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35

YEARS Lawrence Pudlowski, (Senior Vice-President) and Darren Currie, the President and CEO

The Calmont Group: 35 Years of Driving Success By Nerissa McNaughton


35

YEARS

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T

he year was 1966. Lawrence Pudlowski was fresh out of school and had put in a couple of years working for PepsiCo when he figured there had to be a better way of life. He answered an ad for Avis Truck Rentals and joined the franchise. It wasn’t long before Pudlowski and his franchise partners looked up at the Avis banner and had the same thought, “why are we paying for the use of the Avis name when we could run a truck rental company on our own?” With that thought, the partners sold their Avis franchise and the Calmont Group was born. The

name, Calmont, is derived from Calgary to Montreal; the franchise locations (Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal) of the original Avis Truck Rental company. As for Pudlowski, this original business partner is still fully active in senior management and cites Calmont as “the only job I’ve really had.” “It’s an exciting business,” Pudlowski says as he reflects on the many years and changes he has seen at the Calmont Group. “You look forward to coming to work because you know something is going to happen, and it’s usually something good.” Something

CALMONT Group

35of leadership years

In recognition of

Congratulations Calmont Group on your 35th Anniversary!

Congratulations! Volvo Trucks Canada

We wish you many years of continued success!

5121 Gateway Boulevard NW Edmonton, AB T6H 5W5 1-888-436-0496 • www.kochfordlincoln.com

2 - Calmont Group | 35 Years


35

YEARS

“You look forward to coming to work because you know something is going to happen, and it’s usually something good.” ~ Lawrence Pudlowski, (Senior Vice-President) good indeed. What started out as a modest light truck rental business with a fleet of 25 units has grown to a massive enterprise with over 2,000 rental and leasing units. Approximately 1,400 of those units are rented or leased from Calmont’s headquarters in Edmonton, which operates from the original business site at 14610 Yellowhead Trail. It is from this Edmonton location that Calmont has grown, changed and adapted into the success it is today. The Calmont Group provides financing and leasing of company trucks and cars, service vehicle leasing, short-term leasing, daily rentals, trucking fleet sales, and a parts and service department that includes complete maintenance, top repair stations, and emergency roadside assistance. Calmont’s sleeper, day cab, straight truck and shunt truck fleets have the latest technology for commercial transport rental and leasing needs across Canada. Calmont’s leasing and rental service empowers transportation businesses to make a smart investment. Leasing or renting allows trucking businesses to launch without the significant start up capital required to purchase a large truck. Calmont’s rental service provides a wider range of options for those operating in the oil and gas industry. When trucks are needed for seasonal projects or where the project length is undetermined, a rental can simply be returned, saving the business owner from having to make payments on a truck that is sitting idle and not earning money.

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Franchises of the Calmont Group include, Sport Chassis, Kalmar Shunt Truck (Ottawa) and the Volvo Truck Center. Sport Chassis features luxury Freightliner products that are popular in the fields of ranching, construction and other industries that require heavy truck pulling power. Kalmar is one of Calmont’s most successful franchises to date. These shunt trucks provide a safe, fast and efficient way to move and lift semi trailers within warehouses. The Volvo Truck Center is the official Volvo franchise for North America. Located at 11403-174th street in Edmonton, the Truck Center features an impressive inventory and a service center that has won the Cummins Quest Dealer of the Year Award, the North American VISTA competition, and was named Volvo Vista Tech Canadian Champion in three consecutive competitions. The Volvo Truck Center was added to the Calmont Group in 1988, as the company wanted to expand into the Class A (heavy truck) business. The most efficient way to do this was to purchase a dealership. Volvo’s high quality products and parts department were a perfect fit for Calmont’s vision. Prior to purchasing Volvo, Calmont would experience a slow season each winter as oil and gas projects slowed or stopped until spring. The parts and service department of Volvo compensated for the slow season. As more franchises were added and business expanded, slow seasons became a thing of the past. These days, every season is a busy one.

Calmont Group | 35 Years - 3


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However, the road to success has not always been a smooth one, a fact that Darren Currie, the President and CEO, knows all too well. “There are peaks and there are valleys,” says Currie when asked how the company has fared overall during their 35 year reign. “We are tied to the oil and gas industries, but if you look over the 35 years, there has always been growth – except for those small valleys.” One such valley occurred in 2008, which was when Currie joined the Calmont group as the Chief Financial Of-

4 - Calmont Group | 35 Years

ficer (CFO). At this time, the oil and gas industry was underperforming and the Canadian economy was in a slump. Currie, ever up for the challenge, battened down the hatches and sailed the group through the financial storm. “In 2009 we broke even,” says Currie. “In 2010 we were profitable again.” As part of a planned succession, Currie was named President and CEO in 2010. “It’s been four and a half really good years,” Currie admits. “We are in a growth pattern for sure. We are in


