Page 1

Your Business. Your Community.

MALICHI MALE The best city on the planet

Cover story: Page 3 Inside: • Aylmer & Area Chamber Pages 18 and 19

• Golf in Elgin County Pages 20 to 23

• Self-compassion Anouschka Van den Bosch Page 8

Volume 7 No. 8, April 2017


Parks, Facilities, Recreation & Leisure

City of St. Thomas All Youth sessions are 8 weeks.

DANCE

Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $30.25 Intro to Dance - Tumbling - Cheerleading Intro to Dance -Ballet - Jazz – Hip Hop

Spring 2017 Registration Now Open

POWER SKATING CSA approved helmet required. Location: Timken Arena – STMHA Rink Cost: $69.75

CRAFTERS CORNER

CARTOONING SKETCHING & DRAWING

Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $58.00

Location: Timken – Ohi Ontario Room Cost: $58.00

BEGINNER PAINTING

BASKETBALL

Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $58.00

Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $30.25

KIDS IN THE THE KITCHEN

MULTI-SPORT

Sports include: basketball, floor hockey, soccer and other active games. Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $30.25 CSA helmet with full facemask required. Sticks are supplied on designated floor hockey nights.

VOLLEYBALL

Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $30.25

FLOOR HOCKEY

Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $30.25

LEARN TO SKATE

CSA approved helmet required. Location: Timken Arena – STMHA Rink Cost: $69.75

PA DAY CAMPS full day care for kids who are off from school. Activities include: time outdoors, playing sports, crafts, ice time, group games & free pizza lunch! June 9 & 30 @ Timken – Gymnasium

***March 31 @ Memorial Arena***

Location: Timken – Gymnasium Cost: $30.25 CSA helmet with full facemask required. Sticks are supplied.

SOCCER

Location: Timken – Gymnasium & Kitchen Cost: $58.00

Time: 8:30am to 4:00pm Cost: $33.00 (includes pizza lunch) Ages: 4-12Y Early drop off: 7:30 - 8:30am $2.50/day Late pick up: 4:00 - 5:00pm $2.50/day (One charge per family)

***SUMMER CAMPS NOW OPEN*** All camps include themed activity days and events each week as well as special guests, crafts, group games & water games. Multi Sport Weeks include 1 hour of ice time most days Multi Sport Camps: Located at Timken Centre July 3 – 7, July 17 – 21, July 31 – Aug. 4, August 14 – 18 Nature Camps: Located at Pinafore Park

All city programs are introductory, with a focus on basic fundamentals required in a variety of disciplines related to your activity of choice (dance, sports and arts/crafts). Inclusive are warm up, preparation, skill development, group interaction, along with time for active play. We strive to provide fun and engaging programs for youth (4-12 year olds) in a safe and controlled environment that promotes healthy and creative lifestyles.

Registration Now Open! April, 2017

Register online at http://www.bookking.ca/bkstthomaspub/index.asp By telephone 519-633-7112 or at the Parks and Recreation office inside the St. Thomas Timken Community Centre, at 75 Caso Crossing (Formerly 2 Third Ave.) Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 2


Award-winning musician crazy about St. Thomas by Terry Carroll

The man who calls St. Thomas “the greatest city on the planet” arrived here by accident, although if you ask him, it was one of God’s accidents. Malichi Male was heading from Toronto to a performance in London when he turned left instead of right at Highbury. People had told him that it would take about 20 minutes after he left the 401 to reach his venue. He entered St. Thomas about 20 minutes later and didn’t know how lost he was. And now found, as it turned out. “Everybody was warm, friendly, inviting,” Malichi says. “In Toronto, you don’t talk to anybody. It was a night and da y experience.” When he returned to his condo in Toronto, he told his wife about his St. Thomas experience. They searched houses online and were astonished at the prices. “You couldn’t buy a crack house in Toronto for $400,000,” he says. In no time, they sold their Toronto condo and moved to the Railway City. His new home equity gave him the freedom to pursue his passion for music, first and foremost, then the music business and finally business in general. Malichi was born in Idi Amin’s Uganda. His father was a professor in Kumpala, and his mother was a high school teacher. Around the time Malichi was seven, Amin’s government became aware that his father wasn’t a fan of what Malichi calls “the craziness, the Hitler-like mentality.” To disagree meant a death sentence. The family fled at night, house-to-house, to Kenya, and secured a green card for Canada. They lived in a mid-1980s Canadian version of a refugee camp – low-income housing in the Rexdale area of Toronto. After what he had been through, he thought he was in heaven. His mother and father spoke English, as did an older brother in the family of five children (another brother had died in Uganda). It was a classic immigrant story. His father worked two factory jobs at once, and sold encyclopedias and insurance on the side. Malichi spoke mainly the Ugandan dialect Luganda. Reading and writing English came slowly to him – he wasn’t proficient until high school – but he became adept at reading the summaries of books and inventing stories for classes. It was a skill that would serve him well upon graduation. College and university were out of the question, so he and a partner scraped together first and last month’s rent and opened a neighbourhood barbershop in Mississauga. “God just helped me,”

he said. “Dozens of Malichi Male, doing what people showed up on he loves best: Making sweet the first day.” music in St. Thomas. Imperial Hair Design expanded to eight barbers and a couple of support staff, everyone young and dreaming of success as musicians and actors. They transformed a back room into a studio. Their group, the Imperial Allstars, produced a rap and freestyle CD that found an audience. But when it came time to tour, Malichi was the only Allstar still available. He adapted, touring the album on his music”. Instead, they would pay for concert tickets, own, improvising as he went. Fast forward. In 2015, his “Real Life” album won T-shirts, clothing lines and related merchandise. rap album of the year in the Covenant Awards, the Companies compensate people like him as much top Canadian Christian music awards. In 2016, his for a 30-minute motivational speech as he could “Kam-City” was shortlisted for rap album of the make doing a grueling five-hour performance. Social media is key to the music business. He’s year in the same category. He’s a religious man, but he’s had his dark times. expanded his online knowledge and experience into He’s gone through divorce and remarriage; he’s a service for other businesses. For $200 or $250 a had his times of anxiety and despair. But his music month, he helps businesses grow awareness and is uplifting. It eschews the violent, gangsta tradi- sales through targeted social media programs. He tion in rap. And it keeps changing. “Kam-City” sees towns and cities the size of St. Thomas as ideal incorporates musical genres from the places and for developing a social media profile: “St. Thomas nationalities he’s toured: rap, dance hall, reggae, is big enough to support you, and there’s not too R&B, African, Indian and classical. He also teams much competition. And people in small towns love up with people like Ugandan teen gospel phenom- to support local businesses.” He hates it when he hears people run down or enon Baby Gloria in songs like “We Gonna Make It”. He’s working on a classical album for 2017 re- degrade St. Thomas. “If you live in St. Thomas, lease. (Not a man to be pinned to any one genre, his you’d have to be the dumbest person in the world music mix includes bootylicious female moves on to leave,” says the man who arrived in St. Thomas his “Slow Wine” video featuring Michie Mee and seemingly by accident, and went on to write and produce a St. Thomas Proud video with an infecMannaseh.) Malichi has taken his talent for freestyle into tious “Boom” hook. There’s also a recent YouTube talk TV with Walk In Purpose (motivational TV, video titled “MALICHI MALE gets emotional overcoming obstacles). He has a show that’s being about ST. THOMAS”. No surprise, when you picked up by Rogers and has launched STPT, aka think about it. St. Thomas Proud TV, on Facebook. When music transformed into essentially a free, online service, Malichi quickly understood that Cover and page 3 photos by Mike Maloney while “people love music, they’re not going to buy

Elgin This Month Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Freelance Editor Terry Carroll Sales Supervisor Geoff Rae

Advertising Consultant Greg Minnema Layout Janine Taylor Production Metroland Media Group

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

Published monthly by Metroland Media Group Ltd., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm April, 2017

ELGIN THIS MONTH

3


INNES As I See It

Timeworn prickles limit our connections its usefulness as a cherished representation of natural As babies we are highly susceptible to the physi- beauty and, as we all know, cal and emotional effects of circumstance. And a rose given (preferably one before too many breaths, we begin to develop de- that doesn’t poke you) is a fence mechanisms. time-honoured way to deThe first unexpected bump or loud noise begins clare feelings of warm affecour descent into complex layers of self-protection tion. that guard against potential harm. In fact, studIt has been my experience, ies indicate we grow wary even within the womb. personally and professionEspecially when the life of our mother is burdened ally, that the time will come with stress. when we realize that some These ‘defence mechanisms’ mature like the of our timeworn prickles prickles on the stem of a rose. Many botanists limit the depth to our conagree that these sharp and pointed barbs devel- nections, and/or undermine oped over time to ward off hungry herbivores that our attempts at ‘playing nice are naturally attracted to the flower’s fragrance. in the sand box’. And what No living thing wants to be wolfed down. Yet once was a solution to a past such harm is built into the natural order of things. (and perhaps long-manAnd so also our protective mechanisms surface aged) threat becomes increasingly detrimental. naturally. Not a day goes by that we don’t have to deal with Back to the rose … the protective prickles not our own self-protective behaviours or the same only scratch painfully, but are vehicles for inject- from others. We can’t always name what is haping infectious material into your skin (as seen with pening, but the skid marks created by our defena fungus commonly referred to as rose picker’s sive braking is, when we look back, very evident. disease). However, because rose prickles are outSuch behaviour can be chronically habitual. It growths of the stem’s outer layers (not part of the will appear without forethought, constrict our core wood) they can be easily broken off. breath, and disable an open heart and mind. When prickles are broken off, the plant becomes Whether our true selves are anywhere present, is more manageable. And such ‘taming’ enhances questionable. To move beyond these confines, we must first make friends with our need for safety. Without this natuinvestment • insurance • retirement and tax planning ral courage to stand tall and on guard we may have otherwise been devoured by some very real threats. Second, we must want to change our rigidity because continuing the way we have is too isolating … the outcomes too limited. Third, we must ac by Jim Innes

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knowledge that any movement towards greater vulnerability will come at a cost. We will, in no easy manner, be pushed beyond our comfort zone. Brené Brown, a researcher at the University of Houston, describes this vulnerable journey as a process of “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” She explains that those who risk it let go of who they think they should be, in order to be who they really are. As I see it, balancing self-protectiveness with vulnerability is a universal human experience. Self-protectiveness creates the environment in which we can safely enjoy our connections and experience the love available to us within that sheltered space. Vulnerability, on the other hand, is as equally natural to our human nature as self-protection. But it prompts the creation of a wider community and increases our experience of the universal connection we all share. Of this Brené Brown states, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the centre of meaningful human experiences.”

