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Excellence Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle Welcome to the inaugural edition of Profiles of Excellence, a very special publication of The Tri-Cities NOW. With this edition of Profiles of Excellence you can scan each photograph and bring it to life with augmented reality. Each image in this magazine has been enabled with Layar. Just hover your iphone, Android smartphone, ipad or tablet over each image to bring it to life with a video. The women and men profiled in these pages come from a wide variety of backgrounds, education, experience and expertise. What they all share is what Aristotle described in the quote above: a commitment to excellence – an attribute that is not born, but bred in training and repetition, in years of service to their profession and to their community. The awards these business leaders have earned are hallmarks of excellence, but the most important mark of excellence is the respect and loyalty of their customers. As you will discover in these pages, the Tri-Cities is a community steeped in excellence in a great many fields. We are very proud to present these Profiles of Excellence and look forward to many more editions in the years to come. Brad Alden, Publisher, The Tri-Cities NOW



Excellence Soccer Express Superstore Dr. Myrna Pearce – On Track Dental Triumph Taekwon-Do Marcraft Homes Beyond the Grape on Premise Winemaking Leading Edge Consulting Don Kim Accounting David Norman – Tomlinson Alliance Group Financial Drysdale Bacon McStravick LLP Dollars and Cents Prudential Sterling Realty Investors Group Share Family & Community Service MacDonald-Gill Insurance Arthur Murray Dance Studio Pheonix Trucking and Crane

Writing: Tracey Rayson, Sam Smith and Alan Campbell Photography: Lisa King and Kevin Hill Videograpers: Caitlin Hawley, Olivia Hui, Romina Puno & Jesse Tanaka Publisher: Brad Alden Project Manager: Catherine Ackerman

For inquiries regarding the next edition of Profiles of Excellence, please contact The TRi-Cities NOW or call 604-492-4229

Soccer Express Superstore


he seed was planted at an early age. As a youngster, Brad Leitch was happiest when playing the game he loved; little did he know that deep-rooted passion for soccer (or football in his words) would be the inspiration behind the largest soccer specialty store in Canada, possibly the world.

advice from what to wear and why, to the best options for players of different levels. We believe in the spirit of innovation — we won’t just sell what’s offered by the big brands, we’re always striving to find more global innovative products for the Canadian market.”

From the pitch to the president and principal of Soccer Express, Coquitlam’s 10,000 square-foot superstore on Blue Mountain (morphing five-times the size of the original location on Barnet Highway), Leitch has reinvented the brand to transcend the model of the average shopping excursion — it’s more about creating a passion for the game.

Various in-store components position Soccer Express as the premier destination store to help you look and perform your best. The 200 square-foot Demo Cage with artificial turf allows customers to experience the footwear, test goalie gloves, or try out the latest balls. There’s a 900 square-foot youth section, team wear showroom, senior footwear wall (200 shoes), and a print and service centre to customize apparel and footwear.

“Most people will see the retail store as the face of the company, but we’re much more than that,” explained Leitch. “We consider ourselves a true soccer company and maybe the only one of its kind in Canada. We have a delivery system, an experienced corporate management team, an online store, and a distribution warehouse.” Leitch hails from an entrepreneurial background with business experience in office supplies. “I took everything I learned from our successful family business and did something I really loved with it,” admitted Leitch. “It had to make sense on paper; we did a lot of research on where the market was going — you can’t just be passionate — you have to combine it with solid business principles and strategies.” As an industry leader, Soccer Express acts in part, as a role model, often the touchstone for youth who are experiencing the game for the first time. “We feel we’re educators of the game, especially with kids and families starting out,” said Leitch. “A lot of general sporting goods stores give you general advice; you can’t say those sales people have kicked the ball before. In our case, we provide detailed PHOTO: Brad Leitch, president, Soccer Express


Excellence “Most people will see the retail store as the face of the company, but we’re much more than that.”

Leitch considers himself a student of the game who travels the world from Europe to Asia and across North America studying styles of soccer and trends in the game. “My staff is loyal and dedicated; they bring together sport, learning, and business to create something really special — they don’t just work in the business, they love the game.” Growing up in the Tri-Cities, Leitch played the highest level soccer locally and provincially, including four national championships as a coach and player. He maintains the same intensity, teamwork, and good competitive spirit required on the pitch to facilitate his business success. “It’s our close relationships to our club partners, and their belief in us that we’ll look after the membership, that’s really helped with our growth,” said Leitch. “My favourite part of the soccer business is the relationships. Our community outreach includes Kick for the Cure, which is near and dear to us, MOBILIO Heart & Stroke Foundation, and Kidsport. Plus, I’m able to work with top iconic brand partners, industry partners, and be active with all the local clubs across Canada — not only supplying them — but as a point of resource too.”

#10-75 Blue Mountain Street, Coquitlam, B.C. 604-524-1976

Dr. Myrna Pearce - On Track Dental


r. Myrna Pearce’s practice name speaks volumes about her and the underlying philosophy that is embodied in the highly educated and devoted team within her general family dentistry practice, On Track Dental. While it’s also a tongue-in-cheek reference to their location (behind the railway tracks in Port Coquitlam), more importantly, it defines their dedication to bring their patients on track with the highest standards and safest practices in dental care and lifelong oral health. Everyone is in need of dental care during their lifetime, and for many people a visit to the dentist is associated with anxiety and foreboding. “I have always felt that my role as a dentist is to help my patients overcome their fears and learn about what is possible in dentistry so they can make the best possible choices about the restoration and care of their mouths,” said Dr. Pearce. Under the leadership of Dr. Pearce, the On Track Dental team, including dentists Dr. Candace Woodman and Dr. Felix Wu, provides high quality treatment in a professional and caring environment. “In 1996, our practice had grown to the point where I had become unable to spend as much time as I wanted with each patient, so I looked for someone who could join with me to carry on with my vision of how dental care should be delivered, and I hired my first associate,” explained Dr. Pearce. “Two years later we added another associate, and we have had three dentists at the core of our team ever since.”  The additional dentists in the practice have allowed each doctor to spend the time with each patient that is required. They have also expanded the range of services available to patients, and the doctors are able to focus on the areas of dentistry that they most enjoy. “I have expanded into the world of PHOTO: Dr. Myrna Pearce, owner On Track Dental



comprehensive care, implants and surgery,” revealed Dr. Pearce, “while Dr. Woodman has special training in teen sedation and enjoys working with children.” Dr. Wu excelled in orthodontics in dental school and has continued with that training since graduation; now he’s able to provide orthodontic care to their patients. He’s received numerous awards, including the American Association of Orthodontists’ Award. “We all still practice general dentistry and take care of our patients’ day to day needs, but when they require something out of the ordinary, we are here,” said Dr. Pearce. “I find that people feel more comfortable when they can have all their treatment provided at the same office, but we do have relationships with a range of wonderful specialists whom we work with when needed.” The team continually strives to enhance their dentistry knowledge and skills through education to provide optimal patient care. It’s an essential component to building long-term patient relationships — the backbone of the practice’s success.

