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Playing to win Ottawa Champions majority owner Miles Wolff believes Can-Am baseball has found a home in the capital > PAGES 6-7
June 6, 2016 Vol. 19, NO. 16
THE TENANT’S ADVANTAGE
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Tech groups say a lack of broadband access in Canada is hurting skills development. > PAGE 3
Where’s the sizzle?
Celebrating Ottawa’s rising business stars
Venture capitalist says new survey results suggest Ottawa tech has a bit of an image problem.
> STARTS ON PAGE 9
> PAGES 4-5
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New PCL Hard Hat Heroes fund gives back to Parkwood Hills C
hildren in Ottawa’s Parkwood Hills now have a new play structure to enjoy, thanks to the PCL Hard Hat Heroes fund. An initiative between PCL Constructors Canada Inc. and United Way Ottawa, the fund builds capital projects to improve Ottawa neighbourhoods.
“The Hard Hat Heroes fund was really a natural fit and a wonderful way for our employees and company to give back to the communities we work in,” said Emily Parent, senior accounting manager for PCL Constructors Canada Inc. “It’s incredible to see our first project come to life and know that families are enjoying it.” In Parkwood Hills, 9 per cent of the residents are children younger than nine-years-old and 18.5 per cent of residents live in single-parent homes. Because of this, local and affordable activities for families are essential.
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
The new play structure at Inverness Park also received matching funds from the City of Ottawa, and support from the Nepean, Rideau & Osgoode Community Resource Centre. “Children need a safe, fun environment to play, learn, and grow,” said Sandy Wooley, Executive Director, Nepean, Rideau & Osgoode Community Resource Centre. “The new play structure at Inverness Park will provide children and youth with increased access to healthy recreation opportunities, and provide a space for community residents to come together and connect with their neighbours.”
Parkwood Hills community members celebrate the grand opening of the new Inverness Park play structure. Community centres and parks are essential neighbourhood hubs. PCL Hard Hat Heroes projects will bring together communities through physical improvement projects to buildings, public spaces, facilities, and public art. “PCL Constructors Canada Inc. and its employees are making an incredible difference in our community,” said Michael Allen, President and CEO, United Way Ottawa. “The Hard Hat Heroes fund is a great example of an organization using its team’s generosity and expertise to change lives in our community.” In the coming months, the Hard Hat Heroes fund will unveil a gazebo in Golden Manor to give seniors in that neighbourhood a shared space to connect and build a sense of community.
Help build strong communities. Learn more at UnitedWayOttawa.ca.
TECHNOLOGY Slow bandwidth could put brakes on tech growth: Panel Lack of broadband access hindering development of next generation of Canadian coders, experts tell Ottawa Internet forum BY JOSEPH MATHIEU Special to OBJ
growing skills gap in the information technology sector is shackling Canada’s video game industry, a panel of industry experts said earlier this month. More than 100 delegates from Ottawa’s tech sector gathered June 1 at the Canadian Museum of Nature for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s sixth annual Canadian Internet Forum, which focused on how broadband access is affecting the modern digital economy and the Canadian workforce. A four-person panel of experts told the audience a lack of broadband access was widening the IT skills gap across many sectors of the Canadian economy. Panellist Tanya Woods, vice-president of policy and legal affairs at the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, said a lack of digital literacy in young Canadians from kindergarten to post-secondary school will negatively affect the video game industry. “We need people, and we need them a lot more than other sectors need them,” said Ms. Woods. “The reality is we need 200,000 skilled workers by 2020.” A 2015 report said Canada’s video game industry had grown by 31 per cent
in two years, with 472 active software studios contributing $3 billion to the country’s GDP. ESAC, which helps develop policies to assist multi-platform video game industry, says that growth has been fuelled by a skilled workforce and a favourable business climate in Canada, and Ottawa is no exception. “Ottawa’s got an amazing entertainment software industry,” Ms. Woods said. “It’s small but it’s growing, and there’s a lot of talent here worth celebrating.” Still, many industry observers worry a looking shortage of qualified workers could hamper growth across the sector. The recently released 2016 Ottawa Business Growth Survey found 47 per cent of local tech companies cited lack of a skilled workforce as their No. 1 issue. This sentiment was echoed in CIRA’s recent report From Broadband Access to Smart Economies, which surveyed 300 IT decision-makers and 1,200 Internet users across the country. The report suggested limited access to broadband Internet in parts of Canada is contributing to the lack of skilled workers. More than half of the IT decision-makers polled said it was very important for high school students to learn basic coding skills. Panellist Matthew Johnson, the director of education at MediaSmarts
Tanya Woods of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada and Sarah Anson-Cartwright of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce address the June 1 forum. PHOTO BY JOSEPH MATHIEU
“Watching the growth of companies like Shopify and Kinaxis, the tech needs in this city are huge. They need skilled workers and they’re having a hard time finding people.” – TANYA WOODS, VICE-PRESIDENT OF POLICY AND LEGAL AFFAIRS AT THE ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
and creator of a series of digital literacy tutorials, told the room that 20 years ago Canada was a world leader in getting the Internet into schools. “Not only did we get in the wires and signals, but we also supported the teachers in using digital technology,” said Mr. Johnson. “Now the No. 1 complaint is slow bandwidth and outdated technology. The infrastructure hasn’t been maintained.” Ms. Woods argued companies have a responsibility to invest in their own growth. “For years now, the video games industry has been engaging in schools and giving kids opportunities to learn,” she said. “Girl Force in Ottawa is just one example of many where the industry Ukraine_Layout 2 2016-05-16 2:20 PM Page 1
says, ‘We have the knowledge and we want to share it to show people how great the industry is.’” A non-profit organization, Girl Force brings together Ottawa gaming companies, developers and instructors from Algonquin College to teach gaming development skills to girls in the region. That kind of push will be necessary in all information and communications technology sectors to help grow the next generation of workers, advocates say. “It’s really hard to say what might happen in Ottawa specifically,” said Ms. Woods. “But watching the growth of companies like Shopify and Kinaxis, the tech needs in this city are huge. They need skilled workers and they’re having a hard time finding people.”
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ECONOMY Ottawa a confident capital but innovation lagging, study says Respondents to latest Ottawa Business Growth Survey say the city’s economy is looking up, but the capital still has work to do to brush up its image as a tech leader BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
usiness confidence is up in all sectors compared with a year ago, but most local entrepreneurs believe the city still isn’t as innovative as it could be, according to the 2016 Ottawa Business Growth Survey. Sponsored by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Welch LLP, Cresa Ottawa, Gowling WLG and RBC, the latest edition of the annual survey found nearly eight in 10 of those questioned this spring felt more confident in the local economy than they did six months ago. But a whopping 83 per cent also said they believe Ottawa is not as innovative as it could be, a figure that spoke volumes to panellists at the survey’s unveiling on June 1 at the Shaw Centre. “The results are sort of an indication of what I think is a problem that we need to solve, and that is that clearly people think we could be an innovative city, but they don’t think we are today,” said Code Cubitt, managing director of Mistral Venture Partners. Mr. Cubitt, who moved here three years ago after a successful career as a venture capitalist in cities such as Washington, D.C. and Palo Alto, Calif., said he believes Ottawa can hold its own against any of the world’s leading innovation hubs. “There’s another city in Ontario that has this amazing brand for being innovative and entrepreneurial and
successful,” he told the crowd of about 300, without mentioning the city by name. “What I would say is they’ve got amazing sizzle, but when I visit there’s not a lot of steak. In Ottawa, it’s the opposite. We have a lot of steak; we have very little sizzle. What don’t brag about what we have. We’re very conservative; we tend to be very shy about talking about our successes.” Mayor Jim Watson agreed, saying highprofile tech darlings such as Shopify have managed to grab headlines but represent only a small portion of the work being done in the capital. “I think Waterloo does a better job of spinning their success stories than we do,” he said. “We’re starting to change that. I think we’re getting more noticed now, but it’s an ongoing struggle because people still think of Ottawa as a government town, when in fact we’ve got over 50,000 people (employed) in the direct high-tech sector and that number is growing.” Bernie Ashe, CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, said the city should focus on developing more incubators and accelerators to build on its strengths as a tech industry leader with a well-educated workforce and high quality of life. “Forget this rebranding Ottawa, guys,” Mr. Ashe said. “We’re fine. We’re way too hypersensitive. Ottawa’s a fantastic place. The guys across the street there at Shopify, they stayed in Ottawa because they liked the city. They really believe in this city as a great place to live.”
WILL THIS BIRTHDAY PARTY LEAVE A HANGOVER?
Canada’s biggest birthday party is a year away and local businesses are awaiting its arrival with mixed feelings, though 43 per cent are positive. City hall expects to attract 1.75 million more visitors to Ottawa than usual in a year (seven million to eight million is the average). The estimated direct economic impact of those extra visitors is $320 million.
Overall, will the preparation and events held for Canada 150 have a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative impact on your business?
28% ALL RESPONDENTS: n VERY POSITIVE n SOMEWHAT POSITIVE n NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT n SOMEWHAT NEGATIVE n VERY NEGATIVE n NOT SURE
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More than 650 people completed the online survey, which was conducted by local polling firm Abacus Data from April 11 to May 2 and asked business owners and executives for their views on a range of topics. Like last year, respondents continue to be worried about a lack of skilled workers, particularly in the tech sector. Overall, 47 per cent of those surveyed singled out skilled workforce as their most important issue, ahead of attracting new business at 39 per cent and corporate taxes at 34 per cent. And among businesses in the tech sector, more than two-thirds identified skilled workers as their No. 1 concern. Mr. Cubitt said the National Capital Region faces stiff competition for top talent from other tech hubs such as Waterloo and Toronto and must work harder to ensure right young minds choose Ottawa instead. “We have great university institutions,” he said, adding many of their smartest graduates leave the city to work elsewhere. “How do we get them to stick around? Even potentially more importantly, how do we get others from other regions with new ideas to come to Ottawa? “There’s no question we have top-
“We have a lot of steak; we have very little sizzle. What don’t brag about what we have. We tend to be very shy about talking about our successes.” – CODE CUBITT, MISTRAL VENTURE PARTNERS
rated engineering and science talent in the region. Getting them to not leave the region is what we should focus on.” Kanata North BIA executive director Jenna Sudds said many hiring managers have been forced to look beyond Canada’s borders to find qualified workers. “They tell me they’re doing this because they aren’t able to find the talent here,” she said. “As much as their preference may be to find Canadians, it’s not always possible.” Ottawa Chamber of Commerce CEO Ian Faris said the city’s business community must work with its universities and colleges to ensure graduates have the skills they need to succeed. “We’ve got the most educated
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expansion. “It’s a colossal opportunity.” However, respondents weren’t as enthusiastic about the nation’s upcoming 150th birthday celebrations. Nearly half of all businesses said they don’t expect Ottawa’s Canada 150 events to have a significant impact on their bottom line. “From a tourism perspective, it’s exciting,” Ms. Sudds said. “But from a business leader perspective, it’s hard to (know) how that translates to your business. To date, we haven’t seen a marquee business event that’s going to pull together, for example, our technology community to rally around Canada’s 150th birthday.” The full results of the 2016 Ottawa Business Growth Survey are available at ottawabusinesssurveyreport.ca.
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DEVELOPMENT ARGES CH THE GROWING
workforce in Canada,” he said. “This is primarily due to some very fine educational institutions. We’ve got the ability to produce these employees of the future. I think we need to integrate them better into companies, and whether that’s through co-ops or internships, that would be a good part of the pipeline for future workers.” The survey also suggested widespread support for an NHL arena and accompanying bars and restaurants at LeBreton Flats, a finding that did not surprise retail experts. “Our future prosperity as a community really hinges in large part on what happens downtown,” said Rideau Centre general manager Cindy VanBuskirk, noting her mall is in the midst of finishing a $360-million
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Ottawa Champions majority owner Miles Wolff has had a long, illustrious ownership career in minor league baseball. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Champions owner having a ball in the nation’s capital America’s pastime might have a checkered past in Ottawa, but legendary minor league baseball entrepreneur Miles Wolff says he is confident the city’s Can-Am League team will be a hit
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
ome things appear to be impossible, others just highly implausible. But making baseball work in Ottawa? That Sisyphean task now falls on the shoulders of former Durham Bulls owner Miles Wolff and his Ottawa-based partner, minority shareholder and Parliament Hill lobbyist David Gourlay. They operate the Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions, which recently began their second season in the latest effort to rekindle the capital’s love affair with America’s pastime. Energetic and preternaturally optimistic, Mr. Wolff bought the Bulls for $2,466 at a time when minor league baseball was seemingly on its last legs. It was 1980 and he figured he’d learned everything he could from being general manager of several other clubs, so why not try to build a successful franchise that he owned himself? Of course, it helps if Hollywood comes knocking at your door. The hit film Bull Durham is, naturally, based
on the Durham Bulls. After reading the script, Mr. Wolff never thought the film would see the light of day. But it did, and he even got to shake hands with one of the movie’s stars, Kevin Costner. Bull Durham was made in 1987, and Mr. Wolff sold the team in 1991 to a television executive out of Raleigh for a reported $4 million. If that number is correct, it means he got a 95.82 per cent compounded rate of return on his investment during the 11 years he owned that team. That probably beats your mutual funds (and mine) by quite a margin. But back in the 1970s and ’80s, minor league GMs were doing everything they could do to keep the grand old game alive: “hot pants nights” and “free gasoline for a year” were just a few of the hundreds of schemes they used to fill their parks. Of course, it helps if gasoline is $1 a gallon instead of $3, but still you can see the lengths to which they had to go to bring people out. “Baseball is a passion and a calling,
not a real job,” says Mr. Wolff, who holds a master’s degree in southern history from the University of Virginia and an undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University. He put his education to good use when he wrote a book, Lunch at the five and ten: the Greensboro sit-ins, a contemporary history, about the 1960 sit-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., that helped spawn the civil rights movement in the United States. Mr. Wolff sees baseball, too, as a force for social change – whether it’s Jackie Robinson breaking the colour barrier in 1947 or ballparks being desegregated. His love for baseball extends beyond the park. Mr. Wolff was once the publisher of Baseball America, a tabloid magazine that came out every two weeks. He picked it up in 1981 for the cost of its debts – less than $50,000 – and built it into a powerhouse that eventually supplanted Sporting News as the bible of the industry.
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“Baseball is a passion and a calling, not a real job.” – OTTAWA CHAMPIONS MAJORITY OWNER MILES WOLFF
The publication was started by Alan Simpson, a Canadian from British Columbia who used to cross the border rom White Rock to get access to cheaper postal rates. Mr. Simpson sold Baseball
America to Mr. Wolff so he could get a green card, eventually moving to Durham to work on their joint project. They then sold it to a group out of Atlanta in 2000 for another seven-figure payout. But Mr. Wolff just couldn’t stay retired. One of the knocks against minor league ball is that all teams are now affiliated with major-league clubs, meaning their objective is not to win championships but to develop players for The Show. This drives fans in those cities – who faithfully support their hometown teams with their cash and adoration – crazy. Just as their team appears poised to win it all, top players are off to the big leagues. It wasn’t always that way. In the early days of organized baseball, all minor league clubs were independent – they made most of their money selling players they’d developed to the major leagues. By the 1920s, they could sell a player for $75,000 or even $100,000. Eventually, Major League Baseball
decided it could develop players less expensively by stocking its own affiliated minor league teams, and by the 1950s, independent baseball was all but dead. So Mr. Wolff decided to go back to the future. He is now the commissioner of not one but two independent leagues. The Champions play in the six-team CanAm league; the other is the 13-team American Association. “All teams are independent, and they’ve been successful beyond my wildest dreams,” he says proudly. “The (American Association’s) St. Paul Saints are sold out every game. They get 5,000 fans, sometimes outdrawing the (American League’s Minnesota) Twins just six miles down the road.” After the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx folded in 2007 and a previous effort at establishing a Can-Am team in the capital failed, who would have thought that the Champions could draw a total of 115,000 fans to 55 home games in their first season?
