Page 1

Volume 4, No. 12 August 2014

• Jim Innes Marriage, 2014 style Page 4 • Renee Carpenter Arrange like a pro Page 28 • Duncan Watterworth Roadkill Page 30 Also Inside: Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Pages 18 and 19 Running A Small Business Pages 20-26

Phil Di Losa Chef Bondi at 50 Cover story: Page 3

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Good pizza – Chef Bondi celebrates the transition from mostly roast beef 50 years ago

by Terry Carroll

The Chef Bondi logo is a circle crowned with the words “GOOOOOOD PIZZA.” And while the restaurant now has a wide variety of offerings on its menu, owner Phil Di Losa says the quality of his pizzas, above all else, has allowed the restaurant to thrive for 50 years. Phil has been involved for 48 of those years. He emigrated from Sicily to Canada with his family after WWII. His father came in 1951 and worked at Labbatt in London in maintenance, and the family followed in 1952. They chose this area because they knew the Lombardo family, the most famous of whom was Guy Lombardo. Unfortunately, Phil’s dad died in 1959 at the age of 56. Phil finished high school and trained in New York as a linotype operator, getting his first job at The Globe & Mail in Toronto. But a strike at The Globe – and the fact that he wasn’t crazy about Toronto – lured Phil back to this area where he went to work at the St. Thomas Times-Journal as a linotype operator. Phil recognized that cold type was rapidly replacing hot lead in the newspaper business. He was encouraged by a family friend, Gus Bondi, to become a partner in the relatively new Bondi pizza restaurant in St. Thomas in 1966. The rest is business history, with the two men forming a limited company and staying business partners and friends in the restaurant and other business interests. There were nine Bondi pizza locations in the London area at that time, and when other Bondi locations were sold, Phil and Gus Bondi made the name change to Chef Bondi. It wasn’t easy in the early days. “St. Thomas was a roast beef town,” Phil says with a smile. “People didn’t know what pizza was. I used to stand in the window tossing the dough in the air so people would know what we were all about.” While there is tremendous competition in the pizza and restaurant industry, Phil proudly says, “Over the years, 25 pizza places have failed in

this town, and we’re still here.” He attributes this largely to the standards set in the early days, the ones Phil and his staff follow to this day. He works with three main restaurant suppliers – Galati, Rico Foods and Cysco, with some purchases from Summit Foods – always buying in bulk so he can be competitive in price, while maintaining quality standards. “We cook all our items from scratch and we cook all our own sauces.”

Chef Bondi purchases sun-ripened tomato products from California, for their sweetness. “Because of the short growing season in Canada, there’s a lot of acid in Canadian tomatoes,” he says. He and one of his long-time staff make the pizza sauce according to his mother’s recipe every Tuesday, and Phil enjoys demonstrating how thick it is. (They also make lasagna the same day, 24 lasagnas for the week. “When they’re gone, that’s it. I tell people they’ll have to wait until next Wednesday,” Phil says.) The cheese for pizzas, he buys only from Galati in Windsor, for true Italian mozzarella flavour. The restaurant uses

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

fresh dough, made every day, and he cooks in gas-fired ovens. At Chef Bondi, a customer has two choices: cheese on the bottom, or cheese on the top. Cheese on the bottom is the regular North American way. Cheese on the top is a Chicago-style stuffed pizza, sealing in the flavours. Over the years, Chef Bondi has expanded its varieties of pizzas, to include, for example, the Supreme and the Super, both with lots of meat as well as vegetarian items. And the menu goes well beyond pizza to include spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, manicotti, panzerotti, wings, nuggets, submarines and salads. But Phil points out that “I can make you a pizza just like they do in Italy, with crust, tomato sauce, cheese, fresh basil, maybe some tomatoes and olive oil … That’s a margarita like they make in Naples.” Phil honours his Italian roots, with trips back to island where he was born, and in 2008, he took his entire family for a visit. A very Canadian love – hockey – is evident in the restaurant along with many photos of his original native land. He has autographed photos from hockey greats like Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr as well as pictures of his children and grandchildren in their hockey uniforms, and photos of teams Chef Bondi has sponsored. All his children were involved in soccer, baseball and hockey. “They never got in any trouble, and now their sons and daughters are the same.” Two of his children are chemical engineers, one is a speech therapist and one heads up a VISA division for CIBC – not a pizza maker among them, so Chef Bondi is now for sale. While that process continues, Phil (his real name is Felix, but he’s always been Phil) continues on at the age of 72. And what is Phil Di Losa’s favourite pizza? “Every Saturday after church, I make a small, thin crust with Spanish onions and hot peppers. I love it. It’s very tasty, the cheese is tasty, I can taste the sauce.” Cover photo by Philip Bell, Shutter Studios.

Graphic Design / Production Metroland Media Group Sales Representative Greg Minnema

Elgin This Month is a monthly magazine focusing on business and lifestyle issues and includes Business Beat, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The publication is available for pickup at no charge at news stands and other locations around Elgin County, as well as distribution to businesses and selected households.

Published monthly by Metroland Media Group Ltd., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm August, 2014




“I love you … but now what?” by Jim Innes

Nearly half of today’s marriages end in dissolution of their vows. However, in the background of an unyielding divorce rate, today’s singles are rewriting what it takes to be in a healthy relationship. In Canada, in 2013, 70,000 couples decided to end their marriages. And the average time to decide on this course of action was a whopping 14 ½ years. These staggering statistics confuse many couples struggling to either make commitments or stay in marriages where there’s difficulty. Despite all the studies and all the programming designed to limit marital breakdown, the statistics are about the same as they were 30 years ago. Many are predicting that the institution of marriage (as we know it) will be a thing of the past. One popular article (Time, 2010) said “marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be.” As a pastor and a counselor, I am forced to continually rethink what it means to perform wed-

August, 2014

dings, offer marriage preparation programs, and provide meaningful and helpful couple counseling. What I am discovering is that our society, having being left with the problem unresolved, is evolving through the problems of marriage on its own. And it is doing so by creating alternative relational containers. Ongoing research is determining, as referenced in the Time article, that marriage is undeniably

...singles are creating highly intimate, safe, and fulfilling monogamous relationships...

losing its significance. Yet interestingly, research is also revealing that singles are nonetheless creating highly intimate, safe, and fulfilling monogamous relationships. They can appear traditional but the underlying assumptions have shifted from pragmatism to self-fulfillment. The roles are far less defined and much more fluid. And are not necessarily sanctioned by any religious community. And it is my experience, that even those young couples who choose to get married in a traditional way, and who think of themselves as a traditional couple, tend toward building a relationship that doesn’t look (on the inside) like a traditional marital relationship. For example, many couples are choosing not to


have children and to focus on career; and they are less concerned about obligatory dependencies (like shared financial support) and more concerned about creating an environment in which both feel fulfilled. These shifts in relational expectations have significantly changed the modern dating scene. In times past, one looked for a marital partner primarily for financial security and family upbringing. The search was somewhat pragmatic (at least more than it is now). Today, according to a biological anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher, at least 90% of singles look for a partner who knows how to respect them, who knows how to trust them, and knows how to humor them. And less than ever before in history, these singles “are not worried about such things as ethnic background, kin connections, and the ‘right’ religious beliefs.” And though traditional practicalities are still often important, psychological and spiritual health have become the priority. Dr. Fisher states, “Couples are turning inward … forming relationships to fulfill themselves.” Divorce doesn’t seem to be going away. Yet, studies indicate that both men and women strongly desire an intimate, loving, and monogamous relationship fortified against outside threats to its longevity. So as a response, singles are rewriting what it takes to make it happen. I am not saying that we throw out marriage as a sacred institution. That aside, as I see it, we might consider spending less time fixing that which doesn’t seem to want to be fixed, and spend more time acknowledging, processing, and affirming how today’s singles are resolving, through natural acclimatization, the creation of a safe intimate container. Jim Innes is a clinically trained therapist and a priest at St. John’s Anglican Church


Business & Community FINANCIAL PLANNING

Journey through life’s stages

From sweet beginnings to saying goodbye to a client by Stephanie Farrow

In our business, we have the unique privilege of taking part in the planning for the major events in one’s life, and although financial planning is only one aspect of life planning, it is often necessary to fulfill ones goals and dreams. Cold hard cash is one thing – often seen as a necessary evil. But on the warmer side, financial plans built around dreams and goals have very strong emotions attached to them. We are fortunate to have a window into what’s near and dear to our clients and help them plan to live their dreams. Sitting with a young couple embarking on saving for a wedding and down payment for a home has all the excitement of a fresh new beginning, and the anticipation of what’s to come. The purchase of a first home is exciting, and we begin budgeting for homeownership needs over the years. Watching careers or businesses take shape is satisfying as we match savings plans and tax strategies to build RSPs, grow their businesses and net worth, and reduce income tax liabilities wherever we can. When the first child, is on the scene a whole new world opens up for families who need to consider the effect of maternity leave on the family income. We implement new budgeting and life balance choices so they can live the family

life they have chosen. Financial security considerations c o m e into play “we’ve just got back as well as from a beautiful week benefits. Fa m i in St. Lucia” lies have dreams for their homes, their children, and their vacations that all need a strategy to get there. Before you know it, we are planning to save for post-secondary education and helping their children to realize their education goals. It seems no sooner have we spent years planning saving for this moment than we are now drawing on it to pay tuition. But we’re sure glad we did. This is often a first true realization of how time flies. Next up is retirement with all of its excitement and challenges. It can be so rewarding to see our clients living out their retirement dreams. I smile to hear, “We’ve just got back from a beautiful week in St. Lucia,” or “We’ve finally booked that dream vacation to Italy.” It is so amazing to be part of. They have worked hard, created plans and now they are reaping the benefits. In this same time frame, they may also have a parent who is starting to require more care. These families need the security of knowing parents will not outlive their means and will be well taken care of. We proactively plan so that in the event there are any

funds left over when they pass away, the inheritance and estate value transfer to family members in the most efficient way possible. At this time, our clients begin to take a closer look at their own estate plan and how to transfer wealth effectively to their own kids upon their passing. They have worked so hard to build what they have over the years and want their kids to have as much of it as possible, all the while making sure they have the financial security needed for the remainder of their years. You know the call will come one day. That call where you learn your client has passed away. It is time to execute the last part of the plan and transfer wealth to the next generation. And the process starts all over again with another era. Saying goodbye to a client is simply one of the most difficult things to do, and it doesn’t really matter at which stage of life you met. We are sad to say farewell, and yet so privileged to have been a part of their journey. Stephanie Farrow, B.A., C.F.P., is a Certified Financial Planner and co-owner of Farrow Financial Services Inc., in Belmont

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Back to school – selecting courses ... ahhhh! by Laura Pavilonis and Nancy Annett

As the ‘back to school’ season approaches, it often becomes a time for a fresh look at your career goals. There’s something about September that makes people feel like they want to make a fresh start ... perhaps a time to create a new, or renew, a career goal. You can feel so ready for a change and prepared to tackle the task of choosing new courses whether it be to upgrade or enhance your grades. Then it hits you. Where did the time go? Why can’t I figure this out? How can this process be so overwhelming, complicated and confusing? We’ve met with people who started out ready and as time moved on became so anxious about their situation they simply want to give up or make any decision just to get it out of the way. Time pressures only make it worse, with some having only weeks or sometimes even days to make a choice. Add to that, the pressure of knowing that your decisions can impact time, effort and financial costs ... you just don’t want to get it wrong. If you are going to put the time and effort into taking courses, you want to make them count.

