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May 2016 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME’S

2016 LAUREATES PM42455512

JAVAID (JERRY) NAQVI, CHIEF VICTOR S. BUFFALO, TONY FRANCESCHINI AND G. DONALD LOVE (POSTHUMOUS - NOT PICTURED) , ARE INDUCTED INTO THE JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF NORTHERN ALBERTA & NWT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME



TRAVEL & TOURISM DIRECTORY

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EDMONTON CHAMBER SECTION

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Make history before it’s too late. Fresh concrete has now been poured 25 storeys above century-old bricks. The final chapter of the Kelly Ramsey Tower is about to be written—and your company can be part of it. Various office sizes from 3,000 square feet and up are now available for businesses ready to take their success to new heights. • Spanning 101 Street to Rice Howard Way • First Financial District Tower in 25 Years • LRT Access with Pedway Connections • Planned LEED Gold Certification • Now Available for Tenant Improvements • Opening August 2016 S E C U R E YO U R L E A S E Contact Dean Wulf at 780.392.1520 or dean@pangmandev.com

VA RI OU S OFFI C E S IZES AVA I L A BLE


STORY TITLE // SECTION

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

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 ometimes You Have to S Take a Stand By Josh Bilyk

49

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

CONTENTS 49 COVER FEATURE

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J unior Achievement Alberta Business Hall of Fame’s 2016 Laureates By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: JAVAID (JERRY) NAQVI, CHIEF VICTOR S. BUFFALO AND TONY FRANCESCHINI. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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

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@BUSINEDMONTON

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

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

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CONTENTS THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

COMPANY PROFILES

57 63 67

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M  illtech Millwork Celebrates 30 Years

A  rctic Chiller

Celebrates 20 Years

T  ECTERRA Invests in Diversification and Growth

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Still Flying High Alberta’s economy may be in a recession, but Edmonton’s transport and logistics sector is busier than ever, and offers a glimpse into a bright post-recession future. By Ben Freeland

Advances in Technology Are Shifting the Business World By Laura Bohnert

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Staycation! Think that spending your vacation time in Canada is boring? Think again! By Nerissa McNaughton

A Growing Industry A look at how the forestry industry is doing and how it is helping to pull Alberta up by its bootstraps. By Rechell McDonald


Travel with friends, travel for less Business Class fares from Edmonton to Amsterdam starting at $2,175* if you travel with someone. This offer is available for many destinations. Visit klm.ca or your travel agent for more information.

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PUBLISHER

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ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

without compromising choice or flexibility.

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ADMINISTRATION

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REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Josh Bilyk John Hardy

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Rechell McDonald Laura Bohnert Ben Freeland

PHOTOGRAPHY

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SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO TAKE A STAND // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Sometimes You Have to Take a Stand BY JOSH BILYK

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n March, Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG) joined together with 14 other business associations to pen an open letter to Premier Rachel Notley calling for a moratorium on new economic policies that might have a detrimental impact on the ability of businesses to create and preserve jobs, attract capital or effectively compete in a global market until the economy recovers. This alliance of employer groups, now going under the name Alberta Coalition on Employment and Economy (ACEE), is unprecedented in scope. Collectively we represent virtually every sector of the Alberta economy and employ hundreds of thousands of Albertans. Individually we have unique and often competing challenges and priorities, but we all share a common concern for Alberta’s future. The group, which includes the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Restaurants Canada and the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, pointed out that rising corporate and personal taxes, a costly carbon tax and a historic increase to the province’s minimum wage are impacting Alberta’s economy when it most needs a boost. Specifically, the coalition asks that tax increases be categorically ruled out, that the proposed increase in the minimum wage be delayed, and that the coming carbon tax be made truly revenue neutral with offsetting tax reductions. It also asked that the government move quickly on a number of other areas that will allow businesses and their employees to confidently make decisions with certainty about the environment in which they operate. We did not take the decision to speak out in this way lightly.

UNEMPLOYMENT IS SKYROCKETING AND BUSINESSES ACROSS THE PROVINCE AND IN ALL SECTORS ARE SHUTTING THEIR DOORS. We were simply forced to speak out, and to be seen to speak out, because we hear every day from members about how tough it is out there. Unemployment is skyrocketing and businesses across the province and in all sectors are shutting their doors. We understand, of course, that no politician controls the price of oil – which is at an historic low. What governments can do, however, is set the stage for economic growth by adopting policies and regulations that promote investment and growth. At minimum, governments have the power to choose not to implement policies that make things tougher for employers to compete. I’m pleased to report that the open letter to the Premier got some immediate results. With extensive television, print and social media coverage, we successfully sparked a provincewide conversation around the state of the province’s economy. Premier Notley, while taking questions from media, indicated that the Alberta government will cut the small business tax rate. This success, while small, is a testament to what can happen when business leaders stand together on the important issues. In the coming months we look forward to working constructively with government to ensure Alberta businesses have a voice at the policy table. ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP IS A MEMBER-BASED, NON-PROFIT BUSINESS ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION. AEG MEMBERS EMPLOY MORE THAN 150,000 CANADIANS IN ALL SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY.

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

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Lisanne Lewis is Shaw Conference Centre’s New General Manager Owned by the City of Edmonton and managed by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), Shaw Conference Centre (SCC) hosts more than 650 events each year, supporting 500,000 guests whom help to generate $45 million in spending across the province. Recently, Lisanne Lewis was appointed as the new general manager of SCC. “I am absolutely delighted to have Lisanne Lewis the general manager of the Shaw Conference Centre,” says Brad Ferguson, president and CEO, EEDC. “Her leadership, community engagement, operating performance and customer experience detail is what will continue to differentiate the Shaw Conference Centre as an exceptional conference facility, a vibrant driver of our visitor economy, and one of the best places to work in Edmonton.” Lewis is equally excited to be on board. “It is a privilege to lead a passionate team of hospitality experts who are leading the way in delivering exceptional experiences for half a million guests every year,” she says. “We take pride in public stewardship of one of Edmonton’s signature buildings and I look forward to continuing our collaboration with customers and the community to deliver economic and social returns to the region.” Lewis’ affiliation with SCC began in 2011 when she joined as the director of business and community development. In this role, she oversaw the convention centre’s sales, client services and marketing departments. Her previous experience includes senior marking and communications management roles in a variety of sectors, along with extensive experience in venue management, arenas, exhibitions and major event production. Vested in the community, Lewis sits on the board of the Governors for the International Association of Venue Managers and is a past board chair for Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and Homeless Connect Edmonton.

Lewis joins SCC at a pivotal time in the Centre’s history. After more than 30 years, the Centre is focusing on introducing a brand new guest experience program and at the same time, making significant upgrades to its facility. A major escalator modernization project is currently underway, with more upgrades planned in the near future. The guest experience program will enhance the look and feel of the venue and SCC’s ability to provide memorable and exceptional experiences to all guests. Lewis will continue to engage and collaborate with the community through stakeholder engagement sessions, focusing on the economic and social benefits the facility can provide. In 2016, she looks to integrate SCC as part of the urban economy by connecting delegates to downtown and creating an even greater economic impact for the region. As she delves into her first year as SCC’s general manager, there are plenty of exciting things on the agenda, and Lewis has proven that she is more than up for challenge of taking SCC to the next level.

ABOVE: LISANNE LEWIS, GENERAL MANAGER, SCC PHOTO SOURCE: SCC

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


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Stantec Inc. Acquires MWH Global Inc. In March, Stantec Inc. entered into a merger agreement to acquire MWH Global Inc. MWH is a Colorado-based firm that provides eco-focused engineering, consulting and construction management services on a global level. “MWH brings a global presence and reputation in water infrastructure that will advance Stantec’s position as a toptier design firm within the highly attractive global water market,” says Bob Gomes, Stantec president and CEO. “Together, we share a commitment to our communities and

have the combined talent to support the most technically advanced clients and projects locally and around the world.” “We are excited to join the expertise and experience of Stantec and MWH in a transaction that will enable us to thrive and grow amidst an increasingly complex industry landscape by strengthening our combined ability to solve the most pressing water, transportation and infrastructure challenges today,” says Alan Krause, MWH chairman and CEO. “Our highly complementary cultures, shared approach to client service and

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

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You’ve always had a mind for business. AFSC can help open your doors. extended global reach should yield multiple benefits for our clients, employees and the communities we serve.” MWH runs over 180 offices in 26 countries. Their highlevel projects include the Third Set of Locks component of the Panama Canal expansion. Key members of MWH’s management team, including the presidents of several business units, will join Stantec in leadership positions after the finalization of the acquisition. The all-cash deal was unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies. The transaction is valued at approximately US$795 million (after taking into account the estimated assumed net indebtedness of MWH). The anticipated financing for the acquisition is expected to come from the following sources as indicated in a March 2016 Stantec media release: • A $525 million public offering of subscription receipts on a bought-deal basis at an offer price of $30.25 per subscription receipt for a total of 17,360,000 subscription receipts and up to an additional approximately $79 million in gross proceeds pursuant to an underwriter over-allotment option; • A $800 million senior secured revolving credit facility of which approximately $233 million will be drawn; and • A $450 million senior secured amortizing non-revolving term credit facility1. Stantec looks forward to the benefits of the acquisition, including becoming a global leader in water and infrastructure markets, expanding the company’s footprint, enhancing cross-selling capabilities in different markets, creating more growth opportunities, and adding water-related construction capabilities. The acquisition also plays into Stantec’s mandate to “design with the community in mind.” The company brings over 15,000 employees together in over 250 locations. Every facet of every project – professional consulting in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics – starts and continues with community, creativity and client relationships. Stantec has long-term commitments to the places and people the company serves and takes pride in advancing the quality of life in communities around the world.

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What’s your next move? In today’s challenging economy, access to capital can help ensure your vision of tomorrow becomes a reality. Whether you need to fix operational or financial issues, KPMG advisers can guide you through the process, help you access additional financing and optimize your capital structure so you can be strategically placed for your next move. To find out more, speak with an adviser today. Jon Edgett Senior Vice President KPMG Corporate Finance T: 780 429-6076 E: jedgett@kpmg.ca kpmg.ca

© 2016 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 12521


STILL

STILL FLYING HIGH // TRANSPORTATION & DISTRIBUTION

Flying HIGH

ALBERTA’S ECONOMY MAY BE IN A RECESSION, BUT EDMONTON’S TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS SECTOR IS BUSIER THAN EVER, AND OFFERS A GLIMPSE INTO A BRIGHT POST-RECESSION FUTURE.

BY BEN FREELAND

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hoever coined the phrase “economic recession” picked an oddly apt geological metaphor. Anyone who has ever visited a beach at low tide knows that receding waters provide valuable glimpses into the health of oceanic plant and animal life in the form of tidal pools. Similarly, economic recessions can offer new perspective into the economic wellbeing of a region by highlighting pockets of teeming activity amid an overall decline. In the case of the Edmonton region, the recent economic downturn precipitated by sagging world oil prices has revealed a more diverse and resilient economic picture than previously seen in times of recession. While the province’s unemployment rate stands at nearly eight per cent, higher

than Quebec’s for the first time in 30 years, Edmonton’s joblessness rate remains below the national average at 6.8 per cent. While the region’s manufacturing and hospitality sectors have all been hit hard by job losses, other sectors, such as construction, continue to hire and expand even as the province as a whole continues to slide. Remarkably, one of the region’s most bullish economic sectors is one of those most directly impacted by global oil prices: transportation and infrastructure. Prior to the current recession, Edmonton’s international profile as a transportation hub appeared to be on a rapid ascendancy, with Edmonton International Airport adding new passenger and cargo routes at a spectacular rate, Canadian Pacific

RIGHT: CARGO FROM AROUND THE WORLD IS ON THE MOVE AT EIA PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (EIA)

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STILL FLYING HIGH // TRANSPORTATION & DISTRIBUTION

Railway and Rosenau Transport Ltd. inaugurating new intermodal bases, and Port Alberta proudly extolling the region’s promise as a northern hub. While a small handful of passenger air routes have been cancelled in recent times, the recession has done little to slow this growth, and on certain fronts this growth appears to be beating the odds. For Edmonton International Airport, 2015 proved to be yet another robust year in most respects. Passenger totals dropped slightly from its banner year in 2014 to just under eight million, primarily driven by a sharp decline in transborder traffic (aggravated by the low dollar), but non-U.S. international traffic shot up by a remarkable 14.5 per cent, thanks in no small part to new non-stop European services by

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

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Can-West Vending Distributors Ltd. Has the Best Solutions for Inventory Management

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ending machine. What comes to mind when you hear those words? Chips and candy? Did you know that today’s technology has reinvented vending machines to be powerful time and money saving tools for companies of all sizes? Forget chocolate bars and packages of gum – a vending machine can dispense everything from tools to duct tape to PPE, in addition to computer time and shower tokens. Heavy industry, office-based corporations, campgrounds and more are taking advantage of these vending machine solutions – and you can too. Can-West Vending Distributors Ltd. is pleased to offer two specialty vending lines designed to save your company time and money through efficient inventory management. Employees access the inventory they need by using a job number, PIN or employee card. Employees can easily be denied access to inventory they don’t require. Imagine, only stocking the inventory you need, never having excess inventory depreciating on your shelves, eliminating the costs of multiple employees to run your inventory department and never having your stock depleted by over-ambitious employees that take supplies they don’t need – or worse, helping themselves to tools and supplies for personal use.

