Volume 4, No. 10 June 2014
• Jim Innes Time to evaluate Page 4 • Dr. Greg Get ready to garden Page 28 • Elizabeth VanHooren The courage to let go Page 29 Also Inside: Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Pages 18 and 19 Starting a small business Pages 20-25
Jamie Quai, Quai Du Vin – Constant improvement Cover story: Page 3
Doug Tarry Homes...
oug Tarry Jr., director of marketing, was delighted but also humbled when he learned that Doug Tarry Homes had won the Canadian Home Builders’ Association 2013 Grand SAM Award. “It was a real honour to be nominated and we were thrilled to emerge a winner,” he said after learning the news. For a builder, winning the Grand SAM is like the Oscar for best picture in the film world – it’s the pinnacle of professional accomplishment. Doug Tarry Homes has been nominated 29 times for SAM Awards, winning 15 times, and has won the Grand SAM two times in recent years. The Tarry family business qualified for the finals in the 2013 competition with a Lake Margaret bungalow and a two-storey home in Ingersoll. The company started by Doug Tarry father is celebrating 60 years of quality construction in 2014. One particular point of pride for this custom home building team is the Energy Star certification for their homes. The SAM win was particularly gratifying because Doug Tarry Homes was up against much larger firms from cities like Calgary and Vancouver.
...brings home a Grand SAM Doug Tarry Homes, St.Thomas Wed. – Fri. 11:00 to 5:00 pm • Sat. & Sun. 12:00 to 4:00 pm Mon. & Tues. by Appointment 519-637-8266 Visit us online for Lifestyles, Models, Prices & Maps
www.dougtarryhomes.com *The ENERGY STAR ® mark is administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada and used with permission.
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Award-winning winery takes major new steps by Terry Carroll
These are exciting times at Quai Du Vin Estate Winery Ltd., the family owned business on Fruit Ridge Line southeast of St. Thomas. Over the past year, the Quai family has won awards for its wines, entered into the world of VQA certification and ventured into farmers’ markets in southwestern Ontario. Some of these advances are related, as they often are in business: a combination of not being afraid to make a decision, being in the right place at the right time, and even a smidgeon of luck. The Quai family has been growing grapes for three generations. Jamie Quai’s grandfather, Redi, did the first planting in 1971. Jamie’s father, Roberto (aka Rob, still very active in the business), worked with the first commercial vintage in 1988. Since there is a minimum two-year window from grapeto-wine, that vintage was available to the public in 1990. Last year marked the quarter-century milestone for commercial growing and next year, 2015, will be the quarter-century milestone for selling to the public. Given this history, it’s a little surprising that Quai Du Vin entered a wine competition for the first time last year. Jamie says there are several reasons for this, including the cost of entering, the fact that “on a Top 20 list of what judges were looking for, we didn’t think we cracked the Top 12” and it takes time and effort to enter competitions. But in 2013, the winery did something different. “We poured wines for some top wine writers, and the responses came back very, very positive,” Jamie says. The winery decided to enter six wines in Finger Lakes N.Y. competition. “We would have been happy with two medals,” he says. Instead, Quai Du Vin walked
...planning, logistics, and just plain hard work to pull this off...
A fun cut-out of Rob Quai featured in a display at Quai Du Vin Estate Winery. away with five – two silver and three bronze. The family took pride in this – Jamie Quai is now the wine maker in the family, having graduated from Brock University with a BSc in Oenology and Vitaculture, essentially the science of wine and grape growing. But the decision to follow this up by seeking VQA certification also had a very practical base. When the Province of Ontario recently amended the law to allow the sale of wines at farmers’ markets, one stipulation was that these boutique wines had to carry the VQA label. Quai Du Vin decided to go for it, making for a hectic time from late last year until the effective date of May 1. But as of Saturday May 3, Quai Du Vin had VQA wines available, or would soon be selling them, at farmers’ markets in places like St. Thomas, Aylmer, Woodstock, Grand Bend, Stratford, Covent Garden Market, Masonville Market, and possibly Western Fair. It took planning, logistics, and just plain hard work to pull this off. This part of the story involves a couple of other key elements. Prior to Jamie getting his degree and joining the family business as wine maker, his father Rob started running events at the winery. One reason for this is that Quai Du Vin does not retail through the LCBO network. Over the years, on-site special events (weddings, wine tours, dinners and major concerts with up to 1,000 people) evolved to become
Elgin This Month General Manager Terry Carroll Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Regional Sales Manager Nelson Parreira
a revenue stream in their own right, accounting for 30 percent or more of annual revenues. And they are a good way of increasing wine sales. As the business grew, everybody couldn’t continue doing everything. The family decided to allocate areas of responsibility. Jamie’s focus is on grape growing, wine production and the administrative side, although his mother, Lisa is still involved in administration. Rob’s main area became the events and related activities. Jamie’s sister, Lena, “is taking on the public face of the business,” Jamie says, in areas like retail and marketing. In short, Jamie was responsible for making sure the farmers’ markets had enough wine, Rob arranged most of the logistics, and as part of her role, Lena was in Woodstock before 7 a.m. Saturday, May 3, getting ready to meet the public with a smile. Looking ahead, Jamie notes that at Quai Du Vin “nothing is off the table.” Some of the directions have been environmental – introducing wild flower patches among the grapes, inviting Clovermead to install bee colonies in site, switching to mulches and compounds, purchasing bottles made in Canada of the lightest possible weight, using compostable corks. “We try to get away from factory farming,” Jamie says. But it is still farming. Unlike most agricultural producers, a boutique winery such as Quai Du Vin is not at the mercy of price swings based on international factors like weather in other countries. That being said, grape growing and wine production are a lot of work and still very much weather dependent. Quai Du Vin planted another four acres of grapes last year, on the way to growing all its own grapes for wine production. The harsh winter of 2013-2014 arrived, followed by the late, cold, wet spring of 2014, casting uncertainty over the survival of some of the new vines. When it comes to farming, you just never know. Regardless, Jamie expresses the family sentiment this way: “We’re constantly striving to improve.” Awards, VQA certification, farmers’ markets … and beyond. Cover photo by Philip Bell, Shutter Studios.
Graphic Design / Production Metroland Media Group Sales Representative Greg Minnema
Elgin This Month is a monthly magazine focusing on business and lifestyle issues and includes Business Beat, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The publication is available for pickup at no charge at news stands and other locations around Elgin County, as well as distribution to businesses and selected households.
Published monthly by Metroland Media Group Ltd., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm June, 2014
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INNES AS I SEE IT
Making time to evaluate by Jim Innes
While happily enjoying one of my first motorcycle rides this year, I spotted a couple sitting on their front porch watching the world go by. I leaned back into my seat, put my boots up on the highway pegs, tuned in some classic rock, took a sip from my coffee, and realized that I was in a similar headspace. The only difference is that instead of waiting on activity to pass on by, I was actively passing on by it. I was pleasantly relaxed meandering through the countryside feeling both attached and detached from any local activity; a transitory witness to its existence. Folk waved as I cruised in and out of their worlds. And I gladly acknowledged their greetings, very cognizant that this was biking at its warm best. In that soulful headspace, I find that reflection comes easy. I was given cause that day to think deeply about where I was going in my life and
what, if anything, needed to shift. Work issues There is plenty of literature outlining a good also came into focus and thoughts of failure and evaluative procedure. For better or worse, an Insuccess were given the light of day. ternet search can make your head spin. There are This seems like a timely story because of its eval- any number of tools, each adopting its measures uative outcome. For many of us (most certainly (of success and failure) based on some philosophithose of us in the church and other such season- cal nuance. In my 26 years as a church leader I ally similar groups or businesses), these next sev- have found that the best evaluative process incoreral weeks are the home stretch for evaluating the porates the KISS principle. completion of the goals we had set last fall. Soon I have also found that corporate evaluation benthose whom we work alongside, and we ourselves, efits from personal evaluation. Quite often the will be shifting our energy and focus towards plans incompletion of goals is the result of someone’s for the summer. Any change of heart or a leader’s last minute pushes failure to take into account ...the best evaluative need to happen now certain personal issues when (or never) before the the goal (s) were excitedly esprocess incorporates hot drain of summer tablished. As Churchill once the KISS principle... sucks us brainless, said: if you could kick the perand we simply run son in the pants responsible out of time. for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month. In my experience an evaluative process must begin with you and/or those you work alongside intentionally create a still space in which all involved are freed to ruminate. I have found that it is best when leadership begins this process in self-reflection. Perhaps it’s on the motorbike, or going out for a Sunday drive in the car. Perhaps it happens best getting oneself to the water and wandering slowly down the beach; or perhaps it’s finding a quiet place to journal; or perhaps, for some extroverts, it happens best over a shared bottle of wine with an unassuming friend. As I see it, evaluation is a process easily sidestepped because we get so busy doing that we forget why we began to do it. We can become bogged down in maintenance while forgetting why so much energy is being drained in those tasks. Evaluation, at the very least, is opportunity to remind us of our goals. At best, evaluation is opportunity to become creatively stimulated. Jim Innes is a clinically trained therapist and a priest at St. John’s Anglican Church
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BUSINESS & COMMUNITY CAREER CHOICES
Make this summer count for a child by Laura Pavilonis and Nancy Annett
When choosing a summer job, young people of- kinds of people they might like to work with. It ten consider the money they’ll make or the hours really doesn’t matter where they start, but rather of work. Although both of these are important that they find opportunities to watch, discuss considerations, a summer job can also be a great and learn more about a career. The worst that can way to learn about an industry that your child happen is that they identify what they don’t like, may be interested in pursuing as a career, as well which brings them one step closer to knowing as an excellent opportunity to start building net- what they do like. work contacts in that area of work. Now encourage them to start building their First, have your kids spend some time think- networks. Who do they know that works in that ing about what industries they industry? Who might know might be interested in learning that works in that ...using a resume someone more about. Have they heard industry? What groups or oris one of the worst ganizations are connected to friends, family or neighbours talk about a job that piqued the industry? Using a resume ways to find a their interest? Have them think is one of the worst ways to find job... about topics they are naturally a job. It’s all about networks curious about, environments after all … it’s who you know they’d like to work in, and the and the opportunities to ‘try on’ a job before you spend thousands of dollars on education that may be wasted. And it shouldn’t be just paid work that they’re looking for, but any way to participate including volunteer opportunities and simply belonging to a group. One of the barriers young people face when building networks is underdeveloped verbal communication skills due to the amount of technology being used today. In order to develop these skills, suggest they write down two or three scripts they will use when making the contact. In each script, have them identify what their field of interest is and what unique skills they can bring to that field. The last question they should always ask is “Is there anyone else I should talk to?” Then practise, prac-
tise, practise. Start first with friends, parents and close family. From there, branch out to friends of family and finally friends of friends. Don't forget to have them send a thank you note to anyone who has made the time for them. Once your child has enough information about a chosen industry, narrow the search for a summer job to 8-10 organizations. Research the organization using online resources and talk to people who work there. Then utilize networks to try to secure three or four interviews. Once an interview is secured, encourage him or her to prepare by using the many resources and supports available. A note to employers, leaders and community members: Being open to talk and meet with youth about careers can be valuable to both parties. You may identify that stellar young person who would be a great fit for work you need done. But regardless, you'll walk away knowing that you helped a young person move closer to his or her career goals and contributing to a community.
