Page 1

Volume 4, No. 8 April 2014

• Cheryl Lester What hinders. What helps. Page 6 • Neal Ambrose What’s your BATNA? Page 8 • Renee Carpenter Mirror that design Page 22 Special Feature Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Pages 18-21

George Bell Bell’s BookBin Comics N Novels Cover story: Page 3


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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 2


A funny thing – comics are the store’s lifeblood

by Terry Carroll

On a cool Saturday morning, business is as brisk as the weather in the first hour at Bell’s BookBin Comics N Novels at 552 Talbot Street in St. Thomas. A woman stops by with two bags of books and proprietor George Bell negotiates a trade arrangement with her, offering book purchase credits instead of cash. Normally, George isn’t accepting new books, but the woman’s bags include true crime, and that’s a strong seller these days. Another woman buys some paperbacks. She reveals that she wants the look and feel of a “real book” and has no interest in an e-reader. George tells her that he has a few customers who tried an e-reader and then returned to printed books. Three men arrive separately, all comic collectors, checking on what’s new or upcoming in the next week. One of them is an aficionado of Asian DVDs who is not afraid to pay top dollar. A growing base of comic collectors like these has become the financial lifeblood of Bell’s BookBin, and the reason the store’s name now has been expanded to “Comics N Novels.” The business began when necessity became the mother of invention over three years ago. Like many other people in this area, George Bell was forced to look elsewhere when things changed in the manufacturing sector. “I was 27 years with Marconi and Emerson, as the head of maintenance, and I loved it,” he says. He liked the work, and he liked the people, but when the plant closed, he knew that between his knee trouble and his back trouble, he was going to have to do something else. His father-in-law had owned the original BookBin in St. Thomas and George had known all the owners throughout the years.

He saw the possibility of a successful business and was able to start with the Self Employment Benefit program administered through Elgin Business Resource Centre. His business counselor, Gord Hall, told George he knew the business would succeed because George was too stubborn to fail. From the beginning, nothing was easy or went according to plan. A few days after Emerson closed, George’s wife was in a car accident that almost killed her and has left her with limited mobility. Devastating in the short run, George says the accident has brought the two of them closer in the long run and has left him with the strong

impression that “life can change in a heartbeat” so he might as well get on with it. And he’s had to be flexible as he learned the business. When he opened in 2010, George had acquired all kinds of used hard covers and paperbacks, from many different sources. In the intervening years, he’s learned that hard covers are not the way to go for his store. He is currently blowing out all hardcover stock for $1. At the same time, comics were becoming his biggest seller, most of them new comics. He currently has 73 subscribers, people who are purchasing 330 com-

Elgin This Month General Manager Terry Carroll Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Regional Sales Manager Nelson Parreira

ics a month, plus whatever additional they may pick up. A steady base of subscribers has given him much better inventory control – he usually knows how many comics to order each month. “I’m learning a hell of a lot in business,” he says. Several factors account for the rise of the comics. Some of the biggest summer blockbuster movies are based on comic action figures. Graphic novels have entered the mainstream. TV series like The Walking Dead have become enormously popular. (A Walking Dead # 1 comic in mint condition now fetches $1,500). To complement the new and used comics, George stocks comic-related toys, action figures, knick knacks and games. Once the hard covers are all gone, the store will be reconfigured to balance his merchandise. As part of his community involvement, George carries music CDs put out by local artists and books by local writers. His store is also an outlet for tickets to productions at the Princess Avenue Playhouse in St. Thomas. He’s assisted with the Tom Zombie Festival in St. Thomas, and his most successful marketing effort has been Free Comic Book Day the first Saturday in May. Last year, the St. Thomas and Port Stanley libraries also participated in this event. “This year, I’ve increased my order,” he says. “Last year, the store was totally full of people. They were lined up out the door and down the street.” With most new businesses, it takes three to five years before the owner begins to make money. George says that’s been his experience. He has everything paid for, and he is looking forward to actually making a living at it. The main reason for his success – in addition to his stubbornness – was one of the main things he loved about working at Emerson. Above all else, he enjoys talking to people and that makes a huge difference to his customers. Front cover photo by Philip Bell, Shutters 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 April, 2014

ELGIN THIS MONTH

3


INNES AS I SEE IT

It’s not all wine and roses - Part 3 by Jim Innes The last few articles have been focused on issues facing adoptees, particularly, the difficulties adoptees have with developing healthy relationships, including healthy relationships to their own selves. In many ways it has been an exercise in the abstract. Because to empathize, one has to imagine beyond one’s sense of connection and rootedness (to mother earth and one’s genealogy) found and nurtured through one’s biological parents (beginning first with one’s mom). See what I mean ... abstract! I would like to conclude these reflections by sharing my understanding that for those who have been deeply hurt by love (like the adoptee), ongoing relationships can extract a lot of emotional energy. It is exhausting to move beyond heartache and courageously seek closeness. There is an ongoing ‘push and pull’ as one attempts to build intimacy while maintaining a certain level of safety. And because of that, relationships can become overwhelmingly distracting such that there is a loss of momentum in other areas of our lives. This loss of momentum is realized by the amount of time one may spend looking at relationship as a means to some end. For those hurt

Rotary fish fry May 10 The Rotary Club of St. Thomas is sponsoring its second annual fish fry at the CASO Station in St. Thomas Saturday May 10. This year, the service club is organizing two sittings for the all-you-can-eat dinner. The fundraising event includes a 50/50 draw. Details were being finalized at press time. Call the CASO Station, or watch local media in April for updates.

by a love connection, there is emotional baggage and anxiety tied into the process; not the least of which is the often confusing task of managing our aloneness (as spoken to in last month’s article). A buddy of mine who was using a dating

site said he spent much time each day, checking and rechecking his inbox. He told me “when I was alone at home or at work it seemed like the only opportunity [immediately available] to end some of my loneliness ... I turned on my computer and killed much time sifting through my matches ... otherwise I’d have been overcome by a lot of uncomfortable lonely feelings.” Another friend shared with me that this behaviour can become quite “addictive.” It seemed to me that it was also an activity that would create difficulties meeting other personal obligations, which I suppose is the defining difficulty of any addiction. Mental health professionals often speak of these issues as reflecting a possible ‘attachment disorder.’ This means that reflected in certain relational patterns, there are notable indications of a deeply seeded inability to “give and

take with others” (Brenda McCreight, Attachment Disorder and the Adoptive Family). McCreight argues that the tendency of those with an attachment wound is to develop “survival skills” acted out “by manipulation, by control, by aggression, or by withdrawal.” And, I would add, that these behaviours tend to create and recreate further wounds because folk won’t put up with the behaviour for very long. They will walk. The label of ‘attachment disorder’ is mostly used to denote specific wounds in children (played out in adulthood). However, the label is helpful to us here because not only does it speak provocatively of the issue faced by most (if not all) adoptees, but it also clarifies, in my experience, the behavioural patterns of many who have been wounded in love (even at a latter age). Consequently, anyone hurt by love (at whatever age) and who longs for a healthy intimate relationship must, at least and perhaps before all else, address his or her survival tendencies. As I see it, for all who have been hurt by love, in any way, the path to developing or restoring intimate connection is a process requiring self forgiveness, courage and the passionate desire to move beyond well-entrenched thought patterns and overused, self-destructive behaviours. Even though such thoughts and behaviours may keep us relatively safe, unless we let go of them (often with help) we will not discover that new place of Love and Light. Jim Innes is a clinically trained therapist and a priest at St. John’s Anglican Church

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ELGIN THIS MONTH

4


Business & Community Leadership

Shape and own your business system Micro-management is all too common

delegate most everything else. Do those things that only you can do as the owner and delegate Real leadership is rare; micro-management is all the rest. You need to free up time to do leadertoo common. Business owners, please stop trying ship activities that make the business vision a realto play every darn instrument yourself and start ity. However, be sure to delegate, not abdicate or conducting the orchestra. If you don’t conduct dump. Stay in touch with the person and their progress. your team, who will? To help with delegation, you must have the work As a strategic business owner, your primary aim should be to develop a self-managing and sys- to be done well defined. You cannot delegate nontems-oriented business that still runs consistently, specifics. Next, you must adopt the attitude that predictably, smoothly, and profitably while you your time is valuable and learn to discriminate beare not there. You should shape and own the busi- tween various activities. Before doing a task, ask, ness system and employ competent and caring “Does this task lead directly to increased profits, employees to operate the system. You should doc- significantly reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction, or to me building a ument the work of your business better business?” If it doesn’t, disso that you can effectively train miss the task or delegate it. Or ask, others to execute the work. You “if you pay peanuts, “Is this task worth $100-$200 per must make yourself replaceable hour?” If not, find someone else expect to attract in the technical trenches of your internally or externally to do this business. To repeat, define and monkeys” task at a cheaper rate. You must document the specific work to be done and then train and delegate. Don’t suf- realize that your leadership thoughts and actions (building systems, leading, planning, holding focate the talents and growth of your employees. Don’t be a super-worker, be a supervisor! Stop people accountable, coaching other leaders, etc.) the “I’ll do it myself ” and “No one does it as well are worth at least $200 per hour. If not, you will as I do” attitudes. Learn to delegate. If someone never learn to be effective at delegation. By all means, get out of the way of your managelse can do something 80-90% as well as you, give it up! Do not spend a dollar’s worth of time on ers and workers. Don’t meddle. Instead of doing a dime task. Know your areas of brilliance and their jobs, help them to clarify their roles, respon

