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Jacqueline Jacek’s

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Sweet Career Move JACQUELINE JACEK COMBINED TWO PASSIONS INTO THE SWEETEST CAREER IN EDMONTON



FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY PART II PAGE

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 10

REGULAR COLUMNS

11

 otley Government Needs N to Get Serious About Spending By Josh Bilyk

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CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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J acqueline Jacek’s Sweet Career Move Jacqueline Jacek combined two passions into the sweetest career in Edmonton By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: JACQUELINE JACEK, FOUNDER OF JACEK CHOCOLATE COUTURE. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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

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@BUSINEDMONTON

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

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Skewed Priorities are the Alberta Government’s Dirty Laundry By Paige MacPherson

 dmonton Chamber E Of Commerce


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

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 10

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

18

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

73

 Closer Look at A Strathcona County

 ynergy Land Services S Going Strong Celebrates 10 Years

83

D  urabuilt Windows & Doors Newest Design Gallery Showcases the Company’s Bright Spirit

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From brick and mortar branches to Interac® and mobile banking By John Hardy

Event Planning and Catering Still Going Strong Amidst Economic Turbulence By Laura Bohnert

41

 ollowing Fort McMurray F Part II Tales from Ground Zero By Nerissa McNaughton

Strathcona County has a lot to offer as a diverse, successful municipality and key player in Alberta’s energy sector

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Edmonton’s Tech Banking

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

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 taying Connected, Staying S Successful In the age of big business, smaller outfits are still driving Edmonton’s economy. These three Chamber of Commerce members argue it’s more than just the policies, it’s the people By Zachary Edwards

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Buying and Selling: A Reality Check By Nerissa McNaughton

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The (Local) Vacation Home A recreational property can be a smart investment with a big impact on your financial future By Nerissa McNaughton


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PUBLISHER

Business in Edmonton Inc.

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Brent Trimming brent@businessinedmonton.com

EDITOR

Nerissa McNaughton

COPY EDITOR Nikki Gouthro

ART DIRECTOR

Jessi Evetts jessi@businessinedmonton.com

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Cole Ottmann

ADMINISTRATION

Nancy Bielecki info@businessinedmonton.com Denise Templeton denise@otcommunications.com

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Josh Bilyk John Hardy Paige MacPherson

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Zachary Edwards Laura Bohnert

PHOTOGRAPHY

Cover photo by Epic Photography Inc.

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RUN April, June, October 2016


NOTLEY GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT SPENDING // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Notley Government Needs to Get Serious About Spending BY JOSH BILYK

E

very day businesses across Alberta make tough budget decisions. All too often these days, the decisions involve reducing spending and investment, and cutting staff. They don’t make these tough decisions based on ideology. They make these decisions in the hope their business survives long enough to see better days. That’s the tough reality of being an entrepreneur. Imagine what goes through the minds of struggling business leaders when they look up to their provincial government and see they operate under a completely different set of rules. The Notley government has done little to nothing to address this historic deficit – set to hit $10.9 billion this year, nearly $500 million more than forecast way back in April. This massive increase happened despite a $744 million increase in resource revenues.

Former Progressive Conservative Saskatchewan Premier Grant Devine liked to stick with plans, too. He had a folksy saying back in the 1980s: “don’t say whoa in a mud hole.” After winning a landslide victory over the NDP, Devine stuck to his guns and failed to control spending through a commodities collapse and the worst drought since the 1930s. By the time his government was relieved of its duties by the electorate, Saskatchewan was essentially bankrupt and is still digging itself out of a mud hole. It took difficult decisions by the NDP government led by Roy Romanow to get the Saskatchewan budget back into the black. He made what some in our current government would consider to be “reckless” cuts, but who knows where Saskatchewan would be today without strong leadership from the likes of Romanow.

The government is pressing ahead with a $4 million advertising campaign – possibly the largest inwardlytargeted campaign in the province’s history – to promote the forthcoming carbon tax. Health Minister Sarah Hoffman cancelled plans to outsource laundry services for hospitals, a move that could cost taxpayers up to $200 million.

The Alberta government is facing a severe financial crisis. Businesses are paying higher taxes, many of their employees are paying higher income tax and the coming carbon tax will draw another $3 billion from the Alberta economy. Everyone has stepped up and felt some pain to help balance the budget.

The government intends to ride out the downturn, using a fully-funded public service as an economic stabilizer. After the release of the province’s disastrous first-quarter fiscal update, Finance Minister Joe Ceci said, “if we stay with our plan we’ll be fine.”

It’s time for our government to show leadership. We’re not talking about “reckless cuts” or cavalier disregard for important public services. We’re simply asking for the government to behave as though it understands the seriousness of our current circumstance, and make decisions that protect Albertans now and in the future.

Their dogged commitment to this plan, in the face of a mounting crisis, would be admirable if it weren’t so foolish.

ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP IS A MEMBER-BASED, NON-PROFIT BUSINESS ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION. AEG MEMBERS EMPLOY MORE THAN 150,000 CANADIANS IN ALL SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY.

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

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SKEWED PRIORITIES ARE THE ALBERTA GOVERNMENT’S DIRTY LAUNDRY // GUEST COLUMNIST

Skewed Priorities are the Alberta Government’s Dirty Laundry BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

B

ack in the spring of 2015, Alberta’s New Democratic Party candidates were campaigning on what their platform called “leadership for what matters.”

“We will balance the budget in 2018,” the platform declared. Job creation topped the NDP’s list of primary priorities. By taxing “large, profitable corporations” more, the party would balance the budget in just three years. Fast forward to today: the most recent quarterly fiscal update revealed a deep operational budget deficit that increased by another $500 million, bringing the grand tally to $10.9 billion – over $14 billion when accounting for capital spending. The wildfires in Fort McMurray accounted for some of the deficit growth on the expenditure side, but the major cause of the growth was a dramatic decline in corporate tax revenues, which dropped by $877 million. Could it be possible that raising taxes on businesses doesn’t always lead to an automatic increase in government revenues? A little tongue in cheek, but the reality is staring Albertans in the face like the pink slips in the hands of over 100,000 laid-off workers. The government’s plan to hike taxes to balance the budget just isn’t working out. Low oil prices are already negatively impacting investment. Disincentivizing businesses from investing in Alberta is completely illogical if the government wants more revenue. That balanced budget date in the NDP platform has been revised multiple times, now sitting at 2024 – a soft promise the government likely hopes Albertans won’t take too seriously. Our government has been dealt some curve balls. It would be unfair to suggest otherwise. They’re the same curve balls thrown to businesses and families across the province. Oil revenues have declined. Natural disaster has stricken Alberta

once again. Times are tough – and in tough times, people expect their government to make tough choices. To provide “leadership for what matters.” Yet, unlike businesses and families, the government is exercising no restraint. In fact, not even including the $500 million spent as a result of the Fort McMurray fires, government expenses increased by $700 million. Finance Minister Joe Ceci has declared time and again that he rejects “draconian cuts” – ignoring humble suggestions to at least try to bring Alberta’s spending in line with that of other provinces. The minister pulled out the same line in response to credit downgrade after credit downgrade, while ignoring the reality that poorer credit ratings increase the likelihood of higher borrowing costs and therefore less money to spend on education, health care and poverty reduction. This fiscal update confirmed that Albertans would now be forced to waste $1 billion per year on debt interest payments alone. Leadership in government requires making priorities. Perhaps the clearest evidence that our government’s priorities need a rethink is the recent decision not to outsource laundry services for Alberta hospitals. This change would have saved taxpayers millions of dollars in equipment upgrades. Outsourcing would have meant moving jobs outside of the government sector. Apparently, that would have been draconian. When the NDP promised “leadership for what matters” – most taxpayers likely weren’t thinking that the overpriced, unionized washing of linens was what mattered. If the government still wants job numbers in Alberta to go up and not down, as it promised in its campaign, the government should try focusing on business-friendly policies instead of tax hikes and feeding its insatiable addiction to unsustainable government spending. PAIGE MACPHERSON IS ALBERTA DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION, A NON-PROFIT, NON-PARTISAN CITIZENS ADVOCACY GROUP DEDICATED TO LOWER TAXES, LESS WASTE AND GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT TAXPAYER.COM.

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


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OFF

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Tracey Scarlett Joins NAIT as the Dean of JR Shaw School of Business

T

racey Scarlett, the former CEO of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, has recently joined the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) as the dean of NAIT’s JR Shaw School of Business. NAIT’s business school is one of the largest in Western Canada. “I’m happy to be back in Edmonton and back at NAIT. When I saw the opportunity for this position, it seemed like the perfect marriage of everything I’ve done in my career,” said Scarlett in a media statement. “With the JR Shaw School of Business moving into the new Centre for Applied Technologies, I think it’s a great time for me to be coming in. I look forward to working with the team and continuing to grow and offer students an outstanding polytechnic education.” Scarlett’s background makes her the ideal candidate for this position because she has experience in nearly all of NAIT’s business education, including trades, health care and research. Scarlett is also a NAIT alumni, graduating from the school’s medical laboratory technology program in 1987. Following her graduation from NAIT, Scarlett earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in technology commercialization from the University of Alberta. In addition to working in both laboratory and research facilities, Scarlett co-owned an electrical contracting company, was the chief operating officer of a start-up biotechnology company and was the president of BioQuest Ventures Inc. (a business development company specializing in the high-growth and innovation sector). In 2007, Scarlett joined Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, which is a non-profit organization focusing on business support, lending, mentorship and other services for female entrepreneurs. Scarlett’s many achievements earned her a place as one of NAIT’s Top 50 Alumni in 2012, an honour she received as part of the institution’s 50th anniversary.

“We’re excited to have a leader of Tracey’s calibre joining NAIT, with strong connections to so many communities and industries in Alberta,” praised Dr. Neil Fassina, NAIT provost and VP academic. “As an Edmonton native, a NAIT grad, an entrepreneur and an experienced leader, I know she’ll be a great addition to our team.” With more than 60,000 students, NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnic educational institutions, providing education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. NAIT boasts an enviable 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, and graduates of NAIT’s programs are found in all of Alberta’s sectors. The polytechnic distinguishes itself in the education field by focusing on hands-on, technology-based learning while engaging with business and industry leaders in applied research and innovation. NAIT also provides corporate training around the world and is recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers. To learn more about NAIT or about Tracey Scarlett’s posting, please visit www.nait.ca.

ABOVE: TRACEY SCARLETT, DEAN OF NAIT’S JR SHAW SCHOOL OF BUSINESS.

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


WHEN INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS DO A WORLD OF GOOD. THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF RECYCLING.

A lot of good things happen when you return your beverage containers to a Depot for recycling. You get your refund, you divert tonnes of waste from our landfills, and you decrease the amount of energy used to produce new materials. And that’s just the beginning. It all starts at your local Depot, find yours at albertadepot.ca.

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OFF

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Shaw Conference Centre Employees Recognized by IAVM

T

hree Shaw Conference Centre (SCC) employees, general manager Lisanne Lewis, client service manager Manfred Kalk and communications manager Imran Gill, have been recognized by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) for their leadership in venue management. Lewis, who has a certified facilities executive (CFE) designation (one of the highest designations in venue management), joins just 289 venue managers in the world that have achieved expert status in the industry. An employee of SCC since 2011, Lewis’s experience encompasses venue management, arenas, exhibitions and major event production. Kalk is a pioneer the field; he was one of the first recipients of the certified venue professional (CVP) designation. With a passionate commitment for and years of professional experience in the industry, Kalk has enjoyed a variety of roles at SCC during his nine years of employment. Kalk is pleased to have managed some of Edmonton’s largest events, including Red Bull Crashed Ice, and he also shares his knowledge with future managers as a sessional instructor at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and NorQuest College. Gill is one of only two Canadians named to the IAVM 30 Under 30 class of 2016 list. A talented leader with a commitment to excellence, Gill is inspiring the next generation of venue managers. His experience includes arenas, convention centres, festivals, international sporting events and major event production. “The leadership of Lisanne, Manfred and Imran helps serve Edmonton’s reputation as a preferred meetings, conventions and events destination,” says Brad Ferguson, president and CEO, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation. “I congratulate them on their outstanding achievements.”

IVAM was founded in 1924 by seven building managers. Today it has 5,400 members and represents public assembly venues from around the world. Members include managers and senior executives from auditoriums, arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, stadiums, performing arts centres, university complexes, racetracks, and amphitheaters. IAVM is pleased to boast over 500 Allied companies among its members. The organization’s mission statement, to educate, advocate for, and inspire public assembly venue professionals worldwide, drives its commitment to being a diverse, ethical, service-orientated organization. To learn more about IVAM, visit www.iavm.org. SCC is a division of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and has a mandate to generate economic and social benefits for the Edmonton region. SCC hosts over 650 events and more than half a million guests annually while generating $45 million in spending across the province each year. SCC is active in the community through programs, structures and services, such as Homeless Connect, the Community Medicine Wheel Garden, local art initiatives and sustainable pursuits. It is Canada’s first venue to receive Green Key level five status and is BOMA BEST certified. To learn more about SCC or to connect with the Centre on social media, visit: www.shawconferencecentre.com, (Twitter) @ EdmontonSCC, (Instagram) @ShawConferenceCentre, or (Snapchat) EdmontonSCC.

ABOVE: SHAW CONFERENCE CENTRE

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


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EDMONTON’S TECH BANKING // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

EDMONTON’S

Tech Banking From brick and mortar branches to Interac® and mobile banking

RIGHT: JOHN TARNOWSKI, VICE-PRESIDENT, CHANNELS, PAYMENTS AND CARD SERVICES AT ATB FINANCIAL

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


EDMONTON’S TECH BANKING // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

BY JOHN HARDY

I

t’s unlikely that bank customers, bill-payers and shoppers are headed toward a “cashless society,” but technology continues to re-define how people in Edmonton manage their money. “Ultimately, the customer drives the banking industry. They always have and always will,” says John Tarnowski, vice president, channels, payments and card services at ATB Financial, the institution with more than 161,000 customers in the Edmonton area. “Despite the tremendous innovation of technology, customer expectations will always drive the pace of change.” Tarnowski continues, “Technology has been an important factor for banking customers for more than 20 years. We had ATMs in the 1990s, then telephone banking. ATB introduced online banking about 15 years ago, and eventually apps and mobile banking became a preferred

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EDMONTON’S TECH BANKING // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

option about seven years ago. Now tablet banking is getting increasingly popular.” Although there will forever be newer and newer updates, technology is no longer considered “new.” Technology is already embraced as the new normal and a routine fact of business and social life. It’s the go-to for ways of gathering information, managing risks, tracking operations, communicating, accessing all things internet, business Wi-Fi, students doing homework, and consumers booking vacations, paying bills and buying things. The technology that is an established business tool has made a subtle and seamless expansion into conventional private-life areas like banking, investing and shopping. Innovative financial institutions, like ATB, continue to tap into the limitless potential of technology with state-of-the-technology features, such as online banking, mobile banking, Interac® and Apple Pay.