Nancy Annett, MBA, CHRP owns Ignite Career Life Solutions, and Laura Pavilonis, MBA, CHRP owns Reach Beyond Limits. Together, they form Rock Your Career Club.
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BUSINESS & COMMUNITY TOURISM
Tourism in Elgin – survey results are in by Kate Burns
Elgin County’s tourism industry is growing every year with new and exciting businesses being added, from submarines to theatre and more. As part of Elgin County’s Economic Development department, surveys are conducted in the major economic sectors to determine what is happening, where the department is going and what can be improved upon. The following are the results of the tourism industry surveys and next steps for the sector. Between May and October 2013, Economic Development and Tourism staff conducted interviews in person as well as encouraged industry stakeholders to complete a survey online with 71 operaSignage matters to tourism businesses in Elgin. tions across the County. (Photo courtesy of Elgin County Tourism) The interview results showed clear themes in the tourism sector including: nesses were open year-round, the results suggest • Within the tourism sector, entertainment, rec- they are having difficulty in attracting customers reation and food services comprised the bulk of during the off-season. businesses surveyed; 62% of those surveyed are • Over half of the businesses surveyed indicated open year round and 66% of businesses are family “improved signage” and “more and better festivals owned. and events” as the improvements they would like • Of those surveyed, over one-third of all re- to see to make the community a more physically spondents indicated that they have no succession appealing tourist area. plan, business plan or marketing plan in place for • When asked which community assets they their operations. would like to see developed, 64% of businesses • 70% of respondents surveyed consider Elgin indicated they want the development of “farmers’ County a good or excellent place in which to do markets and open markets.” business. • In terms of main markets, the most highly • A significant portion of businesses are positive ranked markets to be targeted in the near future about the future, with 28 businesses planning an were “local within 100 km,” “leisure travelers” expansion or renovation in the next three years. and “Ontario”. These businesses are well distributed across the County with notable concentrations in Central A number of key themes emerged from the reElgin (31%) and West Elgin (18%). sponses and provide direction for the department, • Reinforcing the positive tourism business en- moving forward in tourism: vironment, 40% of businesses Improve training opportuniresponded having increased ties sales in the past year. • Work with Elgin Workforce • The majority of businesses “64% of businesses Development Committee to meet indicated that the most signif- want the development their goal of providing support to icant barrier to expansion was entrepreneurs and small business the seasonality of the tourism of farmers’ markets and operations by connecting emopen markets” sector. Although many busiployers to training programs.
Support for small businesses • Develop targeted workshops and reference materials to support business and financial planning for the County’s tourism sector. • Develop target workshops and reference materials to support new operations with business registration and business specific regulations. • Connect businesses with small business grants. Enhanced marketing • Work with local businesses to further promote Elgin’s tourism sector to the following target markets: ‘local within 100 km,’ leisure travellers and Ontario. • Work with local businesses to facilitate the creation of packaged deals or walking/cycling trails that showcase different attractions and areas in County. • Continue to promote the Savour Elgin brand identity for local products • Proactively market suitable available spaces/ properties for the development of accommodations. Increase shoulder season activity • Work with local businesses and arts groups to co-ordinate and facilitate shoulder season events and activities Community improvements • Work with local farms and artisans to establish additional farmer’s markets in Elgin County. • Work with area municipalities to increase the quality and availability of public restrooms. The full survey results and recommendations can be found by visiting the Elgin County website and going to downloads-documents
Kate Burns is the Business Development Coordinator at the County of Elgin.
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BUSINESS & COMMUNITY Leadership
A note to the people of St. Thomas A New Police Station? You must be kidding!
What hinders! What helps? by Cheryl Lester
Part 3 of a 4-part series
So far we’ve looked at five factors impacting leadership effectiveness and performance, i.e. Preparation, Practice, Presence, Passion, and Priority. This month we’re looking at the next three, i.e. Perspective, Purpose, and Process. 6. Perspective: A mental view or prospect … attitude, mindset … Musical performers, at their best, consider the perspective of both the composer and audience, which helps them deliver a performance that honours and enriches the music. Leaders who have developed the ability to consider multiple perspectives have an advantage over those that don’t because they are able to leverage those multi-dimensional inputs into more effective decisions and actions. a. Interference? A limited perspective prevents you from seeing important factors and issues related to decision-making and relationships. b. Helpful? Considering multiple perspectives can help you (or the team) arrive at a more comprehensive, informed decision that can improve the outcomes. 7. Purpose: Your aim or intention … Good musicians understand their own purpose, the composer’s purpose for the music, and the purpose of the performance. Effective leaders possess a solid understanding of their personal and/or professional purpose as well as the task, relationship, or organizational purposes. a. Interference? Not having a defined purpose — personally, professionally, or organizationally; or, having a purpose, but not keeping it ‘in front’ of you as a guiding principle. b. Helpful? Taking the time to review, or define who you are at your best. Does your current role align well with who you are? If not, can your role and responsibilities be adjusted to make the most of your strengths, or, is it time to create or update a position description that clearly outlines the unique tasks and responsibilities you have that bring value to the business or organization? If that’s not possible, maybe it’s time to think changing roles so you can bring your ‘best stuff’ forward. 8. Process: A series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result … Performers and adjudicators at the Music Festival operated within a well defined process with clearly established expectations, actions, and outcomes. Good leaders know how to effectively use processes to establish defined perimeters, standard expectations, measurable outcomes, and meaningful accountability. a. Interference? Wasting time or creating confusion through unclear or nonexistent processes that often result in inconsistent quality, re-work and unnecessary stress. b. Helpful? Creating, re-designing, and/or clarifying your key processes. Well thought-out processes not only help you and staff members become more efficient, they also eliminate the need to ‘re-create the wheel’ every time. Additionally, good process documentation can play a very important role in orientation when someone new or different needs to step in. Watch for next month’s article — the fourth and final part of this series — that will focus the last three factors impacting leadership performance and effectiveCheryl Lester, Eagle Tree ness, i.e. Perseverance, ProgLeadership, is an ress, and Principles. international leadership coach known for her ability to help people improve their performance and effectiveness. June, 2014
Paid Advertisement Help correct this fiscal tragedy in the making!
You will have heard of the plan to spend millions of your tax dollars on a new Police Headquarters to be located beside the Timken Centre. The most recent plan is to build a 30,000 sq. ft. building but you probably know there is already a 30,000 sq. ft. building on St. Catherine Street! Thousands of former employees in our community, now unemployed, don’t deserve this thoughtless treatment by their council. They and the tax base in St. Thomas is in serious trouble and they’re planning A New Police Headquarters You Must be Kidding! If you agree with the premise of this, I invite you to sign the petition that you can find at http://up.to/yousaynotonewstation To sign a petition in person, you are invited to shop at: Foodland - William Street. Farmgate Markets - Elgin Street. Mugford Shoes - Talbot Street. Charlton Meats - Ross Street. Dixie Dairy Bar - St. Catharine Street. Elgin Pure Water - 161 Edward St. Brad Knight’s Hair Salon - Hincks Street. My Hair Salon - Talbot Street. Maxwell’s Camera Shop - Talbot Street.
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Lifestyles Our Heritage
The Edison Museum
Celebrating one of the founding families of Vienna by Katherine Thompson
The Edison Museum, located at 14 Snow St. in Vienna, was established to recognize both the contributions of the Edison family to the area and the impact of the family’s most famous member, Thomas Alva Edison. The museum stands in an 1853 house built on the site of the original Edison homestead, where Samuel Edison, a Loyalist from New Jersey, settled in 1811. Edison would go on to become one of the founding fathers of Vienna, and tradition maintains that the community was named Vienna at his suggestion. The Edisons were active participants in some of the most pivotal events in early Canadian history such as: settling land granted by Colonel Thomas Talbot, serving in the militia during the War of 1812 and participating in the Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. Participation on the losing side of this rebellion forced Samuel Edison Jr. to make a daring escape to the United States where he settled in Milan Ohio, the birthplace of his son, the noted inventor, Thomas Alva Edison. As a child Thomas often summered in Vienna with his grandfather. Owners Helen and Douglas Howard donated the house to the village for the purpose of creating a museum. Authentic Edison artifacts and furniture were donated by the late Mrs. Nora Edison Coombe, a first cousin of Thomas Alva Edison, and the last remaining descendant with the Edison name to live in Vienna. Additionally, the museum’s “Inventor’s Room” contains variations of early light bulbs, storage batteries and an experiment that was conducted by Thomas Alva Edison and his close friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. The Museum is open mid-May until Labour Day daily from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and in the off-season by appointment. Visit on June 7, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Edison Fest, an annual celebration of Vienna’s history with children’s activities, food and live entertainment. Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin
6th Annual Crime Stoppers
Thank you to all of our Participants, Prize Donators, Hole Sponsors and everyone who helped make the 6th Annual Crime Stoppers Golf Tournament a Great Success!! A special Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: Messenger Freight Systems Wendy’s, St. Thomas Shoppers Drug Mart - Rick Nemett Dr. Ed Busvek St. Thomas Police Association
1-800-222-TIPS (8477) www.stthomascrimestoppers.ca
We Couldn’t do it without the support of the Community June, 2014
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• June 2014 •
Don Budden from Centennial Storage (left) accepts a Home Hardware gift certificate from Metcalfe Gardens marketing manager Lori Lackey during the May Business After 5 at the St. Thomas Seniors’ Centre in celebration of Metcalfe Gardens’s 25th anniversary.
