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The unconventional global files of Martin Aquilina SEE PAGE 2


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Martin Aquilina THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL EAGLE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

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OCTOBER 2019

hen you enter his world, Martin Aquilina is hard to miss. The globetrotting business lawyer and COO at HazloLaw on Sussex Drive is not only a sharp and colourful dresser, but he’s also passionate and authentic in conversation. Then there’s his highly distinctive track record, replete with unconventional legal files (most of them

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wins) spanning scores of industries and dozens of countries around the world. Halfway through 2019, for instance, he’d already done work in Peru, Mexico, Aspen, Co., and Washington, D.C. There’s also a trip to Versailles in the works. Aquilina’s at his professional best when taking on “anything exotic, with an international twist,” he says. This might include cross-border disputes or complex contracts for franchising, financing or even opening a school abroad. All of which begs a question: how does someone as distinctive as Aquilina remain one of the Ottawa legal industry’s best-kept secrets? The answers are many. The first dates back many years, when the multilingual attorney left one of the capital’s big firms, returned to school in the Netherlands and began anew with a more worldly perspective. “I put my M&A and securities practice behind and essentially started over as an international lawyer,” Aquilina said, “which is interesting because it means everything and nothing at the same time.” To build bankable expertise and an easy-to-grasp reputation, many lawyers carve out a traditional niche and stick to it. Aquilina, though, is likely

too motivated by the unknown to ever specialize. In fact, his favorite thing in legal work is the thing that he’s never done before. “I operate really, really well at my level of incompetence,” said Aquilina, whimsically referring to the Peter Principle, whereby people in organizations tend to rise beyond their competence to a level of incompetence. One recent example of Aquilina embracing the unknown involved the established local painter Dominik Sokolowski. When two of the artist’s works appeared extensively in a 2018 Toronto film production without approval or on-screen credit, Sokolowski contacted Aquilina to pursue the German-based production company for damages. “We tracked down the company,” Aquilina said. “I negotiated with them for over three months and we got 20 times the amount that the client wanted. And this is for breach of paternity rights on paintings, very rare stuff.” Aquilina’s comfort level with previously unseen territory may be partly attributable to his consistent success on such terrain. “The sheer enthusiasm I have for it usually ensures results,” he explains. “We come through, me and my team. We come through.” What motivates him to move so freely beyond his comfort zone? It might sound quaint but it’s true: Aquilina simply does not like to see the vulnerable treated unjustly. “I love championing the underdog,” he explains. And on that front, word is getting around, largely through Aquilina’s

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international network. In recent weeks, for example, a special envoy from the Republic of Somaliland visited HazloLaw unannounced, seeking assistance with the country’s troubled international status. Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991 but remains unrecognized by the international community. “Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, who is a super-prominent figure in Somaliland and formerly the foreign minister, came here to talk about how we could possibly work together to help her country achieve recognition,” said Aquilina. He’s not certain how the Somaliland file will proceed but Aquilina is very gratified that those kinds of opportunities present themselves. They are, perhaps, a little bit of confirmation that his international focus and penchant for new challenges have worked out well. After negotiating settlements, resolving conflicts, and structuring transactions across so many cultures and legal codes, Aquilina has a decidedly different view from lawyers who are determined to specialize in one thing. “The more experiences you have in various areas, the more you can call on them,” he explained. “So I’m of the view that not specializing – as long as you’re smart, passionate, and ready to work hard – makes you a more astute adviser.” Whatever your international legal needs, there’s a good chance Martin Aquilina can help. Reach him at maquilina@hazlolaw.com.


CEO OF THE YEAR

Dan Goldberg October 2019 Vol. 22, NO. 08

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PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Telesat’s low-key leader is aiming sky-high with a bold bid to take his firm to the top of its industry P22

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PROSPECTUS

‘People infrastructure’ could undermine city’s growth potential

OCTOBER 2019

Riding light rail as it descends below downtown, gliding between underground stations, you get the palpable feeling that Ottawa has forever changed. What is that saying? We’re now a little big city? A big little city? Either way, the full potential of LRT lies somewhere past this initial phase. What comes next won’t simply skip congestion on Slater Street, it will unlock commercial development heading east to Orleans, connect the airport to the city centre and push tantalizingly close to Kanata’s high-tech park. Yes, it’s early days, but you can already sense this train is gathering steam. If you buy into its potential (I certainly do), try to look down the track, maybe five to 10 years. Office and residential towers are rising. The city’s urban core is intensifying and projects such as LeBreton Flats are finally taking shape. Is Ottawa ready for this type of

growth? In successive Ottawa Business Growth Surveys undertaken by OBJ and the Board of Trade, there is one clear recurring issue that’s top of mind for local business leaders. (It ranks behind only winning new customers.) The issue is a possibly worsening “talent shortage.” The last week of September, about 150 people with a vested interest in employment gathered for the inaugural Talent Summit. It was a mix of privatesector execs, HR experts and institutional leaders from postsecondary and employmentrelated organizations. The magnitude of the problem started to become clear. Tech, construction, manufacturing, hospitality and even professional services are clamouring to hire skilled workers. So if physical infrastructure such as LRT will accelerate growth in a city with an unemployment rate of 4.7

The Westboro Village BIA office is moving. Please update your records - we will be moving to 290 Picton Avenue, Suite 203 this October. Our phone number and email will not be changing.

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poaching workers from other Canadian cities. (Toronto comes to mind.) At a time when all the experts are preaching employment brand marketing, Ottawa needs to get on board. per cent, can the people If Ottawa is changing for the infrastructure keep pace? better, the city needs to tell (Remember, it wasn’t that that story in a much more long ago when a mere $2 billion aggressive way. in venture capital had tech On the face of it, Ottawa recruiters waving “we’re hiring” has what it needs to solve the placards on the side of highways. talent shortage ​– great postWhen companies couldn’t secondary institutions, steady hire, they simply expanded immigration and a top-notch elsewhere.) quality of life –​ but we’re only After more than 25 experts had starting to understand how to their say at the Talent Summit, put these elements together to I was left with three urgent make real progress on an issue takeaways. that can undermine the city’s First, we need much stronger growth potential. ties between fast-growing companies and universities and colleges, especially when it comes to co-op. Second, more needs to be done to integrate immigrants, recognize their foreign job credentials and get them meaningful employment. The same can be said about other historically underemployed segments, such as people with @objpublisher disabilities. Michael Curran Third is the bold idea of

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Oct. 3

LOCAL BREAKFAST SERIES

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CEO TALK

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After a tumultuous year that typifies life as a high-flying corporate executive, the OBJOttawa Board of Trade’s 2018 CEO of the Year steps to the podium at CEO Talk. Bruce Linton is forging ahead after a very public departure from Canopy Growth, the cannabis giant that he helped establish. It’s sure to be an insightful and entertaining business lunch at Brookstreet Hotel for this biannual event. Register quickly at www.ottawabot.ca.

The federal election is upon us and, on the eastern fringe of the city, a fascinating political battle is heating up, including two candidates with significant business experience. Well-known local lawyer Dave Bertschi is carrying the Conservative banner these days. (He once ran against Justin Trudeau in the Liberal leadership race.) The governing Liberal Party has, after a long delay, finally put forward its candidate, none other than Marie-France Lalonde. Lalonde is the sitting MPP for the area and also coowner of a large seniors’ residence in Orleans. The candidates, including NDP hopeful Jacqui Wiens, will attempt to win your support at a Shenkman Arts Centre breakfast. Space is limited. Register at www.ottawabot.ca.

Oct. 15

MAYOR’S BREAKFAST SERIES Ottawa is full of fascinating global companies that lie somewhere below full public awareness. (That’s why you’re reading OBJ, right?) Few are as fascinating as Ross Video and its high-energy CEO, David Ross. (He runs on a treadmill in his office.) This privately held company designs and manufactures equipment for live events and video production. For example, its equipment helps bring the Super Bowl to its massive TV audience, the Rolling Stones to adoring fans and BBC News to inquisitive minds. Still not intrigued? Try this one. David’s father John, who founded Ross Video in his Montreal basement in 1974, had to sell a Second World War airplane to seed the startup. Yes, there is no end to Ross Video’s amazing anecdotes. Register at www.ottawabot.ca.

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to your corporate diet.

October brings Small Business Week. OBJ and the Board of Trade are planning an event to inspire and inform local business owners and entrepreneurs. The event kicks off with a keynote who’s fit for the big screen. (Think Top Gun.) Robert “Cujo” Teschner is a retired lieutenant-colonel in the U.S. Air Force with an impressive military and business background. He commanded the 7th Fighter Squadron “Screamin’ Demons,” one of America’s only front-line operational F-22 squadrons. Teschner was also the lead instructor at the Air Force Weapons School, the division’s “Top Gun” program. After leaving the military, Robert used his considerable leadership skills to help CEOs. He eventually wrote a best-selling book, Debrief to Win: How America’s Top Guns Practice Accountable Leadership...and How You Can, Too! Teschner is one of many great presenters at this one-and-a-half-day conference at the Westin Hotel. Check out the details at www.ottawabot.ca.