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Jim Innes is a clinically trained therapist and, until a recent transfer, was a priest at St. John’s Anglican in St. Thomas. Learn more at jiminnes.ca.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 4


Business & Community LEADERSHIP

Be fully present while seeing the big picture by Doug Lester

In our book, 12 Steps of Self-Leadership: The Difference Maker’s Guide to Living and Leading on Purpose, and in our coaching and facilitation work there is an intentional double entendre in the phrase “living on purpose.” Living on purpose is both complicated and simple. It involves many “both — and” dyads. It involves both the call from the world and the subtle voice deep within your heart. It involves being fully present in the moment while seeing the big picture. A person’s ability to live on purpose is best served both with a long view and an ability to allow life to unfold in the present moment without forcing the process. It takes both a laser focus and a light touch. We believe that each person has the potential and

the responsibility to make a positive difference. John O’Donohue writes, “When you open your heart to discovery, you will be called to step outside the comfort barriers within which you have fortified your life. You will be called to risk old views and thoughts and step off the circle of routine and image. This will often bring turbulence. The pendulum will fix at times on one extreme and you will be out of balance. But your soul loves the danger of growth.” Too many of us today listen to the barrage of media and work expectations and get swept along in the flood of information and conflicting views. We are so busy treading water that we have lost sight of the shore. Clarifying and deepening a sense of purpose that honours your uniqueness will benefit your work, your relationships, and your sense of self. Open your heart and life to the work and people in your immediate circle. They need you, fully

present, in your formative process. At any age or level of responsibility be open. Be vulnerable. Open your heart to discovery. Purpose, processes, evolution, and meaning are so intertwined that by necessity the self-discovery journey takes you along winding paths where it is easy to get lost and discouraged. For many, the best approach will be to seek out a coach, counsellor, wise mentor, or a combination of people that you can access personally and professionally. George Bernard Shaw stated the goal of living on purpose this way: “This is the true joy in life — being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one ... being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” Each workshop, retreat, exploration, false start, disappointment, and life experience will help you step more fully into your purpose. There is a genius within seeking to live on purpose. Don’t settle. Open your heart, your mind, and your will, again and again. You were born to make a difference. Cheryl Lester and Doug Lester. Helping people live and lead on purpose. Coaching; Personal/Professional Development; 12 Step Recovery Circles. Co-authors of 12 Steps of Self-Leadership. differencemakerscircle.com

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kjackson@elgincfdc.ca 5


Business & Community Tourism

A taste of luxury in downtown West Lorne

by Katherine Thompson

The term “Artisan Chocolate” usually brings to mind delicacies crafted in boutiques located along cobble stone roads in Belgium or deep in the heart of the Swiss Alps; but, there is no need to travel thousands of kilometres to experience quality handcrafted treats now that Century Chocolates is bringing a taste of luxury to downtown West Lorne. In late 2016, owners Ryan and Krista Harris opened their first store front at the 182 Main Street location. Ryan’s start as a chocolate maker was serendipitous. While working as a cook at a restaurant he made the acquaintance of an area chocolatier who was visiting his place of employment. Ryan ended up helping this chocolatier to run a bistro in London for the next four years and this is where he honed his chocolate-making skills. Years later, while working in the manufacturing industry, Ryan missed dabbling with chocolate and creating things. His wife Krista, the owner of Special Occasions Creation and Design, was invited to sell her handmade favour boxes at a craft show in London, and she wanted to put Ryan’s chocolates in the boxes. He whipped up some truffles for the event which sold remarkably well. He also ended up selling some of these truffles at his place of employment during the holiday season. After these successes, Ryan decided to pursue his own artisan chocolate business. Century Chocolates got its start as a home-based business with Ryan and Krista combining their talents to provide gourmet artisan chocolates in beautifully adorned, custom designed packaging for weddings and for sale at area craft shows. In 2014, Ryan developed his first flavoured caramels in orange and raspberry. The pair knew they had a great INSTER! M product and soon T S HAPPY 160TH WE they put together a flavour list to develop an entire line. They rented a kitchen in Rodney and shortly after moved to Tasty Sweets Café and Bakery before moving to their own location. Century Chocolates are made fresh with no artificial preservatives and no high

fructose corn syrup. According to Ryan, caramels and chocolate already have a significant shelf life without adding unnecessary additives into the mixture. A wide variety of chocolate bars, and chocolate covered treats are available at Century Chocolates but Ryan’s signature flavoured caramels, Century Caramels, are the stars of the show. Chocolate and caramel is a classic pairing that Ryan has loved since childhood. These caramels are similar to a truffle, but are filled with a soft-flowing caramel enhanced with a variety of unique and delightful flavours including banana, raspberry, mint, peanut butter, Kaluha, and vanilla nut butter. Seasonal flavours are added in the fall including the ever-popular pumpkin spice and the different but delicious chili. Century Chocolates operates on the principles of quality and reasonable pricing. Artisan chocolates can be expensive but Ryan and Krista use a wholesale business model that allows them to sell their products at a reasonable price. They want to make artisan chocolate accessible. If their chocolates are comparable in price to the mass produced chocolates of major retailers, the choice to choose local will be easier for potential customers. They also want to ensure that they are able to grow their business while maintaining the handcrafted nature of their products. No matter how large the company gets, the pair refuse to automate and instead vow to hire and train additional staff to continue making the chocolates by hand. This philosophy helped the pair win the Elgin Business Resource Centre’s 2016 Enterprise Elgin Business Competition in October 2016. In addition to their West Lorne location, Century Chocolates can be found each year at both the Christmas and Easter Craft Shows at the Western Fair in London and during open houses at Canadale Nurseries in Central Elgin, and in-store at Coyle’s Country Store in Tillsonburg, Harbour Merchant Coffee in Port Stanley, Chick Boss Cake in St. Thomas, Karen’s Java and Scoops in Forest, The Sweet Spot in Port Burwell, and at Karpos Mediterranean Style Dried Nuts and Fruits in Wortley Village, London and The Flower Fountain in Aylmer. Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 6


Business & Community OUR COMMUNITY

Yes! Lots of reasons to be #stthomasproud by Serge Lavoie

with local developers), extensive street and sidewalk refurbishment including a publicly available 10 year plan listing all upcoming upgrades by year of completion. Add to that the municipal investments in key Talbot Street properties, a potential heritage designation for Talbot Street, creation of the Courthouse Neighbourhood, a planned library expansion, a massive new athletic facility in the north end of the city, upgrades to our beloved heritage parks and the private development of the St. Thomas Elevated Park on the old MCR rail bridge (full disclosure: I’m involved with that one.) The pace of investment is dizzying. St. Thomas Proud indeed. In my view, the successful adoption of the brand-

ing gave us the impetus, or the permission, to invest in our community again. And now that we’re investing, we can fully justify our brand. In short, the branding told us we had something to be proud of and we are determined to preserve it and build on it for the future. It’s a classic case of “feeling” a brand and letting it drive success. I think Terry O’Reilly would agree.

I’m a big fan of Terry O’Reilly, the advertising executive who has explored all things marketing and promotion in his weekly radio show for CBC. In one chapter of his newly released book, O’Reilly talks about “feeling” a brand rather than just talking about it. That got me thinking about a piece I wrote in this column a few years ago suggesting that St. Thomas needed to develop its own Serge Lavoie has a 35 year career brand in order to support renewed growth and demanaging associations. He is curvelopment. rently president of On Track St. At the time, the city was doing well with the Thomas. He lives in St. Thomas. “25% more life” campaign developed by the homebuilders’ association. It was also tinkering with the Railway Capital of Canada branding introduced by On Track St. Thomas back in the late 1990s. Those were good, but more was needed. A new vision became possible with st the reinvigoration of St. Thomas Economic Development, now including a tourism office. The Railway Capital of Canada branding was finessed into a simple “Railway City” descriptor. In no time at all, the community embraced it. Railway City found its way into company names across town. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And it’s a great way to amplify a brand. Railway City clearly communicates where we came from and our determination to never forget that history; in fact, we want to celebrate it. At the same time, the #stthomasproud campaign was launched, plastered across social media, buttons and tee shirts. What that slogan was telling us was that we still believed in our community, for all its challenges, and we could make it great again. (Is that phrase trademarked by the Trump corporation?) Individual & Team Entries Welcome Taken together, Railway City and $40/participant #stthomasproud help us “feel” the brand. We have something to be (Everyone Welcome • Pledge Sheets Available) proud of and we’re damn well going ALL SKILL LEVELS to express that pride. There’s a third element to this In 2016, 343 area youths received branding, however. Just like all assistance totalling $48,530 for: house-proud home owners, we want Gymnastics to put our best foot forward. Which Hockey is why, after an extended period of Soccer neglect and slow decay, St. Thomas Camps & More! residents are embracing the idea of investing in their community again. The list of recent and future investFOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: ments is impressive: an expanded East Elgin Community Complex and restored court house, a hospital 531 Talbot Street West, Aylmer expansion, a new police station, a P: 519.773.5631 • E: admin@eecc.ca • W: eecc.ca new skate park, a STEAM innovation centre, a downtown seniors’ This event is Sponsored by: housing complex, a revitalized Talbot Street plan, a new gateway roundabout, a new and ever expanding walking/cycling trail system (much of it financed in partnership 15c

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April, 2017

ELGIN THIS MONTH

7


Healthy Living Self Discovery

Find compassion … for yourself by Anouschka Van den Bosch

A few weeks ago, I treated my self to a day of workshops and hanging out with a friend. It was a great day with lots of great conversations and laughter. One of the workshops I attended was about sSelf-cCompassion. This is a topic that I still have difficulty with. Looking into the mirror and telling myself “You are awesome!” is not easy. and Iso thought it would be a good session for me to attend. And it certainly was. I have become good at taking care of myself. This day with my friend was a self-care event that I had no problem pencilling into my agenda however looking into the mirror and tell my self “You are awesome!” is not so easy. I have no problem finding compassion for others – , sometimes I find myself a bit overly compassionate, if there is such a thing. What is difficult for me is to be compassionate towards my self. I am hard on my self wWhen I make a mistake, I mutter negative words, “you You stupid chick what were you thinking?” and My all-time favourite is, “you You are such a loser.” is my all time favourite. Why is it that we can find compassion for others but find it so difficult to be compassionate to our selves? There have been plenty of conversations about self-care and iIn my line of work, itself-care has been talked about for years. Self-care iIn a nut

shell, it’s is taking care of yourself, taking that time away from work and/or family so you can recharge your batteries so you can continue to take care of others. Women have been known to find it difficult to find time to take care of themselves;, hence the many self-help books and articles on how to practice self-care in this hectic world. So, I got that, all figured out but then come Self-Compassion! I have it capitalized here because it is a big new revelation for me. Sure, I had heard about it before but it just seemed to come up more and more in my daily routine. Jane Everitt-Walker our workshop facilitator shared with us her experiences as well as her learning from Dr. Kirsten Neff, and I am going to be brutally honest with you:, she She had me in tears a few times. I so resonated with what she had to share with me that and it made me realize that I still have a long way to go when it comes to my own self-compassion. Memories from my first years in Canada came flooding back. I was never like “them”, did not speak like “them”, and as I got older, I believed that I was not good enough to go to uUniversity, to be something more than just a little “Dutch girl”. When I was asked to write this column, 4 four years ago, the first words out of my mouth were, “my My grammar sucks and I don’t know how to speak proper English.” Those stories like that have beenbecame my story for many years. I have always been able to find compassion findingin others; it is my own self-compassion I struggle with. My English will never be perfect, but I John Gurr, Owner have come to find that endearing about my-