Can-West’s solutions include:

• 1sourcevend: These web-based automated vending machines are suitable for use in all industries and ideal for use by distributors of industrial or safety supplies. The cloud computing, plug-and-play technology means there is no software to buy, install or maintain. Online usage reports allow you to track inventory from stock through to usage and replenishment so you know exactly what you need, when you need it and who is using it. Reports are monitored off-site, eliminating the time consuming task of counting inventory, ordering, and restocking. Employees use the touchscreen technology and your entire operation runs with greater efficiency and much lower overhead. • AiS: Automated Inventory Solutions, or AiS, is known for their supply and tracking solutions for the manufacturing, medical, and academic industries. A more hands-on option, AiS comes with software that you install on your local area network. AiS machines are perfect for companies that wish to self-monitor and stock their own machines. Only one person is required to easily access the computerized reports. No more multiple employees manning cages filled with

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seldom-used supplies since the job of reordering and monitoring usage can easily be regulated to the warehouse or office manager. AiS is perfect for larger factories, mills and hospitals since vending machines can be placed on each floor but remain connected to and monitored by the same network. Use the power of technology and automation to your advantage and stop spending excess time and money on overstocking and managing supplies.

Keep better track of your inventory, always have what you need on hand and eliminate the high overhead of inventory management. Contact Can-West Vending today to learn more about the solutions from 1sourcevend and AiS. We look forward to showing you how easy and affordable inventory management can be.

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STILL FLYING HIGH // TRANSPORTATION & DISTRIBUTION

Icelandair, KLM, and WestJet. Nevertheless, EIA’s biggest new developments occurred on the air cargo side. Construction began on Rosenau Transport Ltd.’s new 210,000 square-foot distribution centre at the airport’s Cargo Village, while Air China Cargo, China’s national cargo carrier, launched its first non-stop Canadian service in the fall, connecting Shanghai with Dallas/Fort Worth via Edmonton.

Arguably the airport’s biggest breakthrough in 2015 was EIA’s newly-won status as an official foreign trade zone (FTZ), allowing companies to reduce or eliminate normal trade barriers such as tariffs, quotas and compliance costs. For the people behind the Port Alberta initiative, a collaborative network under the aegis of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation that works to support the growth of international trade and investment in the Edmonton region, this new status represents a true coming of age for Edmonton as an international trade hub. “Edmonton’s reputation as a logistics hub is on the rise,” says Port Alberta’s project manager Daylin Breen. “Since achieving FTZ, status we’ve noticed a significant uptick in phone calls about exports and trade out of Edmonton, both from local companies wanting to sell internationally and from ABOVE: CARGO FROM AROUND THE WORLD IS ON THE MOVE AT EIA PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (EIA)

INSET: DAYLIN BREEN, PROJECT MANAGER, PORT ALBERTA PHOTO SOURCE: PORT ALBERTA

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STILL FLYING HIGH // TRANSPORTATION & DISTRIBUTION

ARGUABLY THE AIRPORT’S BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH IN 2015 WAS EIA’S NEWLY WON STATUS AS AN OFFICIAL FOREIGN TRADE ZONE (FTZ), ALLOWING COMPANIES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE NORMAL TRADE BARRIERS SUCH AS TARIFFS, QUOTAS AND COMPLIANCE COSTS.

NEW ADDED SERVICE OF TEAM COURIER!! Team Courier now has the “EasyShipNTrack” delivery web application.

international companies wanting to enter this market.” Perhaps the most surprising news to come out of EIA in recent times is that as of the end of March 2016 the airport had already exceeded its 2015 total for chartered cargo flights. Unlike regular scheduled cargo flights, cargo charters are typically used to transport complex and unusual cargo and often employ very large aircraft such as the Boeing 747-8 (the latest “stretch” version of the 747) and the Russian-built Antonov AN-225 and Ilyushin IL-76. Already in 2016 EIA’s air cargo apron has seen an unusually

This allows you to: • Schedule – select date/time when deliveries are required. • Track – know the status of your deliveries (with electronic proof of deliveries if required) • Manage – electronic waybills / paperless invoices.

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STILL FLYING HIGH // TRANSPORTATION & DISTRIBUTION

large number of chartered freighters operated by carriers like Korean Air, Etihad, Atlas Air and Russia’s AirBridge Cargo, in addition to regular services by FedEx, Cargojet, Air China Cargo, Purolator and others. Alex Lowe, EIA’s cargo business development manager, asserts that this remarkable growth is a reflection of both the Edmonton region’s increasing economic diversification and the region’s capacity to draw international players on the basis of its world-class cargo and logistics facilities. “This growth speaks to Edmonton’s optimal position as an offloading and onloading point in northern North America, as well as to our fantastic new facilities. There are less than 200 airports worldwide capable of handling the 8-series 747. We are now one of those airports, and that capability puts us in a whole different league when it comes to air cargo markets. Landing the Air China Cargo service gave us a boost in international recognition, and now we’re seeing a slew of charters by some of the biggest global players in air cargo. These charter flights may be one-off services related specific projects, but they can definitely lead to new scheduled services in the future.” While energy sector-related cargo operations remain flat, other sectors have picked up the slack, a further indication of the region’s overall economic health. The region’s agrifood industry, keen to take advantage of a low Canadian dollar and their proximity to a newly minted FTZ, is a growing area of focus for Port Alberta and their industry partners Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). With the new Rosenau facility set to open in the summer of 2016, complete with extensive facilities geared for moving and

storing perishable goods, Edmonton appears poised to become a major food exporting hub. “Our food companies have, to a large extent, outgrown the local market and are now setting their focus on international opportunities,” says Breen. “In many cases companies have an easier time exporting internationally than selling domestically within Canada due to the support they get from CME and other trade-promoting organizations. The Japanese market is currently of particular interest to our food exporters, with the country set to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as is the European Union. Our low dollar has certainly helped open doors, but above all it’s our optimal geographic location, our connections, and our world-class facilities that are making this happen. The impetus for economic diversification and international trade was there before the recession hit and continues unabated, and certainly bodes well for the region’s recovery and continued growth. Recession or not, we’re very optimistic.” If recent indications that world oil prices have indeed bottomed out are true, the Edmonton region’s current economic downturn may well be short-lived. Regardless of the pace of the energy sector’s recovery, it appears certain that Alberta’s capital city is significantly healthier and more robust than most of the rest of the province – and the rest of the world. Far from being spooked by the region’s struggles, we are more interested than ever in what it has to offer. The Edmonton region is truly going global, a fact that, if nothing else, should make the next downturn after this one all the milder and easier to weather.

RIGHT: CARGO FROM AROUND THE WORLD IS ON THE MOVE AT EIA PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (EIA)

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“Our Business is Built on Service”

Rosenau® Transport Ltd. Approaches 60 and Keeps Rolling Along

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TL, full load, bulk, hot shot/express, consolidation, overnight service, decks, dry vans, heated vans, one time delivery or scheduled delivery – if it needs to be shipped across Alberta’s western provinces, it can be moved by Rosenau® Transport Ltd. Ken Rosenau is the director of operations and the grandson of the founders. “There isn’t one industry that we will not try and service,” he says with pride. The company was founded in Calgary in 1957 by Gus and Colleen Rosenau. What started with a single half-ton truck has blossomed to over 700 employees; three generations of family at the helm; more than 500,000 square feet of space across multiple facilities capable of handling cross docking, storage, break bulk, and dangerous goods; and over 14 acres of secure yard space. Rosenau also boasts an impressive roster of rolling stock that includes air ride tractors, van trucks with power tailgates, heated vans, reefer vans, decks, container chassis, and bulk belly dump trailers. Ken’s father, Carl, has been the president of the company since 1988. “We were never going to go any bigger than Calgary,” he laughs. Calgary was just the beginning. Rosenau now operates terminals out of: Brandon, Brooks, Calgary, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Fox Creek, Grande Prairie, Hinton, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Manning, Medicine Hat, Peace River, Prince George, Red Deer, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Vancouver, Wainwright, Whitecourt and Winnipeg. What makes Rosenau continue to grow in a volatile economy and a competitive industry? It comes down to experience and teamwork.

Ken and Carl Rosenau.

“We’re all in it for the long haul, and there’s no such thing as ‘I.’ It’s all about the team and the customers that we service,” says Carl. He doesn’t let the current state of the economy worry him. He sees the way the economy affects his industry as an opportunity. “It’s tough out there,” he admits. “You just have to find new efficiencies and new ways of doing things, and when we come out of it, we’re going to be a better company because of it.” For nearly 60 years, the goal of Rosenau has been to provide outstanding transportation service to the supply-chain management sector of Western Canada, and many decades of continued success prove that they have more than achieved this goal. Rosenau Transport Ltd. looks forward to continuing to move you now and into the future.

Suite 200, 2950 Parsons Road Edmonton, AB T6N 1B1 Phone (780) 431-2877 • Toll Free 1-800-465-9659 • www.rosenau.ca


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME’S 2016 LAUREATES // COVER

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME’S

2016 LAUREATES BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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t’s Time to Celebrate Alberta’s Top Business Leaders. Now in its 36th year, the Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta & NWT Alberta Business Hall of Fame continues to honour the leaders that enhance our business landscape while being active in the community and mentoring others.

This year’s inductees are Chief Victor S. Buffalo, OC, AOE, LLD (Hon) of Peace Hills Trust; Tony Franceschini, director, former president and CEO of Stantec; G. Donald Love (Posthumous), founder and chairman of Oxford Properties Group and Javaid (Jerry) Naqvi, CEO of Cameron Corporation. ABOVE: JAVAID (JERRY) NAQVI, CHIEF VICTOR S. BUFFALO AND TONY FRANCESCHINI PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME’S 2016 LAUREATES // COVER

CHIEF VICTOR S. BUFFALO “Entrepreneurship is about taking risks and tenaciously pursuing what I think is the right choice.”