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sibilities, goals, and tasks and then simply hold them accountable for getting things done. Be sure to monitor your employees’ performance; don’t try to control them. Coach more and play less in the actual game. Once they demonstrate competency and character, give your employees the authority to make things happen. Let them do their jobs. Let them tackle stuff on their own and come to you only when they need further guidance. Instead of micro-managing the process, manage by results. If you set up your systems correctly and train properly, you will be able to manage by numbers and on an exception-only basis. I imagine and hope that you are paying your employees and managers good money to do their jobs. If so, get out of their way and let them perform. If you aren’t paying adequate wages, beware! If you pay peanuts, then expect to attract monkeys. Leadership is less about doing, more about thinking, planning, and overseeing what others do. You are to create jobs, not work a job. Bryan Vine is the owner of The Growth Coach in St. Thomas and Southwestern Ontario.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 5


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Leadership performance What hinders! What helps? by Cheryl Lester

Part 1 of a 4-part series Recently, I followed through on something I’ve wanted to do for the past 5 years — attend piano performances during the annual Rotary Festival of Music. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the young musicians’ performances, as well as the post-performance adjudications. As I observed, I realized that many of the same factors and principles that influenced the musical performances also impact leadership performance. In his book, The Inner Game of Work, Timothy Gallwey offers his readers the formula “P = p – i”. This simple equation stands for “Performance equals potential minus interference.” Interference is anything that fragments our focus, depletes our energy, distracts our thoughts, crumbles our confidence, or takes us off our game. Each of the following “P” words represents a certain factor that impacted the quality of performance given by the Festival musicians. They are also relevant to the performance of organizational and business leaders. For each of the “Ps”, I have included points about what hinders and helps. The objective is to identify those things that are hindering you — or

running interference — so you can be proactive in taking steps to reduce the ‘i’ factors and improve your performance. 1. Preparation: The activity or process of becoming ready for something … In varying degrees, the musicians I watched had prepared themselves for the experience of performance and adjudication. Just as some musicians are blessed with exceptional ‘natural talent,’ so are some leaders; however, preparation is still a very important factor that makes a significant difference in the end ‘product’. What hinders? Being unaware of what your week, or month looks like can spell disaster and, if not disaster, then most likely unnecessary S-TR-E-S-S for you and members of your staff. What helps? Spending a few minutes every Sunday evening to do what Stephen Covey called ‘sharpening the saw.’ Look at your calendar to see what’s scheduled for the week(s) ahead so you don’t get caught off guard. This allows you to do research, consult with advisors, review background materials, and/or design a presentation for those upcomWhen you’re an accounting and business service firm who ing activities. prefers to see clients “getting ahead” rather than just “getting 2. Practice: To do something again and by”, really getting to know the people you serve is the most again in order to become important thing you do. And while we know the numbers count, better at it … Skilled at Graham Scott Enns, we also know the life those numbers musicians spend hours belong to is what matters most. practicing and honing their skills. Effective Get to know us better by leaders do the same.

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...performance equals potential minus interference... What hinders? Arriving at an important meeting at the last minute or giving a presentation without adequate rehearsal or practice. As a young pianist I loved to play the parts of a piece that I found easy over and over again. I spent more time on those than I did the sections that were harder. The unfortunate outcome was that during performance, the harder parts I’d skimmed over didn’t go so well, which shook my confidence and impaired the overall level of my performance. What helps? Getting a clear understanding about what really needs the most practice. Solicit honest and objective feedback about what you do well and what you need to work on. Then address the gaps by enlisting others with those skills or developing your own capacity in that area. Watch for the remaining articles in this 4-part series, i.e. Part 2: Presence; Passion; and Priority. Part 3: Perspective; Purpose; and Process. Part 4: Perseverance; Progress; and Principles.

Cheryl Lester, Eagle Tree Leadership, is an international leadership coach known for her ability to help people improve their performance and effectiveness.

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ELGIN THIS MONTH

6


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY Business Resources

Fostering improved employee satisfaction is easier than you think (and cheaper!)

by Carlie Forsythe

How can a manager, supervisor, or even a small business owner foster improved employee satisfaction and retention? Your first suggestion may be to increase pay or reward an employee with expensive plans and incentives. While these monetary rewards do work to a certain degree, there is a simple and inexpensive way to recognize your employees, regardless of organization size and funding. Rewarding or simply showing appreciation to your employees does not have to cost a lot of money, if any at all (I’m looking at you, small businesses!). Inexpensive ways to reward your hard-working employees may include: • Offering flex-time; • Summer hours, where employees are encouraged to leave early on Fridays to enjoy their lives outside of the workplace; • Work/life balance, is especially important now that companies expect more from their employees; • Telecommuting, working from a home or mobile office; • Challenging work assignments and personal goal setting; • Job rotation, in conjunction with feedback and a degree of autonomy; • Employee of the month awards or Michael Moore and Chuck plaques; Vint, Sun Life Financial • Recognition in company publications; • Office space improvements; advisors have some exciting • And most importantly, praise and spring news. They have moved recognition for a job well done. into newly renovated premises Rewarding and appreciating your at 9 Princess Ave., Unit # 3 in employees by using any of these methods works because we, as humans, are greatly St. Thomas. influenced by the opinions of others: On Saturday May 3, Chuck especially from our supervisors and and Michael invite everyone managers. Recognizing an employee both in the community to join them raises an employee’s self-esteem, selfworth, and greatly improves employee at their new office from 11:00 engagement: all three of these will benefit a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for an open your company tremendously. Simple house, fundraising barbecue recognition in itself will encourage and raffle for MasterCard your good workers, as well as properly align their behavior and goals to your Memorial Cup hockey tickets company’s own strategic goal. You will in London. Proceeds will be see an increase in the productivity of your donated to the St. Thomas employees, as well as foster long-lasting Minor Hockey Association. commitments with your company. Employees who are recognized for their Whether you’re building hard work will feel satisfied with the your career, buying your first work they do, and will less likely fall prey home or starting a family, you to absenteeism, or perhaps even leave have financial needs and goals. your company. Remember, the goal here is to retain good employees, not reward Money for Life is a long-term those who merely do what is required approach that helps you meet of them, or those who do not meet the your needs today and make organization’s intended requirements. smart decisions for your future. Those employees who feel they work hard for your company generally need Michael Moore and Chuck to feel important and that their effort Vint can help you create your made a difference. Next time you want unique financial plan. They’ll to reward a hard-working employee, use Sun Life Financial’s remember these tips, save your company money, and enjoy a satisfied and industry-leading planning tool, productive workforce for years to come!

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 7


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY MEDIATION

What’s your BATNA? by Neal Ambrose

Ever had the experience of buying a new car? I did recently, and it can be a stressful and even an intimidating experience if you are not prepared and do not know what your BATNA is. Your BATNA you ask? In the world of negotiation and mediation, BATNA is your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. Back to my car buying experience. I saw a certain vehicle that I wanted to purchase and had a price I wanted to spend. In most of these types of negotiations, the salesperson starts with a figure and I counter with a figure (lower than what I was actually willing to spend). You then work to some middle ground where you both can be happy. After much discussion and negotiation, the figure was still higher than I wanted to spend, so I reviewed my BATNA. What was my best alternative to the offer on the table? Well, I still had a good vehicle that would last me a few more years and the new vehicle was a “nice to have” not a “need to have,” so my best alternative was to walk away.

haps write it down and put it in their pocket. At the end of the negotiation or mediation, each participant should review his or her BATNA against the offer or offers and decide if it is better or worse than the best alternative. In my car experience, for example, the offer was not as good as my BATNA (walking away, still having a good vehicle for a few more years and not spending more than I wanted). In mediation, one of the roles of a mediator is to help participants review their alternatives, their BATNAs, when the parties cannot find a resolution to their dispute. Often this is done in private and the mediator reviews the alternatives with both parties so that they can make an informed decision as to whether their best alternative is better or worse than the proposed settlement. The mediator does not make a judgment about the BATNAs but ensures that each party has reviewed

the alternatives and knows the options. Often settlements are reached after BATNAs are reviewed but the decisions remain solely with the participants. Where an agreement is not reached this does not mean that mediation was not successful. In fact, the mediator may have been very helpful in assisting the parties to see that their BATNA was, indeed, the best course of action after all. The mediator only helps the parties review their alternatives. Oh, yes, in my car experience, when I discussed my alternatives out loud, a new offer was made and a deal was done. So, what is your BATNA? Neal Ambrose is a Mediator with Elgin Counselling and Mediation Centre.

...the offer was not as good as my BATNA... Knowing your BATNA reminds me of the Kenny Rogers song The Gambler where he sings “you got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run …” Kenny was reviewing his BATNA! Alternatives are what a person can do away from the negotiation table, the courses of action a person can take without the consent or agreement of the other party. The BATNA is the best of all these alternatives. Participants need to figure out their BATNA before going into a negotiation or mediation, make it very clear, per-

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• April 2014 •

MP & MPP Luncheon April 23 Our elected federal and provincial representatives will take the Chamber’s stage on Wednesday April 23 as we host our annual

luncheon event with MP Joe Preston and MPP Jeff Yurek. MP Joe Preston & MPP Jeff Yurek will offer

(L to r) St. Thomas Golf & Country Club’s Food & Beverage Supervisor Laura Shackleton and new Head Chef Terrance Tew; Golf Club Membership Committee Chair & Boston Pizza operator Jeff Wood; and Elgin County Warden Dave Marr at our March 12 edition of Business After 5.