“I have patients who first came to my office as children and now bring their children, I have staff members whose children now work in the office and staff members who started off as patients.”

“In addition to my work with the American Association of Implant Dentistry, where I am an Associate Fellow, it has been a real thrill for me that Drs. Woodman and Wu and I have joined together in taking the program at the renowned Kois Center in Seattle,” said Dr. Pearce. “Becoming a Kois practice means that we can raise our standard of care even higher.” At On Track Dental, a general family practice means that each patient is considered a member of the office family. “I have patients who first came to my office as children and now bring their children,” said Dr. Pearce. “I have staff members whose children now work in the office and staff members who started off as patients.”

#2203 - 2850 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam, B.C. V3C 6K5 604-552-9700

Triumph Taekwon-Do


riumph Taekwon-Do has one of the most noble goals possible – to make the world a better place. Co-founders and husband and wife team Ramona and Kevin Reinelt have been making that goal a reality for years now in their location in Port Coquitlam. “We wanted to start a martial arts school from scratch. Our vision was to use the power of traditional Taekwon-Do training to help youth and adults develop into strong, independent, confident, cooperative, focused and respectful people. This in turn will help make the world a better place,” Mr. Reinelt said. Since 2005 the Reinelts, have been doing just that, working up from less than a dozen students to more than 200 of all ages Traditional Taekwon-Do, originally from Korea, is a powerful system of emptyhanded or unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defense. “But we don’t just focus on kicking and punching,” Mr. Reinelt said. “Definitely we want our students to come away from here with strong self-defense skills. But beyond their physical skills, we try to help our members develop their character and mental skills as well. “At an individual level, we are dedicated to helping people achieve personal triumphs in fitness, confidence, self-discipline, focus and concentration, and many other dimensions. Thus the name of our school,” he added. Students of all ages, fitness levels and skill sets are welcome as Triumph offers two different programs. For students aged seven and up, there is the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) curriculum. This program has an emphasis on both the martial art and the sport aspect. Students can choose to participate in competitions from the local level right up to the international level. For this program, there are



children’s classes for ages seven to 12, teen and adult classes for the grown-ups in the household, and family classes (ages seven and up) allow children to train with older family members. For the younger set, ages five and six, there is the specially devised Tiny Tigers program. “Young kids develop patience, focus, confidence, motor and listening skills to help prepare them for the full Taekwon-Do program when they turn age seven.” Custom designed by the Reinelts, their facility is modern, large and always in top shape. “We have developed a very family-friendly environment. One of our key offerings is a flexible schedule which allows students to choose whichever classes work best for them during the week. Also, one of our important goals is to have the cleanest, best smelling gym in B.C.,” Mr. Reinelt explained. But it wasn’t always the place hundreds of Tri-Cities residents have called their physical and mental training ground. In fact, the Reinelts took a huge gamble nearly nine years ago with their idea to open up the school. They left well-paying jobs in the hi-tech industry, signed a long-term lease without any students, and put their life savings down just to realize their dream. But slowly it has paid off. Years later, the Reinelt’s vision for Triumph has never been clearer. “We want to keep having a positive effect on the community,” Mr. Reinelt said. “We are very grateful for the tremendous people that are part of our small community. Over the years we have had some incredible feedback from a number of our parents and students. A few of our people have been with us since nearly the beginning and we have watched them grow into amazing, talented people who in turn are going to have a positive affect on the world.”

PHOTO: Kevin Reinelt, BSc, International Instructor and Examiner, Triumph Taekwon-Do

“ My son is learning in a family setting that has taught him great behaviours and attitudes that he applies both in and out of the Dojang. We love Triumph and so does he !” Robyn Murphy

#312-1515 Broadway Street, Port Coquitlam, B.C. 604-944-5425



Marcraft Homes


t Marcraft Homes, quality is not only in the building materials of their luxury custom developments and renovations, but it is deeply rooted in their value system; they have forged a solid reputation for conducting business with truth, courtesy and respect, and above all, a fiduciary duty to their clients. “We are noted as a company built on integrity,” said Mark Jauck, owner. “Our customer relations are our building blocks, and our mission is to deliver a product that surpasses all expectations, while making the building process an exciting and rewarding experience for our clients.” Jauck comes from a background integral to the success of Marcraft Homes, having conceived the company in 2003 through an evolution of interests. His involvement in many facets of the real estate industry since the early ‘70s helped channel his foray into development. As co-founder of a highly successful residential construction company, he began building predominantly in the Tri-Cities, where he designed, built and marketed award-winning homes to a myriad of satisfied clients. “We pride ourselves in the ability of careful design management, and as with anything, the design is fundamental in any venture,” admits Jauck. “Therefore, we surround ourselves with a variety of architects and home designers that all have their level of competence and specialities.” Sharing the same respect for people and clients and an aligned vision with Jauck is David Harkison. Jauck respected the European craftsmanship of Harkison and his journeymen carpenters, and hired him for a framing project in 2004 — they haven’t looked back since. As senior project manager, Harkison oversees labour, materials and the smooth operation of the building process. Harkison brings a wealth of knowledge to Marcraft, and is involved in every detail of the

construction, design and renovation. His 30 years of experience and creative energy contribute to Marcraft’s overall excellence of home design and construction. Vital to the smooth-running operations of Marcraft is Erynn Johnson and Andrea Jauck. As director of operations and development, Johnson works closely with project managers, suppliers and trade personnel, to ensure projects are executed on time and on budget. “It’s our priority to always make sure clear communication is at the forefront of every project,” said Johnson. Andrea has been working alongside her father since the company’s inception and has been instrumental in custom build lead generation, marketing and selling new construction and land acquisitions.