Even though he initially did not really want to own a team in Ottawa, Mr. Wolff says, “Look, the reason I invested is that here’s a town of 1.3 million people, they’ve got a decent park that the city is willing to fix up and David (Gourlay) had 3,000 pledges for season tickets. It just plain makes sense.” It didn’t hurt that the owners sold the naming rights to the stadium for $150,000 over three years, and Mr. Wolff knows how to keep both player and operating costs under control. Their best promotion is decent weather, never a certainty in a northern city like Ottawa. Their second-best? Dollar hot dog night. “(This) year will be even better,” Mr. Wolff says. “We’ll do much more in group sales. I see us getting to 2,500, maybe even 3,000 fans a game.” For now, he has no plans to retire. He maintains an apartment in New Edinburgh and loves Canada so much that he has given his son, Hoffman Wolff, aged 30, to the nation. “Hoffman lives in Quebec City and speaks French like a local,” the proud papa says. Bruce M. Firestone is founder of the Ottawa Senators and a broker at Century 21 Explorer Realty. Follow him on Twitter @ProfBruce.
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Finding your limits, and surpassing them FORTY UNDER 40 ALUMNI STEPHAN MAY ON THE MERITS OF HIS TELFER EXECUTIVE MBA It takes a lot to overwhelm Stephan May these days. He’s learned to take even the most stressful situation in stride and stay focused on the big picture. He acquired such poise during his two years of juggling school, family and work commitments while attending the Telfer Executive MBA program. “The Executive MBA really did stretch me to my limits and build my tolerance to balance all aspects of my professional and personal life,” May said. “It helped me to become a better manager, a better team player and to put stressful circumstances in perspective.” May, who earned his degree in 2013, made the cut for the Ottawa’s Forty under 40 award last year. These days he is Managing Director of the rapidly growing mergers and acquisitions practice at WelchGroup Consulting, a corporate finance and business advisory firm. WelchGroup’s M&A practice focuses on the midmarket, where deals range between $5 million and $20 million. With so many aging boomers eager to exit their businesses and retire after weathering the financial crisis of 2008, business is, well, booming. STEPHAN MAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MERGERS & “I think we’re going to see this for the next few ACQUISITIONS, WELCHGROUP CONSULTING years – a lot of exits and a lot of owners needing help to prepare their business for sale and go to market to find buyers,” May said. “There is only a small group of local providers that offer this service.”
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
Telfer’s team approach really does strengthen your managerial soft skills
LEARNING TO THINK OUTSIDE YOUR BOX
Learning to balance priorities was just one of many skills that Stephan acquired in the program. He understood that leadership in business takes much more than technical know-how. Developing emotional intelligence, the “soft skills,” is just as important. May waited until he had progressed in his career before attending Telfer’s Executive MBA program. “It was something I always wanted to do, but there is an advantage in doing it later in your career,” he said. “You’re in a better position to grasp the concepts and apply the managerial skills you’ve learned.”
Learning doesn’t just come from the professors in the Telfer program. In addition to an outstanding mix of faculty members with realworld experience, May was part of a cohort of business professionals with diverse experiences and perspectives from which he could also learn. “Being able to tap into that pool of seasoned business people with diverse backgrounds and work with them to solve real issues for actual organizations is a huge value,” May said. “I learned as much from a doctor and his perspective on how to tackle a problem as I did from an engineer. Learning someone else’s approach to problem solving added to the learning experience.” Telfer Executive MBA candidates work in teams during their 21-month experience. The strong emphasis on teams focuses on the reality of the global economy. May and his team completed six diverse projects where they consulted on real business challenges for client organizations in a multitude of industries. The international project for Stephan and his team led them to Vietnam. By managing diversity and culture, levering each other’s strengths by understanding team dynamics and appreciating the process for sharing leadership and responsibility, they were able to provide compelling value and a successful outcome to their client.
BUILDING CONSENSUS TO ACHIEVE RESULTS
“Telfer’s team approach really does strengthen your managerial soft skills,” May said. “You have six people in a working group, all with Type A personalities where no one is leader who can just tell everyone else what to do. You must learn how to work together and motivate each other by learning to use influence and articulate your point of view.” After two years working so closely with his peers, May didn’t leave Telfer with only an MBA degree. “The bonds we have now are pretty tight,” he said. “We still support each other as we move forward with our individual careers.” To learn more about the Telfer Executive MBA program, please visit emba.uOttawa.ca
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Summer Baird, the Hintonburg Public House James Baker, Gowling WLG Katrina Barclay, Malenka Originals Jason Bellefleur, Bellefleur Physiotherapy Alex Benay, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Frank Bouchard, Wipebook Catherine Clark, Catherine Clark Communications Jeff Clarke, Inflector Environment Services Elliott Gauthier, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Joe Hajjar, MDS Aero Support Chris Harder, Spartan Bioscience Nadine Hogan, Wheelhouse
Celebration of success Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce choose 40 of the region’s top young business leaders and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community involvement. On the following pages, readers will get a chance to find out more about this year’s recipients and learn who they are and what drives them to constantly strive for greatness.
Graeme Hussey, Cahdco and CCOC Richard Isaac, RealDecoy Vicki Iverson, Iversoft Solutions Mischa Kaplan, Rainbow Foods Farhad Khan, Grype Solutions Safeena Kherani, ENT MDs Ben Lalonde, Orleans Autopro Domenic Madonna, D-Squared Group John Mathers, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group Jonathan Milne, Invest Ottawa Alex Monk, Dominion City Brewing Jonathon Moody, Versature Nicolas Moyer, Humanitarian Coalition Shane Parrish, Farnam Street Media Melissa Reeves, Linebox Studio Billy Rogers, Escape Manor Chad Saikaley, GGFL Mark Savenkoff, Carleton University Andy Scott, Scott Coulson Scott Karen Sparks, Wesley Clover Parks Fayez Thawer, Tasico Hospitality Rob Villeneuve, Rebel
Carey Assaf, 34 owner and general manager, Kardish Health Food Centres Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We sell health and wellness products. Education: Bachelor of physical education, Brock University (2004) Charitable involvement: Canadian Medical Foundation Biggest biz achievement: Winning the Canadian Health Food Association’s Retailer of the Year award in 2015. This is voted on by industry peers, so it is an award I hold dear to my heart because the people in my industry recognized the hard work and success of my business. Biggest biz obstacle: Personally leaving the front-line work. It took me a long time to train and coach my managers to get to the point where I could fully trust in them to be the everyday faces that make my company thrive. It took years of refining systems and procedures to make life easier for store managers and team members so they can have the knowledge and time to serve our customers to the best of their abilities. Biggest influence: My father, Michael Assa. I grew up in the business as his righthand man and learned everything I know about hard work from him. He taught me the importance of having pride in every aspect of your business from bending over backwards for every customer who walked in the door to cleaning the corner edges of the floor with a hand scraper. Biggest lesson learned: Never settle and always look to improve. I thought I had the best way to do everything until I implemented computerized point-ofsale systems to the mix. That opened my eyes and made me realize there is a more efficient way to do everything. Since then, I have been reinventing policies and procedures almost every week to make the business more efficient and impactful. First job: Bulk filler at Kardish Foods Advice I’d give the younger me: Don’t wait so long to stand up for yourself. It’s incredible what you will achieve when you take control of your time and your decisions. I chose this career because: After I decided I did not want to pursue a teaching career, I followed my father’s footsteps and came back to the health food industry. I knew it better than any other industry and I knew I could excel at it and
Graeme Webster, KOBLE Commercial Real Estate Alan Wehbe, UTG Digital Media
Birthplace: North York Company: RBC Financial Group is the largest financial institution in Canada. Education: MBA, financial services program, Dalhousie University (2015); business administration, three-year honours diploma, Georgian College (2001) Charitable involvement: Junior Achievement Canada Biggest biz achievement: I have had the opportunity to take on two newly created positions at RBC that no one had ever occupied in the market where I was working. This was an amazing experience, although a little nerve-wracking at times, because it allowed me to blaze a trail and turn the position into a role that was impactful and set up well for another colleague to take to the next level. This provided me the opportunity to think outside the box, be innovative and try things to see if they worked. Biggest biz obstacle: Gender bias Biggest influence: My parents. They raised us to be very hard-working, never give up, be respectful of others and always surround yourself with great people. They have both been exceptionally supportive throughout my personal and professional journey, continue to be wonderful sounding boards and are always proud of us regardless of the achievement. Biggest lesson learned: Never judge a book by its cover. In the financial services industry, I have the opportunity to meet many wonderful clients. It’s important to never allow personal bias or personal judgment to get in the way of providing outstanding financial advice. First job: Pharmacy dispensary assistant Advice I’d give the younger me: Work hard and play hard; doing what’s right for the right reasons will always allow everyone to win and will provide opportunities for the greater good; be a trailblazer; and always find time to give back to the community. One word to describe your career: Fulfilling When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A teacher, lawyer or police officer. As I get older, I now reflect on my next career as a race car driver. The excitement for change, speed and anything being possible continues to be very thrilling and exciting for me! You just never know! Favourite pastimes: Spending time with my husband and family; visiting new places; riding my motorcycle in the summer. Favourite song: There are way too many.
Biggest local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
Jeff Saikaley, Caza Saikaley LLP
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship
have fun doing it. One word to describe my career: Fun When I was a kid, I wanted to be: NBA player Favourite pastime: Basketball I’m currently reading: Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath Favourite movie: Iron Man Favourite album: Cooleyhighharmony by Boyz II Men Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Jazz Festival Preferred social media platform: Twitter Company Twitter handle: @kardishfoods
Chris Bailey, 38
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
CEO and co-founder, Unlimi-Tech Software
Birthplace: Halifax Company: We provide accelerated file transfer solutions. Education: Bachelor of science in computer science, Dalhousie University (1999) Charitable involvement: Heart and Stroke Foundation Biggest biz achievement: Creating a profitable business that has not only survived multiple downturns in the economy over the last 16 years but has managed to grow and be continually profitable. Biggest biz obstacle: Trying to balance personal life with business. I don’t think I have overcome it or ever will. You always feel you should spend more time on the business when you are an entrepreneur. But you feel the same about your family. It’s a constant tug of war. Biggest influence: My entire team. I started the company when I was very young (22) and was very green. My team moulded me as much along the way as I moulded them. Many people have come and gone, but all of them helped me grow in some way. Biggest lesson learned: Focus on what you do best and surround yourself with people who can do the other things and are passionate about it. You only do your best work when you are passionate about it. First job: Selling newspaper subscriptions door to door Advice I’d give the younger me: Spend more money and hire more experienced people at the beginning. Don’t cheap out if possible when building your team. And hire top down. I chose this career because: My father encouraged me to major in computer science. I always loved computers, and he could see where things were headed back
in the mid-’90s. There would always be room for more computer programmers. When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Like most kids, I really had no idea. I just said police officer or firefighter when asked. Favourite pastime: Brazilian jiu-jitsu I’m currently reading: I mostly just read news and technology blogs. Favourite movie: Any Star Wars movie Favourite song: None specifically, but favourite genre would be alternative rock. Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook Personal Twitter handle: @chrisbaileyfc Company Twitter handle: @filecatalyst
Summer Baird, 39 owner, The Hintonburg Public House Birthplace: Stratford Company: Restaurant (gastropub) Education: Graduate of Stratford Chefs School (1998) Charitable involvement: Hintonburg Happening Biggest biz achievement: Opening my current restaurant. Biggest biz obstacle: Deciding what to do as a career after I had my daughter and sold my shares in my previous restaurant. Biggest influence: My friends and family. When I was growing up, my mother gave a lot back to the community, and when I opened my current restaurant the friends I made in the area were so involved in different art fundraisers, activities and helping out food banks that it was easy to get caught up in how I could make a difference. It is infectious. Biggest lesson learned: Life is easier if you do not have business partners. This way you can make your own vision a reality without bending it to suit your partners’ ideas. First job: Chambermaid at a motel Advice I’d give the younger me: Never put yourself in a situation where you could lose what you have built by trusting others with your livelihood. I chose this career because: I have a strong passion for food and drink. I have always enjoyed dining out and loved to create meals, so being able to watch others enjoy this in our space is very rewarding. One word to describe your career: Delicious When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A small business owner Favourite pastime: Dining out and attending art shows I’m currently reading: The Book Of
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship Negroes by Lawrence Hill Favourite movie: Gone with the Wind Favourite song: Old Man by Neil Young Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platform: Facebook Company Twitter handle: @thehph
James Baker, 38 partner, patent agent, Gowling WLG Birthplace: Ottawa Company: Canadian co-led international law firm specializing in IP, corporate and advocacy law Education: Bachelor of science, honours chemistry, University of Ottawa (2004) Charitable involvement: Make-A-Wish Foundation Biggest biz achievement: Making equity partner at Gowling WLG in the IP group as a non-lawyer professional patent agent. Gowling WLG has the top IP group in Canada. Being counted as a member of this group and trying to live up to the reputation earned by the generation of excellent practitioners that preceded me is an incredible honour and continues to be the ultimate challenge. Biggest obstacle: Being a student athlete. Balancing class, labs and football practice was incredibly challenging. I wondered all the time if I was going to make it through my degree and often I doubted it would ever happen. Doing so taught me the value of just keeping my head down and powering through, regardless of how tired, or sore, I was. Looking back now, it was the scariest but best time. Biggest influence: My parents. They have always supported my decisions and they have always stood by me. They taught me to never complain, work as hard as you can at whatever you’re doing, and when it comes to business, whenever possible meet someone in person. Biggest lesson learned: Never feel entitled. So many people today seem to have this sense of entitlement and think that work or clients will come easily to them or be handed to them after they get hired. It is a great time to take advantage of this and take the initiative and work harder and better to get ahead. Take it upon yourself to try and land the next client, big or small, and don’t wait for someone else to take care of you. First job: Shovelling driveways on my street. Advice I’d give the younger me: Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. I chose this career because: I love science
and I love travelling. Being a patent agent allows me to stay in touch with the latest chemical R&D and I also get to see the world at client pitches, conferences and giving presentations. One word to describe your career: Committed What’s left to do: The next step in my personal life is to be a great father and family man. Professionally, I want to focus more on building client relationships and identifying new targets and going after them. I think that will be the real challenge over the next 10 years. When I was a kid, I wanted to be: F1 driver or QB for the San Francisco 49ers. Favourite pastime: Golf I’m currently reading: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett Favourite movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark Favourite song: Better Man by Pearl Jam Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platform: Instagram Company Twitter handle: @gowlingwlg_ca
Katrina Barclay, 39 owner, Malenka Originals Birthplace: Calgary Company: Retail and online business selling niche products for refinishing furniture. Education: Master of arts in media and communications studies, University of Westminster, London (2009); bachelor of arts in communications and culture studies, University of Calgary (2000) Charitable involvement: Ottawa Tool Library; United Way Biggest biz achievement: The decision to bring Chalk Paint to Ottawa. After spending over 10 years working in various roles in the media, I was looking for a career change and suddenly saw an incredible opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. When my husband and I moved back to Canada after living in Europe for eight years, we needed new furniture for our house but couldn’t find any good quality, solid-wood furniture in our price range. So I started finding old pieces and giving them a new look with various paint finishes. I started seeing a buzz emerge online about a product called Chalk Paint created by a British artist named Annie Sloan. I tried it and fell in love. On a whim, I flew down to Boston to meet Annie Sloan, who was hosting a conference. After speaking to the North American distributor about selling the paint in Ottawa, I came home determined
to open a shop. Despite having no business background and very limited funds, I opened Malenka Originals four months later. Biggest biz obstacle: When I wanted to open the shop, I went to the bank with my business plan, expecting them to at least offer me a small business line of credit. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Retail businesses are risky, and many fail in the first few years. The bank wouldn’t take a chance on me – a young mom with no real assets or business experience. I turned to my family for a small seed loan of $15,000. Anyone opening a retail business knows that doesn’t go far. So, I was very strategic and kept to a very tight budget. Instead of starting in a high-rent, busy area, I picked an out-of-the-way spot in little-known Britannia Village in West Ottawa. I kept the retrofit to a minimum, knowing I didn’t have much money to spare. Not using traditional advertising, and not having any drive-by traffic, I relied on social media to build an audience. I also used my skills and experience in communication and journalism to build a story and brand that would get noticed. It worked! Within a few months of opening, we were profitable.