“time pressures only make it worse”

Don’t rush into things. If you haven’t taken the time to connect what you want out of life and the right courses, you’ve got some work to do. Talk to people who have taken the course or are working in the career you are interested in pursuing. Ask friends and family

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who they might know and then make the connection so you can ask them questions that will help you with your choice. Ask them what courses they took in order to get to where they are, or which schools they would recommend and why. Informational interviews are a great way to get your questions answered and feel confident about your next steps. For those who have a good sense of their career path, school boards have career software available on their websites to assist students and parents with their course selections. August may be a good time to check out this software, ensure your information is up to date and accurate and learn to use the software as effectively as possible. It can also be a good time to look at post-secondary sites to see what the requirements are for enrolment. Contact the program admissions department to ensure clarity on what is being considered for admissions to specific programs. Consider taking some courses on-line by checking out offerings through the TVDSB, LDCSB or Contact North, which provide easy and quick access to information on the more than 18,000 courses available online and at a distance in Ontario. You may even want to consider taking courses at more than one school as they offer different specialized courses that may meet your needs better. Some high schools also offer excellent hybrid programs that allow students to earn college credits while they are in high school. Making any career decision is hard at any stage in your career. The last thing you want to do is rush it. Get answers to your questions and remember, there is always more than one route to your destination. Nancy Annett, MBA, CHRP owns Ignite Career Life Solutions, and Laura Pavilonis, MBA, CHRP owns Reach Beyond Limits. Together, they form Rock Your Career Club.

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LIFESTYLE Our Heritage

Historic Sparta by Katherine Thompson

Step into the past and absorb the atmosphere of Sparta, a village where time has stood still. Nestled in the heart of Central Elgin, this quaint historic village is one of Canada’s oldest Quaker settlements. The village offers visitors an unspoiled glimpse of early Ontario architecture boasting many buildings dating back to the 1840s. The village was established in 1813 by Jonathan Doan, a Quaker who was seeking a safe settlement for himself and his family. He had originally fled the United States during the American Revolution and settled in the Niagara Region. When the Americans began to attack Niagara during the

...the village was established in 1813 by Jonathan Doan, a Quaker...

War of 1812, Doan feared losing his property. He found Sparta to his liking and purchased 100 acres of land encouraging more Quakers to settle in the area and opening a grist mill, a saw mill and a tannery in the community. Sparta grew and by the 1870s was a village of close to 1,500. Today, Sparta includes the studios of several artists, a traditional tearoom, hand-made artisan candles, boutique shopping, a nearby lavender farm, a local vineyard and several locations of historical importance. Ye Old Forge and Anvil Museum was built in 1827 and now houses the Sparta and District Historical Society’s museum of local artifacts. This Cob building, constructed with clay and straw,

was originally a blacksmith’s shop. Learn about pioneer skills as you watch weavers, spinners and others demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Sparta’s newest museum, the Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre, presents a series of changing exhibits from April to October. It also features special events throughout the year and is available for weddings and special celebrations. The Quaker Meeting House was the third meeting house built in 1865 in the village of Sparta. The first two were built at the Quaker Cemetery, but this colonial style meeting house was built on the current site as many Quakers began settling north of the village. Enjoy a walk through the peaceful grounds of this historic location, still in operation today on land originally donated by Jonathan Doan himself. For more information about historic Sparta and other historical attractions in Elgin County visit elgintourist.com/heritage. Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin


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Beach water quality and safety are everyone’s responsibility by Jim Reffle

Elgin St Thomas Public Health monitors beach water bacteriological quality at public beaches in Elgin County. Part of our role is to help identify factors that have an impact on beach water quality. Signs are posted if indicator bacterial levels of E. coli are higher than recommended levels. The recreational water quality guideline of 100 E. coli per 100ml of water is set by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care under the province’s Beach Management Protocol. Results above this guideline indicates there is fecal contamination from either animal, human or both. Therefore, there may be other harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites present. We rely on bacterial indicators as it is impossible to test for every pathogenic bacteria, virus or parasite. Ingestion of waters can result in gastrointestinal illness symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever. Although the beach is not closed, people are advised to swim at their own risk under these circumstances. The health unit also works with the Ministry of the Environment and other agencies in watching out for blue-green algae on parts of Lake Erie. People who come in contact with or ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days. Symptoms in children are often more pro-

...symptoms usually appear within one to three hours...

nounced because they spend more time in the water and are more likely to accidentally ingest contaminated water.

How you can help: • Leave your dog at home. Don’t feed birds or other wildlife. Put trash in containers provided or take it with you.

Stay safe and healthy at the beach: • Obey lifeguards. • Parents need to supervise children. • Wear a Personal Floatation Device. • Cloudy water is dangerous and may contain high levels of bacteria. JEFF YUREK, MPP • If it has rained heavELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON ily in the last 48 hours, avoid going into the Here to Help You with: water due to surface Ontario Works water runoff into the Ontario Disability Support Program water. Driver’s Licences OHIP Cards • Beware of strong waAny other Provincial matter ter currents and under water drop offs. Office Hours: • Avoid bacteria; don’t Monday-Friday 10am-4:30pm dig too deep in the 750 Talbot St., (CASO Station Suite 201) sand. St. Thomas, ON N5P 1E2 • Don’t swallow lake 519-631-0666 water. email: jeff.yurekco@pc.ola.org www.jeffyurekmpp.com • Swim with a buddy. • Practice sun safety by August, 2014


wearing a hat, cover-up, apply sun screen and use an umbrella for shade. • Use waterless hand sanitizer. • Don’t smoke on the beach. • Avoid swimming in water when there is extensive algae present. Report observations of bluegreen algae to the health unit. For more information go to elginhealth.on.ca/ beaches or phone the Beach Hotline at 519-6319900 extension 1406. Jim Reffle is the Manager of Health Protection at Elgin St Thomas Public Health. Recreational Water Quality Safety is one of many Environmental Health programs that he manages. He is a certified Public Health Inspector and has worked in public health since 1980. 8

• August 2014 •

Mark Girdauskas, Photos by MG, (left) accepts an iPad from St. Thomas Public Library board member Terry Metcalf, the first door prize at the Chamber’s July Business After 5 hosted by the library

“In celebration of Reith & Associates Century of Service 1914 – 2014” Date: Wednesday September 17 Sponsor:  Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Location: TBA Doors open at 5. Prize Draws and Sponsor remarks at 6:15. Free admission to all personnel from any business or organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.

A new path: Jobs will chase people The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce we will be part of a new, breakthrough approach to helping Ontarians connect to the right jobs and opportunities. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has always been a leader in networking people with jobs and opportunities. The OCC, the St. Thomas & District Chamber, and an initial group of 18 other strategically-located Chambers across Ontario, are announcing a new partnership with Ryerson University targeted at delivering innovative approaches to helping Ontarians connect to the right jobs and opportunities: the Magnet network. “Magnet’s vision is to help connect the right people to the right jobs, and get our communities working productively,” says Mark Patterson, Director of Research & Innovation Partnership. “We are building a network of Ontario-wide communities that include employers, employment organizations, educators, government organizations, and of course individuals, to work together to drive higher connectivity and workforce success.” Magnet aims to address unemployment and underemployment in the province, specifically as it relates to youth, new immigrants, and aging workers. With a September launch fast-approaching, Magnet already boasts a growing list of members actively working together to address these issues, including16 Ontario universities and colleges, representing 500,000 students and over two million alumni, the network of chambers of commerce and boards of trade throughout Ontario, representing 60,000 employers and two million jobs, and a growing list of employment-focused organizations. The traditional ‘process’ of looking for work has remained largely unchanged. Recruiters receive hundreds of applications, and job seekers spend hours ap-

Business Beat Table of Contents H & S blitzes ............. Page 10 UPS & The Chamber.. Page 11 Legal Business .......... Page 12 An open letter ........... Page 13 Summer safety .......... Page 14 Business signs........... Page 15 ICE kitchen ................ Page 16 August, 2014

plying for opportunities and ‘chasing’ jobs, often based on whom they know or through advertising. With Magnet, jobs chase people. Using the cutting-edge technology platform WhoPlusYou to create profiles for individuals and search over two million jobs, Magnet provides a highly effective, accurate, and efficient way to match people’s qualifications and interests with employers’ needs. For the first time, individuals, organizations, and employers are ‘speaking the same language’ when it comes to skills, interests, and experience. “The value for employers is immense,” says Doug Walker, Co-founder and CEO

of WhoPlusYou. “Employers are spared the time, expenses, and frustrations associated with having to work through the large numbers of unqualified candidate applications that normally result from an ad or job board.” WhoPlusYou was incubated at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone. Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, says that Magnet will help address labour market gaps in communities across the province. “Magnet will allow businesses in St. Thomas, Elgin County and throughout Ontario to connect with the talent they need, all through a streamlined platform that will help us generate robust and real time labour market information. All said, we’re incredibly excited to be part of this

innovative partnership,” he adds. For employers, once a job is posted, it becomes a ‘search agent’ actively looking for only those candidates that qualify for the opportunity. The search continues for as long as the employer desires, allowing newly created profiles to be found. Employers also benefit from the advanced job and organization marketing function, which enables their postings to have full multi-media capability that can be used to promote the position, company, or even location. Once they connect with a qualified candidate, employers can remain connected and current with them even if they are not currently hiring, developing strong ‘funnels’ of qualified candidates and increasing their hiring productivity over time. For individuals, simply building a profile generates the jobs and opportunities that they care about and are qualified for. Even if they are not looking for work, individuals are developing a highly valuable network of potential employers and staying connected and current with prospective opportunities. Unlike many social media systems and job boards, an individual’s personal profile on WhoPlusYou has full multimedia capabilities to showcase achievements, and is never shared until he/she authorizes it on an opportunityby-opportunity basis. To learn more about how you can get involved as an individual, organization, or employer, visit www.magnet.today. Become part of the quickly evolving network of members collaborating to address some of Ontario’s most pressing social and economic issues. The Magnet network will be live on the St. Thomas Chamber website (www.stthomaschamber.on.ca) in early September 2014. Magnet is funded by the Government of Ontario.