“We pride ourselves in the ability of careful design management, and as with anything, the design is fundamental in any venture”

Marcraft has distinguished itself for its personalized service, while building client rapport with the utmost candour and transparency. Meeting customer’s individual needs is paramount, while initiating a hands-on approach to every aspect of the home building process from the initial design and financial planning, to construction and follow-up service. As a Georgie Award winner, and nine-time Georgie Award finalist, including custom home builders of the year, Marcraft is not your average home builder; these accolades speak to the reputable niche Marcraft Homes has carved out. Marcraft transcends the design process, enabling your concepts of your one-of-a-kind dream home to come to fruition in tandem with a desirable resale. “And that’s what it’s really all about,” said Jauck. “We’re not only prepared to give you the home you enjoy, but one that compliments your investment portfolio — it’s an investment in financial strength — and an investment in living.”

PHOTO: Andrea Jauck, Erynn Johnston, David Harkison and Mark Jauck

#212-3190 St. Johns Street, Port Moody, B.C. 604-461-2560


Beyond the Grape On-Premise Winemaking Excellence


n its ancient Roman origins, the art of wine-making was an uncommon activity for the average person. Today, great wine is yours for the making, according to Winexpert Beyond the Grape On-Premise Winemaking in Port Moody, a hands-on offering to create award-winning wines and a unique wine lifestyle experience. The independent, state-of-the-art wine processing, bottling and retail facility combines the finest equipment, latest techniques, and a partnership with the premium Winexpert line of products to produce high-quality wines that will please even the most discerning oenophiles. Established in 1999, owner Sandra Croney and manager Michael Druce, oversee the family owned and operated finely-tuned and pristine St. Johns Street location. The current outlet is an amalgamation of two previous Tri-City outlets. Combined in 2009, consumers can now receive a more enjoyable, complete winemaking experience, while the highest standards of customer service are upheld. It’s no secret that imported, sophisticated wines with complexity and structure can come at a premium price at your local liquor store; however, Beyond the Grape provides over 100 different varieties of varietal juice from countries world-wide. The fun and flexibility to blend varietals and choose a wine uniquely created to delight your individual palate at affordable price points is an added incentive. “We can make a quality product for a fraction of the cost than the commercial industry,” said Druce. “The quality is there but the price is not. We have high and low prices, for example, 10 dollar, and five to six dollar wines, and wine juice from 100 year-old vines.” As the first Winexpert co-branded store in BC, Beyond the Grape customers are guaranteed a consistent, well-balanced, and quality product, and can be confident in knowing that the staff ’s far-reaching expertise and knowledge is a result of extensive

training through Winexpert’s exclusive Winemaking Excellence Programs. “We’re also proud to bring the top 20-plus styles of award-winning Brewer’s Best craft beer kits to the Tri-Cities,” said Druce. “We offer monthly beginner beer making classes for the home craft brewer; register online to reserve your seat.” Your winemaking experience begins with the guidance of Croney and Druce, who often know their repeat customers by name, even remembering your favourite grape or style of wine. It’s the hands-on, specialized personal touch that has led them to win over 30 awards and accolades including the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2009-2010 for small business of the year. Their community outreach with non-profits like SHARE, plus various fundraising and charitable initiatives is a big part of their identity. The impressive facilities are immaculate, aesthetically pleasing with a warm and stylish ambiance. Look for local artist Melanie Cossey’s work, her oils and acrylics adorn the walls, and are also available for purchase. Beyond the Grape offers customers four discerning styles of wine kits with high-quality grape juice and concentrate from the world’s best wine regions, and various processing times. Eclipse (8 weeks), Selection (6-8 weeks), World Vineyard and Vintners Reserve (4-5 weeks) and Spéciale (6 weeks), which includes ice wines, ports, and sherries. The staff will happily assist in your wine selection to suit your flavour and style preference. It is required by the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch that the customer owns the ingredients, and sprinkles the yeast on the juice to begin fermentation, Croney explained. Your wine then remains on-site in 23-litre carboys or oak barrels until your bottling appointment, where you’ll sanitize, fill and cork the bottles, choose and apply labels and shrink caps. Five-week kits are ready to drink in a few weeks; others require a minimum aging of two to three months.

PHOTO: Sandra Croney and Michael Druce Beyond the Grape On-Premise Winemaking

“We can make a quality product for a fraction of the cost than the commercial industry”

needs small photo

3030 St. Johns Street, Port Moody, B.C. 604-461-8891

Leading Edge Consulting


their proven track record for tight security and confidentiality of your corporate data.

Trevor Schmidt, president of Leading Edge Consulting Inc., recalled the moment when he realized there was a need in an untapped marketplace for IT consultants who vetted their employees and offered secure services in technical support.

The company fits a particularly critical niche for small to medium-sized businesses (10 to 75 employees) that lack their own in-house technical support. “Our client base is companies who should have an IT professional, but are not big enough to hire a full-time IT employee allowing us to assume responsibility for all your IT needs.” said Schmidt.

ranting a third party unfettered access to your critical or sensitive information systems or software is arguably one of the most disconcerting issues companies face when contracting an IT company.

“A few years ago, I was employed by a company who wrote facial recognition software,” said Schmidt. “It involved working for numerous law enforcement agencies across North America, who all required background checks.” With that in mind, Schmidt understood that the demand for specialized security professionals in IT was growing, particularly because the task of safeguarding systems and data has become increasingly complex. “Time and again, companies provide access to an IT consultant who they don’t even know,” revealed Schmidt. “They relinquish control of their business critical systems to a virtual stranger who then has access to everything sensitive and confidential. Which is why all our employees undergo a national background security clearance. “ This was his inspiration behind the launch of his Port Moody based company. Leading Edge Consulting Inc. provides both managed services and complete IT solutions on a consulting basis, specializing in Microsoft technologies. Leading Edge Consulting Inc. services a number of high profile corporations wherein the utmost discretion is paramount. With clients including Port Moody Police Department and several RCMP detachments, this client roster is a testament to

Moreover, Leading Edge Consulting is an ascribed member of MSPAlliance, which sanctions and regulates the code of ethics for the information technology managed services industry. Additionally, all employees have a minimum of 10 years IT experience, a standard Schmidt feels strongly about. “Young graduates directly out of university or BCIT don’t have the same vast qualifications and certifications, and most importantly, the bigger picture life experiences that we offer.” Having recently won the 2013 Spike Business Award for “Technology and Innovation” from the City of Port Moody, it reaffirms their solid track record and highly-regarded position in the community and Metro Vancouver areas they service. Born in South Africa, with an Engineering and Computer Science degree, his experience stretches from London, UK to Miami, Florida. He moved to Vancouver eight years ago and admired Port Moody for its small town feel yet urban sensibilities, the perfect place to live and establish his business. When he’s not putting out IT fires (figuratively speaking), Schmidt supports those who face the real thing as a City of Port Moody Fire-Rescue volunteer firefighter.