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self and not such a negative. Will I ever consider myself to be good enough and more than just that little Dutch girl? Maybe. I have been accepted for a Graduate Diploma Course at Western. and it isIt’s not just about being more than just a little Dutch girl; it is about not judging myself and simply doing the best I can. Can we help others to practise self-compassion? We have all heard it in our the workplace, we have all heard someone talking to them selves and use ing negative language to describe what they did wrong. We usually let them mutter along and quietly carry on with our own business. I mean really, why would we interfere? Well, what if we did interfere? What if we stopped theat negative conversation that youra colleague is having with himself and simply said,; “Hey, want to talk about it?” Remember what I said in the beginning, we have no problem being compassionate to others so why not step in and allow your a colleague to find more positive language to work through the deadline she can’t meet? Jane taught us that having compassion means that when you we are having a difficult time at work or at home or notice something you we don’t like about yourself ourselves, we should to respond with, “This is really difficult right now” instead of the usual ignoring of the pain with a usual “stiff upper lip” mentality. And I loved this part: “Having compassion for yourself means that you honour and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to.” Absolutely! The more we are open to this reality and stop trying to fight against it, the more we will be able to feel compassion for ourselves and our family members,r fellow humans including our families, friends and co-workers. It all seems so simple doesn’t it? However, I still can’t look in the mirror and tell myself, “you You are awesome.” that is still going a bit too far for me. Baby steps, Jane, baby steps. Anouschka Van den Bosch is a Human Resources Professional and Certified Life and Career Coach.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 8


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In the spirit

We couldn’t do it without great volunteers. Jennifer Babcock of Meadow Creek Retirement Residence took on the green spirit of our pre-St. Pat’s Business After 5 at co-sponsor St. Thomas Golf & Country Club as she staffed our event table.

In recognition of free enterprise achievement Former St. Thomas Mayor & MPP Steve Peters once told us “I love history because it tells us so much. If we don’t know where we’ve been, we can’t know where we’re going.” We think he’s right, and we think the same value can be found in something we call recognition. And in something else we call attitude. The second Wednesday in May is a very special day for the Chamber and for a lengthy list of businesses, organizations and individuals we have recognized through presentation of the Free Enterprise Awards. This year, on Wednesday May 10, we invite you to join us for the 42nd Free Enterprise Awards presentations. The Free Enterprise Awards Reception will be held at St. Anne’s Centre. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. with a social mixer until 6:30. At that time we will begin to present the awards that have become known as the “Oscars” of local enterprise. The story of each winner, and often the story behind the story, will be told in pictures and words in an impressive audio/visual display. Tickets for the event are $30 per person and available by advance sale from the Chamber office. Nominations for the 2017 Awards closed on March 31 and are reviewed by the Chamber’s Awards and Recogni-

April Business After 5

tion Committee, chaired this year by our Immediate Past Chair, Dan Kelly of Dowler-Karn. Up to 7 awards may be given to celebrate local short-term and long-term entrepreneurial successes that go beyond business to improve the cultural and social fabric of our area. Each winner must be more than an economic success and be proven to make meaningful contributions to the social and cultural fabric of our community. Short-term or recent achievements over the previous 24 months are celebrated with the Free Enterprise Award of Merit. There is no limit to the number of Merit Awards that an organization or individual might earn, and no more than 3 winners may be named each year. The Free Enterprise Master Awards are our heavy hardware. Intended to celebrate long-term and/or lifetime success, no more than 3 winners may be named in this category in any year. Our remaining Award category is for an optional presentation. At the discretion of the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, the Chair’s Award may be given when circumstances warrant to an individual or organization for exemplary service that betters the Chamber and the services and programs we offer.

Happy winner

Date:

Chamber CEO Bob Hammersley awards Jame Patriquin of Barnacles Beerhouse & Eatery in Port Stanley with our main door prize at our March Business After 5. Jame claimed a new 16GB iPad mini, provided by our co-sponsor The St. Thomas Soccer Club. John Laverty of the Soccer Club pulled Jame’s winning ticket.

Wednesday April 12

Time:

Doors Open at 5:00 p.m. Prize draws & sponsor remarks at 6:15

Site & Sponsor

Freight Systems 150 Dennis Road at Highbury Avenue, St. Thomas Free Admission to all personnel from any organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.

Business Beat Table of Contents Page 10 ................. Lunch work Page 11 .......... MP/MPP Lunch Page 12 ............ Legal Business Page 13 .............Barry awarded Page 14 ..................... No fraud Page 15 ............ New Members Page 16 ............ New Members April, 2017

(ext. 222)

May Edition Advertising Deadline is April 17th

ELGIN THIS MONTH

9


Viewpoint 7 things you can do to improve your business over your lunch

by Christina R. Green

Major overhauls of a business take time, buy-in, and frankly, they can be a little frightening. Not so of these mini tweaks. These seven things can help you move the meter in your business in less time than it takes to wolf down a sandwich and check your voice mails. Find out what they like Your customers are more valuable to your business than from just a revenue perspective. Knowing what they respond to can help you shape services and products, create more meaningful content, and engage them more on social media. So, don’t be afraid to ask them what they like. Create a short survey and email it to them or “hang” it on your website if you get a lot of traffic. The key here is to keep it short. Ask for reviews Depending on the type of business you have, spend a few minutes reaching out to satisfied customers for reviews, referrals, or testimonials. It may feel awkward at first but these types of social proof go a long way for potential customers. Think of it as giving people an opportunity (and a gentle reminder) to share something with their tribe that will be of value to them. Doesn’t everyone need a good plumber or hairstylist? Of course they do. Now give your customers a way to help their tribe.

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In your communication to them explain why reviews are so important to the success of your business. If you’re asking for reviews, make it easy for them to respond by inserting URLs to the review site in your email request. If you are asking for testimonials, post them to your site when you get them. If referrals were what you were after, give them an incentive to do so or surprise them with a discount later. Reach out to a complementary business for a special program Another way to get more interest in your business is to offer something your competitors aren’t. A simple way to do that is to partner with a complementary business for a special offering. For instance, if you’re a health food store you could partner with a local caterer to host a “healthy meals in minutes” program in your store. This could attract new business for both of you. Rework your social media cover images With the help of easy-to-use templates on the web (Hint: try www.canva.com), you can now redesign your cover image on your social media profiles during your lunch hour. Keeping them fresh will help attract more eyes and give consistent visitors something new to look at. Go live on Facebook If you have your phone with you, you can go Live on Facebook during your lunch hour. Not sure what to talk about? Think about a question you’re often asked at your business and answer it. Encourage people to ask questions of you as well. Facebook lets you broadcast for up to 90 minutes but keeping it between 15 – 20 min-

utes is probably sufficient. You’ll get more views if you remain live for at least 15 minutes. Then save the video and post it to your site. Figure out your most popular posts Look at the data and figure out what hit home with your audience then do more of it. If you notice image quotes make up most of your engagement on Twitter, keep that in mind when creating content. Share the love Go through your customer files and pull out your most loyal. Now make sure you follow them on social media and share their content, where appropriate. Add in flattering comments like “Good advice” and “Love this perspective.” This will make them feel good and people will be more likely to click on the links and share if they know why you like it. Small business owners are busy people and, because of that, often digital marketing falls to the wayside. But you don’t need much time to make a little progress every day. Make a list of things you can do that only take a few minutes. Then when you have a moment before a meeting or while you’re eating lunch, you can make the most of your most valuable resource – your time. Christina R. Green is a regular contributor to Chamber publications and events. She teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.

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.ca Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Bob Hammersley Accounting Coordinator Susan Munday Member Services Christy Hunking Member Services Barry Fitzgerald

April, 2017

St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce 2017 Board of Directors Chair: Robert Furneaux Gorman-Rupp Canada 1st Vice-Chair: Ray Bosveld HollisWealth 2nd Vice-Chair: Brian Helmer Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Treasurer: Mark Lassam, CPA, CA Lassam & Co. Past Chair: Dan Kelly, CPA, CGA Dowler-Karn Ltd. Director: Kathy Cook World Financial Group Director: Sean Dyke St. Thomas Economic Development Corp. Fanshawe College Director: Ross Fair Director: Kevin Jackson Elgin Business Resource Centre Director: Tara McCaulley Small Business Enterprise Centre Director: Ginette Minor Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor Director: Chris Patriquin Simply Pure Water Director: Joe Preston Wendy’s Restaurant Director: Bob Ward The Auto Guys

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 10


Chamber News

MP/MPP Luncheon June 28 Federal Member of Parliament Karen Vecchio and our Member of Provincial Parliament, Jeff Yurek, will be our guests as the Chamber hosts our annual MP/MPP Luncheon at St. Anne’s Centre on Wednesday June 28. Tickets are advance sale only and available now from the Chamber. $32 per person. Order by phone at 519-631-1981, order from the Events section on the Chamber website, or send us an email request to mail@stthomaschamber.ca. The event opens at 11:15 a.m. with buffet food service from 11:30 a.m. to 12 Noon. Presentations from our guests start at 12 and lead to an open question-and-answer session. The event will conclude by 1:30 p.m.

MP Karen Vecchio

Members Golf Day – sold-out Thanks very much to everyone who responded to our earlier messaging about the Chamber’s annual Golf Day on May 25. In record time, we sold-out and reached our maximum of 120 players for the 43rd annual edition of our event. It’s now the longest-running golf event in our region, and this year’s sell-out again confirms the popularity. All foursomes were filled in less than 3 weeks after news of the date was shared to our Members. It’s inevitable that changes to our registration list will occur due to unforeseen circumstances, illness or injury and, for that reason, we have a waiting and cancellation list. If you missed out on getting a spot, let us know of your interest. On a first-come/first-served basis we will make changes and additions. Our main staff contact at the Chamber office for this event is Member Services Rep Christy Hunking at 519631-1981 Extension 526 or email christy@stthomaschamber.ca Our Member Services Committee has an exceptional day planned for everyone, starting with valet club carriage to your cart as you arrive.