The business saw 82 per cent growth from the first full year to the second. As of this year, we’ve moved to a wonderful hightraffic location in Hintonburg, and we were able to spend more money on the retrofit this time. Biggest influence: British artist and entrepreneur Annie Sloan. I admire how she conducts herself in business and how she has grown her now-worldwide brand. She has taught me about patience and principles. I’ve also learned about the importance of sharing ideas and teaching, as well as giving back to the community. Biggest lesson learned: To have perseverance and patience in equal measure – work hard and be driven when it comes to achieving your goals, but don’t expect everything to happen all at once. First job: Salesperson at a shoe store Advice I’d give the younger me: Enjoy the process as much as possible. Running a business can be a non-stop, busy, stressful and sometimes daunting experience. But it also offers incredible experiences and lessons you wouldn’t find in any other job. Take those moments to really savour what you’re doing. I chose this career because: I wanted to
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship save furniture; I wanted a creative career; and I saw an amazing opportunity. When I was a kid, I wanted to be: An actress or a lawyer. But now in retrospect, with the career path I’ve chosen, I understand why I had such a close bond with my grandfather. He passed away when I was six years old, but he has been a huge influence and inspiration for my business. An immigrant from the Ukraine, he was a master of French polishing (an art for refinishing furniture) and an antique restorer and had a shop in Calgary for 30 years. He used to call me “Malenka Katrina” – a Ukrainian term of endearment meaning “darling” or “little one.” I named my business in honour of him. Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Fury FC Favourite local summer event: CityFolk Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram Company Twitter handle: @MalenkaKatrina
Jason Bellefleur, 32 president and physiotherapist, Bellefleur Physiotherapy Birthplace: Chatham Company: We provide individualized, one-on-one physiotherapy services. Education: Bachelor of science in physiotherapy, University of Ottawa (2006) Charitable involvement: Orléans Chamber of Commerce Biggest biz achievement: Being able to provide meaningful employment for the people of Orléans, but more specifically to provide physiotherapists with an alternative business model to what is currently available in private practice in Ottawa. Biggest biz obstacle: Quitting my full-time job to enter the uncertainty of launching my own business. Having a young family and not being trained as a business owner but being a physiotherapist by profession, I had to place a lot of trust in my own abilities and
ON BEHALF OF ALL BDO PARTNERS Congratulations To the 2016 Forty Under 40 recipients
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MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
We believe delivering exceptional client service is the foundation of being a trusted advisor. BDO professionals are committed to providing clients with practical local advice and insight, tailored to their industry, unique priorities and ambitions. Similar to the Forty Under 40 recipients, BDO is committed to supporting our local communities. Each year, we strive to make a positive difference coast to coast through a variety of charitable causes.
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
take small steps forward to ensure the business would succeed. Biggest influence: This is a two-fold question for me. I was initially influenced by Orléans Chamber of Commerce members to open my own business. Through networking, the relationships that I developed and the knowledge that I gained, I became confident in my abilities to start and run a business. Marie-France Lalonde, now MPP for Ottawa-Orléans but at the time a business owner in Orléans, told me I had the skills needed to run a business. This gave me the confidence to start on my entrepreneurial journey. After reading the E-Myth by Michael Gerber, I came to a point where I had to look at the model of care we were delivering as well as the various processes and systems in the business. I’ve taken inspiration from business-minded physiotherapists from across the world such as Paul Wright and Jerry Durham to name a few. The entrepreneurial journey is a constant process of learning and being open to new ideas. Biggest lesson learned: I can’t please everyone and I’m going to ruffle some feathers. I want everyone to be 100 per cent satisfied with the decisions I make, but ultimately someone is not going to be happy and I have to get over that. As long as I know that at the end of the day I’ve put careful thought into a decision and it was in the best interest of the business, it was the right thing to do. First job: Working in the corn fields in the summer in southwestern Ontario. Advice I’d give the younger me: When things don’t seem to be going the way I planned, I think of the old saying, “Look for helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Whether it be community members, friends or family, you always want to surround yourself with the people who are going to help and support you, not the ones who will bring you down. I chose this career because: I’ve always had an interest in sports, science and helping people and I thought that physiotherapy was a good blend of all three. One word to describe my career: Dedicated When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Initially I wanted to become a teacher, but by the time I was in Grade 12 I became fixated on being a physiotherapist. Favourite pastime: Spending time with my family. I’m currently reading: How to Run A One Minute Practice by Paul Wright Favourite movie: The Dark Knight Favourite song: Anything by Michael Jackson, especially the stuff from the Thriller album.
Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @JasonBPT Company Twitter handle: @BellefleurPT
Alex Benay, 35 CEO, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Birthplace: Québec City Company: Science culture, museum, science centre. Education: Bachelor of arts in history, University of Ottawa (2002); currently completing PhD in cultural studies at the University of Leicester. Charitable involvement: Canadian Association of Science Centres Biggest biz achievement: Appointed CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation at the age of 33. Biggest biz obstacle: Continuously fighting against age discrimination. Biggest influences: My parents, both in their own way. They gave me the belief that I can do anything I want with my life by setting a goal and going to get it. Biggest lesson learned: It’s a big world. Canadians often think too small. Sectors must collaborate with one another to compete globally because there is no longer such a thing as a “local” business. First job: Kitchen staff at Dairy Queen Advice I’d give the younger me: Don’t change a thing. It wasn’t easy, it’s still not easy, but push hard, go get what you want and make a difference. I chose this career because: I love history, technology, people. I’m living the dream. It’s the best job I will ever hold. One word to describe my career: Diverse When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Military officer Favourite pastime: I have started making beer from scratch. I’m currently reading: Deconstructing Digital Natives, edited by Michael Thomas Favourite movies: Casino; Lawrence of Arabia Favourite song: Weighty Ghost by Wintersleep Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: CityFolk Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @alexbenay Company Twitter handle: @SciTechMuseum
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship Frank Bouchard, 27
Catherine Clark, 39
co-founder and president, Wipebook
president, Catherine Clark Communications
Birthplace: Ottawa Company: Wipebook manufactures and distributes whiteboard notebooks and flip charts. Education: Master’s degree in engineering management, University of Ottawa (2013); bachelor of electrical engineering, University of Ottawa (2011) Charitable involvement: University of Ottawa Biggest biz achievement: Running the largest Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in Ottawa. In 30 days, we raised more than $424,000 in sales. Biggest obstacle overcome: Surviving a major lawsuit from one of the initial founders of Wipebook while keeping the company afloat. Biggest influence: The Fresh Founder community. It’s just a great community of passionate young entrepreneurs doing great things in the city and a great source of inspiration. Biggest lesson learned: You can trust your gut. I’ve made the mistake of not listening to my gut before and then entering into bad business relationships. No matter how much something makes sense logically, sometimes listening to your gut can prevent you from making bad decisions. First job: Freelance animator and illustrator Advice I’d give the younger me: Never stay stuck in your bubble of comfort. You’re just going to miss out on a world of opportunity. I chose this career because: I invented the Wipebook from a personal need to easily erase my mistakes. The engineering and education spaces are also areas that I find very important. One word to describe my career: Creative When I was a kid, I wanted to be: An inventor Favourite pastime: Working I’m currently reading: Now You See It by Cathy N. Davidson Favourite movie: Donnie Darko Favourite song: Imagine by John Lennon Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platform: Twitter Personal Twitter handle: @fr4nkbouchard Company Twitter handle: @wipebook
Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We create compelling, personal video content which helps companies and individuals to tell their stories effectively. We also offer personalized media and presentation training to help organizations and individuals put their best foot forward in a public setting. Education: Bachelor of arts in art history, University of Toronto (1999) Charitable involvement: I am involved with numerous charitable organizations but sit on the national board of CARE Canada and the organizing committee of Politics and the Pen benefiting The Writers’ Trust of Canada. Biggest biz achievement: Starting my own company and seeing it become a success. Biggest biz obstacle: Every day presents new obstacles but also new opportunities. I prefer to focus on the opportunities. Biggest influence: My husband and my parents for their unwavering belief that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, and my children, who are the reason I started my own business – so that I could structure my life to include equal measures of parenting and professional engagement. First job: Selling lemonade to the golfers on the 17th hole at the Champlain Golf Course in Aylmer. Advice I’d give the younger me: To not be apologetic about sticking up for yourself. I chose this career because of: Circumstance and children. I had an idea for a business that I thought could be successful. I felt that starting my own company would give me the chance to try out my idea and the control to continue being an active, engaged parent. One word to describe your career: Eclectic When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A fashion designer and a country and western singer. Luckily for the world, those things did not work out. Favourite pastime: Being active with my family. I’m currently reading: Best not to tell, so that I can maintain my reputation as an “intellectual.” Favourite movie: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Favourite song: I have a lot of favourite songs. Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks
T E L F E R S C H O O L O F M A N A G E M E N T U N I V E R S I T Y O F O T TA W A
Driving Entrepreneurship Congratulations to Ben Lalonde, EMBA 2016, on your Forty under 40 Award. “When you know that there is a problem there are two things that you can do; wait for someone to fix it or fix it yourself. My Telfer Executive MBA experience gave me the skills, knowledge and confidence to start Rebel Technologies. I am done waiting, now I am fixing it.” - Ben Lalonde Founder and CEO, Rebel Technologies
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MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
Transforming their Careers
613-564-9500 www.emba.uOttawa.ca email@example.comOttawa.ca
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Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platform: Twitter, LinkedIn Persona and company Twitter handle: @catherinejclark
Jeff Clarke, 26
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
president and CEO, Inflector Environment Services
Birthplace: Halifax Company: Asbestos abatement, mould and environmental remediation and contracting. Education: Bachelor of commerce, St. Mary’s University (2014) Charitable involvement: Ski for Kids Biggest biz achievement: All achievements in our business are a team effort. I think our continued growth and client satisfaction is something our team should be proud of. Biggest biz obstacle: Rebuilding deteriorated business relationships of the past. Biggest influence: Two people. Jeff Westeinde, who has been my friend and mentor since the start, has provided strategic guidance that has greatly helped my career. The other person is my business partner David Walsh. His undeniable work ethic has influenced me tremendously. Biggest lesson learned: Patience. When your job is to bring in deals that can have a positive impact on your business, it is important not to rush them. It’s the story of the old and young bull. I am the young bull but need to be the old bull! (Google it!) First job: Hazmat labourer Advice I’d give the younger me: Spend as much time as you can with your family. They won’t always be around. I chose this career because: I love being able to grow business based on strategic plays. This company gives me that opportunity. I live for the deal and I also just love this industry. One word to describe my career: Rollercoaster When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A professional athlete Favourite pastime: Travelling; snowboarding I’m currently reading: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey Favourite movie: Goodfellas Favourite song: All Along the Watchtower by Jimmy Hendrix Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: LinkedIn, Instagram
Elliott Gauthier, 39 vice-president, national director of research and analytics, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Birthplace: Buckingham, Que. Company: Strategic communications agency. Education: Commerce certificate, Heritage College (partial, 1998) Charitable involvement: Treble Victor Group and The Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa Biggest biz achievement: At the age of 23, I launched a new branch office for the largest market research firm in Canada at the time. After years studying and experimenting with innovative data collection methods, I led the team that brought Canada’s first probability-based online market research panel to market in 2008. In 2011, I oversaw the transition of this offering into a subsidiary company of the parent firm, employing close to 12 full-time and about 150 part-time workers in Ottawa. These career moves positioned me for my biggest business achievement, moving to Hill+Knowlton Strategies in 2013 to launch its Canadian research and analytics practice. Biggest biz obstacle: Effectively positioning the value of research and data-driven insights with the diverse set of client teams and disciplines at H+K. Biggest influence: My father, who impressed upon me the value of being a subject matter expert. He also taught me that playing this type of role involves constant work and improvement, fuelling my passion for lifelong learning. As an organization, the military opened my eyes to truly see my potential. It also taught me about the power of discipline, prioritization, leadership and fitness. Biggest lesson learned: Ask thoughtful questions and be an active listener. When I first met Mike Coates, then the Canadian CEO of H+K, Mike asked me thoughtful questions about my vision and listened. He challenged me to make my case. Mike immediately impressed upon me the value of learning all you can about a situation before dispensing advice or passing judgment. First job: Survey telephone interviewer (telephone!). I chose this career because: It was organic. My first job was conducting surveys, and I realized I was pretty good at asking questions, probing for more information, mirroring back what I heard and question sequencing and flow. From there I just kept going deeper. I am fascinated by human behaviour,
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship 250K to 499K - 7.9% 25 million to 49.9 million 5million to - 5.3% 50 million to 9.9 million 99.9 million - 5.3% - 2.6% Less than 250K - 2.6% 10 million to 24. million - 21.1%
500K to 999K -10.5% 2.5 million to 4.9 million - 13.2% 100 million or more - 10.5%
1 million to 2.49 million - 21.1%
motivations and intent. And I am challenged every day by an industry that is constantly evolving. I’m currently reading: At any given moment there is a stack of graphic novels next to the bed. Favourite movie: Star Wars (don’t make me pick just one) Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @GauthierElliott Company Twitter handle: @hk_canada
Joe Hajjar, 39 vice-president of business development, MDS Aero Support Corporation Birthplace: Windsor Company: We design, build and service gas turbine test facilities. Education: Bachelor of aerospace engineering, Carleton University (2001) Charitable involvement: TEC Canada Biggest biz achievement: Developing a solution that led to the creation of GLACIER, a flagship centre for aircraft engine icing certification. The multimillion-dollar contract included a 20-year service agreement for MDS. Biggest biz obstacle: During my time as a project manager, there were obstacles to overcome regularly, but getting final acceptance for the design and build of an industrial gas turbine test facility for Siemens in Lincolnshire, Great Britain takes the cake. The facility had to be custom designed, built and commissioned in 18 months without the luxury of prototyping. Biggest influence: Hands down, John Jastremski, a longtime friend and colleague who is now president and CEO of MDS. JJ’s support has been a constant in both my work and life. He has challenged me to reach higher and inspired me to
WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S ANNUAL REVENUE? 100 million or more 50 million to 99.9 million 25 million to 49.9 million 10 million to 24.9 million 5 million to 9.9 million 2.5 million to 4.9 million 1 million to 2.49 million 500,000 to 999,000 250,000 to 499,000 Less than 250,000
10.5% 2.6% 5.3% 21.1% 5.3% 13.2% 21.1% 10.5% 7.9% 2.6%
succeed. His demeanor under pressure and his approach to decision-making resonate greatly with me, and I continue to try to model my style after his. Biggest lesson learned: To listen. A confident business leader may find it easy to quickly come to a decision, and at times of crisis this is very useful. However, I have learned it is much more effective and more often than not absolutely necessary to spend more time learning about and clarifying the problem before jumping to a conclusion. First job: Grocery store produce stocker Advice I’d give the younger me: Don’t rush life. I chose this career because: When I watched Apollo 13, I wanted the job of the lunar mission flight director, a character played by Ed Harris. One word to describe my career: Agility When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A movie star. Favourite pastime: Ball hockey I’m currently reading: Just Listen by Mark Goulston Favourite movie: Good Will Hunting Favourite song: Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @HajjarJoe Company Twitter handle: @MDSAeroSupport
Chris Harder, 37 vice-president of diagnostics, Spartan Bioscience Birthplace: Fredericton, N.B. Company: We provide DNA testing systems for decentralized applications. Education: PhD in biochemistry, University of Ottawa (2007)
Charitable involvement: St. Paul’s Church Biggest biz achievement: Co-ordinating a team to receive clearance on a medical device from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Biggest biz obstacle: Developing a proofof-concept medical device with very little funding. Biggest lesson learned: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It seems almost completely obvious, but an active inquiry into the information, processes, people and patterns that will make or break a product need to be continually sought out. It’s easy to be overconfident in any project or business endeavor until you acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know. Many design projects have educated me on the foundations of this principle. First job: Busboy in a restaurant Advice I’d give the younger me: Don’t do anything differently or you wouldn’t be where you are today. I chose this career because: I didn’t choose it; it chose me. One word to describe my career: Unique When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A military pilot Favourite pastime: Building and repairing. I’m currently reading: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Favourite movie: Crash Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platform: LinkedIn
Nadine Hogan, 38 co-owner, Wheelhouse
Graeme Hussey, 38 president, Cahdco, and development manager, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation
Richard Isaac, 39 president and CEO, RealDecoy Birthplace: Lebanon Company: Site search experts who connect people to product content, driving profit. Education: Bachelor of engineering, Carleton University (2002) Charitable involvement: Kiva Biggest biz achievement: I feel my greatest achievement will be in the “over 40” chapter of my life. Everything else has been a prologue to it. Biggest biz obstacle: In 2011, Oracle purchased Endeca (the technology that underpinned 80 per cent of all revenue at RealDecoy). This put a freeze on all Endeca sales for 18 months. Our entire business was in grave danger. We quickly changed the makeup of our business development team and sales processes. We also adjusted our business and channel strategies in parallel. Our agile and fiscally responsible approach helped us survive when many of our competitors perished. Biggest influence: My role has given me access to some of the best minds in business and technology today, each of whom has been an influence in their own way. Biggest lesson learned: Building relationships with people is the most important thing a business leader can do. Strong relationships outlast technologies, systems and management approaches. My biggest business successes have been directly tied to the effort I’ve made in building meaningful and lasting relationships. First job: Selling newspaper subscriptions Advice I’d give the younger me: Buy as many shares in Apple as you can before 2005. I chose this career because: There was no master plan for why I chose this career path. Life is full of opportunities, each of which leads to a unique set of new opportunities, some more obvious than others. It was a long sequence of opportunities and decisions that led me to pursue this career. One word to describe my career: Purposeful When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A “boss” Favourite pastime: Spending time with my family.