Take part in our September feature Women in Business To take advantage of excellent advertising opportunities give me a call at 519-633-1640 (ext. 22) Greg Minnema, Advertising Sales

or email me at gregthismonth@theweeklynews.ca September Edition Advertising Deadline is August 12th



Viewpoint Events and News of Interest to our Members

Reasons to Beware, More Reasons To Care Last month’s tragic death of a local road construction worker has led more than one health & safety professional to suggest that the St. Thomas & El-

Material Handling Vulnerable and Temporary Foreign Workers

gin region will be the focus of increased activity by Ministry of Labour inspectors from their Employment Standards and Health & Safety Branches.

Health and Safety


Employment Standards

September 15 – October 26, 2014

Restaurants, Building Services, Personal Care Services, Business Support Services, Agriculture

September – November 2014

Ground Control

Health and Safety


October – November 2014

Machine Guarding

Health and Safety


November 3 – December 14, 2014

Employment Standards

Temporary Help Agencies

January – February 2015

Slips, Trips and Falls

Health and Safety


February 2 – March 15, 2015

Water Management

Health and Safety


February March 2015

Temporary Help Agencies

In addition to the upcoming “blitzes” listed, another campaign that started in early summer and will continue through August has a focus on student employees.

Every day in Ontario, nearly 50 young workers under age 25 are injured or killed on the job. Both young and new workers are four times more likely to be injured during their first month of employment than at any other time. So it is no surprise that this MOL blitz, running to the end of August, focuses on Vulnerable, New and Young Workers. By MOL definition, young workers are aged 14 to 24 years, inclusive. New workexclusively for members of the ers include those who Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce are aged 25 and older, who have been on the job less than six months or who have been reassigned to a new job. The Chamber sug-


Merchant Service Program Special low rates


The Ministry has shared information with the Chamber on campaigns they will conduct over the coming months.

1.55 5 1.60 %

on Visa® credit receipts with electronic deposits


on Interac® Direct Payment receipts with electronic deposits


on Mastercard® credit receipts with electronic deposits

Helping to Drive Business Success

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 Breah Talan

For complete details, contact the Chamber

115 - 300 South Edgeware Road, St. Thomas Phone: 519-631-1981 Fax: 519-631-0466 Email: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca www.stthomaschamber.on.ca

August, 2014

gests that all Members who hire workers falling into these categories, should expect a visit from MOL. A similar blitz last year within the industrial sector resulted in 2,757 visits to 2,166 workplaces and 8,139 orders issued under the OHSA and its regulations, including 195 stop work orders. On average, 2.9 orders were issued per workplace visit. To help Members prepare for a possible MOL visit, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) has prepared a free awareness webinar that is viewable on their website at www.wsps.ca to provide insight on what MOL inspectors will be looking for during this blitz, and what you can do to ensure your workplace is in compliance with the OHSA. To stay informed about the latest occupational health and safety news that will help you keep your employees safe and productive, connect with WSPS on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WSPS_ NEWS.


St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce 2014 Board of Directors Chair: Laura Woermke St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre Vice-Chair: Ross Fair Fanshawe College Vice-Chair: Dan Kelly Dowler-Karn Ltd. Treasurer: Mark Lassam CPA, CA Lassam & Co. Past Chair: Jason White Steelway Building Systems Director: Sean Dyke

St. Thomas Economic Development Corp. Director: Monty Fordham Fordham Brightling & Associates Lawyers Director: Brian Helmer Reith & Associates Insurance & Financial Director: Jeff Kohler City of St. Thomas Director: Phil Mauer Phil Mauer & Associates Inc. Director: Ginette Minor Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor Director: Rob Mise myFM 94.1 Director: Allan Weatherall Elgin Military Museum – Project Ojibwa


CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members

St. Thomas Uncorked 2015

The planning has begun and our team is together for the next edition of an annual event that has sold-out since it started. It’s “St. Thomas Uncorked”, an evening of wine tasting, food sampling and art appreciation. Tickets will go on sale through the Chamber website in late September. Mark the event date: Saturday January 24, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at the St. Thomas Public Art Centre. Our 2015 Uncorked Committee is a great group with 10 volunteers supported by Chamber staff. L to r, Mo Oshalla, Elgin Speech & Language Services; Jeff Sheridan, EBRC; Jamie Quai, Quai du Vin Estate Winery; Ginette Minor, Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor; Chris Patriquin, My Water Guy; Ray Bosveld, Edward Jones Investments; Nikki Johnson, Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial; Rob Mise, myFM 94.1; Mark Girdauskas, Photos by MG; and Committee Chair Sheila

Nesbitt, Early Learning Centre. Sponsor participation is the first priority for the group. At deadline time for this issue, 6 of 8 opportunities were confirmed. Details on any remaining ones will be

Ship & save with UPS Chamber Members can now take advantage of the UPS Members Benefit Program and save on a variety of UPS services! The latest addition to our Member Benefits Bundle gives every business and organization that is a registered Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce an exceptional discount. You’ll receive 30% off small package shipments within Canada, to the U.S. and to worldwide destinations, 25% off imports into Canada, discounts starting at 75% off freight shipments and more. Plus, UPS is committed to providing value that goes beyond cost and on-time delivery. Customized solutions and reliable services drive greater efficiency and streamline internal processes. New and existing customers can enroll for free!   To get started today, visit  membersbenefitprogram.com/STDCC or call 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377), M-F, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST. In addition, you can get 10% off printing, packaging, and mailbox rentals at The UPS Store®.  Already a UPS client? Already have your own UPS discount for high-volume? No problem! Call 1-800-MEMBERS and switch to become part of our group. It’s free and very easy. If you’ve already earned a UPS discount of 10, 15 or 20%, your savings will instantly jump to 30%. There’s no downside, no hidden fees and no surprises … and we all win by working together! August, 2014

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Legal Business Events and News of Interest to our Members

Willing To Save: The use of multiple wills in estate planning by Monty Fordham While it was not that long ago that I attended law school, (yes I really did) I do recall that a will, in order to be valid, must be the “last will and testament” of the testator. The most obvi- Monty Fordham ous reason for this requirement is that, almost always, when a person draws a will, he /she revokes any previous will, so that the new will stands alone and is not confused with any previously expressed intentions. However, for many years, the use of multiple wills has been common when people own property in more than one jurisdiction. Examples include the condo in Florida, the villa in Nice or the yacht in the Caymans (sigh!). Or maybe just the trailer in Tennessee, or the drive-in in Pennsylvania. It is important that such secondary wills cover only the property in the other jurisdiction, and adhere to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the property which they govern exists. The Ontario government encouraged the use of multiple wills for purposes other than multi-jurisdictional issues back in 1992. How, you might

ask? By tripling the fees paid when wills were submitted to the courts for probate. Formerly these were called “probate fees” and were assessed at .5% of an estate’s total value. Now they became “estate administration tax,” anachronistically (and very appropriately) labeled “EAT,” at a rate of 1.5% on an estate value over $50,000. Clearly, in larger estates, the amount so devoured, could be significant. So, just so you realize that lawyers are not just a bunch of pretty faces, some of my colleagues noticed a strange inconsistency in the Estates Act. While section 32(1) required the disclosure of the “total value” of an estate, for the purposes of probate fees, section 32(3) recognized the possibility of a grant of probate “limited to part only of the property of the deceased.” Aha! they said. What if a will was drawn which dealt with only the property which required probate (now called appointment of estate trustee with a will- don’t ask me why) in order to be transferred

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to the beneficiaries, and another will dealt with all the other property? A gentleman by the name of Philip Granovsky settled the matter when he drew two wills, one, the “primary will” which dealt with estate assets amounting to approximately 3 million dollars, and a “secondary will” which dealt with assets totaling over 25 million dollars. Upon Mr. Granovsky’s death only the primary will was submitted for probate. For obvious reasons, the Ontario government objected, but


allowed the will to be probated provided that the executors of the estate submit the issue to the court for determination. In a seminal decision, in 1998, Madame Justice Greer of the Ontario Court, General Division, ruled that only the primary will need be submitted, and that testators are entitled to organize their affairs so as to minimize taxes, including EAT, otherwise payable on their death. The use of multiple wills saved the Granovsky estate approximately $375,000. The Ontario government initially indicated it would appeal the decision, but later abandoned the appeal. So, until the government changes the legislation, the decision stands. The Granovsky decision has been approved of in later court challenges of the use of multiple wills; but a word of caution: such wills need to be very carefully prepared, as well as the subsequent application for probate. Particular care must be taken to ensure that one will does not revoke the other. As well, the assets dealt with in each will must be clearly identified. Certain assets, such as shares in privately held corporations, need not be the subject of probate, while many others do. The use of multiple wills can be a useful tool in estate planning, particularly in very large estates. As well, the use of trusts, and gifting can minimize the various tax consequences arising on death, including EAT, and Federal and Provincial income taxes. As they say, you can’t take it with you, but you can pass more of it along to y our beneficiaries. Lawyer Monty Fordham prepares this monthly column for the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and our Members. Monty is also a volunteer serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Questions, comments and suggestions for future columns are welcomed by Monty at his office: Fordham & Brightling Associates – Lawyers, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. Telephone 519-633-4000, FAX 519-633-1371 or e-mail: montyfordham@4elgin.ca 12

Viewpoint Events and News of Interest to our Members An open letter to all Members of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce Algoma University St. Thomas Extension, 50 Wellington Street, St. Thomas, ON N5R 2P8 I hope the summer is treating you all well! My name is Erich Otten and I am a Support Services Assistant for Algoma University. As many of you know St. Thomas is a community with three post-secondary institutions: Algoma University, Fanshawe College St. Thomas/Elgin and Omnicom School of Languages. Last year, for 2013, we implemented a Merchant Loyalty Discount Program for students at all three

schools. We are very grateful and appreciate the merchants who have already joined our program. This year we are looking to expand the program by inviting new businesses to join! If you are interested in offering a student discount or already do so this is a great way to grow your consumer market through post-secondary students. A student discount increases clientele, encourages repeat business and develops your brand awareness. In addition a list will be published on the Algoma University – St. Thomas Extension’s Facebook page, and provided in Algomau student’s orientation package.