MPP Jeff Yurek

Queen’s Park action In Toronto on Monday March 27, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) along with a delegation of representatives from over 90 chambers of commerce and boards of trade participated in the annual Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park. The St. Thomas & District Chamber was represented by former MP Joe Preston, as a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and co-chair of our new government affairs group, along with Chamber President & CEO Bob Hammersley. Chamber staff and volunteers from every part of the province had the opportunity to meet with Premier Kathleen Wynne, senior government officials and MPPs from across the province. Chamber personnel dedicated a full day starting in Toronto at 8:45 a.m. until wrap-up with a 6:00 p.m. reception at Queen’s Park, which gave representatives an opportunity to interact with their local MPPs in a more informal setting and allowed for further conversation regarding issues of concern to Ontario business. “Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park highlights the collective strength of the Chamber Network,” said Graham Henderson, Chair of the OCC Board of Directors. “We know the Chamber Network can and has created positive change at Queen’s Park, and we are eager to see how the provincial government will react to the economic challenges that were discussed here today.” The OCC’s Advocacy Day is one of the many ways that the Chamber Network engages in influential advocacy work. Through the strength of the Network’s powerful voice, the Chamber Network has seen tangible results including: the implementation of a provincial Red Tape Reduction Strategy, establishing greater transparency and lower costs in energy pricing, enhancing Ontario’s agri-food sector and helping close Ontario’s tourism gap. April, 2017

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 11


Legal Business

Zombies amble and shuffle on the hill Did you know there were zombies in Ottawa? No. I’m not talking about the senate. It appears some insidious factoids have imbedded themselves over the years in our Criminal Code. They now have been dubbed “Zombie Laws”. But for years these laws have ambled and shuffled on the books and it’s apparently time to give them a proper burial. Accordingly, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Reybould has been asked to undertake a reform of the Criminal Code in an effort to purge many of the so-called “zombie laws”. Our 1892 Criminal Code has not had a major overhaul since the 50s and again in the 70s. Much has been added over the years, but not much has been taken away. Now you might ask, “How does a law become a zombie law?” Well, it turns out there are a number of ways. Over the years, since the passage of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, many cases have been decided by the Supreme Court of Canada which has declared certain sections of the Criminal Code to be no longer the law of the land. Curiously, though, many of these sections still sit on the books. As well, there are some provisions of the Criminal Code which simply do not attract our attention. Depending on your point of view, many of these offenses should no longer be offenses at all. We’ll get to some of these in a moment. As is often the case, serious change follows seri-

ous error. In the recent case of R v. Travis Vader, the judge hearing the trial managed to apply a section of the Criminal Code which had been ruled unconstitutional more than 20 years ago. The result was catastrophic. The verdict now has been corrected, but it was clearly time for the legislators to act. Did you know it is an offence to fraudulently pretend to practise witchcraft? We can only assume this prohibition was, at one time, designed to ensure that consumers accessing the services of properly accredited witches and warlocks were receiving the real deal, and not some inferior brand of black magic. Vagrancy has been an offence since the beginning of Confederation, along with spreading false news. One can only imagine the chaos which might result from dissemination of false news by a vagrant on the street corner. And while it may not be a particularly wise idea, did you know it was an offence to water ski at night? Regular skiing (downhill and cross-country) apparently may be per-

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formed at all hours of the day. And, by the way, you must not issue trading stamps (whatever those are), and you absolutely must not engage in dueling. That last one might stay in the Code as far as I am concerned, but I would like to be able to trade my stamps as often as I wish. And crime comics! Don’t even think about distributing or trading your old collection of Batman and Superman! Apparently, at some point in history, legislators perceived the inherent danger in the dissemination of the tales of Gotham and Metropolis; Riverdale not so much. Arch-villains: Bad; Archie: Good. But I came across two offences I don’t think Ms. Wilson -Reybould will be reviewing. The first one is “Unlawful Drilling”. Now this does not refer to the amateur extraction of petroleum from one’s backyard. No, it’s the kind of drilling we did on the parade ground when we were cadets. Why anyone would want to do it on their own time is beyond me. But don’t do it. Finally there is “cheating at play”. You lads of the links, think twice the next time you are tempted to employ an informal Mulligan or an inconspicuous toe-wedge. If there’s a buck or a beer riding on the game, you could be in trouble. Seriously though, since we are all presumed to know the law, we should not be required to stumble over zombies to find it. It is hoped, after the review, there will be fewer of them to deal with. Questions, comments and suggestions for future columns are welcomed by lawyer Monty Fordham at his office: Fordham & Brightling Associates – Lawyers, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. Telephone 519- 633-4000, Monty Fordham FAX 519-633-1371 or e-mail: montyfordham@4elgin.ca

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April, 2017

Headed for the links

Jason Dykes of Scotiabank (right) earned a door prize treat, winning Golf for 4 at St. Thomas Golf & Country Club during the March Business After 5. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Hammersley was the presenter.

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


Chamber News Fitzgerald recognized!

Another software change due? Microsoft will be ending support for Windows Vista and Office Suite 2007 on April 11, 2017. If your organization is currently using Vista and/or Office 2007, we highly recommend that you upgrade your Windows operating system and Office products in order to stay protected! For reputable and reliable support, the Chamber has several Members that can help. Search our on-line business directory within our website at www. stthomaschamber.on.ca and the category “Computers – Sales, Supplies and Service”

Chamber Member Services Representative Barry Fitzgerald was recognized with a provincial Volunteer Service Award March 18, honouring him for over 10 years of work with Junior Achievement. On hand for the presentation with Barry in the centre, l to r, Ontario Deputy Premier and London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews; Teresa Armstrong, MPP for London Fanshawe; Peggy Sattler, MPP London West; and Elgin-MiddlesexLondon MPP Jeff Yurek. In addition to his daily work with the Chamber, Barry continues to be actively engaged with the Company Programs offered by Junior Achievement in St. Thomas.

Sister city visitors

The evening of Saturday March 18 proved to be a unique one for representatives of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and a variety of other local officials. Five representatives from St. Thomas’ sister city in China, Xuyi, were hosted in a private reception at the new Streamliners Espresso Bar. The Chinese delegation arrived in St. Thomas from New York and spent Saturday in our community before departing for Toronto and a flight back home the following morning. Two representatives of the Chamber’s Board of Directors were among a group of 20 people who donated their Saturday evening to welcome and entertain the Chinese guests. Pictured here, Chamber Director Bob Ward of The Auto Guys and his partner Lynda Groom are surrounded by the five Xuyi visitors. Chamber Director Ginette Minor and her husband Dave missed the photo but also attended as Chamber representatives at the event.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 13


Pro Text There are different types of scams around us. The list goes on, it gets longer every year and the schemes themselves get more sophisticated. Experts still say your best bet for avoiding them is to be aware of the tactics and the red flags. 2. Keep personal information confidential Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through email or by Cody Benner over the Internet unless you initiated the contact and know who you’re dealing with. Don’t include Fraud can happen to anyone, anywhere and any- personal information like credit card details in time. We are hearing it more and more in the media regular, unencrypted email or enter it on an unenand on the internet. Sadly, people are continuously crypted website. Your information won’t be secure. 3. Change your passwords and PINs falling victim to fraud and other scams. Chances When was the last time you changed the PIN on are you have received a few fraudulent emails, ambiguous phone calls, encountered fake online ads, your debit card or the password for online banking? questionable posts on social networking sites or Make it a point to give your access information an maybe someone has come knocking at your door? update this month. We know it can be hard to keep track of all those passwords and PINs, but experts Avoid becoming a victim! recommend changing them at least twice a year, Here are 8 things you can do this month to help even if your accounts haven’t been compromised. Be sure to skip obvious choices like “password” or protect yourself and others: 1. Brush up on common scams and warning signs “1234″ and avoid using names, words and dates that someone could guess. Throw in a few numbers and symbols for the strongest passwords. 4. Order your credit reports Already keeping tabs on your financial statements? That’s a good start since they are often the first place people spot unauthorized Business Plans • Management Consulting activity. Unfortunately, Small Business Services • Bookkeeping Services if someone is using Estate and Trust Returns your information to Business Succession Planning commit identity fraud

Protect yourself against fraud

Commitment to Excellence

like taking out a loan or applying for credit cards, it won’t necessarily show up on your financial statements. That’s why experts recommend another important check: your credit report. Experts say we should order one at least once a year to make sure the information is correct and there’s no unusual activity. 5. Shred unneeded documents Experts warn that any document containing sensitive data should go through the paper shredder before it hits the recycling bin. That includes items like receipts, bank statements, old tax returns and even junk mail containing your address, like credit card preapprovals. Get a jump start on spring cleaning this April and safely get rid of the paper clutter around your home. But before you get shredder happy, make sure you know how long you need to keep certain items. 6. Watch out for unusual transactions Be wary of unexpected offers or requests that are too good to be true such as “You’ve inherited a large sum of money but in order to claim it, send us a deposit first”. You should also never agree to conduct financial transactions on behalf of strangers. 7. Talk to your loved ones about fraud Scammers will target anyone regardless of their age or social status, and even well-educated people have been caught. However, experts warn that some groups like seniors, children and teens are generally more vulnerable to certain kinds of fraud. 8. Report it If you’re caught, report it. Unfortunately not all victims of fraud get justice, but reporting the crime to the police helps in other ways too. Police cannot solve crimes they don’t know about. Reporting any incident helps to allow the authorities to keep tabs on the threats and warn others, for instance. Often, those warnings we see in the news are a result of someone reporting the crime. This column appears regularly in Business Beat and has been submitted by Cody Benner, Broker/ Advisor, RIB (Ont), of Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Questions and Cody Benner comments on this column are welcomed by the writer at 519-631-3862 or via e-mail: info@reithandassociates.com

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Great steaks

Mark Lassam, CPA, CA 115 Curtis Street, St. Thomas 519-631-1631 mark@lassam.ca April, 2017

Philip Trueman (right) of the St. Thomas Soccer Club accepts a box of bacon-wrapped filet mignon from Chamber President and CEO Bob Hammersley. The steaks were a March Business After 5 door prize provided by Dean Kitts of Familifood Club.

