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BOB NICHOLSON JOINS OEG TO BRING EDMONTON THE BEST IN ENTERTAINMENT AND HOCKEY EXPERIENCES



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

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 11

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Premier Notley Strikes the Right Note on National Carbon Price By Josh Bilyk

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 Alberta Government Should Lead by Example on Costly Carbon Tax By Paige MacPherson

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Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Building the infrastructure we need for a

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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Our City’s Champion Bob Nicholson joins OEG to bring Edmonton the best in entertainment and hockey experiences By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: BOB NICHOLSON, CEO AND VICE CHAIR OF OILERS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP (OEG) 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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NOVEMBER 2016 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

sunny future By Janet M. Riopel

Member Profile: River Valley Adventure Co.

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 11

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CONTENTS

THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

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Sectoral Changes, Human Resources, and the Changing Face of Alberta’s Economy With Edmonton’s skyline reaching new heights, its tried and tested economic failsafes are falling away. HR experts weigh in on where Edmonton’s economy is heading, and how to find the perfect job in the new Alberta. By Zachary Edwards

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Put the Success in Succession Planning By Nerissa McNaughton

COMPANY PROFILES

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Canada Medical Celebrates 30 Years

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Why Edmonton Needs to Hold onto its Manufacturing Industry By Laura Bohnert

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Desperate Times, Desperate Measures: Employee Fraud in Alberta’s New Economy Alberta’s economy has curiously made fraud easier to spot, but businesses are still losing millions. Two local forensic accountants explain why fraud happens and how companies can protect themselves. By Zachary Edwards

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Edmonton’s Changing Face: Our structures are changing from the inside out By Nerissa McNaughton

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


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REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Josh Bilyk John Hardy Paige McPherson

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Zachary Edwards Laura Bohnert

PHOTOGRAPHY

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Alberta Blue 2016 Business in Edmonton 2/3 page / full colour NOVEMBER 2016Cross // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

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PREMIER NOTLEY STRIKES THE RIGHT NOTE ON NATIONAL CARBON PRICE // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Premier Notley Strikes the Right Note on National Carbon Price BY JOSH BILYK

L

ove or hate Alberta’s carbon tax, there was always a glimmer of hope that there would a little bit of sugar to help the medicine go down.

The argument advanced by the Notley government was that, in acting proactively to address carbon emissions in Alberta, we would inoculate ourselves against a more intrusive and costly plan foisted upon us by politicians in Ottawa. Further, by showing Alberta has a credible plan to address our contributions to climate change, we take away a primary complaint of pipeline opponents. Given that Alberta’s carbon tax is all but inevitable, we really hoped this would be true. Now we’ll see the theory tested. The federal government announced that they’re setting a floor price on carbon emissions – starting at $10 a tonne in 2018 and rising to $50 by 2022. The federal law will give provinces leeway to implement carbon reduction plans as they see fit – whether through strict regulations, cap and trade, or an Alberta/British Columbia style carbon tax. But, say the feds, all provinces will have an effective price on carbon or else Ottawa will go ahead and impose one. That means Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan has another thing coming if they continue to be the most vocal holdout against a carbon tax. Premier Notley, to her credit, was swift and crystal clear in her response: “Alberta will not be supporting this proposal absent serious concurrent progress on energy infrastructure, to ensure we have the economic means to fund these policies. “It is time for the Government of Canada to act on this issue. Albertans have contributed very generously for many years

to national initiatives designed to help other regions address economic challenges. What we are asking for now is that our landlock be broken, in one direction or another, so that we can get back on our feet.” Alberta won’t be playing along with Prime Minister Trudeau’s carbon plan unless we get some action on pipelines and any revenue from our carbon tax will stay right here in the province. Premier Notley made the right play if she’s to salvage any good will in a province openly hostile to the carbon tax. It might just work out. The Trudeau government seems to be willing to negotiate with the provinces around energy and the environment. When the federal government approved the Pacific Northwest LNG project, it attached to it the condition that B.C. government increase its carbon price so that it’s in line with whatever the federal government eventually imposes. Just over a month after B.C. Premier Christy Clark enraged environmentalists by refusing to increase their carbon tax, she seems suddenly open to a significant increase. Albertans may never come around on the carbon tax, but if Premier Notley is able to parlay our carbon price into approvals for two new pipeline projects before the next election, it may take some of the edge off the arguments of her political opponents. Whether it’s all worthwhile will be decided by Albertans on election day. In the mean time, we look forward to a meaningful discussion.

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.

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ALBERTA GOVERNMENT SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE ON COSTLY CARBON TAX // PAIGE MACPHERSON

Alberta Government Should Lead by Example on Costly Carbon Tax BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

I

f the Alberta government is asking businesses and families to dish out billions of dollars every year for its needless carbon tax, the least government could do is try to lead by example on reducing carbon emissions. Alberta’s NDP government has said Albertans should change their ways of living and doing business to avoid paying the carbon tax. Even if Albertans trade their trucks in for smart cars and urban tradespeople start lugging their tools via the bus, they’ll still be dinged by increased grocery tabs, property tax bills and education fees due to the carbon tax. But sure, there’s no doubt driving less reduces gas costs. Given the government’s directive to Albertans, it would be nice if they practiced what they preach. The government dished out $2.8 million to purchase vehicles for every member of cabinet, 16 bureaucrats, a handful of other senior politicians and even the person who fills in for the woman who fills in for the Speaker of the assembly when he’s not available. Among them: Ford F-150 trucks, Infiniti SUVs, Audis and more. Taxpayers are also paying for the gas and maintenance. While the government is telling taxpayers to use less gas in more fuel-efficient vehicles, they’re doing the opposite. The government has said the carbon tax is no big deal for Albertans because there are rebates and exemptions. The carbon tax will cost an estimated $600 per family of four in 2018, not including some indirect costs. Some people will get rebates. Next year, those making under $51,250 will be eligible for a full or partial carbon tax rebate to cover the direct costs. The rest of Albertans get none.

“The more wealthy you are, the more capacity you have to reduce your emissions,” Premier Notley said. Suggesting Albertans making $52,000 per year are “wealthy” is flat-out disingenuous. Yes, $52,000 is a good salary, but it certainly doesn’t pad one’s pockets enough to ignore the burden of a heavy new tax. For small businesses that are forced to cut costs, the government’s small business tax cut was welcome. However, it hardly offsets the costs of the carbon tax and minimum wage hikes, and small businesses will only benefit from that tax cut if they’re turning a profit. While business owners are expected to cut down on business necessities like shipping supplies and heating facilities to escape the carbon tax, government is travelling the world for photo ops promoting it. The premier jetted off to New York City in mid-September to promote her carbon tax, costing $39,500. Presumably she and her accompanying six-person entourage didn’t ride their bicycles across the border. Weeks earlier, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips flew to Mexico with two staffers to promote the carbon tax, costing $12,200. Last year, Canada sent more than 300 people to Paris for the UN climate conference, including 13 delegates from Alberta – all on greenhouse gas-spewing jets. The hypocrisy is a bit hard to take. A leak of the government’s own data showed the carbon tax will cost the Alberta economy billions of dollars. The government should be upfront about those costs. And the absolute least the government could do is lead by example. PAIGE MACPHERSON IS ALBERTA DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION.

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Habitat for Humanity Gets the Presidential Treatment Habitat for Humanity® Canada (HFHC) had a very special announcement to make on World Habitat Day: former United States President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are coming to Canada for HFH’s 34th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The visit will take place in July 2017 and will kick off the 150 homes HFHC plans to build in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary. This will be HFHC’S biggest build project to date, and will take place in every province and territory across the country. Former President Carter and his wife will be focusing their efforts in Edmonton and Winnipeg. “It is an honour to host President and Mrs. Carter. We are grateful for their support and the many volunteers whose commitment to Habitat’s mission has helped us empower communities through affordable home ownership,” said Mark Rodgers, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “These are homes that provide families with the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life.” President and Mrs. Carter have travelled the world with HFH since 1984, helping to build and improve homes. The couple’s philanthropy and efforts have played a very big part in raising awareness for the need of affordable home ownership across the nation. President and Mrs. Carter have inspired millions of people over the years and have worked alongside more than 100,000 volunteers in 14 countries. Their efforts have attracted the notice of HFH affiliates, who are now working on identifying and procuring build sites as part of the Carter Work Project. HFHC’s mandate is to create affordable housing opportunities. Currently, one in seven households do not have access to safe and affordable housing in Canada, and sadly, this number affects well over 720,000 children. HFHC wants to stop the damaging cycle of families having to choose between paying

rent and putting food on the table – a situation remedied in part by affordable home ownership. People that live in Habitat homes help to build their new house and pay an affordable mortgage. This progressive business model leads families to better living conditions, improves childhood development, reduces reliance on food banks and provides the ability to move out of social housing (which, in turn, frees up space for families on waiting lists). Every dollar invested with Habitat yields $4 in societal benefits, which has a direct, positive impact on education and employment, all the while reducing the burden on social programming. HFHC believes that every Canadian family deserves a safe and affordable place to live and urges all Canadians to support the Carter Work Project. You can get involved as an individual, family or corporate team. To learn more, please visit habitat.ca/cwp and habitat.ca, follow HFH on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HabitatforHumanityCanada, and on Twitter at @HabitatCanada. HFHC also posts inspiriting videos on YouTube. Be sure to check the HFHC website for updates as the 34th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project gets underway. TOP: ROSALYNN CARTER PASSING THE HAMMER TO MARK RODGERS, THE CEO AND PRESIDENT OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CANADA BOTTOM: ROSALYNN CARTER, MARK RODGERS (CEO & PRESIDENT, HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CANADA), JIMMY CARTER AND JONATHAN RECKFORD (CEO, HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL)