Business After 5 A major celebration!
St. Thomas Public Library’s 135th Anniversary Wednesday July 16 153 Curtis Street, St. Thomas
Doors open at 5, Prize Draws and Sponsor remarks at 6:15 Free admission to all personnel from any business or organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.
OCC elects new Provincial Chair Ian McCormack has in operations, been elected Chair of business managethe Ontario Chamment, ownership ber of Commerce for and leadership. 2014 – 2015. As the An active comprovincial Chamber’s munity leader, senior volunteer, he Ian believes in brings an extensive “showing up and background of busigiving back.” A ness and commercial strong contribusuccess to our protor to the Chamvincial Board. Ian is ber network, Director, Business Ian has been a Operations of Tetra Chamber volunTech’s Canadian Minteer for 20 years ing Practice, a global in various leaderengineering and enviship roles. ronmental consulting Ian was elected firm, responsible for Chair of the Onbusiness leadership tario Chamber of Left to right, St. Thomas & District Chamber CEO Bob Hammersley, and performance, Commerce at the Ontario Chamber Chair Ian McCormack and Ontario Chamber as well as providing provincial ChamPresident and CEO Allan O’Dette at the OCC’s 2014 Convention in Government and Sault Ste. Marie. Mr. McCormack will serve as Chair of the provincial ber’s convention Aboriginal Affairs in Sault Ste. Marie Chamber until May 2015. expertise to clients, on May 3. He is project teams, and also a member of ester and Certified Executive Coach, Tetra Tech across Canada. Ian is also Ian has worked for 32 years in re- Ambassadors Northwest and Chair Founder and Principal of Compass, source and consulting industries, of the Thunder Bay International a private executive coaching prac- amassing an extensive background Airport Authority. tice. A Registered Professional For-
An invitation to China
Another Chamber group tour is headed to China this fall, and you can be a part of it. In co-operation with Citslinc International, and our local travel agent Elgin Travel, we depart Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Wednesday October 22 for 11 days, returning Saturday November 1. Citslinc works exclusively with Chambers of Commerce across Canada and the US to deliver tours
Business Beat Table of Contents SW Biz Expo .............. Page 10 New directory! .......... Page 11 House rules ............... Page 12 40th Golf Day ........... Page 13 Water wisdom ........... Page 14 Awards, awards ......... Page 15 SafeComm................. Page 16 June, 2014
for our Members at an incredibly affordable price. Our Member price is $2599 (US) per person which includes all taxes, round-trip non-stop travel to/from Beijing, 3 meals per day, 4 and 5-star hotel accommodations, deluxe highway coach bus tours, fluent English-speaking tour guides and entrance fees for attractions. Our group will visit Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou. Direct air travel from Beijing to
Shanghai and return, a 2-hour jet flight, is also included. Info kits and full tour information can be found at Elgin Travel & Cruises, 417 Wellington Street, in Elgin Mall. Chamber CEO Bob Hammersley and Member Services Rep Jeff Sheridan have previously taken this tour and can easily answer any questions about this incredible experience. They welcome your calls or emails at the Chamber office.
Participate in Our Series on Small Business July – Financing a Small Business August – Running a Successful Small Business To take advantage of excellent advertising opportunities give me a call at 519-633-1640 (ext. 22) Greg Minnema, Advertising Sales
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org July Edition Advertising Deadline is June 11th
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CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members
Southwest Business Expo June 11 Plan to go, or plan to be in the show! The Chambers of Commerce in London, St. Thomas, Strathroy, Ingersoll and Tillsonburg are together again, organizing the biggest and best business expo/trade show in
Building at Western Fair with a three-county event that’s open to one and all. If you’re looking to spread your business wings to regional customers, this could be a great opportunity to participate as an exhibitor. Act now, before it’s too late. Full details and registration links are on the St. Thomas & District Chamber website in the events column on the right-hand side of our main page. Just click and you’re in, with a link directly to the London Chamber and their staff who are handling all aspects of registration. The Southwest Business Expo will be open to
southern Ontario. Wednesday June 11 we will be in the Progress
all businesses and the general public to attend. Show hours will be 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., plus an exhibitors-only “power hour” from 2:00 ‘til 3:00 to allow all exhibitors to meet, greet and see the exhibits. Admission is $10 per person BUT all of the host Chamber offices have complimentary tickets that we will give away on request from Members and at other events we each host prior to June 11. This event does double-duty for us as our June edition of Business After 5 and, as usual, food and your favourite refreshments will be available.
Be ready for the MOL blitz on vulnerable, new and young workers The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce has been advised that the Ontario Ministry of Labour has released its 2014/2015 workplace and worksite blitz schedule. Employers and employees can see what’s ahead at this Ministry website: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/ sawo/blitzes/industrial.php This year, the Ministry is coordinating its proactive enforcement blitz and initiative schedules for the Occupational Health and Safety Program and the Employment Standards Program. The coordinated approach highlights the importance
St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce
the ministry places on protecting workers' rights under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act (ESA), and enhancing employers' awareness of their responsibilities. This year, MOL is conducting "Provincial Blitzes" which are province-wide, sector-specific enforcement initiatives, as well as "Provincial" and "Regional Initiatives" which are smaller-scale enforcement initiatives.
Vulnerable, new and young workers blitz (Now – August 2014)
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Every day in Ontario, nearly 50 young workers under age 25 are injured or killed on the job. Both young and new workers are four times more likely to be injured during their first month of employment than at any other time. So it is no surprise that the first MOL blitz for 2014, running from now to the end of August, focuses on Vulnerable, New and Young Workers. By MOL definition, young workers are aged 14 to
24 years, inclusive. New workers include those who are aged 25 and older, who have been on the job less than six months or who have been reassigned to a new job. The Chamber is advising that all Members who hire workers falling into these categories should be prepared and ready to expect a visit from MOL inspectors. A similar blitz last year within the industrial sector resulted in 2,757 visits to 2,166 workplaces and 8,139 orders issued under the OHSA and its regulations, including 195 stop work orders. On average, 2.9 orders were issued per workplace visit. You can search the MOL website for last year’s full blitz results. To help our Members prepare for a possible MOL visit, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) has prepared a complimentary awareness webinar to provide insight on what MOL inspectors will be looking for during this blitz and what you can do to ensure your workplace is in compliance with the OHSA. To stay informed about the latest occupational health and safety news that will help you keep your employees safe and productive, connect with WSPS on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WSPS_ NEWS. Members can also connect with local WSPS personnel through our website. Just search “Workplace Safety” in the search window on the Chamber’s main web page for names, links, and contact details to reach WSPS personnel.
Business Beat Published by Metroland Media Group Ltd., and delivered to businesses in St. Thomas and Elgin Country For complete information on the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce, reach us at: 115-300 South Edgeware Rd., St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4L1 Telephone: 519-631-1981 Fax: 519-631-0466 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Bob Hammersley Accounting Coordinator Susan Munday Member Services Jeff Sheridan
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St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce 2014 Board of Directors Chair: Laura Woermke St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre Vice-Chair: Ross Fair Fanshawe College Vice-Chair: Dan Kelly Dowler-Karn Ltd. Treasurer: Mark Lassam CPA, CA Lassam & Co. Past Chair: Jason White Steelway Building Systems Director: Sean Dyke
St. Thomas Economic Development Corp. Director: Monty Fordham Fordham Brightling & Associates Lawyers Director: Brian Helmer Reith & Associates Insurance & Financial Director: Jeff Kohler City of St. Thomas Director: Phil Mauer Phil Mauer & Associates Inc. Director: Ginette Minor Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor Director: Rob Mise myFM 94.1 Director: Allan Weatherall Elgin Military Museum – Project Ojibwa
CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members
Chamber Business Directory delivered It’s just good business Distribution of the Chambers’ latest edition of our St. Thomas & District Membership & Buyer’s Guide is complete and all people named as designated representatives within our Members should now have copies. If you were missed, or would like additional copies, a call to the Chamber office will take care of everything. At close to 200 pages, the Chamber’s printed directory is one of our two significant products showing “Who’s Who” in St. Thomas & District businesses, industries and services. The book is a companion product to the searchable on-line directory on the Chamber website.
One of the key advantages of our print directory is that it’s a catalog and one-stop reference tool for reliable and credible businesses. Only businesses and organizations that are registered with the Chamber qualify to be listed, and that’s a win-win situation for both our Members and the community. Consumers can seek referral and contact information for all of over 600 businesses and organizations that are subscribed to the Chamber’s Code of Conduct and pledged to be ethical and reliable. For the businesses that are listed and that advertise to make the publication possible, they distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Let’s boost trade performance Turning it Around: How to Restore Canada’s Trade Success May 2014
The Canadian Chamber’s latest research on international trade says we need a lot more than agreements and documents. Our latest report is called Turning it Around: How to Restore Canada’s Trade Success. Our report argues that free trade agreements are not enough to reverse Canada’s dismal trade performance over the past decade. Canada must also bolster trade promotion services and diplomatic support for companies
abroad. In our report, we recommend the federal government take concrete steps to:
• Incorporate the private sector into Canada’s international aid strategy Recent efforts to improve domestic competitiveness and sign new free trade agreements are helping. But these alone can’t address all the barriers companies face when entering a new business environment nor do they substitute for the need to build government-to-government relationships that open new opportunities. The full report can be explored on the Chamber’s web site at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca
Celebrating 25 years
25th Anniversary Special As a thank you to St. Thomas and area we are giving back!