Birthplace: Ottawa Company: Cahdco is a non-profit real estate developer of affordable housing. Education: Bachelor of science in environmental engineering, University of Guelph (2001); post-graduate certificate in international project management, Humber College (2002) Charitable involvement: Broadening the Base Ottawa Biggest biz achievement: Being project manager for the CCOC Beaver Barracks, a 254-unit affordable housing apartment development in downtown Ottawa. Biggest biz obstacle: Finding my passion. Once I found what I was passionate about, obstacles became manageable. Biggest influence: My parents. They are community leaders in everything they do and they never look for personal gratification. They also are very hard workers. I followed my father’s education and career, studied engineering and became an entrepreneurial project manager. He also is a real estate developer in Nova Scotia. Biggest lesson learned: Strong personal relationships are the backbone of good business. My first job in my childhood hometown of Hantsport, N.S., was running my own landscape business. I mowed lawns and gardened for older widowed women. I passed the business on to my two younger brothers. We still know how each of the women in the town like their lawn mowed. First job: Running a landscape business mowing lawns and gardening. Advice I’d give the younger me: Explore the world to find your passion. Never stop learning. I chose this career because: I have always been interested in creating a better community. At Cahdco and CCOC, I get to build it. One word to describe my career: Entrepreneur When I was a kid, I wanted to be: An architect. Favourite pastime: Bicycling with my young sons. I’m currently reading: The Road to Character by David Brooks Favourite movie: Cradle Will Rock Favourite song: Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right by Bob Dylan Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators
Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Jazz Festival Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @GraemeHussey Company Twitter handle: @Cahdco
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
Birthplace: St. John’s Company: Wheelhouse Cycle is a boutique spin (indoor cycling) studio. Education: MBA, Memorial University of Newfoundland (2003) Charitable involvement: Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Biggest biz achievement: Taking Wheelhouse Cycle from an idea to a successful operating business. Biggest biz obstacle: The first year in business in its entirety. It isn’t one specific portion of this journey, the obstacle has been the whole thing: the experience of opening my first business, of learning what it means to be a business partner and navigating that relationship successfully; the reality of hiring, training and managing more than 20 individuals; the role of entrepreneur – meaning having to be a
master of everything and somehow make the pieces fit together. Building Wheelhouse Cycle has been my greatest success and my greatest obstacle. Biggest influence: Del Texmo. I worked for this business owner from the age of 16 to 23. It was during this period that I learned what it meant to be an entrepreneur – that when the rest of the world thinks you should do one thing, you listen to your own instincts (even if the answer is the complete opposite of what “they” think you should do). Del was an incredible role model for a young woman who wanted to someday own and operate her own business. Watching her grow her brand has impacted me more than I could ever express to her family (she has since passed away). Biggest lesson learned: That it takes a lot of hours behind the scenes to make a business look seamless. I often get asked, “What else do you do?” and my instinct is to get defensive until I take a moment to understand the question. I work extremely hard to make Wheelhouse Cycle look like an “easy job” and that’s OK. I’d rather this look easy. I’d rather my business come across as seamless and successful. I’m happy that the environment is calm, happy and exciting. It’s exactly what I wanted to build and all the work behind the scenes is worth it. First job: Retail clerk in a gift shop. Advice I’d give the younger me: Keep going, keep going, keep going. I chose this career because: It allows me to do something I love and connects all facets of my personality. I work in fitness and I love to sweat. I am driven and I love a challenge. I love people and I get to connect with my community on a day-to-day basis. I love to help people and this gives me time with them to inject their day with positivity. I am beyond thankful. One word to describe my career: Determined When I was a kid, I wanted to be: When I was really young, I wanted to be a teacher. From the age of 16 on, all I have ever wanted to do was own my own business. Favourite pastime: Baking I’m currently reading: How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach Favourite movie: Stand By Me Favourite song: I Can See Clearly Now by Jimmy Cliff Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @nadinemehogan Company Twitter handle: @wheelhousecycle
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship
I’m currently reading: Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow Favourite movie: The Usual Suspects Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Fury FC Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platform: LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @isaac_thinks Company Twitter handle: @realdecoy
Vicki Iverson, 33
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
CTO, Iversoft Solutions
Birthplace: New York City Company: A mobile agency that provides innovative apps for global clients. Education: Master of science in computer science, University of Toronto (2008) Charitable involvement: Iversoft interacts with a number of local charities but is looking to become more involved in the promotion of computer science and tech education for youth. Biggest biz achievement: The fact that we have been able to grow Iversoft profitably for more than five years without any outside investment. Not only that, during this time we have built out a portfolio of our own products through our games branch that is completely self-sustaining. As much as we are a professional services firm, we are also a consumer of our own services. Since we have our own portfolio of products in which we can implement a lot of what we practise for our clients, it gives us a unique perspective on the mobile landscape. Biggest biz obstacle: Scaling the business beyond just a small group of developers working out of our living room. A lot of things have to be learned and implemented in order to grow a company, and it has been a journey learning how to hire for all of those roles from sales and design to marketing and operations. Biggest influence: My husband and business partner, Matt Strentse. Without his vision and encouragement, I might be an employee somewhere right now instead of running our own great company. Biggest lesson learned: You’re never done learning. Sorting out one problem in business just makes room for other more interesting problems! First job: Retail clerk at Grand and Toy Advice I’d give the younger me: Studying computer science is great, but maybe a minor in business could have been helpful? I chose this career because: My family
background is in computer science, and it has always come naturally to me. Being an entrepreneur in the field never occurred to me until it happened, but I was always moving towards it without realizing it. Working for smaller companies and startups was just always more fun than being a cog in the machine of a large firm. One word to describe my career: Amazing When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A mathematician, like my grandfather, Ken Iverson. Favourite pastime: Hockey I’m currently reading: Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier Favourite movie: Grandma’s Boy Favourite song: Tearing Me Up by Bob Moses Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platform: LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @vicki_iverson Company Twitter handle: @iversoft
Mischa Kaplan, 36 president, Rainbow Foods Birthplace: Ottawa Company: Natural foods retailer with three stores in Ottawa. Education: Bachelor of arts in history, McGill University (2006); master of arts in history, Queen’s University (2009) Charitable involvement: West Ottawa Board of Trade Biggest biz achievement: Achieving a high level of business growth (and most of my short-term business goals) while still staying actively involved in the life of my kids. Biggest biz obstacle: Taking over a company that has operated continuously since 1978 was extremely challenging in terms of change management, particularly considering that several changes were required in order to maintain the competitiveness and longterm sustainability of the company. Biggest influence: My wife, without a doubt. She has helped me grow as a manager and entrepreneur, as a father and as a husband. Biggest lesson learned: Learning to differentiate between seemingly urgent (but unimportant) and important (but not necessarily urgent) problems. There is simply not enough time to get everything done, and a manager or leader has to constantly be looking at the desired end
100-499 - 13.2%
HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES YOUR COMPANY EMPLOY IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION?
50-99 - 21.1%
5-9 - 7.9%
10-19 - 13.2%
20-49 - 15.8%
1-4 - 13.2%
500 + - 15.8%
state and whether their daily or weekly actions are moving them closer to or further away from that end state. First job: Stocking shelves at Rainbow Foods. Advice I’d give the younger me: Patience and tenacity are the keys to long-term business success. Once you’ve set your goals, don’t get sidetracked by shiny objects. I chose this career because: Prior to entering the private sector, I was a full-time intelligence officer in the Canadian Army Reserve. I chose to enter the private sector (and run my own company) because it was the only thing in life that seemed like it had no ceiling. Being an entrepreneur is the only area of professional life I can think of where an individual has complete control over his or her own situation. One word to describe your career: Focused When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Many different things Favourite pastime: Spending time outdoors with my kids. I’m currently reading: History’s People by Margaret MacMillan Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Jazz Festival Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @mischakaplan Company Twitter handle: @RainbowFoods78
Farhad Khan, 31 CEO, Grype Solutions Birthplace: Dhaka, Bangladesh Company: We build enterprise web applications using open source technologies such as Drupal. Education: Bachelor of engineering in
500 +............................. 15.8% 100-499......................... 13.2% 50-99............................. 21.1% 20-49............................. 15.8% 10-19............................... 13.2% 5-9.................................. 7.9% 1-4................................... 13.2%
computer systems, Carleton University (2008) Charitable involvement: I’ve been involved with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and am starting a new charitable project with the Ottawa Mission. Biggest biz achievement: Every accomplishment has been like a stepping stone to the next and they’ve all added up to get us where we are today. However, introducing strong processes in the development team and diversifying our sales process so we do most of our sales research at our Dhaka office and our sales outreach at the Ottawa office are two things that stand out. Biggest biz obstacle: Like most engineers, I love building new things. However, building and selling are two completely different skills. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was to get out of my engineering mindset and focus on building a sales engine in the company. This is like a black art that no one wants to teach you. Biggest influence: My mom and my wife. My mom is a very talented woman who juggled a lot in her life, but not once did she lose focus on her family. My wife has been a constant source of motivation during my entrepreneurial journey. She has been with me through my most difficult days and is always very supportive of my new endeavours. Biggest lesson learned: “If you build it, they won’t come!” Building a product or service isn’t enough; whatever you invest in building, an equal amount needs to be invested in sales and marketing. The businesses that go big usually solve both the product problem and the marketing problem at the same time. First job: Dishwasher at a Vietnamese restaurant Advice I’d give the younger me: Work hard but also live your life! I chose this career because: I enjoyed building things that solve real-life problems. As a kid, I started building with small cardboard projects in science fairs,
then moved to electronic circuitry until eventually I found computers and learned to build software. This is when I decided to pursue a career in computer engineering. One word to describe my career: Problem-solver When I was a kid, I wanted to be: When I was young, I wanted to own a shop of electronic gadgets. Looks like I came pretty close! Favourite pastime: Reading books that are not novels. I’m currently reading: From Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin Favourite movie: Matrix trilogy Favourite song: I am currently hooked on I Lived by OneRepublic. Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @farhadkhan Company Twitter handle: @goflyta
Safeena Kherani, 38 founder, ENT MDs
Ben Lalonde, 37 president, Orleans Autopro
Domenic Madonna, 30 vice-president, D-Squared Group of Companies/D- Squared Construction Birthplace: Ottawa Company: General contractor Education: High school diploma, Notre Dame High School Charitable involvement: Ottawa Hospital Biggest biz achievement: Building a labour force of more than 100 employees. Biggest biz obstacle: Getting financing and bonding from banks in order to bid and take on bigger and bigger jobs and contracts. First job: Backhoe operator Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platform: LinkedIn
John Mathers, 36 vice-president of ticket sales and marketing, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group Birthplace: Toronto Company: We create positive relationships and experiences through sports and entertainment. Education: Master of science in sport and leisure commerce, University of Memphis (2004) Charitable involvement: Sick Not Weak Biggest biz achievement: Being part of OSEG and helping to build a team and organizational culture that fully embodies a “one team, one vision” mentality. Biggest biz obstacle: I was fired from my first real job after two degrees and six and a half years of education. It taught me that everything happens for a reason and helped lead me to where I am now. Biggest influence: I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of outstanding leaders and they have all influenced me in different ways, including Bernie Mullin, Keith Pelley, Lee Hoos, Michael Clemons and Bernie Ashe. You can only get better by working with the best. Gary Vaynerchuk should also be added to the list. I’ve never met him, but his books and daily content have helped to inspire me to be better each and every day. Biggest lesson learned: Hire the smartest, most passionate people, work with them to build a strategic vision and get out of their way! First job: Working at a strawberry farm. Advice I’d give the younger me: Do what you love; work with great people;
Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We provide automotive service and repair. Education: Executive MBA, University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management (2016) Charitable involvement: Automotive Industry Association of Canada Biggest biz achievement: Getting a group of people to achieve a goal many others thought was impossible. We doubled the revenue of a successful company within two years. There is something great about being told that you can’t do something and doing it anyway. Seeing the faces of the people who came together and got it done gave me a sense of purpose; the people who said it wasn’t possible gave me insight to find a new group of friends to hang out with. Biggest biz obstacle: The stories that I told myself. People have opinions, thoughts and information they share with you. We then create stories based on all the information we’ve gathered through talking with people, getting advice, seeing things, reading books and our own life experiences. The stories we tell ourselves are just that – a story. I was told from my
high school vice-principal that I wouldn’t go anywhere in life and that I would never get into college or university. For the first five years in my career, I really thought this to be true. I created this story in my head that reflected what the vice-principal said. It took me 18 years to decide it wasn’t going to be true. I rewrote my story; I applied for the Executive MBA program at Telfer School of Management and recently completed it. This may not sound like a conventional obstacle, but I promise that anyone who goes through this will agree. Biggest influence: My grandfather. He never judged, and he values of always taking the high road even if it was the most difficult way. He spoke with humility and patience and always made sure I understood that every story has three sides – your side, the other person’s side and the truth. He exemplified the importance of understanding the other person’s point of view, and his passion for teaching was unrivaled. Biggest lesson learned: Knowing where you can cut costs and where you need to spend a little more. When I purchased my first shop, I chose to save a few thousand dollars by hiring an inexpensive lawyer. Four years and $75,000 in lawyer fees and litigation costs later – not including a net loss of just over $90,000 – I learned that saving money by using sub-par professionals will inevitably end up costing you tenfold. Do your research and hire based on skills, not cost. In the end, you get what you pay for. First job: Automotive repair apprentice Advice I’d give the younger me: Shut up and listen. People can’t communicate their knowledge if you’re always the one doing the talking. I chose this career because: I enjoyed fixing things. The satisfaction of taking something that is broken and making it functional again has always been a passion of mine. Through time, my passion went from fixing broken things to fixing broken organizations. Now I’m on a quest to fix a huge problem in the automotive industry. One word to describe your career: Fearless When I was a kid, I wanted to be: I never had a dream of being anything specific; I just did what I liked doing. Favourite pastime: Reading I’m currently reading: Give and Take by Adam Grant Favourite movie: The Matrix Favourite song: Don’t have one Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
Birthplace: London, England Company: We provide multidisciplinary ears, nose and throat patient care. Education: Bachelor of science in physical therapy, University of Alberta (1999); doctor of medicine, University of Ottawa (2003) Biggest biz achievement: Building a multi-disciplinary clinic using progressive technology and electronic medical records. A highlight was achieving toprated ear, nose and throat surgeon status in Canada on RateMDs.com, a website with reviews and rating scores by patients themselves. Biggest biz obstacle: Mentally changing from the paradigm of a single physician and administrative assistant model to a multiple-physician model, yet still in a publicly funded setting. Biggest influence: My husband and family have been the greatest influence and support, encouraging me to think creatively in what may be perceived as a rigid established system. Biggest lesson learned: Reconciling that business and health care are not at odds. Rather, business principles such as human resources management, marketing and optimizing the client experience can actually be used to enhance the quality of health care we deliver. First job: Summer research student for Dow Chemical in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.