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

Most major banks and global financial institutions are carefully monitoring and going head-tohead with a bold, new dimension of technology: fintech (financial technology). Some call it the new economic industry, made-up of companies that use technology to offer newer digital financial services. Particularly in North America, fintech companies are still usually start-ups, targeting existing financial systems and challenging traditional financial institutions that, so far, are less reliant on software. From a business perspective, it seems that, while most of the initial exciting newness of technology was getting early business attention for record keeping and information storage, and early public exposure to things like PacMan and a crude,

ABOVE: JIM MILLER, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF BANKING SERVICES IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES PRACTICE AT J.D. POWER


EDMONTON’S TECH BANKING // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

Jurassic version of e-mails, banking and the financial sector was already interested in and pursuing the potential of technology. According to Jim Miller, senior director of banking services in the financial services practice at J.D. Power, “Technology is replacing transactions that had to take place inside a branch during regular banking hours. ABMs have been dispensing cash for years, but now customers can deposit checks using their mobile device. The result is that branch transactions are declining. “The less obvious answer is that technology “Today, Interac is a respected national payment network is changing the relationship with the bank. When paper that uses the latest technology to enable Canadians to access statements were the norm, customers only looked at their their money at 65,000 ABMs and use Interac Debit® or the bank account information once a month, or else had to call newest, Interac Flash®, at more than 879,000 point-of-sale the bank to get their balance or ask about a transaction. Online banking made this information much more accessible, but customers had to be Professional Development IT PAYS TO KNOW in front of their PC to use it. Mobile banking users look at their bank account information much more often. This is having a big impact on their entire banking relationship.”

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It’s hard to believe that one of the earliest staples of the fintech revolution happened more than 30 years ago – the invention of Interac. “Interac is a solid brand and interconnected ABM network which gave Canadians state-ofthe-art access to their money,” explains Caroline Hubberstey, head, external affairs, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. “Interac debit cards first happened in 1994 and Interac e-Transfers and Interac Online, with seamless P2B payments, evolved in the past dozen years or so.

ABOVE: CAROLINE HUBBERSTEY, HEAD, EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, INTERAC ASSOCIATION AND ACXSYS CORPORATION

Teresa S., PCP - Member Prairie Region

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“SO MUCH OF THE ALBERTA ECONOMY IS DRIVEN BY SMALL BUSINESS. SHAW WAS COMMITTED TO DESIGN SERVICES SPECIFICALLY FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS CUSTOMER. ESPECIALLY STRIKING A BALANCE OF FEATURES WITH EASE OF USE.” ~ RON MCKENZIE terminals across Canada. Last year Canadians spent nearly $350 billion and made more than 5 billion transactions using Interac,” she points out. “Just last year, specifically in the Edmonton area, Interac had 164,331,401 transactions for a total of $7,365,463,875.” Another vital aspect of how constantly upgrading technology continues to transform the business world, is the focus and development of newer, faster and more functional business Wi-Fi that is targeted specifically at small and mid-size businesses. “As a large technology service provider in Canada, the journey we are on is to be an advisor to small business,” says Ron McKenzie, senior vice president of business at Shaw Communications. “So much of the Alberta economy is driven by small business. Shaw was committed to design services specifically for the small business customer. Especially striking a balance of features with ease of

Be assured. ABOVE: RON MCKENZIE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS AT SHAW COMMUNICATIONS

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


AGRICULTURAL BENEFITS OF SECOND NATURE COMPOST: • Sustainable, Slow Release Nutrients • Healthy Soil

use. A key small business focus is consistency of the customer experience, providing the ability for their customer to easily connect with the business, provide ‘a dashboard,’ a simple way to present a full suite of analytics to the small business owner and ensure that the business stays seamlessly and securely connected, in the office or on-the-go.” “The inertia of technology is transforming the banking sector at such a rate that sometimes it feels like it’s going even faster than it is,” Tarnowski points out. “For many ATB Edmonton customers, online banking is now a routine. Supply and demand recently added ApplePay to our system. iPhones only came out about nine years ago, but they are like an appendage for many people and they are constantly walking around with it in their hand. It’s no surprise that mobile banking has become a routine. “For banking and so many other uses, iPhones and tablets are enablers of convenience. One way or another, our customers are already digitized.” He mentions a business technology conference four years ago, where the phenomenon of iPhones was called ‘a solution looking for a problem.’ It was no milestone but it certainly accelerated ATB’s entrance into the warp-speed evolution of mobile banking technology. “The ATB customer has solidly embraced online banking, has

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EDMONTON’S TECH BANKING // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

“TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY IS MUCH MORE ADVANCED IN MAKING IT EASIER TO USE AND IT ALLOWS CUSTOMERS TO CONDUCT MANY MORE ACTIVITIES. ONE OF THE BIG DIFFERENCES IS THAT TECHNOLOGY IN THE PAST WAS DRIVEN BY THE BANKS TRYING TO REDUCE EXPENSES. TODAY IT IS DRIVEN BY CUSTOMER DEMAND. “ ~ JIM MILLER

shifted to mobile banking and to the next option of tablets and wearables, like smart watches. For banking, this is the era of the mobile wallet,” he says with enthusiasm and excitement. Most technology and financial institution experts agree that, in banking, as in most other aspects of business and personal life, technology is constantly evolving and is the proverbial state-of-the-art work-in-progress. It is a business tool that is redefining services.

THIRTY YEARS OF DISTINCTION

PRESCHOOL

“While ABM’s initially made it easier to get cash,” Miller says, “they only served a single purpose and may not have worked when you needed them to. Today’s technology is much more advanced in making it easier to use and it allows customers to conduct many more activities. One of the big differences is that technology in the past was driven by the banks trying to reduce expenses. Today it is driven by customer demand. “Customers use mobile to interact with other companies and expect that they can do the same with their bank. Touch screens have become universal and customers expect an ABM to have a touch screen and to do more than just dispense cash. Over the past couple of years, we have seen satisfaction with in-person interactions with the branch remain basically flat, while satisfaction with using the ABM or mobile has increased significantly.”

KINDERGARTEN ELEMENTARY JR. HIGH

Ranked in the top 5% of all schools in Alberta for measures from performance to citizenship, quality and parental involvement

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“Outstanding students, outstanding results.” proacad.ca

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

Tarnowski enthusiastically emphasizes that the business of technology in the banking sector has a key aspect for success: plugged-in staff. As tech evolves, one of the challenges of the industry, and a big ATB focus, is to ensure a digitally-minded employee base. We have more than 5,400 employees. We not only develop staff awareness but we make sure our staff understand the customer needs, the preferred uses and the expectations about digital banking. ”In Edmonton, and the rest of the ATB world, ultimately it’s all about the customer!”


JACQUELINE JACEK’S SWEET CAREER MOVE // COVER

ABOVE: JACQUELINE JACEK, FOUNDER OF JACEK CHOCOLATE COUTURE. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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


JACQUELINE JACEK’S SWEET CAREER MOVE // COVER

Jacqueline Jacek’s

Sweet Career Move JACQUELINE JACEK COMBINED TWO PASSIONS INTO THE SWEETEST CAREER IN EDMONTON BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

J

acqueline Jacek, the founder of JACEK Chocolate Couture, is an entrepreneur that didn’t want to choose between the two of her favourite things in life, so she combined them. “I wanted to create a company that brought joy. I couldn’t decide which path to pursue as both chocolate and fashion bring me joy, so I decided to create my dream job as a cocoanista (chocolate designer) which, of course, is a title that I created!” With the success (and tasty creations) of her company, you would think that Jacqueline had chocolate design on her mind from a very young age, but in reality, a series of life events culminated to result in her mouth-watering career. “I always thought of myself in a creative role, but more as a marketing professional versus actually crafting by hand. Mind you, I did have my first business when I was 11 creating custom ski hats, so ‘crafting by hand’ and selling have always been part of my DNA,” the cocoanista admits. “I grew up in the small town of Legal and my parents moved to New Zealand for an adventure when I was 15 years old. In my time there (1996-2006), I was lucky to have worked in all sizes of businesses. After completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University (Wellington, NZ), I started working for a small property development company in marketing, then I became a fundraising manager for a non-profit organization for cancer research, followed by a marketing role for a large Telecom company.

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

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JACQUELINE JACEK’S SWEET CAREER MOVE // COVER

JACEK CHOCOLATE COUTURE’S AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

“When I moved back to Canada in 2006, I continued down the same sales and marketing career path, until I made the decision to leave the corporate world to pursue my dream of becoming a cocoanista. Taking this leap of faith would not have been possible without my husband, who jumped onboard. He and my father built a commercial kitchen in our basement in Sherwood Park, and JACEK came to be on December 1, 2009. “I continued to work in a corporate job, and ran the business often through the night. At this point, we also decided to start a family (I wasn’t sleeping anyway, right?!), so I ended up leaving traditional employment to pursue JACEK full time. “Truthfully, I was a little reluctant to move back to Edmonton after living 10 years in New Zealand. I always judge a city on the food scene, and I was lucky to move back just as it was really starting to gain momentum here. It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted to be a part of it. “Fast forward nine years, and I am in love with our city. It is a place that I am very proud to call home. I often wonder if JACEK would have grown as it has if I would have started anywhere else. Edmontonians embrace new concepts and openly share their experiences, so I do credit a lot of our success to date on where we are.” With a young family and a new business, the entrepreneur had to take things one step at a time, but she made each step count. “When I launched the brand, I was selling at Farmer’s Markets and gift shows and doing private chocolate events. I then grew the channel of retail partners so that we had a retail presence while I was working from my basement. In 2012, we moved into a commercial production facility with a boutique in Sherwood Park and in 2014 we opened a flagship store on the vibrant 104th street promenade.” Jacqueline’s chocolate designs and creations are successful because she understands and works with the physiology of chocolate. “By ‘physiology’, I really mean chocolate at its most basic level,” she points out. “The cocoa bean is what really fascinates me, from its basic composition to the transformative stages it undergoes to become chocolate. There are so many aspects involved in cacao that start far

2011

TOP 10 CHOCOLATIERS IN NORTH AMERICA, BY DESSERT PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE NEW YORK & DON NEIL YOUNG AWARD FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP BY THE STRATHCONA COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE ‘TOP 25 THINGS TO EAT’ IN EDMONTON

2014

2012

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, STRATHCONA COUNTY

BUSINESS IN EDMONTON MAGAZINE WAS PLEASED TO HONOR JACQUELINE WITH A LEADER AWARD

2016

2015

BEST CHOCOLATIER, AVENUE EDMONTON’S TOP RESTAURANT AWARDS

before it reaches our studio. The careful care of farmers, grafting, harvesting, fermenting, drying, sorting, all happen before it even reaches our studio. Chocolate is essentially our canvas, where form, function and colour all play an important role. As chocolate designers, we are really lucky to also have the additional dimension of flavour.” With over 40 products created to date, does Jacqueline have a favourite? “I can’t get enough of the Classic Truffle (Picnic Collection 2016). This is a decadent chocolate with a simple make-up (cream, butter and chocolate) made from our 70 per cent chocolate from the Dominican Republic. Her many customers have favourites too. “The Roaring Twenties Collection (Spring 2014) was such a fun theme, and people really loved the gin & tonic flavour. We created the flavour by infusing the cream with juniper berries, and it tasted exactly like

ABOVE: JACQUELINE JACEK, FOUNDER OF JACEK CHOCOLATE COUTURE. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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


As a business owner, you never turn out the lights. Challenges and opportunities run 24/7 and so does your mind. From increasing efficiencies to streamlining costs and everything in between, MNP’s Private Enterprise specialists know what’s keeping you up at night. Every year during Small Business Week, we celebrate entrepreneurs within the community. The hard work, sacrifice and commitment you have put into growing your business and strengthening the Canadian business landscape has not gone unnoticed. To help you continue to thrive, MNP has created a suite of services specifically tailored to small and medium-sized enterprises to help your organization be more nimble, resilient and responsive – giving you the peace-of-mind to make decisions with confidence.

It’s business. And it’s personal. PRIVATE ENTERPRISE SERVICES For more information surrounding how to structure your business, please visit www.mnp.ca/smallbusiness or contact Ian MacDonald, CPA, CA at 780.969.1423 or ian.macdonald@mnp.ca


JACQUELINE JACEK’S SWEET CAREER MOVE // COVER

the cocktail. One of the flavours that gets requests all the time is one from our Nostalgia Collection (Spring 2013). The Old Fashioned Root Beer float was a hit, so we bring it back every year around Father’s Day. This creamy white truffle is infused with house-made Root Beer syrup, starring orange zest, star anise, burdock root, licorice root, Sarsaparilla, etc.” For Jacqueline and her team, ensuring that the ingredients are ethically sourced is every bit as important as the chocolate’s end result. “We are doing our best to learn the origins of our products, and we work with suppliers that have the same commitment. We work closely with two French chocolate makers – Valrhona and Cacao Barry – and we have recently launched our own line of bean-to-bar chocolate in an effort to start building a relationship with farmers, and to own more of the process.” Jacqueline has found immeasurable joy in becoming a cocoanista, and now she is intent on helping others experience the joy that comes from chocolate.