OCTOBER 2019

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REAL ESTATE

OCTOBER 2019

T.O. developer eyes highrises for coveted Albert Street site

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A prime piece of downtown real estate a block from a new light-rail station is now in the hands of a Toronto-based developer that plans to construct three highrises containing nearly 900 residential units on the site. According to a site plan application recently filed with the city, Main and Main wants to build towers of 18, 33 and 38 storeys on the former site of the Alterna Savings and Credit Union at 388 and 400 Albert St. and 156 and 160 Lyon St. The highrises would include a total of 898 residential suites as well as underground parking for 435 vehicles. The smallest tower would have 140 units, with the others containing 319 and 439 suites. A three-storey mixed-use podium would connect the 18- and 33-storey buildings, with the entire proposal featuring more than 700,000 square feet of space. The developer also plans to build a park on the northeast corner of the property, which is bordered by Bay, Albert, Lyon and Slater streets. A vacant two-storey building now occupies the 1.5-acre site, with the rest of the property serving as a parking lot. The coveted parcel of land is located just 150 metres south of the Lyon LRT Station on the new Confederation Line. According to the development application, the proposal calls for “a potential enclosed and elevated pedestrian connection” linking the 18-storey tower on the north side of the property to the new transit station. The new plan will require the property to be rezoned for additional height and reduced setbacks.

REAL ESTATE

He’s a great dad, great husband. He’s just an all-around good guy. –​ MARK RACHESKY, CHAIRMAN OF THE TELESAT BOARD, ON CEO OF THE YEAR DAN GOLDBERG (SEE PAGE 22)

Regional Group scoops up Hazeldean Mall Kanata’s Hazeldean Mall has been sold to new owners who are pledging to revitalize a property that’s still searching for a dominant anchor tenant more than four years after Target pulled up stakes. Ottawa real estate development company Regional Group said it has purchased the 40-yearold shopping centre from longtime owners BentallGreenOak (formerly Bentall Kennedy). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The only fully enclosed shopping centre in Kanata, Hazeldean Mall saw its vacancy rate soar to nearly 50 per cent when Target exited the Canadian market in early 2015, leaving 100,000 square feet of empty space at the 223,000-squarefoot retail complex. About 13,000 square feet of space is also available in other parts of the mall, which is located at the corner of Hazeldean and Eagleson roads. The shopping centre now has about 40 tenants, including Your Independent Grocer and Rexall Pharma Plus. Regional Group senior vice-president of real property Bernie Myers said the firm is confident it can breathe new life into the mall. “We think there are tremendous opportunities in Kanata,” he said. “We just have to spend some time and effort and find the tenants to bring it back to its former glory.” While Myers said he wouldn’t rule out constructing new commercial and residential buildings at the Hazeldean site, he said such a move is not in Regional Group’s immediate plans.

SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Two groups making pitch to buy Champions Two groups are looking to take over the struggling Ottawa Champions’ stadium lease, city council learned last month. One group, backed by the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball club, includes support from Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which owns the CFL’s Redblacks, the OHL’s 67’s and the Ottawa Fury soccer club and manages Lansdowne Park. In the other dugout is a group of three local baseball fans seeking to keep the Champions in Ottawa. Rob Abboud,

portfolio manager with Wealth Strategies, Fred Sanghini, a project management consultant, and Rob Lavoie, the regional operations manager of Play it Again Sports franchises across the city, have banded together in their bid. The baseball club’s financial woes were made public earlier this summer when the city cancelled the team’s 10-year lease agreement to play at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park and switched to a game-by-game payment structure after the club fell

more than $400,000 behind on rent. After the ball club missed its September payment, the city now considers the team in default on its arrears and has cashed a $108,000 credit line from owner Miles Wolff. With that credit, the team is now $463,000 in arrears. The City of Ottawa is pursuing new ownership for the team and a new lease for the stadium, but a suitor for the Champions will also be responsible for paying back the outstanding rent.


TECH

Local tech powerhouse launches Asian, European expansion

Ottawa power couple takes over local winery Lorraine Mastersmith and her husband Shaun McEwan are prominent names in the Ottawa business community ​– Mastersmith a well-known lawyer and McEwan a long-serving corporate CFO. Now, the local power couple is taking over one of the region’s best-kept business secrets. Mastersmith and McEwan announced in early September they’ve purchased a majority stake in Carp-based winery Kin Vineyards. Although the Ottawa Valley isn’t exactly Napa North, Mastersmith says Kin Vineyards – launched about five years ago by fellow lawyer Chris Van Barr – is coming into its own as a winemaker. “He’s built it up from nothing, and it’s quite a successful business,” says Mastersmith, a partner in the Ottawa office of Gowling WLG, adding the winery is on pace to sell about 24,000

bottles this year. The transaction officially closed Aug. 30. Terms of the deal were not released, but Mastersmith said Van Barr will retain 10 per cent ownership in the operation. Located on 47 acres of land across from the Diefenbunker, Kin currently has five acres of Pinot Noir and five acres of Chardonnay in production. Mastersmith and McEwan plan to add five acres of Marquette, a hardy red wine grape that can withstand frigid Canadian temperatures. The new owners have other big plans for the site, which features a tent that can host gatherings of up to 70 people along with a small tasting room that seats about 20. They hope to start work next spring on a new venue for hosting weddings and other events that will include amenities such as a woodburning pizza oven.

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CORNWALL

What do a firehose, a tactical vest and a rope to tether a cargo ship have in common? They all require high-performance yarns that are made to last under the toughest conditions. Since 1990, Seaway Yarns has continued to expand in the Cornwall area, manufacturing industrial and technical spun and monofilament yarns that are used in the aerospace, firefighting, military and automotive sectors.

OCTOBER 2019

An Ottawa-based tech firm is setting up shop in Europe and Asia as it looks to bolster its existing overseas business. Assent Compliance, which develops software that helps its clients maintain regulatory compliance across their supply chains, said last month it’s opening offices in Amsterdam and Penang, Malaysia. Global expansion has been a top priority for Assent Compliance ever since the company closed its massive $161-million series-C round last fall, according to the firm’s co-founder and vice-president of growth Matt Whitteker. He said management had been in talks with investors in recent months about where Assent could expand its global footprint to get the most bang for its buck. Setting down roots in the European market made immediate sense, Whitteker said. The region represents 10-15 per cent of Assent’s overall revenue today, but the firm believes Europe’s total addressable market could be on par with North America. To that end, the firm said it has hired Patrick Klaver, a former SAP managing director, to lead its European market operations. Whitteker said that when the company was deciding where in Europe to land, Amsterdam topped the list as an accessible tech hub with the talent Assent knew it would need to grow the region’s operations. The firm’s offices in Penang are less about courting new customers in Asia and more about supporting existing clients’ suppliers in the region. Whitteker said that the firm opted to land in Malaysia because the country provides access to staff fluent in a wide breadth of Asian languages and is more “business friendly” than other locales in the market. Assent, which currently employs 350 people in Ottawa and some 500 worldwide, expects to hire 15 people in the Netherlands and 10 staff in Malaysia by the end of next year.

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UP CLOSE

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT JEFF CLARKE

Entrepreneur honours dad’s fighting spirit Jeff Clarke’s environmental services firm punching above its weight as young CEO builds on late father’s business legacy BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS caroline@obj.ca

OCTOBER 2019

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t the fresh-faced age of 23, when most university students are busy with classes and campus activities, Jeff Clarke was packing up his belongings and heading back to Ottawa to take over the family business, Inflector Environmental Services. He’d just lost his father, Jeffrey Robert Clarke, to lung cancer. “It was a little stressful,” Clarke, 29, recalls of the most challenging period in his life. “I told myself that if I could get through this, everything else in life will be a breeze.” Clarke first learned about the cancer diagnosis a few months earlier from his father, who, following their initial phone conversation, flew out to St. Mary’s University in Halifax to visit with Clarke, a fourth-year commerce student and eldest of his three kids. Their time together included catching a university football game, followed by socializing with some old buddies over dinner. The pair discussed the future of the family business, which specializes in hazardous substance remediation and abatement. “He told me at that time that he was going to beat the cancer and, once he did, that he was going to slow down afterward. He wanted me to come in and take over the family business because he wanted to focus more on enjoying life. “He said if, God forbid, he didn’t make it that he would want me to step in,” says Clarke, who was left feeling honoured but

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He was inspired to participate in Fight for the Cure after watching another one of his mentors, developer Jeff Westeinde, in the ring last year.

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He was born in Halifax but moved with his family to Ottawa after his dad got a job with thenprime minister Brian Mulroney.

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He graduated from St. Mary’s University after flying back to Halifax in the spring of 2014 to write his exams. Engraved on the inside of his university ring are the initials of his dad, who had to drop out of SMU due to financial constraints.

