical project, yet constantly checking for and replying to emails. Personally, the day flows most efficiently when I manage my incoming email flow, which includes filtering as well as shutting my email notifications off on my phone and computer when I am working on big projects. It’s usually enough to check email sometime mid-morning, after lunch, and then before wrapping up the day. If you need more frequent checking, consider setting up a team email where a group of people can share email responsibilities and have a schedule for answering that allows everyone to have chunks of uninterrupted time to get things done.” Dr. Robertson mentioned project management software and team collaboration, two methods that are rapidly gaining ground in the world of digital communication management. “Our whole philosophy is that modern teamwork has outgrown email,” says Kenny Van Zant, COO of Asana. The Asana team should know; Asana’s founders are Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and Facebook project manager and tech lead Justin Rosenstein. Seeing a need to create a product that transcends the limits of email, Moskovitz and Rosenstein left Facebook in 2008 to create Asana. “Email was invented over 30 years ago and was a huge upgrade over tubes, messengers and runners,” Van Zant continues. “Asana is the next evolution. Instead of asking people

to turn away from email, we upgrade the specific ways that email is used.” Asana allows for simultaneous collaboration on projects within a team. Within Asana, projects are broken into tasks. Tasks are assigned to specific individuals. Individual team members can break down their tasks and organize them in the way that best suits their needs by using tools such as custom views, calendars, lists and sections. Rather than sending emails back and forth, everyone attached to the project can view communication from all team members alongside the project or task. In a way Asana is like Facebook, but instead of a social platform it is designed for businesses. “We realise that most email inside a company is about what you are working on,” explains Van Zant of their decision to make Asana a workplace tool. “Asana undoes some of the things that make email so frustrating.” Dr. Robertson’s tips and products like Asana can help organize and manage your work life, but they can help in your personal life too. It’s easy to create folders and filters in web-based emails such as Gmail or Yahoo, and not getting disturbed by the notification ring is as simple as managing the settings on your smartphone. “People tell me they run their life as well as their company on Asana,” says Van Zant. In fact, he is one of them. Outside of work time, Van Zant uses Asana for projects like home renovations and even his daughter’s lengthy application process to schools. There is no doubt that the way we work has changed dramatically over the years and email has been a big factor in that change. However, instead of letting email slow us down, there are ways to manage it to become more, not less, efficient. Maybe email isn’t evil after all. Perhaps it just has a bad side; you know, like ice cream. It’s okay to have it, just make sure you manage your consumption and don’t overindulge. Thanks to Dr. Robertson’s tips and project/collaboration software, getting a handle on our email consumption is just a few clicks away. BIE | Business In Edmonton Magazine | June 2015



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*The Be Brave Ranch is an evidence based program designed in collaboration with University of Alberta researchers and offers over 200 hours of treatment for the child and family.

Leaders never quit.

They may take it on the chin, they may get knocked down, but leaders get back up. We’ve done just that and continue to be in our clients’ corners, custom building solutions to help our clients do what they do best...lead. Because Alberta means the world to us.


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