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 14


Viewpoint

New Members Bestway Delivery 57 South Edgeware Road St. Thomas, ON N5P 2H7 Phone: 519-631-1600 Email: bestwaydelivery@gmail.com Contacts: Ryan Crossett, Proprietor Buyers Guide Categories: Courier Services, Delivery Services Products & Services: Bestway Delivery offers courier and delivery services in the St. Thomas and London areas. With over 10 years of experience, their comparable rates and fast, friendly service makes them a great choice for local deliveries. ComputersDOTCalm P.O. Box 22086, RPO Elmwood Square St. Thomas, ON N5R 6A1 Phone: 519-633-7535 Email: rdakin@computersdotcalm.com Website: www.computersdotcalm.com Contacts: Rory Dakin, Owner Buyers Guide Categories: Computers – Sales, Supplies & Service, Computers – Custom Programming, Computers - Networking Products & Services: ComputersDOTCalm is a complete computer/network service and solutions provider for Southwestern Ontario with over 25 years of proven ability. They offer 24/7 on-site support with an “If we don’t fix it, You don’t pay for it” attitude. Goodwill’s Used Cars 420 Talbot Street East Aylmer, ON N5H 1J5 Phone: 519-765-1047 Email: goodwillscars@amtelecom.net Website: www.goodwillsusedcars.com Contacts: “Red” Andre Hooghiem, President; Al Hooghiem, Vice President; Andrea Hayes, Controller Buyers Guide Categories: Auto Dealers, Auto Services, Auto Repairs, Auto Leasing Products & Services: Based in Aylmer, Goodwill’s Used Cars is one of Southern Ontario’s top used car, used truck, used van, and used SUV retailers. Their dedicated sales staff and top-trained technicians are here to make your auto shopping experience fun, easy and financially advantageous. Allow their excellent network of people to put you in your ideal car, truck or SUV today! Investors Group Financial Services 254 Pall Mall Street

The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce proudly welcomes the following businesses and individuals as our newest Members. Those listed below were accepted as registered Members to February 16 to March 15, 2017. Once an organization registers with the Chamber, all personnel (owners/managers/staff) within the organization have full access to all Chamber programs, projects, events and services. London, ON N6A 5P6 Phone: 519-679-8993 x209 Email: rachelle.allen@investorsgroup.com Website: http://advisor.investorsgroup.com/en/rachelle_allen Contacts: Rachelle Allen, Financial Consultant Buyers Guide Categories: Financial Services Products & Services: Rachelle Allen, Financial Consultant CFP, CLU, has recently relocated from Toronto and brings experience in creating tailored solutions to build and maintain wealth. At Investors Group, they know that today, good financial advice is more important than ever. They take a long-term approach to planning. They believe that with a detailed plan, reviewed and updated regularly, you will have the financial resources to realize your goals and stay on track. Whatever your short or long-term financial goals – buying a home, paying for an education, living well in retirement or planning your estate – Investors Group will work with you to develop a plan to help get you there. Our Online Company 32 Massey Drive St. Thomas, ON N5R 5M6 Phone: 519-274-1596 Email: info@ouronline.company Website: www.ouronline.company Contacts: Wade Coombs, CEO Buyers Guide Categories: Web Design Services, Computers – Custom Programming Products & Services: Our Online Company offers domains, website and email hosting with guaranteed ownership and full website control. You’ll receive Smart Panda Support for all divisions, which use technology and experts located in North America. By partnering with Our Online Company you can focus on what you do best while they take care of your Online needs.

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BA5 host Rob Mason took a moment to congratulate a new local investor, Zini Dalipi, as he won a door prize draw at Business After 5 on March 15. Zini is one of the new owners at Mr. Sub on Talbot Street.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 15


Member News Continued from page 15

New fields

Salvation Army Community & Family Services 3 - 105 Edward Street St. Thomas, ON N5P 1Y8 Phone: 519-633-4509 Email: heather_beacom@can.salvationarmy. org Website: www.onsw.salvationarmy.ca Contacts: Heather Beacom, Community Ministries Coordinator Buyers Guide Categories: Community Services, Agencies & Associations Products & Services: Meeting needs of the community – the community is able to access Family Services by appointment. Their Family Services office provides assistance in the following areas on a case by case basis: Emergency Assistance, Social Guidance and Kids Activities. Giving. Hope. Today.

At the March Business After 5, long-time St. Thomas Soccer Club volunteer John Laverty announced exciting plans for new soccer fields. He also expressed the club’s gratitude to the City of St. Thomas for making it happen. The soccer club co-sponsored the event with St. Thomas Golf & Country Club.

Salvation Army St. Thomas Citadel 380 Elm Street St. Thomas, ON N5R 1K1 Phone: 519-631-6202 Email: nyree_bond@can.salvationarmy.org Website: www.thesalvationarmystthomas.ca

Salvation Army Thrift Store 3 - 105 Edward Street St. Thomas, ON N5P 1Y8 Phone: 519-631-3206 Email: sean_ross@can.salvationarmy.org Website: www.onsw.salvationarmy.ca Contacts: Sean Ross, Manager Buyers Guide Categories: Community Services, Agencies & Associations Products & Services: The Salvation Army in Canada owns and operates all Salvation Army Thrift Stores and has done so for more than 100 years. In urban communities across Canada, the majority of Thrift Stores are overseen by the Salvation Army’s National Recycling Operations (NRO) division. Those not operated by NRO are overseen by Salvation Army ministries such as the local church or Family Services unit. All Salvation Army Thrift Stores are 100 per cent charity-based and exist to generate funds to support Salvation Army programs and services that help residents in the areas in which they operate. Donated clothing and other goods are efficiently and ethically recycled and sold to offer practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life. Share of Marketing 105 Lightbourne Avenue Stratford, ON N4Z 1C8 Phone: 519-274-1596 Email: gcressman@shareofmarketing.com Website: www.shareofmarketing.com Contacts: Glenn Cressman, Chief Share Builder Buyers Guide Categories: Business Advisory Services, Communication Services, Education, Internet Services, Media Products & Services: Share of Marketing designs business strategies to identify new markets and opportunities, develops marketing plans to help raise awareness and build your brand, and they’ll implement marketing tactics designed to convert interest into revenue. Share of Marketing helps you get the market share you deserve.

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


Business & Community Workplace

A second chance at a career in demand

by Tricia Flatley

Have you ever wanted a change? Erika Turai, sure did when she moved to London. She was working a dead-end job for years, but wanted to find a career that would really take her somewhere. She started to do her research and with the help of WIL Employment Connections, was able to retrain at the Ontario Truck Driving School (with financial support) through the Second Career Program. “Without Second Career there would be no way I could have afforded the cost of retraining. I’m so grateful for the support I received, and the best part is I now have a job that lets me be my own boss and gives me the freedom to make my own schedule,” said Turai. The Ontario Truck Driving School works closely with employers in the industry to supply them with the skilled people they need for occupations that are in demand. According to Kate Klepadlo, who leads recruiting at Elgin Motor Freight, they hire over half of their employees from the school because they come well prepared with the skills and knowledge of their occupation. “We also continue to retrain our employees about every three months, to ensure they are up-to- date with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed within the industry,” said Klepadlo. Unlike Erika, Tomasz Bumbul knew he wanted to get into the trucking industry, but wasn’t sure how he would pay for the training. He visited the

London Training Centre, where they guided him through the Second Career process. He went through training at the Ontario Truck Driving School and was able to find employment at Elgin Motor Freight, after one of their job fairs held at the school. On the other hand, Yoandris Castro was driving a truck in the oil sands in Alberta when he was laid off. Castro moved back to London and went to the London Training Centre for advice. He found out about the Second Career program and was able to offset some of the costs of getting his AZ license and gain the skills he needed to join Elgin Motor Freight as well. He has his sights on moving up within the company and is hoping to become an owner/operator of his own truck one day. For more information on the Second Career program and other free resources that are avail-

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able to you, contact: Employment Services Elgin 519-631-5470, West Elgin Support Services 519768-0020, or Fanshawe Career & Employment Services 519-765-2082 (Aylmer) or 519-6379876 (St. Thomas). Tricia Flatley is Communications Officer, Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board.

ses! s e n i s u B ocal L o t t u O Call ke the 20 minuteenge Ta hall 22nd C p u n a l le Spring C17th to Sat, Apri ril Mon, Ap Mayor Heather Jackson is asking all businesses owners to allow their staff to take 20 minutes to clean-up the outdoor space around your place of business. Register your group Pick up your clean-up kit Send us before and after photos and be entered for a chance to win a pizza lunch for your group!!

Let’s All Chip In and Do Our Part!

545 Talbot St., St. Thomas

519-631-1680

www.stthomas.ca

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 17


Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Get the most from your RRSP Courtesy of Katie Timpany

Contribute early Procrastination can be costly, so make your RRSP contribution early in the year. The sooner you put your money into an RRSP, the sooner it starts working for you on a tax-deferred basis. If you can’t do it all in January, a monthly contribution program is simple and powerful. Give yourself a raise If you’re receiving a large annual tax refund, you could be missing out on certain opportunities. A tax refund essentially amounts to an interest-free loan to the government, not free money as many like to think. By filing a T1213 form to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you could potentially reduce the amount of income your employer withholds from your paycheques, putting more money in your pocket for your immediate use. Tax planning for two through spousal RRSPs A spousal RRSP is an RRSP for the benefit of one spouse, but contributions are made, and de-

ducted, by the other spouse. Spousal RRSPs are a good strategy if you expect one spouse to be in a lower tax bracket in retirement because they provide the benefit of balancing retirement income. It’s also beneficial if one spouse is older than the other. The older spouse can continue to make RRSP contributions to the spousal plan until the end of the year the younger spouse turns age 71 (provided the contributing spouse has qualifying earned income and available contribution room). There are attribution rules associated with early withdrawals from a spousal RRSP. Make sure you get tax advice before making any withdrawals. Make tax-efficient deduction decisions Although it seems counter-intuitive, if you expect to have a significantly higher income in coming years, you can defer taking the tax deduction this year. You can make an RRSP contribution now and not claim the deduction until you’re in a higher tax bracket. For example, a $10,000 contribution deducted at a 29% rate will generate $2,900 in tax savings. A $10,000 contribution

deducted at a 45% tax rate will generate $4,500 in tax savings. You’ll still benefit from the tax deferral for any income generated by investments in your RRSP in the meantime, even if you have not taken the deduction. Go for growth There’s a risk in being too conservative. With GICs and other very conservative, fixed-income securities, the biggest danger is inflation which can erode the purchasing power of your investment. A properly balanced investment portfolio, which includes equity investments, can protect you against inflation and provide promising long-term growth potential. Continued next month Katie Timpany is a Consultant with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. She can be reached at (519) 673-4544 or Katie.Timpany@investorsgroup.com.

Loop the block a few more times.

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YOU’RE ALWAYS CLOSE TO GREAT TIRE VALUE IN ELGIN COUNTY Elgin Tire and Auto Centre Ltd.

DIVISION OF SUMMERS TIRE SERVICES LTD.

572 Talbot Street E., Aylmer 773-3141

10 Sparling Road, St. Thomas 637-2382

Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm Sat. 8:00am - Noon

April, 2017

at : w ire No in T g El

ELGIN THIS MONTH

18


Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Congratulations to the team at Grandma’s Oven Bakery & Cakes Inc. and owner, Martha Zacharias, as she is the proud new owner of The Pie Pantry in Aylmer! Grandma’s Oven has now opened up in their new location at 157 John Street North, Aylmer where you will find much more space, a separate, dedicated gluten-free kitchen and new products! Customers will continue to find their favourite products from The Pie Pantry and Grandma’s Oven all in one location.