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He’s on the board of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and a table captain for its President’s Breakfast. He’s also involved with Christie Lake Kids and Ski For Kids, which his father formerly cochaired.

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He worked in the field for many years on some of the dirtiest jobs one can imagine. He dismantled boilers the size of large homes in average temperatures of 50-plus degrees C – torch-cutting and hammering in full suit and mask. He says he loved the work and misses the peace it gave him.

Jeff Clarke is president and CEO of Inflector Environmental Services. PHOTO BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

also caught by surprise. Clarke Sr., 58, died on March 9, 2014 from complications following his surgery for lung cancer. The work-hard, playhard entrepreneur had lived a life that was larger than most. He was a master of career reinvention before founding J.R. Clarke & Associates in 1994. “My father has been my biggest inspiration, without a doubt,” says Clarke while expressing his gratitude

toward a man who provided his kids with opportunities he’d never had himself while growing up in a family of seven children in Halifax. More than five years have passed since Clarke became president of Inflector. He’s now also CEO. At the age of 24, Clarke became the youngest member ever granted membership to the Young Presidents’ Organization. At age 25, he received OBJ’s

Forty Under 40 award. Inflector made the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s fastest-growing companies in 2018 and again in 2019, most recently by posting 138 per cent revenue growth over the past five years. In memory of his dad ​– a fighter to the end ​– Clarke is participating in the Fight for the Cure fundraiser for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation on Oct. 19 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy. He and 11 other white-collar boxers have been training for months under the exceptional guidance of Scott Whitteker.

POWERFUL FUNDRAISER Clarke, who’s taking on Kyle Turk from


Keynote Group, is on track to raise $130,000 for the cause, making him the top individual fundraiser in the event’s history. He’ll also be fighting on behalf of his cancer-surviving mom, Margie Clarke. “My goal isn’t about winning, it’s about raising $130,000,” says Clarke. “If I can do that, I’ll be happy.” There were naysayers, those who wanted the family to sell Inflector after its founder passed away, but Clarke –​ who started working there at 16 –​ had other, bigger ideas. “I always thought the company had tremendous potential,” he explains. The firm’s headcount has now swelled to 300 and continues to grow. It has offices in Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto and Halifax, and its clients include schools, hospitals, industrial plants, nuclear laboratories, paper mills, companies in the mining, oil and gas sectors and construction firms. Locally, Inflector has done work at the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the former Domtar industrial lands ​ – the future home of the Zibi sustainable waterfront community. “It’s really not my success; it’s 100 per cent to do with the people we have

here,” says Clarke, rattling off names on his executive and management teams, including chief operating officer David Walsh and vice-president of finance Mickelene Crawford. “A lot of them have grown with this business and have become tremendous leaders in their fields.” One of the first things Clarke did in his new leadership role was to make Walsh ​ – his father’s right-hand man –​ a partner, as had been his father’s plan. Walsh has 30-plus years of experience in the construction industry and has overseen more than 10,000 projects. “He’s like a second father to me,” Clarke says. The key to success, he adds, is “not letting the juice get to your head,” to quote one of his mentors, Tony Sottile, former CEO of Modern Niagara Group. “Just because things are good today doesn’t mean they’ll be good tomorrow. Many entrepreneurs fail every year, and even the best ones have lost a business or declared bankruptcy.” You might say running a business is a lot like boxing –​ you always have to stay on your toes.

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THE MANAGEMENT BUYOUT: The Paradigm shift

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OCTOBER 2019

t was summer 2016 when Louise Radmore, president of Ottawa commercial property management company Paradigm Properties, decided to retire and begin winding down the company she established 20 years earlier. After notifying the staff and starting to notify clients, she began her path to retirement. In only a few days, she realized that perhaps it wasn’t the right time and asked Ashley Hopkins – her long-time managerial right hand – whether she would be interested in buying the company. After a few days thought, Hopkins had warmed to the idea. She spoke to the staff about the prospect and was surprised to hear that none of them believed Paradigm would be wound up. “I think they knew I would be taking over even before I’d made my decision,” says Hopkins. In the subsequent transition partnership, Hopkins and Radmore began a two-year rebuild to get Paradigm to a place where Hopkins felt confident in the growth and Radmore felt confident in her retirement. During the pre-buyout transition, Hopkins was able to restructure according to her own vision. “As an employee you always think certain things could be done a little better,” she says. “But I needed to be sure I could run the company in a way I would be comfortable with the impending growth, and focus on more innovative processes.”

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GGFL partner Natalie Evans guided Ottawa-based Paradigm Properties through its ownership transition.

Hopkins turned to Natalie Evans, partner at the Ottawa accounting firm GGFL, for ongoing advice during the transition. “During 2018, we grew fairly quickly and Natalie played a big role during that period,” adds Hopkins. “I needed reassurance that if I went down a particular route, it would be profitable to do so. She gave great guidance and after two years, it became clear that we were going to be successful,” she says. It helped that both Radmore and Hopkins were already GGFL clients. Evans knew the business well. Hopkins officially took the Paradigm helm in June this year and is now the company’s CEO. Working out the legal and financial nuts and bolts of any management buyout is complex and typically involves two sides battling for the best deal. The Paradigm buyout was unusual in that Louise and Ashley, along with the full advisory DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE team, worked together with Evans to Visit OBJ.CA/ OBJ-DIGITAL-EDITION to view the bring the deal to fruition. digital edition for exclusive features “GGFL completed the tax planning around the buyout transaction,” says Evans. “When

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anyone steps away from a business there are generally tax assets and liabilities that need to be considered relative to any option. So we made sure both sides understood the consequences of various buyout options.” Hopkins and Radmore are related, so the negotiation was friendly – but it was also strictly business. “But both Louise and Ashley were focused on reaching an agreement that was fair to both of them and supported Paradigm’s future success,” says Evans. Hopkins agrees. “We wanted a deal that left neither of us behind the eight ball,” she says. “We are family, but we have never run the business in that fashion.” Hopkins has moved Paradigm into Hintonburg with a new office and a modern look that says “change.” “It was important to change the dynamic,” says Hopkins, “and to make sure the staff are happy and comfortable in new surroundings that will support our growth.” “Right now, we are busy, clients are happy and things are looking good.”


TOURISM

Escape Manor has growing market on lock BY CRAIG LORD craig@obj.ca

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Clockwise, starting from bottom left: Escape Manor’s partners Steve Wilson, Neil Schwartz, Billy Rogers and Chris Bisson. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

OCTOBER 2019

ESCAPE ARTISTS

or Escape Manor’s Steve Wilson, the most surreal part of building escape rooms for the past five years is captured in a video that introduces one of the company’s adventures. It’s a special installation for the TV series Bad Blood, starring actor Kim Coates as Declan Gardiner, the right-hand man of a Montreal mob boss. The series partnered with Ottawa-based Escape Manor for a special themed room that would see participants get a real taste of the fictional crime drama by breaking out of a prison to avoid the electric chair. Before the timer starts counting down, Coates – who also portrayed ‘Tig’ on the HBO series Sons of Anarchy – appears on camera speaking to the prison’s newest inmates about how he arranged a flood at the jail to provide a window for his partners to escape. The short introduction video is produced at the same calibre as the rest of the Bad Blood show, with Coates reading his lines on set in full character for what amounts to not just a memorable escape experience, but an immersive advertisement for the show. “I never realized they’d go as deep as they did with it,” Wilson says. “Every time I see this, I get chills because there’s a Hollywood actor that’s reading my words.” Over the past five years, Wilson and his partners at Escape Manor have honed their craft to create exactly these kinds of memorable experiences. The simple concept of locking up a group of friends or corporate team and putting them on the clock to break out results in a more visceral bonding experience than your typical after-work social, Wilson says. Continued on next page


OCTOBER 2019

TOURISM

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Continued from previous page While the business has garnered a loyal following of would-be escape artists in Ottawa and in franchises worldwide, it’s also become an attractive outlet for brands and other partners looking to use the medium’s explosive popularity to immerse their fans and patrons in a tailored experience. “That’s what we do better than anyone else,” Wilson says.

But the Escape Manor team was well-timed in its venture – the escape room industry as a whole has seen explosive growth in the past five years. In the United States, for example, the number of escape room operators has grown from a couple dozen in 2014 to nearly 2,350 this past year, according to an August report published by industry observer Room Escape Artist.

NO ESCAPING ESCAPE ROOMS

These partnerships have really opened up so many different avenues for us.

