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advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

Looking Ahead to 2015


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advocate JANUARY| FEBRUARY 2015 WWW.GREATERKWCHAMBER.COM

features 14

FEATURE

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:

A Model for Regional Economic Development Gerry Remers

Art Sinclair EDITOR:

Heather Hutchings

18

COVER STORY

Building Prosperity for Southwestern Ontario Stephen Bolton

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DESIGN AND PRODUCTION

M&T Printing Group PHOTOGRAPHY:

FEATURE

Adamski Photography

Looking Ahead to 2015 – Key Challenges for Small and Medium Enterprises

ADVERTISING AND SALES:

Tim Sothern

David MacLellan – dmaclellan@greaterkwchamber.com Don Critelli – dcritelli@greaterkwchamber.com

FEATURE

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Meet the 2014-2015 Board of Directors

Stephen Bolton, Paul Eichinger, Mary Sue Fitzpatrick, Jeff MacIntyre, Ian McLean, Gerry Remers, Art Sinclair, Tim Sothern

FEATURE

Chamber Travel to China

CONTRIBUTORS:

Jeff MacIntyre

Teri Hetherington and Julie Tedesco ADVERTISING AND COPY DEADLINES:

January 23, 2015 for March/April 2015 March 20, 2015 for May/June 2015 July 17, 2015 for September/October 2015 September 18, 2015 for November/December 2015

departments 4 5

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

The Benefits of Chamber Networking in 2015

10

Paul Eichinger

12

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Waterloo Region Economic Prospects are Solid for 2015

16

Ian McLean

7

ADVOCACY

Ontario Needs a New Approach to Business Art Sinclair

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PERSPECTIVE ON HEALTH CARE

Greater KW Family Practice Opportunities Appeal to Visiting Physicians Mary Sue Fitzpatrick

NETWORKING

SUBSCRIPTION AND BACK ISSUE INQUIRIES:

Autumn Networking

Darlene Jones djones@greaterkwchamber.com

NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS

October 1 to November 30, 2014 HI-LIGHTING MEMBERS

Hi-lighting New Members who have joined in 2014 EVENTS

SUBMISSION POLICY:

Proposals and articles are accepted via mail or email c/o Editor - Advocate. Please do not send originals. All contributors articles must be accompanied by a head shot in a jpg file and a 40 word author’s bio.

Mark Your Calendar

PUBLICATIONS PERMIT:

SPONSOR PROFILE

Heather Hutchings - hhutchings@greaterkwchamber.com

Home Hardware: Helping Local Businesses for Over 50 Years

#40026716

FOR PERMISSIONS AND REPRINT REQUESTS

PRINTED IN CANADA BY:

PUBLICATION OF:

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MEMBER NOTABLES

Achieving Success Chamber Members SPONSORSHIP

Chamber Sponsors

POSTMASTER ADDRESS CHANGES C/O

ADVOCATE - PUBLICATIONS OFFICE 80 QUEEN STREETE NORTH, PO BOX 2367 KITCHENER, ONTARIO N2H 6L4 The Advocate is a bi-monthly membership benefit publication of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. Advertising content and the views expressed herein are those of the contributors and do not constitute endorsement by the Chamber. The Advocate follows the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (1990), copies are available through the Publisher. The Chamber cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur and has the right to edit material submitted. The Chamber will not accept advertising with competitor comparison claims and has the right to refuse advertising that is deemed to be false, misleading, or inappropriate.

advocate January | February 2015

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message from the chair

The Benefits of Chamber Networking in 2015 BY PAUL EICHINGER

I attend a lot of events. Many are Chamber related, and these provide tremendous opportunity to meet and chat with business associates from companies around the Region and province. These companies, large, medium and small, are involved in every possible sector you can imagine, and do business in all corners of the world. Or for some smaller businesses, in all corners of Waterloo Region. Oftentimes discussion starts with “how’s business” and “what’s the next year look like for you?”However, successful business networking can also commence with discussions on sports, clothing, families, or the issue that starts more discussions than any other in Canada – the weather. The objective is to establish an initial relationship which will evolve into a mutually beneficial business arrangement that is the centre of entrepreneurial development Generally, I’ve heard some very positive, although qualified, feedback from business owners that I have spoken with recently. A few things are consistent. So many things are out of your direct control, so make sure you control what you can. Stick to your fundamentals and focus on your strengths. Excel at customer service and work your tail off. Listen to your customers and adapt accordingly. Be innovative and be careful at the same time. Take well educated and well researched risks. And have fun! Stephanie Tanner is a Chamber Board member and owner of Little Mushroom Catering and Nom Nom Treats. Stephanie’s business employs approximately 10 people, and has been growing steadily the past few years…and she expects that growth to continue. “We are in a very competitive environment, but already have bookings well in to 2015. We maintain our business growth at a scale that is manageable, without sacrificing core customer service.” Stephanie feels that higher level economic conditions and trends can be managed by old fashioned business principles. “Our staff builds relationships with our clients. Not only are they great chefs, but they are also skilled at customer service and interaction. We grow through referrals, word of mouth and constant exposure in the community. The Chamber provides excellent opportunities to keep us top of mind and at the top of our game."

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Sabrina Fitzgerald is Chair-Elect of the Chamber Board of Directors and is a Partner with PWC in Uptown Waterloo. PWC has 184,235 employees in 776 locations worldwide. Business is global, even for the local office. Sabrina’s area of expertise is tax planning and her involvement in more mergers and acquisitions are a strong economic indicator. “When businesses merge or acquire other businesses, that is typically a sign that the economy is improving, as business sees an opportunity to take risk, spend capital for growth and grow in markets they perhaps previously were not ready to enter.” Sabrina also sees the trend continuing into 2015. “In our Waterloo office, signs would suggest that growth will continue and we’re very excited about our involvement.” Chamber events provide a great forum for these types of discussions. And one final note. Many of you may not have noticed, but Chamber President Ian McLean is actually a very dapper dresser. He always has nice shoes, a bright tie and on special occasions a matching pocket square in his breast pocket, especially when he is meeting people like the Prime Minister. So next time you see him at an event or a meeting, feel free to start the conversation with “nice shoes Ian” and go from there…..

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul Eichinger CHAIR, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Paul is Vice President at MTE Consultants Inc.


message from the president

Waterloo Region Economic Prospects are Solid for 2015 BY IAN MCLEAN All factors considered, the prospects for continued economic growth in Waterloo Region appear strong over the next year with some sectors showing surprising and unexpected strength. The 2014 regional economic outlook compiled by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Credit Unions of Ontario indicated that Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie along with Toronto will continue to set the pace and lead other regions across Ontario on overall economic activity. The report noted that we have a local industry mix more oriented to growth companies and less dependent on sectors facing chronically difficult market conditions. The OCC and Credit Unions predicted 12,000 new jobs in 2014 and a further 10,000 in 2015. A particularly positive trend is that despite weak economic conditions over the past five years, investments in equipment and software have been increasing, a factor that will position us well as the recovery continues. Improved productivity is highly dependent on new technologies therefore the importance of these investments cannot be undervalued. Employment growth is being lead by the service sector, particularly health care and education. Our unemployment level should remain well below national and provincial averages. A November 2014 report from Export Development Canada (EDC) indicated that Canadian manufacturers are expected to experience growth by seven percent for 2014 and five percent in 2015. Given that one in five jobs across Waterloo Region is directly related to manufacturing, this is a significant trend that should expand already promising growth forecasts. In particular, projections for the industrial machinery sector indicate 10 percent growth in exports for 2014 and 17 percent in 2015. Improved economic conditions across the United States have lead to a weakening Canadian dollar which in turn assists Canadian exporters. The EDC notes that while the lower Canadian dollar can expand exports and grow the provincial manufacturing base, Canadian firms will continue to face strong competition from Mexico and some southern US states. The recent highly publicized decision by Ford to locate a new engine plant in Mexico over Windsor is an indication of this on-going challenge. The pressure is mounting on Queen’s Park and Ottawa to offer strategies for countering efforts by these competing jurisdictions.