ABOVE: JACQUELINE JACEK, FOUNDER OF JACEK CHOCOLATE COUTURE. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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


JACQUELINE JACEK’S SWEET CAREER MOVE // COVER

“Our Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG - Jim Collins’ concept) is to bring joy to 1 million people by July 31, 2024. We are measuring this in the number of six-piece boxes (or larger) that we sell. We know that many of these are gifts, but a lot of them are ‘gifts for self’, which is also very important!” Also important is a sense of humor, which is something Jacqueline experiences with her team every day. “I tried to change the focus of the name JACEK from being my last name (because the company is not me - it’s definitely a team effort) to an acronym,” she says wryly. “I pitched this idea to my team, and all I got was laughter. I unsuccessfully tried to make JACEK stand for Joy And Chocolate Experience Kompany.” Joyful chocolate experience aside, the kompany…er… company’s mandate is to operate as a team and to continuously take its products to the next level. “Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it is a lifestyle,” the cocoanista counsels. “And work-life balance? In my opinion, this doesn’t exist. I think it is more stressful to try and create something perceived as balance than to accept that work and life have demands that ebb and flow. I turn my attention to where and when it is most needed, and if there is a lull, I embrace it. Ultimately, I am lucky because I never really feel like I am working; I love what I do.” She also loves spending time with her husband, Tim, and their five year old son, Oliver, along with cycling, cooking, eating and travelling; but among the company, the family and the relentless pursuit of the next great chocolate flavour, Jacqueline makes sure that she and JACEK spend time enriching the community. “We have done many charitable projects in the past, with a large focus on Bulembu, an orphanage town in Swaziland. This included raising money to restore a house for six children, funding a community garden and helping to fund the shipment of a container of goods for the children. Our charitable giving is now starting to take shape a little differently. We get many requests every day for donations by virtue of what we do, so we now offer the same thing to everyone: a preferential rate on chocolate so that the ‘profit’ from the chocolate is given to the charitable initiative.”

JACEK has also launched “Joy Days” in Edmonton and Calgary where she and her team donate their time to nonprofit pursuits. It’s been a tasty journey so far, and one that Jacqueline is proud to have shared with so many wonderful people over the years. “First [I want to thank] my husband Tim and our family for supporting this big dream of mine, and for being there for the ups and downs. “The success that JACEK has achieved to date is because of the commitment of the JACEK Team to joy through fine chocolate. Thank you to Cora-Lea Black, Janet Shannon, Maddie Redeker, Curtis Jones, Liz Findlay, Heather Bredbury, Judi Niebergall, Eryn Molyneaux, Jamie Dixon, Nina Dohm, Jenna Gilmour, Akosua Adasi and Kassandra Sheehan. “Also, I have to acknowledge how important it is to surround yourself with brilliant people. For me, this means having a group of fellow entrepreneurs that I meet with on a regular basis to help guide me through the chaos of business through conversation (Geoff Linden, Brittany Anderson, Bryan Smith, Ken McCullough and Sean Davey). “And finally, a huge thank you to Edmontonians for being so supportive of my venture, and for choosing to spread joy through fine chocolate!” Looks like the joy is making its way around Alberta, one bite at a time. “Please let us know if/how we have helped you bring joy to those around you,” concludes Jacqueline. “We love happy stories as it validates our reason for being. It’s this fuel that keeps us going! We love hearing from our customers why they choose JACEK for gifts, and we often hear things like ‘because they are so unique in appearance and flavour,’ ‘because it helps to showcase creativity in Edmonton for out-of-town guests,’ and ‘because we love their philosophy’.” You can share your stories on the JACEK Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jacekchocolatecouture), and you can learn more about the joy of chocolate at jacekchocolate.com.

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

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Unique offerings such as the IOSafe Water- and Fireproof NAS/Backup device.

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“Enterprise-based solutions for your growing business” isn’t just a catch phrase, it’s been our reason for existing since 2001. Reduce time and money you spend on IT so you can focus on what you love… growing your business. With leading partners like and Ranchlands is well positioned to provide you the right technology choices and the best buying decisions to gain maximum value from your IT investments. Custom solutions for your day-to-day computing, like the Lenovo Tiny.

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EVENT PLANNING AND CATERING STILL GOING STRONG // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

and CATERING

EVENT PLANNING STILL GOING STRONG AMIDST ECONOMIC TURBULENCE BY LAURA BOHNERT

N

ot even economic turbulence can get in the way of Edmonton’s event planning and catering industry. Outside of oil and gas, Edmonton is still planning more events than ever, and with attendance and participation staying strong, event planning and catering represents a powerful force for economic development. As Kandrix Foong, founder and director of the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo (Edmonton Expo for short) reports, Expo attendance has done anything but get smaller over the past few years. “The Edmonton Expo is one of the fastest growing conventions of its kind in North America. The audience has grown every year.” This year’s Expo, which took place September 23-25 at the Edmonton Expo Centre in Northlands, marked the 5th anniversary of an annual pop culture convention that attracts over 50,000 attendees from Edmonton, Alberta, and around the world each year. Along with its sister show, the Calgary Expo, which now attracts over 100,000 attendees, the Edmonton Expo is expected to continue expanding in both size and value—in spite of Edmonton’s current economy. “We’ve braced for [the downturn], but it hasn’t been the case yet,” explains Foong. “There are people who wait all year for the Expo and factor it into their entertainment budgets,

and for people scaling back, it’s an awesome entertainment option for families because kids get in free, so we find more people are interested in it, actually.” Of course, the celebrity guests are a huge attraction. This year’s event featured Carrie Fisher, “Princess Leia” from Star Wars. “When it comes to sci-fi royalty, it doesn’t get much bigger than that!” Foong exclaims.

ABOVE: KANDRIX FOONG, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF EDMONTON COMIC & ENTERTAINMENT EXPO. PHOTO SOURCE: PHOTO CREDIT CANDICE WARD

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

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EVENT PLANNING AND CATERING STILL GOING STRONG // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

The Expo doesn’t experience the benefits of its popularity alone. “The biggest impact [of the Edmonton Expo] is felt by the vendors,” states Foong. “Expo features have hundreds of vendors—most of which are local to Alberta. These events are often the biggest sales days on their calendars. That is also true of the artists in our ‘Artist Alley’. Expos are where they meet their fans, take commissions, and sign their work. “From a city perspective, we anticipate filling more than 500 hotel rooms with our partner hotels for each event. The increase in tourist activity for the city is felt by restaurants and more. If you’re a costume shop or craft store that’s helping people put together their cosplays, I think September is probably a pretty good months for you as well.” “Pop culture is culture. In some ways, it’s the most accessible form of culture. Edmonton’s culture scene is unmatched. The city loves its culture, and the Edmonton Expo is just an extension of that.” Pop culture isn’t the only topic creating a growing draw within the city. Tom Keogh, event director for the Edmonton Marathon, has noted a stark increase in marathon participation over the past two years. “The Edmonton Marathon is one of the few marathons across Canada to actually see an increase in racer participation,” states Keogh. “We had projected over 4,100 registrants, and this year we hit the 4,500 mark, the largest participant rate in the history of the event. “The course has caught on with athletes who enjoy the ‘big city’ marathon feel: running down iconic Jasper Avenue, the 10,000 plus cheering fans along the route, the amenities

at the Shaw Conference Centre, and how friendly the race is. “The Edmonton Marathon is a Boston qualifier race, which brings elite athletes, international running enthusiasts (we had runners come from as far away as Kazakhstan, Brazil, and China), as well as local loyals. Back this year to run was the 2015 Marathon Champion, Tom McGrath. This was the Edmonton runner’s 10th year running in his hometown race.” This year marked the 25th year of the event, which, was originally called the Alberta Capital City Marathon and first took place in August of 1992. The founding chairman was John McGee, who also participated in the event. “The marathon brings additional economic impact to the city and downtown businesses,” Keogh adds. “We provide something unique in Edmonton. There’s no question why we call ourselves the ‘friendly marathon.’ Approachable, accessible, good-natured: this is the marathon where you will feel right at home. Edmonton is a fantastic place to run and in many cases a favourite event on the race calendar!” ABOVE: COSPLAY FUN AT THE EDMONTON EXPO . PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON EXPO

INSET: IMAGE FROM THE VERY FIRST EVENT THAT TOOK PLACE IN AUGUST OF 1992, CALLED THE ALBERTA CAPITAL CITY MARATHON. WINNER OF THE EVENT, STEFAN FEKNER, IS FEATURED WEARING BIB #1.

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


EVENT PLANNING AND CATERING STILL GOING STRONG // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

Edmonton represents a strong location for the catering industry as well. As Jeff Young, president of Bridges Catering, says, “We are fortunate to say that our level of business has been fairly consistent in 2016. It seems that Edmonton businesses have been using the slowdown in the economy as an opportunity to train and redevelop. Breakfast meetings, lunch & learns, and planning sessions all require catering, and we are happy to provide those services.” Now approaching its 20th year in Edmonton, Bridges Catering started out as a small café—one of the top 10 restaurants in Edmonton—until 2001, when the demand for catering outgrew the restaurant. Bridges then evolved into a full service catering company. “Bridges has become a progressive and versatile catering company committed to offering unique and delicious food for any occasion and exceptional customer service,” Young explains. “We strive for excellence with every event to make each one spectacular. “We cater corporate meetings, conferences, receptions, weddings, private parties and large scale events. Requests for special events has slightly decreased, yet we have seen a larger demand for breakfast and luncheon catering.” “Quality catering is economically important for Edmonton to attract special event opportunities to showcase our city,” emphasizes Young. “Catering is an integral component of a successful special event. When meeting planners and promotional companies look at various cities to host events, they must ensure that all pieces of the puzzle are readily available to them, and dependable quality catering is at the top of the list.” Todd Rutter, founder and co-owner of A Capella Catering, agrees that it is precisely this diversity of events that has enabled the catering industry to thrive despite a troubled economy. “So far, we’ve escaped the real brunt of the price of oil,” Rutter explains. “Our sales have sort of dropped; we took a bit of a hit in 2014 and into 2015, but we’ve actually rebounded starting last September, and overall we’ve experienced growth that is unusual given the climate of Alberta. “We can attribute that to the fact that our client base is diversified. We do have clients in energy, but that represents only a percentage of our volume. We also do work for

healthcare and education. There is a lot more going on that requires catering services, including marketing seminars, training sessions, and, of course, there are special events and personal catering. People are still getting married, the wheels still keep rolling, and catering definitely still has place and always will within Edmonton’s economy.” A Capella Catering initially opened as a campus pizza place in 1987 (A Capella Pizza) before becoming A Capella Café in 1988. “We started catering out of the restaurant, and catering sales quickly began to surpass restaurant sales, so we converted to catering only in ’91,” Rutter explains. “Our niche is that we do absolutely everything. From drop-off lunches for meetings with five people to multi-station events with 2,000 people or more, there is no limit to the catering we do, and for coming on 30 years now, this has enabled us to provide continual and steady growth to the Edmonton economy.” “Catering is driving a growing food scene,” Rutter explains. “It enhances what Edmonton has to offer by providing quality food services wherever the event is appraised in the city, which means people are also using hotels and other facilities. The full size of the industry’s impact is hard to determine.” Ultimately, Rutter explains, the catering industry works with the events (like the Edmonton Expo and the Edmonton Marathon) that are popping up within the city. Catering and event planning combine to make the city more attractive and appealing, adding value to the Edmonton economy along the way.

ABOVE: THREE OWNERS OF A CAPELLA CATERING. MICH DE LAIVE, KIM SZALYNSKI, AND TODD RUTTER.

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


2016 EVENT PLANNING DIRECTORY // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

VENUES ART GALLERY OF ALBERTA 780-422-6223 WWW.YOURAGA.CA

BESTWESTERN PLUS (ALL LOCATIONS)

EXECUTIVE ROYAL INN WEST EDMONTON 780-484-6000 WWW.EXECUTIVEHOTELS.NET

FANTASYLAND HOTEL

780-444-3000 WWW.FANTASYLANDHOTEL.COM

MIRAGE BANQUET HALL

780-468-3003 WWW.MIRAGEEDMONTON.COM

FESTIVAL PLACE

780-464-2852 WWW.FESTIVALPLACE.AB.CA

SHAW CONFERENCE CENTRE

NAIT

ST. MICHAEL’S HERITAGE HALL

780-409-9273 WWW.MPLJASPER.COM

780-471-8493 WWW.NAIT.CA

780-454-5441 WWW.NOVAHOTELS.CA

FOUNDRY ROOM COAST EDMONTON PLAZA HOTEL

780-328-7805 WWW.FOUNDRYROOM.COM

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT EDMONTON WEST

780-465-7931 WWW.STARWOODHOTELS.COM

COURTYARD EDMONTON DOWNTOWN 780-423-9999 WWW.MARRIOTT.COM

780-428-1414 WWW.WINSPEARCENTRE.COM

RADISSON HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTRE

TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE

780-468-5400 WWW.RADISSON.COM

CRAFT BEER MARKET

780-424-2337 CRAFTBEERMARKET.CA/EDMONTON

DELTA EDMONTON CENTRE SUITE HOTEL

780-429-3900 WWW.DELTAEDMONTONCENTRE.COM

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES (ALL LOCATIONS) WWW.HIEXPRESS.COM/EDMONTON

HOLIDAY INN HOTEL & SUITES WEST EDMONTON 780-444-3110 WWW.HOLIDAYINN.COM/EDMONTON

DEVONIAN BOTANIC GARDEN 780-987-3054 WWW.DEVONIAN.UALBERTA.CA

780-484-0821 WWW.DOUBLETREE3.HILTON.COM

EDMONTON MARRIOTT AT RIVER CREE RESORT 780-484-2121 WWW.MARRIOTT.COM

EDMONTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 780-496-7000 WWW.EPL.CA

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780-459-1411 WWW.SORRENTINOS.COM

780-451-3344 WWW.ODYSSIUM.COM

THE ENJOY CENTRE 780-419-6800 WWW.ENJOYCENTRE.CA

780-454-5454 WWW.RAMADAEDMONTON.COM

RAMADA INN & WATERPARK EDMONTON SOUTH 780-434-3431 WWW.RAMADA.COM

THE FAIRMONT HOTEL MACDONALD

780-424-5181 WWW.FAIRMONTMEETINGS.COM

THE OASIS CENTRE RENAISSANCE HOTEL AT EIA 780-488-7159 WWW.MARRIOTT.COM

780-451-9227 WWW.OASISCENTRE.COM

THE SUTTON PLACE HOTEL ROYAL GLENORA CLUB 780-482-2371 WWW.ROYALGLENORA.COM

HOTEL SELKIRK

780-496-7227 WWW.FORTEDMONTONPARK.CA

DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL WEST EDMONTON

RAMADA EDMONTON HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE

HILTON GARDEN INN WEST

780-443-2233 WWW.HILTONGARDENINN3.HILTON.COM

780-472-4508 WWW.SMHG.CA

SORRENTINO’S

780-471-7210 WWW.NORTHLANDS.COM

780-638-6070 WWW.COURYARDEDMONTONWEST.COM

THE FRANCIS WINSPEAR CENTRE

780-421-9797 WWW.SHAWCONFERENCECENTRE.COM

NORTHLANDS

780-423-4811 WWW.COASTHOTELS.COM

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON EDMONTON SOUTH

780-468-4115 WWW.SWAMILLRESTAURANT.COM

MOUNTAIN PARK LODGES (JASPER)

WWW.BOOK.BESTWESTERN.COM

CHATEAU NOVA HOTEL YELLOWHEAD

SAWMILL BANQUET & CATERING CENTRE

780-428-7111 WWW.EDMONTON.SUTTONPLACE.COM

THE TIMMS CENTRE FOR THE ARTS 780-492-2273 WWW.TIMMSCENTRE.CA

SANDMAN SIGNATURE EDMONTON SOUTH

780-430-7263 WWW.SANDMANSIGNATURE.CA

THE WESTIN EDMONTON

LA CITÉ FRANCOPHONE

LATITUDE 53

SANDS INN & SUITES

TRAVELODGE EDMONTON WEST

780-463-1144 WWW.LACITEFRANCO.CA 780-423-5353 WWW.LATITUDE53.ORG

MERIDIAN BANQUETS & CONFERENCE CENTRE

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

780-474-5476 WWW.SANDSHOTELEDM.COM

SANTA MARIA GORETTI CENTRE

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780-483-6031 WWW.TRAVELODGE.CA

TRESTLE CREEK GOLF RESORT 780-727-4575 WWW.TRESTLECREEK.CA


Your lunch meetings have never been

smoother!