Elgincentives work

The Aylmer Glass & Mirror team have been hard at work in downtown Aylmer as part of the Elgincentives program. Showcase East Elgin Realty brokerage inc. were recipients of the funding through the County of Elgin program. Elgincentives is a Community Improvement Plan which provides financial incentives to businesses and land owners that will help lead growth and shape the County. Check back in the next edition for the after photos.

Elgin County’s

Largest Selection Of

Used Vehicles Over 200 used vehicles to choose from

Aylmer Retirement Residence is located in the heart of downtown and provides affordable retirement living for those who do not require nursing home care but who feel more comfortable in a supportive environment.

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• Newly renovated suites with 2 piece washrooms • Safety walk in tubs on all 3 floors • Transport lift between floors • State of the art call bell system • Sprinkler System • Fire Prevention and Monitoring • Monitored Emergency Response System • Wander Detection and Monitoring

ELGIN THIS MONTH

258 Talbot St, Aylmer 226-884-1300 aylmerretirement.ca 19


Golf in Elgin County

The rise of adult sports leagues It’s time for you to

JOIN

ONE OF THE HIGHEST RANKED golf courses in the country.

Did you know?

St Thomas Golf and Country Club Union, Ontario One of the country’s finest golf courses is in Union, Ontario. Top course conditions, great food, renovated locker rooms, practice facilities and fun member events and leagues.

Juniors - 18 yrs.and under - $360-$540

Principal - $3,134

Students - full time post-secondary - $540

Young Adult - 19-30 yrs. - $1,195

Women’s Promotion – first year principal membership - $895

Social Limited Golf - $1,082

Ranked 46th in Canada by Scoregolf

Intermediate - 31-36 yrs. - $2,035

Fabulous food selections from our cullinary team

Principal Restricted – Thirty 18 hole rounds - $2,350

Fun, friendly atmosphere

Low initiation rates for Intermediate and Principal members

Visit www.stthomasgolf.com - 519-631-4800 ext. 21 or email Vicki Asher at vicki@stthomasgolf.com or GM Rob Mason at rob@stthomasgolf.com Certain restrictions may apply. Contact the Club for details.

April, 2017

Fitness comes in many forms, and for a growing number of people, sports is one of the most appealing ways to stay in shape. Health and socialization are the driving forces behind the growing popularity of adult recreational sports leagues, particularly among millennials. According to Sports Marketing Surveys USA, a research company that provides data for the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, millennials are twice as likely as their Generation X counterparts to participate in team sports as adults. However, adult leagues attract people of all ages and from both genders. Adults who played sports as children may be particularly drawn to adult sports leagues, which offer a way for them to maintain connections to sports they love. And Eric Willin, COO of EZFacility, a sports business software provider in Woodbury, NY, offers that adult leagues are the ideal fit for communities and especially appealing to millennials who grew up playing sports. Members of the millennial generation tend to have grown up with schedules packed with extracurricular sports, Willin says. “It’s no surprise that this group is enthusiastic about competing in adult recreation leagues, and the supply is developing to meet the demand.” In addition to leagues sponsored by local governments, the YMCA offers a number of adult programs across the country. The YMCA says that their sports leagues provide a perfect opportunity to be active and social and to reconnect or start fresh with a sport. Some of the organization’s most popular adult sports leagues include basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis, volleyball, and golf. Many community centres, churches and even local businesses sponsor adult sports leagues, which help build a sense of community among residents and often connect players with local businesses and charitable or goodwill organizations. Although some recreational leagues are free to join, many are for-profit businesses. Costs for players can run anywhere from $50 to $90 per person for a season. These fees help cover the costs associated with setting up teams and the fees necessary to compensate referees and rent facilities where games will be played. Adult recreational sports leagues provide great alternatives to the gym for people who want to be physically active.

ELGIN THIS MONTH

Professional sports teams, public and private golf courses and public parks rely on professional groundskeepers to maintain playing surfaces and park grounds. Golf course employees who maintain the grounds are often referred to as greenskeepers, but such employees do more than maintain putting greens. The responsibilities of greenskeepers and their staffs include mowing the greens, tee boxes, fairways and rough, and each particular area requires the use of a different mower. Golf course maintenance staff typically begin their workdays before the sun rises, ending their days sometime in early afternoon so golfers can play without distraction. Groundskeepers for professional sports teams focus the bulk of their efforts on maintaining the fields, which require significant watering and fertilization to withstand the heavy wear and tear they receive during the course of a season. Professional sports team groundskeepers typically work very long hours during the season, often arriving many hours before game time and staying even after the game has ended. 20


Golf in Elgin County › Don’t buy a putter until you’ve had a chance to throw it.

› Hazards attract; fairways repel.

› Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing. › The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing. › No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse. › The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors › A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponents’ luck. › Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut. › The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the centre of a very large tree.

› There are two things you can learn by stopping your back-swing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove. › A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours. › If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint › It’s easier to get up at 6:00 a.m. to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the yard › A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game. › Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you always end up having to pray a lot. › A good golf partner is one who’s always slightly worse than you are … that’s why I get so many calls to play with friends.

› You can hit a two-acre fairway 10% of the time and a two-inch branch 90% of the time.

› If there’s a storm rolling in, you’ll be having the game of your life.

› If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.

› Golf balls are like eggs. They’re white. They’re sold by the dozen. And you need to buy fresh ones each week.

› Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.

› It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

› When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.

› If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight (or worse).

› If you want to hit a 7 iron as far as Tiger Woods used to, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard.

Come Golf The Valley! moNdays

For golfers and their opponents only 2017 Tuesday & Thursday Special Pay for 9 Holes and get the

WedNesdays

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Voted FAVOURITE $17154 +HST GOLF COURSE Includes unlimited golf In the Spirit of weekdays excluding holidays St. Thomas Awards $273 30 + HST includes power cart seat Receive a FREE Round of Golf when you register for our e-club at www.pleasantvalleygolfcc.com

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28411 Thomson Line, Dutton N0L 1J0

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Book your Tee Times online: www.pleasantvalleygolfcc.com or call 519-773-2911 Highway 3, 8kms east of St. Thomas - 6 kms West of Aylmer

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 21


Golf in Elgin County Let’s talk golf in Elgin County by Rob Mason The game of golf is different than most other games. You usually don’t see a senior out on the field playing a soccer game with their granddaughter or for that matter parents playing many games with their children or grandchildren. Sometimes it’s just not physically possible. Golf is the number one participation sport in Canada, ahead of hockey, soccer and baseball. The golf industry contributes more than $14 billion GDP per year to the Canadian economy. There are more than 2300 golf courses in Canada employing more than 300,000 people and each year approximately 5.7 million golfers play 60 million rounds of golf. Golf is a very popular game. For those who are trying to stay active, walking 9 or 18 holes will make your Fit Bit goals come true. Learning to play is not difficult, and we have qualified teachers in the county ready to help you. Most beginners start with a basic new or used set of clubs so the investment does not have to be expensive. What you gain from the game is plentiful, as lifelong friendships are formed on golf courses. If you like to travel, your family can play golf across the country and almost anywhere in the world and spending time outside on a golf course surrounded by nature is a great way to find balance in our busy lives. When it finally comes time for someone to have to leave our Club I ask them what they will miss the most. Surprisingly it’s not the golf course, or the clubhouse where perhaps their daughter was married or where they may have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. What people miss the most when they leave the game is the people they played and socialized with.

A beautiful view of a beautiful golf course. Photo courtesy of Spitzky Media.

Elgin County has so many great options for golfers. There are public and private clubs, 9 hole and 18 hole courses with something to offer beginners to pros. This spring, consider a junior membership for your children at one of our local golf clubs or sign up for some spring lessons yourself. Golf is the game of a lifetime, so get started this spring and enjoy many years of fun and friendship to come.

Aylmer Optimist

J unior GOlf tOurnAment

Rob Mason, General Manager of St. Thomas Golf & Country Club, took a few moments to welcome everyone attending the March St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce Business After 5. The Golf Club co-sponsored our event.

Qualifier for the southwestern Ontario District Championships

Thursday, July 6th, 2017 at Pleasant Valley Golf & Country Club

OPen TO eVeryO ne

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Highway 3, 8kms east of St. Thomas, 6kms west of Aylmer

www.pleasantvalleygolfcc.com April, 2017

The Bluffs GC 35593 Lake Line, Port Stanley

519-782-7447

www.thebluffsgolfclub.com

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 22


6th 9th Annual Crime Stoppers

Golf Tournament

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

On Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 11am Have a fun day of golf and support your local Crime Stoppers at the same time.

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

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

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

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

We Couldn’t do it without the support of the Community Supporting Our Community

Proudly Fuelling Crime StoPPerS For over 10 yearS!!

lynhurst eSSo & variety

www.dowlerkarn.com

Celebrating over 30 years

Break open tickets on sale now. All Proceeds from the tickets go to Crime Stoppers

of being Family Owned & Operated… and still FULL SERVICE!

Wellington Road at St. George St., St Thomas, Ontario

(519) 633-0002

open 7 days a week

Proud Supporter of Crime Stoppers

Locke Insurance Brokers Est. 1929

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

496 Talbot Street St.Thomas, ON N5P 1C2 (519) 631-2782 info@lockeinsurancebrokers.ca

Owners: Allan & Gary Hughson

www.lockeinsbrokers.com

45 Elgin Street, St. Thomas (519) 631-0850

Proud SuPPorter of Crime StoPPerS

225 Chestnut Street, St.Thomas 519-633-2850 April, 2017

The St.Thomas Police Services Board & Members of the St.Thomas Police Service are Proud Community Partners with Crime Stoppers. St. thomaS Police 30 St. Catharine Street St.Thomas, ON N5P 2V8 519-631-1364 www.stps.on.ca

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 23


Homestyle Decorating

Decorating a console table by Renée Carpenter

What is a console table? A long, narrow table that often is found in foyers and long hallways to create a stylish vignette to greet guests. It can be very useful for holding handbags, mail, keys, provide lamp light, ground a mirror hanging above for freshening up lipstick or smoothing the hair before going out or coming in. But a console table is also often found in a living room and sometimes even in a dining room, becoming both extra storage as well as a stylish display area for photos, dishes, or even placed behind sofas as a ‘sofa table’ for added backlighting or to compliment the backside of an otherwise bare sofa back. As useful and many times necessary as these items of furniture can be, they also can become an eyesore if either not properly decorated or allowed to become a junk catch-all. This one additional piece can totally make and complete a room, or it can become the lacklustre piece that takes up space. Why you need it, how you decorate it, and where it is located becomes the 3-point question. Let us delve into some ways in which you can style your own. I love entry hallway consoles. Fresh (or good silk) flower arrangements with beautiful soft lamp lighting and gorgeous mirrors tend to feel so welcoming to someone entering the space, whether into a fine hotel or the home of a gracious host. Depending on the size of this table though, sometimes that is all that is needed.