Apart from this decision by Ford, prospects for the Ontario and Waterloo Region automotive sector are solid. After five plus years of challenges initiated in large part from the bankruptcies at General Motors and Chrysler, production has climbed back to prerecession levels. In 2008, Ontario produced 1.4 million vehicles growing to an anticipated volume of 2.3 million units for 2014. Recent statistics indicate that cars and auto parts comprised 35 percent of provincial exports in 2013, a number that is expected to increase by eight percent in 2014 and another three percent in 2015. At the Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis Annual Economic Outlook last November, TD Bank Group Chief Economist Craig Alexander indicated that despite overall global economic uncertainty Waterloo Region should get a major boost from an improving American economy and a lower Canadian dollar. Slowing and stagnating growth across the global economy has depressed commodity prices such as oil, which in turn drop the Canadian dollar and lower production costs for central Canadian manufacturers. Growth in the American economy at an anticipated level of three percent combined with the devalued dollar could generate a 2.5 percent increase in the Ontario GDP. Overall, prospects for the local economy are strong for many sectors and our Chamber looks forward to working with the business community to ensure we capitalize on emerging opportunities for optimal results.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian McLean Ian is President and CEO of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

advocate January | February 2015

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Thank Thank Y You! o ou! O Ontario ntario P Provincial rovincial Dist District rict C Council ouncil

IIndividual ndividua al and Small Sm ma all Business Business Contributors Contributors

McLean Al Hayes Karen Ka K aren Mason Ma M ason Ian McLean Tim Sothern Bill Weiler

f for or helping helping the the Chamber Chamber continue continue its its goal goal of of eliminating eliminating the the doctor doctor s hortage a iin nW ater t loo Reg ion shortage Waterloo Region Since 1998 the the Chamber Chamber and and a team team of ve cut the the number number of Since of dedicated dedicated t volunteers volunteers have hav of residents without without a family family doctor doctor in in half. half. However However the the battle battle is not not over. over. residents Recruitment efforts through t he f inancial dedication Our Recruitment efforts can only only happen happen through the financial dedication o f our C o rp o rate r a t C o m m u n i t y t h r ough w h i ch it is fu n d ed of Corporate Community through which funded 6 WWW.GREATERKWCHAMBER.COM


advocacy

Ontario Needs a New Approach to Business BY ART SINCLAIR As the Liberal cabinet positions itself at Queen’s Park following a June 2014 election, one factor should be paramount – the province requires a new economic strategy and approach to business if we have any remote thoughts of returning to the era of John Robarts, Bill Davis and the rest of Canada disliking Ontario because collectively we were successful. It is now three years since the release of the highly anticipated Report of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Service, or Drummond Report named after the Commission Chair. At that time in February of 2012 there was a belief that, if implemented, the recommendations contained in this document would lead to more efficient government, faster economic growth and Ontario regaining its position as Canada’s economic engine. By the aforementioned 2014 election all political parties, stakeholders and voters essentially forgot the Commission ever existed in large part because one opposition leader announced his own highly unpopular plan for reforming the delivery of Ontario’s public services. However, Drummond’s recommendation 11-1 proposed that the province publish an “economic vision” for Ontario. As we are aware, the Region of Waterloo has commenced the most thorough and comprehensive economic development strategy process since Waterloo County was created in 1853. At the end of this exercise, it is expected the collective expertise, experience and existing employment base within the seven area municipalities will create a plan for attracting new investment and jobs that, like the Drummond Report envisioned, generate the taxation levels for essential public services.

large and diverse economic base. Copying the American Midwest or Canadian Prairies will not be enough to revitalize the Ontario economy and the only route for moving ahead is doing business differently. Three areas were identified where the province should focus their efforts. Firstly, the education system needs to be re-examined to ensure future generations have the skills for jobs in demand. The province needs a public policy regime that centres on business expansion as we are not developing large globally competitive enterprises. Finally, in a long-standing recommendation from the Task Force, public support for innovation needs to be increased to elevate productivity and end years of relatively substandard levels of R&D expenditures. Another emerging issue for Queen’s Park – and there are manywas highlighted in the 2014 regional economic outlook compiled by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Credit Unions of Ontario. The report concluded that in general rural economies underperform their urbanized counterparts. A new economic strategy for the province requires options for growth in all geographic areas and not exclusively the Greater Toronto Area. The success of the Waterloo Region business sector is largely the result of innovation and entrepreneurs making difficult decisions with inherent risk. A similar culture of innovation in public policy is necessary to bring Ontario back to its position of prominence in Canada. We should be leaders and not followers.

Ontario needs our own economic strategy and we need it yesterday. Elmira native Roger Martin has chaired the provincial Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress for over a decade. In their 2014 Annual Report released last November (which will be their final as the Task Force is winding down), Martin concludes the province needs new policies and “bold” action from both Queen’s Park and provincial business leaders to improve productivity and find new economic strength. The Task Force proposes a fundamental shift in public policy where Ontario should move away from programs in other competing jurisdictions and consider new ventures for our own

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Art Sinclair Art is Vice President Policy and Advocacy for the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.

advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

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perspective on health care

Greater KW Family Practice Opportunities Appeal to Visiting Physicians BY MARY SUE FITZPATRICK For 16 years now, the Chamber’s family physician recruitment initiative has been not only a broader community initiative for the betterment and well being of Kitchener-Waterloo-Woolwich residents but also an economic development initiative that serves the business community and ensures our economic competitiveness as a region. One of the Chamber’s key physician recruitment initiatives is the annual Family Medicine Resident Weekend which took place last November when the Chamber played host to 17 first and second year family medicine residents and their partners. Organized by the Health Council’s Family Physician Liaison Task Force, chaired by Al Hayes of WalterFedy, the weekend is a major recruitment initiative that positively engages young physicians and promotes the community as a welcoming, attractive, leading edge centre of excellence, with promising practice opportunities for physicians and employment opportunities for their partners. Over the past 16 years, this annual event has influenced many residents’ decisions to establish their family practices in the area. The weekend is a wonderful opportunity for these health care professionals to get better acquainted with the community and our health care facilities. While the physicians tour medical facilities and meet and speak with local family practitioners, their partners tour the community and explore employment opportunities with local business and community leaders. This year, there was exceptional interest shown by many of the young physicians, with four residents considering practice commitments in the next year and a half and another eight seriously considering K-W as one of their top choice communities. This important annual weekend is made possible through generous municipal and corporate investment in Chamber Health Care Resources Council initiatives. Along with our major corporate and community investors, the Chamber extends special thanks to this year’s resident weekend supporters who added the special touches that thoroughly impressed our guests: the Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel for their fine food, service and accommodation; Communitech for hosting the luncheon; Innocente Brewing Limited for their gift packages and fine product; Sun Life for their gift packages and signed Kitchener Rangers jersey; BlackBerry for the BlackBerry Passport; Airways Transit for the shuttle service; Brentwood Livery for the top notch transportation; and Kennedy’s Catering for a delicious taste of Waterloo County fare!