Booster Juice is a quick, convenient and nutritious alternative to the typical corporate lunch or event catering. Why not wow everyone at your next team meeting with Smoothies, wraps and snacks from Booster Juice! Catering is available from most Booster Juice locations.

For more information, or to place a group order, contact catering@boosterjuice.com


2016 EVENT PLANNING DIRECTORY // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

UNION BANK INN

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MS PRODUCTIONS

WEST EDMONTON MALL

CEO CORPORATE EVENT ORGANIZATION INC.

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780-982-6500 WWW.AXEHOLE.CA

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780-421-1240 WWW.CEOINC.CA

IN FOCUS EVENTS

MEETING & EVENT PLANNERS

CM EVENTS

ABOVE & BEYOND PROMOTIONS

CANA EVENTS INC.

780-637-0776 WWW.ABPROMO.CA

ABSOLUTELY EDIBLES CATERING

780-424-6823 WWW.ABSOLUTELYEDIBLES.COM

780-221-1812 WWW.IDBOHEMIA.COM

780-619-2405 WWW.INFOCUSEVENTS.COM

780-761-6682 WWW.CMEVENTS.CA

INVERT 720 PRODUCTIONS

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CANADIAN GLOBAL RESPONSE

Following Fort McMurray: PART II - TALES FROM GROUND ZERO

The fire is out but now the phase of dealing with the fallout begins. The crisis is far from over. NERISSA MCNAUGHTON


PHOTO COURTESY OF CANADIAN GLOBAL RESPONSE

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he Fort McMurray fire is out but the dust is still settling. While the blaze broke records for being one of Canada’s largest evacuations in history, it now also lays claim to being one of the costliest as well. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates that the price tag will exceed $3 billion. The devastated landscape is difficult to navigate. The frustration level is high among those still unable to access their properties, those waiting on permits to rebuild, and the scramble to secure contractors. Yet, despite the financial, personal and economic toll, Fort McMurray’s bright spirit continues to shine, as evidenced by two large organizations that, while also affected by the fire, are determined to move forward while doing everything they can to help others in the community. YMCA of Northern Alberta: “The Fire Changed Our Focus – Permanently” For Nick Parkinson, president and CEO of YMCA of Northern Alberta, May 3rd is the day everything in his life changed.

“As I am sure you can imagine, this has been a very emotional and challenging time for our YMCA,” Parkinson recounts. I would have to say that this is one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging time in my 29 years in the YMCA. Never in my life could I have imagined that in a two-hour period we would be shutting down every aspect of our YMCA: child care, community & housing, health, fitness and aquatics. “On Sunday, May 1 and Monday, May 2 we had been following the fires in the media and were aware of the fire that was burning to the south of the city. At that time, it didn’t pose a threat. Late on Monday, the wind changed, began to pick up speed and move towards the city. On the morning of May 3rd I began to follow the fire movement closely. By 11 AM, I was informed that it had jumped the river and was moving quickly towards a number of communities. This got us even more nervous and concerned.” By 2 PM that day, Parkinson received two photos from Jim Weller, the regional VP in Wood Buffalo, showing smoke and ash billowing close to the town.

Yet, despite the financial, personal and economic toll, Fort McMurray’s bright spirit continues to shine, as evidenced by two large organizations that, while also affected by the fire, are determined to move forward while doing everything they can to help others in the community. FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY | PAGE 2


FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY: PART II - TALES FROM GROUND ZERO

“It was at this point when I began to get very concerned and felt like I needed to take action,” says Parkinson. “At about 2:15 I called for an emergency conference and after about a five minutes of discussion it became very clear that not just one or two YMCA facilities and communities were being impacted, but the entire city was being assaulted. “There wasn’t much debate. We needed to close all buildings and get all members, children and participants safely returned home. Our real concern was the 200+ phone calls to child care parents that needed to be made asking them to come and pick up their children. Our decision to close our facility about 30 – 60 minutes ahead of the voluntary, and then subsequent mandatory, evacuation was huge. It allowed us to be ahead of the rush and the chaos that ensued.” And chaos it was. “Imagine 80,000 people being told to evacuate in a matter of minutes,” Parkinson exclaims, “Panic truly, set in, traffic jams ensued, people were driving on sidewalks and running trails. To this day it amazes me that no one was killed or injured.” It turned out, however, that physical injuries weren’t the only ones to worry about. “The staff were traumatized and stressed,” Parkinson confirms. “A few staff have lost homes, most staff had no

belongings, no food or water, were running out of gas, and were being threatened by fire as they fled.” YMCA is an organization used to dealing with crisis management, but when the crisis hit home, the path forward isn’t always clear. “At times the staff wanted to have the perfect plan and road map, or they were going down rabbit holes and making speculations or acting on rumor. We made it very clear early on that we were only going to act on fact and verifiable reports, and we would be focusing our actions on the things that matter. I quickly learnt that if you try and think things through [in a crisis] and have a clear plan, you will become paralyzed by inaction. “After the first 48 hours, the discussion within the senior leadership team changed and issues began to get more complex. For example, one of the senior management team members asked what were we going to be doing about the May auto-withdrawal for membership and child care fees. The answer was simple. If there was no service, we would not be withdrawing funds.” Thankfully, none of the YMCA facilities in Fort McMurray were lost, but all 10 sustained smoke damage. Thanks to an asset team, a hazardous materials clean up company, an insurance adjuster, a handful of staff and a restoration company, the YMCA was back in their facilities on June 1…sort of. As Parkinson explains, it wasn’t a matter of walking in and turning on the lights.

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FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY | PAGE 3


PHOTO COURTESY OF SERVPRO.

“Air quality has been a significant concern. All of our sites were tested prior to re-entry, and tested once again after the remediation and cleaning had taken place. All porous materials needed to be replaced: carpets, ceiling tiles, fabric furniture, etc.” The fixtures were not the only issue.

with the understanding that we would recall them as soon as possible. On June 23 we sent out recall notices asking all employee to return to work.” YMCA in Wood Buffalo lost 23 per cent of their work force and had to stagger re-entry for 33 per cent of the remaining staff.

“Without a doubt, the most difficult part of this journey has been with the 180 staff in Wood Buffalo. The staff were asking what was happening. Emotionally, we wanted to tell them they all had jobs and their salaries and benefits would continue. Fiscally that was not a reality – we had no revenue and the insurance company would not commit to salary and benefit continuance. We needed to deliver the tough message that all employees would have to go on EI,

“On May 3 we closed with 3,874 members, 347 children in child care and over 1,000 participants in our community and housing initiatives. We are not going to reopen with these numbers. It is going to take months and months to recover.

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“Since this crisis started I have reached out to and have been contacted by many colleagues offering their support, encouragement, and offers to assist. A number

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FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY | PAGE 4


FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY: PART II - TALES FROM GROUND ZERO

of my colleagues really challenged me to think about our opportunity to reposition, redefine and strengthen our YMCA in the community for generations to come. The timing of these conversations was perfect, as it really changed my focus and mindset from the notion of moving from emergency and crisis management to that of recovery and rebuilding. I had been thinking about this transition, but this helped confirm that it was the right time both in Edmonton and in Wood Buffalo to begin to think about moving forward. I want our YMCA to be ready and I want our YMCA to be a leader in rebuilding and the recovery of the community.” Motivated by the traumatic experience, YMCA launched, and continues to introduce, several short and long-term initiatives designed to support the children, youth and families’ emotional and wellness needs in the community. “We are concerned about the financial impact the fires will have on our YMCA not only in 2016, but in 2017, 2018 and beyond,” Parkinson concludes. “The community

Invested in the Oil Sands

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will take months and years to recover. For the non-profit sector this is extremely challenging due to the slim margins and the challenges to find qualified, experienced staff.” But he knows one thing will never change, “The YMCA steps up… it doesn’t step back!” Brandt – “We Just Want to Help Make Things a Little Better” Dave Wallace is the branch manager at the Brandt Fort McMurray location. Apart from a small group of employees that stayed behind, working through the crisis to support the firefighting effort, he and his team were not granted access to their facility for a month following the evacuation order. What they came back to was a community in shambles. “As of May 20, I wasn’t sure the town was going to survive,” Wallace notes. “We were hit from all sides. The only thing that saved the city that day was that so much of the town and surrounding forest had already burned. I was back on May 20 and that day we got three hours of rain, which helped immensely. Things kind of turned a

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FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY | PAGE 5


PHOTO COURTESY OF CANADIAN GLOBAL RESPONSE

corner then, but it was a very long fire fight. In my naïve brain, when I left here on May 3 I thought the fire would be long gone in two or three days, but it surrounded Fort McMurray for another 18 days.” Wallace reminisces. “There was a lot of smoke damage to our dealership – and it wasn’t minor. We had cleaning crews here for the next two weeks. There were 12 people cleaning. They took out all the ceiling tiles and cleaned for 14 days. They let the dust settle and the air scrubbers do their work, and then came back for two more days of cleaning.” Brandt was fortunate to retain almost all of its staff. “We couldn’t tell the staff to come back during the voluntary evacuation, which ended on June 10th, but late in June, 54 of our 55 staff had returned. One fellow moved away permanently.” Being a provider and service location for heavy-duty construction and forestry equipment enabled Brandt to take an active role in defending the community.

“We had two mechanics, one parts person and one salesman that volunteered to help during the fire,” Wallace explains. Together they drove class 1 vehicles, delivered equipment (mostly tractors and dozers to help smother the fire) and repaired equipment that broke down while fighting the blaze. They also drove up and down the highway delivering parts, water, food and tarps as needed. “When we were asked to haul, we did. We were just trying to save the town.” Brandt’s efforts to save the town didn’t end after the fire was extinguished. In conjunction with the John Deere Foundation, Brandt also donated $150,000 to the Red Cross’ Fort McMurray fund. “I actually got to present the cheque to the Red Cross,” he says with pride. “It was a nice feeling.” Now, as businesses are reopening and the rebuilding begins, Wallace looks around and concludes that things are not yet okay.

FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY | PAGE 6


FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY: PART II - TALES FROM GROUND ZERO

In the end, that’s the spirit that keeps this phase of the rebuild moving along. “Only around 1,100 demolition permits have been issued, with only a few hundred lots cleaned [as of September 1],” says Wallace sadly. “It’s going quite slowly. A few houses are now being framed, which is great to see. With 2,500 dwellings destroyed, we were hoping that more would be done before winter sets in.”

service truck to ensure rapid onsite support as the rebuild effort gets going full time. We’ll also help with servicing equipment and rental programs, such as our ‘3 for 2’ equipment rental program that offers customers a free month’s rental on a three-month contract. There will also be discounts on John Deere equipment for anyone working on the rebuild.”

A slow start to rebuilding isn’t the only challenge. “There is more stress,” he notes. “People are dealing with their busy lives already. We are a hardworking town and we are not up here for the good weather. People come to Fort McMurray to work and make money and work long shifts; 10 – 15 hours long for 15 – 16 days at a time. Now add to that the stress of insurance, making lists of things that have been lost, etc. Right now people are still dealing with grief.” Brandt is doing what they can to help alleviate the stress. “We’ve brought in a fully-equipped proactive maintenance

“We are concerned for the people of Fort Mac who have lost so much and we are trying to help make life a little better for them,” concludes Dave. In the end, that’s the spirit that keeps this phase of the rebuild moving along. No matter what has been lost or how each individual has been traumatized, despite the stress and the complications, the city continues to support each other in any way they can. Things may not be okay right now – but they will be in the future.

FOLLOWING FORT MCMURRAY | PAGE 7


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2016 Board of Directors Executive

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

Directors

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

Chamber Executive

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

Time for Government Leaders to Stop, Look and Listen By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO In business, timing is everything. I have been talking a lot over the past year about the cost increases being layered on to businesses by all three levels of government. While any one of these increases might be manageable in a stable economy, we’ve been urging government leaders to more carefully consider the combined impact of these increases. It’s a message worth repeating and emphasizing. Alberta’s economy is unstable, and the future is uncertain. The timing of each of these increases is of growing concern. Let’s consider these examples: • As of 2016, the City of Edmonton raised property taxes 3.4% and is projecting increases of 3.4% in 2017, and 4.8% in 2018. • As of January 2017, Alberta’s carbon tax takes effect, starting at $20 per tonne and rising to $30 per tonne within one year. This will have a significant effect on carbonintensive businesses, raising the price they pay for all forms of fuel and power. It will also have a tremendous impact on individuals, who will experience higher gas prices and higher home heating costs. • As of October 2018, Alberta’s minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour. We have heard from our members that increases of this magnitude—48% over three years— may give them no option but to reduce staff and cut back on hours. That will put fewer dollars in the pockets of the very employees that the increases are supposed to help. • As of January 2019, Canada Pension Plan premiums are expected to increase. That means that employers will have to contribute more money and that employees will have more deductions taken off each paycheque. Hammering businesses with extra costs while Alberta is still on shaky economic ground will prove overwhelming for some businesses, and will delay our province’s return to economic health.