Chamber Group grows (again!)

Our national Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan, a non-profit national program that we have supported and participated in since 1974, has reported yet another successful year of service and growth. The 2013 – 2014 annual report confirms our plan – also known in national print, radio & TV ads as “The Chambers Plan” – welcomed 3,200 new businesses as participants and recorded 91% of existing participants choosing to keep their existing coverage.

In an environment where it’s statistically normal to see 5% shrinkage due to business closures, that stat proves a level of customer satisfaction well above industry averages. At April 1 of this year, The Chambers Plan had $296.8 million of In Force Premium, covering 30,506 businesses and 132,543 employees. Johnson Group, the firm hired to provide day-to-day administrative services for our Plan, was again recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Property owned by St. Thomas manu- Companies. 2013/204 facturer Gorman-Rupp has, for several marked the 14th conyears, been donated to the City of St. secutive year for them Thomas for sports and recreation uses. to earn that honour.

In mid-July, members of the GormanRupp Canada Board of Directors gathered on-site to mark the installation of a sign to formally identify Gorman-Rupp Field. The Chamber salutes Gorman-Rupp for yet another example of their strong community support and spirit. Pictured, l to r, Allan (Al) Hardy - (Independent) Director, Gorman-Rupp of Canada; Mark L. Kreinbihl - Group President, Gorman-Rupp Pumps Group; James C. (Jim) Gorman - Chairman, The Gorman-Rupp Company; Roxanne M. Blackman Director of Finance, Gorman-Rupp of Canada; Gary W. Creeden - (Past Vice President /General Manager, Gorman-Rupp Canada) Director, Gorman-Rupp Canada; Jeffrey S.(Jeff) Gorman - President & Chief Executive Officer, The Gorman-Rupp Company; Wayne L. Knabel - Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer, The Gorman-Rupp Company; William B. (Bill) Horn - (Past President, Gorman-Rupp Canada) Director, Gorman-Rupp Canada; A. (John) Sanders - Board Secretary, Gorman-Rupp Canada; and Robert B. Furneaux - Managing Director, Gorman-Rupp Canada.

If any businesses are interested in a listing, or would like to included materials or product promotions during our ‘2014 Student Orientation Frosh Week.’ Please contact: Donna Rankin, Algoma University 519-633-6501 Email: Donna.Rankin@algomau.ca Erich Otten, Algoma University 519-633-6501 Email: eotten@algomau.ca Debra Burgess, Fanshawe College 519-633-2030 Ext. 223 Email: stthomaselgin@fanshawec.ca

Local marketing and support for the Chambers Plan originates with the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce. Professional support from local fullylicensed insurance professionals is provide by Jeff Crossett and his staff at Arc Financial with offices in St. Thomas and London. Membership in the Chamber is a requirement to participate that can immediately open the doors to high value, superior client service and guaranteed rate stability. If your business wants to explore the values of adding a group insurance program, or if you’re looking to compare programs and see why The Chambers Plan is #1, just visit the Chambers Plan website: www.chambers.ca

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Pro Text Events and News of Interest to our Members

Summer safety travel tips by Leslie McConnell

With summer well underway and a busy agenda of summer vacations and getaways ranging from camping, cottaging, day trips, and extended travel to other places and spaces, it’s easy to overlook situations around your home that might shatter all the joy and happiness a vacation can bring. Holidays are a great way to escape, but also an opportunity for burglars to take advantage of your empty home. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while you are away to protect your home from claims; 1. Give someone you trust the trip details: Leave a friend and/or a family member your phone number, location of where you are going and the details of your vacation to ensure they are aware of the important contact information in case anything were to happen while you are away. 2. Leave lights on in your house: It is crucial to make sure it looks like someone is still living there. We recommend investing in some light timers on the interior and exterior of your house; this will ensure they come on at particular times to mimic your usual schedule. They will also keep your hydro bill down by not running lights 24/7. 3. Blocking patio doors: As patio doors are an

easy entry target, using a wooden dowel is one low-cost way of ensuring your patio doors are secure from easy opening. 4. Don’t leave anything lying around: Tools to break open a door or window, or a ladder to gain access to an upstairs window could help a burglar gain easy access to your property. 5. Don’t hide spare keys outside: Burglars know all the tricks and all the hiding places – so leave that spare key with a reliable neighbour or/and friend rather than under that flowerpot or under your front mat. 6. Clear the mail: A pile of bills, shopping catalogs and junk mail poking out of your letterbox is a sure sign you’re not at home. Ask a family member, friend or neighbour to keep an eye out for this while you’re away, and collect any excess mail – burglars will be on the lookout for any obvious clues to an empty home. 7. Double check everything’s locked: You may be racing to the airport or rushing for the train, but make sure you check all windows

and doors are locked and the burglar alarm, if you have one, is set before you go. 8. Do not post your absence on social media: Although most of your Facebook and Twitter contacts are friends of yours, there is always a chance that someone you may not know could view your profile or a friend’s account could become hacked. So, take a couple extra minutes before you load up the car with bags and kids, and ensure you have done everything you can to stay safe while you are away. Taking the little time now will give you peace of mind to know that nothing will happen while you are away and you will be able to fully enjoy and relax on your vacation. This column appears monthly in Business Beat and has been prepared by Leslie McConnell, RIB (Ont), a Broker/Advisor in Personal Lines at Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Questions and comments are welcomed by the writer at 519-6313862 or via e-mail: info@reithandassociates.com



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Member News Events and News of Interest to our Members

The signs of a good business Every 5 years, Chambers of Commerce across North America are the subjects of analytical research completed by an internationally-recognized research firm, The Schapiro Group, in association with an economic & community development specialist named Market Street. In the two most recent studies, completed in 2007 and 2012, we have seen growth in statistics that prove when a business is registered as Member of a Chamber, their image, level of consumer awareness and prospects for business grow significantly. For example, if consumers know that a business is a Member of its local Chamber, the business enjoys a 49% increase in its consumer favourability rating; a 73% increase in consumer awareness; a 68% boost in its local reputation, and an 80% increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future. Other stats we see relate to specific types of businesses and consumer trends to and from them. For example, when consumers know that a franchise restaurant is a Member of their local Chamber, they are 68% more likely to eat there. The challenge within the research – for both businesses and the Chamber – is to take steps to promote and demonstrate membership and

participation with the Chamber. After all, seeing is believing and visual tools go a long way to making connections. Support of Chamber events and programs through sponsorship and advertising in Chamber publications and products such as our street maps, online and print business directories, and even this Business Beat section of Elgin This Month Magazine all help. Another avenue – and this

is all included free as part of any Chamber membership – is the ability to use signs, stickers and plaques that we provide. The products shown here are available to all Members. Need some? Just call us. And next time you see any on display, take comfort in knowing they are signs of a good business that supports our community and operates under a pledge to have solid standards and business practices.

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Another option for windows, doors, glass countertops and company vehicles is this vinyl cling Member badge. Approx. 4” wide

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Member News Events and News of Interest to our Members

“Foodpreneur” advantage If you think you can’t cook with ICE, it’s time for a re-think. The ICE we’re referring to is the Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs in St. Thomas. It’s part of the services and organizations located in the EBRC building at the corner of Burwell Road and South Edgeware Road in St. Thomas. Program and services offered by the ICE are all about business start-ups and innovation. ICE is a lab, a proving ground, a coaching site and, overall, a business incubator that has produced 7 “graduates” – permanent, full-time local businesses that have created 55 new local jobs in the short time since the ICE facilities opened as a part of the Elgin Business Resource Centre in June 2011. The latest addition to products and services within ICE is a new form of business support for entrepreneurs in the world of food service and hospitality. It’s a “Test Kitchen” – a fully-equipped, commercial food preparation facility. The facility opened on July 15 and use of the site can be arranged almost anytime, day or night 365 days/year. Initially, operation will

be focused on traditional weekday business hours but, as ICE Manager Carol Groves told the Chamber, “anything and everything is possible.” The kitchen is another business advantage for St. Thomas, and not something readily available in other area communities. It can allow existing food manufacturers and providers the space to try new ideas, develop new products or perfect and improve on existing processes and products. ICE staff can also offer clients business support and development to take any concept from the Elgin Business Resource Centre’s new General Manager, Kevin Jackson, joins Carol Groves, Business Development Manager of the Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs, in the new Test Kitchen in EBRC’s facilities on South Edgeware Road. The kitchen is a regional first, officially opened on July 15. idea stage to a ready-to-go commercial product. All appliances and equipment in the kitchen are top-grade and new stateof-the-art pieces that ensure full compatibility with commercial/industrial standards and needs. The kitchen is fully compliant with all Health Unit standards and requirements. $110,000 had been invested in creating and equipping the kitchen as of opening day, and more equipment is expected to be added based on client needs. Enquiries are welcomed by Carol Groves at 519-633-7597, Extension 323 or you can explore the ICE website: www.ICEinnovation.ca

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Port Stanley: A Summer Destination Port Stanley –

great summer destination, including Harbourfest with files from portstanley.ca With one of the finest stretches of sandy beach on the north shore of Lake Erie, Port Stanley is a popular destination for day-trippers and for those who want to stay a little longer. Port Stanley's

uniqueness lies in its natural attractions such as the meandering Kettle Creek and the multitude of leisure boats that dot its banks. The village is home to the largest, north shore, inland federal harbour that attracts impressively large lake vessels. The historical King George VI lift bridge, the oldest in Ontario, located in the centre of town, is a "must see." Ride an authentic L. & P.S. railcar, circa 1940, and enjoy a scenic view of Kettle Creek and the surrounding countryside. Only live theatre has the power to enchant and transport you and nowhere is it better represented than at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre! Stroll through Port and you'll discover lots of treasures ... wonderful boutiques, antique

shops, furnishings for home & cottage, orchid flowers, art galleries, aquatic plants, imported gifts and quality clothing for the entire family ... plus restaurants galore. Enjoy all the comforts of home while relaxing in Port Stanley's many charming and friendly accommodations ... all within walking distance of restaurants, shops, galleries, nightlife and two beautiful beaches. For water enthusiasts, Port is the place to be! This summer, enjoy the Tall Ships during HarbourFest August 30 – September 1. The ships Pathfinder and Playfair, both brigantines, will be visiting the shores of Port Stanley from August 30 - September 1. A brigantine is a two-masted square-rigged sailing vessel with fore-and-aft rigged sails on the mainmast. During Harbourfest, enjoy the blues music of Sam Hurrie and Joe Fournier at the Legion Friday August 29, 8pm, sketch comedy with Kiss The Dog on Saturday August 30, 7pm, live music at GTs Saturday and Sunday, plus street performances by Fireguy in the village during Harbourfest. Check portstanleyhabourfest.ca for updates and tickets to events.