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Photography by Adamski Photography


perspective on health care

Members of the Family Physician Liaison Task Force are to be congratulated for their exceptional planning and for organizing a great itinerary for our visiting guests. Their support and personal involvement and that of Chamber Board members and local business and community leaders over this important annual weekend made it especially warm and welcoming for the visiting residents and their partners.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Sue Fitzpatrick Mary Sue is Vice President Family Physician Resources and Health Advocacy. Photography by Adamski Photography advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

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networking

Autumn Networking

GETTING READY TO DRAW THE WINNER OF THE TRIP FOR TWO TO MEXICO AT THE BUSINESS EXPO - GREG DUROCHER, PRESIDENT & CEO OF THE CAMBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; PAUL EICHINGER, CHAIR OF THE BOARD, GREATER KW CHAMBER; ROD HANNA, SUNWING; SANDRA MCAULEY, REGION OF WATERLOO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT; AND AMY KENDALL, CHAIR OF THE BOARD, GUELPH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

KIERRA REID, LESLEY WARREN, JULES GEAUDRAULT, SEAN GILDERS, DAWNE TAYLOR-GILDERS, STEPHANIE TANNER

BRENDA HALLORAN, IAN MCLEAN, BERRY VRBANOVIC

FEDERAL CABINET MINISTER DIANE FINLEY DELIVERING POINT OF VIEW LUNCHEON

ANTIPASTO TO START!

POINT OF VIEW WITH MINISTER DIANE FINLEY

CHEF LORI MAIDLOW AND KITCHEN HARD AT WORK!

CHLOE HAMILTON AND PAUL LEVECK

HER KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT OUR

Photography by Adamski Photography

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networking

Autumn Networking

RYAN VAN STRALEN, JR WADDELL, VICTORIA LOCKE AND ANDREW ATTRIDGE

NAUSHAD ISMAIL AND DAVE JAWORSKY AT THE BA5 AT THE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SUITES WATERLOO/ST. JACOBS

CROWDS GATHERED FOR THE 2014 BUSINESS EXPO

JEN DOL, JEFF SHEPPARD, ADAM SMITH AND MIKE HEWITSON AT LIBRO CYP EVENT

MOHAMMED HAMOODI, PAUL EICHINGER AND BOB CROW

THE 4TH COURSE OF THE 100 MILE FEAST BEING SERVED.

SOMMELIER!!

INNOCENTE SAMPLING AT THE 100 MILE FEAST

Photography by Adamski Photography

FEBRUARY 7 & 8, 2015 BINGEMANS CONFERENCE CENTRE

425 BINGEMANS CENTRE DR. KITCHENER

www.totalwomanshow.com

10AM - 5PM

$8

PER DAY

$10 WEEKEND PASS TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

SHOW FEATURES MORE THAN 150 EXCITING EXHIBITORS SPEAKERS & WORKSHOPS DAILY FASHION SHOWS HEALTH & WELLNESS COOKING STAGE WINE TASTING AREA GOODIE BAGS & PRIZES

New: DR. TAKHAR’S COSMETIC ROOM

ThunderStorm Productions

advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

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new members

October 1, 2014 to November 30, 2014 Avias

Dazzling Green Clean

Gem Spa

Jaz Integrated Graphics

Manufacturers Avia Lee, Owner Email: avia.m.lee@gmail.com Phone: (519) 576-4370

Cleaning ServiceResidential/Commercial/Industrial Liz McNeil, Owner/Founder Email: liz@dazzlinggreenclean.com www.dazzlinggreenclean.com Phone: (519) 591-5996

Spas - Beauty & Health Whitney Daluz, Owner 240 King Street South Waterloo, ON N2J 1R4 Email: whitney@gemspa.ca www.gemspa.ca Phone: (226) 240-9050

Printers Jeffrey Percival, President 136 Ottawa Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 3S9 Email: jeff@jazgrafx.com www.jazgrafx.com Phone: (519) 579-1977 Fax: (519) 579-1157

Beagle Inc. Business Systems Samantha Hunter, Director Business and Market 51 Breithaupt Street, Suite 100 Kitchener, ON N2H 5G5 Email: sam@sniffthefineprint.com www.sniffthefineprint.com Phone: (519) 807-1712

Caesars Windsor Hotels & Motels Ed Fernandez, Manager, Hotel Convention Sales 250 Windsor Avenue, Suite 600 Windsor, ON N9A 6V9 Email: fernandez@caesarswindsor.com www.caesarswindsor.com Phone: (519) 985-2886 Fax: (519) 985-5849

Creating Life by Design Business Consultants Shawn DeBruyn, Owner 460 Caryndale Drive Kitchener, ON N2R 1M8 Email: shawndebruyn@rogers.com Phone: (519) 894-2777

Crux Content Group Text Writing Services Kim Arnold, Owner & Business Development Manager 30 Sherwood Drive Cambridge, ON N1S 1B4 Email: kim@cruxcontentgroup.com www.cruxcontentgroup.com Phone: (226) 972-1588

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Driverseat Kitchener Transport Services Luke Bazely, Co-Founder 259 Gage Avenue, Unit 3 Kitchener, ON N2M 2C9 Email: info@driverseatcanada.com www.driverseatcanada.com Phone: (519) 568-5559

Effective Edge Communications Inc. Website Design & Development Dave Becker, Account Executive/Partner 11-A Arthur Street South Elmira, ON N3B 2M4 Email: dave@effectiveedge.ca www.effectiveedge.ca Phone: (519) 669-0962 Fax: (519) 669-1530

Grapple Corporation Management Consultants Simon Fallows, CEO 645 Westmount Road East Kitchener, ON N2E 3S3 Email: sfallows@grapplecorporation.com www.grapplecorporation.com Phone: (226) 988-3434

Homewood Suites by Hilton St. Jacobs Hotels & Motels Shuker Ismail, General Manager 45 Benjamin Road, Waterloo, ON N2V 2G8 Email: shuker.ismail@hilton.com www.homewoodsuites.com Phone: (519) 514-0088 Fax: (519) 514-0087

Evergreen Digital Marketing Inc.

IFAS Ltd.

Marketing Consultants Mark Hallman, President Email: info@evergreendm.com www.evergreendm.com Phone: (519) 588-8825

Financial Services Products Renee Ledwinka, Manager, Business Operations 181 Frederick Street Kitchener, ON N2H 2M6 Email: renee@ifasltd.com www.ifasltd.com Phone: (519) 569-7800 Fax: (519) 569-7264

Exact Energy Energy Consultants & Management Scott Zimmer, Founder & CEO 51 Breithaupt Street, Suite 100, Kitchener, ON N2H 5G5 Email: scott.zimmer@exactenergy.ca www.exactenergy.ca Phone: (226) 808-7257

Jacqueline's Catering Caterers John-Paul & Jacqueline DeBeaulieu, Owners 500 Glen Forrest Blvd, Unit 5 Waterloo, ON N2L 5G4 Email: jacquelinescatering@bellnet.ca www.jacquelinescatering.ca Phone: (519) 746-2225

Kavanaugh and McClure Chiropractic Chiropractors Michaela McClure, Chiropractor 228 Longview Crescent Kitchener, ON N2P 2T4 Email: dr.michaelamcclure@gmail.com Phone: (519) 580-7324

Local Line Inc. Internet & Technology Products & Service Cole Jones, CEO & Account Manager 151 Charles Street West Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6 Email: info@localline.ca www.localline.ca Phone: (416) 402-1126

Michael Bean Trademark + Copyright Law Lawyers Michael Bean, Lawyer, Trademark Agent in Canada & U.S. 97 Frederick Street, Kitchener, ON N2H 2L5 Email: michael@michaelbeantrademarks.com www.michaelbeantrademarks.com Phone: (519) 954-7003 Fax: (519) 954-7009