Hammering businesses with extra costs while Alberta is still on shaky economic ground will prove overwhelming for some businesses, and will delay our province’s return to economic health. Continued on the next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2016

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So what can government do instead? It’s not too late for all levels of government to reconsider their plans and the timing of their actions. It’s not too late for governments to listen to the concerns of the business community and the solutions we are offering. Carbon Tax There is still time for the Province to establish the carbon tax rebate that the Edmonton Chamber has been calling for to help offset the costs of the tax for small and medium sized businesses. The rebate model that the Edmonton Chamber is proposing would reward the most energy efficient companies, those that emit the least greenhouse gases, and create a significant incentive for the least efficient companies to improve their operations and emit less carbon dioxide. This rebate model could be put in place by 2018 or even sooner. Minimum Wage No one knows what the effect of increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour will be because no other major jurisdiction in North America has raised it by so much, so quickly. Seattle is one U.S. jurisdiction that is introducing a $15 minimum wage. It is applying a longer phase-in period for small businesses and non-profits. They won’t be required to pay $15 per hour until 2019. The Edmonton Chamber has also suggested a prolonged and flexible phase-in period of the $15 minimum wage for non-profits and small businesses, where payrolls represent a large portion of operating costs. CPP Premiums The Edmonton Chamber supports programs that allow Canadians to save for their retirement, and we support programs that let them make their own choices. Voluntary increased contributions to the CPP are one way the government could encourage saving without taking money out of the pockets of businesses and individual Canadians. If increased CPP contributions were made voluntary instead of mandatory starting in 2019, it would keep money in the pockets of both employers and employees at a time when it would likely be most appreciated, as the economy is recovering. As Alberta’s economy struggles through these challenging times, the business sector needs a shot in the arm, not weights around its ankles. The Edmonton Chamber encourages our government leaders to stop, look and listen, and to make decisions that will help rather than hinder Alberta businesses as the economy rebounds. The Edmonton Chamber would like to know what government policies you think would assist with Alberta’s economy recovery. You can contact us by email: policy@edmontonchamber.com.

Members in this Issue Bridges Catering and A Capella Cateringl in Event Planning and Catering Still Going Strong Amidst Economic Turbulence on page 33 REALTORS Association of Edmonton in Buying and Selling: A Reality Check on page 64 Alley Kat Brewing Company, Boutique Events and Freewill Shakespeare Festival in Staying Connected, Staying Successful on page 57

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AMVIC Licensed

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

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The Value of Connection

T

he theme of this year’s Small Business Week* is ‘connection.’ Connection to information, connection to insight and connection to each other. Connection plays a big role in small business and can help to: • Build stronger client relationships, leading to repeat business and referrals • Discover opportunities for business growth • Build your brand and create a loyal customer base • Access better supplier pricing, unique deals and offers • Develop collaborative relationships, and engage in knowledge transfer and learning opportunities With all the great advantages then, why does networking and making that connection sometimes feel so difficult? It can come easy when you’re with friends at a social gathering, but when it comes to work, it can be more of a challenge. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be if you have the right tools and tips. We have all been there, at a party or an event, and you meet someone who happens to be a skydiving pilot or book publisher, and all of a sudden, that idea that has been percolating in your head about going skydiving or writing your memoirs starts to come together as a real possibility. The same can be said for business opportunities. Through networking and connecting with others, you receive information and insight that can help you achieve your business goals, build your brand and customer base, and highlight your service offering to potential new clients. Making the right connection can mean the difference between your business just ticking along, or discovering an innovative business opportunity or solution that leads to potential revenue growth.

It all starts with connection Networking is a great way to help build and grow your business. Instead of hibernating, get

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

out in front of your target markets and increase exposure of your brand. It can go a long way in helping you achieve that sale. However, networking is more than talking and mingling. There is an art to networking, and it includes: • • • • •

Developing a personal branding statement Making a good first impression Remembering names Maximizing events Effectively exiting conversations

Personal Branding Statement One of the first questions people usually ask when you meet them is, “What do you do?” Take this opportunity to share your personal branding statement, and highlight your skills, strengths, and interests, as well as your unique value proposition. First Impressions You only get one chance at a first impression, so it is helpful to understand the basics. Once you have done this a couple of times, it will become second nature, and you will be able to focus more on active listening and engaging with your new potential lead. • • • • • •

Dress appropriately for the occasion Wear a name tag on your right side Have a firm handshake Smile when you introduce yourself Use appropriate eye contact Follow up after the event

Remember Names It’s important to remember peoples’ names when you’re having conversations. Many people struggle with this, and there are various techniques available to help you remember. The Dale Carnegie Training method teaches guests to create memory associations with names to increase retention, and make it easier to match that business card with the right person after the event! Maximize Networking Events Spend your time wisely. You may only have a short period to meet with potential leads, so makes sure you maximize this time by:


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• Bringing plenty of business cards • Circulating – don’t spend too much time with the people you know • Take a genuine interest in others by asking interesting questions and being a good listener • Be up to date on current events affecting relevant groups and industries • Be authentic Effectively Exit Conversations Finally, learn how to effectively exit conversations. Dale Carnegie Training suggests the following types of messages: • “It’s been great talking to you. We should probably both connect with some additional people before the event is over…” • “Please excuse me. I’m meeting my colleague outside. It was a pleasure meeting you…” When done right, networking can land you more than a business card. It can create opportunities to pitch your services or products to the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.

The more you practice your brand message, the more likely you will be successful in presenting your value to the right person, at the right moment. The more you practice your brand message, the more likely you will be successful in presenting your value to the right person, at the right moment. So get started by attending one of our exciting events as part of Small Business Week*. Our lineup promises to deliver valuable information and insight. Register to attend ‘Maximum Impact Networking’ with Dale Carnegie Training, and set yourself up for networking success for the rest of the week! You never know what could happen or who you might meet. *BDC, supporting sponsor and founder of Small Business WeekTM BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2016

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Connecting Business Edmonton Garrison Business Lunch

Chamber President & CEO Janet Riopel at a recent Edmonton Garrison Business Lunch, flanked by Colonel Stephen Lacroix, Group Commander for the Edmonton Garrison, & Brigadier General Simon Hetherington, Commander 3rd Canadian Division & Joint Task Force West

Connecting Business Night at the Zoo Mixer & Trade Show

Lots of connections were made with guests taking the opportunity to exchange business cards and grow their network.

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A packed event with members and guests sharing business stories over a refreshing drink.

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Exclusive after hours access to the Zoo post event provided guests with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Zoo’s local residents.

Chamber members and guests enjoying the opportunity to connect and discover more about the the Edmonton business community.

Our team of Preferred Partners showcasing the fantastic savings you have access to as a Chamber member.

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

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Small Business; BIG Connections Running from October 17 to October 21, this year’s Small Business Week* events bring together the Edmonton Business Community under the common goal of achieving those all important ‘big connections!’

Powered by

Connection to information. Connection to insight. Connection to others.

Maximum Impact Networking

Small Business Week* Kick-Off Mixer

Building a Bigger & Better Business –Panel Discussion

Thought Leadership Roundtable

With Dale Carnegie Training

October 17

Booster Juice Fountain Tire World Health

October 19

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

October 17

October 18

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

www.EdmontonChamber.com/small-business-week

*BDC, supporting sponsor and founder of Small Business WeekTM

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

HighPerformance Leadership (Tools & Techniques) October 20 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Networking with a Kick! October 21 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


STAYING CONNECTED,

STAYING CONNECTED, STAYING SUCCESSFUL // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Staying Successful

IN THE AGE OF BIG BUSINESS, SMALLER OUTFITS ARE STILL DRIVING EDMONTON’S ECONOMY. THESE THREE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS ARGUE IT’S MORE THAN JUST THE POLICIES, IT’S THE PEOPLE.

BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

E

dmonton may be home to a number of larger businesses, but the small businesses are driving its economy. Alberta’s capital has an excellent reputation when it comes to its small businesses for a number of reasons, including how people connect, the city’s approach to small business, and the success stories that come from Alberta’s capital. Edmonton’s appeal to small businesses, according to some of the members of its Chamber of Commerce, is complex and multifaceted. It isn’t just the city’s policies or procedures that make it appealing, it’s the city itself. Its openness to new ideas, its personality, and changing identity also contribute to the success, but the policies and procedures certainly help. According to a report on small business by the provincial government, 95 per cent of Alberta’s businesses are classified as small, with 94 per cent of Edmonton’s 36,000 businesses qualifying as small. Provincially, small businesses are responsible for a per capita GDP far above the national average.

Small businesses aren’t just contributing to the economy, though; they’re thriving, even in Alberta’s recent economic downturn. Between 2008 and 2013, Alberta’s microbusinesses, those with fewer than four employees, increased by 12 per cent and the number of “large” small businesses, those with 20-49 employees, grew by 16 per cent in that same timeframe. “This suggests that several small businesses have taken on more employees and scaled up to seize more and better opportunities,” the report says, citing low taxes and a “business-friendly atmosphere” as major reasons why businesses have found a home in Alberta. More locally, Edmonton’s Chamber of Commerce members have found numerous events and ways to connect within the city’s own economy. Businesses like Alley Kat Brewing Company and even nonprofits like the Freewill Shakespeare Festival have praised Edmonton for its pro-business stance, which has as much to do with the city as it does its institutions.

ABOVE: SOME OF ALLEY KAT’S FAMOUS KEGS, READY TO SHIP OUT ACROSS ALBERTA. PHOTO SOURCE: ROXY HASTINGS

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

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STAYING CONNECTED, STAYING SUCCESSFUL // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

“THERE ISN’T ANYTHING ELSE THAT LETS YOU CONNECT TO BUSINESSES IN THE SAME WAY [AS THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE]. IT’S THE BEST WAY TO CONNECT WITH OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS. IT’S HELPED US GROW OUR BUSINESS AND GET OUR PRODUCTS INTO NEW HANDS.” ~ NEIL HERBST

Business is Brewing Probably one of the most beloved members in the Chamber of Commerce is Alley Kat Brewing Company. Edmonton’s own microbrewery has been making craft beers for over 20 years. Like some of Edmonton’s other success stories, like Booster Juice and Famoso, Alley Kat is popping up everywhere, but co-owner and “Hop Father” Neil Herbst is still proud to call Edmonton home. “Edmonton’s a great city,” Herbst says, “It’s a great environment to do business and the City itself is businessfriendly.” He describes the business processes in Edmonton as “painless” as well, and mentioned he’s never had any issues with the city when it comes to licensing and permits, a small feat considering his company makes craft beer.

Talent acquisition and retention is easier in Edmonton as well, Herbst says. The city’s recent changes in style and approach have made it much easier to convince talented people to make the trek north. “The city’s become more metropolitan over the last number of years in terms of its outlook and tastes,” he adds, “It’s been great for us, too, in terms of employees. When we’re looking for new people, it’s never a hard sell to convince someone to move here.” Alley Kat joined the Chamber of Commerce not long after opening. Herbst says it was the chance to connect to businesses that convinced him to be a member. “There isn’t anything else that lets you connect to businesses in the same way [as the Chamber of Commerce],” Herbst explains, “It’s the best way to connect with other business owners. It’s helped us grow our business and get our products into new hands.”

ABOVE: ALLEY KAT CO-FOUNDER AND “HOP-FATHER” NEIL HERBST. PHOTO SOURCE: HEATHER KUTCHMA

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STAYING CONNECTED, STAYING SUCCESSFUL // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

ABOVE: OLIVIA WORKING IN BOUTIQUE EVENTS’ OFFICE SPACE IN EDMONTON. PHOTO SOURCE: DZINE PHOTOGRAPHY

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


// SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Free estimates Financing Available

LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR OLIVIA PILIP TENDS TO AGREE. AN EVENT PLANNER WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WORKING DIRECTLY WITH THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, SHE SAYS THAT EDMONTON’S SIZE AND SOCIABILITY MAKE IT GREAT FOR ANY KIND OF BUSINESS.

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Part of Alley Kat’s presence with the Chamber of Commerce includes beer tastings at Small Business Week events. The chance to show off his latest brews with restaurants and other like businesses have been great for Alley Kat’s exposure and success. “It’s been very beneficial,” he says, “Anytime we can get our products in front of new people is a good thing.”

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Building Relationships Through the Chamber of Commerce Local entrepreneur Olivia Pilip tends to agree. An event planner with years of experience working directly with the Chamber of Commerce, she says that Edmonton’s size and sociability make it great for any kind of business. Pilip worked with the Chamber of Commerce in her previous position with Go Auto, creating and attending meet-and-greets for small businesses and other dealerships in Edmonton.

sales@skylinesigns.ca

ABOVE: BOUTIQUE EVENTS FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL, OLIVIA PILIP. PHOTO SOURCE: DZINE PHOTOGRAPHY

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STAYING CONNECTED, STAYING SUCCESSFUL // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

“There really isn’t a [better] chance to talk and network with professionals and other businesses like the Chamber of Commerce,” she says, “I worked extensively with the Chamber to host mixers. It’s very good for bringing businesses together.” Once Pilip founded her own event company, Boutique Events, she joined the Chamber of Commerce almost right away. “Being a member is like most things in life, in that you get out of it what you put in,” she explains, “So if you attend these events and put yourself out there, you’ll be able to

connect. Advertising is important, but face-to-face meetings, referrals, and word-of-mouth are still the best ways to help your business grow.” The Chamber’s mixers and events, like Small Business Week, help businesses grow, connect, and, in the case of the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, they are also great for getting cookies. The festival’s now-trademark sweets handed out at every performance are thanks to one of these very events. “It was through a Chamber of Commerce event that I met Byron [Fisher] from River City Cookies,” the Festival’s managing

ABOVE: THIS YEAR, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST WAS PERFORMED WITH SOME VERY INVENTIVE COSTUMES AND PROPS. PHOTO SOURCE: ALEXA TONN

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


// SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Are You Ready To Sell Your Business?

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elling your company after investing years of hard work and money is a difficult and long process. You have to ask yourself some serious questions such as – Who do you want to sell your business to? When will you sell? What are your reasons for selling? What are your plans after the sale? Do you just want to scale down your involvement with the company or are you prepared to let go completely? Are you emotionally ready to turn over your company to someone else? What type of buyer do you want to acquire your business? Selling your company is a long and arduous process. If you can answer these three questions, you just might be ready for it.