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Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce

Enjoy three great days of family fun during Aylmer Fair Aug. 8-10 The 168th annual Aylmer Fair kicks off Friday August 8 and runs until Sunday August 10 at the Aylmer Fair Grounds. Every day offers something special. On Friday, it’s the Friday Night Fiasco Car Challenge. On Saturday, people come from all over the area to watch the Motor Madness Demolition Derby. And for Sunday, fair organizers have scheduled a traditional Heavy Horse Pull. All three days, look for Val the Snake Lady, Dotsy the Clown, Animal Exhibits, Free Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, Horse Shows, Cattle Shows and Agricultural Exhibits and much more. Advance Campbell Amusements midway ride vouchers are $20 before August 7 for All You Can Ride and $30 after that.

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Please check aylmerfair.ca for updates Friday, August 8, 2014 Gates Open: 10:00am Val the Snake Lady: 2 - 6pm Dotsy the Clown: 4 - 7pm Ambassador Crowning: 6pm Opening Ceremonies: 6pm Fiasco Car Challenge: 6:30pm Gates Close: 10:00pm Saturday, August 9, 2014 Gates Open: 9:00am Elgin County 4H Interclub Dairy Show: 10am 4 cyl. Figure 8 Qualifying: 2pm Val the Snake Lady: 2 - 6pm Dosty the Clown: 4 - 7pm Full Size Pro Modified & Straight Stock: 7pm Gates Close: 10:00pm Sunday, August 10, 2014 Gates Open: 9:00am Evergreen Meadows Horse Show: 9am Baby Show: 12:30pm



Dotsy the Clown: 1 - 4pm Heavy Horse Pull: 2 - 5pm Val the Snake Lady: 2 - 6pm Pizza Eating Contest: 3:30pm Gates Close: 10:00pm BUILDING EXHIBITS Friday, August 8 All exhibit buildings 10am - 10pm Saturday, August 9 All exhibit buildings 10am - 10pm Sunday, August 10 All exhibit buildings 10am - 7pm ADMISSION Adults ............................. $7.00 Ages 7 - 12 ...................... $3.00 6 & under ....................... $Free Parking ........................... $2.00 All prices include HST


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Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Three Port Tour classic century bicycle ride raises thousands for charity by Brett Hueston

Downtown sales, lots of events during Aylmer Sweet Corn Fest It’s never corny to have a good time in Aylmer! In fact, MainStreet Aylmer has branded a successful event using a corn theme, happening again this year in August. The Sweet Corn Fest runs Saturday August 16 with Sidewalk Sales downtown. From 10:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon at Balmoral Park, enjoy free kids’ jump & bounce activities. Also look for miniature golf, splash pad, sno cones, candy floss and, of course, corn on the cob. Free wagon rides are offered from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. And from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Derrick Drover Band is playing its unique worship music with a touch of rock and folk. During Corn Fest, select downtown merchants are actually going “above and beyond” during the Sidewalk Sales. Shop downtown Aylmer, and receive a $5.00 off coupon when you spend $10 at certain merchants Saturday August 16.

The fourth edition of the Aylmer Express Three Port Tour classic century bicycle ride puts wheels in motion Saturday, August 16. With a common start/finish in Aylmer at the East Elgin Community Complex, three routes are offered to cyclists of all ages and abilities. A 50 kilometre route takes riders to Port Bruce and back to Aylmer, through Malahide and Central Elgin. The Two Port route is 100 km and winds through Bayham, Port Burwell (past the Ojibwa sub) and to Port Bruce before heading north to Aylmer, through historic Sparta. The Three Port route adds Port Stanley and is a full 160 kilmetres (a classic “century” of 100 miles). While last year it was the most popular route, only experienced cyclists with lots of mileage should attempt it. All routes are fully supported with food and water stops and Paul from Paul’s Bicycle Repair has once again donated his service at the start and at the common lunch at Port Bruce. Lunch is supplied for all riders. The Three Port Tour has been carefully mapped out to show riders from the area and from afar the most beautiful parts of Southwestern Ontario, right here in Elgin County. Riders have even discovered the famous negative tailwinds on certain roads. Money raised has been split evenly to support London’s Forest City Velodrome – the only indoor cycling track in Canada – and the Environmental Leadership Program at East Elgin Secondary School, an award-winning educational program. Last year the Tour donated $4,000 to both groups. Registration is only $60 and if completed by Aug. 4, includes a ride t-shirt. No additional fundraising for anyone. More information, including registration is available at www.threeporttour.com

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Running A Successful Small Business

I started my own business – maybe you can, too by Lisa Jibson

Unlike most small business owners, I did not catch the "entrepreneurial bug." In fact, if you had told me three years ago that I would have been starting and running my own business, I would have said you were crazy. But life threw me a few curve balls in 2011, and for the first time in my career, I was a victim of redundancy. Twenty five years of work experience and a Master's degree did nothing to alleviate my employment situation. So I had a choice to face: keep applying

for jobs and help someone else become successful or put my energy and talents into making myself successful. Unlike most entrepreneurs, I am not an expert in one particular field – I happen to be very experienced in many related and complimentary fields. It took a significant amount of time to visualize how my skills and experience could unite and create a sustainable business. I spent almost a year researching, planning, and procrastinating about the career path I wanted to dive into. Throughout this journey I have learned a few things about starting my small business: 1) You will make mistakes. Making mistakes is an integral part of starting y! your own business. It's Barbara Beechey part of the learning proSenior Account Manager, cess. Some of these will Business and Personal be small mistakes like RBC Royal Bank forgetting to carry your 1099 Talbot St. E., St Thomas business cards with you 519-631-7480 everywhere, and I mean barbara.beechey@rbc.com everywhere, and others will be much bigger ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of mistakes like stretchRoyal Bank of Canada. ©2011 Royal Bank of Canada. ing yourself too thin, or spending too much money upfront to start the business. 2) You will be the most difficult employer you have ever worked for. We have all had some great employers who push us to excel and others who push our buttons and bring out a side of us that is not productive or motivated. But no previous employer will ever have the same kind of expec-

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tation of ourselves at work as we do. As a small business owner, we will set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, spend too much time doing tasks and not enough time thinking about the big picture. We won't allow time for holidays or being sick, and we will spend more time focusing on our business than our family and friends, or ourselves for that matter. 3) You can't do this alone. Do what you are good at, get someone else to do the rest. It takes a village to maintain a small business. You may be the owner, or sole proprietor but you need an entourage of people to help you do what you do best. On the financial side you need a bookkeeper or accountant and a small business bank adviser. You need a mentor to bounce ideas off. You may need a tech guru to help with creating your website and a communications professional to help build your social media profile. The list goes on. Don't try to do everything yourself. Realize what your time is worth and focus on what you do best. Let someone else do the rest. 4) Network, network, network. The old saying 'it's not what you know, but who you know' has never been more true than when you are starting a business. Your first clients will be friends, neighbours, former colleagues, former bosses ... these are the people who will introduce you to new clients. And you need to actively go out and find customers who need your services. They can be anywhere, so that means you have to be everywhere. 5) Don't re-invent the wheel. Entrepreneurs are created every day. Someone, somewhere has already had your idea or a similar idea. Do your research before you start your business, ask questions, re-use good ideas, do more research, make a plan, consult, and do more research. Find what works for you, expand it and then make it your own. And when you’ve done all that, go for it. Lisa Jibson is the owner of a new virtual assistant business, Ross Street Agency, in St. Thomas.

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Running A Successful Small Business

Could your business win a Healthy Workplace Award? by Janet Baker

Five Healthy Workplace Awards were presented at the annual general meeting of the Elgin Business Resource Centre. These awards were in partnership with the Health at Work 4 All! program of Elgin St. Thomas Public Health. This year a bronze award went to GKN Sinter Metals, a silver to the Early Learning Centre, a gold to Family and Children’s Services of St. Thomas Elgin, a gold to St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and a platinum to Milestones Children’s Centre. This was only the second time in the history of the awards that platinum had been presented. In order to apply for a healthy workplace award, contact the Health at Work 4 All! program at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health. This can be done by calling 519-631-9900 ext. 1271 or emailing healthatwork4all@elginhealth.on.ca. The application can be a gauge to determine how healthy your workplace is from a physical, mental and social perspective. It can be an excellent starting point to determine what is contributing to your healthy work environment and what changes can be made to make your workplace and workforce healthier. Why do you want to have a healthy workplace and a healthy workforce? From an owner/man-

ager perspective, Dr. Dee Edington, Health Management Research Centre, University of Michigan explains that “a company’s main goal is to make money for its owner or shareholders. The good news is that investing in a firm’s culture to facilitate a healthy and productive work environment – where employers support employees to reduce health risks or maintain their best health status rather than paying for illness care – is good for the bottom line.” A healthy work environment also decreases occupational injuries, presenteeism and absenteeism. Presenteeism occurs when an employee is physically present in the workplace but not emotionally engaged in the work. An employee may be present but suffering from a health problem, (such as a migraine) or from work/life conflicts and the result is decreased productivity. Paying close attention to your workplace environment, your workplace culture and encouraging employees to adopt healthier lifestyles can save dollars, but more importantly employees will be healthier, more creative and happier at work. The Healthy Workplace Award’s application uses a template that addresses the four areas that combine to make a healthy workplace. These are: health and safety, healthy lifestyles, workplace culture and being green and being involved. Our award winners include wellness information at

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their health and safety meetings and have dedicated areas in their staff rooms for wellness posters and pamphlets. The management and employees have formed wellness committees and assessed their employees’ healthy lifestyle interests and concerns. With this information, the committees plan wellness events and make recommendations to management regarding healthy workplace policies. This year Milestones’ Wellness Committee organized a Mock-tail recipe contest and the winning recipe was served at their employee Christmas Party as a non-alcoholic beverage. Milestones also incorporated a Workplace Wellness Policy and a Healthy Eating Policy into their daily practices. Policy development is an excellent way to ensure that wellness becomes part of the routine culture in an organization. To learn more about what other companies in Elgin and St. Thomas are doing to become healthy workplaces, call the Health at Work 4 All! Program at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health at 519631-9900 ext. 1271 or e-mail healthatwork4all@ elginhealth.on.ca. You can give your organization a competitive edge by being a healthy workplace! Janet Baker is Workplace Health Coordinator with Elgin St. Thomas Public Health.