• Integrate trade services and connect them to businesses • Put the business back in Canada’s global brand • Strengthen Canada’s diplomatic presence abroad
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Legal Business Events and News of Interest to our Members
The house rules by Monty Fordham There are many reasons why I have never been much of a gambler, nor have I ever been to Las Vegas, or any major casino. One of the main reasons, of course, is that the “house,” in the case Monty Fordham of a casino, holds a distinct advantage over the gambler. The house almost always wins, and the house maintains a set of rules which effectively prevent the shifting of the advantage to the gambler patron. Break those rules and you will be unceremoniously ejected from the establishment. In contract law, it is a fundamental principle that neither party to an agreement occupies a position of advantage over the other, at least in matters outside the provisions of the contract. There are, of course, certain contracts where, by the actual terms of the bargain, one party holds more cards if you like. Examples are banks, in loan and mortgage transactions, and insurance companies under insurance policies. Insurance contracts have been described by the courts as contracts “of utmost good faith.” The insurer is, in effect, gambling, on the nonoccurrence of a specific event, over which the insured party has, while not total control, at least more control than the insurer (e.g. death, state of
health, fire, injury etc.) This fact gives rise to the very stringent disclosure rules contained in most insurance applications. Failure to disclose material information concerning the status of the insured interest can and often will void the contract entirely. John and Donna McShane, two retirees from Alberta, in recent years have spent the winter months traveling, mainly in the United States, more specifically, Arizona. Prior to departure from Canada, the McShanes routinely took out travel medical insurance through the Alberta Motor Association. Note the word “routinely.” We’ll get back to that later. While in Arizona at the end of 2012, Mrs. McShane developed a severe cough. A doctor recommended she be admitted to hospital, and the travel medical insurer approved an emergency room visit. This is where it gets complicated. After five days in hospital and a number of tests, no diagnosis was reached. Mrs. McShane was released from hospital with a bill for $104,758.97 (USD). Eventually, Mrs. McShane was returned to Alberta, where her condition was diagnosed as an hiatus hernia, a common condition in people her age. Of course, the McShanes submitted a claim to the insurer for the amount of the hospital bill. Seems pretty straight forward doesn’t it? However, after examining her medical records for several previous years, in January of this year, the insurer denied her claim. It all boiled down to an answer she had given on the medical DON FERGUSON SANDRA DIMEO questionnaire attached • Real Estate • Motor Vehicle Accidents to the application for insurance. • Corporate Law • Slip and Falls The insurance form • Commercial Law • Wrongful Dismissal asked the question, “Have you taken and/ • Wills and Estates • Contract Disputes or been prescribed six or more prescription medications?” in the last Canada Southern Railway Station four months. Mrs. Mc750 Talbot Street, Suite 211 St. Thomas, Ontario Shane answered “no.” It t 519-633-8838 • f 519-633-9361 turns out she had been prescribed more than six medications but had www.fergusondimeolaw.com either not filled the addi-
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tional prescriptions or not taken the medications. Furthermore, none of the prescriptions seems to have related to the hiatus hernia problem. Honest mistake, right? Maybe, but that probably doesn’t matter. Remember, an insurance policy is a contract “of utmost good faith.” Before an insurance company can decide whether to gamble on you, it requires all relevant information concerning the insurable interest. Mrs. McShane’s insurer maintains it would not have issued a policy if the additional prescriptions had been disclosed to it. So, what appeared to be a “routine” insurance application turned out to be anything but routine. Travelers would be advised to take special care in filling out travel medical insurance applications. This process does not have to take place at the travel agent’s counter. Take whatever time is required to respond accurately and completely. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if necessary. Because, remember, when the chips are down, the house always wins. Lawyer Monty Fordham prepares this monthly column for the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and our Members. Monty is also a volunteer serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Questions, comments and suggestions for future columns are welcomed by Monty at his office: Fordham & Brightling Associates – Lawyers, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. Telephone 519-633-4000, FAX 519-633-1371 or email: email@example.com 12
Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members
40th annual Members Golf Day
The Chamber’s 40th Annual Members Golf Day on May 29 wouldn’t and couldn’t happen without the generous support and assistance of our sponsors, players and everyone at our host location, St. Thomas Golf & Country Club. History is with us! This event isn’t just 40 years old, it’s been running 40 consecutive years at the same location and we believe it to be the oldest & longest-standing business golf event in our region.
2014 Sponsors: Main Event Sponsor
Charity Putt for CA$H Sponsor
BBQ Lunch Sponsor
Hole Sponsors 1. Amino North American Corp. 2. ARC Financial Planning Group Inc. 3. BnB Screening 4. Boston Pizza 5. Disbrowe Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac Ltd. 6. Elgin County Economic Development & Tourism 7. GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry Inc. 8. IDS Integrated Digital Solutions
9. Lyndon Security Services Inc. 10. MarkIT Technology Solutions Group 11. Mark A. Wales, CA 12. McGregor Auto Parts Ltd. 13. Millcreek Plumbing & Mechanical Ltd. 14. myFM 94.1 15. MyWaterGuy.ca - Simply Pure Water 16. Phil Mauer & Associates Inc.
17. Reith & Associates Insurance & Financial Services Ltd. 18. St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation
You’ve Got Boots to Fill. in
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Let Us Assist You!
FREE Services for Employers & Job Seekers A special Thank You to our Member Services Committee’s Golf Group: Chris Patriquin - MyWaterGuy.ca - Simply Pure Water Ginette Minor - Alexelle Slipcovers & Decor Kim DeSousa - Libro Credit Union Mark Girdauskas - Photos by MG Mark McIntosh - MarkIT Ray Bosveld - Edward Jones Investments Sheila Nesbitt - Early Learning Centre Jeff Sheridan – Chamber staff liaison June, 2014
Employment Services Elgin 400 Talbot Street, St. Thomas | (519) 631-5470
Aylmer Community Services 25 Centre Street, Aylmer | (519) 765-2082
West Elgin Support Services
160 Main Street, West Lorne | (519) 768-0020
“Building Prosperity for St. Thomas & Elgin County Residents & Employers.”
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Pro Text Events and News of Interest to our Members
Summer watercraft and marine insurance by Jason Amero
As summer time has finally arrived after a lengthy winter, we look to the water for summer entertainment and anticipate the enjoyment of water vehicles. When you purchase a boat or personal watercraft, it is a major financial decision, in somewhat the same league as buying a house or car. With these big purchases we make in life, we want to fully protect our new assets and ourselves. Marine insurance should be an important part of your investment, but bear in mind your protection package comes with its own specialized terms and conditions. Marine insurance serves two purposes: 1. Protect the value of the physical boat / personal watercraft and its associated equipment. 2. Protect yourself from liabilities arising from your ownership, maintenance and/or operation of your boat / personal watercraft. This will cover injuries sustained by others, property damage caused, environmental hazards such as fuel and oil spillage, and the legal fees incurred in defending yourself. We all know how easy it is to lose balance or slip and fall. In my opinion, the maximum amount of liability coverage available should be carried. Your Homeowners, Tenants, and Condominium policies provide limited coverage for boats and other personal watercraft or motors. When
purchasing marine insurance, we recommend you seek the services of an independent marine insurance broker or marine insurance agency – nothing can take the place of an independent professional who can explain all the details and various options available to you. The goal here is not the lowest premium but rather the most appropriate coverage you require. Such factors that can affect the cost of Marine insurance include; 1. Age of boat 2. Value of boat 3. Type of boat – could be personal watercraft, a jet ski, luxurious yacht or a simple fishing boat 4. Size of boat 5. Location of use – the body of water you’re planning to operate the boat on 6. The experience of the owner / operator 7. The loss / claims history of the owner/operator 8. Completion of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron course Along with adding marine insurance into your current risk management portfolio, there are a few other water safety tips that are crucial to remember when enjoying summer water activities. Be sure to always be wearing your lifejacket or personal floatation device when aboard any ma-
rine vehicle and do the same for all other participants. Ensure that the driver of the water craft has taken an accredited Canadian boating course and holds a valid Pleasure Craft Operator License, which can be attained online. We ask that you leave any alcoholic beverages at home – Never operate a boat/personal watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And most importantly, be prepared! Know the overboard recovery techniques, study and carry your marine charts, inspect all your equipment and the vessel prior to departure, check the forecast – the conditions on the water can change in a moment’s notice – and ensure you are able to contact the proper authorities in the event of an emergency. Have fun and be water safe! This column appears monthly in Business Beat and has been prepared by Jason Amero, RIB (Ont), Broker/Advisor at Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Questions and comments are welcomed by the writer at 519-631-3862 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We provide families with respectful and affordable funeral, memorial and cremation services. Free, no-obligation preplanning and prepayment consultation is available.
For more information, please go to
www.chambers.ca June, 2014
31 Elgin Street | St. Thomas, Ontario | 519.631.0570 ELGIN THIS MONTH
Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members
Celebrating success & excellence The Chamber’s May 7 presentations of the Free Enterprise Awards made us truly proud and thankful to share the successes of Award winners. Each our winners took away the customary trophy plus recognition certificates from Member of Parliament Joe Pres-
Free Enterprise Awards of Merit
Chamber Vice-Chair Ross Fair presented a 2014 Award to Kathy Cook. The pair have some shared history at Western as they were both students at the same time completing Masters degrees in Public Administration.
ton and gifts of Quai du Vin’s newest sparkling wine. The Chamber sincerely appreciates the support of our Members in gathering for our special event to honour and recognize success and community spirit.
Left to right, Gorman-Rupp Canada’s Chris Chapman, Director of Operations; Stefan Fediw, Manager - Engineered Systems; Roxanne Blackman, Director of Finance; and Managing Director Robert Furneaux pictured with Laura Woermke, Chair of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
At HollisWealth, Ellen and Steven take a very personalized approach to working with their clients, building long term relationships built on trust and a mutual understanding of their client’s goals. Areas of focus include retirement and savings goals, wealth preservation, estate planning and philanthropy. Ellen, Steven and their team look forward to working with those in the community who are seeking advice about their financial security.
Chamber Vice-Chair Dan Kelly, left, made a Merit Award presentation to Sherry and Glenn Forrester recognizing their success growing one of St. Thomas’ newest manufacturers, pet food producer Pets 4 Life.
Ellen Luft, CFP® Investment Advisor
Steven Knipe, CIM® Investment Advisor
130 Centre Street St. Thomas, ON 519-631-4088 Chamber Member Services Committee Chair Rob Mise made our Merit Award presentation to STEGH – the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital. Melanie Taylor, Vice-Chair of the hospital’s Board, and STEGH President & CEO Paul Collins accepted the award. June, 2014
HollisWealth is a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license
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Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members
Priority planning… for a reason
When over 60 community representatives meet June 4, their goal will be include tackling some surprising local facts on local injuries and visits to hospital ER’s. For example, would it surprise you to know the St. Thomas - Elgin frequency of people visiting an Emergency Room because of a Motor Vehicle Collision is 39% higher than the Ontario average? Or that unintentional poisonings happen over 40% more often here than across the rest of the province?