PHOTO: Trevor Schmidt, president, Leading Edge Consulting.


Excellence “ In-house technical support. “Our client base is companies who should have an IT professional, but are not big enough to hire a fulltime IT employee allowing us to assume responsibility for all your IT needs.” Schmidt

3190 St. Johns St. Unit 207 Port Moody, B.C. 604-917-0269



Don Kim, CPA, CGA


t’s probably fair to say that Certified General Account, Don Kim, has been fascinated by business operations from an early age. Immigrating to Canada at 16-years-old from Korea, Kim did not complete his university studies in electrical engineering due to his parents’ need for assistance in operating their various small businesses. A young entrepreneur, Kim owned and operated a grocery store, supermarket, restaurant, coffee shop, and gas station, and eventually a business consulting firm. Choice of professional designation came naturally, due to a desire for business knowledge operations and various report compiling requirements. Returning to university, Kim earned his CGA designation in 1999, and today, he is the sole proprietor of his Coquitlam accounting practice, which he established in 2010. “I am proud to say that I don’t just have accounting experience, but real life, real business operations experience, like the CFO of a multi-million dollar company, to know what it takes to be successful in business,” he said. Kim provides business advisory, affordable accounting and tax services to small and medium-sized businesses and investors throughout the Lower Mainland. His business acumen supports his handson approach. “I know how difficult it is for small businesses to survive and grow,” acknowledged Kim. “Some people start the business without knowing what they are getting themselves into, without preparing for the worst case scenario; a one-to-two hour consult can save them a lot of headaches and money.” With over 17 years of professional expertise, Kim offers a breadth of services, assisting with everything from personal and corporate income tax filing and financial statement preparation, to non-profit reporting and bookkeeping. Additionally, Kim is available for consultants on business advisory issues, trust matters and guidance on Canada Revenue Agency dealings. “I am inspired to help my clients become more PHOTO: Don Kim, CPA, CGA

aware of the structure of their finances,” said Kim. “A lot of entrepreneurs don’t know where they are in terms of profitability or the possibilities of what they can do; I can successfully build partnerships with owners or company management, and work with them to archive their goals.” “Through my own hands-on business operating experiences, I am confident that I can help small business owners succeed,” added Kim. “I am able to save their hard-earned dollars by minimizing tax payables, and present them a clear picture of their current business status.” As businesses find it more difficult to raise finance, they’re less likely to give credit, placing greater demands on qualified accountants in the foreseeable future. Kim’s approach to economic uncertainty lies in his ability to demonstrate significant worth in his product. “Current businesses do not have the luxury of spending money on non-direct value added items,” said Kim. “A lot of the time, accountants are viewed as non-value added services, hence I need to show that my services can be added value services that directly affects a client’s bottom line, and thus, providing different options in their decision making process.” Actively involved in volunteering his services to charitable causes and associations, Kim served as treasurer for both the B.C. Korean Society and business association for six years and was awarded the appreciation certificates; additionally, he currently serves as director for the Rose of Sharon Foundation in Coquitlam. With a track record of long-term repeat clients, Kim prides himself on keeping in close contact with his clients throughout the year, and is always available to provide business advice and support as new issues arise. Acting as your primary confidential business advisor for all of your accounting, future planning and financial questions, Kim will work with you to help you succeed in all of your business endeavours.

“I am proud to say that I don’t just have accounting experience, but real life, real business operations experience, like the CFO of a multimillion dollar company, to know what it takes to be successful in business.”

#205-1120 Austin Avenue, Coquitlam, B.C. 778-355-6252

David Norman - Tomlinson Alliance Group Financial


ne of the largest Group Benefit Brokers in BC, Tomlinson Alliance Group Financial (TAGF) is a leading provider in Group Benefits for small business. In addition, they assist business owners with corporate insurance strategies as well as families with a range of risk solutions. Built on a solid foundation of experience and expertise, founder, John Tomlinson has assembled a team of accredited professionals with a commitment to superior personalized service, designing solutions that are in the absolute best interest of their clients. It’s a team mentality that has harnessed the company’s core belief of “people first,” ensuring each client is taken care of like a member of their family. The solid, cohesive team at TAGF is made up of three partners, two advisors and four administrative staff; it’s a unit in perfect balance aimed to meet the highest standards in security and coverage expectations for their clientele. The TAGF team is equipped to determine, implement and maintain an inclusive benefits program to compliment your corporate culture and goals, and will monitor your program with comprehensive reporting, insight, and administrative support. Working with their clients in the group benefits market, partners, John Tomlinson, Shawn Perryman, and David Norman, specialize in providing the proper planning and succession solutions needed for today’s entrepreneurs and business professionals. Each situation is unique and the partners analyze and present personal solutions that uphold TAGF’s client focused, relationship building model. Norman is currently completing his Charted Life Underwriter (CLU) designation, to further his forte in estate and trust planning. His expertise lies in working with business owners to help utilize their dollars in a more tax effective manner and provide security for their families. Together with a tax and estate team, he will work alongside you and your accountants to ensure you are