WHO DO I WANT TO SELL TO?

There are two types of buyers: strategic and financial. You need to figure out which one is right for you. A strategic buyer is generally a larger corporation that will buy you out, take over your operation, and incorporate your business into their own. You simply walk away with the proceeds. Or, you could be looking for a financial acquirer, who will provide you with growth capital and allow you to keep running the company. Once you know what kind of deal you’re looking for, you need to find an actual “perfect fit” buyer who meets all your needs, financially and culturally. If you can’t imagine what your ideal buyer would look like, maybe you’re not ready for one.

director, Julie Haddow, says, “He’s been supplying our festival with cookies for the past two years. He also helps us with our fundraising by donating cookies. It has been great for us, but I know he’s enjoyed it as well. It’s a really great relationship and it happened because of the Chamber.” This month, Edmonton will host its annual Small Business Week events, which offers a number of opportunities to foster positive, and mutually beneficial relationships with other Edmonton businesses. Some of the events include panel discussions on challenges facing Edmonton’s small business community, expert advice on a number of topics, and opportunities to rub shoulders with other entrepreneurs. The event runs from October 16 to 22. Edmonton’s pro-business reputation may have something to do with the taxes and cold, hard data, but its warm heart keeps its small businesses flourishing and thriving in tough economic times.

ABOVE: THE FREEWILL SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL PUT A MODERN TWIST ON THE BARD’S MOST FAMOUS PLAY, ROMEO & JULIET. PHOTO SOURCE: PK PHOTOGRAPHY

WHY DO I WANT TO SELL?

If you always planned to sell the company at some point, then it could be time to cash out and enjoy the money. Maybe you’ve outgrown the company–the challenge of a startup isn’t there anymore and you’re bored. You could want more time to yourself, to train for a marathon and coach your daughter’s soccer team. Whether it’s money, time, or other goals, you need a concrete plan for what your life will look like after the transaction.

WHEN WILL I BE READY TO SELL?

Even if the company is ready to be sold, are you ready to sell it? Company owners are used to making big decisions about the company’s future. Most CEOs do this by focusing on the facts and numbers and then acting decisively. This works when you’re deciding which way to direct the horse. Choosing to let go of the reins is a much more emotional decision. Selling a company is a long and arduous process. If you’re going to start the journey, you owe it to yourself to make sure you’re ready to go the distance.

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 // OCTOBER 2016

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BUYING AND SELLING: A REALITY CHECK // REAL ESTATE

BUYING AND SELLING: A REALITY CHECK BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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BUYING AND SELLING: A REALITY CHECK // REAL ESTATE

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hile fun “reality” shows like Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers, Income Property and Leave it to Bryan may have you thinking that all you need to make your real estate transactions a success is a handsome host (or two), three weeks and a bevy of cooperative contractors, actual reality paints a much different picture. For a truly successful transaction, sellers and buyers need to know how market conditions play a role in real estate values. Two terms that frequently come up when the economy is noticeably up or down is “buyers’ market” and “sellers’ market”. What are they and how do they affect you? “A buyers’ market is generally defined as a period that favours buyers by offering an ample selection of property at relatively low prices and taking 3-6 months to sell,” informs Todd Millar of Glenn Simon Inc., an Alberta real estate investment firm. “It’s important to remember that all real estate markets are cyclical and will show signs favorable to both buyers and sellers – but the key underlying economic fundamentals are what is important to study when you are buying real estate. Trends and emotions also fuel both buyers and sellers markets, but are not necessarily solid indicators of what is happening in that specific real estate market.

are in a balanced real estate market that is leaning slightly towards a buyers’ side.”

So where is Edmonton at so far in 2016? A buyers’ or a seller’s market? Steve Sedgwick, chair of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, has that answer – and it’s a surprising one.

There are, however, advantages to both markets. Sedgwick explains, “In a buyers’ market, people looking to buy have the advantage of a large selection on the market and a lower chance of entering into a multiple offer situation. We also tend to see prices drop, so they have the benefit of possibly purchasing a home for below listed price. For sellers, the situation is a bit more dependent on their motivation for moving. A seller in a buyers’ market will likely be up against stiff competition. With so many properties on the market, you need to be priced competitively. However, if you are planning on upgrading your house, any money not made on the sale can be made up for and then some on the purchasing side.”

“It is no secret that sales have dropped throughout the Edmonton area, and we have seen an influx of inventory coming into the market over the past year which would lead many people to believe that we are currently in a buyers’ market. However, the one indicator that we haven’t seen is a price drop. So far this year (as of July), our all-residential average selling price is actually up marginally over last year. Based on that fact, it would be more accurate to say that we

For real estate investors, the opposing markets also hold benefits. “In a buyers’ market, savvy investors can cherry pick the properties that fit their system. They are often able to negotiate better terms with the seller (longer closing, less money down, added improvements, etc.). Some investors may choose to focus on being problem solvers, finding ways to help stuck sellers sell their homes by way of strategies like AFS (Agreement for Sale) or RTO (Rent to Own) strategies.

“A sellers’ market is the opposite of a buyers’ market. This occurs when there are not enough homes to satisfy the buyers in the market. This can happen within microcommunities or even among property price ranges, but generally constitutes the whole market swaying in one direction over the other.”

ABOVE: TODD MILLAR, GLEN SIMON INC.

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NAIOP Edmonton is the definitive voice of commercial real estate development in Alberta’s Capital Region. With the support of NAIOP Edmonton’s sponsors, 2016 has seen over 26% growth in membership and outstanding progress across our three pillars of advocacy, networking and education.

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The course will provide intermediate to senior level real estate professionals with techniques used to analyze, finance and structure real estate transactions.

SPO

Friday, October 21 • Advanced Real Estate Finance course

ORS

Join us for our next event:


From investors, owners and developers to architects, brokers, engineers and other professionals, NAIOP IS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE. We have the people, knowledge and education to help you find connections, stay ahead of the curve, and make deals. Join us.

We influence the course of our business through positive interactions with various levels of government and the community.

>> Significant contributor in recommending that the City of Edmonton does not proceed with the implementation of the Municipal Development Corporation (MDC), holding the position on a new formed advisory committee to help unlock value from

www.naiopedmonton.com

under-utilized city assets and for city building initiatives.

>> Works with the City of Edmonton and Urban Development Institute on the Industrial Investment Action Plan that includes an Industrial Infrastructure Partnership Model in place of the existing Revolving Industrial Servicing Fund that allows front end developers to recover over expenditures from two sources. This new model is created by NAIOP members and will allow developers to recover their over expenditures from 50% of their own tax uplift.

>> Follows proposed amendments to the Municipal Government Act intently, particularly significant changes for offsite levies, regional governance and inclusionary zoning. Bill 21—Modernized Municipal Government Act will be re-introduced and debated in the legislature this fall.

>> Improves the dialog between the commercial real estate industry and shallow service providers, with plans to implement a process to escalate concerns and track service level targets.

We connect our members so that they develop new business relationships.

>> Our membership comprises commercial real estate developers, construction industry members and service providers with a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Rising professionals age 35 and younger—Developing Leaders— launched our inaugural mentorship program that connects them with prominent industry mentors in the industry.

We offer educational opportunities and a program of events that ensures our industry is on the cutting edge.

>> NAIOP Edmonton is proud to offer the opportunity to deepen the commercial real estate knowledge of both members and non-members through the NAIOP Continuing Education Program.

PRESIDENTS CLUB

DEVELOPING LEADER

MOVERS AND SHAKERS • Avison Young, Brownlee LLP, Cushman & Wakefield, Edmonton International Airport, Panattoni, Riddell Kurczaba Architecture, WAM Development Group, York Realty Inc. • INDUSTRY PATRONS • Hopewell Development Corporation • GIFT-IN-KIND • Witten LLP, MNP, ProInCon


BUYING AND SELLING: A REALITY CHECK // REAL ESTATE

WHETHER YOUR PURCHASE IS AN INVESTMENT OR YOUR PRIMARY RESIDENCE, BOTH BUYERS AND SELLERS NEED TO KEEP A FEW THINGS IN MIND, NO MATTER WHICH WAY THE MARKETS ARE MOVING. If done correctly and with integrity, these can be helpful ways to connect buyers and sellers together in a down market that will be beneficial to all parties – of course there can be a nasty underside if unscrupulous buyers/sellers are involved, which makes due diligence paramount. A buyers’ market can also be a good time to subdivide the land of that little old one bedroom house that you’ve owned for 20 years and sell or build for resale, if the market has demand for what you offer.” Millar continues, “During a sellers’ market, investors can benefit from portfolio-clean up. If you have property that doesn’t fit your long-term goal, perhaps out of your current geographical target, now is the time to cash out. Make your property shine and create an exit that will free up more capital to redeploy. For investors wanting to buy in an upcycle, they need to create a stress test and see how much their potential property can handle if the rents drop and the rates go up; this will determine what they can buy and how well it will perform in both an up and down market. “Speculative investors will find this a time to flip properties (buy and resell at a higher price). Some can make money doing this, but when the music stops, you may find yourself holding an overpriced building or having debts that you can’t service.” Whether your purchase is an investment or your primary residence, both buyers and sellers need to keep a few things in mind, no matter which way the markets are moving. “Buyers need to enter the process with a clear goal of what they are looking for,” Sedgwick points out. “With so many properties on the market, it is easy for them to get overwhelmed with choices. Work with your REALTOR® to clearly define what you are looking for. Ask yourself what is a ‘must have’ and what is a ‘deal breaker’. Just because you are in a buyer’s market doesn’t mean there won’t be competition for the house of your choice. There are always price ranges that are more popular than others, and you may not want to wait long to move on the home of your dreams. “Sellers need to keep in mind that, while they see the value in their property, there are likely a handful of similar homes

for sale in the neighbourhood. Make sure your home is in good condition, kept clean, and ready to show. Tidy up your landscaping and declutter your home. Step back and look at your home through the eyes of potential buyers. Most importantly, make sure that you are priced properly and competitively. Sellers can take comfort knowing that housing prices have remained strong in the Edmonton area this year, so they can still expect a fair price for their property. “Regardless of what type of market we are in, be it a buyers’, sellers’ or a balanced market, your REALTOR® will help guide you through the process. Every market comes with its own set of challenges. Using an expert will help you to get a fair and competitive price for your home if you are selling, or help get you into the best home for your money if you are buying.” For real estate investors, Millar concludes, “Having a clear, measurable goal is the first step. If you plan to buy and hold for the long-term, you have many good options for wisely choosing a property in a top location now. One thing is inevitable, property prices will always fall, and they will always rise again.”

ABOVE: STEVE SEDGWICK, CHAIR OF THE REALTORS® ASSOCIATION OF EDMONTON.

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


THE (LOCAL) VACATION HOME // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

THE (Local) VACATION HOME

A RECREATIONAL PROPERTY CAN BE A SMART INVESTMENT WITH A BIG IMPACT ON YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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h, the lakeside cottage! Frolicking on the shores all summer and enjoying hot cocoa by the picture window while watching skaters glide over the lake in the winter. It’s the ultimate real estate investor’s dream – a place that grows in value while offering year after year of enjoyment. But in this economy, how viable is this dream? Wayne William Heine, REALTOR® with RE/MAX who has placed in the top five per cent of MLS production for the past three consecutive years, is the expert in Edmonton-area lakeside living. As the west side bedroom communities of Edmonton (Spruce Grove and Stony Plain) continue to grow rapidly, Business in Edmonton wondered if now was the best time to invest just outside of these communities and snap up lake property in Lake Wabamum, Isle Lake, Spring Lake or Lac Ste. Anne. “Well the main issue is the economy and how lake property will be effected as opposed to the markets that you suggest,”

Heine replied. “My answer is, we will fare well when we may be moving to an economy that is less prosperous because of oil prices. In lake country, we will see a shift in our market from one of people looking for a summer home to one of potential buyers who are retiring early into a more environmentally fulfilling lifestyle where they can reduce their work schedules and expenses – you can sure get a lot more house for the money than what you would get in the city. Our market will turn more to year-round residents because the secret of great living and lifestyle for less is just minutes away from the city. So yes, we will fare well and our prices will likely hold even better than the noted areas.” Heine points out the many advantages of owning a recreation property. “The recreational cottage or home is the only partially tax protected investment you can enjoy with friends and family through the years. I personally bought my property for $65,000 when my kids were four and six. Not only did we get to enjoy our cabin over the years, but the value also

ABOVE: LAKE ISLE. PHOTO SOURCE: KEN ECKERT

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THE (LOCAL) VACATION HOME // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

“THE RECREATIONAL COTTAGE OR HOME IS THE ONLY PARTIALLY TAX PROTECTED INVESTMENT YOU CAN ENJOY WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY THROUGH THE YEARS. I PERSONALLY BOUGHT MY PROPERTY FOR $65,000 WHEN MY KIDS WERE FOUR AND SIX. NOT ONLY DID WE GET TO ENJOY OUR CABIN OVER THE YEARS, BUT THE VALUE ALSO INCREASED FIVE TIMES FROM WHAT WE ORIGINALLY PAID, AND WHEN THE KIDS LEFT HOME, WE RETIRED TO THE LAKE AND TURNED OUR CITY PROPERTY INTO A RENTAL HOME.” ~ WAYNE WILLIAM HEINE increased five times from what we originally paid, and when the kids left home, we retired to the lake and turned our city property into a rental home. I can’t tell you how much that paid-for second home will add to your retirement income.” He goes on to note, “recreational properties offer three types of benefits: one is long term, one is short term and the other is an ongoing return. The long-term investor (5 – 30 years) knows he can’t lose because over time real estate investments will increase in value as you pay them off. “The short-term investor is looking for a quick turnaround (three months to a year). Recreational properties offer the same potential as a city fixer upper, but lake properties offer a unique investment because there is a big price difference between a three-season cabin and a four-season cabin – you cannot finance a three-season with less than 25 per cent down. With a four-season property, you can purchase the

same as a city house with five per cent down. Fortunes can be obtained by understanding this basic principal of converting three season homes into four season homes. Big profits! “For the ongoing return investor, they get to enjoy the many benefits of lake living and gain income. We have a huge market out in lake country where you can rent a property from three nights to a month for a premium. Where the city looks for long-term leases, the recreational investor looks for a weekly renter with rates starting at $125 a night to $400 a night for a luxury home. Using vacation rental services or online services like Craigslist, Airbnb, Kijiji, etc., you can easily keep a place rented for 12 to 16 weeks a year, and probably get a month in for your own family. Services such as housekeeping and maintenance are readily available so your investment practically takes care of itself.”