The June 4 meeting is a “Priority Planning” event organized by the St. Thomas – Elgin Safe Communities Coalition. SafeComm, as we often condense it to, is a national organization dedicated to safety and preventing avoidable deaths and injuries. Our local SafeComm organization is a Chamber-hosted committee made up of local community agencies with interests and responsibilities in safety and community service. Representatives include all local emergency services to agencies such as Public Health, the Red
Cross, MADD Canada and several others. The St. Thomas & District Chamber has been associated with SafeComm locally since 1994. We support and endorse the work of SafeComm as a means to ensure and improve quality-of-life issues since they are prime influences in business and economic development. With special thanks to former MPP Steve Peters for volunteering to lead and facilitate, SafeComm is running our June 4 event as a “Priority Planning” event. Everyone attending will get the latest data available on accidental deaths and injuries that result in ER visits, and be challenged to generate ideas for action that make St. Thomas and Elgin safer and better places to live, work and play. The latest local statistical data being used by SafeComm is the result of some excellent research completed and donated by Epidemiologist Carolyn Coppens of Elgin St. Thomas Public Health. Once the June 4 meeting is completed, look for the results to translate in events, activities and services that you could be involved in. Updates will be published by the Chamber here in Elgin This Month, via our website and in our social media. We also invite you to stay connected and focused on SafeComm’s local activities through Facebook. Just search the “St. Thomas Elgin Safe Communities Coalition” and please “like” us!
Chamber members qualify for Esso’s Direct Billing Program; you pay 3.5¢ off the posted retail pump price whenever you fuel up. You may also get a convenient, detailed monthly invoice and also qualify for Speedpass®. For an application, contact:
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Downtown Bike Festival ... fun for all ages by Erica Arnett With the warmer weather, people are thinking about walking, biking, being more active, getting out in our community and connecting with others. On Saturday June 7, the Downtown Bike Festival will be held from 9am-1pm at the L&PS Corridor, located at Moore St and Talbot St. in St. Thomas. The Downtown Bike Festival will feature something for everyone. There were will be free spin classes every half hour, live music, community booths, and an opportunity to check out some of the local businesses. There will also be a bike parade, bike skills training, helmet fitting, free bike check-ups, chalk drawings station, bike decorating and more. There will also be a free bell for the first 200 cyclists with a helmet. So come by bike. For a schedule of events or more information on the event check out www.bit.ly/2dsjKpZ or visit www. activeelgin.ca When on your bike, please remember that bicycles are a vehicle under the highway traffic act and as such are required to share the same road as motorized vehicles, follow the same rules, and have the same rights. Drivers: • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals • Be patient, slow down and give one metre clearance when passing bikes
• Check for cyclists before opening your car door • Always look for pedestrians and cyclists before turning • Stay alert, slow down and be prepared for the unexpected Cyclists: • Obey all traﬃc laws, signs and signals • Signal all turns • Ride one metre from the curb • Ride past parked cars as if all the car doors were open • Ride in a straight line on the right side of the road • Wear a helmet and bright clothing • Make sure you have a horn or bell, white light on the front and red reflectors on the back Share the Road – give a little more space, a little more consideration and follow some simple rules of the road to ensure that drivers and cyclists make it home safely. The goal of all of this work is to make our community more bicycle friendly and activity friendly. If you would like additional information please visit www.activeelgin.ca or call Elgin St Thomas Public Health at 519 631-9900 ext 1247. Erica Arnett is a Health Promoter with Elgin St. Thomas Public Health. She coordinates healthy community work with municipalities.
!! ay D s r’ he at F on et ff u B ty as Treat Dad to a T Break99f•a9ast mB– 1pumffet $10.
bacon, Pancakes, waffles, much more d an it fru , ns ow hash br and juice Includes coffee, tea
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Famous for our t a Breakfast Buffe Sunday 17
Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce
Small Business Enterprise Centre – Member of the Aylmer Chamber
Did you know? There are 57 Small Business Enterprise Centres in communities across Ontario. Locally, your Small Business Enterprise Centre team’s focus is to support business and commu-
nity development across Elgin County and St. Thomas. What this means is that our mandate is to serve small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, including students through self-discovery, planning and taking action in business. We achieve our mandate by providing free business advice and guidance, cash flow projections, resources, connections, business-to-business events and a community mentor network. Additionally, we support young business owners with $3000-$5000 grant opportunities. We are a division of the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Elgin County. Regionally, Small Business Enterprise Centres stay connected with business support organizations as members of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. This provides the opportunity to stay
informed of services available to business owners so that you are not forced to navigate through the process on your own. Please call 519.631.1680 x 4505 or visit us at 300 S. Edgeware Rd. for assistance or visit any of these government-supported business resources available to help: Small Business Enterprise Centre- www.SBECinnovation.ca St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation- www.st-thomasedc.on.ca Elgin County Economic Development- www. progressivebynature.com Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs- www. ICEinnovation.ca Elgin Business Resource Centre- www.elginbusinessresourcecentre.com/resources Provincial Network- www.onebusiness.ca Federal Network- www.canadabusiness.ca
The Member Advantage program
LIST IT SELL IT MOVE ON! www.driver-realty.com June, 2014
The Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Member Advantage program showcases businesses that offer a discount or service benefit to other chamber members – whether it’s privileged pricing, an exclusive discount or other value-added benefits. This is a program where everyone benefits: you extend special benefits or discounts to other Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce members for your business, and in return you receive advertising, recognition, discounts and benefits at many other businesses. By choosing to offer a Member
Advantage discount, you not only increase your organization’s business by elevating awareness of the goods and services you provide, but you can also help to raise your profile in our community and your reputation as a strong supporter of the Aylmer & Area business community. Show your card before you make your purchase. A list of goods, services and discounts available to members of the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce is available on the Chamber’s website.
Minerva Art Gallery June Special
all in-store framed, limited edition prints.
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G A L L E R Y
Laura Woermke Open Tues. – Sat. 10am to 5pm 11078 Springwater Road, North Aylmer, Ont 519-765-1616 e-mail: Minerva@amtelecom.net www.Minerva-art.com by
Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce
New insurance office in Aylmer joins Chamber
by Nicole Wiebenga
Our Chamber is growing and we attribute that to our relationship building that our board prioritizes. I have heard the statistic that people need to meet you six times before they will easily remember who you are. In a small rural community, relationship building is even more important as we are neighbours and ultimately meet one another at some point. Business success depends on the relationships we build and foster within our own community. I would like to welcome one of our newest members to the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce. Ray Jenken proudly represents West Elgin Mutual, located at 10 John St. N. in Aylmer, On-
tario, offering appropriate products to protect your assets and cover your liability exposure for property, auto, farm and commercial and West Elgin Mutual can often find coverage for hard to place risks. With 18 years of experience providing personalized home-style service and an excellent product line to clients in Southwestern Ontario, he is eager to develop business relationships and make new friends in the area he grew up in. Ray enjoys operating his business “in the mutual way”. His mission is to provide value to individuals, families and companies by ensuring fair, ethical and caring practice. Your needs are his top priority. He offers flexible hours and will
come to you. Ray is a lifetime farmer who resides on a hobby farm between Aylmer and St. Thomas, with his wife, Jan, where he enjoys family time with their children & grandchildren and with their “help” raises Speckle Park Cattle and commercial sheep in his spare time. Ray is looking forward to meeting you, to discuss your needs and earn the privilege to serve you. Interaction with people is what makes his day truly enjoyable. I encourage you to contact Ray, or his assistant, Jan Jenken by phone at 519-773-5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if they can help in any way.
Chamber group insurance – designed for small business
Whether you're a solo entrepreneur, homebased business or part of a larger firm, benefits are a very important part of your financial security. The Chambers Plan creates a solid foundation for that security, based on a benefit program designed specifically for small-business owners, just like you. All it takes to join is membership in a participating Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade. You'll get the security you need, along with a benefits program that's personalized for you and your company. You'll also get: Guaranteed coverage The Chambers Plan has no industry restrictions, and your plan can never be cancelled, as long as you pay your premiums. Plus, the Chambers Plan offers guaranteed coverage amounts for businesses with three or more employees. Plan flexibility The Plan's flexibility lets you design an employee benefit program for any budget. Your Chambers
Plan allows you to choose the coverage you want rates from year to year. - from Life and Disability, Health and Dental, to For additional information or to get a personalBusiness Overhead coverage and even Critical Ill- ized proposal, contact Harvey Tribe or Roxanne ness Benefits - all at a price you can afford. Husser at 519-773-7154. Rate stability Let's face it – shopping for employee benefits isn't something you want to have to for the Growth and Success of Your Business do every year. With the Chambers Plan's built-in rate stabil• Advice and consulting ity, you won't have to. • Industry statistics That's because with over 25,000 compa• Bookkeeping and government nies participating in the form preparation program, if one of your employees files a large • Financial statements claim, it's spread over and tax returns a large pool – so you're guaranteed more stable • Tax and succession planning
Business and Accounting Solutions
Complete Tire & Service Experts Transmission Flushes Air Conditioning Repair Engine Light Diagnostic
Safety Inspections Annual Safety Checks Tune-Ups
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~Starting a small business ~
How sleep affects work (and vice versa) New business owner often put in long hours. Striking a balance between responsibilities at work and the ability to get sufficient rest is essential to personal health. People often discuss how sleep – and often lack thereof – can affect work performance. However, not as many people are studying how work impacts the ability to sleep. Research from the University of Pennsylvania published in SLEEP found that work time is the largest influence on how long an individual sleeps on both work and leisure days. It's not just in North America, either. A 2005 study found that 36 percent of women in Finland had trouble sleeping at
least once a week that year; 27 percent of men in the study said the same. But just six years prior in 1999, only 26 percent of women and 20 percent of men were reporting sleep problems once a week in the country. Experts suggest the reason for this drastic change can be attributed to both occupational stress and abnormal working hours. Similar to how stress affects sleep, work has profound implications on sleep as well. When their schedule calls for it, shift workers must alter their body's natural circadian rhythm in order to switch from sleeping at night to day. Some employees work long hours with only short bursts of sleep available before they have to report back to work the next day. According to the Better Sleep Council, sleep deprivation currently costs U.S. CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT businesses nearly $150 billion annually in absenteeYour Trusted Small Business Advisor - ism and lost productivity. It may pay for employees and • Personal and Corporate Services workers to collaborate on • Bookkeeping and Financial Statements the best strategies for improving morale and perfor• Estate and Tax Planning mance by matching workhours with sleeping Mark A. Wales CPA, CA, LPA ing habits. This way each gets Jennifer Whalls Tammy Slota the best of both worlds. Not getting enough sleep www.markawales.ca can impact personal health 190 Centre St, St. Thomas in many ways, including: 519-637-0700
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it’s time to start your
$17,000 grants are available to start your business! You must be EI eligible or a recent recipient of EI benefits. The Self-Employment Benefit (SEB) program provides funds to qualified individuals while they start their own businesses! For more details on how to access this opportunity call Kevin Jackson at:
519-633-7597 ext 337 Info Sessions - June 17 and July 15 @ 9 am 300 South Edgeware Rd New SEB Business Start-ups for Elgin include:
• Heather Fletcher - Time After Time Virtual Office • Rebecca Korvemaker - Rebecca’s Notes • Jeana Lusby - Vintage Jewelry Box
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* Elevated risk of getting major illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. * Inability to concentrate or poor decision-making. * Putting the body in a state of high alert, increasing the production of stress hormones. * Weight gain, either through stress or eating at times when the body is not accustomed to eating. * Affecting skin and other tissue appearance. * Poor reaction times, which can lead to accidents. * Increased risk of developing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. While there is no magic number, sleep experts say a person needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night to function at his or her prime. Individuals should also make efforts to improve their quality of sleep. Here are a few ways to do so. * Invest in a new mattress if yours is old and no longer comfortable. This will alleviate twisting and turning – and potentially waking – from an uncomfortable mattress. * Keep the bedroom for sleep and intimacy only. If there are stressors or stimulating things in the room, like a computer or television, they may impact sleep. * Limit caffeine intake, particularly several hours before bedtime. * Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule each and every day – even on the weekend. * If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, consult with a doctor. Insomnia is very common, and there are different treatment options that can help you get rest. Sleep and work are often intertwined and can impact each other. Because sleep is vital for maintaining health, it's important to strike a balance so that sleep can be achieved.