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


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Simons in Londonderry Gets the Eco-Green Light Treatment Simons has partnered with VIC 20 Management Inc. to install one of the largest photovoltaic systems in a Canadian shopping centre. When complete, more than 50 per cent of Simon’s Londonderry Mall store’s electrical needs will be powered by clean, green, solar energy. “We are thoroughly examining how we can reduce our environmental impact throughout the whole company, from the suppliers we work with to the raw materials we use,” said CEO Peter Simons. “Our stores are the visual and tactile part of the Simons experience, so it is extremely important that we continue testing sustainability initiatives, like the latest in solar PV technology, on location where we interact with our customers.” “With Edmonton being one of the sunniest cities in Canada, Londonderry was a natural testing ground for the latest in solar-electric technology,” said Jordan Adams, general manager, Londonderry Mall. “Simons is leading the way in leveraging innovation to create new standards for sustainability in retail, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them to bring visibility to solar technologies in Canada.” The solar array will include 700 electric modules in the parking lot, and an additional 1,100 modules on the roof. Combined, the system will generate 470,000 kWh/year, which is the equivalent of 65 homes. The system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 300 tonnes per year. In addition to the solar panels, electric car charging stations will be installed in the parking lot next to Simons. The fashion retailer also plans on LED lighting throughout the store, and dimmable light fixtures in areas that have natural

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

light, to maximize use of day light while reducing 40 per cent of those stores’ lighting needs. This eco-friendly Simons location is part of Londonderry Mall’s revitalization. Simons Londonderry will open in August of 2017. Simons, founded in 1840 by John Simons as a dry goods store in Quebec City, transitioned over the years from dry goods to fashion retail. Today, the brand is run by brothers Peter and Richard Simons. Londonderry Mall opened in 1972 and is currently managed and leased by 20 VIC Management Inc. The mall started its major redevelopment project in 2014. The plan calls for a full renovation of all mall common areas, the addition of exciting new retailers, renovations of existing retailer spaces, new full-service dining experiences, a brand new relocated food court as well as a lighting upgrade of all interior and exterior fixtures and a state-of-the-art security surveillance system. The mall is open during the renovation, and over 150 retailers, including Hudson’s Bay, Winners, and SaveOn-Foods, continue to offer goods and services as the renovations take place. To learn more about Simons’ progressive green initiatives in Londonderry Mall, and to keep up with the exciting changes as the mall’s renovation project comes to a close, engage with Simons and Londonderry through: www.simons.ca, Twitter @SIMONS_eng (English) or @Simons (French), Instagram @maisonsimons, Facebook facebook.com/simons. ca, Snapchat: @maisonsimons, www.londonderrymall.com, Twitter @londonderrymall, Instagram @londonderrymall, Facebook facebook.com/londonderrymall.


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THE CHANGING FACE OF ALBERTA’S ECONOMY // HUMAN RESOURCES

SECTORAL CHANGES, HUMAN RESOURCES,

AND THE CHANGING FACE OF

Alberta’s Economy WITH EDMONTON’S SKYLINE REACHING NEW HEIGHTS, ITS TRIED AND TESTED ECONOMIC FAILSAFES ARE FALLING AWAY. HR EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON WHERE EDMONTON’S ECONOMY IS HEADING, AND HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT JOB IN THE NEW ALBERTA.

BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

I

n 2011, the City of Edmonton officially agreed to a funding framework for Rogers Place and kicked off Canada’s largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district. Acquiring a classically Edmontonian nickname, ICE District, the area around the arena is undergoing a dramatic transformation. By the time it’s finished, 10 hectares of land will be almost unrecognizable from what it is today, and Edmonton’s skyline will reach new heights, both literally and figuratively.

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


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THE CHANGING FACE OF ALBERTA’S ECONOMY // HUMAN RESOURCES

Ice District can easily be seen as a metaphor for the rest of the city, province, and country – a small, localized example of the shift experienced by Alberta and Canada in general. As the buildings, condos, and theatres are built by well-paid, skilled labourers, they are set to be filled with low-wage, unskilled labourers operating in some of Canada’s fastest growing industries: tourism, hospitality and service. This shift, while not finalized or inevitable, has been a general trend of Canada’s labour force for the past few decades and has been a major focus for the Human Resources Professionals Association (HPCA). In 2011, they released their CanadaWorks 2025 report, focusing on what Canada’s job market will look like based on current economic factors. The report describes Canada’s labour market in 2025 as “discouraging,” pointing to shifts in economic sectors and the employer requirements that leave some trained workers falling behind. HPCA’s CEO, Bill Greenhalgh, has studied labour force changes in Canada for years and is unsurprised at Canada’s shifting economy. “In general, there’s certainly a shift to service, a combination of food, tourism, those sorts of things,” he says. “Natural resources is flat. Manufacturing in decline.” By contrast, Greenhalgh lists the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries as growing, especially the software industry, which has been moving into Canada and Edmonton, for the past number of years.

“IT’S LIKE HAVING ONE FOOT IN BOILING WATER AND THE OTHER IN COLD WATER AND OVERALL BEING QUITE COMFORTABLE. WHAT WE’RE SEEING IS SECTORAL CHANGES AND EMPLOYMENT REACTING TO THOSE CHANGES.” ~ BILL GREENHALGH

TOP: BILL GREENHALGH, CEO OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION (HRPA)

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THE CHANGING FACE OF ALBERTA’S ECONOMY // HUMAN RESOURCES

PART OF THE PROBLEMS FACING ALBERTA’S ECONOMY IS ITS WORKFORCE, WHICH IS NOT PROPERLY EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THE PROVINCE’S SHIFTING ECONOMICS. WORKERS COMING OUT OF SECONDARY AND POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS EMPLOYERS IN GROWING INDUSTRIES NEED.

Greenhalgh is hesitant to call what Canada has experienced in the past five years a recession, calling it instead “a period of low growth.” Ontario, for example, has experienced an uptick in the past few years just as Alberta has declined. “It’s like having one foot in boiling water and the other in cold water and overall being quite comfortable,” he says. “What we’re seeing is sectoral changes and employment reacting to those changes.” Julianna Cantwell, president of the Edmonton-based HR firm JUNA Consulting, says this hot-and-cold dynamic is true not just on a national level, but provincially as well. “The oil and gas industry and the industries dependent on [oil and gas] have been hit hard,” she says. “But other industries are actually growing.” She cites healthcare and nonprofit sectors as industries growing in Alberta, the result of grants and funding that “haven’t been cut” in the past few years.

Still, finding the right people for the right jobs proves a challenge, either because of too many applicants or not enough properly-skilled workers. “I have one colleague who posted a receptionist position and received 1,100 resumes,” Cantwell explains. “So in certain markets, we’re seeing an employer’s market…but there are still some employers who are still challenged in finding high-level, multiple skill sets positions. A person with a unique skill set and industry experience is hard to find.” Part of the problems facing Alberta’s economy is its workforce, which is not properly equipped to deal with the province’s shifting economics. Workers coming out of secondary and post-secondary institutions do not have the skills employers in growing industries need. Greenhalgh argues that, while students haven’t changed their studies or focus in the past 20 years, the expectations of employers have changed dramatically. The result is a highly educated workforce with

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

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THE CHANGING FACE OF ALBERTA’S ECONOMY // HUMAN RESOURCES

“ONE PIECE OF ADVICE I ALWAYS GIVE IS TO ‘KEEP AN OPEN MIND’. LOOK AT THE COMBINATION OF SKILLS SETS, WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT, AND WHAT YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT AND BE WILLING TO THINK LATERALLY. THINK ABOUT HOW YOUR SKILLS AND INTERESTS CAN BE APPLIED IN A NON-LINEAR WAY.” ~ JULIANNA CANTWELL

the wrong education or, as Greenhalgh puts it, “People without jobs and jobs without people.” Despite STEM being a major growing industry, Greenhalgh says that “Maybe a quarter of people coming out of colleges and universities have the STEM degrees, which is where the jobs are.” The rest are in what is generally called the soft sciences and arts, which have a less direct education-to-job correlation. The solution? Synergy and communication. “The government needs to be more forthright and proactive in forecasting the kinds of jobs that are available to encourage people to move into those fields,” Greenhalgh says. “There needs to be a much closer link between government and companies and educational institutions. Educational institutions often think, ‘We educate people and then they get trained in the workforce’. The workforce people think graduates should come out work ready. The whole area needs to dealt with in a synergistic way. That’s what other countries are doing, especially in Scandinavia, and doing to great success.” According to Greenhalgh, the trades are still an extremely good choice for many people, they just need to be willing to look to other provinces for possible work. “If you want to

ABOVE: JULIANNA CANTWELL, PRESIDENT OF JUNA CONSULTING

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


For 100 years, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald has been Edmonton’s destination of choice, and we are excited to welcome ICE District to the Downtown Edmonton Family. Enjoy all that the new district has to offer and then escape to the comfortable and familiar oasis of our hotel and all it has to offer. Just 10 minutes away from the excitement of the ICE District, we welcome you to #StayHerePlayThere while you visit our city centre.

be a plumber or get into a trade, there are plenty of apprenticeship opportunities, and they have longterm security,” he says. Additional education for workers is simply not feasible for many people, but Cantwell argues there is still plenty of opportunity in Alberta. The trick, Cantwell says, is finding a new way to think about your existing skills and experience. “One piece of advice I always give is to ‘keep an open mind’. Look at the combination of skills sets, what are you good at, and what you’re passionate about and be willing to think laterally. Think about how your skills and interests can be applied in a nonlinear way.”

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Solutions in Canada may need to be more streamlined than training its students in trades and knowledgebased skills, and Greenhalgh recommends the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics streams for people looking to the enter the workforce. As Ice District starts to redefine Edmonton’s skyline, the city, and indeed, the country, we are at an important crossroads. With different sectors growing and shrinking, the trick will be to educate a workforce that’s ready for tomorrow’s challenges. As for today, it may be time to put a more positive, lateral spin on your resume and start looking to those different sectors for new opportunities.