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s a young man sent to and growing up in the residential school system I was left on my own to discover myself and what I wished for in life. I took many leadership programs while growing up in residential school and throughout my life. Training and experience proved to be helpful during my five terms as chief of the Samson Cree Nation – and beyond. Experience has taught me to hang in there despite all the adversity. The reason I was part of the founding group behind the establishment of Peace Hills Trust Company, some 36 years ago, was that First Nations throughout Canada were not able to access capital for any business venture or project. At that time, financial institutions had no interest in First Nations. The second reason being my Nation, the Samson Cree Nation, wanted to diversify its economic base. Samson Chief & Council decided to pursue a Trust Company charter. It was not an easy task as our people went against the grain of the Canadian Banking Industry. We were told repeatedly that First Nations were not capable of operating a financial institution and our lobbying efforts in Ottawa were very difficult. We obtained a Charter in 1980 and proceeded to open Peace Hills Trust Company. Our first branch was located at the Ermineskin Mall at Maskwacis Alberta. Mr. Jean Chretien, the then Minister of Indian Affairs, opened this branch in 1981. The company now has eight branches across Canada with assets over $500 million and also assets under administration of over $550 million. Samson Cree Nation started the trust company with $7.5 million in

capital. The company employs over 200 people and 75 per cent are aboriginal. During the early 1980s, the Samson Cree Nation bought a dormant insurance company charter in Alberta and changed the name to Peace Hills General Insurance. Both Peace Hills Trust and Insurance are mature companies over 35 years old, profitable, employ many people including aboriginal, provide financial and insurance services to the general public and are very important symbols in Canada that First Nations can and do compete in the modern business world when given an opportunity. In recent years I have been active in forging new business relationships between Chinese companies and First Nations in Canada. I have travelled many times to China and have worked on business ventures dealing with grain, oil and gas, manufacturing and other areas. We need more business people, especially within the First Nations communities. Junior Achievement can help bridge the gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities and businesses. We have many bright students, however, many have lost their way and need guidance that is offered by Junior Achievement to put them on a positive track. I am honoured to be named into the Junior Achievement Alberta Business Hall of Fame. I accept the award and honour on behalf of the young people of Samson who need inspiration, confidence, role models and assistance in order to succeed in the modern business world.

ABOVE: CHIEF VICTOR S. BUFFALO PHOTO SOURCE: NICOLE ASHLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME’S 2016 LAUREATES // COVER

TONY FRANCESCHINI “Entrepreneurship is an iterative process where you are constantly working towards creating a balance among initiative, innovation, pragmatism and risk.”

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joined Stantec in 1978 as a transportation engineer. At the time the company (then known as Stanley Associates) had about 200 employees and I believed it had a bright future because it was well positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities in Alberta and Western Canada. I gradually had more responsible roles until I became president and CEO in 1998. I was president and CEO until 2009 when I retired. I am proud of having developed a vision and strategy for Stantec becoming a Top 10 Global Design firm and making significant progress towards that goal during my tenure as president and CEO. Not only did we increase the size of our staff from 2,000 to 10,000 employees from 1998 to 2009, but we put in place a leadership succession plan that ensured that our progress would continue. I am now retired from Stantec, although I am still a director. In this capacity, along with the rest of the board, I continue to provide guidance and oversight on the direction and future of the organization. I am pleased that the company is progressing on becoming a Top 10 Global Design Firm and it continues to do this from our strong base in Edmonton. I also serve on several other company boards where I am able to use my skills as a strategist, coach and mentor.

Our family has established the Tony & Daniela Franceschini Family Fund at the Edmonton Community Foundation, which enables us to continue to support several charities on an ongoing basis. Currently, two of the groups we are supporting are the University Hospital Foundation and Kids Kottage Foundation. I think that JA fulfills a mission in bridging a gap in our educational system. It teaches young people about the principles of entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Personally, I believe that these are very important principles and skills that all individuals need to succeed in the global economy regardless of their areas of interest and focus. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, and the same can be said about success. There are simply too many people to thank that have had an impact on my success. I was certainly humbled to be included with a group of individuals [JA Laureates] that I have respected and admired throughout my career. It is also somewhat unexpected to receive an individual award for what I consider to be a team sport. I have been successful because of the many talented and dedicated people that I have had the privilege to work with and who supported me throughout my career.

ABOVE: TONY FRANCESCHINI PHOTO SOURCE: NICOLE ASHLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

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ARE WE THERE YET?

Tagging the bottom for crude oil prices. Since January 2015 market analysts have predicted plummeting crude oil prices would be hitting bottom soon. For a variety of reasons, they were wrong. More recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) of Paris – one of the world’s most respected researchers on global oil markets – weighed in on the crude price scenario, issuing its monthly report in March which carried a headline reading, “Light at The End of The Tunnel?” The main report indicates several factors which currently support higher prices, including a possible output cut or cap when major producers meet this spring; material supply disruptions in Nigeria and Iraq; steadily declining non-OPEC production; no change in the forecast demand rise of 1.2 million barrels per day (mmb/d) in 2016 and a softening of the U.S. dollar. IEA wrote, “…there are signs that prices might have bottomed out.” What made the IEA report noteworthy was that it dealt with market fundamentals, not futures markets. While the IEA claims demand growth is strong, the supply side is under pressure. For example, real physical supply disruptions will help to solve the current 1 mmb/d to 2 mmb/d production oversupply problem, should it continue. In the past month, Iraq has lost 600,000 b/d and Nigeria over 250,000 b/d of oil output due to physical damage to oil delivery infrastructure that may take some time to repair. What does this mean for Canada’s battered oilfield services sector? Not much for the very short term, meaning the next few months. The winter drilling season is what it is, with its main characteristic being it is over, with the fewest wells to be drilled in the first quarter of this year than in decades. But exploration and production companies can take a few quarters or even a year off from drilling before inflicting permanent damage on themselves. More producers are guiding their investors toward lower production in 2016 if nothing changes. Nevertheless, reality has hit home with numbers no one could even imagine two years ago.

Photo courtesy of Beaver Drilling Ltd

Compared to historical levels of activity, there is nothing going on because there is no money to pay for it. Total revenue from production this year is currently estimated to be $71 billion lower than in 2014, the all-time high water mark for the value of Canadian hydrocarbon production. Cash flow will be down nearly 76%, or $55 billion, from 2014, over three-quarters of the revenue reduction. That is because, despite valiant efforts to cut costs, there is a point at which operating costs can no longer be reduced. But things are changing. If the crude oil price recovery continues, operators with available cash will fire up rigs as quickly as they can. But unfortunately, that will not be at the same pace at which they have proven they can and will lay them down. The revenue deficit is real and will be the challenge of a generation. Finding a solution to that deficit is not a matter of if but how, however, this industry has reinvented itself before and in 2016 it will start doing it again. MNP has a dedicated team of Oilfield Services finance and management specialists in every area, from assurance to consulting to tax, to help you and your business succeed regardless of market conditions. With offices and OFS leaders right across the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, we work where you work.

To find out more about how MNP’s Oilfield Services team can help contact Kevin George, CPA, CA, MPAcc Regional Oilfield Services Leader at 780.733.8623 or kevin.george@mnp.ca


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME’S 2016 LAUREATES // COVER

G. DONALD LOVE (POSTHUMOUS) Jon Love is speaking on behalf of the late G. Donald Love.

“Don was a strong leader, decisive, a visionary, who built and relied on teams to vet and develop ideas and then execute on these plans. He was trusting of those around him and had an exceptional knack to select talented people and to challenge them with thoughtfulness and inspiration.”

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xford Development Group was founded in 1960. The partners were Don Love, John and George Poole. The Poole brothers were then running Poole Construction later PCL Construction. Don saw the opportunity to put people and capital together to make great things happen. This was the launch of many decades of Oxford’s real estate developments throughout North America. He was very creative, always looking at the opportunities of the situation while carefully assessing the risks. His ability to seize initiative, to see opportunities, to encourage stakeholders to act and, most importantly, to build relationships allowed him to build Oxford and its people. Don’s legacy includes new buildings all over North America, but his biggest impact was felt by the many people he influenced with his humanitarian ambitions. At Oxford he trained a whole generation of the property industry, motivating, coaching and encouraging many to pursue career expectations beyond their dreams. At home Don was a devoted family man with a strong marriage to Marilyn, and parents to four successful children: daughter Kathy, an infectious disease doctor, then equine breeder and trainer; son Don, who ran Oxford in the United States before branching out into entrepreneurship; myself

(son Jon) who ran Oxford after Don retired then after its sale built Kingsett Capital; and son Jeff a lawyer, then a professor of languages and a well-known published scholar. Don enjoyed young people and loved to engage and provide insights in a helpful and engaging manner, encouraging them to dream big, to stretch themselves and to think outside the box. His advice for aspiring Junior Achievers would be: pursue your dream, and in doing so start somewhere. Be truly and authentically engaged. Perform with energy and motivation. These efforts will present you with increasingly interesting and fruitful options and opportunities. The family was delighted and so proud to see him receive this [Hall of Fame] honour. Don was always humble; he and Marilyn shunned the spotlight, but this is a very fitting tribute in a city that means so much to all of the family. Don would, in his humble way, go out of his way to thank many people. His business partners John and George Poole, financial partners, including Clarence Elliott of Great West Life and Dick Thomson of TD Bank, and critically all of the Oxford people who through his 35 years acted with such dedication and excellence, his family in their support and involvement in his business and private life and finally, the wonderful contributions of his life partner and wife Marilyn.

ABOVE: G. DONALD LOVE

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JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT ALBERTA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME’S 2016 LAUREATES // COVER

JAVAID (JERRY) NAQVI “It is not why, but why not.”

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arrived in Canada in 1964 from Pakistan on an engineering scholarship. Upon graduating, I could not find a job in my field, so to provide for my family I began selling homes. In 1973, after having worked for various real estate and development companies, I joined and later became vice president, development at Allarco Developments Ltd. under the tutelage of the late Dr. Charles Allard (a man well known in Edmonton and whose family retains a long-standing history in the city for their business and philanthropic contributions). In 1979 I ventured out on my own along with my wife Henrietta, to found what is today known as Cameron Corporation. The project I am most particularly proud of is South Edmonton Common. In 1996 I had a vision to take a 320 acre field on the south side of Edmonton and turn it into a viable commercial retail development. While most thought this to be ambitious at the time, today, at over 2.2 million square feet of retail development, South Edmonton Common is among the largest and most successful retail power centres in Canada, and one of the largest in North America. An agreement with Home Depot and Wal-Mart (opened in 1998) who were South Common’s first tenants, signaled the beginning of the development. Cameron Corporation is a family business. In 1991 my daughter Tina joined the company. In 1994, son-in-law

Tony Rota joined, followed in 1998 by my son Cameron and my daughter Rose. In 2002 my dream of starting a home building company came to life when my son-in-law, Darcey Parasynchuk, built the first home under Cameron Homes. A key criteria for all of my children was to get a post-secondary education. My career has taught me to take a risk – the reward is worth it. Without taking a risk, you will never know what you may achieve. Always set your goals high. Even if you can’t reach it 100 per cent, you should at least try! Whenever I am asked the question “why” I want to try something, I always respond with “why not?” My advice for aspiring Achievers is work hard, be honest, respect others, help those in need of help and protect your reputation. Most importantly, get an education – it is one thing that no can ever take away from you. Junior Achievement provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn and understand business and economics and learn what it takes to make a business successful. It provides them guidance throughout the process and allows them to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills. I am proud, honoured, excited and humbled to be a JA Alberta Business Hall of Fame Laureate.

ABOVE: JAVAID (JERRY) NAQVI PHOTO SOURCE: NICOLE ASHLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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Join us in celebrating Edmonton’s Leaders Awards. We will be honouring 20 individuals for their business acumen, contribution to community and to their industry. These are the people who are making Edmonton a great city to live and work in. Business in Edmonton will celebrate the 2016 winners at our 4th Annual Awards Gala, and our July issue will feature the Leaders and their companies.

Wednesday, June 22th | 6pm | The Sutton Place Hotel

Contact us for tickets

Nancy Bielecki | 403.264.3270 x 230 | nancy@businessincalgary.com To stay informed on details for our event, visit www.businessinedmonton.com/leaders

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Official Airline Partner


ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE SHIFTING THE BUSINESS WORLD // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE SHIFTING THE BUSINESS WORLD THURSDAY, JUNE 25TH

BY LAURA BONHERT

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rom automated offices to virtual receptionists, technology isn’t just changing the world we live in; it is also changing our business frontier. Advancements in business technology are no longer mere aids in simplifying and improving everyday tasks. Now, taking advantage of the latest technological opportunities is actually crucial to the success of your company.