Wilson, Neil Schwartz, Billy Rogers and Chris Bisson launched Escape Manor on Queen Street in Ottawa back in November 2014. Five years on, it has ballooned to four locations in the capital and a 15,000-square-foot site in Toronto, with additional outlets in Cornwall, Regina, Saskatoon, Hamilton and – farthest and perhaps strangest of all – Brisbane, Australia. Wilson says the company receives inquiries to open up new franchises every month and has adopted a standard form to separate the tirekickers from the serious contenders. The company is currently in talks to open up a new franchise in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but is waiting to see how elections in the South American country turn out before making any official announcements. Over the course of its five years, Escape Manor has locked up roughly 700,000 visitors and now employs nearly 60 people in Ottawa and twice that number globally. Back in 2014, however, the four partners were setting out on their journey with a shoestring budget. “In the beginning, it was myself, my three partners, a box of beer and a box of pizza, and that’s how we created rooms,” Wilson says, adding you couldn’t buy a decent sound system with the limited budget the team was using to run the company. A couple of the founders were still working full-time jobs elsewhere, and would head over to the business and quickly wash up to work evenings before heading home and starting over again.

- Escape Manor’s Steve Wilson

EVERYBODY WANTS A PIECE But the global rise of escape-ism isn’t the only reason the Ottawa-based company has stuck around for half a decade. Escape Manor has built much of its business on strategic partnerships that not only provide the company with a fresh audience for its particular brand of entertainment, but allow it to cash in on the intense engagement generated by its experiences – a level of engagement most other brands would pay top dollar for. In addition to the Bad Blood escape room, which played as an interactive commercial for the show’s upcoming season, Escape Manor has partnered with organizations such as Beau’s Brewery, the Historic Cornwall Jail and, most recently, the Communications Security Establishment on custom rooms that inform participants about the partner’s brand or history. The Beau’s room, one of Escape Manor’s first partnerships, set players in a Canadian dystopia where prohibition has come into law and tasked them with

protecting the Vankleek Hill brewery’s last remaining beer recipe; the CSE partnership is a cybersecurity-themed adventure that could see the room’s top codebreakers recruited for a real-life role with the Canadian intelligence agency. Escape Manor’s most successful partnership, though, could be its teamup with the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War museum just outside of Ottawa. Billed as the world’s largest escape room, the Diefenbunker setting has players running through a full floor of the enormous industrial complex, uncovering secrets behind Cold War espionage amid a heart-pounding soundtrack. The experience, which couldn’t be further from the sterile education some museums are known to deliver, won numerous awards back in 2017 for breaking the mould on how to combine history and tourism. Beyond the award recognition and the chance to build a room in a unique setting, Wilson says the Diefenbunker escape room and Escape Manor’s other effective partnerships work because of the new audiences the company is exposed to. He notes that there was a perfect overlap between the Diefenbunker’s traditional demographics and his company’s regular visitors: the mostly younger crowd from Escape Manor was exactly the new blood the Diefenbunker was looking for, while those who were coming for the museum had likely not been to an escape room before that. “These partnerships have really opened up so many different avenues for us,” Wilson says. While partnerships have proven effective for Escape Manor, the firm has to be selective these days. Overhead costs to design and build a room can be high, and if the result won’t fit the Escape Manor brand, it likely won’t be worth the effort. “We have to pick our battles now,” Wilson says. Though the company has set its rooms on sites stripped straight from the history books, there’s still one setting Wilson has his eye on: Parliament Hill.

Escape Manor had engaged in talks to install a special escape room in GeorgeÉtienne Cartier’s preserved office on the Hill, but plans never came to fruition. Wilson remains hopeful he can build momentum again to land an escape room inside Canada’s most famous tourist attraction.

PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING The early days of escape rooms were a bit like the wild west, Wilson says, with operators keen to protect their secrets from other competitors popping up across town. Today, the industry has matured and holds regular conferences where companies in different cities share tips and tricks of the trade in a non-competitive environment. Wilson isn’t afraid of growing competition or naysayers who call escape rooms a passing fad. He believes what gives Escape Manor longevity is not the escapes at all, but rather the fullsuite experience the company provides – the kinds of stories you take back to the water cooler the next day and sell others on the concept. In Toronto, Escape Manor’s offerings include axe throwing and a full-service bar and lounge in addition to its escape rooms. The elements that keep people coming back aren’t the clues in the rooms or the beers on tap, Wilson says – it’s creating memorable moments and giving participants a place to decompress and laugh about what they just went through. “There are 112 different operators in the GTA. And we marched right downtown and opened up right on King West. Because we know our product is that differentiated,” Wilson says. “We have the hospitality, we have the environment and the service. And when people walk into another one, it’s like walking into a dentist’s office.” Whether the industry continues to bloom or faces a contraction in coming years, Wilson believes Escape Manor has the formula it needs to stand out from the crowd. “The strong will survive … The other ones will disappear,” he says.


SPONSORED CONTENT

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL WRITERS SHARE STORIES OF OTTAWA WITH THE WORLD

PARTNER UP Ottawa Tourism partnered with Outaouais Tourism to showcase both sides of Canada’s Capital Region

GoMedia brings more than 130 travel journalists to Canada’s capital

EASE OF TRAVEL Delegates moved seamlessly from the Westin to the Château Laurier and on to Parliament Hill on the first night of the conference– promoting the walkability of our beautiful city

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t’s one thing to see a photo of Parliament Hill on a beautiful summer day. But as any Ottawa resident knows, physically standing at the base of the Peace Tower, surrounded by the city’s most iconic landmarks, is another experience altogether. More than 300 travel journalists and tourism industry professionals from around the world now have first-hand knowledge of the magic of Canada’s capital, thanks to the tremendous success of the GoMedia 2019 travel media conference.

“We look forward to seeing the benefits of this opportunity for years to come” – Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism

GoMedia conference delegates enjoy the first evening reception on Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Credit: William Au Photography

DAY TOUR DISCOVERIES Delegates explored Ottawa with the help of 14 different themed day tours around Ottawa and Gatineau A MEMORABLE GIFT – NO TYPICAL TAKEAWAYS! Ottawa Tourism arranged for each delegate to be gifted a pair of red Converse sneakers, complete with #MyOttawa laces as a memorable way to highlight that Ottawa is walkable and active

Ottawa Tourism’s Corporate Communications Specialist, Julia Thomson (left), meets with a journalist during GoMedia marketplace at the Shaw Centre. Credit: William Au Photography

Ottawa Tourism welcomed travel media professionals from 11 countries for a schedule of activities that showcased Ottawa-Gatineau’s beauty and varied offerings. “As the capital, Ottawa shone on an international stage,” says Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “We were able to show delegates how Ottawa is the place where they can experience Canada in one city through the diverse day tour offerings and vibrant evening receptions.”

REGIONAL APPROACH Ottawa Tourism partnered with Outaouais Tourism in Gatineau to promote both sides of Canada’s Capital Region. “We wanted to showcase the whole region because it’s part of what we have to sell,” says Van Kregten. “We have the amenities of a much larger city, with the ease of mobility of a smaller city.” Fourteen different day tours were strategically designed around themes that could appeal to a diverse group. Foodies joined culinary and craft beer

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tours, showcasing Ottawa’s impressive hospitality scene, while historians opted for visits to different national museums. Daily evening receptions hosted delegates at the Fairmont Château Laurier, Aberdeen Pavilion and Canadian Museum of History. The impact of providing these rich storytelling opportunities was immediately felt, as articles professing newfound love for Ottawa have already appeared in publications in Korea, Mexico and the United States. Crockatt is optimistic that by amplifying Ottawa’s international profile in this way, Ottawa Tourism will increasingly be top of mind to a global market. “We look forward to seeing the benefits of this opportunity for years to come,” he says.

OCTOBER 2019

“There is absolutely no replacement for seeing Ottawa with your own eyes,” says Jantine Van Kregten, Director of Communications at Ottawa Tourism. “When you experience something in your own way, it stays with you.” Blessed with beautiful summer weather over five days in August,

KEYS TO SHOWCASING THE BEST OF OTTAWA


SMALL BUSINESS MONTH

IT exec-turned-coffee roaster loving the daily grind Jump into entrepreneurship in his 40s pays off for former tech VP Shann Bosnell

Bosnell’s advice for aspiring mid-career entrepreneurs Abandoning an established career for the uncertainty of business ownership isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, Bosnell concedes. But with commitment and planning, it can be a life-altering move. Here are his tips to help make the transition easier: •

Accept that it won’t necessarily be easy, and don’t do it halfway. “I think if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to be an entrepreneur. If you’re only ever gonna do it with one foot in the water, it’ll be very difficult to make it succeed.”

Do your homework. “Is your concept one that can generate enough money for you to live on? Is your local market the target audience and do you offer something they need? Is the market saturated with the same idea? If so, have you thought about your clear differentiator and done the research to make sure others feel that is a compelling reason to purchase from you? In my experience, most of these questions are not answered (by any aspiring entrepreneurs).”

Don’t give up. “If you have a solid plan the other parts will fall into place. And remember, a hard day doesn’t mean (you’re running) an unsuccessful business. Push forward; look towards tomorrow.”