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

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OUR CITY’S CHAMPION // COVER

ABOVE: BOB NICHOLSON, CEO AND VICE CHAIR OF OILERS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP (OEG) PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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


OUR CITY’S CHAMPION // COVER

Champion OUR CITY’S

BOB NICHOLSON JOINS OEG TO BRING EDMONTON THE BEST IN ENTERTAINMENT AND HOCKEY EXPERIENCES

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

T

he first Oilers game in Rogers Place happened in September and the fans were delighted, but behind the media coverage, the crush of the fans eager to see Canada’s newest and biggest arena and the gently curving walls of a building that has become an instant Edmonton icon stood a man with a smile on his face. That man was Bob Nicholson. Nicholson is the CEO and vice chair of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) and to say he’s a busy man would be an understatement. Appointed by the Katz Group in 2014 to vice chair OEG, Nicholson manages the Katz Group’s many sports and entertainment assets. In April of 2015, the Katz Group appointed Nicholson as the CEO of OEG, a role whose duties include overseeing the Katz Group’s expansions, securing new sponsorships and events, and ensuring an outstanding fan experience at each event and operating Rogers Place. With Rogers Place now open and the Oilers in their latest season, all eyes are on Nicholson. How does he feel about that? “I wasn’t supposed to do this,” he says, with a twinkle in his eye. “When I retired from Hockey Canada, I was supposed to play golf and spend time with my wife Lorna. Daryl Katz, who has been a friend for many years, convinced me to be the vice chair of the OEG. Eight months into it, he started to talk to me about getting more involved, and four months after that, I was the CEO of OEG.”

The decisions to move forward as vice-chair and then CEO may have put Nicholson’s retirement plans on hold, but he’s fine with that. “When I came on as vice chair, I did not realize what the whole vision was and how much bigger the vision is going to get over the next few years. And looking to report to Daryl, who is a very successful businessman, would that be a challenge for me? It turns out that getting up and talking to Daryl motivates me every day as we discuss how we can improve the city and the brand of OEG.” It was easy for Daryl to see that Nicholson was the right man for the job. In fact, anyone that knows Nicholson knows that hockey is in his blood. “It all started at a very young age in Penticton,” Nicholson explains. “I lived by the arena and got involved with hockey when I was four or five years old, with the great support of my mom and dad.” The rest, as they say, is history. His career in hockey soon took him off the ice and into the office, where he made contributions to Canada’s favourite game that will resonate for a lifetime. “I got hired by the British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association to run their development programs in B.C.. I started a program in the Victoria NHL novice hockey league for kids 10 and under. The program focused on fun, not

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

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OUR CITY’S CHAMPION // COVER

competition. Today it’s the initiation program used in over 50 countries in the world.” As his career progressed, Nicholson found himself coaching at the junior level and wondering if he should stay on as a coach or focus on administration. “Murray Costello, president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, talked me into being the vice president of the organization!” he laughs. “My first job was to look after the formation of the first Women’s National Team. I took over the National Team Program and it wasn’t a great start. We came in at seventh place at the World Juniors in Fussen, Germany in my first year. The country was upset and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep my job! But then we won five consecutive gold medals, and that launched my career on the world stage.” As the 1990s drew to a close, the president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association was stepping down, and Nicholson could see the writing on the wall. “At first I had no desire to be their president. I made a 25-minute presentation to the Board of Hockey Canada with some suggestions on how to change the structure of hockey in Canada. Two-and-a-half hours later, they called me back into the room and agreed to the changes, and I found myself as the president of Hockey Canada! When I started, there were 20 people and a $4 million dollar budget. In 2014 when I left, there were 107 people and over a $100 million in the budget (which would include World Junior profits of $22 million).” How did he feel about leaving a very successful career at Hockey Canada and joining OEG? Nicholson loves every aspect of his latest career move. “I’m proud to be part of Daryl Katz’s global vision for OEG. I’m also proud of Hockey Canada; where it is today and where it will be in the future.” “We have an unbelievable staff and it’s growing every hour. We have people that have excellent skills and passion. It becomes a way of life for them and their families. “The most challenging part is meeting the high expectations. Everyone in this city and in Oil Country

wants the Oilers to win. There are also the expectations of the new building, and making sure we are fan friendly and have great guest experiences. There are also expectations on being able to financially turn a profit so we can continue to build the brand of OEG, not just in Edmonton, but worldwide. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world, and this is the biggest and best arena that has ever been built. The key for all of us is to develop ‘I remember’ moments for everyone that comes into Rogers Place, be it around food and beverage, guest experiences, best concerts, or best hockey games as they enter the doors. It’s about the culture we are building with the staff, the fans and all the great experiences they can have. TOP: BOB NICHOLSON ANNOUNCES THE HIRING OF PETER CHIARELLI AS PRESIDENT OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS AND GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE EDMONTON OILERS BOTTOM: BOB NICHOLSON WELCOMES SUSAN DARRINGTON AS OILERS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP’S NEW VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER OF ROGERS PLACE PHOTO SOURCE: ANDY DEVLIN, OILERS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP.

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


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MNP.ca


OUR CITY’S CHAMPION // COVER

“People think that it’s an unbelievable building, but they don’t understand all the various pieces within Rogers Place. I’ve been walking through it for days and I’m still experiencing and finding new things. For the guests to walk around and see the levels from the top concourse to the premium spaces, Sportsnet Lounge, Sky Lounge – there are so many different ways to experience Rogers Place for entertainment or for hockey.” Nicholson is happy to have his final career role in a city he loves, working with and for people he respects and overseeing the game he loves so much. “There is no question I came here because of hockey, and I really like Edmonton. I’ve been fortunate to live in a lot of great cities in this country, but the people of Edmonton like to get outside. They are very active. They have a love for the Oilers. You can feel the Oilers’ presence in all walks of life in Edmonton and in Oil Country. This city is ready to explode as the Oilers’ hockey team gets better in the future.”

Nicholson is proud of the culture that surrounds OEG, the Oilers and Rogers Place. “Working in OEG is a different way of life. You don’t come to work at eight and leave at four. You are going to work long hours day after day, but hopefully, when you get out of bed in the morning you are excited to go to work. It shouldn’t feel like work. It’s something you want to achieve and get done in a day. If it becomes work, it’s not the place for you.” Over the course of his long and successful career, Nicholson discovered ways to stay grounded and balanced. “Surround yourself with the best people and let people lead in their areas of strength. Give those people the credit for leading. Teamwork is so rewarding. When you see other teammates succeed, the best thing is to sit back, smile, watch it happen and support other teammates as they achieve their goals. “Try to balance your life. That is something that is very important and you should keep that in front of you all the ABOVE: BOB NICHOLSON, CEO AND VICE CHAIR OF OILERS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP (OEG) PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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OUR CITY’S CHAMPION // COVER

BOB NICHOLSON WAS INDUCTED INTO THE B.C. HOCKEY HALL OF FAME IN 2004 AND AWARDED THE ORDER OF HOCKEY IN CANADA IN 2016 FOR HIS MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GAME OF HOCKEY IN CANADA.

• He played minor hockey and Junior A hockey in Penticton, helping the Penticton Broncos win the BCJHL and B.C.-AB championships (was second in the league in scoring with 120 points). • He played NCAA hockey at Providence College in Rhode Island. • He was technical director with the British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association from 1979 to 1989. • He served as the senior vice president of the Canadian Hockey Association from 1992 to 1998, overseeing all National Teams, International and National Championships, marketing and Development Programs. • He served as the president and CEO of Hockey Canada from 1988 to 2014, where he oversaw all operations for competitions Canada participated in internationally, including the IIHF World Hockey Championships and Olympic Winter Games, and has overseen Canada winning 72 medals in international competition since 1990, 44 of which were gold, including seven Olympic gold medals. • He joined the Katz Group as vice Chairman of OEG in 2014. • He was appointed CEO of OEG in 2016. • He also serves as an Alternate Governor for the Edmonton Oilers on the NHL Board of Governors. • He was elected vice president of the International Ice Hockey Federation in 2012 with the portfolio of overseeing World Championship and Development Programs. He was just re-elected again as vice president for the term of 2016-2020 with the portfolio of Player Safety.

time. When you get engulfed in your work, you leave behind your family. Make sure you include them and enjoy special experiences with them.

“I’m very proud of, and happy to be on the board of, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. They have reached out in so many different areas of the community and made such a difference for families in the city and in northern Alberta. We will continue to do that with more focus on hockey and the Downtown Community Arena to make sure underserved kids can play the game. The Foundation will also be seeking to get our players and their spouses more involved in the charities that matter to them, outside of hockey.” Nicholson knows that time away from the office is important too. “I love playing golf! I wish I had more time for that! I also love bike riding and spending time with my family.” As fans and guests of Rogers Place cheer from the stands and snap photos of the impressive new building, Nicholson has a unique view of how far he, OEG, and the stunning arena have come. Few have had such ringside, or should we say, rinkside, seats to the things he’s seen in Canadian hockey so far. “Personally, I’ve had lots of mentors that have helped me build my vision and more importantly, my values. My long-time friend, Kevin Lowe – working with him has been special. Two other people that also stand out are (former president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and later, Hockey Canada) Murray Costello, and hockey legend Bill Hay, who really helped me build values on how I deal with issues, staff and family.” Nicholson looks forward to continuing to put Edmonton on the world’s stage, thanks to the tireless efforts of himself, his team, OEG and the Katz Group, and Edmonton is fortunate to have such a legend in its corner. No matter what happens with our “City of Champions” signage, OEG and Katz Group make one thing clear: on or off the ice, the rinks, the playfields and the sporting courts, it’s the people like Nicholson that truly make Edmonton the City of Champions. Whether it’s in the form of medals or experiences, Nicholson and OEG will continue to bring home the gold while creating a legacy that hockey fans around the world will enjoy for decades to come.