35

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“We are tied to the oil and gas industries, but if you look over the 35 years, there has always been growth – except for those small valleys.” ~ Darren Currie, President and CEO the process of re-capitalizing by bringing in a new partner. With Carter, now we have more of a national presence.” Carter would be Calmont’s latest acquisition: Carter Lease and Rentals. Carter Lease and Rentals was established in Hamilton, Ontario in 1970. Calmont purchased Carter in 2012, which served to further expanding the Calmont influence into Ontario. Calmont has since built up Carter from a 400 unit rental company to over 500 rental and 25 lease units. The original staff of 26 where retained, and four more were added to accommodate the franchise’s rapid growth. The purchase of Carter Lease and Rentals is just one of the steps Calmont is taking to secure the company’s future. “With the addition of Carter, Alberta to Ontario is covered,” says Currie. The Calmont Group is not just about pleasing their clients. The employees benefit strongly as well. Each employee gets to learn about the company’s many operations, regardless of

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their role. This gives them insight into the overall mechanics of Calmont and helps to keep them invested in their jobs. The sales team are treated like entrepreneurs. Once they have established themselves within Calmont, they have autonomy over how they choose to sell the product. An influx of younger, forward thinking employees has ensured that Calmont is focusing on a strong, growth based culture. “It’s about developing, not just maintaining,” says Currie, beaming with obvious pride as he discusses his team. The community also benefits from The Calmont Group as this altruistic company is often seen supporting charity events. Whether it is sponsoring a hole and entering a team at the Make-A-Wish golf tournament; dressing up in western wear and attending the Stars and Spurs Gala in Calgary for STARS air ambulance; providing free truck rentals for Crime Stoppers, the food bank, and the Dragon boat festival; or donat-

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www.brutusbodies.com Calmont Group | 35 Years - 5


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YEARS

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6 - Calmont Group | 35 Years


35

YEARS

The Calmont Group is an Edmonton success story 35 years in the making and it shows no signs of slowing down. ing two large trucks to accommodate the teddy bears from the Edmonton Oil Kings’ Teddy Bear Toss charity event, Calmont’s trucks, management and employees can be found quietly but steadfastly giving back to the communities that launched their careers. The Calmont Group is an Edmonton success story 35 years in the making and it shows no signs of slowing down. “It’s been great,” says Currie of his experience to date as he looks forward to Calmont’s continued expansion across Canada. “The future plan is to manage the existing locations and start adding more in late 2013.” As for Pudlowski, Calmont’s longest term employee, these days he enjoys his role as the Senior Vice-President of Vehicle Purchasing and Disposals. He has to admit, however, that things have changed significantly since 1966. “It’s not as much fun now as it was back then,” he sighs. “I mean, we started with 25 vehicles. Now we are in the thousands.” That is not to say that he doesn’t enjoy his role as Calmont’s only active member of the original shareholders. “No two days are the same,” Pudlowski says with a twinkle in his eye and a contagious smile. “It’s always a different day. A lot of companies have a lot of monotony, but here, everyday is a different day. We have good days and we have bad days, but more good than bad.” From a concept among franchise partners to a start up venture to a thriving business operating across Canada, The Calmont Group is a company from which all inspiring entrepreneurs can draw inspiration. Calmont’s 35 years of driving success are just a precursor of the things to come for this innovative company.

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14610 Yellowhead Trail Edmonton, AB T5L 3C5 • 780-454-0491 5475 53 St SE Calgary, AB T2C 4P6 • (403) 236-1993 1-855-474-CLMT www.calmont.ca

Congratulations Calmont Group! 11420 - 107 Avenue 1-888-369-5638 www.waterlooford.com

Congratulations Calmont Group We are proud to be a part of your success!

Crosstown Auto Centre congratulates The Calmont Group on 35 years of providing service to its Customers and are proud to have entered a business relationship with one of Canada’s premier transportation industry providers. CROSSTOWN specializes in Fleet Maintenance and Supply. We provide the One Stop Fleet Maintenance Program and offer the award winning full lineup of Dodge Ram commercial trucks. At CROSSTOWN, we understand that managing the acquisition and maintenance of your fleet is critical but not core to your business. We appreciate that every minute your fleet isn’t operational, it costs you and reduces your ability to serve your customers. Our Fleet Team is ready to offer all services needed to ensure your vehicles are maintained and repaired in a timely manner at our state of the art facility.

Please contact Tom Brennan at tbrennan@crosstownauto.ca or (780) 910-0032 for all your fleet requirements.

Calmont Group | 35 Years - 7


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Calmont Group - 35th Anniversay