Let’s welcome spring!

individual and joint comments on activities that impact Elgin-Middlesex-London from provincial and federal perspectives but the most important element of the event will be dialogue with the audience; questions and answers from everyone attending. Our location will be St. Anne’s Centre on Morrison Drive in St. Thomas. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Keynote remarks from the MP and the MPP start at 12 Noon over lunch, followed by the question-and-answer session. Tickets are $30 per person, advance sale only, from the Chamber. Additional details are on our website now at www. stthomaschamber.on.ca

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9

Site: St. Thomas Roadhouse, 837 Talbot Street

Bring your business cards to enter our door prize draws! Free admission to all personnel from any business or organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.

Jeff Yurek, MPP

Free Enterprise Awards May 7 In the 40 years since the 1974 launch of our awards to celebrate local business success, much has changed. This year, our event will change and take on a new format as our proud tradition of recognition continues. Time and costs are an issue for everyone and our new event format recognizes those critical realities. We will focus on one thing – celebration and recognition of our winners. Our

Business Beat Table of Contents Discover China .......... Page 10 Golf anyone?............. Page 11 Prevent damage ........ Page 12 Pets4Life ................... Page 13 Legal Business .......... Page 14 Your H&S Rep ........... Page 15 Members benefit ....... Page 16 April, 2014

Joe Preston, MP

agenda opens with a champagne reception at St. Anne’s Centre at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30, awards presentations begin. By 7:30, our program will conclude. Eliminating a dinner and costly guest speaker means ticket price is just $30 per person. Order tickets on-line now via the Chamber website or by call-

ing our office at 519-631-1981. Please join us for this very special occasion to celebrate success in Free Enterprise!

Spring is Here! Let us help your Business Blossom! Take part in our Backyard and Garden Inspirations feature in the May edition Greg Minnema, Advertising Sales

To take advantage of excellent advertising opportunities give me a call at 519-633-1640 (ext. 22)

or email me at gregthismonth@theweeklynews.ca May Edition Advertising Deadline is April 16th

ELGIN THIS MONTH

9


Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members

Come with us to discover China!

China is our second largest export market. Already the world’s largest market for cars, cell phones and seafood, it is the fastest growing market for luxury goods, air passengers and nuclear power. China has the most internet users and online game players, the longest high speed rail network and the busiest port. There are well over 100 cities in China with a population of more than one million and, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, the economy will grow at rates of about eight per cent per annum for the next decade. In China’s case, seeing is believing. That is why we are excited to announce a special invitation from the St.Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce to join us again this October for our second trip to discover China! As an exclusive benefit for Chamber Members we are partnering with our neighbours at the Strathroy & District Chamber and Citslinc International Inc. to provide an 11-day, all-inclusive tour of Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai for $2,599 (USD) per person. Citslinc is one of the largest providers of foreign tours to China and works exclusively with over 800 Chambers of Commerce in Canada and the US. Elgin Travel in Elgin Mall will be our exclusive, licensed travel agent for the tour. This fully escorted trip is meant to be an introduction to the people, history, culture, commerce and daily life of this exciting country. The itinerary

is packed with sights and activities that will give you a full and rewarding experience. The trip departs on a non-stop flight from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport via Hainan Airlines (globally rated among the top 5 airlines) on Wednesday October 22, 2014, returning Saturday November 1. Your trip includes: • Round trip International airfare from Toronto • 4 and 5 Star Hotel Accommodations • Three meals per day • All tour fees • Deluxe in-country transportation and local airfare • Experienced Englishspeaking tour guides • All taxes and airport fees Prices are based on two person shared accommodation, single occupancy is available for an additional charge. This trip is also available to non-Chamber members for an addition charge of $200 (USD) per person. Deadline for registration and payment in full is July 25, 2014. Deposits are being accepted now at $400 per person to confirm seats. Our group of 80 available seats will be sold on a first-come/ first-served basis. Over 20,000 people travelled with Citslinc on Chamber tours last year alone. Two

staff from the St. Thomas & District Chamber have already participated on a Citslinc tour. Member Services rep Jeff Sheridan travelled with our group last October and Chamber CEO Bob Hammersley went in the spring of last year. Bob says “I had the opportunity to travel to China last April with them and I was impressed by their high level of professional service. This trip completely changed my understanding of China and I came away with an entirely new found appreciation for its people and its future, and the strong prospects and potentials for shared business relationships.” Information Session On Tuesday April 15 at 5:30 p.m., the Chamber will host a complimentary information session for anyone with interest in our trip. Leo Liu, President of Citslinc International will speak and representatives from Elgin Travel will attend with registration details. To attend, all we ask is that you register via our Chamber website. Go to www.stthomaschamber.on.ca and click on the listing in the Events column on the right side of our main page.

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: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Bob Hammersley Accounting Coordinator Susan Munday Member Services Jeff Sheridan

www.chambers.ca April, 2014

ELGIN THIS MONTH

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 Fuels 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 Presstran Industries 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

10


Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members 40th annual Members Golf Day approaching sell-out!!

EARS OPEN

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met in London March 2 - 4, and welcomed representatives of several of the area Chambers for discussions on needs, issues and special concerns across our region. Pictured here at a morning session March 4, left to right, Canadian Chamber President & CEO Perrin Beatty; Chamber Board Chair Richard Payette; Dave Craven, Chair of the London Chamber; St. Thomas Chamber CEO Bob Hammersley; Suzanne Renken, GM of the Tillsonburg Chamber; Gerry Macartney, CAO of the London Cham-

ber; Shannon Churchill, GM of the Strathroy Chamber; Nigel Howard, Chair of the Stratford Chamber; Debra Scott, CEO of the Newmarket Chamber and Canadian Chamber Executives’ staff liaison to the national board; and Garry Lobsinger, CEO of the Stratford Chamber. The Canadian Chamber’s Board meets quarterly and regularly selects communities across the nation as their meeting site.  Details on all of the impressive and influential personnel serving with the national Chamber’s Board can be found on the Canadian Chamber website at www.chamber.ca

TIMELY Look forward to carefree MAINTENANCE spring driving! BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD! • • • • • •

Major & Minor Repairs Brakes & Mufflers Front-End Suspension Air Conditioning Tires & Alignments Cooling Systems Don’t forget... we are an accredited Emissions Test and Repair Facility

It’s great for us, but if you’re considering the Chamber’s 40th Annual Members Golf Day on May 29, our best advice is not to wait. The earlybird registration discount ends May 1, but it’s quite likely we will post the “sold out” sign before then. Full details are on the St. Thomas & District Chamber website in our Events column on the right side of our main page, but here’s a quick summary: Date: Thursday May 29 Time: Registration 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Shotgun start 11:00 a.m. sharp Site: St. Thomas Golf & Country Club, Union, ON Questions or more info? Just call us at 519-631-1981.

THANK YOU ST. THOMAS AND AYLMER FOR MAKING US AN AWARD WINNING OFFICE IN CANADA. Debbie Hamilton & Associates Ltd. became a Canada Wide Award Winning agency in 2013. This was attained through exceptional customer service and sales. Thank you for your generous support. Our commitment to you is that we will continue to give back to the community who has placed their trust in us throughout the years. Without you, this goal would not have been possible. In keeping with the Debbie Hamilton & Associates Ltd. tradition, we will be making various donations throughout the year to help local charities. From Debbie and the team, a heartfelt Thank You!

VISION STATEMENT Success is not measured by the amount of money in the bank, but by the number of lives that are changed. Debbie Hamilton & Associates Ltd. 555 Talbot St. St. Thomas, On 519-633-3600

April, 2014

ELGIN THIS MONTH

Unit 1-17 King St. Aylmer, ON 519-765-3636 11


Pro Text Events and News of Interest to our Members

Spring weather: Water damage prevention tips damage. • Clean and disinfect all items affected by the • Direct water from downspouts attached to water. eaves troughs at least 6 feet away from the • Contact your insurance provider. foundation, or into a Prior to the big snow melt, it is rain barrel. Downspouts important to contact your insurshould never be embedance provider so that you are aware “many homeowners ded in the ground, or of what your property insurance connected to the sewer are unprotected” policy covers with respect to water system or footing drains. damage. Most homeowners are un• Install a sump pump aware of what their property policy covers, or how with a backup power source, and ensure the affordable water damage or sewer backup coverdischarge pipe is connected to the storm sewer age can be. Spring weather not only increases the system or empties onto the lawn at least 6 feet chance of water damage to your home, but also from the foundation exterior. affects the roads we drive on. Wet road surfaces • Install a back water valve to help protect have about half the friction level of dry surfaces, against sewer backup. meaning that vehicles are that much more likely • Seal and tighten cleanout caps and back water to hydroplane or lose control if too much water valve caps. comes between the tires and the road surface. Stay • Ensure service pipes between the municipal safe by insuring you have effective wipers on your sewer line and the building are in good operatvehicle, increase the distance between your vehicle ing condition. and the vehicle in front of you, and stay alert on • Do not keep valuables or important documents the roads at all times. in the basement; otherwise protect them in This column appears monthly in Business Beat water tight or water resistant containers. and has been prepared by Jason Amero, RIB (Ont), Account Manager at Reith & Associates Insurance Property owners should remember AFTER and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, water damage has occurred: St. Thomas. Questions and comments are welcomed • Remove all wet items immediately- wet carpetby the writer at 519-631-3862 or via e-mail: ing, furniture, etc. - any item holding moisture info@reithandassociates.com can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours.