keeping more of what you make. No stranger to teamwork, Norman, grew up playing soccer in Coquitlam, and went on to play professionally for 17 years with the NASL Whitecaps and Vancouver 86ers; not to mention, he was a member of the Canadian National Team in the ‘84 Olympics and ‘86 World Cup. Soccer, for Norman, dovetails seamlessly into the character traits that dominate his success in the insurance sector. “Team play, hard work, a competitive drive, and goal setting are paramount,” said Norman. “Being able to see a long-term goal and break it down into chunks, mapping out how you are going to get there, are all transferable skills.” Comradery and a genuine appreciation for fun and good relations are frequently established over dinner or during a soccer match; Norman is often out with his clients at socially engaging activities, where business partnerships are nurtured organically. Additionally, Norman currently provides colour commentary for TEAM Radio’s Whitecaps broadcasts. He brings the same open and honest viewpoint to the fans, as he does to his TAGF clients, a credible and truthful dissemination of information to help them better manage their personal financial planning. The Norman family has been very involved in the soccer community in the Tri-Cities for over 35 years. Outside of work, Norman is a dedicated family man to his wife Suzanne, daughter Rachael (Trinity Western student), and son David (Canada World Cup Team under 15); in addition to his many years as a youth soccer coach, he continues to make his mark in the Tri-Cities and further afield, with personal and company support to community outreach. Norman works in his Coquitlam home office several days per week as well as TAGF’s offices located in Surrey/West Langley. TAGF’s wide-spread geographical reach meets the needs of their clients province-wide.

PHOTO: David Norman, partner, Tomlinson Alliance Group Financial

“Being able to see a long-term goal and break it down into chunks, mapping out how you are going to get there, are all transferable skills.”

#102 - 5668 192nd Street, Surrey, B.C. 604-574-9195

Drysdale Bacon McStravick LLP


ore often than not, accident victims and disability claimants are unaware of the extent to which they are allowed compensation for their injuries. Hiring a legal expert will help to protect your rights, file a claim for rightful compensation, and guide you through the process. For more than 30 years, personal injury has been among the variety of practice areas in which lawyers at Drysdale Bacon McStravick LLP have proven expertise, including real estate, and wills and estates. When it comes to seeking legal representation for your personal injury lawsuit, you want a law firm that has longevity in the legal profession with a proven record of obtaining successful results. DBM has a diverse range of expert counsel to assist you in your claim in a way that works best for you. Partner Joseph P. McStravick and partner Sharene D. Orstad are lawyers of the DBM legal team that specialize in the lawful rights of personal injury victims. McStravick obtained a B. A. in psychology, acquired his law degree from UBC, and was called to the bar in 1983. In 2003 he started the DBM law firm in Coquitlam with Christopher Bacon. McStravick has also represented spouses and children under the Wills Variation Act. Orstad obtained her B. A. in criminology from SFU, and a law degree from the University of Western Ontario; she was called to the bar in 1997. Orstad also focuses on other civil litigation and is an avid and accomplished legal researcher. Acting on behalf of plaintiffs only, McStravick and Orstad will provide straightforward representation and a high level of service to help you and your family through the personal injury process to



achieve a just and proper settlement, the best possible outcome, and quality of life. Some lawyers at DBM previously represented ICBC and other insurance companies, giving the firm a solid understanding how ICBC will approach your case, what tactics they’ll use to reduce your claim, and how best to present your case in a manner ICBC will respect. “We’re probably the best-known firm in the Tri-Cities,” said McStravick. “Perhaps most notably the biggest player when it comes to personal injury due to our past success. Success is defined by client satisfaction — very few cases actually go to court.”

“ Knowing what the client is entitled to is vital.”

“We’re prepared to go to trial if our client wants to do that,” revealed McStravick. “DBM always strives for an equitable outof-court settlement to help minimize delays and uncertainty.” Orstad was quick to acknowledge the exceptionally talented and experienced staff at DBM, which is a crucial factor in personal injury lawsuits. “They have to know how to collect the important documents necessary to support our case,” she said. “Knowing what the client is entitled to is vital.” In a precedent setting case involving message therapy in 2011, DBM’s client was entitled to medical and rehabilitative benefits, which ICBC refused to pay. The Court of Appeal of British Columbia handed down a ruling that massage therapy is a “physical therapy,” and therefore a mandatory benefit under Part 7; consequently ICBC was obligated to pay. “It’s a great moment when we present our client the cheque; we know we made a difference,” admitted McStravick. “We’ll be right there for you. We put ourselves between you and ICBC — you don’t have to deal with them — that’s our job.”

PHOTO: Partners Sharene D. Orstad and Joseph P. McStravick, Drysdale Bacon McStravick LLP

1015 Austin Avenue, Suite 211 Coquitlam, B.C. 604-939-8321



Dollars and Cents


t’s been one of the most important choices Salim Dhanani has had to make.

In the early 90’s his friend (now brother-inlaw) was looking to open up a store. Salim had been entering into his sixth year as a retail manager with Canadian Tire and was going to school part-time, but he needed a change. So he decided to help out his friend. Through changes in management over time and more than 20 years later, Salim stands proud as one of the founders of Dollars and Cents: the family-run business that services the Lower Mainland and the Tri-Cities with their unapologetically lower-priced yet bewitchingly better-quality products. “Because ‘Dollars’ is in our name people expect it be a dollar store, but we’re far more than that,” Salim said. “You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find! We do a really good job with certain key departments, like party, crafts, housewares, stationary and gifts. So, when a customer comes to our store for example, they’re going to find one-dollar greeting cards, but they’re also going to find full-priced greeting cards from Carlton Cards. Dollars & Cents stores strive on providing a great selection of products, so that the customer has a choice, without having to go elsewhere or break their piggybanks. “We save you time in the sense that when a customer comes into our stores they can find what they need and rarely leave without buying something,” he added. It’s a simple model really, which most chains should adopt. Dollars and Cents provides what their customers want at a reasonable price, coupled with their friendly and prompt service. It sounds obvious enough, but Dhanani and his family go the extra mile in ensuring that more than enough staff are on hand to help a customer with any and every problem or question. PHOTO: Salim Dhanani, owner, Dollar & Cents

“We have lots of staff on the floor and enough cashiers to make the lineups go quicker and we accept cash, credit and debit cards for convenience,” Salim said. “Many of our staff at our stores have been with us for a long time and work hard to offer friendly, efficient and knowledgeable service to each and every customer who walks in our doors. I’m proud that our store managers are exceptionally friendly and accommodating. It truly is a team effort approach.” The business is also growing in an exciting new direction. In the past year, Dollars and Cents has opened up its business-to-business services, allowing restaurant owners, pubs, school teachers and even party/wedding planners to access to their supplies at discount rates. Joining up is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse and few jots on the keyboard. “For example, all a teacher has to do is register as a teacher-customer profile, and then they get discounts on certain key product categories,” Salim said. “Things teachers would use on a regular basis. Stickers, stationary, seasonal items and crafts.” Other businesses like restaurants and pubs can have access to Dollars and Cents’ unique ability of being able to provide a wide-variety of goods from a number of distributors that they deal with. Does your business need some festive and holiday-oriented decorations? They can hook you up. Just some stationary for your class or office? No problem. “There are lots of small businesses that need supplies or promotions that would benefit by registering with us. We could source out special items on request, because there are so many things available to us,” Salim said. Dollars and Cents just recently opened up two new locations in Coquitlam and Langley. Be sure to pop by and take a look at the staggering variety of goods, all at an affordable cost. And, check them out on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

“We save you time, in the sense that when you come into our stores, we believe you’ll find what you need. Customers rarely leave without buying something.”