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~Starting a small business ~ Live for today or save Insurance Solutions for for tomorrow? Contractors & Home Renovators by Stephanie Farrow
We are happy to provide Insurance
for your no I recently saw this quote and it really spoke to me: obligation Solutions tailored to your needs. The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered premium estimate “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” Living in the present is a very hot topic these days among many people seeking a better life balance. We strive for success and the dream of a better life. Some AYLMER ST.THOMAS PORT STANLEY TILLSONBURG sacrifices are well worth it, but how do we know when it’s too much? At what 75 Talbot Street East 991 Talbot Street 289 Bridge Street 128 Broadway cost? Money is often seen as the necessary evil. 519-773-8471 519-637-1230 519-782-3327 519-842-8999 It’s true that money creates confliction as we struggle between living for today, www.hwcinsurance.ca firstname.lastname@example.org or saving for tomorrow. If I have $10,000 should I pay down my mortgage, put money in my TFSA or take my family to Disney? Everyone’s situation is different but sometimes it’s good to do a little bit of everything – even if it’s to a smaller extent, and even if it takes a few years to attain it by adding a regular plan to it. Blending your approach can help you attain better balance and make the best use of what you have available to you. There is wisdom in the old saying, “Nothing in excess, everything in moderation.” Why not put $3,500 in your TFSA, • Business Advice & Guidance put $3,500 on your mortgage and start • Cash Flow Projections with a $3,000 savings for your Disney trip and a plan to save an additional • Resources & Connections $250/month over the next 12 months towards the Disney trip, and start plan• Community Mentor Network ning your vacation for next year for ex• Business-to-Business Outreach ample? The numbers for every family would • Grants for Young Entrepreneurs be different, and their goals and dreams unique to them, but why not create a strategy to balance out your approach? Enjoying those precious family moments now are important. So is tucking away a bit of a nest egg to draw on in the future. Both play important roles for families and the numbers vary by We are now a division of St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation. amount and proportion. Sometimes we decide to work a little Please find us on Facebook and Twitter. harder to attain more money and flexibility in our choices, and at other times Join our mailing list and be an informed business owner in Elgin County and St. Thomas. we forego the additional money and decide to work a little less in order to enjoy something particular in our lives and rejuvenate. There is much to be said for attaining the ever elusive ideal of ‘life balance.’ And there are times in our lives where a quote like this makes us stop and think about what we’re doing. These are the moments that help us reflect on our lives and make sure we don’t forget to look at Manager Business Advisor the big picture.
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Stephanie Farrow, B.A., C.F.P., is a Certified Financial Planner and co-owner of Farrow Financial Services Inc., in Belmont June, 2014
elgin/st. thomas small Business enterprise centre 300 South Edgeware Road, St. Thomas, ON, Canada 519.631.1680 ELGIN THIS MONTH
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~Starting a small business ~
Got the “Business Owner Blues?” by Brian Vine
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but tinues. You can’t even escape the business for a few nothing can be changed until it is faced. relaxing, no-work days. You still scramble like a For many business owners, in as little as two to hyperactive squirrel preparing for a harsh winter. three years (and regardless of the level of finanFurthermore, you are coming to realize that becial success achieved), the entrepreneurial dream ing a workaholic, micromanager, control freak, of freedom, independence and wealth has warped dictator or hands-on technician does not work into a partial nightmare. The wish to be master and is a miserable way to run a business, much of their destiny has degenerated into them being less lead a life. Working harder, acting tougher, or a prisoner to their business, their employees and being more involved with daily details is not the their customers. The fire in their belly has been path to greater freedom, joy, or peace-of-mind. replaced by a growing uneasiness in their gut. Rather, it is a guaranteed path to burnout. Does this describe you at all? How did you get to this point? Odds are, you Habitually, many of you are still working too were a gifted technician (programmer, electrician, many hours, wearing too many hats, and han- painter, landscaper, CPA, mechanic, chef, attordling too many things. As your business has ney, carpenter, salesperson, etc.) who caught the grown, your fun and fulfillment have not. In fact, “entrepreneurial bug” several years ago and startmost of you suffer from the generalized feelings ed, acquired or inherited a business – one that of anxiety, mental fatigue, and of being trapped mirrors your technical skills and experience. Now, in the business. For the sake of simplicity, I have as you try frantically to maintain control of your termed these feelings, “the business owner blues.” growing company, you are likely over-worked, For years, you have deluded yourself. You kept overwhelmed and suffering from a full-blown telling yourself that one day you case of the “business owner would get caught up, slow down, blues.” You feel like a prisand have more free time to do oner to your business. As it “as your business has grows, you work harder and other things. That the “blues” would eventually fade. In reality, grown, your fun and become deeper enslaved. the sixty to seventy hour worke work, the problems, fulfillment have not” Th weeks continue. The stress conand the company revolve around you. If you are honest, business ownership is probably quite different from what you expected and from what you have Posters and Signs been prepared to handle. Books (covers and interior work) Promotional materials If not held in check, the Brochures/pamphlets very strengths that made Training documents you a successful techniCDs/DVDs cian (detail orientation, hands-on doer, technical full-service graphic design studio based in St. Thomas outstanding design and production services for over 20 years expertise, day-to-day focus, etc.) can be real liabilities to you as a busiGo to www.WeAreYourType.com ness owner. to see some of the extraordinary Technical expertise alone is never sufficient things we can do for you. 519.207.2556
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to build and manage a healthy and profitable business. You must provide the vision and leadership of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the order and systems of a Manager. You must get strategic to get free! You must learn to focus on the entire business, not merely the technical work of the business. You must elevate your mindset. For example, being a good plumber contrasted with creating and operating a successful plumbing business are two different worlds and sets of challenges. Each role requires very different mindsets and skillsets. To be effective, the latter requires strategic leadership; the former requires technical “doer-ship.” Just because you know how to do the daily technical work of plumbing doesn’t qualify you to design, build and manage a business that does the work of plumbing. This is a fatal assumption most would-be entrepreneur’s make. If you are a technician masquerading as an owner, be warned! Your pipes may burst. You have the wrong perspective and are doing the wrong type of work. Because you are comfortable with and good at doing the technical work (for example, plumbing), by default and out of habit, as your company grows, you will end up doing more and more plumbing work. You will find it hard to escape the frantic pace. Soon, the business will have you and your life held hostage. You will forever be trapped under the sink or hovering over a broken toilet. Why? Because your business is broken too! You are not functioning as a strategic business owner.
Bryan Vine is the owner of The Growth Coach in St. Thomas and Southwestern Ontario.