ABOVE: WAYNE WILLIAM HEINE, REALTOR® WITH RE/MAX.

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THE (LOCAL) VACATION HOME // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

That sounds great, but is there an advantage to buying a recreation property in Alberta over other tourist-ready places, such as British Columbia?

investments to go up, and preferably immediately, but we [Edwards Jones] believe patience is an important attribute of a long-term investor.”

“With temperatures at par with many B.C. locations or a few degrees less than the Okanagan, you don’t have an 8 to 10 hour drive. You can be in lake country in 45 minutes!” Heine explains. “[In Alberta] you could be enjoying the same lifestyle (or even better as we don’t have the crowds like in the Okanagan). When we are done and it is time to return to work, we are there in 45 minutes.”

Bennett points out the benefits of long-term investing, suggesting that real estate can be just one of the items in a strong portfolio. “Long-term investment success relies on preparation: selecting a strategy to take you through good and bad market conditions. Owning a diversified portfolio of quality investments can give you greater confidence that your investments can rebound when stocks have dropped and headlines are bleak.”

Real estate is typically seen as a long-term investment. While money can be made by buying and improving a home for resale, the longer one holds on to (and properly maintains) a home, the better the potential gains are over time. Spencer Bennett, a financial advisor with Edwards Jones, points out, “We all want our

His next point underscores what Heine said about buying his investment property when his children were young. “When you are younger, you have time on your side. While spare cash at this age may seem modest and there will be plenty of competing interests for your money, you have time on your

“The SuperNet is a competitive advantage and puts us on an even playing field with international business.” – Matt Alston, Co-Founder, Surex Direct Magrath, Alberta

Use your voice. Tell your MLA. Learn more at connectalberta.ca

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THE (LOCAL) VACATION HOME // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

“OWNING A DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIO OF QUALITY INVESTMENTS CAN GIVE YOU GREATER CONFIDENCE THAT YOUR INVESTMENTS CAN REBOUND WHEN STOCKS HAVE DROPPED AND HEADLINES ARE BLEAK.” ~ SPENCER BENNETT

most individuals typically can’t simply rely on their savings — they’ll need to invest. Why? Because, quite simply, investments can grow — and you will need this growth potential to help achieve your financial goals.”

side to allow even the smallest savings to become significant 30 or 40 years down the road. As those who wait until later years to save will tell you, delays in saving have a dramatic effect on your final balance going into retirement.” But why invest at all? Isn’t money safer just sitting in a bank? Think about it this way,” Bennett counters. “Saving is for today, while investing is for tomorrow. You need your savings to pay for your daily expenses, such as groceries, and your monthly bills — mortgage, utilities, and so on. In fact, you might even want your savings to include an emergency fund containing six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses to pay for unexpected costs, such as a new furnace or a major car repair. These are all ‘here and now’ expenses — and you could use your savings to pay for them. But in thinking of your long-term goals, such as post-secondary education for your children and a comfortable retirement for yourself,

Edwards Jones has earned recognition from J.D. Power Canada for showing four consecutive years of having the highest investor satisfaction record, largely for sage advice, such as this tip from Bennett: “It’s time in the market…not market timing. Some investors think they can succeed at ‘market timing’ — buying when the price is low and selling when the price is high. This would indeed be a good strategy if they could predict highs and lows. No one can accurately forecast these peaks and valleys, though. So, instead of ducking in and out of the market in a vain attempt to catch the highs and lows, simply stay invested. The more time you spend in the market, the lesser the impact you’re likely to feel from short-term price swings.” The economy goes up and down, and even though this current “down” is long and arduous, both a recreational property real estate expert and a financial advisor see plenty of opportunity ahead. If you are considering adding a lakeside property to your investment portfolio, there is more to consider than the cost. Your recreation home can be a valuable asset for your portfolio, your retirement and your ongoing quality of life.

ABOVE: SPENCER BENNETT, A FINANCIAL ADVISOR WITH EDWARDS JONES.

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A Closer Look AT STRATHCONA COUNTY

STRATHCONA COUNTY HAS A LOT TO OFFER AS A DIVERSE, SUCCESSFUL MUNICIPALITY AND KEY PLAYER IN ALBERTA’S ENERGY SECTOR. by Nerissa McNaughton

COUNTY SNAPSHOT – A FASCINATING HISTORY WITH A BOLD FUTURE Strathcona County is a young, successful and vibrant community of almost 96,000 residents. The County, located on the eastern boundary of Edmonton, includes the urban community of Sherwood Park and a large rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. Currently, just over 70 per cent of the County’s population lives in an urban setting, with the remainder living in a rural environment. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada and is a hub for product distribution. The County has much to offer its diverse mix of residents and businesses, including access to some of the best nature sites in the vicinity. The Beaver Hills Biosphere is located in the south east corner of Sherwood Park and extends east of Elk Island National Park. The Beaver Hills is the second Biosphere to be designated by UNESCO in Alberta, and joins a network of 669 biospheres in 120 countries worldwide. Strathcona County has been a member of the Beaver Hills Initiative since it formed in 2002, working to address sustainable development, stewardship and land use planning within the moraine. Strathcona County | Page 1

Discovery of oil in the late 1940s brought new opportunities to the Edmonton region. Strathcona County has since become the western Canadian hub for oil refining, petrochemical production and the storage and distribution of these products. This prosperity has led to the attraction of other sectors creating business opportunities, quality jobs and population growth to the entire region.

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As Canada’s largest petrochemical region, Strathcona County has partnered with leading international companies like Imperial Oil, Suncor, Inter Pipeline, TransCanada, ATCO Energy, KinderMorgan, Royal Dutch Shell and MEG Energy, and some of these corporations are contributing to over $12 billion in announced, recently completed or in-construction-phase hydrocarbon projects, which are key drivers to the regional economy. January 1, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Strathcona County being granted the specialized municipality status. This means that Sherwood Park and the urban service area immediately around it are considered equivalent to a city for purposes of provincial programs and grants, and rural Strathcona is recognized as equivalent to a municipal district for program and grant purposes. Strathcona County grew an average of 1.46 per cent annually between 2010-2015, while business growth was at an annual rate of four per cent. The Capital Region Board (CRB) projects that the County’s population will grow at an average of 1.6 per cent per year over the next 25 to 30 years. The best place to live, work and invest Strathcona County has 10,914 business establishments, which is a 35 per cent increase over the past five years. The County has more business establishments per capita (1 per 8.9 persons) than the Edmonton CMA (1 per 10.25). The County supports and encourages new

INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE… Economic activity in Strathcona County • Centre in the Park market with Planet Organic as the anchor tenant • Savona condominiums by Salvi Group • Bedford Village by Christenson Communities • Broadmoor Heritage Plaza by Prism Group of Companies • JYSK • Three hotels: Four Points by Sheraton, Sandman Signature Suites and TownePlace Suites by Marriot. • Three restaurants: Browns Social House, Chop Steakhouse and Bar and The Keg • Lowes • Kinder Morgan/Esso rail terminal project ($270 million) • Imperial Oil proposed diluent recovery unit • Kinder Morgan/Keyara tank baseline tank terminal ($441 million) • Williams Alberta propane dehydrogenation (PDH) project (1.1 billion) • Air Products Canada Ltd. hydrogen plant ($300 million) • MEG Stonefell terminal ($250 million)

entrepreneurs and the growth and the development of these establishments by working closely with the Sherwood Park and District Chamber of Commerce.

Strathcona County’s most VIBRANT shopping centre. Emerald Hills Centre combines successful, leading retail stores and services with a relaxed, easy-going setting. Enjoy wide walking paths, outdoor music and an abundance of trusted national and regional brands. Store anchors include Bed Bath & Beyond, Winners, Sport Chek, Marshalls, Wine and Beyond, Walmart Supercentre and Lowe’s.

FEATURING OVER 40 STORES AND SERVICES Childrens Wear Electronics Footwear

Housewares Jewelery & Accessories Ladies Wear

Strathcona County | Page 2

Find success and growth with Emerald Hills Centre. For leasing inquiries, please contact: Robert Mulvale, Vice President, Retail Leasing WAM Development Group P: 647.256.1014 E: rmulvale@wamdevelopment.com

OPENING SUMMER 2017

5000 EMERALD DRIVE | SHERWOOD PARK, AB EMERALDHILLSCENTRE.COM

Mens Wear Restaurant Sporting Goods


$ HOUSEHOLD INCOME $

165,451

HOME PRICE

453,000

$

WORK Canada’s largest petrochemical region

5.3% Alberta 7.8%

37 km

TAX RATES* - MILL

6.9

Residential

12.5

Non-Residential

*One tax rate is one thousands of a dollar.

LIFE Canada’s most livable community

$

➜ UNEMPLOYMENT

PARKLAND 2

PROJECTS

12 BILLION

$

OPEN EDUCATION

94%

Diploma / Degree

BUSINESSES

10,914

www.strathcona.ca/edt

00095.25.08.16.EDT


Q&A WITH MAYOR ROXANNE CARR How long have you been the Mayor of Strathcona County? Since October 2013 – and on Council as a councilor for six consecutive years prior. What do you love the most about the County? I love the people with their diverse interests and innovative natures. Because we are a specialized municipality with rural and urban landscapes, we attract the most interesting variety of people. We have farmers and industrialists, professors and doctors, environmentalists and acreage owners with a myriad of small businesses and entrepreneurs. What are some of the challenges you face in this position? The position is as complex as the municipality and region in which we live. Leading a council of eight to create a bright future for our residents means keeping a strong focus on our priorities. We need to run an efficient organization

Clearflow works closely with various industries, Universities and Government Agencies to provide proprietary and patented water treatment processes to solve some of the toughest water challenges.

Strathcona County | Page 4

©

Sherwood Park • 780.410.1403 office | 780.410.1406 fax Unit 140, 134 Pembina Road Sherwood Park, AB T8H 0M2 Regina, SK • 306.536.8919 office | Lethbridge, AB • 403.380.2980 office info@clearflowgroup.com | www.clearflowgroup.com

that, as much as possible, meets the expectations of our residents for service and future facilities. At the same time, council has to ensure sustainability by maintaining existing infrastructure. Council must respect the nature of our municipality and work diligently together to maintain the balance of rural and urban service levels, leading to a high quality of life for all. What has your time as mayor of Strathcona County taught you about leadership? That the greatest of accomplishments can be attained with genuine collaboration and transparency. In so large an organization – more than 1,500 staff and nine elected officials, all of whom strive to meet the needs of over 95,000 people in a specialized municipality – communication and two-way conversations are the currency of success to move forward. We have put tremendous efforts into improving our communication and public engagement processes. We boast a very comprehensive public engagement process for major planning changes, and a very effective resident response system called County Connect that has greatly improved the speed and accountability in answering our citizen enquiries and issues. I believe both staff and elected officials work hard to ensure residents are truly a part of finding the solutions. What is your best advice for Strathcona County’s existing and prospective residents? Utilize our website (www.strathcona.ca) to gain the most up-todate information on the thousands of amenities and programs available for seniors and families, as well as events throughout our municipality. New residents especially should connect with the Welcome Wagon, the library and our Family and Community Services department to get the answers to their questions. If someone was thinking about opening a business in and/or moving a business to Strathcona County and you could tell them one thing, what would that be? Strathcona County’s Economic Development and Tourism department works closely with Sherwood Park & District Chamber of Commerce to assist new business from all levels – from home businesses to large commercial and retail. Our economic development department also offers personalized and business-friendly support and assistance to work through our planning and permitting system.


WHY ENTREPRENEURS LOVE STRATHCONA COUNTY • Pro-business environment and favourable tax structure (no business tax) • No business license fees or registrations • Strong economic growth • Productive and skilled regional workforce • Above average incomes, which means more money to spend locally • Large customer and supplier base • Excellent road networking system, including access to major provincial highways and transportation high-load corridors • The 2016 completion of the Anthony Henday ring road provides six and eight lane freeflowing divided highways, increasing labour mobility and transportation of goods within the region • Access to both CP and CN rail • Within close proximity to three airports, including the Edmonton International Airport (YEG) • Assistance with site selection and permitting • Pipeline maps and land photography services are available if needed • County meeting facilities are available for use • Letters of support are provided for developments, if applicable

Strathcona County is a founding member of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, which represents Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing region and is one of the most attractive locations for petrochemical, chemical and oil and gas investments in the world. Spanning five member municipalities, the heartland is a national asset in a new series of investment dynamics. Residents enjoy a great work/life balance in one of Canada’s most livable communities. Three new recreation facilities opened this fall. The Strathcona Wilderness Centre, in addition to various other natural areas and hiking trails, offer yearround enjoyment. There is no shortage of sports options either, as Millennium Place houses a twin arena, a field house, skateboard park, indoor wave pool, and the County’s only indoor fitness track. Those interested in art and culture take in concerts, plays, and performances at Sherwood Park’s Festival Place – a 500-seat Elizabethan style theatre. While housing styles in the urban centre of Sherwood Park have been mostly low density neighbourhoods, the community has zoned new developments for higher density targets set by the CRB. Over the next five years, multi-family options will continue to flourish, with major developments anticipated. Growth planning for new urban development areas is well underway to ensure the market supply and demand remains in balance. The County has also recently completed an Agricultural Master Plan to ensure further development of the agricultural industry. The strategic plan for the County, speaks to how Strathcona County will showcase and secure itself as the world leader in petrochemical cluster development.

2001 Sherwood Drive Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada T8A 3W7 Phone: 780-464-8111 Fax: 780-464-8050 www.strathcona.ca @StrathcoCounty \ Strathcona.County

ANNOUNCEMENT SHANE OLSON B. Mgt Manager, Commercial Development

Together, Shane and Sean look forward to meeting all of the County’s key stakeholders and to enhancing the success of commercial and industrial businesses within Strathcona County.

For three years, Sean worked with the City of St. Albert economic development team, developing and implementing strategies to generate and attract investment. Before then, he managed the supply chain, sales, promotion, and strategic planning for performance materials for BASF Western Canada.

Business is better in Strathcona County – learn more www.strathcona.ca/edt

Strathcona County | Page 5

With over 14 years economic development experience, including 10 years as the manager of Economic Development in Okotoks, Shane developed successful strategies for business investment and community development.