BY DAVID SALI

david@obj.ca

OCTOBER 2019

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espite earning his living in the tech industry for nearly two decades, Shann Bosnell wanted to forge a new entrepreneurial path when he decided to strike out on his own a few years ago. “I was looking at perhaps starting up another IT business on the side, but I had a bit of IT business burnout, so I was looking for a different motivator,” says the former vice-president of product management at CareWorx, a Kanatabased IT solutions firm. If Bosnell’s job was helping customers manage technology, his passion was coffee. He’d been roasting beans in his Gatineau home for years, supplying friends and family with java. After taking a buyout from CareWorx in early 2018, he decided to jump into the coffee-roasting business with both feet. Bosnell used some of the funds from his exit package at CareWorx to finance Brown Bag Coffee Roasters. He now runs the company with his wife Dana and daughter Kianna, 17, who is in her last year of high school and eagerly learning the trade from her father. But coffee isn’t Bosnell’s only venture. He’s also part-owner of ManSoap, a startup he and his family launched in 2016 that makes grooming products aimed at men. ManSoap now supplies its all-natural soaps, beard balms and moustache waxes made with hemp seed

I think if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to be an entrepreneur. If you’re only ever gonna do it with one foot in the water, it’ll be very difficult to make it succeed. ​ – Shann Bosnell, co-owner of Gatineaubased businesses Brown Bag Coffee Roasters and ManSoap and olive oil to more than a dozen stores in Eastern Ontario and Toronto. Generally, he says, sales at ManSoap ​ – which Bosnell refers to a “Hallmark holiday business” –​ pick up in the fall as Christmas approaches, while the coffee trade slows down (he admits he expected the coffee side of the operation to be

busier in the winter, but in fact it’s the opposite). But at the beginning of fall, both companies are in full boom, creating a bit of a perfect storm. “The long and short of it is right now we’re busy on both businesses, so there are no days off right now,” he says with a smile. Bosnell, who turned 45 in July, is a classic example of a “mid-career entrepreneur.” In Bosnell’s case, he left his job at an established company for a new challenge and a chance to build his own successful enterprise with the help of his family. His wife and two children – his oldest daughter, Anika, 18, is now studying nursing at a local CEGEP – are co-owners of Brown Bag and ManSoap.

DEAL WITH AMAZON “The family part of the business is super important to me for sure,” Bosnell explains. “Everybody in my family really enjoys the business ownership aspect and learning the different aspects of it.” Although few studies on mid-career

entrepreneurs have been conducted in this country, a 2007 report from Statistics Canada said more than four in 10 owners of small and medium-sized businesses are between the ages of 30 and 49. It suggested at least five per cent of those could be considered in mid-career because they had less than five years’ experience in owning and managing their businesses.


In Bosnell’s case, the decision to venture out on his own seems to be paying off. ManSoap, which already generates a significant portion of its sales online, has just signed on to offer its products through Amazon and a couple of other large e-commerce sites that serve wholesalers with an eye toward tapping into the European market. Brown Bag, meanwhile, now roasts about 1,800 pounds of unblended, singleorigin coffee a month at its Gatineau facility. It purchases its beans from wholesalers in Montreal and B.C., focusing on coffee from Brazil and Colombia, and offers its products in about 30 coffee shops and restaurants Ottawa, Gatineau and Cornwall. Unlike most coffee suppliers, Brown Bag doesn’t use traditional metal roasting drums. Instead, Bosnell’s four roasters are made of glass, which he says is easier to clean and doesn’t retain as much residual smell and flavour from one roast to the next, making them more effective for creating his single-origin coffees. “At the end of the day, it all tastes like coffee, but there’s uniqueness in every

bean,” says Bosnell, noting that each type of bean’s favour depends on a number of factors, including the climate in which it’s grown, the acidity of the water and minerals in the soil. “We’re really trying to bring out the uniqueness of each of those beans so people can kind of explore the flavours of coffee around the world.” Clearly, plenty of coffee-lovers in the Ottawa region are jonesing for Bosnell’s java. He’s looking at purchasing a new 10-pound roaster, which has a capacity equal to that of his four current machines combined, to meet demand. He’s also searching for a new space up to twice the size of his current 1,100-square-foot facility to house his growing operation. The next step will be deciding whether to bring on outside investors to provide additional capital to help his enterprises scale up, as well as answering the fundamental question of just how big he wants Brown Bag and ManSoap to become. All of that takes time, which Bosnell notes might be his most precious commodity. “There’s only 24 hours in a day,” he says.

TIECON CANADA 2019

Brookstreet Hotel, Kanata Oct 31 - Nov 1, 2019

Start. Scale. Succeed.

3 Hear from Inspiring keynotes, daring entrepreneurs and technology gurus 3 Meet Investors, customers, potential partner and fellow entrepreneurs 3 See Ottawa’s top technology startups pitch their venture at TiE Ottawa PitchFest 3 Seek mentorship from the most sought-after entrepreneurs Technology panels:

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Eric Schurenberg CEO Mansuteo Ventures, the owner of Inc. and Fast Company

Kara Goldin Founder and CEO of Hint Inc.

Alex Shee Head of the Office of the CEO, Element AI

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Leena Patel Author, Raise Your Innovation IQ

Sophie Forest Managing Partner, Brightspark ventures

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Now, for tomorrow

TiECon Canada is TiE Canada’s flagship conference for startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs, industry veterans, investors, funding agencies and other members of the Canadian Entrepreneurial community. TiECon Canada 2019 will feature grand keynotes, daring entrepreneurs, industry leaders, hottest Canadian startups, investors, and technology experts. With over 25 speakers, TiECon Canada is must attend conference for startups, entrepreurs, investors and service providers.

OCTOBER 2019

Helping your business prosper and grow


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Five reasons why you need a trusted partner to manage your data Veeam delivers the tools to protect the data critical to your business

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Downtime and data loss are business problems, not IT issues

Data protection and backup are often among the least appreciated aspects of IT, both in terms of budget and the perception of creating “business value” for the broader organization. Arguably, data protection and backup aren’t always respected even when compared to other facets of IT – until something fails, breaks, is overwritten or corrupted accidentally or on purpose. A smarter strategy would be to think of backup the way most people think of insurance.

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With market research firms like Forrester reporting that 86 per cent of enterprises have now embraced a multi-cloud strategy, it becomes critical that data and applications are always available across all cloud types – including private, public and hybrid clouds – to meet the innovation and competitive demands of your business.

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Office 365 is the classic example. It’s surprising how often we speak with customers and prospects who believe their files and data will have long-term storage and backup with Office 365. In fact, Office 365 automatically empties its preservation hold library and recycle bins after 30 days. With the average length of time from data compromise to discovery being more than 140 days, the data can be long gone before a problem is even detected. It is the user’s responsibility, as detailed in Microsoft’s terms of use, to ensure longterm backup and security of their data.

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Availability and data protection solutions must meet the requirements of the 24x7x365, multi-cloud world in which organizations operate, but traditional solutions that have been adapted to this new reality often fall short. A detailed study on Veeam’s behalf by market intelligence research firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) found that a modern data management and backup solution optimized for today’s virtual environments yielded substantially greater peace of mind and reliability than traditional “physical-first” legacy backup solutions that had been adapted to a virtual infrastructure. About 83 per cent of Veeam customers reported being more confident in their current backup compared to their previous legacy solution, while 71 per cent of Veeam customers report improved reliability of backups compared to other solutions. OBJ360 CONTENT STUDIO

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M&A Ottawa’s Pythian acquired, offshoot Tehama spun off into separate firm BY DAVID SALI

david@obj.ca

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ttawa IT services company Pythian has been acquired by a New Yorkbased private equity firm in a deal that will help finance a new enterprise aimed at providing customers with secure “virtual office space” for freelancers and other remote workers. Under the deal announced in early September, Mill Point Capital has gained a majority stake in Pythian, which is spinning off its cloud-based remote work platform business, called Tehama, into a separate company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Now at nearly 40 employees, Tehama was officially launched almost a year ago as a business unit within Pythian. Its subscription-based software is targeted at enterprise clients that rely on freelancers, remote workers and third-party vendors. Using Tehama’s platform, employers invite off-site employees into virtual “rooms” where they can work on assignments from their own laptops and other devices but do not have direct

access to databases containing sensitive or private data. Tehama founder and CEO Paul Vall​ée likens the rooms to submarine airlocks that let passengers enter and leave without letting water in or air out. Tehama’s highly secure platform allows workers to see only the data they need to do a project, he explains, adding that the software significantly reduces the risk of employees stealing or leaking information such as bank account numbers and credit card passwords. “Any system where a person can directly access data is misconfigured,” he said. “Stealing a hundred million records of data is not something you can do with your eyes.” Tehama’s growing roster of more than 150 clients now includes big names such as Fox Sports, Giant Tiger, National Geographic and Upwork, a U.S.-based online platform that matches

freelancers with employers. Vall​ée says about 2,000 remote workers are now using Tehama’s software, a number that’s growing 60 per cent quarter-overquarter.