by Jason Amero While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that include heavy rains, severe weather, and rapid snowmelt that can increase the risk of water damage. By being proactive you can protect yourself, your family, your business and your finances before a weather event occurs and it is too late. Almost everyone is at risk for water damage, yet many homeowners are unprotected. Just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Between 2006 and 2010, the average water damage claim was nearly $34,000, more than most homeowners can afford to pay out of pocket. Consider your risk and the consequences of water damage, and make the choice to protect yourself. Property owners should take the following preventative measures: • Ensure the lawn is graded to drain water away from the exterior of the building. • Remove large piles of snow from around the building exterior. • Ensure window wells are covered, or cleared of snow, and drains cleaned out regularly. • Ensure the foundation is properly sealed and free of defects – repair any cracks in the foun dation immediately to prevent further possible

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 12


Member NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members

Bigger & better, Pets 4 Life grows again Pets 4 Life is a company that promotes itself as a manufacturer of frozen, raw gourmet pet cuisine. With sales increasing by 80% in the last 3 years, there’s no question that raw feed for cats and dogs is on a strong upswing as pet owners realize the benefits of returning to a natural, carnivorous diet for their pets. Pets 4 Life was established in Owen Sound 15 years ago. Glenn & Sherry Forrester purchased the business and moved it to St. Thomas in 2010. The Forresters have been active boosters and participants in local life, and their decision to invest locally reflects nicely on their level of support. In 2011, they acquired a line of purely natural pet treats branded as the “Ultimate Diet” and moved production of products from Orangeville to St. Thomas. In just 3 short years, they have seen business grow to require bigger premises. Glenn & Sherry are full-time/hands-on operators and the full-time staff they employ has grown to number 6 people plus a part-time sales & customer service rep. Last year, the Forresters relocated to a larger property on Currah Road in St. Thomas and built an 800-square-foot drive-in freezer at the site. The St. Thomas-made Pets 4 Life products are now sold from the Manitoba border eastward through Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada in a network of over 250 retail outlets. Locally, Briwood Farm Market at 1030 Talbot carries the Pets 4 Life lines. Pets 4 Life welcomes calls, questions and more at their website, via email or by phone. See www.pets4life.com or contact them at 519-637-3000 or info@pets4life.com.

Pets 4 Life production employees produce and ship 7500 pounds (3400 kg.) from their Currah Road plant in St. Thomas.

Commitment to Excellence Business Plans • Management Consulting Small Business Services • Bookkeeping Services Estate and Trust Returns Business Succession Planning Our Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff have the experience and training to help you with all your accounting and taxation needs

Mark Lassam, CPA, CA Josh Kitchenham of Briwood Farm Market in St. Thomas is shown with the freezer holding Pets 4 Life products at Briwood’s 1030 Talbot Street location. April, 2014

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115 Curtis Street, St. Thomas 519-631-1631 mark@lassam.ca

13


Legal Business Events and News of Interest to our Members

Update on the new C.M.H.C. premium increase by Monty Fordham

Late in February the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corpo- Monty Fordham ration (C.M.H.C.) announced it was hiking the premiums it charges to mortgagors on its “insured” mortgages. While this announcement is of interest to prospective home buyers and anyone refinancing an existing mortgage, unlike the disastrous moves made by the federal government and C.M.H.C. last year and in late 2012, the current announcement should have little effect on the average home purchaser. Effective May 1, 2014, C.M.H.C. will increase its premiums on mortgages to which it provides insurance by approximately 15%. While this may sound scary, let me reassure you it is not, and why. First, some background. In Canada, if purchasers of a home or 1 - 4 unit residence put down less than 20% of the purchase price out of their own funds, the mortgage must be “insured” by a mortgage insurer. In Canada, the majority of the mortgage insurance is underwritten by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, with the rest being insured through a couple of private insurers. Qualified home buyers may put down

as little as 5% of the purchase price out of personal funds, but, generally, the less the amount put down, the greater the mortgage insurance premium. Let’s assume we are buying a home in the St. Thomas area for $200,000. Let’s also assume we are prepared to pay 5%, or $10,000, by way of down payment. This, of course, leaves $190,000 to be taken up by a mortgage for which we must qualify at the bank. Currently, the premium on this mortgage would be 2.75%, or $5,225. This amount would be added to the mortgage amount and repaid over the life of the mortgage. At 25 year amortization periods and current rates of mortgage interest, the payback is relatively painless. As of May 1, the premium will increase to 3.15%, or, on our $190,000.00 mortgage, $5,985. Once again, this amount is added to the mortgage and paid back on the same time line as the mortgage. However, let’s look at the situation where th we come up with more down payment. In the case of 15% down, the premium will jump from the present 1.75% to 1.8%. Back to our example. The mortgage is now $170,000, and the current premium $2,975. This will increase to $3060. Wow! The difference is negligible, especially over the amortization period. Even in the 5% Let’s All Chip In ple the difference isexamonly and Do Our Part! $760. But wait a minute! Aren’t we in a housing “bubble” in Canada? Aren’t houses grossly overvalued? Isn’t the market ”overheated”? In reality, no. That is, unless you are buying in Vancouver, Calgary or the GTA. Recent data suggests that housing prices have actually

ses! s e n i s u al B ute c o L o t t Call Ouake the 20 minhallenge T -up C 25 n a e l C Spring Friday, April on

Mayor Heather Jackson is asking all businesses owners to allow their staff to take 20 minutes to clean-up the outdoor space around your place of business. Register your group Pick up your clean-up kit Send us before and after photos and be entered for a chance to win a pizza lunch for your group!!

545 Talbot St., St. Thomas

519-631-1680

www.stthomas.ca April, 2014

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most of the talk of bubbles, runaway inflation and overheating has now subsided softened in most regions, and may even be undervalued. Specifically, in the St. Thomas area, real estate prices have been quite stable for the last two decades. But aren’t interest rates going to jump soon? Sure, rates will eventually rise (unless the Bank of Canada reduces its overnight rate to zero from its current 1%). But when banks are offering fixed, five-year rates at below 3% and inflation is stuck between 1% and 2%, where, as the suits would say, is the upside pressure? It will come as the economy recovers. Now for the really good news. The new premium rates will apply to mortgage loan insurance requests received after May 1. Anything submitted before then will be insured at the current rates. Also, existing mortgages are unaffected. The tighter lending rules introduced a while back, although they should have had a negligible effect on the real estate market, as predicted, frightened many otherwise qualified buyers out of the market. Since most of the talk of bubbles, runaway inflation and overheating has now subsided, it is to be hoped that the increase in mortgage insurance premiums does not have the same effect. For informed buyers it will not. 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 519-6331371 or e-mail: montyfordham@4elgin.ca 14


Viewpoint Events and News of Interest to our Members

Your health and safety representative:

An indispensable partner for small business Given the reality of few staff, long hours and multi-tasking, small business needs to be a model of efficiency. Your health and safety representative, given the right resources and a collaborative approach, has the mandate to help you down that path. Under the law, workers in workplaces with six to nineteen staff must select a health and safety representative: an individual who is committed to improving prevention in the workplace, and capable of fulfilling the same responsibilities and powers assigned to Joint Health & Safety Committees in larger organizations. These individuals serve as effective health and safety role models and business partners for Members of the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce. They bring forward day-to-day issues experienced by staff doing the work, as well as opportunities for improvement—allowing you to focus on the business. Their diligence helps your workplace achieve and sustain compliance, and, most important, reduces the likelihood of injuries or illnesses. How the role helps small business meet its unique challenges Taking a business partner approach with health and safety representatives helps small organizations address their unique challenges: • Preserves your relationships and workplace morale: in a workplace where everyone knows one another, a health and safety incident can have a profound personal impact. • Protects your reputation: a workplace-related incident can do more than hurt business; it can damage the name of the owner or employer. • Sustains your financial well-being: a health and safety incident leading to disruption of your business and lost productivity, or a violation leading to a hefty fine, can be a devastating surprise. How you can boost your health and safety representative’s effectiveness According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act,

your health and safety representative’s responsibilities include: • Identifying workplace hazards • Inspecting the workplace at least once a month • Making recommendations to the employer • Investigating work refusals and serious incidents You can boost your health and safety representative’s effectiveness in meeting these obligations by sharing information and cooperating as you would with any partner who shares an interest in the well-being of your business: • Provide needed information, such as up-to-date material safety data sheets (MSDS), suppliers’ information on devices, and copies of assessment reports. • Respond to recommendations promptly and in writing, and discuss any questions with the representative to understand the need and determine the right solution. • Provide copies of any orders and reports issued by a Ministry of Labour inspector. • Report any workplace injuries or illnesses. • Work together to develop uncomplicated but effective methods for communicating with and coaching staff; for example: • Five-minute health and safety huddles or “quick talks,” using your safe operating procedures, checklists or MSDS sheets as topic guides • Regular “safety observation checks” to watch employees work, reinforce what was done well, and coach on improvements

For more information Look for simple, easy-to-use resources to help you boost the effectiveness of your health and safety representative, provided at no cost by our trusted health and safety advisor, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS). Search on “health and safety representative” and “JHSC” at www.wsps.ca, and click on each tab for a full spectrum of support. Also, stay informed with timely information about occupational health and safety by connecting with WSPS on Twitter at twitter.com/ wsps_news. And here’s another option to consider for any people within the businesses and organizations that are Members of the St. Thomas & District Chamber. If you have an interest in health and safety that might extend beyond your workplace to touch the community at large, the Chamber’s Safe Communities Coalition is always interested in volunteers looking to get involved in local SafeComm projects or within our Steering Committee. Search our Elgin – St. Thomas Safe Communities page on Facebook for more or call Bob Hammersley at the Chamber office at 519-6311981, Extension 524.