1410 Parkway Boulevard, Westwood Plateau Village Coquitlam, B.C. 604-474-1000

Prudential Sterling Realty


hen you combine experienced, accomplished, and skilled Real Estate Agents with decades of local expertise it is a winning combination if you are the Buyer or Seller. Chances are you or someone you know have had the pleasure of working with them. Sterling Realty is based in Port Moody, in the heart of the Tri-Cities. For them, it’s not just about providing the best possible experience for their customers, it’s also about providing the very best working environment for their REALTORS® Prudential Sterling Realty has the experience, and they’re passionate about sharing that well of knowledge with promising up and coming Agents in the Tri-Cities area. “We’ve worked very hard to create a culture of cooperation and collaboration where our REALTORS® can share ideas or discuss their challenges with each other. We have been able to attract an exceptional group of Agents with a depth of experience. “It’s a great place to work. There is great synergy within our group.” said Prudential Sterling’s General Manager Randy Ryalls. “We have empowered our staff to actively do whatever they need to provide excellent support to our Agents. It sounds cliché but they give 110% everyday and I’m very proud of the effort they make.” Ryalls is the prime example of what this company is about: mentoring, coaching, and creating the best possible work environment for a real estate agent to grow, build their skill set, and advance their career. Ryalls himself knows the truth in this, working 18 years as a real estate agent himself before becoming the company’s leader 7 years ago. “I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some great mentors early in my career.” Ryalls said. “I gained invaluable experience I never would have gotten

otherwise. I learned the power of a positive outlook, to bring your best every time, and at the same time I had the autonomy to seek my own path, which is what attracted me to a Real Estate career in the first place.” My key role now is to be the mentor and coach for our Agents, to pass along the lessons I learned.” “The business is changing very quickly,” Ryalls said. “Technology has re-defined how people search for a property. Agent’s need to understand and utilize technology in ways that respond to their prospective customers. We have implemented technology training to address this but it’s still and always will be a people business and we have some of the best. We want to be known as THE place to work in the Tri Cities area if you are a Professional REALTOR® or aspire to become one.


Excellence “The business is changing very quickly. It’s becoming a very technology-oriented business and it’s going to continue in that direction.”

Experience for the customer, mentorship for the aspiring REALTOR®, and a great work environment. It’s what Prudential Sterling Realty is all about. Prudential Sterling Realty and their Agents believe strongly in being connected to and being engaged in the communities where they live and work. When they’re not selling your house or condo they are organizing fundraising or participating in a run for any number of causes including Cystic Fibrosis, Breast Cancer Research, and Prostate Cancer Research. They have been affected themselves and they believe in the power of service to others. Their Agents have been passionately involved in advocating for home owners affected by the leaky condo crisis and serving on a host of committees within their local governments. “The men and women are people who care deeply about the communities in the Tri-Cities and they are out there quietly making a difference every day.“ For more information visit

PHOTO: Randy Ryalls, General manager and team Prudential Sterling Realty

3137 St. John’s Street, Port Moody, B.C. V3H 2C8 604-421-1010



Investors Group


business owner or someone looking for guidance on their personal situation.

That’s because for every article telling them ‘x’, there is another that advises to do ‘y’. And the problem is only compounded because neither of them is going to help you if you don’t have a clearly defined starting point.

The second meeting, named the current situation meeting, is primarily to confirm your current personal data, including assets, debts, and stated goals and objectives. At the end of this meeting you will have an accurate picture of where you are likely to end up based on a few fundamental assumptions such as inflation, growth rate, etc. Being armed with this information helps the consultants identify any inefficiencies or opportunities in the plan.

hether you call it paralysis by analysis or just information overload, the sheer abundance of financial planning information available to today’s consumer has left many Canadians finding it difficult to navigate the peaks and troughs on the road towards a successful retirement.

The plan comes first. A well thought-out plan for your financial future is an integral part of building the life you want for yourself and your family. At Investors Group, Tim Gendreau, senior financial consultant, and Brian Stevanak, financial consultant know that differentiating between an investment advisor and a financial planner is critical to your success. “Most Canadians’ experience is with the former,” said Stevanak, “when in reality investment planning is only one component of a six-piece comprehensive plan that a financial planner can help you create.” The team delivers a comprehensive financial plan using some of the most advanced software in the industry. “The real power of this software is its ability to model and provide clarity to your current situation, analyze our recommendations, and use a sophisticated calculator to track ongoing progress,” explained Gendreau Gendreau and Stevanak have created a unique planning process that starts with the client discovery meeting. To ensure mutual transparency, you’ll want to make certain they’re a good fit for your needs and visa versa. Gendreau and Stevanak define their ideal client as someone who is advice oriented and plan driven, whether a small

Imagine your financial snapshot on the big screen, side-by-side their recommendations and personalized projections. That’s the third component in the process — the recommended plan meeting. “After a step-by-step walkthrough, clients can see the impact of all recommendations applied to their current situation. I like to say that we’ll supply the math, you supply the emotion, and together we will identify which recommendation we should tackle first,” said Gendreau. “Working together, we’ll review and update the plan regularly, examining our client’s progress,” added Stevanak.