FEW COMPETITORS The fledgling startup has few competitors so far, he said, adding he believes Tehama’s first-mover advantage gives it a great chance to become the clear leader in what could be a massive potential market. Vall​ée, who helped found Pythian in 1997 and had been chief executive since 2005, is stepping away from his former job to focus on Tehama, although he will remain a member of the IT firm’s board of directors. Veteran finance executive and fellow Pythian board member Rob White, a former vice-president of IBM who later served as chief financial officer at rising Kanata-based tech star You.i TV, will bring additional experience to the young firm’s C-suite as its new CFO. Current Pythian president Keith Millar will now oversee that firm’s operations.

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A new teamwork approach to navigating Ottawa’s hot real estate market Lasting connection with clients helps set Ted Langstaff of Royal LePage Performance Realty apart

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OCTOBER 2019

ed Langstaff knows that buying or selling a home is a lot more work than most people realize, especially while Ottawa is home to one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. “Buying or selling a property is the big part, but there’s a lot more that goes into being a homeowner,” says the 36-year-old agent with Royal LePage Performance Realty. Langstaff discovered how involved the buying and selling process is at an early age – learning from his mother, Jo Ann Langstaff, who has had a celebrated career as a real estate agent with Royal LePage. After attending Algonquin College’s architectural technology program, Langstaff decided to follow in his mother’s footsteps and launch his own career in real estate. The two teamed up to form a unique motherson professional partnership, which he says benefits their clients. “When you choose to work with me, you get the personalized service from a solo agent, but with the benefit of being able to rely on the combined expertise of an award-winning team,”

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Langstaff says. All interactions are handled by him – not a support agent working under his banner.

INDUSTRY RECOGNITION Since Ted joined his mother in 2015, the pair have racked up many impressive sales awards that recognize their position as top-tier agents. These include the Royal LePage Director’s Platinum Award – reserved for the top five per cent of realtors – in 2016 and 2017 as well as the President’s Gold Award, given to the top 10 per cent of agents, in 2015 and 2018. The team is also on track for platinum status again in 2019. Langstaff says it’s a genuine desire to build a lasting connection with his clients that sets himself apart from other agents. “I want my clients to think of me for their property needs, even if it’s long after our initial interaction,” he says. Having built an extensive network of trusted home improvement and contracting professionals, Langstaff can make valuable referrals and guide his clients through every step of the home ownership experience. In a market this hot, having a knowledgeable and trained resource to help with all aspects of DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE the buying or selling Visit OBJ.CA/OBJ-DIGITAL-EDITION process has become to view the digital edition for more important than exclusive features ever, says Langstaff.

Ted Langstaff is a sales representative at Royal LePage Performance Realty

“I want my clients to think of me for their property needs, even if it’s long after our initial interaction” – Ted Langstaff, agent, Royal Lepage

Over the past two years, Ottawa has transformed from a balanced market into one that favours sellers. In August, the number of home sales in Ottawa increased nearly 10 per cent from a year earlier, according to data from the Ottawa Real Estate Board. Coming into the fall months, typically a busy period in real estate, the market is expected to continue to pick up steam. What this means for those looking to buy a home is that properties are selling quickly and are entertaining multiple offers, says Langstaff. “It creates a lot of stress for people

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who are looking to buy when there are multiple competitive offers,” he explains. “The market has made it harder for people to do their due diligence, from both a buying and selling standpoint. It’s crucial to work with someone who can guide you through what should be an exciting process.” Whether you’re buying or selling, learn how Ted Langstaff can help you get the most value in Ottawa’s hot real estate market by contacting him at tedlangstaff@royallepage.ca or 613-884-1870.


OCTOBER 2019

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CEO OF THE YEAR

‘He is at the epicentre of everything’ With his firm developing new satellite technology that could revolutionize the way the internet is delivered, Telesat chief executive Dan Goldberg is finally getting the recognition he deserves BY DAVID SALI

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PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

OCTOBER 2019

david@obj.ca


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Carney, too, marvels at his friend’s talents as an executive. “That sort of operating expertise, plus the strategic vision, is a pretty rare combination,” he says. Under Goldberg’s disciplined watch, Telesat has become a far more efficient operation. Its operating margins, which languished below 50 per cent when he joined the firm, are now the highest in the industry at 85 per cent. The company’s annual revenues have grown more than 50 per cent to more than $900 million, while its adjusted EBITDA ​– a measure of earnings tech firms like because it takes factors such as depreciation of assets out of the equation ​– has more than doubled over that time, topping $750 million in fiscal 2018. Any way you look at it, Telesat is

monumental shift in technology, thanks to a pivotal decision Goldberg made several years ago. Though Telesat’s revenues from its direct-to-home services were still healthy at that point, he could see storm clouds gathering on the horizon. Customers such as Bell were noticing that what had previously been a steady growth in subscribers was starting to flatline as video streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu were exploding in popularity. “Some years back, we became cognizant of the fact that we could no longer rely on our direct-to-home satellite video market to propel future growth,” says Goldberg, whose casual wardrobe for a meeting with an OBJ reporter –​ jeans and a purple T-shirt featuring his company’s logo ​– perfectly

I think Dan is just the complete CEO. It’s not easy to find CEOs that, you just trust them, you leave them alone and you know they’re going to perform incredibly well because they’re talented. And that’s Dan. ​– Mark Rachesky, chairman of the board at Telesat

one of the world’s pre-eminent satellite firms. Its 16 geostationary satellites have delivered services such as direct-tohome broadcast signals to some of the biggest names in the business, including Bell and the U.S.-based Dish Network. Its 450 global employees –​ about 250 of whom are based at the company’s Elgin Street headquarters –​ include some of the brightest engineering minds in the business, making Telesat the world’s leading satellite consulting organization.

SHIFT IN TECHNOLOGY

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But if Goldberg has his way, all of that is just a prelude to the coming revolution in the way satellites provide ultra-highspeed internet service to customers, even in the most remote parts of the planet. And Telesat is at the forefront of that

reflects his down-to-earth persona. “At the same time, we were seeing growth coming from broadband demand.” What Goldberg sensed was that a new group of potential customers that hadn’t traditionally bought satellite services but needed a way to bring high-speed, reliable internet services to places that can’t be served by fibre-optic networks –​ cruise ships and airliners, for example –​ was about to emerge. He wanted Telesat to be there when they arrived. “There’s a bigger opportunity out there,” says the 54-year-old father of three, who met his wife, Whitney Fox, when they were both attending Harvard Law School. For Goldberg and his colleagues, the challenge was figuring out how best to deliver those services. It really came

down to two options: continuing to build traditional geostationary satellites that orbit about 36,000 kilometres the Earth’s atmosphere, or dramatically changing course to a new technology called low Earth-orbit satellites – LEO for short – that hover a mere 1,000 kilometres above the planet’s surface. “We did a lot of soul-searching around what was the best architecture to capture that demand,” Goldberg says. “Our objective was wanting to develop something that would give us a longterm, sustainable, competitive advantage in the delivery of global broadband connectivity.” After much discussion, Goldberg and his team made the bold decision to refocus the company’s efforts on LEO. It was hardly a slam dunk, however: the technology was still in its infancy and largely untested, it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to design and implement such a program and it would require getting regulatory approval from virtually every country on Earth to install the hundreds of satellites necessary to make the system work. Other than that, it was a breeze. “Where Dan was in his career and the success that he’s had, it might have been safer for him to take a less bold move,” says Michael Schwartz, Telsat’s senior vice-president of corporate and business development. “But Dan feels a lot of responsibility for the people who work at Telesat. We went about it in a very methodical and reasoned manner. We just didn’t decide one day to jump in with both feet. But that was a big decision, and it took a lot of courage to say that we’re going to try and reorient the company and do something that really hasn’t been done before.” The crux of the decision really came down to physics. At a thousand kilometres above the Earth, LEO satellites are 36 times closer to the customers who need their services than traditional dishes. While it takes about 800 milliseconds for communication signals to travel to and from geostationary satellites, Goldberg explains, LEO technology cuts that a mere 15 to 30 milliseconds. The time lag for a signal to be delivered – known in the industry as latency – is lowered dramatically with LEO. Continued on page 30

OCTOBER 2019

aybe the best illustration of Dan Goldberg’s iron will came during a competition he didn’t even win. It was a few years ago, at the London Marathon. Goldberg, the CEO of Ottawabased satellite communications provider Telesat, was in the British capital to visit his good friend Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, and take part in the world-famous race while he was there. But things were not shaping up well for Goldberg, normally a strong runner, that particular spring day. “Dan was as sick as he’s ever been,” recalls Carney, who first met Goldberg when their kids played in the same preschool soccer league in Ottawa nearly 15 years ago. “I thought, well, he’d at least start the race just to have the experience. Remarkably, he finished the whole thing in quite a respectable time.” The admiration in Carney’s voice speaks volumes about Goldberg, as lowkey yet accomplished a business leader as you’ll find in Ottawa, or anywhere in Canada for that matter. Today, as he leads Telesat on a bold new path, Goldberg has set a much loftier goal than making it to the finish line of a 26-mile run: he wants to make his company the No. 1 satellite communications firm on the planet. It’s a race he is determined to win, and few if any of the people who know him well would dare to bet against him. Goldberg’s leadership has earned him OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade’s 2019 CEO of the Year Award. It’s a pick that’s been cheered throughout the business community. “He’s been under the radar, and I think that’s Dan’s personality,” says his friend Harley Finkelstein, the chief operating officer of Shopify. “He’s incredibly modest and humble. But in his world, he is at the epicentre of everything.” Since Goldberg moved to Ottawa to take over Telesat in 2006, the Baltimore native has taken what was already a very successful company to another level. “I think Dan is just the complete CEO,” says Mark Rachesky, chairman of Telsat’s board and another longtime friend. “He understands his company, he understands his employees, he’s got a good grasp of the operations, he’s got a good grasp of the numbers. And then, the most important quality he has, which is hard to find in a CEO, is vision.”