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Member News Events and News of Interest to our Members

Membership Matters Give a little. Get a lot. If you know of any person or business that wants to explore the benefits of membership in the Chamber, please share this and start the conversation. “What’s in it for me?” is often the first question asked of our staff or volunteers when people look at joining the Chamber. Our answer covers a lot. Joining the St. Thomas & District Chamber means that your business or organization – and all the people in it – become shareholders and stakeholders in two other businesses. The first business is what we call “The Voice of Business”. It’s all the work we do at local, regional, provincial, national and even international levels to represent the collective interests of the business community. Have a look at our website for several current examples that involve research, fact-finding and sharing information to help the business community, and sending informa-

tion to government and other decision-makers whose work impacts the business community. The other business you get a stake in is our Member Services business. It’s the part of the Chamber that produces and delivers events and activities that connect businesses and the people within them to our community and to each other. In 2014, our calendar has no less than 22 large-scale events for all Members plus over 80 internal committee & task group events that see Members in action as volunteers serving our entire membership of close to 600 businesses and organizations. Be Seen. Be Heard. Belong. Working together means we can do a lot for each other! Membership fees and details are on our website and the Chamber staff are always ready and eager to respond to questions or help launch a new membership relationship. Reach us by phone at 519631-1981 or email: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca

Jennifer Grant of Grant Paralegal emailed to say how valuable her Chamber membership has been.

She likes us! It’s always a great attitude booster for Chamber staff and volunteers when a new Member reaches back to share good news. That’s why we were delighted to get a recent email from Jennifer Grant, owner and operator of one of St. Thomas’ newest businesses, Grant Paralegal. Jennifer writes “Grant Paralegal joined the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce in December 2013. Since joining, I have received several phone calls inquiring about the services my paralegal practice provides, and one of those calls has already turned into a new client!  The revenue I’ll receive from this case alone will more than pay for my Chamber of Commerce membership.  I look forward to working with the Chamber in 2014!” Jennifer, we look forward to working with you, too. Notes like yours make our day(s).

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 16


6th Annual Crime Stoppers

Golf Tournament

At the St Thomas Golf & Country Club, located in Union

On Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 11am

Have a fun day of golf and support your local Crime Stoppers at the same time.

The cost is $130 per player. ($140 after April 15th)

includes: • 18 holes of golf (cart included) • Tournament gift bag • Lunch and driving range privileges • Steak Dinner • 2 for 1 golf certificate for a future visit to St. Thomas Golf and Country Club

For additional information please call or email: Heather White 519-631-1224 Ext.153 crimestoppers@golden.net

1-800-222-TIPS (8477) www.stthomascrimestoppers.ca

We Couldn’t do it without the support of the Community The St.Thomas Police Services Board & Members of the St.Thomas Police Service are Proud Community Partners with Crime Stoppers for 25 Years. St. thomaS Police 30 St. Catharine Street St.Thomas, ON N5P 2V8 519-631-1364 www.stps.on.ca

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St. Thomas’ Oldest Family-Owned Insurance Brokerage Serving the Family-Owned Community forInsurance over 80 years St. Thomas’ Oldest Brokerage ------------------------------------------

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Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Join the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Message from Board President Karen Silliker The Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce continues to be a vibrant light in the business community. With over 115 members and growing strong, we are a political voice, a source for tourism promotion and a resource for businesses of all sizes.

Our 2013-2014 board members have been collaborating on new ideas and benefits for our Chamber members. We have been looking at ways to attract new members as well as offer many opportunities to existing members.  In March, we had our first ‘Chat & Chew’ lunch social which was very well received. This success of this event is confirmation to the Chamber that there is a great need for our members to get out of the office and speak face to face with other members. This informal setting allowed for free flowing conversation and the opportunity to meet some like-minded business people. We are continuing our focus on educational seminars for our business members in support of our goal to provide for further member-to-member benefits. Rudy Gheysen of Asymmetric Consulting A Chamber Business After Business Social hosted will be presenting “Hiring the by The Aylmer Express. (File photo).

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Gold Medal Team.” I am confident with his vast experience and common sense approach to business it will be a worthwhile presentation. The Chamber continues to prioritize economic development through promotion and political involvement. With representation on the County of Elgin's Economic Development committee, the Chamber is able to stay informed and engaged with other municipalities.  This elevates the communication between municipal offices, agencies and other chambers. Members of our board continue to spearhead our very own Economic Development Liaison committee to maintain connections locally as well. There are so many great reasons to be a member of the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce.  If you are a business in the area looking to network with other businesses, the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes you to contact us to discuss your membership benefits. 

ELGIN THIS MONTH

IGPC Ethanol Inc.

IGPC Ethanol Inc. 89 Progress Drive, Aylmer, On. 519-765-2575 1-866-211-0435 www.igpc.ca

18


Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce

Chamber membership grows by 300% in 13 years The Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce was formed in 2001 under the direction of key business members who felt the need to work together to grow and develop the business community. Initially, the Chamber began with 38 members and has grown to over 120 within a close-knit community.  The Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce reaches to the Town of Aylmer, Township

of Malahide and the Municipality of Bayham. The economic times can make doing business a challenge however the Chamber is happy to have the opportunity to work with many different members to support them.   The ever-changing business climate that we work within keeps our business members continuously looking for the competitive edge.  Being a member of the Chamber helps to elevate your business over the competition. Our Chamber board meets monthly to discuss upcoming opportunities, ways of engaging our members and putting a high focus on economic development.  The Chamber spearheads our local Economic Development Liaison Committee with members from a wide range of organizations and businesses.  Representatives from Aylmer and Area Chamber of Commerce has attracted active members from the MainStreet Aylmer, downtown core.

Town of Aylmer, Township of Malahide, Municipality of Bayham, County of Elgin, Elgin Business Resource Centre, local businesses and the Chamber. Mission Statement: Our chamber is a forum of agricultural and commercial businesses with a vision of growth and development. We seek to promote networking, community involvement and to influence public policy when necessary. Board of Directors 2013-2014 Past President: Bryan White, Steelway President: Karyn Silliker, Meridian Credit Union Vice President: Heidi Weninger, H. Broer Equipment Sales & Service Inc. Treasurer: Roxanne Husser, Mutual Financial Services Board Members: Rudy Gheysen, Asymmetric Consulting Tony Holcombe, Aylmer Glass & Mirror Angie Scott, Zest Idea Agency Jamie Lynn Chapman, First Impressions Hair Salon Nancy Neukamm, The Flower Fountain Mae Legg, Elgin Business Resource Centre Sheri Andrews, Showcase East Elgin Realty inc. brokerage

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Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce

Hiring your Gold Medal Team Hiring your staff is one of the most important foundational tasks you will take on as a business. Why don’t businesses treat hiring the same way they do any other type of investment? Many businesses spend a great deal of time, money and resources on recruitment and yet so many don’t get it right. ‘Hiring Your Gold Medal Team’ with Rudy Gheysen of Asymmetric Consulting (asymmetriconsulting.com) will provide an overview of how to ensure you are hiring the right people for your organization. Anyone in an organization who has the responsibility for hiring and hiring practices regardless of the size of the organization is encouraged to attend. It will be of value for owners or management regardless of years in business. Rudy will coach attendees on developing a job description, interview styles, assessments and how to identify the person for the position. You will leave with a better understanding of the importance of effective recruitment and learn how some simple rules can ensure you hire and retain amazing people. Join the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, April 30th 7:30am-9:00am at the Elgin Business Resource Centre in Aylmer for ‘Hiring Your Gold Medal Team’ presented by Rudy Gheysen of Asymmetric Consulting. Cost to Members: $10/person and additional attendees from your business $5. Non Members: $15/person

provide your organization with a unique perspective in issues relating to organizational realignment, succession planning and senior executive selection. Asymmetric Consulting’s approach is to provide a very personal service based on Knowledge, Integrity and Value. We pride ourselves on ensuring we get to know the exact expectations of our client to ensure the service we provide delivers superior value and results. As a former police chief and former director of the Ontario Police College, an award-winning, world-class organization, Rudy brings a unique combination of experience, knowledge and skills to the business world. Having developed and lead highly effective programs, that championed a culture of learning, enhanced productivity and developed a superior workforce, he can provide your organization with innovative, and leading edge improvement processes needed to be successful in today’s increasingly demanding environment.