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Running A Successful Small Business

Time to face facts by Brian Vine

It is time to face reality! You and your business have some problems that require some solutions. Very simply, you can’t change what you do not openly acknowledge. Identifying and admitting a problem goes a long way towards solving it. To begin the transformation and healing process, you need to do some serious reflection. Be brutally honest when you answer these questions: Do I often question, “Why do I have to do every darn thing myself?” Am I still working too much and making too little? Am I trapped working “in” my business instead of “on” my business? Do I ever wonder if business ownership is truly worth the time, effort, headaches, hassles, and sacrifices? Do I feel trapped on a treadmill, moving faster and faster, but going nowhere? Do I constantly face frequent interruptions and repetitive questions from my staff? Do I go home many nights feeling mentally and physically drained? Do I daydream about regaining my sense of freedom, joy, passion, and peace-of-mind? Do I have anxiety about drowning in projects, problems, deadlines, crises, meetings, employee issues, unanswered voicemails/emails, customer complaints, administrative trivia, and on and on?

Am I forever chained to a phone, computer, email, or pager? Am I tired of having customers rely on me personally for services, solutions and satisfaction? Am I fed up with missing family time, family events, and making other personal sacrifices on a semi-regular basis? Do I crave more free time to do the things that matter most to me?

“if you answered yes … don’t feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed” Admit to the problem If you answered yes to most of these questions, don’t feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed. You are not alone. Most owners have never learned to be strategic. Role models are scarce. As such, dysfunctional businesses and owners are the rule, not the exception. Like you, most owners feel that they have been sentenced to a life of servitude and some even suffer from the blues. Unfortunately, because of pride, shame or ignorance, this sad condition has been kept hidden in the corner office for too long. Starting now, you should not have to endure this much discomfort and frustration associated with your business. Stop and think why in the world, as the

owner, should you have to touch every transaction, be involved with every decision, and help solve every problem, or handle everybody’s job in some fashion? You shouldn’t! It doesn’t make sense. Something is broken! You cannot succeed alone. Pain is a good indication that something is wrong and needs to be healed! It is time to shift radically your business beliefs and behavior. It is time to expand your view of new possibilities for managing your business and life. The better your business functions, the better your life will function. You should actually enjoy the journey of developing and running a business and not defer your personal life and happiness until you retire or sell. Live life now! If your personal life is suffering because of your company, either your leadership approach is misguided or your business design is broken, maybe both! At this point, simply admit that your business centers on you and is totally dependent upon you. Admit that you are buried up to your eyeballs in details of the business. Admit that while your headaches and hassles grow, your freedom shrinks. Then do something about it. Bryan Vine is the owner of The Growth Coach in St. Thomas and Southwestern Ontario.

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Debbie Hamilton has been working for The Co-operators since 1999. Originally attracted by The Co-operators commitment to community, she quickly learned that their values and philosophies aligned with hers. Debbie’s commitment to clients and her community is founded on a passion for helping others through charity work and philanthropy.

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Running A Successful Small Business

Want to succeed in business?

First, figure out what success means to you by Mark McIntosh

Running a successful small business really has ground, what really is success? much to do with how it is started. Success in business is not clearly defined because Many of us think or dream of starting our own it means something different depending on who business, but it’s not something you just jump you talk to. Some think wealth is the definition to into without proper planning, tools, and sound success in business, where as someone else would advice from professionals, such as: accountants, think just staying in business for five years is suclawyers, business advisors, bankers, etc. cessful. Basically, the view of a successful business There’s a lot to consider and put into place to really rests in the view of the owner. ensure you have the foundation to build your Small business owners will normally have goals success. You want to ensure that established that they want your business is viable in the to achieve in their businessmarketplace: Is there a market es. For many, it means befor your goods or services? Who ing able to work where their is your customer and who is your heart is … in something “the reason I feel competition? Do you have the they love. You will find that successful is that I am finances to start and create momost entrepreneurs start mentum? Many small businesses doing something I love” their business doing somecrash because they crumble unthing that pleases them and der the weight of debt or inability makes them happy. Is this to raise capital to produce goods. success? Well, yes it is. A If there is a market out there for you, and you quote I have heard over the years is, “If you are can’t produce the goods or provide the services lucky enough to work in a job you love, you will then you’re out of business. never work a day in your life.” How true this is! With the right advice and guidance, your busiOver the years I have worked many types of ness can be well positioned to be sustainable jobs and some were not happy times. I have had and successful. Now that your business is off the the high paying jobs BUT was NOT happy and

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hated going into work. This was not a way to live and … to me … was not success. The money did nothing for me or my quality of life. It just buys things, not happiness. The decision to start my business doing something I am good at, educated in, and that I LOVE was the best decision I could have ever made. Is my business successful? To me … yes it is! The reason I feel successful is that I am doing something I love, even if I’m not wealthy ... yet. It’s taking time, but I see it growing because my heart is in it and that resonates with my clients as well. That’s what will build my business for the future. The best advice I can give anyone wanting to start a business is to make it what you want it to be, what makes you happy, and what you love to do. Success will follow if you start it right. That success is defined solely by you. Mark McIntosh owns markIT Technology Solutions in St. Thomas.


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Running A Successful Small Business

Taking some down time by Cheryl Lester

As an organizational leader or business owner – whether you are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or energized by the ongoing demands of life, work, and relationships – it’s important to carve out some down time as a way to protect and renew your best leadership asset. In the course of my career, there have been two examples in particular that emphasized this point. A very successful, high energy consultant my

team was working with let us know that she was going to be away for a week of down time. I playfully questioned whether she ever really shut down. Her response stuck with me. She explained that, in order to have integrity as a professional and deliver the level of expertise her clients were paying for, she owed it to them, and herself, to do whatever it took to stay in prime working order – which included fiercely protecting and committing to her scheduled down time. It was like following a maintenance schedule for a key piece of equipment in order to decrease the chances of a gradual drop in efficiency, or worse, a complete and unexpected shutdown. I was impressed and never forgot her words or actions. The other example that stuck with me was a professional executive coach who books every August off. During that time, she steps away from her business emails and client sessions, and intentionally plans activities that help her re-focus, re-fresh, and re-calibrate. Some of her time is dedicated to reading industry-related materials. Other time is devoted to family, and recreation. Her commitment to this annual retreat produces notable rewards as she steps back into her business from a place of renewed energy – powerfully serving her clients from being grounded again in her best and

most authentic skills, knowledge, and wisdom. Motivated by my respect for both of these individuals and the quality of their work, I decided to try a personal retreat of my own in 2012 that I affectionately called the “Me, Myself, and I” retreat. The initial experiment of spending an extended period of time with myself was so meaningful that I decided to repeat the experience again in 2013. It is with a sense of excited anticipation this month that I embark on my third annual retreat at a cottage overlooking the waters of Lake Huron. By design, the primary focus during my weeklong retreat is re-connecting with my authentic self, my inner wisdom – my soul. In preparation I choose two or three reflective soul-focused books, and pack an array of pens, markers, post-its and paper. As part of my week-long retreat of solitude, I also unplug from my phone, my computer, and refrain from watching TV or listening to the radio. The retreat space allows me to eat, sleep, walk, swim, read, reflect, and write without interruptions and on my own time schedule. I use this alone time to defragment, renew my energy, and re-align with my purpose for being. My focused time of solitude results in new perspectives, fresh insights, and increased creativity – all of which help me contribute my best stuff personally and professionally when I return. If you’re already making time for a solitary retreat, I applaud you. I hope you continue to model this kind of practice in service to both yourself and others. If that’s something you’ve never done before, I encourage you to try it – even if all you can start with is an hour or two. The outcomes may surprise you.

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Running A Successful Small Business Five B2B sales mistakes your business must avoid

Courtesy of bdc.ca We have the tools to help you Selling is tough. You have to be self-confident, disciplined and trust your intuition. But sometimes your intuition can lead you to make painful mistakes. Here are five frequent business-to-business sales mistakes you and your sales team have to stop making if you’re going to close more deals in the coming months. • Job Costing • Cash Flows Mistake #1: Selling instead of building relationships • Budget Analysis • Bookkeeping The most efficient B2B sales strategy is to … stop selling. Customers want to feel they’re making a choice, not being sold your product or service. • Tax Planning • Financial Reports The best way is to think about your sales conversations is in terms of identifying prob• Income Tax Preparation for Business and Personal lems and suggesting solutions. Engage your prospective customers in a conversation about their business and their needs. To get ready, make sure you prepare for your meeting by researching your prospect’s company and preparing for your interview. Ask big questions such as: What keeps you up at night? Where do you see your compa226-236-2321 ny within six months, one year or five years from now? How do you plan to take it there? or Mistake #2: Focusing on your product, not the prospect’s needs 519-913-3288 You’ve spent months, even years developing and marketing your product. But the harsh reality is that prospects aren’t interested in what you have to sell. They’re interested P rosperity Coach For Your Business and You in what your product or service can do for them. Once you’ve discovered a need your customer wants to address, you can respond with your best solution to meet it. But instead of selling your product’s features, focus on the benefits it will bring to the prospect. Keep your presentation short and simple. Prospects should be able to understand immediately what you can do for them and why they should do business with you. as voted by the Elgin Business Resource Centre Mistake #3: Rushing the client While it’s always a good idea to ask your prospects for a next step and follow up after each meeting, you also need to give people John Gurr’s automotive repair business has enough time to consider your proposal. A turned out to be a real diamond in the rough. pushy salesperson is always a turn off. Not only does John provide state of the art When it does come time to follow up, service and modern technology, but also a truly strive to understand your customer’s hesitations and be ready to respond to any objec- welcoming environment. His waiting room is homey and pleasant, clean and inviting. His tions they might have. Mistake #4: Being disorganized and in- level of customer service is exemplary and the consistent work is second to none. John has exceeded his Scheduling meetings with prospects without a structured sales approach will backfire. financial projections consistently and continues Successful salespeople are disciplined when to find new and innovative ways to market his it comes to generating leads and adding business. John credits the OSEB Program and prospects to their list on a weekly basis. the opportunities provided by the Elgin Business Make sure your prospects are apt to buy Resource Centre for helping to make Gurr Auto your product and organize leads into categories: excellent, average or weak. Build a a winner. calendar for contacting potential customers Kevin Jackson, General Manger, EBRC based on their needs and the interest they expressed in your offering. Mistake #5: Making promises you can’t keep One of the biggest B2B sales mistakes salespeople make is to overpromise in order to get a deal. Creating expectations you can’t fulfill when time comes to deliver the product or service will frustrate your customers. That will keep them from coming back for repeat business and hurt your reputation in the market. Make it clear to your salespeople how far they can go when discussing your product with prospects. By becoming a trusted advisor who asks questions and listens closely to what prospects have to say, you’re setting the stage for a lasting customer relationship. Not only have you helped them clarify a problem, you’ve offered a solution to fix it.