Less truly can be more, depending on your style. If you have an amazing piece of art that you want to display, this can be the gallery spot to highlight it. At that point, anything standing tall in front of it could distract from the art and is not needed. A simple tray on the center of the table to hold someone’s keys or mail may be all that is required. Consoles in hallways can also call for some form of seating, whether to sit while putting on one’s shoes or just because we are accustomed to seeing it when the space is large enough to accommodate. This can come in the way of a small bench that slides in beneath the console table or smaller scale chairs that adorn either side of the table. I recently was in an apartment entry way where space was a premium. The console had a lower shelf, providing extra storage. The lamp not only added much-needed light to those entering but also lit up that side of the room while showcasing a number of pieces of artwork layered against the back wall. A tall vase of greens gave the much-needed height, while the lower shelf had neatly stacked books and magazines. The function as well as location of this piece was well utilized and also organized to feel both decorative as well as useful. Whether it is wall art, mirrors or clocks, a collection of various sizes hung in such a manner that it looks properly grouped can be a nice way to decorate above the console table. I’ve seen these pieces come in various sizes, shapes and colours, or even a consistent grouping of the same. As long as there is a consistency in some form (colour, shape, subject, etc.) this can become a great wall collage location. When backing a sofa, I love using it also as a possible writing desk, laptop table, etc. At that point, depending on the available space, the depth can be whatever you need it to be. Decorate it then as you would a desk, but remember to keep it orderly and not cluttered.

Thank You Elgin County!!!

Renée Carpenter owns Jennings Furniture and Design in St. Thomas. She can be reached at renee@jenningsfurniture.com.

Voted Favourite:

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2017

WINNER

HOURS: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 10am-9pm Nick and Trudy Kanellis www.waysidedining.com April, 2017

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 24


Dining & Entertainment Food & Wine

The LCBO’s latest year-in-review summary

by Jamie Quai

as a category experienced an 8.7% growth for red wines, and 8.6% for whites. Within this growth, Pinot Grigio was responsible for 29% of that increase, and Baco Noir accounted for 20.5%. Ontario sparkling wine is also becoming a serious category with a 10.6% growth. The report also highlights two numbers that give insight into consumer behaviours. 100% Ontario wines are projected to grow an additional 4.4% in the next fiscal year. This is number can be both good news and bad once it is anchored relative to other catego-

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario as part of their mandate releases details of their performance every year. Our Crown Corporation wine, beer and spirits distributor collects vast amounts of data on what we spend, what we drink, and where the trends are going. This month, I’m going to select 18 numbers from the report and perhaps offer some insights and context. $5.57 billion. This is the top line revenue number. We as customers spent $5.57 billion dollars at the LCBO in the last fiscal year. That number is up year over year. While it seems like this is “Ignite your passion a huge win for the provincial coffers, it is important to remember that total for grilling” revenues don’t account for costs. So was the LCBO profitable? Yes! The LCBO generated a $1.935 billion dividend to the government. Not to get too technical, but the LCBO has one owner: Ontario. Therefore, all of the profits, in this case referred to as dividends, that are generated after overhead, product costs, and expenses go straight to the Province of Ontario. That number may seem low relative to profits, but anyone in business will tell you that a final profit level of over 34% is no small feat. The LCBO added 14 stores to the official count. That brings the number of stores in the province to 654. Wine sales accounted for $1.451 bilavailable now at Country Pools! lion in sales revenue, of the total $5.57 Billion. That number grew year-overyear by 4.7%. Wines from California represent the largest regional growth for imported sales. The region had an 11.5% year over year growth. Total California wine sales jumped to $172.3 million. Contrast that growth with Australia which accounted for $144 million, down 2.7% year over year. The report suggests consumers are not connecting with some of the newer Shiraz and Shiraz-blends. European wines saw 2.6% growth, which the report outlines is good news in light of several factors: near flat Italian red wine performance, declines in red and white French wine volumes, unfavourable currency exchanges, supply issues as a result of weather, and huge price increases as a result of increased global demand. Smaller regions are credited with picking up the slack. There were several good news numbers in the report with respect to Ontario wine. Ontario VQA wines

ries. 100% Ontario wines growth are expected to outpace most imported wine regions like France, and Italy. Good news. But International-Canadian blends, which account for the lower end of the quality and price spectrum, are expected to grow at a rate of 6.5%. Bad news for craft producers, when you also factor in that the bulk wine blends market is much larger already. Jamie Quai is head winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County, and 2016 Ontario Grape King.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 25


Business & Community Your Team

Dress code, the loaded cannon

by Laura Pavilonis and Nancy Annett

What is acceptable to wear in the workplace? What does ‘dress for success’ look like nowadays? Does asking employees to dress a specific way a violation of their rights? Well … it depends. There are many factors to consider in the current business and societal culture and these factors continue to change. What we’re seeing: • Highly successful tech firms that have very few restrictions on dress and allow for a casual wear that ranges anywhere from YOUR TIRE We ripped jeans to service flannel shirts; Alignment We will not be • An emphaAll makes ± undersold on tires checks while sis on human & models you wait We will match rights, including the recognition that transgender indiany competitor’s to make sure viduals can choose to wear a you are safe advertised price. uniform that aligns with the Free Shuttle on the roads gender they predominantly service or with our Quick, themselves as; loaner cars efficient service. identify • New light on the practice of hiring models as servers and associated dress codes FOR ONLY that include high heels, short dresses, specific make• A detailed inspection of up to 83 points up or skinny jeans; • Comprehensive vehicle report card for peace of mind • Motorcraft® premium oil and Motorcraft® filter change* • Commentary on societal see • Rotate and inspect all four tires views regarding being able Full synthetic oil also available Randy Huse Our synthetic oil better protects critical engine parts in to choose to dress in ways for all your extreme conditions. Ask advisor for details. that expose the body and vehicle needs the messages that society attaches to that; • Men who do not feel comfortable wearing jeans or running shoes to work, thinking it’s too casual and MAINTENANCE • TIRES • BRAKES • OIL & FILTER BATTERIES • ALIGNMENT are more comfortable in khakis and dressier walking No Appointments We service all shoes. Necessary! Makes & Models! • Women who feel comfortable wearing exercise/lei1012 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-5080 sure pants and casual boots Monday - Friday 7:30am- 5:30pm and Saturdays 8am- 3pm because they provide the comfort they want. ™ Life is better in the Quick Lane. There are so many views of

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dress code that it can make companies put their hands up in the air and say ‘forget it’. A dress code is one of the most tumultuous human resource topics that managers face. This is largely because everyone’s experience is very personal and different, resulting in different values and beliefs attached to the topic. None of the examples we’ve given you is necessarily right or wrong. It really depends on the work people are doing and the brand or culture the organization wants to present, both internally and externally. Some organizations look to uniforms as the solution to ensuring their company is reducing discrimination and presenting consistency to their customers. However, when an organization goes to uniforms, they may thwart freedom of expression, and the company may run into a number of logistical issues such as sizing, cleaning, alterations, repairs, inventory and cost. What’s the answer? Start by asking yourself what the dress code requirements should be to ensue that staff are safe. Know what the potential hazards of the job might be and use a dress code to help protect workers. Then ask yourself what the requirements might be to ensure the dress code does not present any form of discrimination. Know the laws around discrimination to help guide you. Finally, ask how does the organization want to present its brand? Understand your client and make the connection to the image you want to display. By asking these questions, an organization is taking the first steps toward creating a dress code that works for it.

“the company may run into a number of logistical issues”

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Karen Vecchio, M.P. ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON

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519-637-2255 www.karenvecchiomp.ca April, 2017

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Healthy Living Everyday Health

Avoid the “terrible toos” – too much too soon

by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.

son. The twisting and rotational movements required for golf are not commonly performed in our normal everyday activities so golfers often experience back pain. Starting now to try to incorporate some rotational movements and stretching exercises may go a long way to help prevent this problem. Golfers may also experience wrist and elbow pain early in the season. Preparing these areas for the season is important as well. We all look forward to getting back to those activities that we enjoy in

Take it easy! Don’t be a victim of the “terrible toos”: too much, too soon. With the arrival of spring, we usually see an increase in injuries that are directly related to people being a little too enthusiastic about jumping into their spring and summer athletic pursuits. After a fairly mild winter, you may feel that you were able to keep pretty active and to keep in pretty good shape. This may be true, but it’s also true that even a fairly small increase in your activity or training program may expose you to injury. Shoulder injuries are at the top of the list usually. As the ball diamonds open up, various baseball leagues start up. Many adult recreational leagues figure a great way to start the season is with a tournament. A group of adults of varying fitness levels, who haven’t played any ball for approximately six months, play four A wildly fun week of “maker” to six games over two days. Brilliant. activities all tuned to music! What could go wrong here? I’m being sarcastic of course and mean no July 10 - July 14 disrespect, but from a healthcare provider’s perspective this really creOR ates a situation primed for injuries. Since this is April, there is a little July 24 - July 28 time to start warming up your arm and doing a little throwing. Play some catch, work on some shoulder exercises. If you’re not sure what to do, see a local chiropractor or physiotherapist for some advice. The next big category of injuries for the spring is lower body injuries. Runners may experience Achilles tendon injuries, and knee pain. These problems may arise from runners increasing their mileage too quickly or from the changing terrain as people switch from treadmill running to running outdoors. Make these changes gradually. If you have been running on a treadmill through the winter continue to incorporate it in some of your sessions. It may also be time to include more hip and core strengthening in your routine. Weakness and imbalances contribute to many injuries. The final group of spring athletes that we commonly see in the clinic are golfers. Unfortunately, our weather doesn’t allow for yearround golf, and as with the activities discussed above, we often don’t do things during the winter to help get our bodies ready to do what we love in the spring. With golfers, the most common problem is back pain after the first few rounds of the sea-

the spring and summer. Easing into them and using some caution may go a long way to making sure that you can enjoy your chosen activity all season without being sidelined by an injury early on. Start now to incorporate some exercises to help your body be prepared for the demands that you will place on it. If you require assistance with exercises, consult a chiropractor, physiotherapist or exercise specialist. Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment & Resources Centre in St.Thomas

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


Business & Community War Memorial

Support new Veterans Memorial Garden

by Allan Weatherall

In the very near future a new Veterans Memorial Garden will be created downtown on Moore Street just south of Talbot. It will be a place of honour and reverence where over 10,000 local men and women from Elgin County who answered the call for military service in many conflicts will be recognized. The Garden will also be a very special place to respect the over 1,000 who never came home. The significance of the Garden and its importance for families of our fallen from St. Thomas and Elgin County will become apparent to everyone who visits the site. The Garden will quickly become an essential part in allowing Elgin County and St Thomas residents to remember those who served. It will bring forth a new era of commemoration to respect the fallen on a reverential site. Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Juno Beach, DDay, Dieppe, The Battle of the Atlantic, the Air War in Europe, Beaumont Hamel, Hong Kong, the Pacific War, freeing the Netherlands, the Korean Conflict, numerous Peace Keeping Missions, and most recently Afghanistan, all bring back floods of memories or thoughts from Canadians. The current site for Remembrance Day events at the front of the St Thomas Elgin General Hospital has long been recognized as being unsuitable. This new Garden will combine the Great War (WWI) Soldier from its present location at

STEGH along with the WWII / Korean / Peacekeeping Cenotaph from its Talbot Street location to the new site. In addition, a third element honoring the 40,000 soldiers who served in Afghanistan conflict will also be included. The new location will be completed and dedicated in October prior to the holding the November 11, 2017 Remembrance Day Service there. Volunteer committee members are working hard to create a special place. They invite others to join them in saluting those who served Canada and consider making a

A NEW SMILE STARTS WITH US!

thoughtful and meaningful donation towards this project. The Garden has a total estimated cost of over $260,000 with very positive and successful fundraising efforts well underway. Donations can be taken to St. Thomas City Hall City Hall. A charitable receipt is available. Visit stthomaswarmemorial.com/ Lest We Forget! Allan Weatherall is a member of the War Memorial Site Committee.