As Sam Soliman, CPA, CMA, chief financial and operating officer of 310-DUMP explains, “Businesses that succeed are most likely open minded to new technology, and their technology will relate well to their shareholders, customers, employees and the community. From customer order input, to employee processes, to banking and marketing, technology is critical for integrating several initiatives

ABOVE: GREG KIRKWOOD, OWNER AND FOUNDER OF 310-DUMP

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ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE SHIFTING THE BUSINESS WORLD // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

to maximize stakeholders’ efficiencies—and overall effectiveness of operations.” 310-DUMP, an Edmonton company that offers residential and commercial waste and recycling services through dumpster rentals and a wide range of junk removal services, has found success through embracing change. “Our company was one of the first to establish a website in 1995, when the Internet had just started,” Soliman explains. “In addition, our technological innovations have included fleet GPS, automatic routing and dispatching, a robust booking system that is seamless for our employees and integrates ABOVE: LOCALIZE USES “SMART” LABEL TECHNOLOGY TO PROVIDE CONSUMERS WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE PRODUCTS THEY ARE BUYING. INSET: MEGHAN DEAR, FOUNDER AND CEO OF LOCALIZE.

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ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE SHIFTING THE BUSINESS WORLD // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

“WE’RE PART OF A FASCINATING ECOSYSTEM OF BUSINESSES THAT ARE BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS FOR SMALLER SCALE COMPANIES TO THRIVE AND ACCESS NICHE MARKETS.” ~ MEGHAN DEAR well with our customer payments and information, the use of on-board scales, and online order booking technology. It is important for our business to innovate to ensure we remain leaders to our competitors. Innovation is a key differentiator in the marketplace.” Soliman continues, “The benefits are tangible. Technology enables us to continue to be market leaders at customer service, it keeps our staff motivated, reduces or eliminates manual processes, and it is best for the environment as it enables us to keep track of waste disposal, recycling and its impact on the earth. “Today’s customers and employees place a high importance on the right technology. They’ve been raised with and worked with technology, and that means the use of it is fundamental both to business success and to that business’s communication of its commitment to success. “Our motto is that we are available to our customers anytime and anywhere. We can achieve that commitment through technology. Our customers can review our website and book their service from their desktop computers or smartphones wherever and whenever they are.

technological advancements. Business success is knowing how to communicate with your customers and understanding their needs and trends. Thanks to our technology, we are able to communicate and operate effectively with our customers.” Meghan Dear, CEO of Localize®, agrees on the importance of innovation. “Building technology is the key to our success,” states Dear. “We’re part of a fascinating ecosystem of businesses that are

“Enterprise-based solutions for your growing business”

isn’t just a catch phrase, it’s been our reason for existing since 2001. Ranchlands offers a Managed Services approach in our business practice to provide your company a stable, more reliable and proactive way to ensure your systems are available to you when you need them.

We’ve always believed computing technology needs for your business are just as critical as they are for the big guys, and we treat you that way. Optimize security of your network Manage access and backups of your data Enjoy a stable and reliable computing environment

“Our customer satisfaction is the key to our success, and that success is achieved with the use of real-time

We look forward to discussing your needs 780.809.2999 • service@ranchlandsgroup.com www.ranchlandsgroup.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // MAY 2016

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ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE SHIFTING THE BUSINESS WORLD // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

breaking down barriers for smaller scale companies to thrive and access niche markets. For us, that means making every size of grocery store a stronger supporter of the local producers and manufacturers in their area. This distributed system only works when information barriers are broken down—and that’s exactly what our technology does for both shoppers and retailers.

about where a product has come from, including where it was produced, processed, where the ingredients have come from, where the ownership of the company is, and how the product was made. We make our labels ‘smart’ by including a QR code on them, which allows a shopper to pursue more information about the product.

“We’re making it feasible for local products to have a presence in our neighbourhood grocery stores. It’s been a long time since that was the case, and technological innovations are helping to make it happen.”

“One of the most exciting parts of our business is the rate at which we are evolving, and technology plays a big part in that. Technology reduces the costs and barriers to information acquisition and to the complexity of decision making. Our business is based on putting better information in front of people so they can make better decisions based on their values. Technology is making this feasible in an unprecedented way.”

Founded by Dear as a label company five years ago, Localize has quickly achieved success. With a head office in Edmonton, Localize is now in more than 300 stores and has recently opened up a second office in Toronto. “Localize helps grocery stores deliver on-shelf label programs which identify where food products come from, with a particular focus on identifying local food products on the shelf,” Dear explains. “‘Local’ is a particularly challenging value to deliver to shoppers in a grocery store. One of the biggest reasons is that ‘local’ is different to every store, simply by virtue of geography. Other challenges that retailers face include maintaining their locality service in-store, keeping all the information updated, finding local products, and measuring the impact of their local program on their community. We address all of those issues with our service. “We have transformed from being a label company to being a data and technology company. Our labels are quite dynamic in that we can express many different dimensions

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The importance of technology in business is a topic Kevin Moffitt, technology training officer at the University of Alberta’s Technology Training Centre (TTC), knows a lot about. “Technology is starting to touch every aspect of the workforce,” Moffitt explains. “Implementing the right technology can make a tremendous difference to the viability and longevity of a company or organization, and training staff to use new and existing technologies can ensure that they are as efficient as possible and able to cope with technology changes in the workplace. “Trades workers need to learn project management along with the software applications that keep track of the progression of the projects they are involved with. They need to know how to effectively communicate with email and use software like Microsoft Outlook to maintain their


ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE SHIFTING THE BUSINESS WORLD // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

calendars and task lists. Support staff are being asked to use applications that are always changing, and training can help them ensure that they are they are as efficient as possible.” The TTC, which has been offering courses since 1997, offers computer application training to university staff and students, as well as to companies and individuals. “Our computer application and technology courses vary in length from one to three days, and each course has multiple levels that participants can attend to increase their competence with the software,” explains Moffitt. “Our focus is on computer application software, teaching the theory behind project management, and then how to use software to put the theory into practice.

to make the best impression and the ability to show their competence to use the applications and technology. “Advances in technology are driving big changes across the workforce in most industries. It’s a competitive environment out there and having the right technology and the training to use it properly can increase efficiencies, save time, and make sure resources are used most effectively. Getting ahead of the next leaps coming in technology advancement can position businesses of any size to become leaders in their fields.”

“Portable technology plays an even bigger role in our clients’ ability to stay connected and productive on the go. We offer courses on smart phones and tablets to teach students how to get the most out of their devices.” Of course, ensuring training is upto-date on all the latest technological innovations and trends isn’t just important to the overall success of the business; it is also an important advantage for individual employability and success.

3:46 PM

As Moffitt points out, “When there is a lot of competition for jobs—as there is now in Alberta—applicants need every advantage to make themselves stand out from other applicants. Our training can give them the skills and confidence

Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is excited to announce the opening of our Patio this month. Join us for a well-deserved afternoon of relaxation and immerse yourself in the sounds of our sizzling bar-be-que, the tastes of our Classics. Perfected cocktail menu and the best patio view the city has to offer.

The moment your senses became one with your surroundings.

T: 780-777-9818 E: mac.dining@fairmont.com

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

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STAYCATION! // TOURISM & TRAVEL

THINK THAT SPENDING YOUR VACATION TIME IN CANADA IS BORING? THINK AGAIN! BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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he grass is always greener on the other side, isn’t it? That is why we choose to spend our precious vacation time in far flung regions like Europe, Mexico and the United States; but where do non-Canadians go when they want to take in festivals, amazing landscapes and outstanding experiences? They are flocking to Canada. Maybe they are onto something…. “From Newfoundland’s iconic lighthouses and picture perfect landscapes, Montreal’s vibrant night life and historic centers, the polar bears of Manitoba, the must-see national parks of Alberta, the beautiful Okanagan Valley, Vancouver’s vibrant and multicultural people and places to the paradise of Vancouver Island – these areas are hidden gems to some and to others, it’s their home away from home,” says Hidar

Elmais, CEO and founder of Travel Gurus. He created the company to provide personalized customer service at the best possible price. From their head office in Edmonton, Travel Gurus sends Canadians on adventures beyond their wildest dreams, and many of those adventures are within our own borders. Even better, the frustratingly low Loonie is working to our (travel) advantage. “Our dollar goes much further in our own country right now,” confirms Elmais. “It also gives our clients a chance to explore all the beautiful places this country has to offer that they may not know about.” For example, Travel Gurus’ packages include a 10-day cross Canada rail trip where vacationers experience six of Canada’s provinces from the comfort of both rail car and motor ABOVE: EXPLORING THE RIVER VALLEY BY SEGWAY PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON TOURISM

RIGHT: HIDAR ELMAIS, CEO AND FOUNDER OF TRAVEL GURUS.. PHOTO SOURCE: TRAVEL GURUS

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STAYCATION! // TOURISM & TRAVEL

coach. From the sweeping Niagara Falls to the vast plains of Saskatchewan, it’s a treat for the senses. He advises those looking to explore Canada to, “plan ahead, do your research online but use a good travel agent to book. It won’t cost you more to book with a real person, and the extra insight is priceless.” “Our top destinations within Canada for our clients are Banff and Montreal. My favourite would be the Okanagan Valley; my summer road trips there with friends are great memories forever,” smiles Elmais, but Edmonton is our home and no matter how many places we visit, Edmonton is truly a unique and beautiful place. Of course there are the famous attractions of West Edmonton Mall, Fort Edmonton Park and the Alberta Legislature grounds, but the hidden gems are truly the vibrant downtown pubs, the friendly multicultural people and unique festivals like Heritage Days and Taste of Edmonton.” That sentiment is something Doug McLean, director of marketing, Edmonton Tourism, can easily agree with. “Here are a few of the gems that I love checking out. For some Edmontonians they may not be ‘hidden’ ones but they’re my favourites,” he says of what Edmonton has to offer. “Credo on 104th Street – I’m not even a coffee drinker but this is my space to relax, contemplate and write. I love their tea and the homemade granola bars are fantastic! U of A Golden Bears and Pandas sports – a hockey game at Clare Drake Arena or basketball at the Saville Centre, among other teams, offers great atmosphere and top competition if you’re a sports nut. It’s one of, if not the best, university athletics program in

The Public Course with a Private Feel!

Located at the Edmonton International Airport 780-890-7888 • www.RedTailLanding.com

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

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STAYCATION! // TOURISM & TRAVEL

Canada. Steak tartare at Accent – for many this is an acquired taste but the tartare is prepared extremely well and the buttery toast served with it is a definite treat paired along with an eastern European pint. A walk from Riverside Drive down to Hawrelak Park – you’re in the heart of the city but you’d never know it as you make your way down the hill toward the park. You’re tucked into the trees with great views of the valley and downtown. In the fall the colours are spectacular.” He goes on to name Fort Edmonton Park, Elk Island National Park, the city’s many festivals and West Edmonton Mall as huge tourist draws, and outside of our city, many more wonders await. “Canada is so incredibly unique and vast that you really need to see it to have a full appreciation for this country and its people. A hike in Nova Scotia will be very different than one in the Okanagan, while a trip to Old Montreal can be balanced by a visit to the urban nature of Edmonton. Visiting Canada honestly has made me feel more Canadian. My one piece of advice is to not think that because it’s all Canada, it’s all similar. Be open to visiting smaller towns or cities, get out for some of the great nature opportunities and dive into our larger centres.” Get out and see Canada. Perhaps nobody embodies this spirit more than Bill Lamberton. “I was fortunate enough to have a career in the airline business and it allowed me to get into remote corners of

ABOVE: THIS CATAMARAN IS ON A CRUISE TO AN INLET TO SEE GRIZZLY BEARS IN A SANCTUARY CALLED KHUTZEYMATEEN PROVINCAL PARK. ORCAS, HUMPBACK WHALES, SEA LIONS AND DOLPHINS ARE ALSO FREQUENTLY SEEN ON THIS ONE-DAY TOUR. THE CHURCHILL RIVER HOSTS THOUSANDS OF BELUGA WHALES. GUESTS OF CLASSIC CANADIAN TOURS SAFELY ENJOY VISITING POLAR BEARS ON THE TUNDRA. PHOTO SOURCE: CLASSIC CANADIAN TOURS

ABOVE RIGHT: GRIZZLY BEARS SEEN ON TOUR. PHOTO SOURCE: CLASSIC CANADIAN TOURS

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STAYCATION! // TOURISM & TRAVEL

“Wildlife is generally very reliable, confirms Lamberton. “There are certain seasons when thousands of beluga whales will be in the harbour. In the fall, it’s the polar bears. We can confidently take people on these tours because of the migration patterns.” Canadian Classic Tours’ signature – and most popular – adventure is the Polar Bear Safari.