North American Commodity Consultants Group Inc. Commodity Brokers Murray Sheehan, Senior Director Business Development 5979 Baldwin Street South PO Box 30034 Brooklin Towne Centre Whitby, ON L1M 0B5 Email: msheehan@naccgroup.com www.naccgroup.com Phone: (416) 333-6012 Fax: (416) 981-8700


new members

October 1, 2014 to November 30, 2014 OpenText Corporation

Sight & Sound Studios

Taverner Technical Services

Toothworks: The Boardwalk Dental

Computer Software Paula Downey, Senior Director, Global Marketing Operations | Marketing 275 Frank Tompa Drive, Waterloo, ON N2L 0A1 Email: info@opentext.com www.opentext.com Phone: (519) 888-7111 Fax: (519) 888-0677

Music Instruction Instrumental Mike Erb, Owner/Operator 1060 Huron StreetNew Hamburg, ON N3A 3E9 Email: music@sightandsoundstudios.ca www.sightandsoundstudios.ca Phone: (519) 662-9958

Information Technology Management Jack Taverner, President 871 Victoria Street North, Suite 7-311 Kitchener, ON N2B 3S4 Email: jack@taverner.ca www.taverner.ca Phone: (226) 476-1780

OSO Beverages

Smart Home Comfort

Taxation Lawyers

Dentists Amit Puri, Owner 430 The Boardwalk, Unit 106 Waterloo, ON N2T 0C1 Email: boardwalk@toothworks.com Web: http://www.toothworks.com Phone: (519) 743-9888 Fax: (519) 743-7888

Automation Systems & Equipment Faisal Islam, Owner 125 Black Bridge Road, Unit 8 Cambridge, ON N3C 0G3 Email: faisal@smarthomecomfort.ca www.smarthomecomfort.ca Phone: (519) 729-5567

Lawyers Deborah Hughes, Assistant 305 King Street West, Suite 1010 Kitchener, ON N2G 1B9 Email: james@taxationlawyers.ca www.taxationlawyers.ca Phone: (226) 499-9799 Fax: (226) 499-9799

Beverage Distributors Scott Wilson, President 25 Milling Street, Unit 8 Cambridge, ON N3C 1C3 Email: sales@canpack.ca www.osobeverages.ca Phone: (519) 502-4447

PeaceWorks Technology Solutions

Solar Ace Solutions

Information Technology Management Joanne Young Evans, CEO 554 Parkside Drive, Unit 101 Waterloo, ON N2L 5Z4 Email: joanneye@peaceworks.ca www.peaceworks.ca Phone: (519) 725-7875 Fax: (519) 589-4599

Lighting Consultants & Contractors Jason Lalonde, Owner Baden, ON Email: sales@solaracesolutions.ca www.solaracesolutions.ca Phone: (519) 505-0458

Pinchin Ltd.

Picture Framing Steven Wilson, Owner 72 St. Leger Street, Unit 214, Kitchener, ON N2H 6R4 Email: wallconcepts@bell.net www.wallconcepts.ca Phone: (519) 722-8003

Environmental Consultants Terri Kelloway, Marketing & Business Development Coordinator 470 Weber Street North, Suite 103 Waterloo, ON N2L 6J2 Email: tkelloway@pinchin.com www.pinchin.com Phone: (519) 746-4210

Rockway Building Supplies Building Materials Cara Seiling, 205 Ardelt Avenue Kitchener, ON N2C 2M3 Email: rockwaybuildingsupplies@bellnet.ca Phone: (519) 570-2186 Fax: (519) 570-2817

Steven Wilson Wall Concepts

Sysco Connect Canada Food Services Sandi Young, Director, Human Resources 419 Phillip Street, Waterloo, ON N2L 3X2 Email: young.sandi@corp.sysco.ca Phone: (519) 594-9501

Tech-Master Computer Service Computer Sales & Service Thomas Mahn, CEO 605 Coldstream Drive Waterloo, ON N2V 2H3 Email: tech-master@rogers.com www.tech-master.com Phone: (519) 888-6628

The Pound Transformation Studio Health, Fitness & Exercise Service Carly Donovan, Co-Owner 72 St. Leger Street Kitchener, ON N2H 6R4 Email: carly@guelphpersonaltraining.com www.kitchenerpersonaltraining.com Phone: (519) 830-6863

Toothworks: Fairview Park Dental Dentists Amit Puri, Owner 2960 Kingsway Drive, Unit K4A Kitchener, ON N2C 1X1 Web: http://www.toothworks.com

TPW Consulting Business Consultants Tracey Weiler, Principal Consultant Email: tracey@traceyweiler.com Phone: (519) 504-1274

U-haul Canada Moving & Storage Sonia Tuck, Area Field Manager 555 Fairway Road South, Kitchener, ON N2C 1X4 Email: Sonia_tuck@uhaul.com uhaul.com Phone: (519) 893-2222

unLOCKEd Marketing Consultants Victoria Locke, Project Manager and Business Development 645 Westmount Road East, Unit 11F Kitchener, ON N2E 3S3 Email: victoria@unlockedcompany.com www.unlockedcompany.com Phone: (519) 571-4977

Vif Strategies Coaching Stephanie Wasylyk, Owner and Coach Email: stephanie@vifstrategies.com www.vifstrategies.com Phone: (226) 791-2933

www.the-boardwalk.ca advocate January | February 2015

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feature

A Model for Regional Economic Development BY GERRY REMERS Businesses in Waterloo Region mirror the diversity of economic activity across Canada – and the challenges facing local businesses are repeated across the country. Surprisingly, it is getting harder to do business in Canada. Canada’s performance in global “ease of doing business” rankings is slipping. This year we fell to 16th in the World Bank index of 189 countries ranked across 10 topic areas. We fall far behind Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand (top 3) but thankfully are well ahead of India at 142. Interestingly, we do very well in some categories – such as starting a business (2nd), getting credit, paying taxes (both 7th) and resolving insolvency (6th). We do very poorly however in areas that tend to be under municipal or regional control – construction permits (118th), getting electricity (150th), and registering property (55th) - all dragging down our overall scores. We compete with other regions in Ontario, Canada and the US for investments bringing jobs, growth and prosperity. We have a rich history and wonderful assets in our universities, people, industries and community programs. Yet our economic strategy has never been viewed as a regional priority –instead we have acted locally, parochially, and somewhat near-sightedly. Now - after a lengthy process involving significant consultation with the key stakeholders for economic development in the region, Waterloo Region’s CAO’s (the Steering Committee) supported by their local and regional councils have acted to develop a first ever Waterloo Regional Economic Development Strategy. The vision statement is “to be locally rooted, internationally competitive and globally renowned.” The steering committee hired consultants Malone Given Parsons Ltd to guide the strategy development process and they also set up an Advisory Board composed of local business and community leaders. The agreed economic development strategy has set four key goals which support the realization of the vision statement: 1)

To be the premier location for innovation and entrepreneurship;

2)

To be the most competitive location for new and expanding companies and institutions;

3)

To be a resilient, engaged and dynamic economic ecosystem and

4)

To be a community of choice for talented people.

For each goal a set of objectives and a detailed action plan has been outlined – with timelines and priorities set for the next 4 – 5 years.

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The Cambridge and Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chambers of Commerce, CTT, the local economic development officers (EDO’s) as well as educational institutions and community based arts organizations helped provide guidance in establishing this plan. The recommended implementation plan is to establish an independent new “Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation” as the means to realize this lofty vision. This new Corporation would have a much broader mandate than either CTT or the local municipalities and would be funded by both municipal and regional council. The desire is to avoid the politicization of economic development as a power struggle between municipal and regional governments. A key challenge facing the new CEO of this corporation will be to determine how to work with local officials while improving services to economic stakeholders either already in the region or wanting to come here. Reducing barriers to growth include increasing alignment of municipal bylaws and regulations relating to business development, creating valuable information sources for companies interested in locating here and providing concierge services to simplify the path to success. The current plan is to integrate various local economic service bureaus like CTT into the new corporation. We should also consider what other institutions come under the guidance of this corporation… Tourism? Manufacturing Innovation Network? Creative Enterprise? A “final” strategy document is now set to go for approval by our newly elected local governments. It will be up to these elected officials to demonstrate the will to work collaboratively to make this a more desirable Region in which to do business. If we make the Region a model for how to do business and how to collaborate and innovate in Canada, we will also improve our ease of doing business rankings and accelerate business growth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gerry Remers Gerry Remers is CEO of Christie Digital Systems Canada. He is also Chair of the Waterloo Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee.