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

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GATEWAY CASINOS & ENTERTAINMENT

Opens Doors at the New, Spectacular Grand Villa Edmonton in ICE District

CASINO GAMING FLOOR AND BACCHUS BAR

G

rand Villa Casino Edmonton is a world-class gaming and entertainment destination in the heart of downtown Edmonton. Easily accessible from the MacEwan LRT station, Grand Villa will deliver entertainment redefined to the millions of visitors to Edmonton’s ICE District. The facility offers more unique dining and entertainment experiences than any other venue in the city. Featuring 60,000 square feet of dynamic gaming and entertainment space with 600 of the best and newest slot machines; a full complement of table games, including luxurious private & semi-private VIP gaming salons; and exciting contests and promotions throughout the property. “Whether it’s celebrating an Oilers win, enjoying a night of entertainment and gambling with friends or partaking in the unparalleled wine and culinary

ATLAS STEAK + FISH MAIN DINING ROOM

experience at Atlas – we believe that Grand Villa will be the perfect complement to all of the other amazing amenities ICE District will offer.” - Tony Santo, CEO, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment.


EXECUTIVE CHEF SHELLEY ROBINSON

GRAND Sep tem b er 7 to Novem b er 20

Given the major focus on elevating the customer experience through dining and entertainment, Gateway and Grand Villa Edmonton is excited to debut acclaimed Executive Chef Shelley Robinson who will lead the award winning culinary and entertainment team. Chef Robinson will oversee the casinos’ many restaurants and dining options. A co-author of four cookbooks, Robinson won the Food Network’s Chopped Canada and was a competitor on the Food Network’s Season Four Top Chef Canada. The property features an array of dining and culinary options to suit any taste including their signature restaurants – Match Eatery & Public House and Atlas Steak + Fish. MATCH Eatery & Public House is a casual and inviting pub with clean classic food options with a modern twist and also features a semi-private Living Room; Atlas Steak + Fish brings a modern twist on iconic steakhouses + classic seafood restaurants to Edmonton along with private dining, an interactive kitchen and product offerings that center around well-tailored culture, progressive, classic and contemporary menus. For those quick bites on the run or before and after the big games or concert, Grand Villa Edmonton offers 4 quick-serve outlets: Vera’s Burger Shack, Pinkberry, Sbarros Pizzeria, and Starbucks.

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SHARING YOUR VISION. BUILDING SUCCESS.

Image: Jeff Nash, Oilers Entertainment Group.

Rogers Place, Edmonton Alberta Image: Jeff Nash, Oilers Entertainment Group.

PCL Construction congratulates the City of Edmonton and the Oilers Entertainment Group on the successful opening of Rogers Place. It was an honor to have been part of bringing this amazing vision to life. PCL takes pride in working with our clients to understand their goals, overcome any challenges, and earn their trust in delivering state-of-the-art facilities.

Watch us build at PCL.com


PUT THE SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION PLANNING // SUCCESSION PLANNING

Success Success

PUT THE

IN SUCCESSION PLANNING BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

S

o you’ve built a successful business. Congratulations! That takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, money, late hours and a good chunk of your heart and soul. Now that things have been running along for a few years, you can sit back and relax, right? Not quite yet. The final, and too often procrastinated, step of company ownership is succession planning – and if you haven’t made a plan yet, it’s time to get started.

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

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PUT THE SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION PLANNING // SUCCESSION PLANNING

“FAILURE TO PLAN LEADS TO ‘REACTING’ WHEN A CRISIS IN OWNERSHIP OR LEADERSHIP OCCURS, WHETHER AS A RESULT OF ILLNESS, MARITAL BREAKDOWN OR SHAREHOLDER DISPUTE.” ~ WENDI P. CROWE

“Every business will benefit from planning for the transition of leadership, ownership and management roles, whether those roles are currently filled by family members, unrelated business partners, or a group of senior management,” says Wendi P. Crowe, partner and national private client services group lead at Miller Thomson LLP. “Failure to plan leads to ‘reacting’ when a crisis in ownership or leadership occurs, whether as a result of illness, marital breakdown or shareholder dispute. This almost always leads to a less than optimal choice of successors: the inability to prepare the successor(s) properly; lack of preparation of the business for a transition, leading to loss of goodwill, loss of key employees, etc., paying more professional fees to complete the transition in a rush, realizing less than fair market value for the owner’s interest, and paying more tax than necessary.” Crowe continues, “Planning can take 1-5 years depending on many factors. The plan needs to be reviewed and updated every 6-12 months, or more often if a change in circumstances occurs which affects the plan or the underlying assumptions. “It always takes longer than you think. Start early before you really want to retire or slow down. You will need a team of advisors with different expertise, such as an accountant, lawyer, banker and insurance specialist.” “The right plan can take many forms and involve many different elements, including a well-drafted shareholder (buy-sell) agreement; choosing, training and evaluating

successors; tax planning, including creditor-protection, purification and estate freeze strategies; and proper estate planning for the owners and successors.” For corporate entities, buy-sell agreements are a popular and highly effective choice. Angie D. Gurney, CFP, LSM Insurance advises, “On death, or if a shareholder or partner is not returning, ask yourself: • What will the bank do to our credit and how will it affect the business? • Can the surviving shareholder/partner now run the entire business while buying out the widow/widower and/or family of the deceased partner? • Where will the money come from to buy back the shares/ interests? The capital to buy the shares is the primary concern in a buy-sell agreement. Gurney encourages owners to look at potential sources of cash and liquid assets, and to ask yourself the following questions: • Savings – have I saved enough? Does it make sense to have a fund sitting there just to pay out a deceased shareholder/ partner? • Sell an asset – what about the tax and recapture of depreciation consequences. Do I sell a good asset or a bad one? If I could sell a bad one, why haven’t I sold it ABOVE: WENDI P. CROWE, PARTNER & NATIONAL PRIVATE CLIENT SERVICES GROUP LEAD, MILLER THOMSON LLP PHOTO SOURCE: MILLER THOMSON LLP

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


Want to Sell Your Business? Then Read This.

W already? Do I need the asset for the success of the business? Why would I sell a great investment that is a long term hold? • Borrow – who will give a loan to a company that just lost its key shareholder? What interest rate would I have to pay? • Life insurance – with a buy-sell agreement funded life insurance, money arrives at the right time for pennies on the dollar. She explains why life insurance makes the most financial sense for buy-sell agreements. “What if the government had a program that would let you set aside a million dollars in an account where you would only have to pay 3-5 per cent interest per year, and the day a partner dies, most of that million is paid tax free into your corporate account for you to buy back their shares/pay off a loan/ hire someone else/expand the business/keep the business afloat – and you never had to pay it back? The government doesn’t have a program like that, but I do. It’s called life insurance. It is a valuable tool that should be part of every buy/sell agreement, no matter what size of company.” Gurney urges companies of all sizes to consider the devastating implications of failing to plan for succession. For example, if the company reverts to the estate of the deceased, you could find yourself working with the partner’s spouse or children, and those family members may not be capable of, or even knowledgeable about, the business.

ABOVE: ANGIE D. GURNEY, CFP, LSM INSURANCE PHOTO SOURCE: LSM INSURANCE

e are often asked by business owners how they should prepare for the sale of their company. This is a loaded question and although each business and industry is different, there are some common principles and pointers that if followed, will help a business owner sell quickly, confidentially, and for the highest price. These pointers include: Buyer’s expectations. Whether you try to sell your own business or are represented by a business broker, buyers expect the disclosure of relevant and useful information. How and when you disclose the information to them is very critical. Where you start determines where you end up. A chain reaction occurs once you begin the process of selling your business. It is difficult to stop the transaction once it’s in motion. You can be swept along to your detriment in the wrong direction if you’re not fully prepared. It’s a balancing act. You want to sell, but it takes time to prepare and handle the selling process, and you have a business to manage and a life to live while everything else is going on. Unless you’re an expert at selling businesses and have the massive amount of time it takes to prepare your business for sale, hire a qualified business broker to handle some of the tasks. VR Business Brokers will show you how to be efficient in the tasks you want to handle. When is the best time to sell your business? Why risk money, and the sweat and tears you’ve invested in your business? When it’s time to cash out, you must know how to get out— quickly—without leaving money on the table. It takes preparation and timing. VR Business Brokers will show you how to do both, so you get the best deal. Why are you selling? If you give the wrong answer, you may not sell your business. If you give the right answer in the wrong way, it may take a long time for you to sell and you will not get the highest price. Appearance is everything! How a buyer perceives your business is more important than what you think about your business. There is a “best” buyer. Your business will sell faster and on better terms if you communicate with buyers who do not pose a competitive threat. Look for buyers who are actively searching for a business like yours, and find out early in your communication whether the buyer has the financial and managerial capabilities to buy your business—right now. At VR Business Brokers we will show you how to excite buyers about your business (without identifying it too soon) and how to screen buyers before you reveal trade secrets. You’ve worked too hard and too long to risk everything. There is a process to sell your business. Learn it and use it if you choose to sell on your own, or list your business for sale with the right certified business broker for your type and size of business.