Rudy Gheysen has over 25 years’ experience in senior management and international networking.

About Our Speaker:

As a results-orientated senior executive, Rudy Gheysen has over 25 years’ experience in senior management and international networking, and can

Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Business Social

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ELGIN THIS MONTH


Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber group insurance – designed for small business

Whether you're a solo entrepreneur, home-based 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 - from Life and Disability, Health and Dental, to Business Overhead coverage and even Critical Illness Benefits - all at a price you can afford. Rate stability Let's face it – shopping for employee benefits isn't something you want to have to do every year. With the Chambers Plan's built-in rate stability, you won't have to. That's because with over 25,000 companies participating in the program, if one of your employees files a large claim, it's spread over a large pool – so you're guaranteed more stable rates from year to year. For additional information or to get a personalized proposal, contact Harvey Tribe or Roxanne Husser at 519-773-7154.

The Member Advantage program

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.

Chat & Chew

April 16, 12:15pm-1:15pm

The next Chamber Chat & Chew is Wednesday April 16 at The Central Restaurant, 62 Talbot Street East in Aylmer. The goal of the Chat & Chew networking lunches is to create casual conversation that builds new and fosters existing relationships within the business community. The lunch is open to members of the Chamber: managers, owners or staff as well as prospective members. The Chamber works diligently to create further opportunities and benefits to our members. This is a great way to get out of the office or home workplace to meet others, discuss business ideas or challenges and create lasting connections. 5 reasons you need to attend 1. Promote your business 2. Visibility 3. Meet new people 4. Collaborate on ideas or business questions 5. Have a great lunch

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ELGIN THIS MONTH

21


HOMESTYLE DECORATING

Reflective décor …

How to effectively use mirrors by Renée Carpenter

Special magic is acquired when decorating with well worth it. mirrors as they enhance natural light and create Large, oversized floor mirrors are often underthe illusion of more living space. When strategi- estimated in their value to a room’s décor. These cally placed, mirrors are an excellent decorating full-length free-standing mirrors are great for reaccessory and offer several benefits, as well as an flecting light as well as opening up a wall and exalternative to typical wall art. panding a room, particularly in small rooms. If Mirrors make a statement about your individual placed across from a window and angled slightly style. The mirror’s frame dictates the style based upward, the light is reflected onto the ceiling, on size, finish, color and debouncing additional light into tail. Those with bulky wood the rest of the room. If the mirror frames in dark bronze, gold or is angled away from a window, “the larger the mirror, silver faux finishes can be used in several applications. They the wider the frame” should also complement the colours and finishes around them. The proportion of the frame to the mirror the light will reflect is important: the larger the mirror, the wider the towards one side frame. of the room. Place As for scale, mirrors should be at least two-thirds an oversized mirror the size of what sits beneath them. If the mirror in a long hallway is only half the size of the furniture below, it is to give the percepprobably too small. tion of a doorway For a bull’s eye focus, use round mirrors. When leading to another a given space is too linear, round mirrors provide room. Place a floor the lacking interior with softness. Beveled mirrors mirror against a and cut glass are generally more expensive, but bare wall in a living

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room to open it up. Sit a small console table and lamp in front of it for amazing results. Position a floor mirror next to a fireplace to see how it exhibits the surrounding furniture. For less than obvious uses, mirror the backside of a bookcase. Hang groupings of mirrors in various sizes over the fireplace mantel or along a hallway. Use a framed

mirror as a perfume tray or jewelry for a dresser or bathroom. The infinity created by facing two mirrors directly across from each other makes a room look immensely large. Should you not find the perfect size or finish, custom framing is a common practice. Pick your frame, your cut, and your size. Sweet! Be aware of what a mirror is reflecting. Never hang a mirror high over a fireplace or buffet where all it reflects is the ceiling. If placement is high, hang a picture instead. Hang mirrors opposite beautiful lights, fabulous paintings, sculptures you wish to showcase, or anything else that you enjoy and would love to see twice. Allow a sense of refreshing calm into the room simply by reflecting it. It can be ‘mirror-aculous’! Renée Carpenter owns Jennings Furniture & Design & Stage It With Jennings in St. Thomas.

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Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives

LIFESTYLE OUR HERITAGE

Preserving, promoting and presenting local history by Katherine Thompson

The Town of Aylmer and the surrounding Township of Malahide are home to a rich and interesting heritage. In 1817, John Van Patter, an emigrant from New York State, obtained 200 acres of land and became the first to settle at the site of present-day Aylmer. At the time, the settlement was called Troy but was renamed in 1835 for Lord Aylmer the then Governor-General of British North America. By the mid-1860s Aylmer became the marketing centre for a rich agricultural and timber producing area. Aylmer was incorporated as a village in 1872 and as a town in 1887. Over the next several decades, Aylmer became the home of many food production plants. Aylmer Canners was established in 1881 and is still a well-known name in canned fruit and vegetables even after its relocation. In 1946 the Imperial Tobacco processing plant opened and would stay in the town for over 60 years. The neighbouring Township of Malahide is

named for Malahide Castle in Dublin Ireland, the ancestral home of Colonel Thomas Talbot. Malahide’s numerous dairy farms gave rise to the evaporated milk plant in Aylmer and its fertile soil produced abundant yields of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Township is home to Springfield, a village that sprang up as a result of the Michigan Central Railway, and to Port Bruce a village sustained by the fishing and cottage industries. Located at 14 East St. in Aylmer, the AylmerMalahide Museum and Archives preserves, promotes and presents the history of the Town of Aylmer and the Township of Malahide. Rotating exhibits on topics such as the tobacco industry, the Aylmer Canners Plant, the Aylmer Library, historic buildings and prominent former residents present the rich history of small town and rural life. The current exhibit “Three and a Half Decades of Collecting” features selections from the museum’s collection between 1977 and 2013.

In addition to regular exhibits, the museum offers travelling exhibits, educational lessons, archives and special events including the extremely popular Annual Christmas Tour of Homes in November. Several commemorative souvenirs and posters are also available for purchase at the museum. The museum is now open for the season from Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Please visit the museum’s website for more information on the programs, archival exhibits and events offered by the Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives. Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin

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Dining & Entertainment FOOD & WINE

Wine in farmers markets?

Yes, no and maybe ... muddling our way through by Jamie Quai

In mid December the meet the criteria in the Ontario government province. The next major concern announced that it would be exploring was as fundamental as: the possibility of what qualifies as Ontario allowing the sale wine? If you think this one of wine in farm- is as simple as looking for ers markets. This ‘Product of Canada’ on the would represent label, you would be correct the first significant ... in theory. However if change to the ability you have a lobbying body, of the wine industry and fear of violating World to sell in the domestic Trade Organization agreemarket, since the LCBO ments, it is possible to get stopped issuing licences that allowed wineries to the definition of Ontario open off-winery stores in 1993. The government’s Wine narrowed to only a announcement was widely discussed in the wine sliver of the available martrade, and even received broad coverage in the ket. Canada’s involvement mainstream media. Initial coverage was extremely in NAFTA and CETA optimistic, but it very quickly it became apparent make it illegal for our govthat the announcement was made without due ernment to give unequal thought and even an elementary understanding market access to domestic of the alcohol and food distribution network in products. To get around this, the govthis province. ernment (evenFirst concern that tually) tied the arose was as simple ...what announcement as: what qualifies as qualifies as into an appela farmers market? It lation and lobwasn’t initially clear. Ontario wine?... bying system There are laws and – the VQA. regulations that deEarly announcefine farmers markets but at the time of the announcement, it wasn’t ments used the term ‘Onclearly articulated which venues, that are called tario wine’ it changed to farmers markets in name, meet the provincial ‘Ontario VQA wine’ after definition and would be allowed to have wineries someone surely pointed out sell their goods. For the sale of wine, it has been that the former term could deemed that it must be a seasonable market, open land the province in WTO to all sellers, and is not privately owned. This hot water. This revision was means that popular all-year markets in the region a huge blow to a significant are out, and the terrific roadside farmers markets sector of the wine industry. Fruit wines, which that are often owned by the farmers themselves had been lobbying for farmers market access for are out. For those of you who like numbers – it almost 10 years were shut out. Non-VQA Onturns out there are only 149 farmers markets that tario wines (the category which most of my products fall into) were shut out. The VQA, which is (supposedly) considered JEFF YUREK, MPP the guarantee of Ontario wine in the bottle, ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON represents less than 25% of the domestic wine Here to Help You with: Ontario Works production in Ontario. Ontario Disability Support Program That number drops to Driver’s Licences less than 10% if you put OHIP Cards it up against imported Any other Provincial matter wines sold in Ontario. The last major concern Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-4:30pm is one that is still ongoing at the time of this 750 Talbot St., (CASO Station Suite 201) articles publication – the St. Thomas, ON N5P 1E2 519-631-0666 rules for selling wine at email: jeff.yurekco@pc.ola.org farmers markets. The www.jeffyurekmpp.com authority to sell wine is April, 2014