Canada and places that are off the beaten track and difficult to get to,” says Lamberton. “I found that we had this great resource of wildlife in Canada but people visiting tended to be guests to our country from Asia, Japan, Europe and Australia. Canadians were not taking advantage of what we had in our own back yard. I decided to get involved and make it easy for Canadians to see their own country.” His solution was to found Classic Canadian Tours. Features include one or two day safari-style excursions to safely view polar bears, beluga whales and grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Other longer-stay adventure packages include Newfoundland Adventure, Newfoundland Viking Tour, Oil Sands Discovery Tour and two week long Yukon Klondike themed packages. Thanks to using private aircraft, tourists can quickly get to remote destinations, making these tours easy to fit into the busiest schedule; and fortunately for us, nature ensures the tourists are never disappointed.

“Edmonton is very fortunate. There are not many cities in the world where you can board an airplane out of Edmonton and within two hours, land within an area of Canada where these great mammals roam the tundra. We observe the polar bears from the safety of the vehicle,” smiles Lamberton. “I refer to it as a reverse zoo. We are in a cage and the wildlife is at its own leisure in its own environment and has a look at us!” He can’t choose a personal favourite destination since Northern Canada has so much variety to explore. “The North is wonderful. It is remote – you feel like you are a frontiers person. In Northern Canada you are seeing part of the world not many people experience. The season is short but always very rewarding.” This year don’t look at the exchange rate and wonder how far your dollars can take you. Invest in the destination others around the world are saving up to visit and explore. Canada has a rich diversity of offerings for all kinds of tourists, from the back country explorer to the enthusiastic club goer, those in search of a quiet cabin by a peaceful stream to the fashionistas looking for the hottest shopping districts. The grass isn’t green across the fence (or should we say, border). The grass is lush, green and plentiful right here at home.

A Stay with Nature. Jasper.

DecoreHotels.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // MAY 2016

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DIRECTORY // TOURISM & TRAVEL TOURISM DIRECTORY // TOURISM

Tourism Directory Tourism BC British Columbia is the kingdom of abundance, where glaciated mountains stand over an unruly Pacific. Rainforests wrap cities. Nature shapes culture. The wild breathing life back into the wild within. Visit the Tourism BC website to find BC trip ideas, travel tips and deals to help you explore BC this year. hellobc.com

Tourism Alberta

Tourism Nova Scotia Located in Eastern Canada and almost completely surrounded by ocean, the province of Nova Scotia is a place where the pace falls

Alberta’s grandeur and beauty are obvious

in sync with the rhythm of the sea, as the

from the moment of arrival. Rolling foothills,

clean salt air breathes life into an afternoon.

intimidating mountains and parehistoric

Become immersed in culture that ranges from

hoodoos are a few of Alberta’s more distinct

traditional to avant-garde, from bagpipes to

natural landmarks.

world-class golf.

discoveralberta.com

novascotia.com

Tourism Saskatchewan

Tourism Manitoba

Welcome to Saskatchewan. Come experience

Walking tours, museums and historic sites

vibrant cities, uncrowded parks, world-

reveal the stories of Manitoba’s rich past. From

class freshwater fishing, abundant wildlife,

fossils of an ancient sea to a revitalized 1920s

canoeing, hiking, golf and horseback riding.

warehouse district that’s the envy of historians

tourismsaskatchewan.com

around North America, Manitobans have a lot of history – going as far back as half-a-billion

Tourism Ontario

years in some cases. travelmanitoba.com

Home to Canada’s capital city and the dynamic metropolis of Toronto. With shorelines on four the province dipping into the same latitudinal plain as northern California, Ontario, with 15

A vast land, with a relatively small population,

regions, offers unique discoveries and delights.

Newfoundland and Labrador has some of the

ontariotravel.net

friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Here, you can immerse yourself in wilderness solitude one day

Tourism Quebec Known as “la belle province” (the beautiful province) to its locals, Quebec is Canada’s largest province and home to more than 8.2 million people. Quebec is also famous for its vast forests, rolling hills and countless waterways. In fact, Quebec has approximately one million lakes and waterways,

and embrace a unique and vibrant culture the next. This is a land rich with history and natural wonders: stunning coastlines, breaching whales, majestic icebergs, vibrant cities and quaint, historical outports. There are always fascinating places to see and countless things to do. newfoundlandlabrador.com

giving it more fresh water than any other province. quebecregion.com

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Whether it’s a day at the beach, an evening at the theatre or the best seafood one has ever tasted, memories made on Prince Edward Island last longer. It’s an Island filled with fun and unique adventures. No matter what experience a person is searching for, it’s easy to find when you add a little island. tourismpei.com

Tourism Nunavut It is big, ancient, beautiful and new. Welcome to the youngest territory of Canada, settled over 4,000 years ago, recognized as distinctly Canadian in 1999. Nunavummiut are deeply pleased to invite visitors into their lovely home, into one of the largest unspoiled natural paradises on the planet. People from everywhere are cordially invited to enjoy the arctic wildlife and the Inuit way of life, to

Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador

of the five great lakes and the southern tip of

Tourism Prince Edward Island

MAY BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM MAY2016 2016 // // BUSINESS BUSINESSIN INEDMONTON CALGARY ////BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

explore the top of the world and be dazzled by the vivid dancing hues of the aurora borealis. nunavuttourism.com

Tourism Northwest Territories A place from the pages of history. A place that still lives free and wild. Big and big-hearted. Full of adventure and discovery. And more accessible than many think. The Northwest Territories is the last corner of North America to be tamed – home to the biggest and deepest lakes, the highest waterfalls, the fabled Northwest Passage, the forbidding Barren Lands, and so much more. spectacularnwt.com


A GROWING INDUSTRY // FORESTRY

A

Growing INDUSTRY

A LOOK AT HOW THE FORESTRY INDUSTRY IS DOING AND HOW IT IS HELPING TO PULL ALBERTA UP BY ITS BOOTSTRAPS.

BY RECHELLE MCDONALD

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here is simply not enough focus placed on the forestry industry. There, we said it. Forestry is a dynamic industry that employs an incredible array of tradespeople and other professionals, but it often falls to the wayside when people think about “work” and

“Alberta” in the same sentence. This province isn’t all about the energy sector, and unlike the energy sector, which can be held hostage by a singular market price shift, the forestry industry is much more stable, and, in fact, growing!

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A GROWING INDUSTRY // FORESTRY

“We’re doing well because forestry is such a diversified business. We’ve invested in new markets, efficiency in facilities, and product development,” says Paul Whittaker, president and CEO of Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA).

The Alberta forestry market puts a high price on sustainability, with many laws and mandates governing how forest-related businesses operate. These rules ensure that the industry survives, as well as the forest.

Wondering exactly what that means? After all, what’s so diverse about forestry? Trees to wood to paper, right? Wrong. The forestry industry is actually impacted and influenced by a great deal of other industries because wood and wood by-products are used all over the place. The forestry industry even plays a role in the energy sector, but we’ll save that for a bit later.

“It all starts with good forest management practices,” Whittaker continues. “Alberta has one of the most stringent regimes in the world for how we manage our forests, including consulting with the public, protecting water and wildlife, and regenerating areas after they have been harvested. In 2015, AFPA members planted 65 million seedlings. All of those things are legally required in our industry do a good job of complying with and often exceeding the standards.

“We’re in the process of finalizing production statistics for 2015. It looks like about a five per cent growth in production values, which surprised us a bit,” admits Whittaker. “The bulk of that is going to be from some really strong pulp prices, which also fueled higher production volumes. It looks like panel also had a pretty good year. “The domestic housing market and decreased construction activity in Asia did cause lumber production to slow a bit. The fact that we were able to grow, despite lower construction activity in a couple of our markets, really speaks to the value of having a diversified industry.”

“Ultimately, it’s in our interest to have the healthiest forest possible because we make our living off of it and plan to continue that well into the future. Our Association has been around for 74 years and we have several members who have been with us for most of our history. I think that speaks to sustainability of the industry.” It is estimated that 70 communities in Alberta rely on forestry as a main source of employment. The industry employs about 15,000 people directly and creates an additional 30,000 jobs

ABOVE: PAUL WHITTAKER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, AFPA

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A GROWING INDUSTRY // FORESTRY

HOW EXACTLY IS FORESTRY SUPPORTING THE ENERGY SECTOR? WELL, ACTUALLY, IT’S MAKING ITS OWN: BIOMASS ENERGY. THIS IS ENERGY CREATED FROM THE CONSUMPTION OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL. WHEN CONSUMED BY FIRE, BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL CREATES HEAT, AND HEAT IS A USEFUL ENERGY – BUT THAT’S NOT ALL.

out of its economic activity. Although you might not think Edmonton is a forestry town, Whittaker reminds us that it actually is, citing the many secondary manufacturers here, on top of head offices, and the amount of wood products that are trucked in or carried by rail throughout the city. The stability of the industry has helped bolster transportation businesses, manufacturers, and office jobs throughout the city. Now let’s back pedal to that energy sector comment. How exactly is forestry supporting the energy sector? Well, actually, it’s making its own: biomass energy. This is energy created from the consumption of biological material. When

consumed by fire, biological material creates heat, and heat is a useful energy – but that’s not all. “Our industry generates enough power for four cities the size of Grande Prairie and we do it using materials like bark and sawdust that used to go to waste. I was just in Slave Lake and toured a facility that uses the gas from pulp effluent to make power for their mill. They put it in a vessel that is the size of three football fields, wait for bacteria to digest the effluent, and then burn the gas. Totally cool,” exclaims Whittaker, “and definitely not something you would have seen in our industry 10 years ago.”

Inglis Environmental’s Green Mission for Edmonton Working in conjunction with existing composting and recycling facilities within Edmonton, we strive to make it efficient and effective for commercial businesses to separate their organic waste and blue bag recyclable materials. We provide containers, collection services and a final product of which participants can be proud.

inglisenvironmental.com • edmontoncompost.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // MAY 2016

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A GROWING INDUSTRY // FORESTRY

“My background is in forestry,” says Dave Harman, director, business development and forestry with Northland Forest Products Ltd. “Even when the economy is down, there are jobs to be had in forestry. We are a smaller business in the industry but we’ve been running consistently through all the downturns over the last 40 years, and we’re actually expanding at this time.” The expansion includes purchasing a mill in Boyle, previously owned by Miller Western, and making use of the current supply there while also planning to create a second shift at their main facility in Fort McMurray. There is a demand for the solid wood products the company deals in, and the company is selling everything they produce so demand is good and steady. A softer dollar has increased the amount of business the company is doing with the United States as well.

The future of forestry is bright, but it is a future that will rely heavily on getting the right people to do the job. The lack of focus on the forest industry is really doing a disservice to it, and our youth, because those looking for long-term careers are often unaware of the diverse job range the forestry industry offers. Whether you are interested in a trade, a business degree, science or engineering, forestry is a vibrant field that could be reinvigorated by a skilled new generation. As Whittaker points out, new interest in the industry is critical too. “I’d say that there is opportunity and many career paths to choose from. We’ve got truck drivers, engineers, accountants, skilled trades, marketing people, labourers… the list goes on and on. Like a lot of industries, our workforce is aging and we are going to need people in the future. Forestry is a good business to work in because it is stable and sustainable.”

The Name In

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

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Our Parents’ Home Jasper Ave & 119th St (780) 988-5504

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Villas at Lacombe Park 88 Lacombe Drive (780) 903-2465

Reflections 111 Festival Way (780) 410-0004


A GROWING INDUSTRY // FORESTRY

If you value your business, insure it with professionals.