GALA BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS

EVENT SPONSORS

AWARD SPONSORS

TITLE: COWAN INSURANCE GROUP

BLACKBERRY

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CONESTOGA COLLEGE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY & ADVANCED LEARNING

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MEDIA SPONSOR: 96.7 CHYM FM, 570 NEWS,

NOMINEE RECEPTION: BMO FINANCIAL GROUP GIFT: BDO CANADA LLP GOLD: BELL CANADA GOLD: CIBC GOLD: GOWLINGS LLP

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EBRUARY 19 , 2015 TH

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Hi-lighting Members

Hi-lighting New Members who have joined in 2014 Roynat Capital Whether you're looking to grow your business, undergo a transition or want to realize the value of your business, our capital solutions are tailored to your scenario. Our financing spectrum ranges from higher loan to value term loans to subordinated debt and equity.

40 Weber Street East Suite 810 Kitchener (519) 742-5346 Jason Simon, Associate Director simonj@roynat.com www.roynat.com

Sweet and Savoury Pie Company

Sweet and Savoury Pie Company

At the Sweet and Savoury Pie Company, baking is our passion. We use only the finest, freshest local ingredients to create wonderful meat, fruit and cream pies and tarts baked fresh daily without any preservative. Our pies will satisfy your appetite and warm your heart.

373 Bridge Street West, Unit #11 Waterloo ON N2K 3K3 (519) 725-3141 www.justlovepie.com justlovepie@gmail.com

M is for Memories

M is for Memories

Struggling with a wealth of print or digital photos? You have old media that you can no longer view or looking for ways to share your memories? Our personalized photo organizing services help you with all these challenges and more!

Patti Metzger MisforMemories@gmail.com (226) 808-1147 www.misformemories.com

PeaceWorks Technology Solutions

PeaceWorks Technology Solutions

Trust PeaceWorks for end to end IT services and solutions. Contact us today for strategic IT consulting, outsourced or project-based IT support, custom software development, CRM solutions, cloud computing, websites, hosting services, computer repair and equipment reselling.

554 Parkside Drive, Unit 101 Waterloo, ON, N2L 5Z4 (519) 725-7875 info@peaceworks.ca www.peaceworks.ca

Innocente Brewing Company

Innocente Brewing Company

Now opened in the north end of Waterloo. Brewing all natural Craft Beer. Open 7 days a week with free tasting and sales of bottled beer, 2L Growlers and refills, casks and kegs. Brewery available for private parties, tours, and tasting events.

283 Northfield Drive, East Waterloo, ON (519) 725-1ALE (1253) steve@innocente.ca

CopperTree Solutions Inc

CopperTree Solutions Inc

CopperTree provides innovative and strategic information technology consulting and services for businesses in Kitchener-Waterloo. Call us for a free no-obligation assessment of your technology, and learn how we can help you leverage IT to improve productivity and operate more efficiently.

610 McMurray Rd, Unit 2 Waterloo, ON N2V 2E7 (519) 804-2461 info@ctsol.ca colin.shantz@ctsol.ca

Grand River Business Intelligence

Grand River Business Intelligence

Grand River BI engages in the development of fully custom software for small-medium sized enterprises. We specialize in databases, reporting, and custom data-driven software applications. Trust your next project to our years of experience!

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Roynat Capital

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(226) 444-0420 info@grandriverbi.com www.grandriverbi.com


Hi-lighting Members

Hi-lighting New Members who have joined in 2014 Precision Appliance Repair Ltd.

Precision Appliance Repair Ltd.

1396 King St N. St Jacobs, ON (519) 664-2288. Ex277 catering@stjacobs.com www.stjacobs.com/eat

Precision appliance repair specializes in repairs to high-end kitchen and laundry appliances. Fully licenced to work on Gas, Electric, Induction and Refrigeration. Over 10 years experience. Visit us at www.precisionappliance.ca to view brands we service, service area's and rates.

Moxie’s Grill/Bar

Moxie’s Grill/Bar

385 Fairway Road South, Kitchener, ON (519) 260-2626 reservations@moxieskw.com www.moxieskitchener.com

Budget Blinds of Kitchener

Moxie’s Kitchener is a fun casual restaurant & lounge perfect for your corporate event for up to 100 people, meeting or a casual night out. Locally owned and operated, Moxie’s Kitchener is proud to have joined the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce!

Budget Blinds of Kitchener

Kitchener (226) 647 0226 Waterloo (519) 746 3498 mriffer@budgetblinds.com waterloo@budgetblinds.com

BB Commercial Solutions is a national partner of the largest supplier of custom window coverings. We provide full service, turnkey solutions for business, government and industry. We can provide specialized solutions in energy efficiency, graphics, motorization, anti-microbial and fire retardant products.

Sound Events Inc.

Sound Events Inc.

Sound Events Inc. (855) 535-3939 info@soundevents.ca soundevents.ca

Sound Events is a full service AV rentals and event production company. Let us take care of your next conference or event and make sure it comes off perfectly.

Crux Content Group

Crux Content Group

Contact Person: Kim Arnold +1 (226) 972-1588 kim@cruxcontentgroup.com www.cruxcontentgroup.com

Crux Content Group provides end-to-end documentation and content development solutions for growing businesses. Why hire us? The Crux Advantage: A team based approach means access to more expertise, higher quality work and faster turnaround times.

Evergreen Digital Marketing

Evergreen Digital Marketing

(519)588-8825 info@evergreendm.com evergreendm.com Twitter: @evergreen_dm

Evergreen Digital Marketing provides services to help you grow your business through online marketing channels. Our services include search engine marketing, website design and development, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing. We also provide website traffic reports and analysis.

VIP Perks 4 Me

VIP Perks 4 Me

Suite 358-55 Northfield Dr E, Waterloo, ON N2K 3T6 1-888-507-3757 vipperks4me@gmail.com www.vipperks4me.com

VIP Perks 4 Me is a mobile-based customer loyalty/rewards program designed for small to medium-sized businesses. Launched in the Kitchener/ Waterloo area, we deliver a worry-free mobile marketing solution: hardware, software and campaign management. We help you build your customer list and market to them effectively while providing real-time trackable results.

evergreen Dig it al

M ar ket in g

advocate January | February 2015

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cover story

Building Prosperity for Southwestern Ontario BY STEPHEN BOLTON In January, Libro Credit Union is marking its one year anniversary of operating in 21 communities across southwestern Ontario, following the amalgamation between United Communities Credit Union and Libro Financial Group. But our roots go way back, with a rich history of more than 70 years, serving the people of this great region. Our long-term goal is to grow prosperity by transforming banking for the two million people, farms, businesses and institutions that call this place home. The region is rich in precious agricultural resources and prominent urban centres. It is where we choose to work and play. It is where we raise our families. It is continually changing for the better. And it is the place we are proud to call home. Southwestern Ontario has seen the economy gain strength due to several global factors, and 2015 looks very promising for Kitchener-Waterloo and the rest of the region. The economic trends present a tremendous opportunity for all of our entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small- to large-size enterprises across Kitchener-Waterloo, which has a population of over 500,000 and is one of the fastest growing areas in the province. While overall global economic growth weakened in 2014, the United States economy experienced positive momentum, which is expected to continue this year. Crude oil prices have fallen to their lowest levels since 2009, which for consumers, means lower gas prices and more disposable income in 2015. As a region, we’ve observed Ontario generally benefits from lower energy prices because of the impact on the Canadian dollar and manufacturing competitiveness. The lower Canadian dollar and strengthening U.S. economy supports Ontario manufacturers and serves as a catalyst for driving exports. In the near term, these Canadian and global trends may benefit Ontario’s manufacturing sector and have a positive impact on retail sales. So let’s shift to the area that is a standout for Kitchener-Waterloo, in almost every aspect – employment. The positive outlook for manufacturing and consumer goods supports continued employment growth in 2015.