ELGIN THIS MONTH

issued by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the AGCO. The AGCO has decreed that the sale of wine in farmers markets will be run as an extension of a winery’s retail licence, that no off-site warehousing is allowed, and that sampling is limited to traditional sample hours. Being tied to the winery retail licence means that wineries can’t join forces and sell their wares together. No warehousing means that product has to be picked up and returned to the winery every day. A farmers market that isn’t near any major wine region will likely not see too many winery stalls. The province has said they will test this format for two years. Hopefully, with revision and experience the first major market access initiative in over twenty years will expand to allow all Ontario wine producers, and maybe even beer or cider producer to join the fray. Jamie Quai is head winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County 24


Healthy Living SELF DISCOVERY

What’s that smell? by Anouschka Van den Bosch

We have all been there at one point in our lives. It could be the sunniest day in spring, people are happy, birds are singing, and you would rather be on your couch covered by blankets. When you checked your email this morning, you found another rejection letter explaining that a more suitable candidate has been selected; or you are a new business owner, and for t h e last few months you’re not even close to

reaching your sales projections. You are done, you have exhausted all your resources and you are ready to give up. It can be one of the worst feelings human beings have to endure at some point in their professional or personal lives. It’s that feeling of having lost all your self-worth and the capability of believing in yourself. Self-worth is described in Webster’s New World Dictionary as “one's worth as a person, as perceived by oneself.” And there’s the kicker; it is how you perceive yourself. So the person who sends you the rejection letter is not the one that brought on this lack of self-worth nor did those customers that haven’t been stomping through your store lately. It is YOU! Isn’t that awesome? We have figured it out; we are doing it to ourselves. We listen to our own stinky talk that says “you are such a loser,” “you have no skills, why would they hire you?” “your product is no good; no one is going to buy that.” Where does the awesome part come in? you ask. Well, I believe that your stinking thinking can be changed into more positive thought processes and you can gain back your self-worth. The key is to believe in your positive thoughts. If you don’t believe you are offering a great product, or your skills are good enough, you will continue to stink up the place with your stinking thinking.

Since I had to deal with my own self-worth when I was looking for work, or starting my coaching business, I would like to share some ideas that worked for me. Not getting coaching clients was something I always took personally. It was easy to put the thought “I suck at coaching” in my head, and when I could not find a job in human resources it went straight to “You don’t have enough experience, why would they hire you?” Both examples would cripple me and send me to the couch not wanting to leave the house. What got me thinking positively was putting sticky notes wherever I would see them, with words that were positive and made sense to me. If you have heard of affirmations, then in a sense that is what they were. I would also call up friends that knew me well and help me in re-phrasing some of my negative thoughts into more positive words. The hard part was, and always will be, believing those positive words. But if we were to look deep inside we would know that the positive words are true, and we just need to keep repeating them until they stick. I also took time away from the job search or my coaching business. Time in nature or coffee with friends did wonders for me. And I learned to accept a rejection letter as a sign that it wasn’t the right job for me; something better would come up, and it always did. My positive thought process not only helped me in gaining back my self-worth and a better self image; I also noticed a more pleasant aroma around me, and I could actually enjoy the sunny spring day. Anouschka Van den Bosch is a Human Resources Professional and Certified Life and Career Coach.

Joe Preston, M.P. ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON

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April, 2014

ELGIN THIS MONTH

25


HEALTHY LIVING EVERYDAY HEALTH

Foam rollers

A form of self massage targeting fascia tissue by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.

The use of foam rollers for self treatment is gaining wide popularity. They now come in many sizes and shapes, but basically they are round rolls of high density foam approximately six inches in diameter in varying lengths. These rolls are used to provide a form of self massage to help in increasing flexibility, recovery from exercise and to aid in the recovery from injury. The science behind the use of the foam roller is based in a form of soft tissue therapy called myofascial release. This technique relaxes shortened tight muscles as well as improving blood and lymphatic circulation. The technique targets a tissue called the fascia. Fascia is a component of connective tissue that provides support and protection for many structures in the human body including muscle tissue. The term myofascial release is credited to Dr. Andrew Taylor Still who is considered the founder of Osteopathy. Osteopathic theory teaches that the soft tissues of the body can become restricted due to disease, overuse, trauma, infection or in-

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750 Talbot St., Suite 202, St. Thomas N5P 1E2 Phone: 519-637-3034 or email: info@serenityhousehospice.ca www.serenityhousehospice.ca April, 2014

of therapy, meaning that the patient actively performs the therapy on themselves. Virtually all of the main muscles of the lower limb, upper limb and the torso can be worked using the various techniques that can be used with the foam roller. Most of the techniques involve positioning the body on top of the foam roller and utilizing the patient’s own body weight to provide the appropriate amount of pressure on the tissues being treated. Through “the use of the foam various movement patterns utilizing roller is an active form the legs and arms, the patient can manipulate the tissues being targeted of therapy” with a combination of pressure and movement. As the patient rolls over the roller they will find areas of tenderThe traditional treat- ness where they can maintain pressure until the ment of muscle and muscle tissue begins to release the tension. It is soft tissue usually con- widely recognized that utilization of a foam roller sists of a manual thera- in this way can have similar beneficial effects as py practitioner such as with deep tissue massage. As the use of foam rollers has become more popa chiropractor, massage therapist or physiother- ular, various foam rollers have been developed. apist manipulating the They can be found in a variety of densities from tissues. Various forms more soft to greater density and firmness. People of treatment include who are new to the use of a foam roller or those trigger point therapy, that have especially sore or sensitive areas should Rolfing, Shiatsu or generally start with a softer roll. Some rollers have Swedish massage, Ac- been developed with extra bumps and ridges on tive Release Technique, them for more aggressive treatment. Caution strain counter strain, should be used when utilizing these harder and assisted stretching and more aggressive rollers. As is the case with any Graston. This is not form of therapy, it is possible to be too aggressive an exhaustive list but and end up doing more harm than good. If this is a form of self treatment that you think represents many of the more popular tech- might be beneficial for you, it is advisable that you niques. In this model consult with a practitioner that is familiar with of myofascial release this tool. A chiropractor, physiotherapist or mastreatment, the patient sage therapist would be an excellent place to start. is being treated by the therapist, and it is Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor therefore referred to as and partner in Family Health passive treatment. Options Treatment & Resources The use of the foam Centre in St.Thomas roller is an active form

activity resulting in pain, muscle tension and diminished blood flow. The first medical practitioner to use the term myofascial treatment was Dr. Janet Travell. She is credited with first coining the term “myofascial trigger point” which refers to the knots that seem to develop in damaged muscle tissue.

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26


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY Employment

Snapshot of employers provides valuable insights

by Justin Dias

If you are a part-time, permanent worker in Elgin-St. Thomas, you are not alone. According to the recent Employer One survey, permanent local workers are more likely to be part-time than in the rest of the region. Although Elgin-St. Thomas employers indicated a large part-time workforce, less than 10% of all reported employees were in temporary positions, an even more precarious employment status. Employer responses also showed some other interesting findings. Production and Service Workers experienced fewer separations in Elgin-St. Thomas compared to the region. Administrative/Clerical and Managers/Executives categories experienced more separations. Local employers indicated that production workers were much more stable in Elgin-St. Thomas than the rest of the region, and there is hope that this kind of information will help reverse some of the negative perceptions that exist following major plant closures of the past couple of years. Sean Dyke, Economic Development Manger with the St. Thomas Economic

Development Corporation, echoed the positive findings from the survey. “The St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation was pleased to see that the results of the Employer One Survey showed that nearly 2/3 of companies plan to hire in the next year,” Dyke said. “This is also a trend that we have seen in our own surveys of industry in St. Thomas over the past several years.” New hires by job category were generally the same as the rest of the region; however, workers in the Other category made up 18.3% of all new local hires. Further investigation into this job category may help indicate what types of positions employers in Elgin-St. Thomas are hiring for and help job seekers expand their search. Job seekers can also gain insight from employers on how they are recruiting. Employers used informal networks/word of mouth as their primary method for finding new employees. The hidden job market is alive and well in Elgin. Online job boards represented the second most common form of recruitment followed by individual company websites in third. Going online to look for work is still a good option but job seekers should not ignore the impact of a personal referral. Similar to the rest of the region, employers chose to do most of their own recruiting with only 7.5% using a paid recruitment service. Hopefully job seekers can apply this information from employers to their own search and improve their odds of success. Even with many people looking for work,

there continue to be a number of hard-to-fill positions with occupations in healthcare and tourism being cited by employers. Once hired, employees benefit with most employers supporting training. About half of these employers were able to provide some funding, and the rest providing flexibility or information to allow employees to pursue training options. Cost was the most common barrier to training. Lost productivity also proved to be a barrier, but this was actually a less common response than “relevant training not being offered locally” and “awareness of training programs by employers.” The Employer One survey was conducted during the month of January. Every year, the survey asks local area employers for information regarding their current workforce, hiring plans, recruitment methods and separations as well as skills, training and education needs. This year, 155 employers in the Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford region completed the survey with 109 other employers participating. Employers are encouraged to watch out for the survey next January for your chance to participate. More detailed survey results are available at the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board website (workforcedevelopment.ca) or by visiting the newly launched worktrends.ca website. Justin Dias is Community Coordinator with Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 27