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Running A Successful Small Business Suggestions for small businesses thinking about succession ing to work with the teenager’s future career aspirations but he was also looking ahead at the future needs of his A friend recently told me that the owner of the store, store … planting the seeds of possible succession planning. where her teenage son works part-time, pulled the young Most small business owners don’t have the luxury of an man aside and asked him what his future career plans were. HR department to help with leadership development or The owner told her son they were very pleased with his succession planning. However, succession is something work ethic and would like him to take on more respon- they do need to consider and be proactive about. This is sibilities at the store. He also suggested that, if the son especially important if one or more employees is ready to found them interesting, he should consider taking busi- retire in the next few years. ness courses. Where to begin? First step is to take a good look at your Of course, as a mother, this was great to hear, and as an team. It is not just looking at those who are planning on HR person, even more! The store owner was not only will- retiring but also being aware of employees that might feel unchallenged or could be looking for other opportunities. A great way to check in with your employees is to provide them with a performance appraisal. Fortunately, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT some great templates are - Your Trusted Small Business Advisor - available on-line. Using a formal document • Personal and Corporate Services puts in place a framework to • Bookkeeping and Financial Statements work with and ensures consistency across your employ• Estate and Tax Planning ees. During the performance appraisal, ask for goals in the Mark A. Wales CPA, CA, LPA next year, three years and Jennifer Whalls Tammy Slota possibly five. If you find during these conversations that www.markawales.ca some are thinking of retiring 190 Centre St, St. Thomas or moving on, it is time to 519-637-0700 take a look at who would be by Anouschka Van den Bosch


it’s time to start your


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able from inside the business to fill these positions, and if they are ready to take on the new challenges And that takes me to step two, preparing for the transition. Often long-term employees have a wealth of knowledge, usually not stored on an USB stick but firmly planted in their memories. This would be a great opportunity to start an informal mentoring program with your retiring employee and the up and coming candidate. Make sure both parties are open to this mentoring relationship and that the process is about both parties learning from each other. Another suggestion is to allow the employee you are developing to work on some special projects that will encourage him or her to gain more skills and feel part of the bigger picture. A leadership development program does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are many inexpensive on-line courses that could help any aspiring leader. The third step is all about creating the plan and putting it in writing so everyone can be part of the process. Succession planning and leadership development are not complicated. They do allow for continued growth of the business, and that is exactly what the young man’s boss was thinking when he had the conversation with my friend’s son. He is still digesting the information and I am sure he will be supported in whatever he chooses.


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Atypical hip fractures associated with chronic bisphosphonate use by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.

I recently attended a radiology seminar as part of my ongoing commitment to continuing education in my professional practice. Several topics were discussed but of particular interest was a newly discovered type of hip fracture that may be linked to the chronic use of bisphosphonate drugs. Bisphosphonate drugs are a category of drugs that commonly have been used to decrease the risk of vertebral and femoral neck (hip) fractures in postmenopausal women. These drugs include Fosamax, Actonel, Reclast, Boniva, Didronel and Aredia. They are also used in the treatment of conditions such as Osteoporosis, Paget’s Disease, Hypercalcemia, metastatic cancer and Hyperparathyroidism. Osteoporosis is the term used for thinning of the bones that is typically seen in postmenopausal women. Hormonal changes affect the density of the bone causing it to thin and weaken leaving people vulnerable to fractures especially of the hip and the vertebra. Increased calcium intake and weight-bearing exercise are also important treatment recommendations to combat this problem. In some cases prescribing bisphosphonate medication is also indicated. This is where the confusion sets in. As stated above, the indication for use of bisphosphonate medication is to prevent hip fractures, and now we are being told that these medications may actually increase the risk of hip fractures. How can that be? The answer is that we are talking about very unusual or atypical types of fractures, and the risk is found only in long-term use, usually greater than four years. Bisphosphonates suppress bone turnover (remodeling). Without bone remodeling, microscopic fractures begin to accumulate. These microscope fractures cannot be repaired as they normally would be without the activity of the drugs and as a result lead to fractures. These fractures are unusual as the fracture line is a transverse or short oblique line originating on the

lateral (outside) aspect of the upper femur (thigh bone). Commonly, there is no associated trauma with an insidious onset of anterior thigh pain, a pulling sensation in the groin and difficulty walking. Patients presenting with anterior thigh pain that have been on bisphosphonates should have a bone scan or an x-ray study of the upper femur performed to determine the presents of a possible atypical fracture. Further, if this condition is found on one side, there is an increased possibility that it will also occur on the opposite side and so it is imperative to check both femurs even if the other side is symptom free at the time. After reviewing the research on atypical hip fractures associated with bisphosphonate use, the following recommendations are commonly made. There should be a discontinuation of bisphosphonate use in those individuals that are considered of low risk for vertebral and femoral neck fractures from osteoporosis. This decision however requires a detailed discussion of the risks and benefits particularly about balancing the elevated risk for vertebral fractures against the potential elevated risk for atypical femoral fractures if the drug is continued. In general, continuing the use of bisphosophonate drugs beyond a 3-5 year period is debated in the literature. The good news is that the risk of developing an atypical fracture decreases quickly after discontinuation of use. As with any medication or treatment, there are associated risks and benefits. It is imperative that, before any treatment is initiated, it is found that the benefits far outweigh any potential risks. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a formal warning for bisphosphonates including a pos-

sible increased risk for atypical femoral fractures so the potential risk is real. It is important to discuss this risk with your medical doctor to determine the correct decision in each individual case as many factors must be considered. If you are on a bisphosphonate drug and develop pain around your hip, be sure to have it properly assessed and remember that the research indicates that either an x-ray or bone scan should be performed. Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment & Resources Centre in St.Thomas

Now! Local community news every day. Plus much more!

www.theweeklynews.ca August, 2014



Homestyle Decorating

Arrange like a pro by Renée Carpenter

A furniture arrangement can make or break a room. And each room in the house has its own requirement. The secret is to arrange to suit the way you use the room. Below are some ideas for arranging furniture in a living room. Arrange for face-to-face conversation – Arranging the seating pieces to face each other over a shared coffee table makes conversation easy, and the table keeps drinks in easy reach. Divide large rooms with furniture – Divide a large living / dining space into separate ones with furniture placement. A sofa facing away from the dining room defines the conversation area from the rest of an open layout. If the living room is the setting for large parties, bring intimacy and a

comfortable sense of scale to the room by dividing it into two conversational groupings with a path between them. Placing one sofa with its back to this path underscores the separation between the two groups, as do the area rugs anchoring them. Or use furniture arrangement to divide the space into different activity zones. Seat chairs instead of sofas – Create a sense of greater space and openness with a collection of

chairs. If you don’t have a room for the usual sofas and loveseats, four comfy chairs will serve as well – or perhaps better. Matching chairs define an orderly, compact, yet welcoming seating group. The scale of an armchair is a major consideration when choosing this route. Pull furnishings together with a rug – Use a large area rug to unify a seating group within a larger space. If the rug isn’t large enough to contain all of the seating pieces, make sure that those farthest from the wall are solidly anchored on the ‘island.’ Enlarge the space with diagonals – Placing the furniture diagonally gives a boxy room some flavor. The diagonal also creates a welcoming pathway into the seating group. Use the sofa and coffee table to establish the diagonal axis and arrange additional seating on the same axis. To subtly anchor the seating group to the room’s architecture, align the area rug with the fireplace wall – or main focal wall in the room. Make space for lounging – In living rooms where lounging and TV-watching are the main activities, a sectional sofa offers flexible, comfortable seating. Sectionals people find come in a variety of units, from armless chairs to love seats, ottomans, and chaises that you can combine to fit your space. Focus on the view – An effective room

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...a sofa facing away from the dining room defines the conversation area... arrangement starts with the focal point, the cornerstone of your living room design. Typically a fireplace plays this role, but in some spaces the view out the picture window or French doors takes center stage instead. Orient the main seating piece toward the focal point and arrange the secondary seating pieces around the main piece. In winter, the room could be re-arranged to focus on the fireplace. Create order with symmetry – Pairs of matching sofas, side tables, and lamps strike a perfect balance on each side of a fireplace in a living room. Symmetry imposes a sense of order on the space. Arrange in an L-shape – A sofa and a love seat form an L-framing a coffee table. This simple arrangement provides a convenient conversational cluster. A single chair at the other side of this group can easily be moved in or out as needed. Create a quiet spot in a bay window – Turn a bay window into a quiet spot for two with a pair of comfortable chairs and an ottoman. Provide a table and lamp between to create a reading nook and place to rest a cup of tea. Renée Carpenter owns Jennings Furniture & Design & Stage It With Jennings in St. Thomas.


Dining & Entertainment Food & Wine

Finding your wine writers by Jamie Quai

A few months back, I had discussed a sparkling wine symposium that I had attended. What I had omitted from that story is one of the highlights of the whole experience – I met one of my favourite wine writers: Jamie Goode. He was the keynote speaker who led the deconstruction and synopsis of all the wines we had tried. This month is all about what makes a good wine writer. The job of a wine writer can be essentially broken down into three key points. Job one is to promote wine. Job two is to serve as a filter between the complicated arrays of wines in the market and increasingly time-strapped consumers. Job three is to build a credible and consistent reputation that the writer can use to further his or her personal brand and wineries can leverage to add an external validation to their wines.