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It wasn’t that long ago that the manufacturing sector struggled through the global economic recession. In fact, KitchenerWaterloo was hit fairly hard by the recession with unemployment reaching a high of 10 percent back in the second quarter of 2009. However, Kitchener-Waterloo has demonstrated incredible resiliency and recovered better than most areas of Ontario, with unemployment falling steadily and consistently below Ontario’s unemployment rate as a whole. Kitchener-Waterloo’s economy comprises a diversified portfolio of industries, and not surprisingly, growth is driven by the manufacturing and technology sectors. Manufacturing remains the dominant industry and the largest sector in terms of employment, and the technology sector remains very strong, with companies such as Google, Square and Electronic Arts, alongside established local companies such as Open Text, Maplesoft and BlackBerry. Total employment went up throughout most of 2014, with almost all of the increase generated by full-time employment. As the high tech industries lead the way, employment is forecast to continue growing at a moderate pace in 2015, which will help more families achieve secure incomes and confidence about their financial future. As a co-operative, Libro supports movements and gets involved with organizations who are building the economy in KitchenerWaterloo and across southwestern Ontario, such as our local Chambers of Commerce, our local Business Improvement Area (BIA) chapters, and the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA). We can do more working together, and it’s important to take a moment and celebrate our local success stories because there are many of them across Kitchener-Waterloo. Speaking of success, another area buzzing with positivity this year is housing and construction, where activity was higher in 2014 compared to 2013, both in residential and non-residential construction. Housing starts were up substantially in 2014, led by apartment and condominium construction. Rising post-secondary student enrollment, changing household demographics and local commitment to higher density housing development suggests this


cover story

trend will continue in the near term, although apartment building starts can be volatile over short time frames. Looking at the resale housing market, MLS sales remained fairly consistent from 2013 to 2014. We all remember the impact the extreme cold weather caused at the start of 2014, giving the housing market a very slow start to the year. Once the warmer temperatures appeared, sales and new listings picked up for the rest of the year. Moderate employment growth and low mortgage rates should continue to support demand for housing in 2015, giving more families the opportunity to realize the dream of home ownership. Since average sale prices reflect more on the composition of the housing stock than a home’s value, analyzing the New Housing Price Index (NHPI) is a more reliable indicator of housing price trends. In Kitchener-Waterloo, NHPI has increased between 1 and 3 percent annually since 2010 and that trend should likely continue in the short term. The economic future looks bright for Kitchener-Waterloo with projected growth in employment, the manufacturing and technology sectors, and housing and construction. At Libro, we embrace this as a huge opportunity to inspire financial happiness for the families, farms and enterprises that call this place home. Because we do too. The success of KitchenerWaterloo is connected to the success of Libro. With 27 branches across southwestern Ontario, Libro is proud to operate three in Kitchener-Waterloo: Beechwood branch on the west side of Waterloo, Williamsburg branch in southwest Kitchener, and Waterloo branch in the north end of Waterloo. These are the places where we help people buy homes, assist entrepreneurs to go after their dreams, support businesses to make their payrolls, and take care of the financial needs of the diverse communities we serve. Among Libro’s major milestones achieved during our merger journey last year was establishing the long-term foundation of our vision to deliver world-class financial service in KitchenerWaterloo and across southwestern Ontario, and it’s called Be Libro.

It shapes the future and lays the foundation for why Libro exists – and that is to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking. Any community is only as strong as its members, and when people create a vision together, they will commit to moving toward it, together. For our part, that means investing our profits in our backyard. Libro is a credit union in southwestern Ontario, for southwestern Ontario, whose revenue is earned here and whose profits are invested back into southwestern Ontario. In 2015, Libro is very excited to be introducing a new Community Engagement Program focused on growing regional prosperity through the following three focus areas: youth development and leadership, regional economic development, and money smarts. Serving communities is part of our credit union heritage that dates back to the 1900s, and it’s something we are very proud to be part of and perpetuate. As the business leaders in Kitchener-Waterloo and beyond, we understand working together for mutual success is the heart of building strong, vibrant communities. The 2015 economic outlook further boosts our capabilities to make a positive, lasting impact. With the right mix of passion, world-class service, and dedication, I am confident our collaborative efforts will help grow prosperity for everyone in this great place we call home. Sources: Central 1, CMHC, CREA, Statistics Canada

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephen Bolton Stephen Bolton is President and CEO, Head Coach of Libro Credit Union, Ontario’s second largest credit untion

advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

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events

Mark Your Calendar January 7, 2015

January 22, 2015

Point of View with Helmut Pastrick, Chief Economist, Central 1 Credit Union

MNP Networking Breakfast Series presents Speed Networking

11:30am-1:30pm at Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel Member: $40 General Admission: $50 Join us for an important Point of View luncheon with Helmut Pastrick, Chief Economist with Central 1 Credit Union for a top-down discussion of world economic trends heading into the new year and how they will impact Canada, Ontario, and Waterloo Region

7:15-9:00am at Holiday Inn Kitchener-Waterloo Member: $28 General Admission: $40 Make the most of your networking opportunities with other professionals, one on one, a few minutes at a time and find new connections and hidden opportunities.

Title Sponsor:

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January 14, 2015 Manulife Chamber Academy – Improving Your Presentation Skills 8:00-9:30am at Holiday Inn Express Waterloo-St. Jacobs Member: $20 General Admission: $25 Whether you’re going into a sales meeting or an internal presentation, your ability to effectively communicate is at the heart of business development. Learn how to hone your presentation skills to improve the ability to convey the best possible message and close more deals. Title Sponsor:

January 20, 2015

February 3, 2015 Home Hardware Business After 5 5:00-7:00pm at The Athletic Club Member: Complimentary General Admission: $10 Does networking intimidate you or do you thrive on meeting new people? Come out to this casual bi-monthly event with friendly faces and easy conversation that provides an opportunity for B2B networking.

Libro Chamber Young Professionals Speed Mentoring 5:30-7:30pm at Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo

Title Sponsor:

Members: $5 includes HST General Admission: $10 includes HST This event will allow you to expand your network and receive valuable professional and leadership development skills from accomplished business leaders.

Media Sponsor:

Title Sponsor: Silver Sponsor:

Insurance is the last thing business owners think of when times are good. But, when there’s a claim it’s their first call. You should have the best coverage possible. Get an expert opinion on your commercial insurance needs.

insure@erb-erb.com ‡1.800.265.2634 ‡www.erb-erb.com 20

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events

February 4, 2015

February 25, 2015

Manulife Chamber Academy – Taking Online Prospects and Turning Them Into Offline Clients

Manulife Chamber Academy – Leading Before Managing

8:00-9:30am at Holiday Inn Express Waterloo-St. Jacobs Member: $20 General Admission: $25 Digital media has taken over the business world and business development has naturally evolved to utilize these tools, but the art of closing a deal comes down to an in-person meeting. Title Sponsor:

8:00-9:30am at Holiday Inn Express Waterloo-St. Jacobs Member: $20 General Admission: $25

Title Sponsor:

March 6, 2015 International Women’s Day Breakfast

February 5, 2015 5:30-7:30pm at KW Symphony Members: $5 includes HST General Admission: $10 includes HST Join us for a unique networking event where you can meet with new contacts and re-connect with existing ones!!