Jey Arul is the President of VR Business Brokers in Edmonton. VR in Edmonton has sold over 100 small and medium sized businesses in Alberta since 2008. For more information visit: www.vralta.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // NOVEMBER 2016

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PUT THE SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION PLANNING // SUCCESSION PLANNING

“IF ONE OR MORE OF THE CHILDREN ARE ACTIVE IN THE BUSINESS AND DOING A GOOD JOB, NO PROBLEM. [IF THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED OR NOT SUITED TO RUN THE FAMILY BUSINESS.] THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A BUYER, BUT THE PROCESS WILL TAKE MANY MORE YEARS TO COMPLETE.” ~ LEONARD TRAUB

But there is another aspect to consider and to plan for. The partner may not retire or die, but become disabled. “On disability or critical illness, a shareholder or partner may or may not return, or may only partially return,” Gurney points out. Ask yourself: • Will the disabled shareholder still be able to contribute to the business? If so, when? How? • Will the disabled shareholder have the same goals, be as driven, be as valuable to the business, be able to make sound decisions, be more risk averse, be a help or a hindrance? • Will the disabled shareholder want to be bought out? Will I want to buy them out? • Will the disabled shareholder be a drain on cash flow? • Will the disabled shareholder need income or capital for rehab, medication, convalescence, surgery, equipment, or experimental medical care? • What if the disabled shareholder was out of commission for a year and then died? How would that affect the business? How might the bank react? Gurney points out that life insurance can come to the rescue in this situation as well. “As we have seen with savings, selling assets and borrowing, these strategies may be too expensive or not make sense. Purchasing disability insurance that covers income protection, business overhead coverage and/ or business buy out on disability can be a valuable tool to help position and fund your buy/sell agreement.” While it can seem daunting to have a long and in-depth discussion with your partners and shareholders about death

and disability, succession planning is a very necessary and financially responsible step for companies of all sizes, and this is something Leonard Traub knows very well. Traub launched Alberta Wilbert Sales nearly 50 years ago and took the business from a struggling franchise that lost over $7,000 in its first year to holding the largest Canadian territory in the Wilbert franchise today. He’s worked in almost every position in the company, from the ground up. Now, with retirement on the horizon, he’s been actively planning the next steps, and he admits it’s not always easy. “I have learned a lot, and found that it is easier to get into business, than it is to get out. I am not impressed with the tactics of so-called buyers, and I worry about the future of our employees,” says Traub, who counsels that owners should start planning for succession when he or she finds their interest straying from the day-to-day operations. Traub has a family business and notes that the second generation isn’t always the solution to succession. “If one or more of the children are active in the business and doing a good job, no problem. [If they are not interested or not suited to run the family business,] there will always be a buyer, but the process will take many more years to complete.” He concludes with his natural good humour: “This has been very rewarding, and I feel I may skip the second generation and wait a few years to have the third generation carry on. The only thing that might change my mind is if someone writes the check. My price of course!” Planning now is required for a successful succession in the future, and when it comes to your life’s work and legacy, there’s no time like the present to get started.

ABOVE: LEONARD TRAUB, ALBERTA WILBERT SALES PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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Building the Infrastructure we Need for a Sunny Future

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.

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

W

hen the federal Liberals were elected last October, they promised to bring “sunny ways” to government. After a year in office, the question for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is “has the federal government made progress on the issues and priorities fundamental and critical to the improvement of Alberta’s economy?” After all, “sunny ways” doesn’t simply mean being positive. The phrase, coined by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, refers to appealing to the hearts and souls of the electorate in order to convince them of policy positions. When it comes to one key priority for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Alberta business community – trade-enabling infrastructure – the results are promising, but mixed.

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce has been encouraging all levels of government to focus infrastructure spending on projects that will contribute directly to expanding trade and market opportunities.

Chamber Executive

The federal announcement of a national price on carbon in October was not received well by some provinces. In Alberta, which already has its own carbon price taking effect in 2017, the national approach to carbon pricing makes more sense.

Max Frank Vice President, Membership & Operations Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

The Edmonton Chamber is not necessarily against a national carbon price as it levels the playing field and means there won’t be a patchwork of policies that pits provinces against one another.

Janet Riopel President & CEO Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Ian Morris Vice President, Finance Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Danuta Woronowicz Vice President, Policy & Outreach Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Contact

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

What Alberta really needs from the federal government is the approval of energy infrastructure, specifically pipelines. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce has been encouraging all levels of government to focus infrastructure spending on projects that will contribute directly to expanding trade and market opportunities. Our businesses need links to new markets by land, sea and air. A national price on carbon and taking steps to reduce Canada’s overall greenhouse gas emissions does not eliminate the need to get our resources to market. Continued on the next page...

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The federal approval of the Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in late September was a positive sign. The $11.4-billion project will see a terminal built for the export of LNG from northern B.C. to Asia. However, there is still significant opposition to the project from many environmental groups and First Nations, so it is evident that a lot of work remains to be done to win over hearts and minds to the benefits of the project. The business community of the Edmonton region impatiently awaits a decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Of all the proposed pipeline projects in Canada, approving this project should be a slam dunk due to it twinning along the route of an existing pipeline. Kinder Morgan is confident they can meet all the conditions the National Energy Board has placed on the project. A decision by the federal government is expected by mid-December. Approval of the project would make for a nice, sunny Christmas present. It’s of paramount importance that projects like this are approved. They will lead to the economic diversification Canada needs to maintain its standard of living. We will increasingly be reliant on exporting value-added goods and services, and we need the infrastructure to deliver outside of traditional, local markets. If we can’t physically get our goods to new markets, there will be no economic diversification. If we don’t get the infrastructure we need, Canada risks losing out to our competitors. In his fall address to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, RBC President & CEO Dave McKay launched a new energy conversation for Canada. He called on Canada to step up as a leader and an innovator in developing new energy technology, and he pointed out that Alberta is the only major oil producer in the world with a meaningful carbon price and cap on emissions.

If we can’t physically get our goods to new markets, there will be no economic diversification. If we don’t get the infrastructure we need, Canada risks losing out to our competitors. Alberta and Canada can lead the world in the energy transition, McKay said, but we are falling behind because of a failure to invest in the necessary infrastructure. As he put it, “We can’t move to a cleaner carbon economy if we’re not in the game.” Let’s hope the federal government will use their sunny ways to successfully communicate how putting a price on carbon and approving trade-enabling infrastructure today, will lead to the energy transition the Canadian economy needs for the future. The Edmonton Chamber would like to know what infrastructure your business needs in order to succeed in the global economy. You can contact us by email: policy@edmontonchamber.com.

Members in this Issue Miller Thomson and Alberta Wilbert Sales in Put the Success in Succession Planning on page 31 MNP in Desperate Times, Desperate Measures: Employee Fraud in Alberta’s New Economy on page 31

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

AMVIC Licensed

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River Valley Adventure Co. Member profile

General Manager: Chris Szydlowski rivervalleyadventure.com Edmonton Chamber Member River Valley Adventure Co has been showcasing our beautiful River Valley to locals and tourists alike for the past four years. With one of the coolest ways to capture the beauty of the River Valley in all seasons, we took a glide with General Manager Chris Szydlowski to find out more about this unique experience. Q. What’s your story? A. The River Valley Adventure Co. provides products and services to enhance people’s experience in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley. Our award-winning Segway tours are our most popular attraction, however we also offer bike rentals, bike tours, walking tours, and a riverfront cafe/patio. We operate our business year round and offer winter SEGWAY trekking tours and snowshoe rentals and tours. We started in 2008, operating the popular SEGWAY track and tour at West Edmonton mall, and in 2011 moved out of the mall and into the River valley, where we diversified our product offering. Our goal is to continue to provide excellent products and services for people to enjoy our city and our beautiful city’s river valley. Q. What are three things people are surprised to learn about your business? Most people are surprised to learn about our location, being on the edge of downtown and in the heart of the river valley along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Most people have never ridden a Segway before so it is always fun to watch people’s surprise at how easy it is to learn and operate a Segway. Another thing people find very surprising is that we offer SEGWAY tours in the winter. We put winter tires on our Segway’s and travel along City cleared trails – making sure all our guests dress for the weather! The river valley is amazing in all four seasons.

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Chris is passionate about sharing the beauty and cultural significance of the River Valley with locals and visitors to our City.

Q. What has surprised you in the last 12 months? A. With the economic downturn, the most surprising thing has been the increase in tourists visiting our City. Thanks to the hard work of Edmonton Tourism and Travel Alberta, we have actually seen an increase in the amount of international and national guests visiting our City. In addition, we are seeing more locals who are looking for cool things to do in the City. Q. What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? A. As the city is growing we have had a number of new infrastructure construction projects happening in our park, which has had an affect on our business and routes that we travel. Thanks to the cooperation and support of the City of Edmonton, we have been able to develop new routes and have even opened up a downtown City Segway Tour.


Q. What do you think is the biggest issue impacting Edmonton’s small businesses at this time? A. The new minimum wage hike to $15 an hour by 2018 I think is the biggest challenge that a small business is facing in Edmonton. Q. What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? A. We treat our employees with the upmost respect by seeking their input on major operational processes and new product development. Making them part of the decision-making process makes them accountable and gets them to think in terms of ‘what’s in the best interest’ of the company. We are also very accommodating to the needs of our staff in regards to their personal life and time off that may be required. Q. Do you have a personal mantra? A. I am a major believer in the law of attraction. If you think in negative terms, you’ll get negative results. If you think in positive terms, you will achieve positive results. Q. What do you enjoy most about being a chamber member? A. I think one of most important benefits as a chamber member is the ability to connect with other business owners and share thoughts and ideas.

Q. Our Chamber mandate is to create the best environment for business in Edmonton. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? A. I think communication amongst Edmonton businesses could be improved. There are some amazing businesses in Edmonton, and I think it’s important to support each other in promotion. I think Edmonton businesses promoting other Edmonton businesses is the key to success in our City. Q. What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? A. My favorite thing to do in the City is to watch Oiler playoff hockey - which we have not had in sometime… Hopefully this is our year. Q. Apple or android? A. Apple. Q. Your most favorite place in the world? A. That’s easy, Hawaii all the way. Q. Coffee or tea? A. I’m a tea drinker.