“I come from a forestry background, and a lot of people assume that means I was a forest ranger or something, but it’s not that at all,” Harman laughs. “There are so many careers in the field, and I think forestry management is one that is lessknown, but really interesting. You get to be a forest caretaker more or less. There are so many trade jobs available too, we employ all the same trades as the energy sector. Power engineers, electricians, you name it!” Northland, who reforests whatever it cuts down, is also helping to make the industry sustainable by making use of waste products like sawdust to create biomass energy. Even before biomass, Northland was capitalizing on what was available before resorting to cutting. “A lot of our fibre was salvaged off the development of the oil sands, at least 50 per cent of it anyway. Although that isn’t a sustainable process, it didn’t go to waste, and the rest was sourced from sustainable licensed areas.” The truth is, we are approaching a critical point in terms of sustainable practices, energy efficiency, and environmental responsibility. The more major industries get involved in these efforts, the more quickly we will be able to turn around our planet and the path it is headed down. Forestry is a great example of how a major industry can still function while contributing to job production, and the protection of our environment.

The Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation is recognized as the benchmark of professionalism in the property and casualty insurance industry in Canada. Acquiring the CIP demands several years of rigorous study and adherence to a strict code of conduct. Awarded exclusively by the Insurance Institute, the designation indicates that the CIP is well qualified to provide professional service. If you want to be assured your insurance needs are being handled by qualified professionals—look for CIP after their names. Learn more at BeAssured.ca

If you are considering your future career path and know that you want to be involved with the environment and helping to repair it, maybe forestry is just the ticket. Be assured. ABOVE: DAVE HARMAN, DIRECTOR, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & FORESTRY WITH NORTHLAND FOREST PRODUCTS LTD.

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

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Talking Sex, Death and Money so Family Businesses Succeed Across the Generations

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ow can encouraging business families to have open dialogue about ‘sex, death and money’ have a profound impact on our economy? An estimated 80 per cent of all businesses worldwide are family-owned and operated. A majority of these businesses are expected to undergo management and ownership transition in the next five to 10 years as the baby boomer owners retire. If these transitions are not handled properly there could be catastrophic consequences for the economy – the sooner business families begin transition planning the better. Multigenerational family business leaders from across Canada will meet in Calgary May 16-18 at the 2016 Family Business Symposium to have intimate conversations about this topic. Conducted annually by the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE), this is not just another ‘business’ conference focused on growth strategies, management skills and innovation. The Family Business Symposium is unique in that it focuses specifically on helping family business owners achieve family success and harmony across the generations. Through three days of family business stories, networking and workshops delivered by family business experts, conference attendees learn best practices and gain valuable insights to help them build and successfully transfer their family enterprises to the next generation. More importantly, they learn how to keep the family together and maintain harmony through the transition and beyond. A cornerstone of the Family Business Symposium

experience involves sharing stories and experiences with other business families. A number of prominent business leaders will be on hand to share their stories including Andrew Molson of Molson Coors Brewing Company, Patrick Bermingham of Bermingham Construction, John DeHart of Nurse Next Door, and W. Brett Wilson, popular CBC TV “Dragons’ Den” emeritus. Attendees also gain useful knowledge through participation in 12 practical and interactive workshops. In one such workshop, provocatively titled “Samoan Circle: Talking Sex, Death and Money in Family Business,” Karen Laprade of Lead Family Enterprise Advisors will help participants explore their personal and family beliefs and values and tackle divisive topics that can generate conflict and erode family harmony and business success. In another workshop, business families will literally roll up their sleeves and use paints, brushes and canvases to “Paint a Clear Picture of Long-Term Family Success,” assisted by moderators Beverly Johnson and Perry Muhlbier of KPMG Enterprise. For more than 30 years CAFE has been encouraging business families to implement family meetings (for those in the business) or family councils (for the whole family) as practical forums for developing a shared vision for family business and planning for the future … and to talk ‘sex, death and money’ of course! Don’t miss the ultimate gathering of family enterprise in Canada May 16-18, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Calgary Alberta. Visit www.cafecanada.ca/symposium for more information or to register.

Canadian Association of Family Enterprise Passionately Committed to the Success of Families in Business www.cafecanada.ca 1-866-849-0099


Expanding Economic Potential for SMEs through Free Trade Agreements

2016 Board of Directors Executive

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

Directors

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

Chamber Executives

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

Contact

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

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

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here are 36 million Canadians in a world that has over 7 billion inhabitants. To compete effectively, we need to be both investment-friendly and export-ready. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will need to be ready to compete in this evercompetitive global market. New free-trade agreements can help those who are currently exporting, but how can we expand the trading capacity for SMEs? Both the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union (CETA) are well underway and likely to be ratified soon. Detractors say that these agreements will entail adjustment costs and disadvantages to some segments of our economy. But the Edmonton Chamber believes that the benefits of these agreements far outweigh the costs and both offer new growth opportunities for SMEs. Most important, these agreements will allow Canada to enhance its reputation as an effective global trading partner. The Chamber encourages SMEs to find opportunities that will allow them to grow beyond our borders. Free-trade agreements will create an impetus to innovate. These agreements allow us to increase our participation in global value chains (GVCs) by reducing barriers to trade. GVCs include the full range of activities in developing a product, including all of the materials, design, inputs, marketing and distribution. They become global in scope when the production is coordinated across several regions. Small and medium-sized enterprises are key to GVCs and improving Canada’s global trade performance globally. According to a 2013 Certified General Accountants Association of Canada report entitled “Canada’s Global Trade Agenda: Opportunities for SMEs,” small and medium-sized enterprises have been thriving in comparison to larger firms and are “taking advantage of growing opportunities in global markets.” The brief goes on to suggest that “when benchmarking Canada’s involvement in GVCs, recent research shows that while Canada is one of the world’s most important exporters in absolute terms, the country lags in its ability to create value in GVCs in relative terms.” A lot of this will be on the individual SME to increase their trade performance. This may mean SMEs will need to look within in order to become ready to export and compete on a global scale. Identifying opportunities and the needs of that market will be critical to moving your product and services effectively. Looking at efficiencies and productivity levels should be determined well in advance before your business and operation can begin to export. Obtaining financing, internal labour capacity, and understanding intellectual property rules, BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // MAY 2016

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authentication and security are but some of the factors to consider before moving forward. Governments have a key role in facilitating opportunities for global trade for SMEs. Agreements are now in place with the United States, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and South Korea - and the potential for CETA and TPP to be signed will provide exporters with improved access to international markets. The Edmonton Chamber is urging provincial and federal governments to work with chambers of commerce to build a knowledge-network for Canadian SMEs. This can allow them to understand the opportunities overseas, as tariff and non-tariff barriers come down. Another aspect where governments can create growth opportunities for SMEs is through financing and services. For those companies looking to expand their reach beyond our borders, public-sector institutions like Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) offer education, export incentives and financial services to help businesses expand globally. Finally, governments can expand opportunities through local promotion. Alberta has trade offices globally that can be utilized as networks for aspiring global businesses. With 11 offices across Asia, Europe and Latin America, companies can take advantage of trade promotion, investment attraction and cultural awareness education opportunities. The recent announcement of

When our largest trading partner – the United States – becomes an even bigger global competitor, we need to have the same advantages overseas in trade agreements in order to compete.

Participating in free trade agreements, and expanding our capacity to trade globally, will help the long-term growth of the Canadian economy. the Province’s Guangzhou office in China is a positive step in the right direction. Participating in free trade agreements, and expanding our capacity to trade globally, will help the long-term growth of the Canadian economy. By breaking down tariff and non-tariff barriers, we can expand our reach and understanding of other nations as well as seize on economic opportunities. Canada’s reputation as a participant in GVCs is very important because we do rely on outside investment and exports to drive our economy. When our largest trading partner – the United States – becomes an even bigger global competitor, we need to have the same advantages overseas in trade agreements in order to compete. We need to maintain and expand free trade agreements. If other countries have them and we do not, Canadian businesses are at a competitive disadvantage in that market. SMEs are the backbone of our economy. They have the ability to drive the innovation needed to compete and thrive in global markets, so we need their leadership to look at the opportunities that new markets will open up and find ways to overcome the obstacles. This could not only benefit your own business, it could contribute towards ensuring that Canada becomes an elite international trading partner. We would love to hear your thoughts on this. For more information or to send us a comment, please email: policy@ edmontonchamber.com.

Members in this Issue Edmonton International Airport in Still Flying High on page 16 Kevin Moffitt, Technology Training Centre at the University of Alberta in Advances in Technology Are Shifting the Business World on page 31

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“Should have called DRIVING FORCE”

Because moving is a big enough job already!

11025–184 Street, Edmonton West

TF: 1•877•760•4515 9503–34 Avenue, Edmonton South TF: 1•877•753•4876


5 Tips to Manage Your Cash Flow

C

ash is king—it’s a common saying in the business world. But surprisingly few entrepreneurs take steps to manage their cash flow so they don’t wind up with an empty bank account and nothing to pay the bills. “Getting control over your cash flow helps you prepare for slow periods, plan your financing and have peace of mind,” says Todd Tougas, Vice President, Financing & Consulting for the Edmonton region at BDC. The good news: cash flow management is easy to improve with a few simple steps. Profitability check First, make sure your business is earning a reasonable profit. Even the greatest cash flow management won’t help if your fundamentals are out of whack. Analyze each product and service separately to see whether it’s pulling its weight. Make sure your products are appropriately priced, and work to eliminate inefficiencies. Instead of just chasing sales, chase profitable sales. Do a cash flow projection Next, prepare a cash flow projection for the coming year. This is your early warning system for cash flow hiccups. Use an Excel spreadsheet or accounting software to plug in expected monthly cash inflows and outflows, including anticipated big-ticket purchases. Use the projection to anticipate slow periods and plan in advance what to do about them. Through the year, check your actual cash position regularly—once a week or month—against your projection to see how you’re doing and deal promptly with any divergences. Finance big buys instead of draining cash One of the most common cash flow mistakes is using cash to buy a major longterm asset, instead of getting financing. Even if you feel flush right now, you may suddenly wind up short of cash if you

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experience a sudden revenue shortfall or rapid growth. Use your cash flow projection to plan your financing needs ahead of time, not in the midst of a crisis, when bankers may be wary to lend. When possible, match the lifespan of a purchase with financing of similar duration. Speed up cash inflows Getting money into your business more quickly can save carrying costs on your line of credit. Some tips: send out invoices more quickly, ask customers to pay electronically and charge interest to slow-payers. Raise cash quickly in a crunch Facing an unexpected cash flow crunch? You can raise cash quickly using various techniques: approach your bank for help; check your inventory and assets to see what you can sell off; ask suppliers or your landlord for extra time to pay bills; offer customers a discount to earn some quick sales. The findings of a BDC survey indicate managing finances is one of the main challenges for entrepreneurs. • 82% of entrepreneurs say they’re the ones managing cash flow and financing in the company. • Almost half say they don’t make cash flow projections and check them against actual results—a basic procedure of financial management.

Guest submission courtesy of Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Member: Business Development Bank of Canada


Not-For-Profit Mixer An Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Mixer event connecting members of the Edmonton business community with its vital non-profit sector.

A full house provided ample opportunity to meet and make new connections.

Staff welcomes visitors to the Edmonton John Howard Society booth. Sharing stories and common experiences is the foundation for future business relationships.

‘You’re In Oil (Royalty) Country!’ Lunch & Learn Chamber members join ATB President & CEO Dave Mowat for a look back at the high-profile provincial royalty review he was part of, a look at the present situation in the sector dealing with oil prices at near historic lows, and a look ahead at what is in store for both the oilpatch and the companies whose fortunes are tied to it.

Focused on the recent Alberta Royalty Review, this Lunch & Learn session followed a lively Q&A format hosted by former media pundit Glen Kubish.

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Janet M. Riopel addresses an audience eager for more information on the future prospects for Alberta’s struggling oil industry.

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Minister Amarjeet Sohi Business Luncheon The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. A passionate Edmontonian long dedicated to improving Edmontonís infrastructure and livability, Minister Sohi spoke about the federal government’s plan for record infrastructure investments across Canada.

A post-event media scrum saw Minister Sohi tackling tough questions from reporters with honesty and aplomb.

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Another sold-out event, Minister Sohi’s speech drew a broad range of attendees from the business, government, media and civic communities.