7:00-9:00am at Bingemans Member: $30 General Admission: $35 Join us to recognize & celebrate the outstanding achievements of women in our community and around the world. Watch the website for speaker announcements!

Title Sponsor:

Title Sponsor:

Silver Sponsor:

Event Sponsor:

February 19, 2015

Print Sponsor:

Libro Chamber Young Professionals Networking Event

G

Business Excellence Awards Gala 6:00-10:00pm at Bingemans Member: $175 Member Table of 8: $1400 General Admission: $200 General Admission Table of 8: $1600 Don’t miss the region’s premier networking gala event with 12 awards presented to Chamber members who have made exceptional contributions through their involvement and leadership for the betterment of our community.

I

N

&

PRINT

For full event details and to register, please visit www.greaterkwchamber.com

Title Sponsor:

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Overnight Meeting Packages All Inclusive Starting at $104 (Double Occupancy)

www.waterlooinn.com

advocate January | February 2015

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Salt impacts our water.

CURB THE

SALT We all have a role to play.

Waterloo ur water water.r. We We are working to reduce The Region of W aterloo is committed to protecting our salt use on roads and on properties through innovative solutions and partnerships.

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Use ssalt alt aalternatives. lternatives. Use Use alternatives like sand or non-clumping kit t y lit ter to

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For more ideas contact:

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Telephone: Email: Website:

WWW.GREATERKWCHAMBER.COM

TTY:


feature

Looking Ahead to 2015 – Key Challenges for Small and Medium Enterprises BY TIM SOTHERN As we are about to turn the page on another calendar year, most entrepreneurs will want to reflect back on 2014 economic trends and look forward to how they will impact their businesses into 2015. A few key stories have dominated the economic headlines over the past year. They include the following: •

Slower demand in the global economy – this has been caused by the slowdown in demand from China and also the continued economic struggles within the European Union. A combination of low growth and high unemployment in the Eurozone is sparking fears of deflation for the first time in decades. This has led to a softening demand for Canadian commodities and drop in those prices. Consumers are seeing this with the first significant decrease in gasoline prices in this decade;

Growth in demand in the United States - as the US continues its climb back from the great 2008 recession, this rebound will have a tremendous impact on both the national and regional economic climate. This increased demand combined with a lower value for the Canadian dollar should be a winning formula for businesses in Waterloo Region that export goods south of the border;

The continued low interest rate environment - while there has been looming talk of interest rates rising, it has yet to happen. Most experts agree that when rates begin their inevitable rise upward, it will be done on a graduated basis over a longer period of time. It is this belief which should support the Canadian housing market in future months.

than compensation. Effective performance management, recognition, and work-life balance programs are also required in order to maintain a highly functional talent pool. •

Understanding their cash flows - most entrepreneurs will say that “cash is king!” An SME can make all of the profit it wants but if it cannot generate positive cash flows then it will be a wasted effort. It is critical that SME’s track their cash flow as closely as they track their income and expenses. This includes developing an annual cash flow budget and monitoring that budget on a monthly basis. Most successful owner-managers will monitor their cash balances on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis.

Develop a network of business advisors- any successful owner of a SME will tell you that it is impossible to be an expert in all facets of their business. In addition to surrounding themselves with talented employees, it is important to have a dedicated team of professional advisors that truly understand their business and industry. This team will usually include their legal counsel, accountant, financial advisor, and other mentors. Some companies have developed advisory boards which meet with the owners on a periodic basis to help guide the business in achieving its strategic vision.

As the economy continues to generate mixed signals into 2015, it is imperative that SMEs develop the tools and foresight to survive and succeed in an uncertain future.

Given this mixed economic environment, how should small and medium-sized enterprises prepare for the 2015 year and beyond? There are several key ways that SMEs can prepare their organizations when facing an uncertain future. •

Ensure they can attract and retain their key talent - it is critical that small businesses develop and keep their human capital. This is especially important when considering the impact of technology in small businesses. In Waterloo Region, the technology firms being born out of several incubation programs rely heavily on the talent of their founders to keep the business operating and to attract much needed financial capital. It is important that small businesses recognize that retention of human resources involves more

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Sothern Tim Sothern, FCPA, FCA, MBA, CHRP is a partner at BDO Canada LLP in Kitchener.

advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

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feature

Meet the 2014-2015 Board of Directors

BACK ROW (L – R): JASON KIPFER, PATRICK KLANN, STEPHANIE TANNER, MARK CHRISTENSEN, IAN MCLEAN, RENE GATIEN, SANDRA STONE, TED MCKECHNIE, RENATA RUSINIAK FRONT ROW (L – R): KELLY MCMANUS, NEIL HENDERSON, BARBARA FENNESSY, ROSA LUPO, PAUL EICHINGER, SABRINA FITZGERALD, LINDA DANCEY, CAMERON KOZLOWSKI ABSENT: KATHRYN ALLAMBY, MICHEÁL KELLY, JEFF MACINTYRE

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feature

Chamber Travel to China BY JEFF MACINTYRE When people think of a travel bucket list it’s easy to think of Italy, Hawaii, Bora Bora, and Australia as places that most would like to visit. In the spring we decided to take a trip to China with the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce. A number of individuals asked me why we would go there. We were really interested in the culture and fascinated by the shear volume of people and the logistics of moving that many people around. We wanted to see how it all worked. Unlike Europe, the first time there I would suggest you don’t spend too much time roaming but rather utilize the expertise of a travel company, guides and facilitated tour to show you the highlights, introduce you to the culture, and ease you into the massiveness that is China. A return visit might call for some more adventurous roaming. China creates a good exhaustion resulting from a bombardment of your senses. The new sights and sounds, a new language to process, new customs and ways of doing things, different food, and a different time zone and climate were exciting but not overwhelming. The tour began months before departure with overviews of what we were going to experience, Visa application process, and preparation to depart. From the moment we left for the airport until we arrived home, everything was taken care of. The attention to detail was welcome and necessary to make the experience great. The tour consisted of four main stops with lots to do at each. Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Each place is very different and integrates the uniqueness of the region with the blend of development and the culture. The first stop was Beijing. This was a great city to start with tours of Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Ming’s Tomb, The Temple of

Heaven, Summer Palace and then an unforgettable experience on The Great Wall. The size and scale of everything is truly remarkable. Seeing many of these places that we have seen in movies, documentaries and news feeds was surreal. Next stop was Suzhou with its memorable blend of gardens, canals and culture. It was quieter than the big city of Beijing with only 5.4 million people but equally spectacular. Hangzhou was next on the agenda. This was unexpected as we didn’t really know what we were about to experience. This is an area not too familiar for most people but interestingly enough our Prime Minister spent time here on his recent trip to China. A day boat tour on West Lake followed by an excursion to a green tea plantation were calming and beautiful experiences. Final stop was Shanghai. This is where culture and progress collide in a jaw dropping, mind-numbing experience. 24 Million people appear to survive, thrive and coexist in a harmonious rhythm of gardens, temples and the most futuristic waterfront imaginable. A trip on the Maglav train to the airport at 431 km per hour added to the experience. Each city with its sights, sounds, and culture were uniquely different but the collective was so unlike anything we had ever seen. We ate, we drank, and we took it all in. Any concerns of fear of food and menus, too much culture change or safety were quickly discarded and the relaxing journey unfolded. There was never a moment of fear for safety, never a time that we felt a crush of people or any feeling of being overwhelmed. Instead there was two weeks of calm, great food and culture. The Greater KW Chamber has a very similar trip planned in April of 2015. I will suggest you would be hard pressed to find a trip that includes so much for such a low price. Please feel free to contact the Chamber for information and I encourage you to research the Chamber trip departing soon. advocate January | February 2015