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WHAT LEADING COMPANIES DO TO ENSURE LASTING VALUE BY LISA PIERSON

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

In today’s more volatile business climate, companies are engaging in strategic risk mitigation in many dimensions of their business. But are they being strategic against risk with their executives? Streamlined leadership teams realize they are more vulnerable than ever to the increased possibility that they or one of their colleagues may be sidelined with a health issue. This would cause an immediate and dramatic shift of additional responsibilities to already overstressed colleagues. So businesses are recognizing they need to apply risk mitigation strategies to the health of their leadership teams. Strategic and tactical leaders see the implementation of health and wellness programs as an investment rather than a financial burden. A comprehensive program helps companies avoid talent risk and place investments where they can drive maximum returns. A Canadian study recently showed that employee wellness programs decreased disability costs by 36% and drug benefit costs by 27%. And with fewer Workers’ Compensation Board claims, there is a decrease in insurance premiums. Companies also experience enhanced company culture, increased retention, lower staff turnover, fewer sick days and increased productivity. Healthy people are happy people. They are productive and loyal. And today, 61% of 30-year-old Canadians believe their employer has an obligation to assist them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Companies wanting to guide their business to success and profit need to invest in the health and wellness of their people. It shows a clear understanding of their priorities: a desire to attract and retain top talent. TO LEARN MORE about Corporate Health Programs, call 587-400-3889 or visit www.copemanhealthcare.com


Connecting Business Chamber Centennial Scholarship Award Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Janet Riopel proudly presents this years Chamber Centennial Scholarship winner, Riyaben Patel from Centre High, with a cheque for $1000.

Connecting Business Managing Staff Solutions During Difficult Economic Times Workshop

Hana El Sherbini from the Alberta Government taking attendees through a range of ways to save money and strengthen their workforce during an economic downturn.

Guests learning about some innovative ways to do more with less, by taking a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;leanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach to their business operations.

Connecting Business Opportunities North Conference 2016

Len Rhodes, President of the Edmonton Eskimos and Treasurer of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Grey Cup, Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck, and Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis.

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis, Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Janet Riopel and NWT Chamber of Commerce Chair Richard Morland.

Wally Schumann, NWT Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment and Minister of Transportation, and Janet Riopel, President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

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Guests enjoying the opening reception of Opportunities North 2016.

Connecting Business Innovation in Alberta and Canada’s Energy Future

Dave McKay, President & Chief Executive Officer, RBC discusses the role that innovation plays in strengthening Alberta’s broader economy to an engaged audience of Chamber members and Edmonton business leaders.

Chamber members and guests taking the opportunity to connect and share ideas after Dave McKay discusses the need for investment in energy infrastructure.

The event drew a large crowd of Chamber members and people from across various business sectors interested in learning about RBC’s views on opportunities for the Edmonton business community.

Connecting Business Brand Making & Beer Tasting: The Sleeman Breweries Story Some of the delicious brew on offer!

A great story teller, John took the time to answer questions prior to inviting guests to enjoy more Sleeman’s brew! LTR: John Sleeman - Sleeman Breweries, Janet Riopel - Edmonton Chamber President & CEO, Mark Dorado - District Sales Manager - Northern Alberta - Sleeman Breweries, Arthur Ruston - Key Account Manager - Sleeman Breweries, Nick Porcellato - Head of Industry & Government Affairs - Sleeman Breweries.

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With the beer on ice, Chamber members & guests took the opportunity to enjoy a delicious sample and network prior to meeting John Sleeman & learning about the Sleeman Breweries story.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2017 Doors: 5:30 p.m. • Program & Cocktails: 6:00 p.m. Dress: Black Tie or Business Formal Tickets: $260+GST Members • $340+GST Non-Members Tables of 10 available Celebrating Northern Lights Award Recipient

OILERS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

Platinum-Selling Musical Guest

JOHNNY REID

BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY at EdmontonChamber.com/ChamberBall


WHY EDMONTON NEEDS TO HOLD ONTO ITS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY // MANUFACTURING

WHY EDMONTON NEEDS TO HOLD ONTO ITS

Manufacturing Industry BY LAURA BOHNERT

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he manufacturing industry plays a critical role in not only Edmonton’s economy, but also in the economies of Alberta and Canada as a whole. Metal manufacturing and fabrication, along with industrial manufacturing and equipment manufacturing in Alberta produce close to $14.5 billion per year in activity, but the manufacturing industry is also important for another reason: it is a foundational industry that enables other industries, including agricultural, construction and infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, and even automotive, to develop within the Canadian economy. In addition to providing the foundation for other industries, the manufacturing industry also hires a unique labour force that introduces individuals of a specialized skill set into Edmonton’s labour force, and that skill set is crucial to sustaining economic stability for the long term. However, as important as the manufacturing industry is to Edmonton’s economy, both now and in the long term, it

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is taking a big hit as a result of the crash in the oil and gas market. As Paul Chissell, president of Wynn Machine and Manufacturing Ltd. explains, “Edmonton’s manufacturing industry is really taking a hit as a result of the current economy. A lot of manufacturing industries are either going under or are just closing their doors. “It’s too bad. There is a lot of skill and a lot of machinery in Edmonton that no one else has,” Chissell stresses, emphasizing the importance of a skilled workforce and a specialized industry that has set Edmonton’s manufacturing industry apart for years. “Now we are starting to lose it—both the skilled labourers and the specialized machinery. I’ve seen a lot of machinery going to the States lately because of the dollar exchange. “We’ve gone through many ups and downs in the past, but this one seems to be lingering on a long time. Usually recessions last between 12 and 18 months, but this one


WHY EDMONTON NEEDS TO HOLD ONTO ITS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY // MANUFACTURING

is going on three years now, and manufacturing is definitely taking a hit as a result. “Manufacturing as a whole is most influenced by the oil and gas industry. Some manufacturing companies are involved in other industries, like in the medical field, for instance, but for most part, the whole line of manufacturing relies on all aspects of oil and gas.” Wynn Machine and Manufacturing specializes in custom machining and manufacturing, making products for other people, but almost all of their clientele have been connected to the oil and gas industry.

· Automate the dispensing of safety and industrial supplies · Track who gets which items · Track which jobs they are used on

Use the power of technology to reduce supplies inventory management costs.

You might make your accountant smile.

Wynn Machine and Manufacturing is in its 40th year in Edmonton. “It is a family-owned business that was started by my father in 1976,” 4320 - 97 Street NW, Edmonton AB T6E 5R9 • Tel: 780-433-4477 • Fax: 780-433-4488 info@canwestvending.com • www.canwestvending.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // NOVEMBER 2016

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WHY EDMONTON NEEDS TO HOLD ONTO ITS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY // MANUFACTURING

states Chissell, and that longevity is part of what is helping the company to stay afloat now amidst an economy that is quickly forcing a lot of businesses under. “We are established. I think that helps. We have a solid foundation because we have been around so long, and that adds to our reliability. Some businesses aren’t answering the phone, or have had to turn some customers away because their credit isn’t good enough to buy steel and materials. We’re still a reliable source, and that is helping us to keep going.” Of course, Wynn Machine and Manufacturing’s reliability isn’t the only thing that is keeping it going. The company is also focusing on diversification and innovation, two aspects that hold a lot of potential for the company, both now and in the future. “A few years ago, we developed a robotic cell that increases capacity,” Chissell explains. “We finished it just when things went south with the economy, so this unique robotic cell has

ABOVE: PRODUCTS AT WYNN MACHINE AND MANUFACTURING PHOTO SOURCE: WYNN MACHINE AND MANUFACTURING

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WHY EDMONTON NEEDS TO HOLD ONTO ITS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY // MANUFACTURING

THERE ARE A LOT OF FACTORS IN THE WORKS THAT WILL DICTATE THE WAY THE ECONOMY IS GOING TO GO, PARTICULARLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY.

been built and holds a lot of potential, but still has yet to be used to its full capacity. “We’re also doing research on non-oil field customers. For instance, we just completed a project in the agricultural industry for a seed cleaning plant in Saskatchewan, and we are doing a lot of custom machining for the automotive and ATV industry to try to keep the guys busy. Focusing on innovation and diversification strategies that will prevent us from being limited to oil and gas is an important step.” However, the recovery of the manufacturing industry depends as much on people’s actions now as it does on a future shift in the economy. “Manufacturing creates a lot of skilled labour and specialized equipment, and to lose it would be a big blow to Edmonton, to Alberta, and to Canada as a whole,” emphasizes Chissell. “It’s really important that we don’t lose that skilled labour force. With the economy as it is, a lot of people are outsourcing overseas, but if we keep losing projects, we are going to keep losing our skilled labour force, our expertise, and our equipment, and when things do turn around, there will be nothing left to satisfy need. It will stall our economy. We went through this before with a lack of skilled labour. Now we have skilled labour leaving again, and the cycle will repeat if we don’t find a way to keep people here.” “International competition is way overboard,” agrees Mark Wawrinchuk, project management/ estimating at Precision Steel & Manufacturing Ltd. “We just did two jobs where someone in China was offering half of our price. We can’t compete with that. People are showing no mercy; some are going to China, to India, and even to England to save a dollar. Overseas industries are beating our steel bids, and it’s been going on for two years since the oil prices dived.” Precision Steel & Manufacturing will celebrate its 20th year in Edmonton on January 1. The company specializes in modularization and materials handling conveyors for mining, particularly specializing in plate work, largely for the oil sands, but also for pot ash, diamond mining, etc.