Presenting

The 47th Annual Edmonton Chamber Golf Tournament Thursday, June 16, 2016 • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Quarry Golf Club - 945 167 Ave NE Edmonton, AB Registration is now open for Edmonton’s most popular corporate golf tournament. Welcoming more than 200 golfers annually, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament includes: • • • • •

18 holes of championship golf Power carts A full breakfast A BBQ banquet Plus excellent gifts and prizes!

A fun and friendly way to share some laughs and makes some new connections!

Like all Chamber events, our golf tournament is a chance to make new friends and connections.

Clearly these Chamber members take their golf very seriously.

Good, lucky, or possibly both, these smiling golfers were happy to take home some prizes.

Single Golfer: $235 for Chamber members, $285 for non-members Mulligans: $5 each (max of 4 per golfer) Sponsorship and exhibitor spots are available. Call 780.409.2613 to showcase your brand to the best of the business community. The satisfying feeling of a well struck ball. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // MAY 2016

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

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

Connect The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce connects you to…

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

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

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

Follow us! @EdmontonChamber

EdmontonChamber.com


XIX NINETEEN RESTAURANT

Milltech Millwork Turns 30 By Nerissa McNaughton

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he founder of Milltech Millwork, Glenn Thordarson, was an amazing man. “He was working full time for a large millwork company in Edmonton,” explains his wife, Crystal. “He started out doing evening and weekend work in the garage at home but eventually quit his job, branched out on his own, and leased a space on 166 Street. The company outgrew that space one bay at a time so we bought a building by Telus World of Science. We ran out of space again!” Since 2001 the rapidly growing company calls a large showroom and production facility at 12410 – 142nd Street home. Glenn, was the president and CEO of Milltech before his sudden passing in 2012. From his garage-run business in 1986 to the state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot facility Milltech operates out of today, he was involved in every project, worked hard to keep every employee happy and was a major contributor to the city of Edmonton. Business in Edmonton magazine sat down with Crystal Thordarson, Keith Waldbillig, Nathan Schmidt, Mike Millard, Troy Thordarson and Evan Thordarson to discuss how Milltech is continuing to make an impact in Edmonton, throughout Canada, and into the United States. Milltech Millwork provides premium architectural woodwork for commercial applications. The company specializes in creative store fixtures, providing everything from the guitar-shaped bar in Edmonton’s (former) Hard Rock Café to the service counters

CRYSTAL, EVAN AND TROY THORDARSON, NATHAN SCHMIDT, KEITH WALDBILLIG & MIKE MILLARD

Glenn Thordarson made Milltech Millwork unstoppable, which is why the company continues to blaze forward despite the tragic loss of the founder and CEO.

Milltech Millwork | 30 Years | 1

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HARDROCK CAFÉ – FORMERLY IN WEST EDMONTON MALL

and retail display units in every Sport Chek and ATMOSPHERE® in Canada. Milltech was the name behind the fixtures in some of the early Second Cup cafes in Edmonton and Calgary. Their projects have shipped as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. “Knowing that every craft must evolve, Milltech has placed itself at the leading edge of technology by adapting new techniques and products while improving bottom line operating efficiencies. In our hearts, however, we remain craftsman in the truest sense,” declares the Milltech team with pride. “We started with 1,250 square feet, then moved to 2,500, then to 10,000….17,000 and now 100,000!” marvels Keith who started out at Milltech by working for Glenn part time. Once he was laid off from his other job, Glenn was quick to offer him a fulltime position, and he’s been with Milltech ever since. “In every step of our growth we improved efficiency with technology and new equipment,” smiles Crystal. She was involved

with Milltech from the get go, helping with the daily operations of the business. They all have fond memories of how the company grew and thrived with each technological advance. “Going from manual drafting to AutoCad! Getting the first computer in the office! Everything was paper and pencil before that,” laughs Nathan who claims he has “sawdust in his blood.” Nathan joined Milltech after high school in 1987 and the company has been his only employer since he was 17. Keith fondly remembers the company’s first CNC machine. “We used to have to go out to the parking lot to do a 30-foot arc. Then suddenly it’s all done on the computer. It’s perfect!” The management team knows, however, that technology is just one part of their successful equation. Glenn was an amazing judge of character and because of that, he was able to surround himself with honest, hardworking people. Glenn always put a

Milltech Millwork | 30 Years | 2


CONGRATULATIONS MILLTECH MILLWORK

www.richelieu.com

Congratulations on 30 years Milltech Millwork! Wishing you many years of continued success.

30 YEARS

Commemorating thirty years of leadership in the woodworking industry.

From all your friends at Upper Canada Upper Canada Forest Products 1 866 265 0624 | www.ucfp.com

Congratulations Milltech Millwork on 30 great years!

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We are proud to be a part of your success!

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Successful growth inspires us all. Congratulations to our client Milltech Millwork on 30 years of remarkable growth. Edmonton | T +1 780 422 7114

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Milltech Millwork | 30 Years | 3

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high emphasis on respecting and treasuring Milltech’s highly trained team, knowing that happy employees create successful companies. This ideal has never changed. “Everybody’s job here is valued and everybody is part of a team,” Crystal points out. “The way we complete our projects is through teamwork. Our staff is willing to be challenged. Sometimes we have interesting projects that need to go through trial and error before we get to the finished product. We value the staff and appreciate their dedication, experience and loyalty.” “We do cool stuff. People want to be involved in our projects,” says Keith. He goes on to call the staff dedicated, experienced and out-of-the box thinkers. Milltech has the winning combination of the right technology, outstanding past and present leadership and a fully engaged team – and they couldn’t be prouder of this fact. “There’s nothing we can’t do,” smiles Nathan. “Quality” is the one word that sums up Milltech for Glenn’s son Troy. Like his brother Evan, he started doing odds and ends at Milltech while he was younger, taking full advantage of the Milltech Millwork | 30 Years | 4

ATMOSPHERE


opportunity to learn new things. Both young men loved it and joined the company upon completion of their post-secondary education at the University of Alberta and apprenticeship training at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. For Mike, the words that best describe Milltech are “technology, quality, and capacity.” Mike’s father introduced him to Glenn. “I was swinging a hammer in Winnipeg as a carpenter and had an opportunity to do things with Glenn as a general contractor. I moved here in 1998 and have been here ever since.” Milltech is also proud to continue on with Glenn’s support of community and non-profit organizations. The company donates to the Cross Cancer Institute; Santas Anonymous; the Forzani Foundation’s Mother’s Day Run, Walk & Ride; The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation; The Salvation Army; and the Edmonton Oil Kings Seats for Kids program, to name just a few. Thirty years have gone by in the blink of an eye. Glenn would be so pleased with where the company is today, with both sons’ involvement in growing Milltech, the steadfast team, and the new and repeat clients that just can’t get enough of the company’s high-quality, creative millwork. The team is very thankful for Glenn’s hard work and the way in which he set up the company for success.

Raylin custom metal manufacturers is proud to congratulate Milltech Millwork on their 30th anniversary! (780) 451-4224 • 12542 125 St NW

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Congratulations on 30 great Years to the Team at Milltech Millworks!

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Milltech Millwork on 30 years! We are proud to be a partner in your success!!

Congratulations Milltech Millwork on 30 years. We wish you many more years of success!

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Milltech Millwork | 30 Years | 5

1000, 10080 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB Phone: 780-428-9500 • Fax: 780-424-2370


The team is very thankful for Glenn’s hard work and the way in which he set up the company for success. What does the future hold for Milltech? The company will maintain their position and reputation in the industry while preparing the next generation for leadership succession under the guidance of very experienced and highly-valued partners. They all look forward to continuing to add new technologies to aid the company’s steady growth. With 30 years of experience, their products in nationally branded stores across North America, creative designs to fit any request and the latest in technology to make it all happen, you know Milltech Millwork is the first choice for quality architectural woodwork. Contact Milltech today to see how this company can take your project from ordinary to extraordinary. THE FOUNDER OF MILLTECH MILLWORK, GLENN THORDARSON.

“Without his vision, none of us would be here,” says Mike. “Without his dream, there would not be this reality,” adds Crystal. “He worked very hard. Sometimes too hard. He was dedicated. On his daily morning walk through the shop, he would ask employees for their input on how to improve our processes for future projects. He was about efficiency, improving Milltech, and making everything we do here better.” The team also owes a debt of gratitude to John Forzani. Crystal explains. “He put his trust in us early on and I believe that is because John and Glenn had a mutual respect for each other. He believed in our capability and gave us a chance.”

12410 - 142 St. NW Edmonton, AB T5L 4K2 Tel. 780.455.6655 • Fax 780.488.6655 Toll Free 800.755.3092 www.milltech-group.com

Congratulations Milltech Millwork on 30 years!!!

9540 62 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 0E2 Office: (780) 435-2291 • Fax: (780) 989-3871 Email: info@eberhards.ca www.eberhards.ca

Milltech Millwork | 30 Years | 6


Arctic Chiller Gave the Water Bottle a Serious Upgrade – and Corporate Clout By Nerissa McNaughton

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Happy 20th Anniversary, Arctic Chiller!

hat do you get when you mix the humble water bottle with ingenuity, taking a standard design to the next (award winning) level? You get Arctic Chiller, a company that has been innovating the idea of bottled water for 20 years. Arctic Chiller was founded by Dave Hygaard in 1996 to tap into the enormous potential of the emerging bottled water industry. Dave had already made a name for himself in the packaged food industry by starting a family business called Hygaard Fine Foods. You are likely familiar with this line of packaged subs and sandwiches that allows hungry people to grab a quality meal at convenience stores and gas stations. Dave’s interests in Hygaard Fine Foods were sold to raise capital and finance Arctic Chiller. He was banking on the future success of the bottled water industry. Even though the industry was still in its infancy at the time, Dave’s instincts were spot on. He knew that taking advantage of technological advancements in innovative packaging would set his brand apart – and it did. Today you can enjoy a crisp, cold bottle of Arctic Chiller’s (seven-stage reverse osmosis filtered) house brand water in convenient sizes ranging from the two litre spout top to the mini 296 millilitre screw cap, or you can promote your own brand by providing your clients, golf tournament participants, concert guests, etc., with your own custom labeled

Tom Hygaard, President of Arctic Chiller Ltd.

water bottle. You can take advantage of Arctic Chiller’s award-winning diamond patterned bottle as well as their eco-friendly bio-degradable design. “In sourcing a biodegradable bottle option for our customers, it was important to select one that offered the best case for the environment,” says company president Tom Hygaard.

ARCTIC CHILLER • 20 YEARS • 1

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Arctic Chiller Team: Jake Hygaard, Jeff Tomlinson, Ashley Stoik, Roxalana Dobransky, Tara Hygaard, John Marineo and Amanda Hygaard.

Tom, Dave’s son, was involved with all facets of the Hygaard business, before joining Arctic Chiller. “Our biodegradable bottles utilize the Reverte™ additive contained within the plastic, which allows for the plastic to biodegrade over 10 years – unlike a conventional bottle, which will not break down at all. Since these bottles are also compatible with recycling at local bottle depots, the additive works like a safety net in case a bottle is not recycled. It will biodegrade rather than pollute.”

when prospects would call us and ask for our diamond pattern bottle, having seen it around at many places and wanting to put their name on a diamond bottle too,” smiles Tom. “Clearly they liked what they saw and our market presence was growing by leaps and bounds.”

One of the biggest draws of the company is their custom bottle labeling. Water is provided at all corporate and entertainment events so having an established company using digital technology to quickly, affordably and expertly produce custom labels skyrocketed Arctic Chiller’s appeal across North America and into emerging overseas markets. “Arctic Chiller knew it was established in the industry

“Our most notable project was achieving NSF Certification,” informs Tom. “NSF stands for National Sanitation Foundation. They are an internationally respected testing and inspecting organization. While we have always met local and national guidelines for water quality, we have set the bar higher. In following the NSF bottled water guidelines, we have an added measure of consumer confidence that cannot be understated. To earn NSF Certification, we developed a formal HACCP plan (Hazardous Analysis of Critical Control Points), documented our food safety plan, formalized our good manufacturing practices, submitted to annual unannounced plant audits by the NSF inspector, and submitted finished products for comprehensive laboratory analysis, in addition to a number of physical upgrades made to our bottling facility to meet this challenge. All of this is over and above what is required by local/federal guidelines. Due in part to holding ourselves to a higher standard, Arctic Chiller has become western Canada’s leader in high quality, great tasting water.”