Healthy Living Everyday Health

The new rules of tanning for young people It’s that time of year when everyone is wishing for a little sunshine. It’s been a long, cold winter. A lucky few actually travelled south. Most of us settled for dreaming of spring. Other people, especially youth, may have sought a tanning bed, hoping to add a little colour to their skin. But going to your local tanning salon is different than it was a year ago. The Skin Cancer Prevention Act Bill 30 was passed at Queen’s Park and became law in October, 2013. It will be enforced once the Lieutenant Governor proclaims it. What does this mean for the average person? The biggest change is that youth under 18 are now restricted from using tanning beds. Parental notes will not get them admitted as they may have in the past. Anyone who enters a tanning salon, and appears to be under age 25, must produce photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport to prove that he or she is over 18 years of age. Secondary school student cards are not accepted as most students graduate before they turn 18. In 2009, the International Agency for Research on cancer (IARC) moved artificial tanning equipment up to the highest cancer risk category — group 1 — ‘carcinogenic to humans.’ Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) joins tobacco, asbestos, arsenic and plutonium among other substances known to cause cancer in humans. Further research indicated that the younger a person is when they use artificial tanning equipment the higher the risk for melanoma, the deadliest of the skin cancers. Studies show that Jim Innes, BA, MDiv. using artificial tanning equipment before the age of 35 raises the risk of melanoma 20 years experience by 75%! 519-280-7795 Melanoma can spread fast, and if not caught early it is very resistant to traditional St. Thomas, Ont cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Artificial tanning is fairly affordwww.JimInnes.com able to the average young person, and once a youth starts tanning, she or he tend to go back and may be totally unaware of the heath risk. Parents may not be aware that their children are going to tanning salons as they are often located within walking distance of secondary schools, near bus routes or shopping centres that teens frequent. The new law also ensures that tanning salons do not make health claims when marketing their services. Artificial tanning equipment is not a source of Vitamin D. While natural sunlight does produce vitamin D3 that the body needs, the bulbs used in tanning beds do not provide the same spectrum of light. It is also not an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Different light therapy that is absorbed through ALL ABOARD the retina of the eye is used in the treatment of SAD. Anyone for the Elgin Hearing and Wellness Show using a tanning bed should be wearing protective eye goggles. Tanning beds cannot provide what is often referred to as a base tan and considered desirable before going on a vacation Canada Southern Railway Station down south. The minimum sun protection factor (SPF) that 750 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, ON provides protection is SPF15. No tanning bed can provide April 24th 2013 – 10am until 4pm this. It is best to buy your sunscreen here at home before heading out to your vacation destination and applying it generA wonderful opportunity to get together with local ously and often. vendors and service providers that focus on seniors in If you really feel the need to add some colour to your skin, our community! Come and meet Jeff Yurek MPP, VON, consider finding your tan in a bottle in the cosmetic departAlzheimer’s Society, Pharmacies and many more... ment. These products have gotten better and better over the years due to consumer demand. Read the instructions before FREE Complimentary using for best results. These cosmetic solutions are essentially Door prizes Refreshments Admission sugar dyes that will wear off over a period of time and even faster if you shower or bathe frequently. The spray tan offered at some tanning salons is also safe for your skin; however, there Train Ticket: To The Seminars is some concern from Health Canada about the aerosol delivery. This can be a health concern particularly for people with 1. Changes to the Seniors respiratory disorders. Driving Test Program - Jeff Yurek, MPP Remember that if you add artificial colour to your skin, 2. Not your Grandfather’s Hearing Aids you still need to add sunscreen to protect yourself from ul3. Rechargeable Hearing Aids traviolet (UV) rays. Protect your skin from UV rays from “Going Green!” all sources throughout your lifetime. For more information, check out the heart warming, funny and informative, Dear 4. Lyric - New Invisible Hearing Aids 16-year old Me YouTube video at dcmf.ca which was produced 5. Hearing in Noise by melanoma survivors and people who lost someone they love to melanoma. Loving the skin you were born with is the simplest option. free hearing aid cleaning station

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 28


LIFESTYLE THAT’S LIFE

Hey kids! Your mom’s still got what it takes by Elizabeth VanHooren

Apparently, I am not as young as I “anti-aging” and “wrinkle smoother.” And that is something I am willing to think I am. At least that’s how I felt this past pay for, especially when there is a real winter when I took my sons to the possibility that it might work. I know I’m getting older because I pond in Belmont to teach them how can’t remember my kids’ names. I call to skate. As I strapped on my skates, I fondly them by a sibling’s name, or when I remembered all the afternoons that am trying to get them out the door I had spent as a child spinning and in a hurry, I slur their two names twirling on a patch of field ice. In my together so they are not sure who I mind’s eye, I was Elizabeth Manley am directing my frustration at. This skating for an adoring crowd. But, sends them into fits of giggles beas I gingerly stepped out on the ice cause, “Mom is crazy.” But perhaps the most frustrating in Belmont, I remembered that those thing about get“good times” were ting older is actually over twenty that I don’t feel years ago. Turns out “turns out skating is any different skating is not like riding a bike. not like riding a bike” than when I was younger. I So instead don’t have all of watchthe answers. ing Mom I still have glide through urges to play some figure hooky and I eights, my like to colour sons watched with my sons. in horror as I get frustrattheir mom ed when they flapped her don’t want arms up and to build the down in some Lego tower weird chicken the way that dance trying I know will to maintain make it taller her balance. and better. And that’s This spring, when an eightI celebrated a year-old hockbirthday that ey wonder rhymes with skated up and “fruity-wine.” proclaimed, And before I “Man, you enter my next need to pracdecade, I plan tice,” before to find the he skated away time to perbackwards fect my skatwith a grin on ing routine his face. again. I will I didn’t need ride my bike a reminder up and down that I am getthe driveway ting older. I know I’m getting older because this summer, and jump off the dock I am no longer willing to fork over at the cottage to prove to my sons $110 for designer jeans. And what that I can make the biggest splash. I may be getting older but I don’t my niece may consider the latest fad is for me fashion coming back in plan on growing up. again (i.e. leggings, plastic bracelets and oversized tops). Elizabeth VanHooren is My skin care regime is no longer General Manager dictated by what smells nice. The of Kettle Creek product I now choose must have Conservation Authority some type of youthful promise like April, 2014

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LIFESTYLE TIME ON MY HANDS

Lying to my mother for her own good Can the end ever justify the means? by Duncan Watterworth

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It is okay to lie to some people. This ethical den of ethical systems out there – in our society, opinion was proffered recently at an Alzheimer’s around the world, and stretching back into history. Academic philosophers divide them into two Society seminar at my mother’s nursing home. As long as I have my mother’s interests at heart, broad groups. The “deontological” systems focus on the inherent goodness or I was told, I can tell her badness of specific acts. An falsehoods, or agree with a example is Christianity’s Ten delusion. And then I should ...my morality Commandments. Thou shalt “use distraction” to change was a mish-mash not kill. Thou shalt not bear the subject. false witness (tell lies). The act The speaker didn’t quite of concepts and is immoral, regardless of the say “lie;” she used a euvalues... result achieved by doing it. phemism. And she offered Not much wiggle room there. much other sincere and The second group is the helpful advice that I ap“teleological” systems. These preciated, and from which hold that good or bad exists as the result of an I benefited. So, to tell you the truth, I’ve started lying to action, rather than in the action itself. In other my mother. Small lies. It makes life easier for her words: “the end justifies the means.” A common (and, to tell the truth again, easier for me). But it example is Utilitarianism, which seeks “the greatest good for the greatest number.” still feels wrong. I feel guilty. So which is the right ethical priority, the act How do we decide right from wrong, anyway? In university, I took a philosophy course on Eth- or the result? The conflict between these two approaches ics. “Who here knows provides neverright from wrong?” the ending ethical prof asked. Most of us and dramatic raised our hands. Then fodder. I recenthe asked for a written ly watched the answer – not just some movie Lone Surrules, but the underlyvivor, in which ing justification, the four brawny ultimate source. I was Navy SEALs are surprised to find mydropped into self struggling for an Afghanistan on answer. In the end, I a mission to aid found none that satisthe war effort. fied. And that shook An ethical deme. It was a peek bebate breaks out hind a curtain that I when the SEALs never even knew was find they must there. Life was a much either kill three deeper mystery than I innocent shephad known. In hindsight, I see that my morality was a mish- herds who discover their presence, or else abort mash of concepts and values unconsciously but their mission. They make the deontological dedeeply absorbed from family, school, Sunday cision that killing civilians is absolutely wrong, school, and generally and they radio for immediate evacuation. Their around town. Don’t lie; decision leads to three of the four SEALs being don’t cheat; be honest; be killed, and their important mission failing. Good nice. And I wanted to be drama; but good decision? Unlike the soldiers, I went teleological with moral. I wanted to do the my decision concerning my mother. I break the right thing. Still do. But as for a clear, consis- Commandment against lying to achieve the retent source or framework, sult of keeping her calm. I wonder if God would support my choice, or I was like the bumpkin who walks into the art if His deontological commandment is carved gallery and announces, “I in stone. don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.” And after a lifetime Duncan Watterworth is a of spotty introspection, retired lawyer whose mind I really haven’t changed tends to wander. much. There is a colourful gar-

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 32

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