SEAN MCRITCHIE B. Mgt Manager, Industrial Development


Join the celebration!

October 1, 10 a.m. Enjoy FREE swimming on October 1 and 2.

October 1, 12 p.m. Welcome back! FREE drop-in activities on October 1 and 2.

September 17, 10 a.m. Come play and enjoy FREE family activities.

780-467-2211

www.strathcona.ca/grandopening


Keith Turner and Bill Giese. Photo by Neil Speers.

SYNERGY LAND SERVICES By Rennay Craats

Going Strong O

ver the years, Alberta’s economy has shifted from boom to bust and back again. To be successful, businesses have had to adapt to challenges and ride out the tough times. Since its inception in 2006, Synergy Land Services hasn’t enjoyed a booming economic cycle but despite that, it has continued to grow with the times and stay ahead of the curve. “We’ve never been in optimal years but what that does is sharpen your business acumen,” says Bill Giese, Synergy’s founder and president/CEO. That’s saying something considering the pedigree of Giese and his vast experience in the industry. Giese has worked in energy for over 30 years, first in utilities and then as a land man in oil and gas. After leaving another land brokerage firm, Giese found himself at a crossroads. His former clients urged him to start his own company so they could continue working with him, prompting Giese to hang up a shingle and venture out on his own. Giese and his wife chose to call the company Synergy to reflect their core beliefs and fundamental conviction of working together toward the greater good. They identified a vision that they still believe in today.

Synergy Land Services | 10 Years | 1

79


“Whether a project entails bringing heat to homes, power to agriculture, or individuals to family via roadways, Synergy strives to ensure it reaches a positive, mutually agreeable outcome,” he says. “Through professionalism, continuous training and genuine care for the communities where we work, we aim to achieve true synergy with the public and industry.”

One of the company’s original clients allowed Giese to put his utilities experience to good use assisting them in growing the province’s underdeveloped power infrastructure.

In the early days, he operated Synergy out of the basement of his house with his wife taking on bookkeeping duties. The first hire was an experienced industry colleague who provided land administration support while Giese worked in the field and pounded the pavement seeking business opportunities.

The relationship was, aptly enough, synergistic. Giese’s specialty in utilities and power gave their client, one of Alberta’s largest power transmission companies, the confidence that work would be done right, and that confidence led to Synergy landing more of their projects as well as from others. Subsequent large pipeline and midstream projects led Synergy through exponential growth.

Giese rode out the downturn in 2007 and 2008 by earning respect and trust in the industry and slowly building up a client base. The company came out the other end stronger. As the economy improved and projects got bigger and more frequent, Synergy grew as well.

Synergy’s expansion across the country was organic, establishing a presence where the industry needed it. To facilitate further growth, a key addition was a former co-worker, Keith Turner. Turner, current executive vice-president, came aboard as a business partner, joining Giese at the helm of the growing land broker.

The industry is close-knit, and brokers, clients and resource companies all talk. When clients were looking for an excellent broker, word on the street was to try Synergy, a group of fresh thinkers providing services clients were used to: great value, communication and experience.

“He brought organizational and project management skills and that allowed me to focus on more business development. In any successful business you need a team and the addition of Keith brought management stability that was needed to keep the ‘home fires burning’,” Giese says.

“They were the ones who really got Synergy started in the industry. They were and continue to be a fantastic client,” he says.

Synergy Land Services | 10 Years | 2


Giese believes in the value of adding team members with different proficiencies than his own to offer a full complement of skills. Not long after Turner joined, Synergy started to fill some important positions, hiring fantastic people who have become the company’s current senior management staff.

Giese believes in the value of adding team members with different proficiencies than his own to offer a full complement of skills. Not long after Turner joined, Synergy started to fill some important positions, hiring fantastic people who have become the company’s current senior management staff. “They learned what Synergy was all about and that happened to parallel what was in their hearts — passion for what we do, deep trust, taking chances and ensuring our clients are number one,” he says. By providing top-quality work and reinvesting profits into growing the company, Synergy prospered. The company started gaining traction as Turner and Giese built a solid reputation as knowledgeable industry professionals. More projects meant more staff and more space. Today’s 10,000-square-foot head office in Calgary’s southeast is a far cry from its humble beginning. “We want to be the go-to land company for all aspects related to land and we’re not afraid to grow the business as far as industry wants us to take it,” Giese says.

across Canada; its head office is in Calgary with branch offices in Fort Macleod, St. Albert, Regina, Brandon, Fort St. John and Cambridge. It has also diversified its land services. Synergy has trained professionals ready to lead projects in everything from transportation to communications, upstream to minerals, asset management to renewable resources. “We’re not just doing power transmission lines or exploration work. We’ve diversified into other areas and we are trying to grow all sides of our business right now,” Turner says. Synergy has thrived in tough economic times by cultivating strong relationships with clients as well as staff. Whether Synergy professionals are helping clients select a route for a new project, negotiating agreements, making applications for regulatory and third-party consent, or meeting with landowners when a project is completed, clients are in good hands. Synergy is there for them at every stage, acting as an invaluable resource and applying a wealth of knowledge and experience to keep projects running smoothly. Clients remember the service, hard work and quality products received from Synergy. Much of the company’s work is with longtime clients who continue to rely on Synergy’s expertise and capabilities. In an industry notorious for professionals moving from company to company, Synergy has been rewarded

CONGRATULATIONS

On the company’s

10

This fearlessness has paid off. Since the early days, Synergy grew to a peak of more than 80 staff working out of seven locations

th

ANNIVERSARY

IRWA is proud of its longstanding business relationship with Synergy Land Services. From its headquarters in Calgary to IRWA’s growing membership across the globe, together, we are building a better world!

Synergy Land Services | 10 Years | 3


with continued work from many of these professionals in their new positions with new companies. In this way, Synergy has expanded its client base along with its business scope.

amenities such as televisions, ping-pong and pool tables. When designing its current space, the company added a gym and showers as a healthy perk for staff.

“One of the things we do well is to take the time to listen to what our clients want and expect as well as to ensure that we have the knowledge and experience to meet those expectations,” Turner says.

“When things do start to recover, we are beyond ready,” Giese says.

Synergy has experience and knowledge in spades and is taking advantage of the economic downturn to further build its business from the inside, adding specialized talent to augment an already outstanding team. This opens the door for future expansion into other areas including the renewables market and the environmental side of the business. Accomplishing this requires attracting people with the right skills and experience, and Giese and Turner want to retain them long-term. They work hard to ensure that their work family is happy.

Whatever the next economic phase brings, Synergy will meet it head on with grit, determination and excitement. The opportunities are endless, from partnerships for international projects to rebuilding Alberta’s economy, and Synergy is ready for anything. “I think the future is bright for Synergy,” Turner says. And if the full-service land broker’s past decade is any indication, he just may be right.

“I know every organization relies on its people and we’re no different. Our culture is to do everything we can for our employees and more, and boy do they give back in return,” Giese says. The staff shares in management’s passion, often putting in long hours to get the job done well. Giese and Turner are grateful for this dedication and reward beyond competitive salaries and benefits. The head office houses a large, bright lunch room and

210, 41 St. Thomas Street St. Albert, AB T8N 6Z1 P: (780) 458-2233 • TF: 1-877-961-LAND www.synergyland.ca

Synergy Land Services | 10 Years | 4


Harry Sunner and his father Joe Sunner are proud of the family business.

Durabuilt Windows & Doors Newest Design Gallery Showcases the Company’s Bright Spirit by Nerissa McNaughton with photos by EPIC Photography Inc.

F

ounded in 1988 and purchased by the Sunner family in 1995, Durabuilt Windows & Doors is a long-standing and very much beloved member of the city’s business community.

The Sunner family purchased the business because they saw how PVC windows were poised to take over aluminium and wood. With just 12 people and 10,000 square feet of warehouse and sales space, the Sunner family’s new venture began. Thanks to a keen eye for trends and a sharp mind for

Congratulations Durabuilt Windows & Doors

business, the company grew rapidly. In 2002, a second design gallery was added on Edmonton’s south side. “Meanwhile,” says company president Harry Sunner, “the head office in the west end became somewhat stale and had turned into a typical ‘showroom’ space. As soon as we become ‘typical,’ that’s trouble and time for change. With that same eye for progression and detail that made the company so successful to date, the west end gallery was reinvented and opened in May of this year.”

Congratulations! The space turned out great (as we knew it would). Thank you for inviting us to lend our creativity.

WWW.PROSPECWOODWORK.CA 1220 70 Ave NW, AB T6P 1P5 PH 780.438.2896

zagcreative.ca

Durabuilt Windows & Doors | Design Gallery Grand Opening 83


As with most businesses in Alberta, Durabuilt cannot turn a blind eye to the current economic situation. However, the company chooses to use these challenging times to focus on innovation. The challenging economy has also brought to light how much Sunner and the management team of Durabuilt care about the company’s employees.

The design gallery showcases the latest products and trends.

Bringing the vision for the west end gallery to life was Cormode & Dickson, a commercial construction firm that has been building beautiful and functional spaces since 1962. With offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Fort McMurray in Alberta, along with a presence in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Yukon, Cormode & Dickson builds prefab steel and custom building projects across Canada. Their commitment to total customer satisfaction has earned them an outstanding reputation. Cormode & Dickson’s work in the west end gallery is a testament to the firm’s experience and skills, and it expertly showcases Durabuilt’s outstanding collection of windows and doors.

“Windows and doors are a bold fashion statement to any home. Our new Durabuilt design gallery brings ideas to life. It’s the catwalk for windows and doors,” laughs Sunner. “The gallery gives clients a panoramic view of design options to fit every style of project. New construction, renovations, commercial – nothing is scaled down.” Durabuilt is, as always, at the forefront of emerging design trends. Sunner points out, “Durabuilt now offers many colour options, thanks to our new lamination process, and by incorporating new manufacturing technology into our processes we are able to offer a greater range of trendy options at even more affordable price points.”

Congratulations Durabuilt Windows & Doors on the grand opening of your design gallery!

CONGRATULATIONS to Durabuilt Windows & Doors

Offering reliable asphalt & paving services across BC and Alberta.

www.saveonblacktop.com 604-805-0977

newstudio architecture is proud to have been a part of the team.

www.newstudio.ca

Durabuilt Windows & Doors | Design Gallery Grand Opening | 2


DESIGN GALLERY GRAND OPENING He and his team couldn’t be happier about the range of products in the new gallery. “We have, for example, Vivacé, which is a European inspired tilt and turn window and door system.” As with most businesses in Alberta, Durabuilt cannot turn a blind eye to the current economic situation. However, the company chooses to use these challenging times to focus on innovation. The challenging economy has also brought to light how much Sunner and the management team of Durabuilt care about the company’s employees. “I think we are all surviving a very tough economic cycle,” the president says soberly. “The younger generation of Albertans have never experienced such turbulent times. As a privately owned company, it is very hard to relay the reality of the situation and remain optimistic at the same time. We have a 430 person ‘family’ to feed and grow, and we take it personally. This gets hard on you personally and causes many sleepless nights. But we are too arrogant to fail! I am proud to say I have earned my father’s trust, and we as a company have conquered our way through a tough journey with many war wounds. We are a great father and son duo. Watching my father be immune to giving up has helped me in all aspects of my own life. “Despite the economic challenges, we are all inspired by the company’s success, the adrenaline of victory and seeing people around us grow and build their careers. “We are committed to our industry, client partners, employees and suppliers. It is important for Alberta to stay strong in the manufacturing sector, and we pride ourselves as an Edmonton company.” Sunner expresses gratitude for Durabuilt’s clients. The many repeat customers, the new customers and those that have yet to discover how Durabuilt can elevate their building projects. “Thank you!” he says to Durabuilt’s existing, new and potential customers. “A humble and genuine thank you. We have earned a great level of respect over the years. We earn our way no

matter how big we get. This eventually gets recognized and appreciated.” Durabuilt’s commitment to excellence has earned the company recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. “Merit goes to my father, who has been instrumental in my life,” says Sunner humbly, “alongside my entire family. I’m also

To your continued success Congratulations Durabuilt Windows & Doors on your new design gallery. RBC Commercial Banking 301, 10117 Jasper Avenue 780-944-7076

TM

® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada.

30075 (05/2015)

Congratulations Joe and Harry on the opening of the new Design Gallery

Design/Build | Construction Management | 3D Modelling | Feasibility Studies | Strategic Alliance Program

Edmonton Commercial Operations 200, 11450 160 Street Tel: 780.453.6944

Edmonton Industrial Operations 5665-59 Street Tel: 780.452.9779

Durabuilt Windows & Doors | Design Gallery Grand Opening | 3

www.cormode.com


Beauty, function and style come together in the gallery, giving builders plenty of options for outstanding results.

grateful to The Executives Committee. Being a part of this great group has given me a place to learn and be challenged and accountable. A big thank you also goes out to our executive management group led by Amar Randhawa, general manager, and Sunny Kalkat, operations manager.” With a passion for the company’s products and services, a great team of employees, loyal customers and a new design centre to show how it all comes together, Durabuilt Windows and Doors is poised to take on the future – and everything the future has in store for the company.

Sunner concludes, “We will simply continue to grow to be the best, constantly thirsty, always innovating, continuously hard working in our efforts to be the brand recognized and loved in the industry.”

10920 178th St NW, Edmonton, AB T5S 1R7 Tel: (780) 455-0440 | Fax: (780) 455-5775 | Toll Free: 1 (800) 544-3815 www.durabuiltwindows.com

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Congratulations

Congratulations Durabuilt Windows & Doors Western landscape

59 Amherst Crescent, St. Albert, AB T8N 2P7 • 780.239.1917 visit us at westernlandscape.ca Durabuilt Windows & Doors | Design Gallery Grand Opening | 4


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Dear Alberta,

Today, I’m making a promise to you, on behalf of all ATB team members, to listen. Every time. Every place. In every way. We promise to listen. Why listen? Because we know banking isn’t easy. And not always helpful. It’s designed in a way that puts banks—not people—first. But ATB is more than a bank. And you— and each and every Albertan—are an ATB stakeholder. And whether you bank with us or not, we’re working for you. Listening makes us smarter, but humbler. Listening means taking equal stock of your net worth and self-worth. Most importantly, listening makes banking a catalyst—not a barrier—for happiness. If you’re happy with your bank, you should stay there. If not, ATB listens.

Dave Mowat President and CEO

atblistens.com

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