Running a small business is hard enough. We
TD Canada Trust understands the unique challenges of owning and operating a small business or farm in St. Thomas and is committed to helping you by providing services, products and advice tailored specifically to your needs. Drop by the branch to talk to your Small Business Advisor and discover how we can make your business banking easier. We look forward to seeing you soon. June, 2014
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TD Canada Trust 378 Talbot St. St. Thomas (519) 631-7070 417 Wellington St. St. Thomas (519) 633-4640 22
~Starting a small business ~
Launching a small business – one man’s story by Mark McIntosh
Over the past five years the landscape of employment has changed drastically. Companies have downsized, closed plants or been forced out of business altogether. This trend has put a great deal of trained and experienced people out of work … permanently! Or has it? Statistics are showing that the employment and business environment has been making a swift change to small business and entrepreneurship. With the lack of jobs, many of the aging workforce have turned to building their own employment through starting a small business. With their skill and experience there’s a lot to offer in the marketplace. I find myself within these same ranks. I have experienced two major layoffs due to closing and restructuring and have had to really assess where my life is now and where it will be between now and retirement. Honestly, I can’t afford another layoff. Like many others, I have decided to create my own employment in starting a small business. I realized, as an IT specialist working in large environments, I have a lot to offer businesses with my years of experience and education. So … why not venture out? This is not an easy decision by any means. There’s a lot at stake: no steady paycheque, no benefits, no regular vacation, and a family to support. This list continues. However, when looking at the pos-
sibility of another potential layoff, well, I decided gence” to help ensure your success. that the risk and financial pain now would be It’s been over a year now since I started my small more benefit for the future. A lot of soul search- business. It has been a struggle for sure. There ing takes place with many questions: Am I the were many obstacles and I’m sure, more to come. right type of person to be a business owner? Can I However, it’s been the best decision I have ever sustain financially? Do I have the support of fam- made. I couldn’t go back to standard employment ily? These are all very important to your success. now. Although it’s hard work and a serious comYou must be committed to the business to make mitment, I am, now, in charge of my own destiny. it work. I don’t mean by putting it ahead of family but in working hard and persevering through Mark McIntosh owns markIT Technology Solutions all the start-up issues, headaches, and disappoint- in St. Thomas. ments. You need to know it’s what you want. It’s vitally important to We have the tools to help you seek advice and support from people who know about business. Research your business and know • Job Costing • Cash Flows what you’re getting into • Budget Analysis • Bookkeeping and if you can be another fish in a huge pond of • Tax Planning • Financial Reports other similar ventures. • Income Tax Preparation for Business and Personal Can you make a living? One resource that was a major help was the Elgin Small Business Resource 226-236-2321 Centre. Many of the seror vices are free and they 519-913-3288 may be able to point you in the right direction. In P rosperity Coach For Your Business and You short, do your “Due Dili-
There are many benefits to joining the
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(Lower Level) This is a communal business partnership to assist in affordable business space to transition from the home based location to small business. The large open space also allows for a multitude of activites. Currently hosting 4 start up businesses, photography studio, massage therapy, music classes, exercise classes, network and board, small events, meetings, classes and workshops. Commercial kitchen space is also available to rent at discounted HBBA membership rates. For info please contact HBBA@rogers.com or visit www.HBBACanada.com
Private Guitar, Voice, Piano, Drums & Flute Lessons. Wanda Taylor 519-637-1775 firstname.lastname@example.org www.taylormusicstudios.web.com
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Workshops, Classes, Seminars etc. Member rate $25 pr/ hour Non member rate $40 pr/hour
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Small Events 1 Day rental Member rate $200 Non member rate $350
Commercial Kitchen Member rate $500 per month Non member rate $700 per month OR $100 per day / $25 (per hour as needed)
~Starting a small business ~
Three ways to use trends as a business advantage by Carol Groves
According to the Ernst and Young's report, advantage of this? 'Business redefined - A look at the global trends As an example: Currently we know that there is that are changing the world of business,' the two a rising trend in businesses having an online presmost important attributes that companies will ence via a website and social media. This presence need to be successful in the future are adaptability allows small businesses to leverage technology to and agility. even the playing field with bigger brands and comMost small business owners are already aware panies. But did you know that the number-one that technology – and keeping up with technol- advantage of social media marketing is generating ogy trends – is important to their business. The more business exposure? In fact, social networkfact is: all trends matter, trends exist everywhere ing has become an essential ingredient in the reciand are for everything, trends pe for success in many business are a critical part of business susniches. But it all comes down tainability. Finding trends today to how you communicate with is easy; a few clicks away, you your customers, how you build “not every social have a wealth of knowledge and media platform reaches relationships, and how you insight at your fingertips. share interesting content. your client” Monitoring trends is one of the First you must know how to tools for staying adaptable and connect, relate and educate agile in a world that is changyour customers, and trends ing faster than ever. Trends are a source for in- can help with that too. formation. They can shape the future or change 1. Connect: Knowing where to find and conthe way we do things today. Trends can be used nect with your clients is critical to success. Not to manage technology expenditures, update or every social media platform reaches your client. change products and services, help us understand Know what is popular but more specifically know the changing societal culture. From mega-trends where YOUR clients go to connect. Trend: Speto local trends, there is always a new idea, twist cialized social media platforms and sites are going or opportunity. The question now is how to take to become more popular.
Small Business Accounting Solutions for Sole Proprietors, Partnerships and Small Corporations
2. Relate: Social media platforms and channels empower and enable us to tell our stories and creates brand integrity and trustworthiness. Listen to find out what others are saying and what is important to them. According to a recent BDC study, 70% trust consumer opinions posted online. Find out what they are saying about you. Trend: Quest for a more meaningful life. 3. Educate: Be the authority. Today it is not enough to know your business. You need to know your industry. Scan trends in unrelated fields with common themes. Meaningful content that educates clients builds trust. What is going on, what are the changes that are happening, what is your view? There are tons of platforms where your customers can get information from, but it’s most important that they get it first from you. Trend: Content must be relevant to be useful. What trends do you see that will make an impact on your future? It is time to check them out! Carol Groves is the Business Development Manager at the Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs.
IT Solutions Customized for Your Small Business to fit your Budget and with the I.T. Support you need
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1-888-766-7767| Office: 226-777-0324 800 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 1E2 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.markit-techsolutions.com
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~Starting a small business ~ Feedback to employees is very important
But bosses should remember the impact their words may have by Anouschka Van den Bosch
There is a silence hanging over my office. I can hear voices in the hall, but they are muffled as if I am sitting behind my desk in a dream. I can feel my breath in my chest and sometimes it feels like I am not breathing at all. My body feels heavy sitting in my office chair and my hands won’t move. I just sit there, not moving, devastated. My boss has just left my office to inquire about an error I made. She explained the error and provided me with feedback that was so professional as well as understanding that I really have no reason to be so upset. It was clear that she was disappointed, and that I need to make adjustments in my work. However she provided me with enough positive comments that made me feel confident that I have the capabilities to this job really well. Yet I sit here, with all my coaching tools, my HR background and life experience, devastated. There are plenty of articles, books and courses out there that will help us provide feedback to our employees; however, how one receives the feedback is not always spelled out for us. So here are some of my thoughts in receiving feedback in a constructive way that will allow you to move forward. I think my boss said it perfectly: “Just see it as having the awareness.” Brilliant, that is something we can all relate to. Having an awareness that something needs to change is important; how you do it is up to you. Sometimes it means asking for help more often or using a checklist to make sure everything is completed and taken care off. I would suggest you take the feedback seriously. You might not agree with what your boss has stated and in that case you can ask questions that will help you understand better what the issue is and what the other person needs you to do differently. It won’t help the situation to get your back up (which is easy to do when you feel you are being confronted) and start an argument that will only make the situation worse. Take some time away from the conversation. Tell the person you understand what they have said and ask for another time to meet and discuss the issue further. This will allow you time to digest what was said and be clear on the expectations. Receiving feedback can leave you feeling vulnerable, less confident. That is only natural. We don’t like to hear that we have done something wrong, that we need to change. If we look deep down inside though, we know the other person is probably right, we just don’t always feel like admitting that. For me it was more about disappointing someone who has been so amazing to work with, and in my enthusiasm I might have gone a bit too fast in my project. I realize that now and have taken steps to slow down, and I feel confident I have made the changes to continue to be successful in my role. Providing feedback is part of our workday and we have all been on the receiving end at some point in our careers. It is your choice to make the adjustments that are required or ignore them as just another annoying comment from your boss. At the end of the day as I walk by my boss’s office I ask her if this afternoon’s conversation was pretty much my probation review. She laughs and wishes me a good night. We have moved on and I go home feeling good. I truly love my job.
RBC works with more Small Business Owners than any other financial institution in Canada. Take advantage of our knowledge and experience. Call Barbara Beechey today! y! Barbara Beechey Senior Account Manager, Business and Personal RBC Royal Bank 1099 Talbot St. E., St Thomas 519-631-7480 email@example.com ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. ©2011 Royal Bank of Canada.
Call today to find out about our test kitchen incubation program. Carol Groves 519-633-7597 X323
Anouschka Van den Bosch is a Human Resources Professional and Certified Life and Career Coach. June, 2014
Creative food lover with fresh ideas? Need a pinch of business savvy? Let us help. We combine a love of food with good business sense.
300 South Edgeware Road, St. Thomas
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Pretty porches by Renée Carpenter
Enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your porch. Porches, whether front, back or a wrap-around variety, all add function and charm to a home. Treat this outdoor room as if it were an indoor living room – outfit it with comfy yet weather-proof furniture, cushions, rugs, lighting, and accessories. Choose outdoor furniture that will last for years, adding cushions and pillows that can be changed out to provide a fresh take. Various outdoor furniture styles and options exist that can provide the proper use and function for your outdoor needs. It’s important to buy outdoor furniture that coordinates with the furniture inside to create cohesion between both spaces. A porch is the perfect opportunity to play with colour and bold patterns. To balance out vivid colours, reserve saturated, intense colours for the furniture and accessories and the softer or more neutral colours for the floors, walls and ceiling. Add texture to keep the space interesting. To create a seating area on a porch that lacks space, choose furniture that is slim rather than bulky. It may be as simple as a couple of rockers with a small side table or potted shrubs to convey a simple, symmetrical and unified look. Spruce up the porch with a fresh coat of paint and make the front door the focal point. For long galley porches, a porch swing or swing bed offers that forever charm and character that
only comes from being outdoors – the ability to swing! DYI-ers will love the opportunity to paint the swing a bright colour or add texture and pattern with sunbrella cushions and pillows. The secret to a swing bed is lots of pillows! Paint the floor and stencil with a large damask design to provide a ‘forever’ rug with a look that is all your own. Crates can be painted and stacked to provide just the right height for a coffee table while a loft stool is small enough to squeeze into the side of that narrow porch width beside the swing. Some porches tend to feel more like an extension of the home rather than an outdoor space with an enclosed sun porch approach. Incorporate a daybed on such a porch, which works as a sofa for group gatherings or a sleeping/reading perch for solitary afternoons. Botanical life is still always a must for outdoor living! Screened porches are great to let the cool summer breeze in without the pesky bugs that go with it.
If your porch is big enough, it can allow for not only comfortable lounging but a great place for brunch or dinner, as well, to add dual function The use of French doors connecting a porch to a kitchen make entertaining easy. When planning a porch, consider how you will want to access the space. If it is to be used for eating and entertaining, a location off the kitchen is best. If you envision the space as an extension of your living room, consider siting the porch off your indoor living room. Add the details that mirror elements found inside your home to help make your porch feel like it’s a part of the house that’s always been there. Add pendants, chandeliers, fans, outdoor rugs, outdoor floor and table lamps, plants, and more. Similarly, if your porch is an addition, aim to seamlessly blend the exterior to your home’s façade to make it feel like it's always been there. Remember, it's all about the intense natural light and actually being outdoors! Renée Carpenter owns Jennings Furniture & Design & Stage It With Jennings in St. Thomas.