Advice I’d give the younger me: I would probably tell myself not to be scared to take more risks sooner, to continue to think creatively and to have confidence in myself. I chose this career because: I love to operate and really enjoy solving medical problems related to the ears, nose and throat. And I love that I can do something I sincerely enjoy while truly helping individuals to overcome illness so that they can have a high quality of life. One word to describe my career: Engaged When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A ski instructor at Lake Louise. And a doctor. I used to call myself Dr. Fafeena because I had no front teeth and could not pronounce the S. Favourite pastime: Running I’m currently reading: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese Favourite movie: Top Gun Favourite song: Back to Life by Soul II Soul Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @safeenakherani
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship
constantly educate yourself and never settle; try to work for industry leaders; ask hard questions and apply those learnings; and Invest in Facebook and Uber while growing up – trust me! I chose this career because: Sports, entertainment and pop culture have consumed me since I can remember. As soon as I realized I wasn’t going pro in any of those things, I put 100 per cent of my effort into working in this industry. One word to describe my career: Hustle When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A professional athlete Favourite pastime: Sports and movies I’m currently reading: #AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk Favourite movie: Too many to list. Favourite song: Ruby Soho by Rancid Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Fury FC Favourite local summer event: CityFolk Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram Company Twitter handles: @tdplace @redblacks @ottawafuryfc @ottawa67shockey
Jonathan Milne, 36
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
managing director of innovation, Invest Ottawa
Birthplace: Charlottetown Company: Invest Ottawa delivers collaborative economic development programs and initiatives. Education: MBA, Carleton University (2004); bachelor of commerce, Carleton University (2002) Charitable involvement: YMCA-YWCA National Capital Region Biggest biz achievement: Hiring the brightest co-op students I can find and helping them show their true potential. Biggest biz obstacle: In high school I was told by more than one teacher that I would never graduate or be university material. Not only did I go to university, I went on to do a master’s degree and graduated at the top of my MBA class! Biggest influence: My grandfather, who instilled my thirst for knowledge and desire to always learn new things, especially with regard to technology. Biggest lesson learned: Learn from your failures. Don’t repeat them and move on quickly with no regrets. Always look for new opportunities. First job: Cashier at gas station Advice I’d give the younger me: Say yes to trying more things. Also, don’t give up on how to learn to code. I chose this career because: I have a passion for helping innovative, energetic
people make their great ideas viable. There is nothing more rewarding watching others grow and succeed. One word to describe my career: Transformational When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Taller! And I still haven’t caught up to my older brother... Favourite pastime: Playing with my three kids I’m currently reading: The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz Favourite movie: Braveheart Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat Personal Twitter handle: @jonathanmilne Company Twitter handle: @Invest_Ottawa
Alex Monk, 31 co-founder, Dominion City Brewing Company and Abacus Data Birthplace: Ottawa Company: Dominion City makes great beer. Abacus Data develops client-driven market research solutions. Education: Bachelor of arts in political science, minor in economics, Carleton University (2010); Certified Management Accountant, Chartered Professional Accountant (2013) Charitable involvement: Envirocentre Biggest biz achievement: With both Dominion City Brewing Company and Abacus Data, I’ve been lucky enough to work with people who are passionate, driven and care deeply about the work we do. Of course I’m proud to be a part of both of those great companies, but I think my biggest business achievement has been Dominion City’s ability to find and inspire a truly amazing group of of people who work for us. Biggest biz obstacle: To be honest, banks. Getting a brewing company off the ground at all was a huge challenge for my partners and me, but despite banks’ rhetoric about helping small business, there was no “help,” and the bank proved to be our biggest obstacle, though I won’t say which one. However, more in the spirit of the question, cash-flow management is always a primary concern for any business, and managing that obstacle is certainly something we’re proud of. Biggest influence: My parents have been the biggest influence on me, hands down. My mom is the most compassionate, aware and involved woman I’ve ever known. My dad is the best man I can imagine, period. He’s who I aspire to be. First job: I was a ski boot and bike fit
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship pro at Tommy & Lefebvre and assistant manager at the store. Advice I’d give the younger me: Polonius’s advice to Laertes, from Hamlet, verbatim. Favourite pastime: Anything active – crossfit, cycling, climbing, skiing, running, etc. Favourite movie: Braveheart Favourite song: The Mary Ellen Carter by Stan Rogers Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: CityFolk Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @monkalex
Jonathon Moody, 36 president and chief operating officer, Versature Birthplace: Toronto Company: Versature provides cloud-based business phone service and solutions. Education: Bachelor of social science, University of Ottawa (2006) Charitable involvement: Ottawa Product Management Association Biggest biz achievement: Making the pivot eight years ago from an on-premisebased traditional phone service to a cloud-based model before the market had made the change or the term cloud was even being used. This required a strong belief that our technology would be a great fit with our customers’ needs as well as leadership to guide the customers through the process to trust and adopt new technology. Biggest biz obstacle: We have always been and continue to be a customer-first company, yet we originally deployed a technology that was new and not yet trusted by our customers and the market. Focusing on a service that works while aggressively deploying a new technology required a tremendous amount of commitment to our customers and risk management to achieve the right balance. Biggest influence: Family and early work experiences taught me that results come from putting in the effort. It is easy to see success and attribute it to luck or timing and easy to blame failure on others. Biggest lesson learned: Making sure success for clients matches success for your business and building a product and service that ensures long-term success for both. In most cases, this means choosing customers that share your vision of success. First job: Retail specialist at Compucenter Advice I’d give the younger me: Customer success is non-negotiable.
Always believe your core values; if you do the right thing for the customer you cannot go wrong. I chose this career because: I have always believed in technology for the purpose of business, not just for the sake of technology. This started in high school and carried on through college and the early days of my career. One word to describe my career: Customer-centric Favourite pastime: Adventure! Everything from motorcycling, racing sailboats, cycling and skiing to adventure travelling and boating. I’m currently reading: The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @jonathonmoody Company Twitter handle: @Versature
Nicolas Moyer, 35 executive director, Humanitarian Coalition Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We unite Canadian aid agencies and businesses in response to international humanitarian disasters. Education: MBA, Queen’s University (2016); master of international relations, Macquarie University (2004) Charitable involvement: Humanitarian Coalition Biggest biz achievement: In a highly competitive market, I founded a joint venture between five of Canada’s largest aid agencies to launch a national campaign in response to major international disasters. Starting without any resources or infrastructure, we raised more than $23 million directly from the Canadian public for humanitarian relief alone, contributed indirectly to raising $30 million and raised another $11 million from the federal government. The joint venture has generated a return on investment of 16:1 for our members. Biggest biz obstacle: My own self-doubt and uncertainty have been ongoing barriers throughout my early career. Biggest influence: My parents have been amazing inspirations throughout my life – my mother for her discipline and neverceasing confidence in my own success and my father for his irreproachable moral character, deep sense of justice and constant caring of others. Even as my
parents had the wisdom to let me make my own mistakes, their support for me has never wavered and I would not be who I am today without them. Biggest lesson learned: To treat others the way you would want to be treated. Interest in others, respect and authentic praise will take you much further than is possible without them. And they make the journey far more enjoyable. First job: Summer camp counsellor Advice I’d give the younger me: Worry less, trust your instincts more often and never give up. I chose this career because: I am most comfortable when learning and pushing beyond my comfort zone. I also feel a deep passion for social justice. Humanitarian assistance allows me to combine international travel and cultures with an opportunity to help others. One word to describe my career: Humanitarian When I was a kid, I wanted to be: An architect Favourite pastime: Canoeing I’m currently reading: Check-point by Jean-Christophe Rufin Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @N_Moyer Company Twitter handle: @humcoalition
Shane Parrish, 36 CEO, Farnam Street Media
Melissa Reeves, 37 head of operations at Linebox Studio and executive director of sales and marketing at ModBox Developments
I’m currently reading: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Favourite movie: Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. That movie is like eating candy. Favourite song: Bobcaygeon by the Tragically Hip Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Fury FC Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @melissahreeves Company Twitter handle: @lineboxstudio
Billy Rogers, 38 co-founder, Escape Manor Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We lock people up … for fun. Education: Bachelor of commerce, Ryerson University (2004) Charitable involvement: Ottawa Food Bank Biggest biz achievement: Growing Escape Manor from one to six locations in our first 18 months of business; winning the New Company of the Year award from Ottawa Tourism in 2016. Biggest biz obstacle: Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of leaving the safe for the unsafe. Taking that step has been the most liberating and fulfilling step I have taken to date. Biggest influence: I have the two best parents in the world. My personality and outlook on life are direct results of how I was raised, which has allowed me to live the crazy life of adventure that I have lived. They taught me to be truthful to others, to treat people with respect and to enjoy life. They have taught me what hard work and sacrifice look like. They allowed me to make mistakes and take risks and always supported me unconditionally when I fell. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be who I am, as happy as I am or where I currently am in life … living the dream! Thanks, Mom and Dad! Biggest lesson learned: Do your research. It is very easy to get whisked away by a new idea and dump all of your energy and resources into it without actually doing any research or planning. The first business we started (over 10 years ago), we got caught up in an idea, rushed to market to implement it, only to realize afterwards that it would cost a lot of money to sustain it, others were already doing it better than us and it wasn’t scalable. Lesson learned. First job: Pennysaver delivery boy Advice I’d give the younger me: Take time to understand who you are and what you are passionate about, then don’t be afraid to be that person.
Birthplace: London, Ont. Company: Linebox is a collaborative architecture studio with expertise in design, lighting, sustainability, interiors and landscape. ModBox is a boutique development company bringing
high-quality builds to cool Ottawa neighbourhoods. Education: MBA, Wilfrid Laurier University (2008) Charitable involvement: Ottawa Community Housing Foundation Biggest biz achievement: Partnering with my husband to create a company that allows us to live our lives on our own terms. I’m also very proud of the people on our team. Our team is truly outstanding. Biggest biz obstacle: Learning how to operate in an entirely new industry in an entirely new city. The first 10 years of my career were spent in finance in Toronto, and learning all about architecture and development has been a really fun challenge. Doing it in a new city meant I didn’t have the same level of resources and networks. Biggest influence: My parents. We arrived in Winnipeg from Brazil when I was five. My mom didn’t speak any English and was left to care for two small girls on her own while my dad travelled for work. My mom went on to complete her university degree and later became president of the Canadian Council for the Americas, an organization that co-ordinated events and conferences for the heads of state from Latin and Caribbean countries in Canada. She also speaks five languages! To say that I had a strong, female business leader as a role model is an understatement. My dad is an entrepreneur, a feminist, an athlete and a goofball. He taught me to appreciate detail, to love business and to value work. He played a critical role in instilling a confidence in me and in my own abilities regardless of whether I was playing sports or running my own business. Biggest lesson learned: Go get it! And be prepared. Sometimes making a decision is difficult because we are overly concerned about the risks that might be involved. Once you’ve identified an opportunity, you just need to go get it. Otherwise, the opportunity will slip away. And being prepared is also critical. You need to be able to support your actions and decisions as best as possible. First job: Camp counsellor Advice I’d give the younger me: Don’t let others take away your confidence; learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable (it’s the best way to grow); stay curious; and be active. One word to describe your career: Dynamic What’s left to do: So much! Raising my daughters, signing up for a “try a triathalon” and taking up skateboarding. At work, continuing to build Linebox into a strong and solid company with a long future. When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A paleontologist Favourite pastimes: Volleyball, golf, yoga
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
Birthplace: Halifax Company: We help people rediscover their curiosity and live a more meaningful life. Education: Bachelor of computer science, Dalhousie University (2001); MBA, Royal Roads University (2009) Charitable involvement: Ottawa Food Bank Biggest biz achievement: I struggle with questions like this because I don’t really think in those terms. Through farnamstreetblog.com, we’ve had the opportunity to help millions of people over the past few years discover how the world really works by synthesizing the big ideas across multiple disciplines. And if, along the way, I can also help people explore what it means to live a meaningful life and deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world, then that’s pretty cool. Biggest biz obstacle: The biggest obstacle is always the next one. The ones you’ve overcome always seem easier in hindsight than they were.
Biggest influence: My parents have had a profound impact on me. But there are others: Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger come to mind. They’ve not only exemplified values I share under the biggest spotlight, but they’re also willing to do things differently than others – even if it means they temporarily look like idiots. They’ve taught me that if you do what everyone else is doing, you’re going to get results like everyone else. You need to be willing to be different. I also have amazing friends who help me stand up again when I stumble. Biggest lesson learned: There are only four permutations of relationships (win/ lose, win/win, lose/win, lose/lose). And only one of those is sustainable over a long period of time and that’s win-win. Every other type of relationship is fragile and short-term. And yet so few people or businesses operate with this in mind. I win when I help you become a better version of yourself. First job: I volunteered at a comic book store in St. Laurent in Grade 8. They started paying me to do something I loved. Advice I’d give the younger me: She’s not the one. I chose this career because: I realized that as long as I was financially dependent on someone else, I would never be free to have my own opinion. One word to describe your career: Luck When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A spy Favourite pastimes: Travelling and reading I’m currently reading: All I Want To Know Is Where I’m Going To Die So I’ll Never Go There by Peter Bevelin Favourite movie: The Godfather Favourite song: Anything by Biggie Smalls, Tupac or Snoop Dogg. I love old-school rap. Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Personal and company Twitter handle: @farnamstreet
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship
I chose this career because: Entertainment and hospitality is what I am built for – the ever-changing demands of working with guests from all walks of life, to hiring, training and motivating the best customer service team in the city, to putting smiles on people’s faces daily. Escape Manor has provided an outlet for all of these things. One word to describe my career: Exciting When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A teacher Favourite pastime: Indulging in personal growth reading I’m currently reading: Meetings Suck by Cameron Herold Favourite movie: Over the Top Favourite song: Mo Money Mo Problems by the Notorious B.I.G. Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Company Twitter handle: @escapemanor
Chad Saikaley, 36
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
partner, Ginsberg Gluzman Fage & Levitz Chartered Professional Accountants
Birthplace: Ottawa Company: GGFL provides public accounting and tax assistance and consulting. Education: Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant (2005); Trust and Estate Practitioner (2014) Charitable involvement: St. Elias Cathedral Biggest biz achievement: Being named partner at the age of 34, the youngest in the firm’s 70-year history. Biggest biz obstacle: My path to partnership at GGFL was unprecedented. No one had ever come into GGFL and ascended to partner as quickly as I intended and was able to. Throughout my career, I had regularly had to overcome the perception of inexperience due to my age. Biggest influence: My father. He immigrated to Canada at the age of 16 with no parents and without knowing the language. He worked three jobs until he was able to save enough to start his own company, and he has become a very successful businessman. Biggest lesson learned: Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. First job: Locksmith at my father’s shop Advice I’d give the younger me: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I wish I knew that at a younger age. I chose this career because: I love the business world and assisting
businesspeople in all sectors. I grew up around entrepreneurs and really enjoy helping them; I feel I understand them and what makes them tick. One word to describe my career: Growth When I was a kid, I wanted to be: An architect Favourite pastimes: Hanging out with my family; playing football I’m currently reading: The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins Favourite movie: Gladiator Favourite song: Smooth Criminal Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @ChadSaikaley Company Twitter handle: @GGFLca
Jeff Saikaley, 39 partner, Caza Saikaley LLP Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We are a bilingual litigation boutique. Education: Bachelor of laws, Common Law, University of Ottawa (2001) Charitable involvement: County of Carleton Law Association Biggest biz achievement: Co-founding Caza Saikaley LLP in 2012 with my partner Ronald Caza. The firm started off with five lawyers and two assistants. Less than five years later, we have grown to 14 lawyers with a staff of nine and three articling students. We have great people and amazing clients and are lucky to be able to do such great work on important cases. Biggest biz obstacle: The risk factor in starting a litigation boutique. The unknown associated with a new firm in a market that was tightening its belts was a bit scary. At the time, I was personally being offered partnerships at large national firms and had to decide whether to take the leap and start a new firm or take a partnership position at an established national firm. The risks were high, but so were the rewards. I have not regretted it a day since then, and I am glad I believed in myself and my colleagues who joined in starting this new venture. Biggest influence: My partner, Ronald Caza. We have been working together since 2005 and have been partners since 2012. I have learned a tremendous amount from Ron in terms of litigation skills, marketing and running a firm. He is one of the best litigators in the country and recently received the Law Society Medal from the Law Society of Upper Canada to recognize his significant contributions to
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship the profession. I am constantly learning new things from him, and I truly value his advice, mentorship and friendship. Most of all, I appreciate his giving me the opportunity to be his partner in starting our new firm together. I am forever thankful that he trusted me. Biggest lesson learned: To respect and value the contributions of others. The practice of law, like most businesses, requires the contributions and dedication of many people. You need to spend time and resources finding the right people who will make important contributions to the end product and value those people properly. In the past, we have tried to fit a square peg into a round hole with unfortunate consequences for all. We have learned to take the time to find people who are extremely talented but also fit well in the culture at our firm. First job: Running a bingo fundraiser for our church. Advice I’d give the younger me: Seek out more opportunities to get experience and learn from others. I am glad the younger me is not competing for a job with today’s students. They have travelled the world, worked in various fields, volunteered extensively, learned several languages and gained amazing experience. The younger me would do the same and not focus as much on studying to get the highest marks. Better balance is much more important for work and life in general. I chose this career because: I decided to pursue a career in civil litigation because of a few memorable moments in law school. The first was my moot court experience with the University of Ottawa’s Laskin team. That was my first opportunity to prepare written submissions and argue a case in front of judges. I loved the rush and exhilaration of litigation. That experience, combined with a trial advocacy course in my last year of law school, convinced me that I wanted to be a trial lawyer. One of our instructors in the trial advocacy course was Heather Williams, one of the best litigators in town. Heather was one of the first lawyers to recognize that I had the skills and talent to be a good litigator. That recognition gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in civil litigation. One world to describe my career: Balanced When I was a kid, I wanted to be: I wanted to be a lawyer ever since I was a kid reading books about Perry Mason and watching Matlock on television. I never doubted that I would pursue a career in law. I always cheered for the underdog and had hoped to be a criminal lawyer one day. While in law school, the capitalist in me took over and I decided to pursue a career in civil litigation instead. Favourite pastimes: Tie between poker and ball hockey
I’m currently reading: Losing the Signal: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff Favourite movie: Braveheart Favourite song: Bad by U2 Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platform: Twitter Personal Twitter handle: @jsaikaley Company Twitter handle: @cazasaikaley
Mark Savenkoff, 35 director of Alumni and Donor Relations, Carleton University Birthplace: Yorkton, Sask. Company: Carleton University supports and advances excellence in education and research. Education: Bachelor of commerce, University of Saskatchewan (2004) Charitable involvement: Carleton University Biggest biz achievement: Engaging more than 90,000 alumni and friends of Carleton to attend events, volunteer and give back to the university. Biggest biz obstacle: Moving my family from western Canada to Ottawa. Biggest influence: My wife. She is always a source of strength and inspiration, motivating me to challenge myself and helping me balance work, life and our young family. First job: Lifeguard When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Originally a school teacher, but after spending some time volunteering in the classroom, I decided I wanted to support learning and education in a different way. So I began working in the post-secondary education sector, and I married a high school teacher instead! Favourite movie: The Hunt for Red October Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @MarkSavenkoff Company Twitter handle: @CarletonAlumni
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship
Andy Scott, 36 lawyer and sports agent, Scott Coulson + Scott/Octagon Hockey
Professional Sports 2.6%
Research and Analytics 2.6%
Government or Crown corporation 2.6%
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING BEST DESCRIBES THE INDUSTRY YOU WORK IN?