— SPONSORED CONTENT —

Meet Ottawa’s commercial Realtors

Andrew Ouellette, Broker KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY andrewo@kw.com

Bruce Firestone, Broker CENTURY 21 EXPLORER REALTY INC. bruce.firestone@century21.ca

Paul D’Aoust, Salesperson KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY PaulKW411@gmail.com

Carol Bull, Salesperson CENTURY 21 EXPLORER REALTY INC. carol.bull@century21.ca

Dianne Gillette, Broker KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY diannegillette@kw.com

Timothy Lee, Broker CENTURY 21 EXPLORER REALTY INC. timleebroker@gmail.com

Aron Chaney, Broker KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY email@AronChaney.com

Philip L. Zunder, Broker of Record DECATHLON COMMERCIAL REALTY CORPORATION pzunder@decathloncommercial.com

Mitch Gauzas, Salesperson KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY mgauzas@kw.com Michael Lewicki, Broker KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY mike@terrafirmaRE.ca

Angela Augsbury, Broker COLDWELL BANKER RHODES & COMPANY aaugsbury@cbrhodes.com

Suzanne Robinson, Broker CENTURY 21 ACTION POWER TEAM LTD. suzanne@c21apt.com

Joanne Jackson, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY joanne@jacksonbrown.on.ca

Jackie Laurin, Broker DETAILS REALTY INC. jackie@estatebroker.ca

Chad Robinson, Broker CENTURY 21 ACTION POWER TEAM LTD. info@buildottawa.com

Earl Coulas, Broker COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY earlcoulas@rogers.com

Zev Kershman, Broker of Record DIGI BROKERAGE zev@digirealty.com

Pasquale Ricciuti, Broker of Record CENTURY 21 ACTION POWER TEAM LTD. pasquale.ricciuti@century21.ca

Frank Defranco, Broker COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY info@callthedefrancos.com

Charles Mirsky, Broker DISTRICT REALTY CORPORATION charlesmirsky@districtrealty.com

Sheila Devries, Broker CENTURY 21 JOHN DEVRIES LTD. Sheila.DeVries@Century21.ca

Michel Ferlatte, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY pigeonroy@videotron.ca

Andre L. Major, Broker EXP REALTY OF CANADA INC. andre@andremajor.com

Gregory Jarvis, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY greg-jarvis@coldwellbanker.ca

Steve Brouse, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY steve-brouse@coldwellbanker.ca

Steve Gabellini, Broker EXP REALTY OF CANADA INC. steve.gabellini@exprealty.com

Leena Ray, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY leena-ray@coldwellbanker.ca

Jim Devine, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY jedevine@rogers.com

Ken Beaton, Broker EXP REALTY OF CANADA INC. jkbeaton59@gmail.com

Raymond Duhaime, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY raymond-duhaime@coldwellbanker.ca

Tommy Ladouceur, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY tommyladouceur@gmail.com

Frederick Crouch, Broker of Record GENTRY REAL ESTATE SERVICES LIMITED fred@gentryres.com

Raymond Chin, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY raymond-chin@coldwellbanker.ca

Kent Holmes, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY cbsrcommercial@gmail.com

Jim Grimes, Broker of Record GRIMES REALTY CO. LTD. jim@grimesrealty.ca

Ross Webley,Broker of Record COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY ross-webley@coldwellbanker.ca

Ron Bellman, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY bellman@magma.ca

Ernest Szelepcsenyi, Broker GUIDESTAR REALTY CORPORATION kontac@rogers.com

Eric Brennan, Broker of Record NATIONAL CAPITAL REALTY BROKERAGE INC. eric@ericbrennan.ca

Bryan Hummel, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY bryan-hummel@coldwellbanker.ca

Cornell Popyk, Broker COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY cornell.popyk@sympatico.ca

Garry Kerwin, Broker of Record GARRY KERWIN REAL ESTATE LTD. garry@garrykerwin.com

Dan Moloughney, Broker of Record OTTAWA URBAN REALTY INC. Dan@OttawaUrbanRealty.com

Doug Leach,Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY elmerdleach@gmail.com

J.P. (John) Laurin, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY laurinjp@hotmail.com

Shawn Kerwin, Broker of Record KERWIN REALTIES LIMITED sk3838@hotmail.com

Hamid Riahi, Broker POWER MARKETING REAL ESTATE INC. hamid@hamidriahi.com

Patrick O’Keefe,Broker COLDWELL BANKER RHODES & COMPANY pokeefe@cbrhodes.com

Al Abraham, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY alabraham2@hotmail.com

Paul J.Bourque, Broker KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY paul@thecapitalteam.ca

Moe Asanjarani, Broker POWER MARKETING REAL ESTATE INC. MoeOttawa@gmail.com

Christopher Barker, Broker COLDWELL BANKER RHODES & COMPANY cb@RhodesBarker.com

Nantha Aiyadurai, Broker COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY nantha@coldwellbanker.ca

S. Geraldine Taylor, Salesperson KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY sgtaylor@kw.com

Antonio Provenzano, Broker of Record PRO/COM REALTY CORP. tonyp@procomrealty.com

Tony (Anthony) Rhodes, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER RHODES & COMPANY Tony@RhodesBarker.com

Ziad El-ahl, Broker COLDWELL BANKER SARAZEN REALTY ahlziad@gmail.com

Alexander (Sandy) Bill , Broker KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY alex.sandy.bill@gmail.com

Joanne Goneau, Broker of Record RE/MAX ABSOLUTE REALTY INC. joanne@joannegoneau.com

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Guy Lauziere, Broker COLDWELL BANKER RHODES & COMPANY buyandsellwithguy@gmail.com

Pat Nivera, Broker of Record COSMOPOLITAN REALTY INC. cosmotan7140@gmail.com

Allan Cayer, Broker KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY allan@ottawa4you.com

Joe May, Broker RE/MAX AFFILIATES REALTY LTD. mayjoe@rogers.com

David Sugarman, Salesperson COLDWELL BANKER RHODES & COMPANY dsugarman@cbrhodes.com

Ralph Shaw, Broker of Record CENTURY 21 EXPLORER REALTY INC ralph.shaw@century21.ca

Sandra Lee Marques, Salesperson KELLER WILLIAMS INTEGRITY REALTY SandraLee@MarquesTeam.com

Richard Sarault, Salesperson RE/MAX AFFILIATES REALTY LTD. richard@sarault.com

OCTOBER 2019

Juri Kukk, Salesperson CANCORP REALTY INC. juri@cancorprealty.com

Geoff Godding, Salesperson DECATHLON COMMERCIAL REALTY CORPORATION geoffg@decathloncommercial.com

OBJ.CA

“Realtor” is not a job description. It’s trademark that symbolizes the service standards, competence and high ethical practices of Ottawa Real Estate Board Members. The next time you’re thinking commercial real estate, think about OREB’s commercial network:

Marcello Sterlini, Broker CENTURY 21 EXPLORER REALTY INC. marcello.sterlini@c21.ca

Marc Morin, Broker of Record KOBLE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE & BROKERAGE marc@koble.ca Graeme Webster, Broker KOBLE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE & BROKERAGE graeme@koble.ca Sid Uppal, Broker of Record METRO OTTAWA-CARLETON REAL ESTATE LTD. sid@metro-homes.com Subhir Uppal, Broker METRO OTTAWA-CARLETON REAL ESTATE LTD. homes@subhir.com Ravinder Tumber, Salesperson METRO OTTAWA-CARLETON REAL ESTATE LTD. hostindia_ottawa@yahoo.ca Leo St. Jean, Broker of Record MONTDALE ROSE REALTY LTD. lstjean@mdrose.ca Sabita Khandelwal, Broker of Record MUSEUM REALTY LTD. dancingma28@hotmail.com


Winston Penny, Broker RE/MAX CORE REALTY INC. wpenny@remaxcore.com

John Phan, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP john@johnphan.com

Yolande Desjardins, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY yolande@royallepage.ca