“I started in 1980, so this is just another cycle to me,” Wawrinchuk says of the economic decline. “The current recession can definitely be equated to that of 82/83— actually, at this point it’s hard to say which one is worse. But right now we have low interest rates, and that is just barely keeping everything alive. If those go up, it’s over.” However, there are a lot of factors in the works that will dictate the way the economy is going to go, particularly when it comes to the manufacturing industry. Wawrinchuk explains, “Things are bleak for the short term, but in the long term there is a new budget coming out, the president elect, the Keystone pipeline—there are so many factors that will dictate where this will end.” Like Wynn Machine and Manufacturing, Precision has its longevity, and the buildup of experience that come along with it, helping to keep things moving forward. “We can reach out a little further because we’ve been around longer,” says Wawrinchuk. “Our 20 years in business helps—it all adds up. I also have 36 years of experience, and that helps, too—people actually call me up now for information. “We’ve also focussed on diversity, “not necessarily with our clientele, but with different areas of industry, from wood to mining, you name it. We didn’t just stick to commercial building; we spread out, and that has helped us for sure.” Wawrinchuk concludes, “Speaking for Edmonton specifically, the manufacturing industry is very important. “Edmonton is blue collar. Manufacturing drives the economy. There are a lot of infrastructure projects finishing up—Ice District isn’t going to sustain the economy forever—and a lot of people are going to be leaving if manufacturing were to go by the wayside, specializes and skilled labourers in particular. Then, when things do pick up, we’ll be in the same problem because there won’t be enough skilled labourers to do the work.” Edmonton needs to take steps to sustain its manufacturing industry now in order to ensure it has a specialized industry and a skilled labour force that can carry its economy forward in the future.

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DESPERATE TIMES, DESPERATE MEASURES // SECURITY

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DESPERATE TIMES, DESPERATE MEASURES // SECURITY

Desperate TIMES,

Desperate

MEASURES:

EMPLOYEE FRAUD IN ALBERTA’S NEW ECONOMY BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

ALBERTA’S ECONOMY HAS CURIOUSLY MADE FRAUD EASIER TO SPOT, BUT BUSINESSES ARE STILL LOSING MILLIONS. TWO LOCAL FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS EXPLAIN WHY FRAUD HAPPENS AND HOW COMPANIES CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES.

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DESPERATE TIMES, DESPERATE MEASURES // SECURITY

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n 2002, a local Bank of Montreal branch made national headlines when its manager, Nicholas Lysyk, stole nearly $16 million in phantom loans. The loans, which were made out to people who didn’t exist and deposited in bank accounts set up by Lysyk, went undetected for six years. Lysyk’s case is unusual, both in the amount of money and time the fraud went undiscovered, but instances of employee fraud are actually on the rise in Alberta’s professional environment. As opposed to identity fraud or Ponzi schemes, employee fraud always involves two things: willful deceit by a person in a position of trust, and theft of something of value. Examples can include anything from falsifying mileage reports to Lysyk’s strategy of approving loans for nonexistent people. Whatever the method, it’s a widespread problem in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, nearly “half of retail and insurance business establishments experienced some type of fraud” in 2008, and a third of Canadian businesses were victims of economic crimes in 2013, with median losses from fraud costing $100,000. Most frauds are a crime of opportunity, in which an employee discovers a loophole or problem in their employer’s system that lets them take money. According to Justin Thoman, CA and founder of Thoman Forensic Accounting, things often get out of hand after that first instance. “[Employee fraud] often starts when [an employee] sees a chance to make a little extra for themselves. Once they discover that one way works, they’ll keep heading back to that same well.” Recently in Alberta, the instances of fraud have gone up and, in some cases, the targets have changed. According to Lisa Majeau-Gordon, partner and leader in forensics at Edmonton’s MNP firm, people aren’t simply taking cash. She explains that “customer lists and patented technology” are common targets as well, however, no matter what’s being stolen, the base motivations remain the same: need and greed, and in Alberta, there seems to be ample room for both. Need as a motivating factor is perhaps the easiest to understand since the usual situation is fairly obvious: faced with decreased hours, pay cuts and layoffs, people will find the money they need to stay afloat through lessthan-legal means. “Let’s say you have an employee who’s

“[EMPLOYEE FRAUD] OFTEN STARTS WHEN [AN EMPLOYEE] SEES A CHANCE TO MAKE A LITTLE EXTRA FOR THEMSELVES. ONCE THEY DISCOVER THAT ONE WAY WORKS, THEY’LL KEEP HEADING BACK TO THAT SAME WELL.” ~ JUSTIN THOMAN

hours have been cut back, or their spouse’s hours have been cut back,” Thoman explains. “Suddenly the motivation to extract extra dollars from their employer is a lot higher.”

ABOVE: JUSTIN THOMAN, FOUNDER OF THOMAN FORENSIC ACCOUNTING PHOTO SOURCE: LAUGHING DOG PHOTOGRAPHY

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DESPERATE TIMES, DESPERATE MEASURES // SECURITY

Majeau-Gordon says economic hardships are also closely linked to another issue: addiction. “We are definitely seeing an upswing in fraud because of the economy. I think what’s happening is people are turning to desperate measures if they are finding themselves in really tight circumstances,” she says. “We are also seeing upswings in addiction and gambling being the causation for [fraud].” In Lysyk’s case, some of the money ended up at massage parlours, but many Albertans are taking their money to the casino and race track. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission took in $12.5 million more than expected in the first six months of the 2015/2016 fiscal year, while during the same time period, many Albertans were facing layoffs and flat or lowered incomes. Curiously enough, fraud in the past few years has also been discovered faster. The economic downturn is partially responsible. “A typical fraud will go on for 18-24 months before detection, but company owners are identifying fraud sooner because of the economy,” Majeau-Gordon says, “Organizations and companies are really watching their expenses.”

“WE ARE DEFINITELY SEEING AN UPSWING IN FRAUD BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY. I THINK WHAT’S HAPPENING IS PEOPLE ARE TURNING TO DESPERATE MEASURES IF THEY ARE FINDING THEMSELVES IN REALLY TIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES.” ~ LISA MAJEAU-GORDON

Thoman concurs, arguing many fraud cases are being discovered now precisely because companies have become more stringent in looking at the books. “We’re seeing lots of instances where a fraud was started a couple of years ago when the company was doing fine, but now they’re finding these frauds because they’re paying closer attention.” While Alberta’s economy has led to an increase in fraud domestically, the methods of fraud itself have stayed the same over the years, even in the onset of new technology. Investigative methodologies and fraudulent behaviours are always playing catchup with tech, so while it may look different, most employee fraud is a technological variation of an old con. “The types of fraud are essentially always the same, but because technology changes, they get away with it,” Thoman notes. “Now that everything’s digitized, going through transactions is much easier. I can specify parameters and search thousands of documents a day. But at the same time, making things paperless has also made some types of fraud easier.” Thoman uses the simple example of payday. “Twenty years ago, cheques were handed out in person. If you wanted to get paid, you had to physically walk down and pick it up,” he explains. “Now, it’s all automatic and digitized, making it easier to falsify cheques without anyone noticing.”

ABOVE: LISA MAJEAU-GORDON, PARTNER AND LEADER IN FORENSICS, MNP

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New digital methods may make fraud simultaneously easier and more difficult, but there are some tried and tested ways for businesses to protect themselves. Majeau-Gordon has counselled local businesses on how to prevent fraud and has numerous suggestions on how businesses can protect themselves. First and foremost, Majeau-Gordon recommends businesses of all sizes obtain fraud insurance, especially since smaller businesses are more likely to be victims. Fraud insurance can help your company recover losses and can also help fund an investigation which, according to Majeau-Gordon, can be more work than business owners may expect, to meet the tests of criminal and civil courts. Majeau-Gordon and Thoman both suggest segregation of duties as an important policy for preventing fraud since both have seen lax protocols lead to significant theft cases. Majeau-Gordon recalls a recent incident where someone stole upwards of $5 million precisely because they had access

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to banking activities along with accounting and financial records. “No single individual [should be] responsible for handling cash, issuing cheques, and reconciling the bank statement,” she explains. “Wherever possible, segregate banking activities from accounting and financial reporting.” Other tips Majeau-Gordon suggests include creating a regular financial reporting package to owners or executives, conducting background checks on prospective employees, adding “right to audit” clauses to contracts, and creating a series of documenting procedures to increase accountability and make investigations much easier. Alberta’s economy is changing and, along with it, increasing cases of employee fraud. New economic times may have increased fraud frequency, but forensic accountants like Majeau-Gordon and Thoman are also using hi-tech means to discover people’s schemes. Like most things, defence is the best offence: protect yourself and your company and don’t think internal theft and fraud can’t happen to you.


EDMONTON’S CHANGING FACE // ARCHITECTURE

EDMONTON’S CHANGING FACE: OUR STRUCTURES ARE CHANGING FROM THE INSIDE OUT BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

ABOVE: EDMONTON PLAZA CLOCK (WESTIN) PHOTO SOURCE: RPK ARCHITECTS LTD.

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EDMONTON’S CHANGING FACE // ARCHITECTURE

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ith the opening of Rogers Place, the anticipated Blatchford Development, and with both ICE District and the Brewery District under construction, the face of Edmonton continues to change. It’s not just the facades and structures of our buildings that are evolving; this change affects how we perceive our environment and our willingness to move, work, live and play within it. “We have witnessed a strong desire for people to return to or remain in the more established neighborhoods, creating the need for housing with modern amenities near the city core, whether that be compete renovations on older homes or infill,” points out Jessica Brownell, interior design and sales with Aquarian, an Edmonton-based company that provides professional renovation services and custom home builds. “There’s a need for homes that will accommodate aging in place.” Brownell finds herself expanding and improving bungalows instead of adding second stories, along with “designing elevators, wider doorways and curbless showers to accommodate future wheelchair access.” She also notes that, “Baby boomers are renovating their homes to suit their needs right now rather than keeping unused rooms in case they sell to a family. This gives them more room for open concept living with larger ensuites and nicer private spaces.” Aging in place and maximizing square footage aren’t the only trends in residential homes. “Energy efficiency has become a must in home renovation. It no longer makes sense for homeowners to have a beautiful space but be throwing money away because of poor insulation, leaky windows and inefficient HVAC. Homeowners and builders are becoming more educated about the importance of the building envelope and it’s changing the way everyone is building,” says Brownell. “The Building Code and laws are requiring everyone to step up their game, eliminating the more toxic products from store shelves and replacing them with healthier, smarter options that will improve not only the environment, but the employee’s health that is working with them.