Services: Business or Personal 2.6%
Hospitality and Tourism 5.4% Professional services: Accounting 2.6%
Recreation and Entertainment 5.3%
Professional services: Legal 7.9%
Real Estate 5.3%
Health and wellness 7.9%
Professional sevices: Consulting - 2.6% Association/non-profit 5.3%
Financial services 2.6%
Retail 7.9% Education and Training 5.3%
Health and wellness
Professional services: Legal
Education and Training
Hospitality and Tourism
Recreation and Entertainment
Government or Crown corporation
Professional services: Accounting
Professional services: Consulting
Research and Analytics
Services: Business or Personal
Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn Personal Twitter handle: @Andy_Scott15 Company Twitter handle: @OctagonHockey
Karen Sparks, 35 executive director, Wesley Clover Parks Birthplace: Ottawa Company: A philanthropic project to revitalize 500 acres of Greenbelt property into a hub for outdoor activities. Education: Bachelor of arts, combined honours in English and psychology, Carleton University (2005) Charitable involvement: Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation; Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation; Equestrian Canada Biggest biz achievement: Our first national horse show was a resounding success. It put Ottawa back on the map with professional riders as a showgrounds venue they could trust. Biggest biz obstacle: Public speaking has never been my forte, and throughout my career I’ve needed to do interviews,
keynote speeches, live radio hits, etc. Overcoming any nervousness around that is something I’m proud of. Biggest influence: Ian Millar. He is a 10-time Olympian; the commitment and perseverance involved in this achievement is staggering. I have been lucky enough to receive instruction from Ian as my coach but also as a friend and business partner. Furthermore, the examples set by my father and mother have been hugely influential on me. Biggest lesson learned: Be persistent. My dad has said that since I was a little girl. It applies every day to my business career. First job: Riding instructor Advice I’d give the younger me: Take advantage of the enormous abundance of time in your twenties. I thought that time would last forever and I’d always have a chance to fit in my goals. While I haven’t given up on any of them, once you have a family, time is so precious a commodity and in rare supply that achieving them becomes a longer pursuit! I chose this career because: I have a passion for equestrian and for our city. This project kind of fell into my lap and I had a vision that I truly believed could be great for both the sport and for Ottawa. One word to describe my career: Lucky When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A doctor or professional show jumper Favourite pastime: Riding, volleyball, hiking, tennis, yoga
wouldn’t have many friends.” I chose this career because: In most areas of law, lawyers deal with people and represent them at difficult periods in their life such as criminal proceedings, divorce, bankruptcy, lawsuits, insurance, etc. I initially chose business law because most of the time you are representing and negotiating on behalf of people at exciting times in their lives, whether it is opening, selling or buying a business, taking on an investor or making a strategic hire. About seven years ago, I combined my interest in business law and negotiating with my passion for sport and have guided the careers of many top young athletes ever since. One word to describe your career: Fun What’s left to do: On the personal side, I would like to continue trying my best to be a great dad and husband. In my professional career, scoping out opportunities that will challenge me to be creative and to help my clients exceed all of their own goals. When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Professional football, basketball, hockey or baseball player Favourite pastime: Golf I’m currently reading: Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar Favourite movie: Gladiator Favourite song: Blow at High Dough by the Tragically Hip
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
Birthplace: Ottawa Company: Sports law, business law, real estate law firm Education: Bachelor of arts, Carleton University (2001); bachelor of laws, University of Ottawa (2004) Charitable involvement: Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Biggest biz achievement: Building an athlete representation business. Biggest biz obstacle: During law school I was hospitalized for significant periods of time over 18 months for ulcerative colitis, which led to the removal of my entire colon. My personal goal was to graduate with my class and to not receive any special treatment for writing exams, extensions for papers, etc. My biggest obstacle was achieving this personal goal. Biggest influence: My parents. My dad is a prominent lawyer in Ottawa and helped guide many of my career decisions, including my career-changing decision to leave a busy practice at a national law firm in order to add athlete representation as a practice area. My mom has reminded me throughout my life to continue to work hard but also to embrace balance, enjoy family and live in the moment. Biggest lesson learned: I met with a prospective client recently that operated a franchise system and was searching for a new franchising lawyer. I was surprised to learn they had met with five other law firms before meeting me, which is considered a very extensive search. We met for almost two hours. After a week, they let me know they had decided to choose me as their counsel. They indicated this wasn’t necessarily due to my expertise, but rather that they felt I understood what they were going through and cared about their problems. They were also impressed that I didn’t watch the clock as the meeting approached two hours in length and that I followed up. It served as an important lesson in business: people want to know that you care before they care what you know. First job: Corn de-tassler in southern Ontario (which involves removing the pollen-producing flowers or “tassel” from the tops of corn plants). Very hard work. Advice I’d give the younger me: Continue to try your best but don’t be so hard on yourself along the way. This quote sums it up: “If you spoke to friends the way you spoke to yourself, you
Aerospace/ Architecture/Real Estate Defence 2.6% 2.6%
I’m currently reading: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari Favourite movie: Willow Favourite song: While My Guitar Gently Weeps by the Beatles Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: CityFolk Preferred social media platform: Facebook Personal Twitter handle: @KarenASparks Company Twitter handle: @theWCParks
Fayez Thawer, 38
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
managing director, Tasico Hospitality Group
Birthplace: Toronto Company: Hotel development, ownership and management across multiple market segments. Education: Hospitality management certification, Cornell University (2011) Charitable involvement: Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Biggest biz achievement: Successfully developing a Hilton property from the ground up and assisting in Tasico’s expansion into the United States. Biggest biz obstacle: Balancing my business pursuits with community work and family life. Biggest influence: My father. He’s been a mentor both in my business life and personal life. Tasico as a whole has greatly benefited from his leadership, and I personally would not be successful today with his mentorship. Biggest lesson learned: You become a success based on the deals you don’t do. There have been numerous examples of real estate ventures which would have significantly hindered our progress, but with ample due diligence and a bit of luck, we managed to sidestep them. First job: Parking lot attendant Advice I’d give the younger me: Work a bit harder and be more focused on your education. I chose this career because: I was working for the Department of National Defence and took some time off to assist my parents in their first hotel conversion. I joined the family business shortly after that – with a 50 per cent pay cut, of course. One word to describe my career: Transformative When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A doctor Favourite pastime: Volleyball I’m currently reading: Change Up by Buck Martinez Favourite movie: The Exorcist
Favourite song: Hotel California by the Eagles Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Canada Day Preferred social media platform: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @fayez_thawer
Rob Villeneuve, 35 CEO, Rebel.com Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We are experts in domain names and the tools to make the most of them. Education: Bachelor of computer science with high honours, Carleton University (2004) Charitable involvement: Canadian Internet Registration Authority Biggest biz achievement: Took Rebel. com from a company that had been shrinking by every measure for four years and turned it around. It is now profitable, growing and celebrated for corporate culture and employee recognition. Biggest biz obstacle: Shifting Rebel. com’s culture from fearful, negative and stagnant to one that is about being brave, thoughtful, energetic and open. We rally around contribution and experimentation. Rebel.com now not only embraces change but seeks it. Biggest influence: My parents. Hi, mom! Biggest lesson learned: All businesses are about relationships with people – customers, employees, partners and peers. Strong relationships are the key to building strong businesses. This takes time and effort; shortcuts do not win in the long run. The best businesses inspire people by holding true to their values even when it is not the easy thing to do. First job: Road worker at the City of Ottawa Advice I’d give the younger me: Things are not as hard, or as far away, as you think they are. I chose this career because: I love to help people face their challenges. They may not succeed, but that isn’t always the point. One word to describe my career: Contributor When I was a kid, I wanted to be: Astronaut Favourite pastime: Wakeskating I’m currently reading: Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson Favourite movie: Forrest Gump Favourite song: Fade to Black by Metallica
Ottawa’s biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @Viller613 Company Twitter handle: @rebeldotcom
Graeme Webster, 34 partner, Koble Commercial Real Estate & Brokerage Birthplace: Ottawa Company: We build and preserve wealth for clients through commercial real estate. Education: Bachelor of social science in economics, University of Ottawa (2004) Charitable involvement: Queensway Carleton Hospital Biggest biz achievement: Growing company revenue in 2014, 2015 and so far in 2016 in a commercial real estate market that had consecutive years of declining transaction volume. Biggest biz obstacle: Being new to the commercial real estate business in 2007-08 during the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States was tough. It created uncertainty in our own market and there were very few transactions in 2008. I probably called every local investor and owner in Ottawa before eventually working my way into a listing in Hintonburg. We sold the property quickly for a record price and built momentum from there. Biggest lesson learned: Value your clients’ needs above all else. First job: Attendant at Valleystream Tennis Club Advice I’d give the younger me: Invest in yourself and never stop learning. I chose this career because: I love building new relationships and solving problems for clients. Commercial real estate definitely allows me to do both. One word to describe my career: Dedicated When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A professional baseball player Favourite pastime: Running I’m currently reading: Linchpin by Seth Godin Favourite movie: The Departed Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Personal Twitter handle: @GWOttawa Company Twitter handle: @Koblecommercial
Alan Wehbe, 32 president and CEO, UTG Digital Media Birthplace: Jdita, Lebanon Company: UTG Digital Media specializes in advanced indoor and outdoor digital signage. Education: Completed four-year Interactive Media degree from Algonquin College in one year due to advanced technical testing and personal portfolio. Charitable involvement: Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Biggest biz achievement: Launching my own company in 2004 and later restructuring the business and incorporating it to establish UTG Digital Media, a company that now generates revenues exceeding $1 million annually. Biggest biz obstacle: The digital signage industry is growing daily; as such, challenges UTG faces include a rapidly evolving industry; an influx of digital signage companies; and brand recognition. We overcome these obstacles daily by persistently engineering, designing and developing technology which keeps us at the forefront of the industry. Biggest influence: My business partner, Micha Hage-Badr. Biggest lesson learned: “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” – Thomas J. Watson First job: Sun Life financial clerk Advice I’d give the younger me: If you have a dream or a vision, follow through with it. There’s nothing more fulfilling than reaching your goal. I chose this career because: Digital technology has always been a passion of mine; it seemed only natural for me to pursue it as my career. One word to describe your career: Successful When I was a kid, I wanted to be: An astronaut! Didn’t everyone want to be one when they were a kid?! Favourite pastime: Spending time with my daughter, Michaella Favourite movie: Die Hard Favourite song: Anything by Jennifer Lopez Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa RedBlacks Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram Company Twitter handle: @UTGDigitalMedia
FOR THE RECORD Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms.
PwC Management Services LP 99 Bank St. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: DND $2,980,000 Ian Martin Ltd. 275 Slater St. Description: Professional services Buyer: DND $1,044,391 2Keys Corp. 1550 Laperriere Ave. Description: Professional services tier 2 Buyer: DND $896,881 ATS Services Ltd. 35 Auriga Dr. Description: Meteorological instruments and apparatus Buyer: Environment Canada $818,560
Advanced Chippewa Technologies Inc. 802 Nesbitt Pl. Description: ADP software Buyer: Library and Archives Canada $581,733 Altis Human Resources (Ottawa) Inc. 102 Bank St. Description: Project leader/ executive – senior Buyer: DND $422,580 Aéroport Exécutif de Gatineau-Ottawa 1717 Arthur-Fecteau Description: Liquid propellants and fuels, petroleum base Buyer: PWGSC $354,699
QMR Consulting & Professional Staffing 75 Albert St. Description: Indian Act appeal field investigations Buyer: Department of Aboriginal Affairs $300,000 Orbis Consulting Inc. 1327A Wellington St. W. Description: Internal audit services Buyer: Canadian Heritage $240,000
chef; and Cristina Velez, director of human resources, will begin welcoming guests later this summer.
Richard Robert has been appointed director of sales for the Ottawa branch of Freeman Audio Visual Canada. Mr. Robert brings 29 years of experience in airline corporate and agency sales, global travel, international development and procurement. He is known for his business development skills and maintaining national association industry relationships.
Hyatt Hotels has announced its leadership team for the opening of its Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market hotel. General Dynamics Canada Ltd. Matt Graham, general manager; Markus 1941 Robertson Rd. Fisher, director of sales, marketing and Description: Hardware events; Stephen La Salle, executive Buyer: DND $221,553
AFO pub-April-May-June 2016-v1.pdf
MEETING A supplement to
April 25, 2016 • $5
Morguard Investments was recognized with three Leadership in Environmental Advancement Program Awards from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan. The awards recognize leadership in sustainability initiatives.
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613.234.9470 | WWW.AF.CA/OTTAWA
Mayor’s Breakfast Series A unique opportunity to enjoy breakfast with His Worship Mayor Jim Watson and hear from business and community leaders about issues critical to Ottawa. Guest Speaker: Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa Thursday, June 23, 2016 Location: Ottawa City Hall Registration: 7:00 am Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 am Presentation: 8:00 am
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS: $35.00 + HST (Members) $50.00 + HST (Non-Members) CORPORATE TABLES OF 8 WITH SIGNAGE: $245 + HST (Members) $350 + HST (Non-Members)
Register online at www.ottawachamber.ca Event Partners
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
NOW AVAILABLE AT ALL OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL DISTRIBUTION OUTLETS
Freeman Audio Visual Canada was chosen by Ottawa consumers and businesses as the Consumer Choice Award winner in the Audio Visual Services category for the fourth year in a row. CCA is considered one of the most distinguished business awards in Canada.
WANT TO LEARN FRENCH ?
Faren Hodgson 10 Glenrose Crt. Description: Occupational therapy Buyer: Veterans Affairs Canada $212,600 N
rate event planning Ottawa-Gatineau’s guide to corpo
ONLINE LANGUAGE COURSES
Systems for Research Corp. 300 Earl Grey Dr. Description: Scanning electron microscope Buyer: DND $304,500
OTTAWA-GATINEAU’S GUIDE TO CORPORATE EVENT PLANNING in the Capital
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MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lombardi
Co-founders Jamie Meldrum, left, and Michael Horne.