“ We’ll supply the math, you supply the emotion, and together we will identify which recommendations we should tackle first”

Gendreau and Stevanak have a combined 24 years of experience in the financial services industry. They offer a one-stop shop of financial products and are positioned to work with you around all areas of financial planning; including cash flow management, risk management, investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. In the end, building a long-term client relationship is integral to the success of the model. Gendreau encourages people to look at comparisons: “Come to us with past experiences, and we can show you how we can better serve your family’s financial planning needs.”

PHOTO: Investors Group consultants Tim Gendreau and Brian Stevanak

Investors Group consultants Tim Gendreau and Brian Stevanak 305-2963 Glen Drive, Coquitlam, B.C. 604-941-4697

Share Family & Community Services


t’s hard to point to a single word or phrase and say, “This is what SHARE is about.” Why? Because SHARE Family Services does just about everything. And if you grew up in or around the Tri-Cities, chances are you or someone you know have received their help.

All in all, SHARE dabbles in more than 20 to 30 different programs and services, many of which change or adjust as the needs of the community do. And it’s that flexibility in their services Wyant says is their best strength and one he wouldn’t ever try to change.

Even Martin Wyant, CEO of SHARE since July 2010, laughed at the thought of defining SHARE. But, as he always does, he sure gave it his best shot.

“We really want to stay connected to our community,” Wyant said. “We want to stay connected to what the emerging needs and issues are amongst the people that we’re serving. We want to develop local relationships with businesses in our community. We want to connect with people that volunteer, and try and think of solutions to make things better in our own backyard.”

“Bottom line is we’re a Tri-Cities community-based social-service organization. We were established in 1972 and have changed over the years to go to meet the needs of the Tri-Cities that we serve,” Wyant said. “We are quite broad in terms of the kinds of programs and services that we deliver in the Tri-Cities, and they tend to be focused in three buckets, three themes.” The one theme most people are familiar with is their “poverty reduction” services. This includes their food bank system – which feeds hundreds of Tri-Cities families every year – their legal advocacy work, and their thrift store. But that’s far from everything they offer. “We have another cluster we call social wellbeing, and that includes addiction counselling to family counselling, individual counselling, those kind of things that really are intended to try and improve people’s mental health,” Wyant said. Their third and final theme is about creating an inclusive community. SHARE does so by offering services to refugees and newcomers to the Tri-Cities, as well as offering support for children with special needs, and finding ways to integrate all of the Tri-Cities residents together.

It’s this philosophy that garners thousands upon thousands of generous offerings from the local community, be it in terms of food bank donations or volunteer hours. In fact, in 2012 alone volunteers put in a combined 45,000 hours of time into SHARE.


Excellence “We are quite broad in terms of the kinds of programs and services that we deliver in the Tri-Cities, and they tend to be focused in three buckets, three themes.”

In a way, that’s what SHARE is all about. Creating a community where people don’t want to just be there, but also be a part of it. To help mold it, shape it, help it grow into something better than when they first saw it. As the needs of the community grows and changes, so will SHARE. Whether it’s rising housing costs, food support, or child poverty issues, this company has been and always will be this community’s friend. For more information, visit

PHOTO: SHARE BEAR and some of the hardworking volunteers , employees and dignitaries

#200-25 King Edward Street, Coquitlam, B.C. 604-529-5126

MacDonald-Gill Insurance


hen Cheryl MacDonald and Tracey Gill first joined forces more than 20 years ago, they quickly came to the conclusion it was nigh impossible to undercut the competition on price. ICBC rates are set in stone and most of the other leading private insurance companies, says Gill, set the premiums within a few dollars of each other. So it was then that MacDonald-Gill Insurance decided it would smash its opponents out of the market on the one thing it could control – its customer service. Whether it’s personally delivering Autoplans to customers in their homes, on the soccer sidelines, in hockey or lacrosse arenas or helping customers in matters totally unrelated to the business, MacDonald-Gill has successfully set itself apart from its rivals. And it’s that human edge to the firm that’s led to generations of Coquitlam and Vancouver families coming back to the Plateau Village Shopping Centre business for their insurance needs and helped shape MacDonald-Gill into one of the city’s most respected companies. “It’s very difficult to set ourselves apart from our competition on pricing alone, it has to come from extra effort and from customer service,” explained Gill. “We’ve rarely had to advertise; we rely on word of mouth. We do insurance for entire families, sometimes from great grandparents down through the generations and there’s a reason for that.” MacDonald and Gill are, however, humble enough to recognize their success story – which started when the pair teamed up in 1992 – is as much down to the commitment of their staff as anything else. After moving the business from Vancouver to Coquitlam’s Plateau Village on April 1, 1998, MacDonald-Gill expanded its employees from one to two within six months, from two to five in the following five years,



before adding a sixth agent and a receptionist three years ago. “All say they are lifers with the MacDonaldGill family here and we value their dedication to us and our customers,” said Gill. “And I think the customers recognise their exemplary service as well. “They are our front line and represent us with knowledge, dedication, efficiency and friendliness, day in, day out.” All of them, added Gill, are local residents with affiliations in the local fitness, volunteering, acting, sports and dirt biking communities - far expanding the interest groups MacDonald-Gill service for people’s insurance needs. “We have a fun environment,” said Gill, “So there are endless smiles to greet our customers and when customers see the same smiling faces year after year, they sense it’s a stable business and they appreciate that.” Now 15 years in their Plateau Village home, MacDonald and Gill’s forecast of success from growth by moving to Coquitlam has been spot on. “It was a change of life move. In the first few months, we were doing the same amount of business in a week that we did within a month at the old office. We grew exponentially year on year after the move,” said Gill, whose family is immersed in the local soccer scene, while MacDonald and her loved ones spend much of their time at the hockey arena. Now with two owners and six staff putting their shoulders to the insurance wheel every day, Gill said their sights are still firmly trained on the little things, as well as the need to focus on the niches and grow the small, personal side of the business. “That is our strength and that’s what we’re good at.”