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“LED lighting just makes sense when updating things. It has become less expensive and now can emit beautiful warm light that is such an improvement from the compact fluorescent lighting that was considered ‘sustainable’ in the past. “The popularity of reclaimed wood products has brought excitement to homeowners bringing history and natural beauty into their homes. To have a material that has a story and is also saving a barn from a landfill, or to turn old mill wood into a table or a sliding barn door has made sustainability even more desirable as well as responsible.” Brownell says an individual’s choice on how to build, display and style their home, inside and out, has a farreaching impact, and one that is worth the investment. “Every high-quality, custom-designed home is an opportunity to make a unique personal statement, upgrade your neighborhood and add something to your city that will last many, many years. With so many styles and products to choose from, you want to work with a company who can educate and work with you to find the look and materials that will suit your family, home and community. Welldesigned custom homes don’t come cheap, and they are not ‘one of many’. They are the result of many skilled minds and hands and hundreds of hours planning, improving and revising. They are a reflection of you and what you value and the design process will take extra time and respect. The end result of a well-planned custom home is always worth the effort and will bring joy to you for years to come and add value to your community.” The changes to Edmonton’s landscape are not limited to residential communities. Commercial retailers, institutions and industries are also changing how their buildings work; and this change comes long before construction commences. “One of the most pervasive, and meaningful shifts to our practice comes from a fundamental change in how we work with clients, consultants, and contractors. Collaboration has become more than a catchphrase and is now becoming a tangible force in the construction industry,” says Jan Kroman, Architect AAA, MArch, BSc, MRAIC, principal at RPK Architects Ltd. “We see this both in the tools we use, and in the cohesive team structures we have the privilege of being a part of.


EDMONTONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CHANGING FACE // ARCHITECTURE

TOP: MUTTART CONSERVATORY RENOVATION BOTTOM: ARTSHUB 118 PHOTO SOURCE: RPK ARCHITECTS LTD.

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

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EDMONTON’S CHANGING FACE // ARCHITECTURE

“Technological advancements, such as the widespread adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM), which allows for multiple parties to be working off the same resilient building model simultaneously, has aided this trend; as have new progressive contract structures such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which sees all parties involved in the construction process sharing in a profit pool. The industry as a whole has started to look for efficiencies and quality across disciplines, rather than solely within their own organization.”

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

He also sees things moving in a more mindful direction. “We have seen the concept of sustainability change from a technically-based issue, predominantly discussed in the context of adopting new building technologies, to a more consistent presence that affects all design decisions, from building orientation to future-proofing building systems, and from material sourcing to employing dark-sky approaches. Much like the high-level concept of collaboration, sustainability is now a concern shared by all team members rather than a select few champions.”


EDMONTON’S CHANGING FACE // ARCHITECTURE

RPK Architects has been in business for 47 years and has significantly contributed to Edmonton’s landscape. The firm was there as the city started to grow, and the firm continues to evolve with, and at many times pioneer, changes in the industry. “We believe that our success and longevity are tied directly to our community and the support we’ve received from it,” confirms Kroman. “We are proud of our contributions to Edmonton’s fabric, completing such projects as the Muttart Conservatory renovation, ArtsHub 118’s housing cooperative, Western Supplies Building, Fire Hall No. 5,

Londonderry’s leisure pool, and the Edmonton plaza clock (Westin). We feel that in all our projects we try to link back to the community, creating places, not objects. It’s this sense of belonging and community that we believe has been our biggest contribution to Edmonton’s built form.” As the face of Edmonton continues to change from the inside out to reflect more sustainable architecture, provide the ability to ‘age in place’ and incorporate technologies that mean leaner and more efficient processes, the benefit for us all are stronger communities with physical structures built to last.

ABOVE: RENDERING OF SAKAW TERRACE, A NEW SENIORS’ HOUSING FACILITY FOR THE GREATER EDMONTON FOUNDATION PHOTO SOURCE: RPK ARCHITECTS LTD.

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

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Canada Medical

C E L E B R AT E S 3 0 Y E A R S By Nerissa McNaughton

C

anada Medical Ltd. is a B2B distributor of branded medical supplies. Serving clients across Canada (predominately in Western Canada) the company aims to service customers and vendors while exceeding their expectations. “I can’t speak on behalf of our founders, but I can tell you why I chose to continue building on their foundation,” says Carla, who worked with the original owners before co-purchasing the company when they decided to sell. “Our goal is to continue to create a company that goes well above a distributor’s common role of product storage and handling. We consult, train and educate our customers – we have become the experts. “Our journey isn’t very dramatic. After starting in 1986, we have grown steadily. I think this is a testament to our business model of great service and competitive prices. Our last fiscal year, we had the highest growth in the company’s history. “We carry over 10,000 items, giving us the flexibility to participate in all types of markets, including spa facilities, tattoo shops, dental clinics and more! We also install, maintain and fill first aid kits in local businesses.”

She’s excited about what’s going on inside their office, too. “We keep hiring! The nice part of our industry is that, despite the price of oil, we’ve grown our staff by over 30 per cent in the last two years. We must be doing something right. Finding the right people, retaining them and ensuring they buy into our culture is very important. Each team member’s personality can have an enormous impact on the harmony and productivity of the business. There is no magic formula here – only experience and face time can reveal whether the employee and the company are fit. “In order to build a great team you need two things: great people and a great culture. We strive to create a culture of extreme ‘openness’ which, in our opinion, leads to accountability to one another. “We are proud of the culture we have here. It took some time to get it right – to instill a family culture. It’s extremely rewarding to bring together total strangers who have become our extended family. Our employees take great pride in their jobs, and I often have to remind them they are human and can’t take on all tasks. Quality work over quantity,” smiles Carla. That quality has not gone unnoticed.

Canada Medical stays on top of the newest equipment and never stops learning about emerging technology in their industry. “We are really excited about the new Welch Allyn RETeval-DR Electroretinograph. In three minutes, you can objectively screen for vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (VTDR). The unit enables efficient, comfortable, non-mydriatic screening for VTDR that improves patient compliance to help preserve vision in patients with diabetes,” says Carla.

“We get recognized for some of the charity and volunteer work we do with the community. We’ve also had a couple sales awards from vendors. Our inaugural medical supply and equipment tradeshow was held in May this year. This holds special significance for me because our staff and I organized and executed the event without a hitch. We had amazing support from our vendors and customers. We are hoping to grow the trade show into an event that healthcare professionals from around the country would want to visit.”

Canada Medical • 30 Years


Carla knows taking time for the things that refresh the spirit and soul keep her, and the company, going; as does being grateful for the people and ideals that have been instrumental in getting Canada Medical this far. “I enjoy sitting on my deck with good friends, eating great food paired with a nice glass of red wine. I am also the chair for the PTA at my children’s school, so I’m always organizing some type of fundraiser or school activity. “My husband, Mark, is by my side every step of the way. We share the same goals as to where we want our company to be. He is integral at keeping us on track. I wouldn’t have seen this success without him. Also, my parents taught me early on about hard work. They immigrated to Edmonton from Sao Miguel, Azores in 1970 with next to nothing. Seventeen years later, they quit their jobs and purchased a local grocery store which they worked at until their retirement in 2003. It was a family business, so I was working the cash register, stocking shelves, as early as nine years old. Work ethic was instilled in me from an early age. My parents do everything 110 per cent all the time, and they expected the same from my sister and me. They are the hardest working people I have ever met.”

Canada Medical not only has a firm hold in Western Canada, but it is also planning an Eastern expansion as well. “Thank you for valuing our relationship,” the owners say to Canada Medical’s clients as the company prepares for the next decades of being the one to watch in and out of the industry. 3436 – 78th Avenue NW Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X9 780.465.2020 • www.canadamedical.net

Congratulations Canada Medical Ltd. on your 30th anniversary!

Thanks to hard work, dedication, continuous education and great relationships with staff, suppliers, vendors and clients,

Congratulations Canada Medical Ltd.! We wish you many more years of continued success!

www.gojo.com/en-CA

Carson International would like to congratulate Canada Medical Ltd. on 30 years of excellence!

P: (780) 496-9627 • Fax: (780) 496-9629 Email: edmonton@carson.ca

www.carson.ca

Canada Medical • 30 Years

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Each of Albertaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s over 440,000 entrepreneurs has a story.

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Why wait to take a leap of faith? Why wait to tap into the thing that deep down you know that makes you feel great?

I mean how much time do you have anyway? Nothing is promised, Heaven forbid you may not live to see 60 so why wait?

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in fact its almost part of the method/ battle tested, scarred yet hardly rested/

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AMPLIFY I've always had this feeling... No task was too small it was all essential to my growth / But That's just scratching the surface/ Barely iterating my intention of how this lifestyle makes me far from nervous/ My DNA laid out basic instructions just like a testament / Hard-wiring me for success integral to early excellence/ My Skills developed from trials and ambition/ Hard work, unstoppable will and intuition/ gut instinct, man Its got me almost wheezin / because The forecast for success has many seasons/ from hot to cold, high tide to dry cash flow/ I know the road can be lonely, but its mine (x2) AMPLIFY you see its, Late nights followed by early mornings/ I chase dreams way too much to start snoring/ gotta beat these, deadlines, so I strategize em/ revise, quality check and finalize em/ satisfaction, happiness from my client/ my confidence grows from every project that I triumph/ tax filing, every year I'm reminded/ Im on the front line so sacrifice is required/

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