OTTAWA’S MARKET LEADERS LEADING STRONGER, AIMING HIGHER
ACCENT GROUP AMSTEAD CONSTRUCTION BOMA OTTAWA CROWE BKG LLP DICA ELECTRONICS EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS MELDRUM HORNE & ASSOCIATES OBJ 360 PERFORMANCE PLUS REHABILITATIVE CARE RAYMOND CHABOT GRANT THORTON SEARIDGE TECHNOLOGIES
June 6, 2016 Special Supplement to the
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” —Sam Walton
Co-founders Jamie Meldrum, left, and Michael Horne.
Invest in the present, plan for the future
Page 2 • obj.ca • Monday, June 6, 2016
The pension and benefits strategy that gives your business the upper hand Can your business survive the unexpected loss of a founder/owner? Are you providing your team with a robust pension and benefit plan that will help you to attract and retain top talent? These are not questions just for big companies. Even small businesses have to plan for their future and invest in their present operations if they want to enjoy long-term success. Jamie Meldrum, Michael Horne and their team at Meldrum Horne & Associates know from firsthand experience the importance of planning for the unexpected. Some years ago, co-founder Jamie Meldrum’s father, a partner in the business, passed away. This forced a sudden transition in ownership. Thanks to their own planning, Meldrum Horne & Associates was actually able to grow through the transition. “We have lived through the challenges our clients face and know what can happen if a business doesn’t have a contingency plan,” Meldrum said. “We understand what it takes to ensure a business can continue to grow during and after a transition.” Meldrum Horne works with small- to medium-sized enterprises to ensure they have a sound succession strategy in place. This involves developing and managing employee benefit and pension/retirement programs, executive
compensation programs, and individual retirement and estate planning.
AN EXTENSION OF YOUR BUSINESS
In an industry largely split between large financial services companies and one man shops, Meldrum Horne is that rare mid-sized service provider. Its team offers a combination of personal service and access to a broad portfolio of products and services, tailored to fit the needs of a small or growing business. “When we are negotiating for you, we are personally invested,” said Horne. “We approach discussions about rates as if it’s our money.” Meldrum and Horne have each been in the business for 16 years. They were mentored by two of the leading names in the local market. Today, they continue to design and scale their services based on feedback from their clients and the best of what the industry has to offer. “We feel we have the best service model,” said Horne. “Our people work as an extension of a client’s HR department. We’re changing the game by putting ourselves in a position where were can add true value to a client’s pension and benefits administration.”
they can help nurture the next generation of financial professionals. With baby boomers retiring in droves and regulatory changes coming down the pipe, like the expected implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan for 2018, Meldrum and Horne are always keeping an eye on what’s next on behalf of their clients. “There is so much information available,” said Meldrum. “The value we provide is the advice and counsel on how best to interpret all that information and use it to your advantage. We’re here for the long haul. Our joke with our clients is you’re stuck with us for a long time.”
To learn more about how Meldrum Horne & Associates can help your business plan for the future and thrive in the present, please visit www.meldrumhorne.com or call 613-233-9105.
ALWAYS ON TOP OF WHAT’S NEXT
These OBJ Forty under 40 alumni are also blazing a new trail in an industry where the average age of a financial advisor is almost 60. They are active with ADVOCIS and other industry and local business organizations where
“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” — Scott Belsky
DICA recently completed its third expansion and now has 22,500 square feet of capacity to meet the demands of OEMs across the National Capital Region.
The local manufacturing partner you can trust 33 years and still going strong – DICA Electronics grows again
that degree of flexibility and service.” DICA has long focused on helping early-stage companies develop and prototype products on a lean budget. Its New Product Introduction (NPI) capability helps startup ventures qualify and validate an idea. Compared to larger manufacturers, DICA also doesn’t impose a heavy financial burden upfront that can become a barrier to commercialization. For more information on the advantages of dealing with a local manufacturing partner, please visit www.dica.ca or call 613-257-5379.
“DICA has provided contract manufacturing and supply chain management services to us for nearly a decade and does not disappoint. DICA delivers a competitive edge in terms of quality, responsiveness, and cost and has evolved as a valued partner in our product delivery.” - Cam Creech, Operations Manager, Pleora Technologies Inc.
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The key to success with bringing great technology to market is trusted relationships between like-minded partners across the supply chain. It’s been the guiding principle at DICA Electronics Ltd. since 1983. This local, mid-sized contract electronics manufacturer recently completed its third expansion. With 22,500 square feet of capacity, DICA has the breathing room to optimize its operations and accommodate fresh demand from mid-sized original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from across the National Capital Region. “Our strategy over the past five or seven years has been to diversify and attract other mid-sized OEMs,” said President Spencer Grabe. “Demand for a local manufacturing option remains strong. Smart supply chain specialists realize that geographic proximity is a bigger deal than it seems when it comes to the complex manufacturing processes of printed circuit board (PCB) assembly.” Fifteen years ago, DICA focused almost entirely on traditional PCB work. These days, it’s expanded with a surface mount technology line dedicated to prototyping services, as well as mechanical assembly services. It’s become the norm to complete, test, assemble and retail package
products for customers before they ship out. “We’ve always felt that OEMs need to choose like-sized contract manufacturers in order to establish a strong partnership, otherwise a larger OEM may flood a small shop with too much business,” Grabe said. “Conversely, a small customer can’t get anyone to return their calls because they barely register on a bigger shop’s radar.” DICA’s reputation for quality and service excellence has allowed it to carve a niche against large multinationals and weather market cycles that have driven many would-be competitors out of business. “We’ve been very careful not to bite off more than we can chew with any one account so that we avoid the same pitfalls,” Grabe said. “Having a diverse and strong customer base along with a select stable of startups as clients is the best way for a contract manufacturer to succeed longterm.” The days when tech companies thought “if it’s local, how can it be any good?” are long gone. In fact, most of DICA’s customers are high-mix, medium volume – they need a high degree of interaction and flexibility with their manufacturing partner that they just can’t get working with an offshore entity. “Some of our inventory programs, coupled with our daily delivery run throughout the city, can result in a ‘Just In Time’ inventory program that our customers love,” Grabe said. “It’s almost impossible for off-shore manufacturers to offer
“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” — Confucius
The Ottawa Accent Group team is always ready to give the personal service you need. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Make your brand stand out
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Accent Group takes promotional products to a new level What could your customers and prospects walk away with that would make the greatest impression about your brand, and your products or services? The local team at Accent Group specialize in helping clients come up with lasting, unique and impactful items to support any organization’s marketing and communications strategy. This isn’t some faceless web-based supplier with only limited options, but a local team committed to creating authentic and standout promotional materials. “Our clients can talk to us, face to face,” said Candice Holland, Accent Group’s Ottawa Marketing Manager. “Our focus is on quality, customization and outstanding client service – that’s what sets us apart.” Quality doesn’t have to come with a high price. Accent Group has strong supply-chain relationships that translate into significant value for clients, as well as reliable quick turnaround for rush orders. It has offices in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Philadelphia. So what do you need? A flash drive in the shape of your signature product, or a customized set of headphones? How about a ping-pong or foosball table for special events? Accent Group does it all, right down to custom print jobs and those ubiquitous pens and notepads. It is one of a few authorized suppliers of Under Armour
products. And if your organization is concerned about its environmental footprint, Accent Group provides quality eco products it has researched to ensure they meet your standards. “We really do have the capability to fully customize products,” Holland said. “Like the Canon camera USB flash drive we did recently.” Accent Group also provides event management services that include all coordination and planning. All this is backed up by a 100-per-cent product satisfaction guarantee. “We put people first – our people, as well as our clients,” Holland said. “We have a great work environment that makes for a happy and creative team. The result is a strong work ethic and commitment to service that translates into a fantastic customer experience.” To learn more about how Accent Group can help your organization make informed purchasing decisions to support its marketing and communications objectives, please visit http:// accent-group.ca/ or call 613-707-2948.
offerings that complement our company’s product lines.” - Mark Walters, Global NPI Manager – Manufacturing, Corel Corporation “We have used Accent Group for visibility products for our organization. Suggestions, pricing and service were excellent. I would have no hesitation in recommending Guy Magee and Accent to industry colleagues.” - Andrew Gize, Corporate Services Officer, The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada “Accent Group has been superb, ultimately building with our company, customer loyalty and increasing personal value. The staff at Accent have proven their expertise in quality work and friendliness. They demonstrate a very quick response to all our requests and go above and beyond to help.” - Elaine Azulay, Senior Admin. Assistant, Senior, Defense Solutions Division, Curtiss-Wright
“Accent has done a fantastic job sourcing promotional materials for our company over the past eight years. They continually exceed our expectations with their outstanding customer service and ability to consistently deliver top-ofthe-line promotional products at competitive prices. They understand our business and are always quick to demonstrate new product
Complete Marketing Supplier
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” — Mark Zuckerberg
Left to right: Marco Perron, CEO & Partner / RCGT Consulting Inc., Joseph Carpinone, Senior Director / Internal Audit Practice Lead, Richard Yeghiayan, Executive Director / Assurance and Advisory Services, Charles Segal, Director Data-Analytics and IT services.
Fastest growing consulting firm in Ottawa? RCGT Consulting – Yes they can! In 2011, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton decided to open a “new” public sector practice in Ottawa – RCGT Consulting. Could this small team become a leading public sector consulting firm in Canada’s top government town? Yes, it could. The Ottawa office has since grown from three to more than 50 employees, as well as independents currently working at various client sites who represent over 30 full-time equivalents. How has RCGT Consulting grown so fast? Just ask CEO Marco Perron: “When we started, we positioned ourselves as the ideal mix of a large and a small firm,” he said. “RCGT Consulting can lever and mobilize its network (Grant Thornton & RCGT being the fifth largest accounting firm in Canada) and bring all the horsepower of a large firm to our clients as needed, while still being nimble and flexible.” Marco and his team can act on a client’s behalf without being reliant on head office approvals from Somewhere Else. They can also easily partner with other service providers or independents to bring the best team to the client – not just the best “internally available” team.
THE POWER TO ACT
internal audit and other advisory services, please call 613-760-3500 or visit www.rcgt.com/en/industriessegments/rcgt-consulting-inc
SO, IS RCGT THE FASTEST GROWING FIRM IN OTTAWA?
“I chose to work at RCGT as it represents a growing organization ready to take on the fastpaced and expanding field of Risk Management and IT/Cyber-Security.” ‑ Tyler Moule, Director, Cyber‑Security and Privacy
This question is hard to answer but it has certainly been in high growth mode for the last five years. “The only limit to our growth is our ability to attract and retain great talent,” Marco said. “We’re always looking for talented people. In fact, we’ve already attracted professionals from Toronto, Montreal and the Maritimes to come work with us in Ottawa.” To learn more about how Marco and his team can help your public or para-public organization with
“I joined RCGT because it’s where people come first. They value individual contributions, provide opportunities, and empower and engage one and all so we can all rise to our full potential.” ‑ Priya Sudhir, Director, Internal Audit “RCGT has the right combination of an established reputable name within an entrepreneurial environment. It recognizes that analytics and big data are key disruptive innovations and I am able to offer these capabilities to my clients.” ‑ Charles Segal, Director, Data Analytics and IT services
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“I can actually sit in a room with someone and sign a contract on the spot,” said Marco. “If our competition is subject to decision-making that’s outside Ottawa, how much authority do they really have to make local and timely decisions?” RCGT Consulting has built on its core strength in internal audit to also offer data analytics, cyber security, change management and even real estate
consulting. Its success with the federal government has opened up new opportunities at the municipal and provincial levels, not just in Ottawa, but across Canada. Innovation in service delivery, a focus on quality, and a positive and fun workplace culture have all fueled RCGT Consulting’s success. “Clients respond to the fact that we are a young and dynamic team and even our most senior professionals are active and hands-on,” Marco said. “The more time you spend face to face with clients, the better you understand them and can serve their needs. Everyone who works here has that go-getter ‘yes we can’ attitude.” These days, RCGT Consulting is spreading out to take over the entire floor at 116 Albert St. Its range of services continues to expand, to offer clients new ways to drive efficiencies and cut costs. The latest is outsourcing services, to free clients of high-volume activities like claims processing.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney
Ottawa partners Robert McNamara, Gary Connolly and Nick Lombardo
A middle-weight with heavy-weight punch
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Crowe BGK – a mid-sized accounting firm like no other Last summer, the Kanata office of Crowe BGK LLP managed by Michael McCrann announced a merger with Connolly & McNamara Chartered Accountants. When Connolly & McNamara decided they needed to partner with another firm to up their game, they weighed their options with each one of their clients in mind. Every one of Connolly and McNamara’s existing clients followed them. “That was really remarkable,” Gary Connolly said. “It spoke to the loyalty we’ve built all these years. The same reasons Rob McNamara and I are here are the same reasons we would expect to attract new clients here.” The two teams have integrated well in the months since, bound by a shared culture of professionalism, service excellence and integrity. The new Kanata office has 30 people, with four partners (McCrann, Connolly, McNamara and Nick Lombardo).
NOT YOUR TYPICAL MID-SIZED ACCOUNTING FIRM
Crowe BGK is not your typical mid-sized accounting firm. The firm offers a range of value-added services with a roster of specialists seldom found outside a large national firm. These include: • A mergers and acquisitions division (Crowe BGK Corporate Finance) capable of taking your company to market and negotiating the best price possible. • A US cross-border specialist who manages all aspects of cross-border tax planning and compliance for both personal and corporate. • Crowe BGK GTC Solutions: In-house professionals with a rare combination of expertise in both SR&ED and government funding programs that businesses can access for equipment purchases, marketing programs and new product development just to name a few. • A banking specialist, who helps clients find the best match between their needs and commercial lending from Canada’s chartered banks or the BDC.
• A team of in-direct tax specialists who consult with clients on all matters that are contentious with the Canada Revenue Agency, including voluntary disclosures, commodity taxation, request for relief, etc. • Crowe BGK Seniors Advisory Group: Elder care specialists, for clients who have elderly relatives and need help to manage their financial affairs. “We have one of the broadest ranges of services available in the market from a mid-sized firm,” Lombardo said. “We work with everyone from early-stage startups to multinationals with $500-million in annual revenues.”
THE UNIQUE ALTERNATIVE TO THE BIG FOUR
Crowe BGK focuses where it matters most to a growing business with its eye fixed on the bottom line – price and personal attention. With most big firms, senior partners sign clients, then pass the work over to a parade of junior people. Clients rarely have direct access to the senior experience they are paying for, nor is there any continuity on their file with the same trusted face. At Crowe BGK, a two-person team approach
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill
is taken with every file. One half of that team is always a partner who is fully accessible to the client. “We’ve had clients who have moved over to us from a bigger firm and they’re surprised when we show up for their AGM,” said Connolly. “They’re even more surprised when we show up for the next one. Our response is ‘where else would we be?’ They really appreciate that.” The partners never hesitate to answer the phone. They respect the fact that, if a client calls, it’s because they’ve exhausted their own resources and need professional input and advice. “That’s not something we track time and bill for, we want clients to call us, and we want to be involved,” said Connolly. “We always tell clients, ‘call when you want’ we will have those conversations. If it turns into a project, then we’ll
scope it out and put a budget to it.”
A LOCAL PRESENCE WITH A GLOBAL REACH
Crowe BGK Ottawa is an extension of the Montreal office (founded in 1950) which has 110 staff and 16 partners. Crowe BGK is part of Crowe Horwath International – ranked as one of the world’s top 10 accounting networks. It includes over 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in over 130 countries. That gives the Ottawa team access to a global network of vetted partners, to support clients just about anywhere in the world their business or personal needs may take them. “When clients leave Ottawa, we always stay in touch and, thanks to the Crowe Horwath network, we can usually introduce them to
TESTIMONIALS “Crowe BGK has been our accountant and auditor for many years. For the last number of years, partner Michael McCrann has been our main point of contact. Through Michael and his team, we get exceptional service. Work is done well and on a timely basis which is an absolute must in our business. Moreover, Crowe BGK uses a value-added approach to its provision of services. The Crowe team definitely can think outside the box. And there is a full complement of specialists who can deal with any issue that may arise.” - Lawrence Weinstein, Board of Directors, Urbandale Corp. “I started working with Len Cogan and Nick Lombardo in the early ‘90s when the firm was called Cogan & Associates. At that time, Westboro Flooring & Decor employed about 20 staff. We didn’t have the structure or the systems to grow in a controlled manner. Using Len and Nick’s expertise, we were able to build a financial control model which resulted in a strong
someone in their local market when they need help,” McNamara said.
ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR GREAT CLIENTS, AND GREAT STAFF
Crowe BGK’s office is always growing. “As we’re trying to attract new clients, we’re always trying to attract new staff,” McCrann said. “We have a growing roster of young professionals. Part of our job as partners is to mentor them into our roles.” To learn more about how Crowe BGK can help drive your business forward, or to learn about career opportunities at a dynamic accounting firm, please visit www.crowebgk.com or call (613) 836-8228.
company with over 60 full-time employees. With the addition of the Crowe BGK team, we now tap into their expanded services as we grow our business ventures. Nick and his team at Crowe BGK provide me with good advice and understand our business. This provides tremendous value to me.” - Steven Kimmel, President, Westboro Flooring & Decor “Robert McNamara and his team have taken care of the Lauzon Music account for almost 10 years. Crowe BGK has helped us modernize and streamline our internal control methods and provided accounting and business advice towards the financial success of the company. We have enjoyed significant growth in our guitar division in recent years and I believe Crowe BGK’s contribution as competent accounting professionals is directly linked to it. As the second-generation owner of a local family business with 71 years of history, I like to focus my time and energy on the healthy growth of the company. I take comfort in the knowledge that Crowe BGK is taking good care of the financial details involved in the smooth operation of the business.” - Ken Lauzon, President, Lauzon Music “As a small business owner, it was recommended we engage a reputable accounting firm to establish assurance services for our financial reporting obligations. Our Credit facilities provided us with local company names and after extensive review, Crowe BGK was selected because of their vast depth of knowledge and service offering. We felt comfortable with the team and its experience within the industry. Seven years later we continue as a profitable organization, expanding our service relationship with Gary Connolly and the Crowe team in Assurance, Tax advisory, Corporate Financing and Government Incentive Programs. The partnership between our companies is strong, the management and client services within Crowe BGK are there to support you. Your calls do not go unanswered. We are extremely fortunate that someone else cares about our success.” - Jim Burke, President, Lloyd Douglas Solutions Inc
www.crowebgk.com Ottawa Managing Partner Michael McCrann
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“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” — Thomas Jefferson
Don’t expect the cookie cutter approach from this crew Amsted Design-Build: A community builder in more ways than one Why should you trust your home, whether it be for a renovation, custom build, or any small upgrades and repairs, to the team at Amsted Design-Build? Founder and President Steve Barkhouse will answer that question, but not until he asks a few of his own. “We offer a level of personalized service that’s hard to find in the Ottawa market,” he said. “Every home is unique, every project is unique. First, we need to understand a little about you, your goals and budget, and how busy you are.” Since Barkhouse founded Amsted in 1989, the company has built a sterling reputation across the National Capital Region for premium designbuild services. In fact, it’s the only firm in Ottawa to have been named Renovator of the Year in the same year by both the provincial and local home builders’ associations. Why? It begins with the “Amsted Advantage.” This combination of talented people and proven processes ensures any project, of any size, goes smoothly – from expert design and quality
workmanship, to respecting the need to keep your home clean and organized. “Every recipe is different, but we have all the ingredients,” Barkhouse said. “I’m confident that by the end of each project, we’ve improved the lives of the people who live there.” Among Amsted’s signature projects was Ottawa’s first home renovation to meet the LEED Platinum standard for environmental sustainability on Bristol Avenue. Another was the renovation of a Victorian home in the Glebe. For under $250,000, the Amsted team restored the aging property and updated the main floor with modern living amenities while respecting and preserving its heritage elements.
25 ACTS OF KINDNESS
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Amsted recently carried out more than 25 acts of kindness across the city, in support of local causes, including the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa, Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group, the Ottawa Food Bank and Ottawa Community Housing. “I’m very proud of the leadership role we take in our industry as a good community builder,” Barkhouse said. “That comes back to my team – they live and breathe that every day.”
To learn more about how you can experience the Amsted Advantage for your new build or renovation project, please visit www.amsted.ca
Make gift-giving a little sweeter
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Edible Arrangements on Bank Street celebrates 5th anniversary Nothing makes an impression quite like an artistically created Edible Arrangement, especially if it involves a little chocolate. The premise is simple. Using only the freshest quality fruits and gourmet chocolate, Edible Arrangements creates fruit arrangements that not only wow the eye but tease the taste buds, too. The options are limitless, from the everyday occasion to every special occasion. It’s been a busy five years for co-owners Elaine MacDonald and David Nixon since they first opened their franchise on Bank Street. Their fresh fruit bouquets and chocolate dipped fruit have found their way everywhere from the halls of Parliament, to corporate parties and special occasions, wedding receptions, halfway houses and even visiting royal newlyweds. “This is a great way to thank your employees or your customers,”
said Elaine. “Our arrangements are beautiful, healthy, affordable, and unlike traditional cut flowers, they certainly will not go to waste.” In fact, Edible Arrangements has a corporate gifting program that offers volume discounts. Elaine and David’s efforts have earned the Bank Street location a Franchise of the Year award for Canada. This award is based on business growth, consistent quality of product and top-notch customer service. Quality is everything. “Our excellent team of fruit experts pride themselves on providing a consistent quality product every day,” said David. “Customers tell us that they not only love giving an Edible Arrangement but also receiving one, too.” Edible Arrangements has a very strong community and charitable focus through the Edible Cares initiative. Elaine and Dave support various local causes and donate
Co-owners Elaine MacDonald, Dave Nixon and EA Team.
their excess fruit every week to the Ottawa Food Bank, local charities, shelters and emergency centres. All products are available to order instore, online and by telephone. Same day delivery and pickup is always available. Edible Arrangements Bank Street offers delivery throughout the city. To put a fresh and tasty twist on your gift giving, call 613-237-0100, or to place an order online and see
today’s specials, please visit www. ediblearrangements.ca.
240 Bank St., Unit 101 613-237-0100 www.EdibleArrangements.ca
2016 OTTAWA’S “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
— Chris Grosser
BOMA Ottawa Executive Director Dean Karakasis (left) with President Dave Cordick. Photo by Mark Holleron.
Wanted: Fresh blood with creative ideas BOMA Ottawa’s new president aims to revitalize industry’s talent pool
BACK TO CLASS
Cordick’s plan for the future begins in the classroom.
“Few people in this industry went to school to be real estate practitioners,” he said. “They came from some other discipline, like accounting, law or political science.” This rather haphazard career path into the industry has it facing a talent shortage. A Building Operator Scoping Study published in 2011 by Environmental Careers Organization Canada found that the average age of a building operator in Canada was 55. In the five years since, no one has gotten any younger. Cordick and the team at BOMA Ottawa is already working to bridge that skills gap and reach into classrooms, even at the high school level, to build awareness about Commercial Real Estate in general and property management specifically as a viable career path. Efforts are underway with other BOMA regional associations, BOMA Canada and local stakeholders to create community college diploma programs. Seminars and continuing education courses are already offered through Algonquin College.
other major cities, its downtown core is adjusting to changes in how big employers operate. The drive toward greater collaboration among staff and new efficiencies have reduced the size of offices by giving more people the flexibility to work remotely. This means big tenants now need less space – that includes the federal government. Meanwhile, a growing stock of older buildings need refurbishment to meet new standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. And a slate of big infrastructure projects – LRT, Lebreton Flats and Zibi – promise to remake Ottawa’s core and attract new residents. “We need to tap into the creativity of the next generation, to develop new opportunities that will attract other industries to Ottawa, and support the growth of small businesses that could become significant employers,” Cordick said. “It’s our job to support Ottawa’s efforts to brand itself as ‘being open for business.’”
TALENT WILL ALWAYS BE IN DEMAND
“There is always going to be a need for all types of skills in the property industry,” Karakasis said. “We need to invest in a cycle of education and ensure the industry has the skills to give Ottawa the modern real estate infrastructure it needs.” A lot is happening in Ottawa these days. Like
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Property Management, like many industries across Canada, is rapidly turning grey as the baby boomers shift into retirement. That’s a concern for the team at the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Ottawa and the Commercial Real Estate Industry. “A city like Ottawa that doesn’t have a large manufacturing base needs a vibrant commercial real estate industry that is powered by fresh ideas and creative thinking to support its economy,” said Executive Director Dean Karakasis. “It’s the vital supporting infrastructure for our key industries – the public sector, high-tech and tourism.” The key to address these challenges is industry collaboration. BOMA Ottawa, like its counterparts across Canada, relies on the support, input and resources of its members to understand and prepare for what lies over the horizon. For Dave Cordick, Director, Operations at Brookfield Property Partners and current president of BOMA Ottawa, the first and most crucial step to tackle the future is to address the labour challenges of the present. Cordick has been involved in the industry for 32 years. He’s been active with BOMA Ottawa for 25 years and has served on various committees and on the Board of Directors, as well as on the board for the Sparks Street Mall Authority.
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” — Herman Melville
Looking past disability to find ability PPRC makes the right match between employers, jobseekers with disabilities “If you look past the disability to understand a person’s true capability, the result can be a great employee who is an asset to your organization and your bottom line,” said Linda Simpson of Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc. (PPRC). Take a Sodexo Canada food court operation in Stoney Creek that serves 3,800 hungry office workers each day – 20 per cent of its team are people with disabilities. The best workplace safety record by far is found among this segment of the workforce. Or Shelley Ann Morris, an avid triathlete who works as membership services coordinator at Volunteer Ottawa. She has a vision impairment and Attention Deficit Disorder. Or Nicholas Monaghan, a young person who gained valuable work experience at a Home Hardware store in Orleans.
These and other stories are told through a new YouTube channel from Ottawa’s PPRC. Just search “PPRCOttawa.” “We help employers access a largely untapped pool of talent,” said Simpson. “In the majority of cases, employers don’t have to provide any special accommodation. If they do, it usually costs less than $500.” Simpson and her team have been building bridges between talent and employers for 17 years as a service provider with the Ontario’s Disability Support Program. For jobseekers, that means helping them prepare for every aspect of their job search and integration into a workplace, with an action plan based on the proven methodology of the PPRC Ability Process and the Employment Readiness Scale. For employers, PPRC provides a pool of pre-qualified individuals for their staffing needs, helps with identifying workplace accommodation and even provides training for other staff in proper etiquette when working with someone with a complex disability. In return, employers tap into a
PPRC and its consulting team are here to exceed your expectations.
loyal and hardworking pool of talent that is often highly skilled and well educated. Along the way, they also learn how better to serve clients and customers with disabilities. “The key for all businesses is recognizing the abilities and the benefits of unique talent wherever you find it,” Simpson said.
employment. Visit www.pprc.ca and please subscribe to PPRC’s Youtube channel, by searching “PPRCOttawa” at Youtube.com.
Learn more and subscribe
PPRC is uniquely positioned to help both employers and jobseekers fulfill their goals of inclusive
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“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” — Colin R. Davis
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CREATING COMMUNITY DIALOGUE: THE OTTAWA BUSINESS GROWTH SURVEY
Just last week, OBJ, in partnership with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Welch LLP and Abacus Data, released the second annual Ottawa Business Growth Survey. This initiative has redefined and dramatically expanded the staid business confidence survey with a multidimensional analysis of local business sentiment, market challenges and expectations, and perspectives on regional economic development and the impact of public policy on the business community. With its partners, OBJ has levered this survey into an annual magazine, a signature breakfast event that draws Ottawa’s community and business leaders, and a video series.
Content marketing by the numbers “The OBJ team was above all else professional and enthusiastic.” — LORI MELLOR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PRESTON STREET BIA
Now, consider what this same team could do for your business, to create an event, publication or other multi-faceted marketing campaign.
GIVING A FACE TO PRESTON STREET: #PEOPLEONPRESTON
This horsepower proved invaluable to Lori Mellor, Executive Director of the Preston Street BIA. Preston Street relies on a steady stream of visitors from outside this vibrant core neighbourhood. It’s a marketing challenge to stand out from big box stores in the ’burbs and convey the area’s unique charms. In 2015, the OBJ team delivered a digital marketing campaign that combined web, search and social media called #PeopleOnPreston. “We liked the concept because it helped distinguish us as family-run, owner-in-store businesses,” Mellor said. “The OBJ team was above all else professional and enthusiastic.
We needed the young minds on its team, their experience with social media, to help us build our own strategy.” The campaign featured portraits of 75 people who live, work and play on Preston Street. Merchants and patrons alike got to tell their own brand stories, in their own words, and explain why Preston Street is a destination in Ottawa like no other. Tens of thousands of people read, Liked, shared, commented and came to the BIA website to learn more.
CAN OBJ360 HELP YOU?
“It was turnkey,” Mellor said. “We just handed over to OBJ all we needed done – social media, newsletters, website – they handled it all for us. When you have a small staff you need to be able to outsource this kind of thing to someone you can trust as a partner. We trust Great River Media – its team delivers 110 per cent.”
WILL DO ONLINE RESEARCH ON YOUR COMPANY
WOULD RATHER FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR COMPANY FROM AN ARTICLE THAN AN AD
B2B BUYERS MAY CONSULT AS MANY AS 10 SOURCES BEFORE MAKING A PURCHASE
obj.ca • Monday, June 6, 2016 • Page 11
To learn more about how OBJ360 can drive your business, call 613-238-1818 x268.
It’s no longer enough to just offer a product or service. To draw prospects through your sales process, you need to provide them with valuable content that establishes your thought leadership in your market space. This is content marketing. The goal is to build trust in your name, raise awareness of your brand, and create positive sentiment that will incent consumers to choose your business when they are in the market for the kinds of products or services you offer.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”— Sun Tzu
Alex Sauriol, (left) Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer and Moodie Cheikh (right), Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Searidge Technologies
Should your company be going global? For Searidge Technologies, the export market was crucial Ottawa’s Searidge Technologies doesn’t claim the often abused title of “world leader” lightly. The company has its technology platform deployed at 30 sites in 16 countries – a claim no other competitor in its space can make. That’s saying a lot, considering Searidge’s chief competitors are multi-billion-dollar systems integrators that otherwise dominate the global aerospace industry. “We talk to prospects about how we can develop for them a creative solution using our proven technology platform, we don’t walk in and try to sell a product – that’s what makes us different,” said CEO and co-founder Moodie Cheikh.
Page 12 • obj.ca • Monday, June 6, 2016
SERVING SOME OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST AIRPORTS
Searidge has staked its claim in the market for airport surface management, by pushing the limits of video-processing technology to give airports and air traffic control organizations reliable “eyes” where they never had them before. Customers use Searidge’s technology platform to remotely monitor, manage and control traffic on the airport surface to improve safety and efficiency. Searidge’s platform has proven to be the answer for the aviation industry’s greatest challenges around growing capacity demands, reduced operating budgets
and availability of air traffic controllers. Searidge’s customers include some of the largest airports in the world – Charles de Gaulle, Dubai Airports, Budapest Airport, Heathrow Airport, Hamad International Airport, Milan Malpensa Airport – as well as major airports across Canada. All of the company’s growth has been organic. “We’ve been profitable for seven years and enjoyed consistent double-digit revenue growth, because we’ve grown responsibly from our cashflow,” Cheikh said.
His advice? Just focus on the basics and use common sense to mitigate your risk – do your due diligence and never give a foreign partner/agent exclusive rights to represent your company in their market. Do your homework, focus on the basics, don’t rush into a business arrangement that can burn you – these principles have helped Searidge grow a thriving export business and secure critical industry partnerships with the likes of Thales and Honeywell.
CANADIAN COMPANIES NEED TO EXPORT
Are you an innovative go-getter eager to work with a stable and growing technology company? Today, Searidge has about 50 staff, concentrated in the Ottawa area, with a few in its European office. It plans to expand its local team by 15 to 20 per cent over the next year “We hire the person first and for the job, second,” Cheikh said. “If you are the type who likes to challenge the status quo and engage in creative thinking, we want to talk to you.” To learn more, visit searidgetech.com/careers/
The key to Searidge’s success was to go global fast without pursuing external sources of funding. It identified and directly pursued primary target markets where the barriers to doing business were relatively low compared to others, and where the team thought the appetite for new technology was high. The next step was to attend trade shows, and look for creative ways to stretch a small travel and marketing budget. Searidge did everything it could to get in front of the right prospects. But Cheikh finds too many Canadian technology companies with export potential fear going abroad. “We have a lot of great companies in Ottawa, I’d really like to see more of them pursue international markets,” he said. “Often times I hear reasons why they can’t go global, but doing nothing can be a bigger risk than the associated risk of trying to grow overseas.”
SEARIDGE IS HIRING
Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...
Published on Jun 3, 2016
Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...