PHOTO: Cheryl Macdonald, Tracey Gill and Team MacDonald-Gill Insurance

“ It’s very difficult to set ourselves apart from our competition on pricing alone, it has to come from extra effort and from customer service”

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B2-1410 Parkway Boulevard Coquitlam, B.C. 604-468-4188

Arthur Murray Dance Studio


he Coquitlam/Tri-Cities Arthur Murray Dance Studio is proud to be a part of the local community. The mission: to improve people’s lives by teaching them to dance. Learning to dance with a partner is physical and mental exercise full of novel experiences, new skills, laughter and meeting new people. Numerous studies show how important these are for our health, well-being and quality of life. “You wouldn’t believe how we’ve been able to impact our students’ lives through dancing” says Barbara Ferchuk, co-owner of the local Arthur Murray franchise with her husband Brent Smith. They started dancing at a university club together and then with Arthur Murray Studios, originally as students. After a career of teaching and competing together at the long-established studio in Vancouver (opened in 1948) they opened their own Arthur Murray studio in the Tri-Cities in 2004. The Coquitlam/Tri-Cities Arthur Murray Dance Studio on Westwood Street continues the legacy of great dancing instruction started by Arthur Murray himself in 1912. The Arthur Murray teaching method has been honed over the last 100 plus years into a remarkably efficient system of learning. Today they teach a wide array of social and competitive dances at all levels, ranging from elegant ballroom waltzes to sultry tangos, hot latin salsas to fun swing dances. The studio environment acts as its own testimonial, full of lively music and people happily dancing together. Every student has a story. Anniversary, wedding and cruise dances shared, time spent learning a new skill, or just being able to confidently ask someone to dance wherever music is playing. “Our studio has a mainly social dance focus. In fact, a staff favorite is to show absolute beginners how easy it is not to have to sit on the sidelines anymore.” says Brent. It’s very personal work - work that the Arthur Murray team of teachers



finds tremendously rewarding. “Most people have no idea how easy it is to get started. You don’t need a regular schedule, prior dance experience and actually you don’t even necessarily need a partner” says Barbara, adding “We have many single students as well as couples taking lessons in the studio.” People arriving with the proverbial “two left feet” at Arthur Murray soon realize that dancing is a skill they can learn. Good partnering is the holy grail of every dancer and a coveted skill to develop. The lead learns to be clear and strong but unforced, while the follower learns to actively embellish and add the personality to each movement - all this while moving in unison to the musical rhythm. This partnering is enjoyable to experience in the spontenaiety of a social dance and captivating to watch in an accomplished show couple. Herein lies the “magic” seen when dance partners connect.

“ Our studio has a mainly social dance focus. In fact, a staff favorite is to show absolute beginners how easy it is not to have to sit on the sidelines anymore.”

Arthur Murray Coquitlam/Tri-Cities continues the tradition of excellence in teaching that has rewarded Arthur Murray Studios with over 100 years of success. Each franchised studio operates on a very personalized and local basis but being part of Arthur Murray International also ensures that they are in touch with the latest trends on a global scale. Arthur Murray International (the world’s second oldest franchise) has become the world’s largest dance teaching organization with nearly 300 studios worldwide in over 20 countries - and growing. As part of their promotional advertising Arthur Murray offers a free lesson to try it out. Studio owners Brent and Barbara, along with their fun-loving community of staff and students, hope that everyone in the area will have a chance to come in and see how fun, quick and easy it is to learn the “Arthur Murray Way”.

205 - 3242 Westwood Street Port Coquitlam, B.C. 604-552-3052

PHOTO: Brent and Barbara dancing onstage at the “Dancing with Our Stars” fundraiser for Crossroads Hospice. Photo supplied by Darla Furlani

Phoenix Truck and Crane


rom its humble beginnings operating out of a Coquitlam townhouse with just a few trucks, Bill Dick has spent the last 23 years building the Lower Mainland`s leading same-day delivery company and premier crane service. Phoenix’s fleet is now 150-strong and comprised of cube vans, flat decks, curtain sides and cranes of various sizes and capabilities. All working hard to move freight throughout the Lower Mainland in a timely manner. “I operated out of my townhouse for a couple of months before the neighbours started to complain,” said Dick of the birth of Phoenix Truck & Crane, now based on Rogers Avenue. “I don’t think they appreciated a five-ton truck in the driveway. So, after a couple of months, I moved it all to a 700 square foot office where it was just me and a few trucks. I remember looking around and thinking ‘what the hell am I doing.’” By the end of that first year, Bill had amassed a fleet of 20 vehicles “Money was tight in the ‘90s and my wife and I had to borrow to really get the business going,” recalled Dick, who was voted “Outstanding Business Person of the Year, Tri-Cities, 2008.” “After that, well I guess we were just in the right place at the right time. Everyone wanted to be the cheapest, offering discounts, while we operated at the full rate. We were all about quality of service over price and we remain that way today.” Year on year growth continued with fleet and client expansion, including a major coup in partnering with Convoy Supplies to service the roofing industry with a 5:30 a.m. opening. Something no one else was doing at the time. With the rise of the film industry in B.C., Phoenix saw another opportunity to increase business. In 1997 they began

servicing this industry, specializing in renting cranes and providing skilled operators who have worked on blockbuster television shows and films such as X Files, Fantastic Four, X-Men and Twilight. But the success wasn’t just down to Dick’s sharp business sense – a shrewd judge of character was also a finely tuned weapon. “I just hired great people,” said Dick. “My competition didn’t, and still doesn’t understand we`re actually in the service industry. Service for our customers and their clients is key. I also have two of the best dispatchers in the Lower Mainland. They are the two who`ve really helped build this company. You can bring in as much business as you want, but if you can’t control the movement, then it’s all for nothing.”


Excellence “ We are all about people and giving back is something I feel very strongly about ”

One of them is now the Operations Manager, and both have been with the company for twenty plus years. All of the 40-strong staff at Phoenix play important roles in its success and are invaluable to help sustain and grow the company in today’s economy. The operators delivering product, the sales staff who work to maintain existing customers, as well as quoting new jobs, and the office staff who ensure our customers’ needs are met. A handful of them are approaching the 20 year mark – an indication of how well Phoenix treats its biggest asset, people. It’s that focus on people that compels Dick and his Phoenix Truck & Crane team to continually give back to the community. Year after year, local charities and causes such as Cystic Fibrosis, the SHARE food bank, Crossroads Hospice and the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation benefit from Phoenix’s generosity. “We are all about people and giving back is something I feel very strongly about,” said Dick.

PHOTO: Owner Bill Dick at his office building in Coquitlam

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2320 Rogers Avenue Coquitlam B.C., V3K 5X7 1-800-313-3370


Tri-Cities Profiles of Excellence  

Tri-Cities Profiles of Excellence

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