Call for your Free Consultation with Brandi Pisek, DD or Mike V. Pisek, DD! Walk in patients and new patients are always welcome. All insurance plans are accepted (financing available). Come visit us today and let’s get started on the road to a fantastic smile.

Thank you for your vote, St. Thomas!

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We would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for us as their favourite pharmacy! We are humbled by your appreciation and will continue to offer customer service worthy of your loyalty. 519 TALBOT STREET ST. THOMAS (Ample parking at rear)

519-631-3330 www.yurekpharmacy.com It’s All About Dependability™

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


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY FINANCIAL PLANNING

Retirement income from your RRSP savings by Stephanie Farrow

Picture your RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) as a savings bucket. Each year as you put savings into the bucket, in essence you said to the government, “Please don’t tax me on this portion of income (my RRSP contribution) this year because I am in a high tax bracket, and I am saving it inside my RRSP (my RRSP tax deduction). In exchange, I will pay tax on it later in retirement when I draw it out as income.” This is referred to as a tax deferral. An RRSP works well when you defer tax from a year when you are in a high tax bracket, to be paid later when you are in a low tax bracket. How are these savings taxed in retirement? You can convert your RRSP to a RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) or an annuity. Let’s take a closer look at the RRSP to RRIF scenario. A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is the bucket where you save the money. At some point you will convert this RRSP over to another bucket called a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). You cut a small hole in the bottom of the RRIF bucket to start to withdraw income each year. When to convert from RRSP to RRIF

Generally, your RRSP must be converted to a RRIF no later than December 31st of the calendar year you turn age 71. There is an exception to this rule when you have a younger spouse; you can choose to use their age 71 if it makes sense to do so. Work with your financial advisor to decide on the best timing and to illustrate scenarios for flow of income in retirement. An RRSP to RRIF conversion is done in a tax-sheltered way so as not to trigger a tax liability upon conversion. The tax liability will begin with the RRIF income, not with the conversion itself. How much income will I get from my RRIF? Once your RRSP has been converted to a RRIF, you will figure out how much income to draw from it each year. There are some tax implications when choosing how much money to draw. Remember, this is money you need to pay income tax on, so be strategic in how you withdraw these funds. While there are no RRIF maximums, essentially, the government sets out a schedule of minimum withdrawal levels expressed as a percentage of the portfolio and based on a person’s age. If you are age 75, the current RRIF minimum

“the government sets out a schedule of minimum withdrawal levels”

is 5.82%. If your RRIF balance is $100,000, the minimum amount you must withdraw from your RRIF for that calendar year is $5,820. The minimum percentages increase for each age (currently age 75 is 5.82%, age 76 is 5.98%, age 77 is 6.17%, etc.) Formulas are based on age and portfolio balance on January 1st of any given year. RRIF income and after-tax financial planning There are many strategies to be considered for converting to a RRIF at a younger age and for drawing income above the minimum levels, especially if de-registration and estate planning strategies are being employed. These strategies are done with after-tax planning in mind to maximize assets and income after taxes on an ongoing basis. Many people erroneously believe these strategies are only for the wealthy. Everyone can and should benefit from after-tax planning and the ability to make a long term plan to maximize their savings and assets and reduce taxes wherever possible. 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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ELGIN THIS MONTH

29


Lifestyle Time On My Hands

A wooden truck, and what happened next Seeking serendipity on a guided tour authentic and intimate contact with the culture, Our tour bus and crew of fifteen travelers – standardized the travel exmostly twenty-somethings –pulled into a hotel perience, and left no room outside of a dusty village. The hotel was, in fact, a for surprise encounters. row of canvas tents on a farm, the most rudimen- This was our first guided tary accommodations of our recent trip to India. tour, and it was a test. This was to be our taste of the semi-desert, rural We arrived mid-afternoon at the so-called hobackcountry, and a counterpoint to the opulent tel, and Barb and I were assigned a tent. The plan castles and forts of the Maharajas that we had was to unwind for a couple hours, after which our marveled at in Jodhpur and Jaipur. guide would lead us on a hike through the town. My wife, Barb, and I had just spent two weeks I didn’t wait. I slipped away from the tour group travelling on our own in the Himalayan Moun- and headed out alone. I wasn’t breaking any rules; tains in Sikkim, relying on serendipity to work its we had chosen a tour company that allows free magic. And it did, often. Sikkim was a compact time. But I was feeling a need to push the boat out and manageable region, well suited for indepen- a little, to use the expression I had picked up from dent travel. However, the thought of crowded cit- a Brit on the tour. ies and more complicated travel further south had I had just reached the edge of the village when led us to book a guided tour of Rajasthan state. a primitive, hand-made wooden truck stopped Barb and I had always shied away from such me in my tracks. The contraption, though utterly tours, wary that they insulated travelers from functional, was almost cartoonish. There was no hood for the engine, no doors, no roof. The front fenders and box were reclaimed boards. The seat – just a rough plank – was too narrow, and the Saturday JUNE 3 2017 floorboard, minimal at best, had chunks 9:00am | Registration missing. Delighted and 10:00am | 5km Walk/Run St. Thomas amused, I was taking a photo when a young Online: www.bit.ly/runwalk-mental-health man, perhaps 18, sudRegistration In Person: Oxford-Elgin Child & Youth Centre denly climbed behind 99 Edward Street, St. Thomas $25/person the wheel and fired Register by May 3 and receive a free t-shirt! the engine up. And was he talking to me? PRIZES for the top 3 pledges! It sounded like, “driv

by Duncan Watterworth

Pinafore Park

ing, driving”. We exchanged a glance, I hopped up on the seat, and away we went. Was it a kindness to offer this odd stranger a ride, or was the joke on me? Either way, both grinning like fools, we were suddenly a one-truck parade, chugging into the village. What else could I do but wave at the kids, and at the townsmen, all dressed in white from their oversized turbans to their overlong shirts and baggy dhoti pants. The old diesel sounded like a steam locomotive, and exhaust belched straight up from its vertical pipe. Looking down at my feet, I could see the road where floorboards should have been. We passed shops, and old men on wooden benches drinking tea. We detoured around a Brahma bull that lumbered in front of us, oblivious to our existence. Soon we reached the centre of the village, momentarily disturbing the tranquility of the tiny market. Then we circled past a couple of vegetable stands, and retraced our route. And then the ride was over. I thanked the young stranger, shook his hand, and staggered back to the hotel, hardly believing what had just happened. Serendipity can indeed strike on a guided tour. But it helps to push the boat out a little. Duncan Watterworth is a life-long resident of Elgin County and a retired lawyer. He can be reached at duncanetm@gmail.com.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 30


Binding the Generations Sponsored by

The April mentorship interview: Karin Barrie Can you tell us a bit about your current business role and your professional journey to where you are today? I am an Investment Advisor, Certified Financial Planner, Life Insurance Agent, and Tax professional all rolled into one, a career I have been pursuing for the last 22 years. I came into this field after 10 years in computer sales, at a time when comprehensive financial planning had just started out as a recognized profession. Ten years earlier, when I left university, the financial industry was still fragmented into either banking, insurance, stock brokerage, or accounting. Fast forward ten years and the role of financial planner offering advice, financial products, insurance protection and tax advice and tax return preparation had evolved. Initially I worked as a junior advisor to an established individual, then became partners, and later became the senior advisor with staff and associate advisors working with me.                  Who were some of the people who influenced you the most in the early days? Sine Herold was the senior advisor in this practice when I first started. She advised me to get the credentials and education on which my expertise and experience would be built. And she advised me to enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed, but to remember that I had to be available when clients need us, so some evening or weekend work would be required. And she was absolutely right.  I now find I can balance those late nights or Saturdays when my clients need me, with days or part days off to enjoy my leisure. Were there some important influences not directly related to work? The training I had at IBM in the first phase of my working life taught me many of the basics of working independently, taking initiative, working with clients, selling products that clients need but might not run out and buy unless someone helps them understand it.

Work/leisure balance is important, and I have learned to take some time for myself from my mentor Sine Herold. Many years ago she carved out an afternoon a week to pursue her passion for playing bridge. She said at that time that if she didn’t stay involved in a club and hone her skills, no one would want her as a partner later when she retired and had time but no skills. My parents were farmers so I learned from them the need to plant a seed, nurture it patiently, and then harvest when the time is right. Business is much the same. You can’t rush things. I like working with young clients, helping them slowly and steadily build up their savings and investments, and eventually reap the rewards of their efforts.    What are some things you do to mentor and encourage others? I have hired a number of co-op students over the years both to benefit from their young energy and enthusiasm as well as to give them a taste of the day to day workings of a financial planning office.  One young man has been part of my team now for 5 years after completing his co-op education and I encourage him to develop his technical skills through on-going training, and exercise those skills by working directly with some assigned clients so he can build up his own relationships and develop the confidence to advise clients and sell them the financial products and services they need to succeed financially.   Can you share your thoughts about the value being a mentor, or the importance of finding a mentor? A mentor is someone you can turn to when you have a great experience or success and they can share it with you because they really understand how you feel, and you can also turn to them when you have a problem or a disappointment and they can help you get through that experience as well.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “You can’t please everyone, so do what you think is right for your clients, and the rest will take care of itself”.

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We’re Moving! To our valued clients: We’re welcoming spring by moving to a new location as of May 15, 2017.

Be sure to visit our new office at 440 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, ON We look forward to seeing you there! Your Investment Advisor’s e-mail will remain unchanged.

CIBC Wood Gundy is a division of CIBC World Markets Inc., a subsidiary of CIBC and a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

April, 2017

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

April 2017  
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