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The award-winning diamond patterned bottle is just one of their many achievements.

Tom knows the keys to success go beyond innovation and best practices. A strong team and community involvement complete their corporate culture.

ARCTIC CHILLER • 20 YEARS • 2


In addition to great bottled water and custom labels, Arctic Chiller is your one-stop shop for other promotional items such as: • Beverage display coolers, fully customizable with corporate logos on the front and sides • Bottle tags • Recycle bins • Peel & reveal labels for contests, coupons and more • Kosher COR certifications at no extra cost

Harvey Lang, Plant Supervisor, performs quality control checks.

“The ideal employee at Arctic Chiller is customer focused and someone who recognizes that a reputation for customer satisfaction will do more than anything for earning repeat business and obtaining new opportunities,” confirms Tom. “Leadership at Arctic Chiller is privileged to see the dedication, loyalty, determination, and integrity of our staff. In witnessing these qualities, it allows management to provide empowerment. We view the staff as the real asset that our company possesses. “Our partnership program allows our clients to participate in giving back to the charity or non-profit organization of their choice. Essentially, the client donates a percentage per bottle and Arctic Chiller will match part of the donation. We work with about 100 charities at present and if the client commits to 50,000 or more labels, they can add their own charity if we don’t happen to be set up with it yet. “Where we’ve seen the most impact with this program is with our camp catering clients up North. They generate funds for the communities where the work is being performed, using the proceeds to give back to the First Nations and often targeting support for youth or elders. It is just one example of where we’ve made a huge impact.

• Coroplast signage and pop up banner stands “We have seasonal water bottles at Sobeys and select retailers that go to support seasonal charities, such as Make-AWish Canada®. “Collectively Arctic Chiller and our valued clients have raised over $30,000 for charity and non-profit organizations.” It should come as no surprise that Arctic Chiller is the proud recipient of a 2015 Consumer Choice Award (Northern Alberta) and while Tom is happy to have this award, he feels the true reward comes from seeing happy customers and earning their repeat business and referrals. Arctic Chiller was at the forefront of an emerging industry and used innovation, customer service and going beyond best practices to raise the bar. The company looks forward to adding bottling facilities in key markets where they are anticipating significant growth and also looks forward to continuing to challenge and change the water bottle industry, one sip at a time.

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Left to right: Dr. Mohamed Abousalem (CEO), Nan Xu, Andrew Ma, Candice Fulgencio, Gordon Banting (CFO), Donna Richardson, Richard Gorecki, Jonathan Neufeld and Andrew House Photo by Jonard Tan Photography

TECTERRA Invests in

Diversif ication and Growth By Rennay Craats

I

n the past year, the Alberta economy has experienced a steady downturn due to plummeting oil and gas prices. Now more than ever, the province needs to diversify its economic portfolio in order to not only recover from this slump, but to prevent it from happening again. TECTERRA is doing its part by offering support and funding to a variety of companies across industries, stimulating much needed growth and diversity. TECTERRA is a not-for-profit organization funded by the Alberta government that has injected tens of millions of dollars into the economy through investment in small and medium-sized geomatics technology companies for the past six years. This, in turn, has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact. “We don’t discriminate against any industry or application as long as the content is innovative technology that is based in or uses geospatial platforms,” says Dr. Mohamed Abousalem, CEO of TECTERRA. In fact, geomatics applications are everywhere and used every day. Alberta is a major player in the area, representing 40 per cent of the geospatial market across Canada. Geomatics (also referred to as geospatial) technologies involve the collection, management, analysis, representation and display of geographically-referenced information. This can relate to anything from positioning and navigation to surveying

and mapping, remote sensing and photogrammetry to spatial data management. Application is vast and geomatics technologies are used in such areas as oil and gas, agriculture, environmental protection and management, forestry, land use planning, wildlife management, location-based services, utilities, and recreation. The Alberta government identified geomatics as a great area of opportunity to bring technology and innovation to the resource sectors in 2009. Alongside the University of Calgary, the government built on the idea of investment in innovation and put forth $21.6 million to get TECTERRA off the ground. As the centre gained momentum, it attracted the attention of the federal government, which contributed another $11.685 million to support the initiative for five years and broaden its scope across Canada. “It moved forward to the concept of TECTERRA being a stand-alone, independent entity catering to the industry at large,” says Abousalem. TECTERRA set out to invest in the development of innovative geomatics technologies through company-led product development projects, and applied research projects at post-secondary institutions. It was created with Abousalem at the helm to ensure it maintained an industry focus and pace, as well as a motivation to listen and cater to the needs of the industry. Since its inception,

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TECTERRA has committed $37.3 million to supporting 66 industry-led projects and 25 applied research projects with four post-secondary institutions, as well as other business support programs. Overall, TECTERRA has invested in 195 companies including 80 startups, and its companies have 79 patents filed or in progress. At the end of 2015, the federal government’s commitment ended and now TECTERRA operates with funding solely from the provincial government that goes to supporting only Alberta companies and professionals. “We are looking at the new support programs under the Liberal government to target the right federal funding source to take us back to that national mandate,” says Abousalem.

Portfolio Company Spotlight

The key is to find the right funding program that aligns with what TECTERRA does and how it operates. Until then, it is using the latest commitment of $4.5 million per year from the provincial government to continue its mission: investing in projects and development of technologies, assisting companies with growth by hiring personnel, and supporting companies with mentorship and business strategies.

InvenSense Canada Formerly Trusted Positioning Inc., InvenSense started as a University of Calgary project that created a device allowing people to navigate in areas where they don’t have GPS signals on their smartphones or vehicle-mounted devices. In 2014, it was acquired by American firm InvenSense for $36 million and continues to operate under that banner.

INVESTING IN ALBERTA’S FUTURE There are other centres supporting innovation across the country, but TECTERRA’s model is unique. The main component of TECTERRA is the Industry Investment Program, which invests in product development and commercialization of geomatics technologies across a variety of sectors. Once approved, companies can secure a zero-interest loan of up to 50 per cent of the project cost, with the other 50 per cent coming from private money raised by the company. On average, TECTERRA invests between $250,000 and $300,000 per project. “It’s a zero-interest contingent loan but we never take IP or equity in the company,” says Jonathan Neufeld, Director of Commercialization Programs. “As a non-profit, our goal is to see those companies succeed and grow, generate revenue, hire people and really add to the economy in Alberta and Canada.” Funding from TECTERRA can be used for development, manufacturing, marketing, and other expenses related to the creation and commercialization of a new technology product or service. Only once the company begins selling and making revenue do they start paying back the principal amount. Repayments are put back into the pool to reinvest in other innovations. And if the technology doesn’t materialize into commercially viable products or services, the TECTERRA loan is forgivable. TECTERRA has also worked hard to ensure this process is as efficient as possible. Being an independent, nonprofit organization means it can function at the speed of industry rather than bureaucracy. Where standard government funding programs often take a long time to process applications and deliver funding to recipients, TECTERRA strives to get funding into company coffers in two to four months, so companies can get to work.


Portfolio Company Spotlight

Lim Geomatics With TECTERRA’s support, Ottawa’s Lim Geomatics created an online tool to manage LIDAR data for forestry applications. Using lasers, forestry companies can map an area to determine terrain as well as vegetation and analyze this data to determine how to best manage their resources. Lim Geomatics is now one of the country’s leading forestry GIS consulting firms and was one of the first companies to repay TECTERRA’s investment in full.

Achievements in Alberta Since June 2010, TECTERRA has committed >$35M (matched with >$24M of private investments) to geospatial technology companies and applied research groups for the development and commercialization of innovative technology solutions, job creation, training and business support:

25 post-secondary applied research projects supported in Alberta

31,833 Geomatics Lab equipment days of utilization for product development and testing

133 SMEs supported (Canada: 195) including 58 startup companies (Canada: 80)

STAFF SUPPORT The growth of small companies and startups can stall at the stage where they could use another professional on staff to drive sales, but their current revenue isn’t quite enough to justify the expense. TECTERRA’s GEO-Placement Program is designed to facilitate that growth push by paying 50 per cent of a new hire’s salary (up to $50,000) for the first year. These highly qualified personnel (HQP) candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in their field, with post-graduate degrees preferred. “We’ve had great success with this job creation program, with continuity beyond our year of support,” says Abousalem.

247 new jobs created and supported (Canada: 307)

640 HQP trained on state-of-the-art geomatics equipment and technology applications

$149M in actual economic impact (Canada: $169M) to date, projected to grow to >$300M by 2018.

In the past five years, TECTERRA has created and supported 307 new jobs, trained 640 HQPs and engaged 420 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in product development and commercialization at small and medium geomatics companies across Canada. Providing funding is only one aspect of TECTERRA’s impact. It also advises and counsels company leaders with the small and large pieces that make a company successful. The Executive Mentorship Program, for example, links companies with volunteer mentors from TECTERRA’s business and technical advisory committees to give them access to the expertise and experience of this diverse group of professionals.


For more information on TECTERRA, visit: www.tecterra.com

TECTERRA Geomatics Lab equipment. Photos by Jonard Tan Photography

Also, within its Commercialization Support Services Program, the Sales Mentorship Program funds companies to connect with paid sales professionals who will advise entrepreneurs on sales strategy and execution, business planning, and how to communicate the product to possible consumers. “A lot of the companies are started by engineers, scientists, physicists – very smart people, but they just don’t know how to sell their creation,” says Neufeld. TECTERRA invests in sales mentors to help these technically-based entrepreneurs achieve their business mandate by giving them skills they may not have in order to get their technology into the market.

HIGH-TECH LAB

Portfolio Company Spotlight

It’s clear that TECTERRA’s investment extends far beyond financial support. In addition to their programs, TECTERRA also has an on-site facility that was set up with a $6 million grant from Western Economic Diversification Canada. This technology library contains an enormous amount of state-of-the-art equipment that companies can borrow or lease at a subsidized rate to test and modify their designs, develop aspects of their products, and demonstrate the product’s efficiency. With ground-penetrating radars, laser scanners, GNSS simulators, thermal imaging, 3D printers and UAVs on

Blackline Safety This Calgary company created a lone-worker safety device that is worn when working in remote areas. If a person becomes injured or incapacitated, the Loner SMD, which features a comprehensive safety alert management technology and mapping of employee locations, triggers a signal for help. Industries including oil and gas and forestry have adopted this technology.

hand, TECTERRA allows companies to access equipment necessary to move a product from concept to reality without shouldering the huge costs of purchasing it for themselves.

THE EVOLUTION OF SHOWCASE Many companies within TECTERRA’s portfolio have gone on to great success in a variety of areas. And while these companies have prospered and outgrown TECTERRA’s mandate, the centre still supports them through the annual TECTERRA Geomatics Showcase (now TECNOVATE). This event serves as a forum to promote TECTERRA while highlighting the achievements of the companies funded by it – both past and present. Companies display their technologies, while engaging in a tradeshow that offers an effective platform for forming strategic partnerships and networking with other professionals. This June 22, TECTERRA is doing something a bit different. “This is the first year we are opening the opportunity for geospatial companies beyond TECTERRA’s portfolio to exhibit in the tradeshow,” says Candice Fulgencio, Manager of Marketing and Communications. TECNOVATE will build on last year’s 63 exhibitors by adding new TECTERRA companies, as well as outside entities to better celebrate the achievements of geomatics innovation across Canada. The event will also feature keynote addresses from prominent Canadian entrepreneurs Manjit Minhas and Leonard Brody. “By broadening our scope, we are bringing more value to exhibitors and business professionals within the geospatial realm by giving them the opportunity to further network, build alliances and develop commercial opportunities within the industry,” says Fulgencio. The success of TECTERRA is remarkable. It boasts an economic impact of $168.6 million to date (projected to grow to over $300 million in a few years) while serving the province’s diversification and job creation efforts since 2010. TECTERRA continues to work with the Alberta government to craft a long-term future with secure funding, so that it can continue creating this important impact on the economy and fostering growth in geomatics for years to come. •


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