...the writer does not accept undisclosed freebies... Wine writing is actually a rather complicated process. At its most basic level, wine writers take a complex beverage, use their senses to interpret it, then translate a largely solitary experience into a coherent written public explanation. The explanation needs to strike a balance between conveying the writers’ personal experiences and presenting it within the general lexicon of the reader. It also needs to be accurate. The most successful writers are able to strike that balance. There are some perks to writing about wine: this is a job where experiences seldom repeat – there are always new wines, new vintages, new regions, and new producers. Another perk is that there are few impediments to starting a wine writing career. You don’t need a degree or any accreditation to begin. Wine writing is a tremendously creative outlet, a job where one’s personal passion for the August, 2014

trade really does and be viable is hindered. My one exception to poor reviews ... I consider fair game the re-tasting shine. There are however of an older vintage that may have peaked. 5. Most importantly, the writer has to have some downsides. A lot of wine writers similar tastes as you. If you follow a writer with a do their work on similar palate, you have a much better chance of a freelance basis. finding bottles that are to your taste. I read sevFinding enough eral wine columns on a weekly basis that I enjoy work can be tough. reading, but share little taste in common with the There isn’t a huge writers. I respect their opinions but am unlikely to potential for job enjoy the wines. Meeting Jamie Goode was a huge for me. I’ve growth in the established trade discovered through the years that he and I have (large media out- common tastes in wine. During the sparkling lets only need one tasting I would give the wines a personal score, wine writer). New and during recap Goode gave his scores. Almost entrants often have every one of my scores was within two decimals to build their own of his. It was a huge validation that reading his grassroots brand recommendations will lead to rewarding future on social media, wine experiences on my part. I encourage you and through public to seek out writers (or any critic for that matevents. While the costs associated with attending ter) that share your tastes – you will seldom tastings can be considered a professional expense, be disappointed. the capital needed is high. All of this leads to the core of this article – How Jamie Quai is head do you choose wine writers you ultimately decide winemaker at Quai to take your advice from? I personally look for five du Vin Estate Winery qualities: in Elgin County 1. They have to be good writers. No matter how sophisticated the palate, if the writer can’t communicate effectively it doesn’t work. 2. The writer needs to have a focus. A doer of everything is a master of none. Having reCiviC HolidAy for 18 gional, or stylistic, foWeekend SpeCiAl holes and cus ensures the writer August 2, 3, 4 power cart is spending the proper for 18 Monday to Friday time to understand his (excluding holidays) holes and or her domain. $45 weekends power cart 3. The writer does not accept undisclosed freeVoted bies. There is less cred30 Day Memberships ibility in an opinion if FAVOURITE it was paid for by those +HST GOLF COURSE who will benefit. The Includes unlimited golf weekdays excluding In the Spirit of best wine writers will holidays actually pay for every St. Thomas Awards Check our website for details bottle they review. 4. The writer will not Receive a FREE Round of Golf when you register for go negative. Almost all of my favourite writers our e-club at www.pleasantvalleygolfcc.com have never published a poor review. If they disBanquet Facilities Available like the wine – it gets no mention. Practically speaking, if the writer trashes several wineries, the wineries stop inviting the writer and Become a an ultimately the writer’s name appears on fewer Book your Tee Times online: www.pleasantvalleygolfcc.com promotional materials, or call 519-773-2911 and the chance to build Highway 3, 8kms east of St. Thomas - 6 kms West of Aylmer the writer’s audience

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LIFESTYLE Time On my Hands

Standing up for the downtrodden Is it time for a second look at Roadkill? by Duncan Watterworth

Roadkill has become the pariah of the natural world, the lowest of the low. Our modern lifestyle crushes these poor creatures, and then makes us hyper-squeamish about the results. And yucky-phobia only increases as we grow ever more dainty, and estranged from our natural roots. We all are the losers. We need to hit reverse. It is time to re-think roadkill, and resurrect this link with nature. We must welcome RK to its proper place in our appreciation of nature, and even home décor, and sustenance. Join me now in raising the RK banner. Perhaps even step up to the plate, as I have, and chow down on some RK. More about that later. On the Bruce Peninsula, every tourist wants to see a Massasauga rattler. While cruising the Forty Hills Road a few weeks ago, my wife and I found one that had unfortunately passed (under some tires). Still, we excitedly piled out of the van with the camera. The little guy was spectacular, on one end at least – bold brown on shiny silver. It reminded us of the detailed geometric pattern on the chunk of armadillo shell we picked up in Florida.

If you love nature, you have to make peace with RK. Every animal sighting, even if only two-dimensional, has something of interest. A few days ago, while out for a run, I came across a RK raccoon. I smelled it before I saw it – less of a Davy Crockett hat, and more like a furry stain with teeth. But I marveled at how tough those teeth must be. Running in the country is an anatomy course, if you choose to look. Of course, there will always be people who just can’t handle RK. A few years ago, Barb and I were running down Talbot Street, just below Jumbo. A dead deer was blocking one of the lanes, and behind it a policeman sat in his cruiser, windows securely raised. Why didn’t he man up, grab a hoof, and clear the road? Was he waiting for back-up, MNR, a SWAT team, a convention of civil servants? To this day, I wish I had just taken the bull by the horns, and respectfully dragged the deer onto the shoulder. Turning to home décor, my house is decorated with re-purposed RK. Over years of running, my wife and I have found two small owls that received a make-over at the Mapleton Taxidermy and Cheese Store. We also have a stuffed RK rattler that we retrieved from the roadside years ago. And turning to dining on flat meats, just Google

“roadkill cuisine” for lots of tongue-in-cheek fun and recipes. But Wikipedia snobbishly says, “Roadkill eating is considered unglamourous and mocked in pop culture, and is often associated with stereotypes of rednecks and uncouth persons.” Well Wiki can kiss my grits. And it is totally coincidental that my personal RK meal was in Tennessee while on a trip with some cavers. I was driving back to our campsite one night when – thump! – I nailed Thumper. “Stop the car,” yelled one of the guys, and he ran back to retrieve the rabbit. He cleaned it, and fried it over our campfire. Fresh, not too flat, eaten in the open air. Does it get any better than that? Now people are arguing that it is ethically enlightened to eat RK, rather than store-bought meat. I can swallow that, and feel good about it. Especially if I wash it down with moonshine. Duncan Watterworth is a retired lawyer whose mind tends to wander.

BuSInESS & CommunITY inclusiveness

St Thomas’s culturally diverse community is a window to the world by Selvin Mejia

“St. Thomas-Elgin opens its doors to everyone. I have met many friends from different countries and cultures.” This heartfelt sentiment, shared by

a recent newcomer to St. Thomas, is common to many of the new immigrants who come to the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin for settlement support. Since 2009, the federal government has partnered with YWCA • Mobility Needs •Compression St. Thomas-Elgin to es• Wound Management Stockings tablish Settlement SerBe Sun Safe! • Diagnostic Aids • Mastectomy vices for our region. The We have the • First Aid Supplies • Rentals program acquaints newproducts and • Braces and Supports • Bathroom Safety knowledge to keep comers with life in St. • Stair Lifts • Ostomy you protected. Thomas-Elgin by hosting information sessions We Service What We Sell ADP Approved Vendor covering such topics as household budgeting, Free City Wide Delivery on Everything We Sell winter readiness, school PROFESSIONAL CONSULTATION AVAILABLE preparation, fire prevenEd Yurek Phm. B. Peter Yurek B.Sc. Phm. tion, tax information, CONVENIENT HOURS: and techniques to deal Monday to Friday 9am-9pm, YUREK PHARMACY LTD. with daily stressors. Saturday 9am-6:00pm, Sunday 10am-4pm YWCA St. Thomaswww.yurekpharmacy.com Elgin has also been of519 TALBOT STREET, ST. THOMAS 519-631-3330 1-866-631-3330 fering English classes

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for the last 15 years. The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) initiative offers a small class environment with personalized instruction, teaching learners language skills for everyday life. In the last 18 months, Settlement Services has worked with well over 200 people in the St. Thomas and Elgin County region, home to individuals from at least 47 different nationalities. Just last year, the program assisted individuals and their families from Cambodia, China, Croatia, South Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Italy, St. Lucia, Hungary, Sudan, Colombia, Tanzania, Peru, Brazil, and Egypt to name a few. Agencies, government, and businesses can receive support from our Settlement staff if they have questions about cultural diversity and inclusivity or how to support newcomers. St. Thomas and Elgin County is a true window to the world! Selvin Mejia is the coordinator of YWCA St Thomas-Elgin Settlement Services. 30

See your home in a different light.




when you purchase Pirouette Window Shadings. †


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Mon. – Fri. 7:30 – 5:30 Sat. 8:30 – 4:30 † Purchase 3 Pirouette® Window Shadings and receive a $200 rebate. Also, when you purchase any number of these additional shades, you’ll receive an extra $40 for each. Valid at participating retailers only. The rebate will be issued in the form of a Hunter Douglas Prepaid American Express® Gift Card. THE PROMOTION CARD is a trademark of The Hunt Group. All Rights Reserved. THE PROMOTION CARD is a Prepaid American Express® Card issued by Amex Bank of Canada. ® Used by Amex Bank of Canada under license from American Express.

August, 2014



2013 Healthy Workplace Awards Elgin St. Thomas Public Health, in partnership with the Elgin Business Resource Centre, congratulates these progressive organizations for their ongoing commitment to creating healthy work environments for the benefit of their employees, their community and their bottom line.

Platinum Award Winner

The Healthy Workplace Awards are presented annually to deserving organizations who have an active workplace health, wellness and safety program.

Milestones Children’s Centre

Gold Award Winners

St.Thomas Elgin General Hospital

To submit your company for the 2014 Healthy Workplace Awards Call Health at Work 4 All! at 519-631-9900 or e-mail healthyworkplaces@elginhealth.on.ca

Family and Children’s Services of St.Thomas and Elgin

Silver Award

Bronze Award

St.Thomas Early Learning Centre

GKN Sinter Metals

Photos supplied by: Photos by MG www.photosbymg.com 1230 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, ON 519-631-9900 www.elginhealth.on.ca August, 2014

300 South Edgeware Road St. Thomas, ON 519-633-7597




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