Tuesday, July 1st 2014 For Vendor opportunities please contact the parks & rec department at 519-633-7112 June, 2014
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A sparkling symposium
Dining & Entertainment FOOD & WINE
by Jamie Quai
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a technical symposium on sparkling wine production. It was a terrific chance to learn a little more about cutting edge production from industry leaders. We spent hours discussing important issues like the qualities that make a stellar cuvee (base wine), and the economics of various production techniques. We were able to taste several dozen sparklers from all over the world, and even spent the better part of an hour learning about the chemical factors that lead to excessive foaming (unless you win a NASCAR race – foaming is bad for the enjoyment of sparkling wine). I learned quite a bit at the symposium and thought that this month I’d share five bits of sparkling wine trivia that came up over the day. The term sparkling wine is no longer seen as a pejorative. For the last several decades, Champagne was seen as the pinnacle of sparkling, and everything else, aka sparkling wine, was second tier. As the global wine world has disseminated methodology – almost every major wine producing country has stepped up and produces a range that compete with the best of the best. The next bit of trivia that came up was all about the costs of production. The two most common methods of production are the traditional method with the second fermentation in bottle, and the second fermentation in a Charmat pressure tank. Traditional method can take several years to reach the market, while Charmat only take months. But the surprise to me was that when all the fixed and variable costs are accounted for, on a purely financial level, there is very little difference in the cost of production. The famous Italian sparkling wine Prosecco, was not
named after a region (like Champagne) but rather the grape that is featured in the wine. The Italians recently changed the name of the grape to Glera. It turns out that while the Italians built the brand’s reputation, other countries like Australia planted the same grapes, called the wines prosecco, and cashed in. By changing the name, and tying the name prosecco to a region, Italy was able to recapture the brand. Even established product category leaders are spending big money to better understand their production and consumers. Champagne trade associations are spending millions of dollars on research and development every year. This is irrespective of the fact that they have led the category for over 300 years. Imagine how much effort emerging regions must make just to try to catch up. Finally, Ontario sparkling wines are really tough to pick out of flights of completely blind tastings. We tasted thirty sparkling wines from all over the world in just under three hours. A room full of winemakers, sommeliers, researchers and wine writers, had a difficult time spotting the homegrown selections. The comment came up again and again in discussion that – when you take out our preconceptions of local sparkling wine – we are making some truly world class sparkling wines that compete on taste right here in our own backyard. Jamie Quai is head winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County
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HealtHy living EvEryday HEaltH
Plant and rake without the ache Tips for a healthy back this gardening season by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.
Gardening and yard work can be high energy workouts. They are also good forms of resistance and endurance training. In fact, light to moderate gardening can burn between 300 to 400 calories an hour. Gardening and yard work can also challenge your muscles, strengthen your heart and lungs and improve flexibility and balance. So, with that in mind, one should approach this activity like any other form of exercise. Start with a warm up, pay attention to your form and technique and invest in good equipment. Use the following tips to help you perform injury free this gardening season. Start with a warm up:
Start with an activity to get the heart pumping and your muscles heated up. Try a short 10 minute walk. Stretching after you’ve warmed the muscles up helps to reduce stress and strain on your joints and muscles. Bend your knees to lift with ease: When lifting keep your back straight and bend your knees. Always carry the load close to your body and avoid twisting. Here are some other rules for lifting: • Stand close to the load to be lifted • Keep your back straight with your feet and head pointed in the same direction • Use your legs to smoothly lift the load • Avoid twisting while carrying the load
Use the right tools and moves for the job : Kneel to plant and change positions frequently when gardening. Use ergonomically designed, long handled and lightweight tools. The right moves: • Alternate between heavy chores such as digging and lighter less physically demanding tasks such as planting. • Do the scissors when you rake. Stand with one leg forward and one leg back. Switch legs and hands frequently. • Changing hands frequently when you rake, hoe or dig prevents muscle strain on one side of the body. • Kneel or squat to plant and weed. Use kneeling pads or a mat to minimize the pressure on your knees. Alternate with squatting if you are capable. • Change positions frequently. Once you begin make a point of changing positions every 10 to 15 minutes. Take a break before it aches: Give yourself and your back a break. As a rule of thumb take a brief rest or stretch break three times an hour. Improper gardening techniques can cause repetitive strain injuries of the wrist and elbow as well as strain on your back neck and shoulders. This kind of strain can lead to more serious problems such as degenerative joint and disk problems. These problems can result in re-occurring and or chronic pain and injuries that can seriously affect your quality of life and independence. When your workday is done: • Sit down and rest. If your back is sore trying lying on your back with your knees bent to take the pressure off the lower spine. • Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes every hour. Don’t use heat. If you are experiencing pain that means that there is inflammation involved. Ice will help to reduce the inflammation. • Be sure to re-hydrate, drink water. If your pain persists seek out the advice of a qualified professional like a chiropractor or physical therapist. These people can provide a valuable role in providing preventative education and early detection of potential problems. I encourage everyone to get outside and get your bodies moving. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather but remember when you are working in your garden … • Warm up before you start • Bend your knees to lift with ease • Use the right tools and the right moves These tips will help you to plant and rake without the ache. Happy gardening. Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment & Resources Centre in St.Thomas
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A lesson in restraint and courage
LIFESTYLE THAT’S LIFE
by Elizabeth VanHooren
I wasn’t the only mother who When I bent down to adjust his goggles I could feel his heart pound- stepped forward that day to offer ing in his chest. And still, I took my words of comfort to her child. He youngest son’s quivering hand in just needs to know that I’m right mine and led him to the side of the here. But the instructor on the deck held each mom back. pool. “We find it’s better if the parents I encouraged him to sit on the edge and dangle his feet in the water. “It’s wait at the other side of the pool,” just like splashing in the bathtub,” she encouraged. She held out her I said and let go of his hand. He hand guiding us with a reassuring looked up at me as I backed away smile. “You can still see them from from him. He didn’t ask me to stay. right over here.” She was right. I could still see him, But his chin betrayed him, twitching as if holding back both the words now cold and shivering and still crying. In the pool he did everything and the tears. the instructor I stood stoic just a asked of him. But short distance away. It was only a half “wave of fear rolled back on the edge of pool, he erupthour lesson. down that row of three- the ed into sobs, as if My son was the first one in the wa- and four year-olds like informing everythunder” one present that he ter. The instrucstill didn’t like this. tor lifted him up All I could do was off the edge of the pool and, grasping him around his watch. For half an hour, I watched a tiny waist, pirouetted him in a small lesson in courage. My son could have tried to run. He circle around the shallow end of the could have grasped my leg in a bear pool. Still, no tears. Then without warning, the instruc- grip refusing to go in the water. But tor dunked my son completely un- he didn’t. I could have been a tiger mom der the water. Down and up quick. I gasped and cringed, held my hand and scooped my son up and said he to my open mouth in shock. The in- wasn’t ready to learn to swim. We’d structor did another tour around the wait another session, another year. He cried, and I stood with my back pool and then placed my son back up against the wall and watched. up on the edge. In the end, I was there with his Still no tears. I was impressed; maybe this wasn’t going to be as bad towel. I wrapped him up and gave him a huge hug. as I thought. “Did I do good mom?” he musThat’s when my son looked at the other kids sitting on the edge beside tered through the tears. “We both did,” I said. him waiting for their turn … and screamed. His whole body shook. The wave of fear rolled down that Elizabeth VanHooren is row of three- and four year-olds like General Manager thunder. The entire pool was filled of Kettle Creek with the heart wrenching sobs of, “I Conservation Authority want my mom.”
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LIFESTYLE TIME ON MY HANDS
Retiree stuck on a treadmill Memory of first time is still sharp by Duncan Watterworth
I know I’m getting older. My memory has been slipping since … well, I forget just how long. But other than that, I’m healthy as a horse, dammit, and don’t try to tell me different. Never mind that a few weeks ago I was sitting in my cardiologist’s office, wires glued all over my chest, eyeballing his treadmill, waiting for my “stress test.” First of all, I’m retired, so I have no stress. And I’ve never spent a night in the hospital in my life. And I’ve only been in an emergency room twice, both times at the Wiarton Hospital near my cottage for falling off my mountain bike. And I’ve been running ever since I was nineteen (with a couple gaps of a decade or so). And I have never had a symptom of heart problems, unless you count that my father died of a heart attack. Or that my cousin, also a lawyer, dropped dead while running. And one thing that I’ve learned from running: I don’t like treadmills. If God had meant for us to run on treadmills, I have often said, He wouldn’t have given us the great outdoors. I don’t even remember how this cholesterol thing got started. My wife says my annual check-up showed that my cholesterol was a bit high. So anyway, for the last four years, I’ve seen Dr. Weingert once a year to sweat on his treadmill, and ...if God had meant for I take a bunch of pills. They say I am under conus to run on treadmills, trol. He wouldn’t have given I always show up for my stress test in Lycra running us the great outdoors.. tights and my Asics Nimbus Gel running shoes. I
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figure if I can impress the Doc with my running and my gear, my heart must be okay. At least I like the guy, and I’ll tell you why. My first annual checkup got off on the wrong foot. No one had told me I’d have to run on a treadmill. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that a few days earlier I had bashed my ribs in a bike crash on a trail near my cottage. The emergency doc at Wiarton said I might have broken a few, but he didn’t bother to Xray. When Dr. Weingert told me to run, I didn’t know if I could, but I gamely stepped onto the treadmill. It hurt, but I gritted through it. After that, Dr. Weingert and I talked some more
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about my crash. Then he sent me right down to the X-ray office, one floor below. The X-ray technician took some pictures. Then she asked me to wait while she checked to see if she had enough clear shots for the radiologist to examine later. The next thing I knew, she walked right out of the office, a big envelope under her arm. Where the heck is she going, I wondered. Soon she returned. “Dr. Weingert would like to see you before you leave the building,” she said. He told me I had four broken ribs – one dislocated – and a fluid build-up. “Don’t lift anything or do any exercise,” he told me. “And don’t run.” My heart is in good hands if he cares about my ribs, I figure. So I don’t take it all too seriously. If anyone asks if I’m on any meds (or off my meds), I just say I take three: one for my memory, one for my cholesterol, and one for my … uh … oh, my memory.
Duncan Watterworth is a retired lawyer whose mind tends to wander. 30
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