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sponsor profile

Home Hardware: Helping Local Businesses for Over 50 Years BY JESSICA KUEPFER Home Hardware was co-founded in 1964 by Walter J. Hachborn and Henry Sittler. After seeing many independent Dealers struggling to compete against the large corporate controlled chains, Walter convinced 122 independent Dealers to form a cooperative that would allow them to cut out the middleman, pool their buying power and build competitive, independent businesses. Walter's vision and dedication to the independent owners remain as relevant and important today as they did in 1964. Since our founding over fifty years ago, we have grown from an idea into Canada's largest Dealer-owned hardware, lumber, building materials and furniture cooperative with close to 1,100 independent business operators from every corner of Canada. As one of Canada’s most recognized brands, Home Hardware provides over 60,000 quality items in our distribution centres

including our paint line, Beauti-Tone Paints, and our exclusive line of Kuradori kitchen supplies. Each of our stores operate under one of four banners: Home Hardware offers housewares, hardware, plumbing and electrical, paint, small appliances and more; Home Building Centre offers lumber and building materials and project packages, plus renovation, repair and maintenance items; Home Hardware Building Centre combines the best of both worlds; and Home Furniture offers a wide range of complementary furnishings and accessories for your home. As a testament to Home Hardware's guiding ethic - that community and the common good is simply good business - the company remains a genuinely 100% Canadian, Dealer-owned and operated major retailer. Our mission is to supply Home Dealers

HOME HARDWARE CO-FOUNDER WALTER HACHBORN AND CEO TERRY DAVIS PREPARE A FLAG AS THE COMPANY CELEBRATES OVER 50 YEARS OF BEING 100% CANADIAN OWNED AND OPERATED.

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sponsor profile

with quality products and services and to assist them with programs to profitably and efficiently run their stores, allowing them to serve their customers with competitive prices and superior service. At Home Hardware, people and community are our greatest asset. We have more than 2,000 staff members at the corporate office with an average tenure of fourteen years and thousands more employees in our stores across Canada. Together, we have worked hard to instill a culture of service and quality into our company and we are proud to have received designations that affirm our commitment to be Homeowners helping homeowners. We were named as Canada’s Best Trained Dealer Group, one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures, one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for three years in a row, one of Canada’s Top Fleet Employers, and this year, our co-founder, Walter Hachborn will be inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Home Hardware’s goal since the beginning has been to preserve the independent retailer. Our co-founder, Walter Hachborn, believed that a reliable, friendly store for home improvement needs was too important to the make-up of a community to be swallowed by the large discount retailers. This commitment to the local community and independent retailer is why we are a member of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. From the outset, Home Hardware has been a strong supporter of the Chamber of Commerce in communities across Canada and has been involved in the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce since 2001. Home Hardware is the title sponsor of the Business After 5 event, which is one of the most popular and highly attended event series that the Chamber hosts. It celebrates the independent business owner with a tradeshow element, allowing local operators to connect with the Chamber’s growing business membership throughout the year. Home Hardware is also a sponsor of the Physician Recruitment program which is a critically important initiative to attract and retain family physicians in the Kitchener-Waterloo area as well as support the local hospitals and community health care. Lack of access to family practitioners is a health care issue that is impacting our region and Home Hardware is committed to supporting a healthy community. We are grateful for this program as many of our own staff are members of the Kitchener-Waterloo community and benefit from the quality health care that is available.

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce has a history of advocating on behalf of local businesses and helping to foster a strong, healthy business environment that promotes economic growth. At Home Hardware, we are proud to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce as it provides a platform to support and connect with our active and vibrant business community, to hear from local business owners and political leaders and to advocate for the needs of the local community. To experience the extensive opportunities that the Chamber offers, it is important to Home Hardware to be actively involved in the local events and programs. The annual premier events with the Chamber, such as the Golf Scramble and Chamberfest are funfilled days where we are able to network with local business owners. The young professionals working in our organization find the Chamber for Young Professionals to be a dynamic way to network with their peers and glean education and specialized mentorship opportunities from the Chamber and it’s members. The Chamber also provides Point-Of-View Luncheons where we hear from our leaders in the community who provide insight, support and expertise. The Chamber functions as an invaluable resource to our company. It is an honour to be connected to the local business owners in Kitchener-Waterloo region who have supported us for over fifty years because like the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Home Hardware’s reason for being is to help businesses succeed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Kuepfer Jessica Kuepfer is the Public Relations Coordinator at Home Hardware Stores Limited. She enjoys attending the Libro Credit Union Chamber Young Professionals and the Home Hardware Business After 5 events and connecting with the local business community.

advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

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Benjamin Moore

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member notables

MEMBER NOTABLES Elmira Photographer Receives Provincial Recognition Tina Weltz, MPA, of Calla Studio in Elmira was awarded the 2014 Photographic Artist of the Year from the Professional Photographers of Canada – Ontario at a recent awards banquet in Toronto. Ms. Weltz won this same award for 2013 and the Chamber congratulates her for this significant accomplishment in winning two consecutive years.

The Sign Depot Establishes Presence in Las Vegas Kitchener-based The Sign Depot, working with Toronto design firm Munge Leung, has completed an extensive sign project for the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Within the facility, the Hearthstone Kitchener and Cellar was renovated with all new signage. Project managers focused on a retro look which The Sign Depot was able to complete. The new signage was made to appear from a by-gone era, constructed from non-corrosive materials with LED lights which are economical to operate and will hold the antique surface without further deterioration.

Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors elects New President Mark Wolle, Broker of Record-Owner of Royal LePage Wolle Realty, was recently elected as president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR). Mr. Wolle has been a director of KWAR since 2012 and is joined by officers Charlotte Zawada, 1st Vice President, RE/MAX Twin City Realty, James Craig, 2nd Vice President, Coupal Markou Commercial Real Estate, Lynne Bebenek, Past President, Team Realty K.W., and Executive Officer Bill Duce. New directors are Colleen Koehler of RE/MAX Twin City Realty and Tony Schmidt of Howie Schmidt Realty. Returning directors are Andrew Fielding of Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty, Jane Gardner of Royal LePage Wolle Realty, Eric Klimstra of Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty, and Brain Santos of Peak Realty.

Economical Named Canada’s Best General Insurance Company for 2014 World Finance magazine recently named Economical Insurance as the winner of the Best Non-Life (General) Insurance Company 2014, Canada. “We are thrilled to be recognized by World Finance for the second consecutive year as the best general insurer in Canada,” stated Economical president and chief executive officer Karen Gavan in a recent media release. “This award validates our commitment to transforming our business operations and IT services, which will significantly improve our productivity and efficiency in delivering top quality products and services that meet our policyholders’ needs.” Based in Waterloo, Economical services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across Canada.

advocate JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015

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Helping Us Make Our Vision Possible A special Thank You to each of these Chamber Sponsors.

CHAMBER CHAIR’S CIRCLE

CHAMBER PATRON

Chamber

Academy TITLE SPONSOR

CHAMBER TRUSTEE

MEDIA PARTNERS 30

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Advocate - Looking Ahead to 2015 January | February  
Advocate - Looking Ahead to 2015 January | February  

In this edition of the Chamber Advocate magazine we take a look at economic development in Waterloo Region and the challenges facing small a...