Jillian Jarvis, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY jillianjarvisteam@gmail.com

Alex Diaz, Broker RE/MAX CORE REALTY INC. alex@alexandfahim.com

Jason MacDonald, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP jason@mmteam.ca

Joel Edelson, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY joeledelson@royallepage.ca

Eldridge Butch Oldford, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY butch@oldford.ca

Paul O’Reilly, Salesperson RE/MAX CORE REALTY INC. paul.oreilly@remaxcore.com

Perry Pezoulas, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP perryottawa@gmail.com

Wadah Al-Ghosen, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY wadahalghosen@royallepage.ca

Danielle Oakley, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY danielleoakley@royallepage.ca

Manny Agulnik, Broker THE REGIONAL GROUP OF COMPANIES INC. magulnik@regionalgroup.com

Randy Richardson, Broker of Record R.D. RICHARDSON REAL ESTATE LTD. randy@richardsonltd.ca

Bill Edelson, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY edelsonbill@gmail.com

Jagdeep Perhar, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY jagdeep@Perhar.ca

Brent McElheran, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY MCELHERAN & ASSOCIATES mail@brentmcelheran.com

Chris Tremblay, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY christremblay@royallepage.ca

Sam Moussa, Broker of Record RE/MAX ABSOLUTE SAM MOUSSA REALTY sam@sammoussa.com

Jeffrey Gould, Broker THE REGIONAL GROUP OF COMPANIES INC. jgould@regionalgroup.com Leonard Huffman, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP lhuffman@hallmarkottawa.com

Pauline Aunger, Broker of Record ROYAL LEPAGE ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE LTD. paulineaunger@royallepage.ca

Gerard Windle, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP gwindle@hallmarkottawa.com

Eric Van Hofwegen, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY eric@evhcommercial.com

Colleen Rushforth, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP crushforth@hallmarkottawa.com

Chris Coveny, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY chris@ottawamove.com

Brad Closs, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP brad.closs@sympatico.ca

Jeff Daniels, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY jeff.daniels@royallepagecommercial.com

Marc Leduc, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP mleduc@hallmarkottawa.com

Jacques Leblanc, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY jacques@leblancteam.ca

Joel Brodie, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP joel.brodie@hallmarkottawa.com

Paul Major, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY Paul@Arsenault-Major.ca

Mohnish Aggerwal, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP mohnishaggerwal@gmail.com

Brian MacIntyre, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY brianmacintyre@royallepage.ca

Jenniffer Alvarenga, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP jen@jentheagent.com

Joe Oneid, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY joneid@sympatico.ca

Taha Al-Shaikhly, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP taha@hallmarkottawa.com

Dong Donna Sun, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY donnasun@royallepage.ca

Natalie Belovic, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP info@urbanottawa.com

Richard J. Smith, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY richardsmith@royallepage.ca

James Palmer, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP palmjam1@rogers.com

Jack Uppal, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY jackuppal@royallepage.ca Franklin Gordon, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY fgordon1947@gmail.com Charles Bouck, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY info@charlesbouck.com Douglas Stuewe, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY dougstuewe@royallepage.ca Brent Conley, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY brentconley@royallepage.ca Robert Horlick, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY roberthorlick@gmail.com Terry Jaja, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY terryjaja@rogers.com Rocco Disipio, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY rdisipio@royallepage.ca

Darren J.F. Fleming, Broker of Record REAL STRATEGY ADVISORS LTD. dfleming@realstrategy.com Barbara Polowin, Salesperson SUTTON GROUP - OTTAWA REALTY barbarapolowin@gmail.com Wendy Jacques, Broker SUTTON GROUP - OTTAWA REALTY wjacques@sutton.com Mike Hider, Salesperson SUTTON GROUP - OTTAWA REALTY mhider@sympatico.ca J-P Cote-Chartrand, Broker SUTTON GROUP - OTTAWA REALTY jpchartrand@sutton.com Gary Shaker (Shacker), Broker of Record SHAKER REALTY LTD. gary@shakerrealty.ca Troy Robinson, Broker SOLID ROCK REALTY troy@troyrobinson.ca

John Seymour, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY john@seymours.ca

Mario Staltari, Broker of Record STALTARI COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CORP. mario@staltarirealestate.com

Rocco Manfredi, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY rmanfredi@royallepage.ca

John A. Hughes, Broker of Record SYNERCAPITAL INVESTMENT REALTY john@synercapital.ca

Luigi Aiello, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY laiello@royallepage.ca

Karim Mohamed, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY kmohamed@royallepage.ca

Kwesi L. Bourne, Broker SYNERCAPITAL INVESTMENT REALTY kbourne@synercapital.ca

Rick McTiernan, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY mctiernan0303@rogers.com

Tino (Juventino) Marques, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP tino@tinomarques.com

Neil Newton, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY neilnewton@royallepage.ca

Elie El-gharib, Broker of Record U REALTY GROUP INC. eggharib@gmail.com

Cathie Lively, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY cathielively@cathielively.com

Andrew Morrisey, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP andy@bytownbrokers.com

Ian Fortugno, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE PERFORMANCE REALTY ian@performancerealty.ca

Michael Paoletti, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY mpaoletti@royallepage.ca

Harold McKay, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP harold@haroldmckay.com

Ronald Crook, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY RonCrook@royallepage.ca

Leo Grant, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY leo@leogrant.com

Federick Yam, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP federickyam@gmail.com

Shamez Charania, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY royallepageteam@gmail.com

Dennis Devine, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY dennisdevine@rogers.com

Karl Marszowski, Salesperson RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP karl@karlottawa.com

Joseph Assaad, Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY josephassaad@gmail.com

Cindy Sezlik, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY cindy@sezlik.com

Glendon G. Moore, Broker RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP mail@glendonmoore.com

Madat Kara, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY madatkara1@gmail.com

Charles Sezlik, Salesperson ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY charles@sezlik.com

Scott Wilson, Salesperson WAYBRIDGE REALTY INC. scott@lookottawa.ca

John Zinati, Broker of Record ZINATI REALTY INC. john@zinatirealty.com

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Learn how OREB increases confidence among Ottawa commercial real estate buyers and sellers at http://bit.ly/OREB-CRE.

OCTOBER 2019

John Zagerman, Broker of Record JOHN L. ZAGERMAN REAL ESTATE SERVICES john.zagerman@rogers.com


LOCAL BUSINESS

Faris out as Board of Trade president and CEO Head of region’s most prominent business group leaving after six years with organization BY DAVID SALI

david@obj.ca

T

he man who helped spearhead the drive to merge Ottawa’s three chambers of commerce is leaving after more than six years as head of the city’s most prominent business group. The Ottawa Board of Trade said on Sept. 20 that Ian Faris is departing as president and CEO of the organization. In a statement, the board said that Faris, who joined the group in the spring of 2013,

is leaving to “pursue future employment opportunities.� Board chair Ian Sherman highlighted Faris’s efforts to grow the organization’s visibility and membership. “On behalf of the Ottawa Board of Trade’s board of directors, its members and staff, I want to thank Ian for his strong leadership and dedication

to our organization, our business community and our city,� Sherman said in a statement. “We are grateful for his time with us.� Faris did not respond to requests for comment. After earning a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Queen’s University, Faris spent two decades in various roles on Parliament

 

OCTOBER 2019

  

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Hill before joining public relations firm Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Ottawa office as a senior vice-president in 2005. He followed that with a five-and-a-half-year stint as president and CEO of the Brewers Association of Canada before joining the organization then known as the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce in early 2013. Under Faris’s leadership, Ottawa’s three main business lobby groups –​ the Ottawa chamber, the West Ottawa Board of Trade and the OrlĂŠans Chamber of Commerce – amalgamated into the Ottawa Board of Trade in the summer of 2018. The organization now has more than 1,100 members that represent in excess of 30,000 workers in the National Capital Region. The move followed more than a year of negotiations and sometimes contentious debates, but Faris told OBJ last year he felt a single, united organization would have more clout when lobbying various levels of government. “It’s important that the business community speak as a strong voice,â€? he said. “We’re able to better service our membership, we’re better able to represent those members at City Hall, at Queen’s Park and on the Hill in an advocacy


fashion. Frankly, we want to have better, more cohesive policy created in those governments, and we want to be able to help fashion that. I think we can do that with a more consolidated group of businesses.” Under Faris’s watch, the Board of Trade also helped launch the Capital 2020 Task Force aimed at kickstarting momentum for various infrastructure projects, including the LeBreton Flats redevelopment, a light-rail line linking Ottawa and Gatineau, a new Civic Hospital campus and efforts to revitalize the ByWard Market.

‘CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL’ Various local business leaders weighed in on Faris’s departure, calling the former CEO a tireless booster of Ottawa companies and entrepreneurs in sectors from tech to tourism. “Ian was always a consummate professional, whether at a 7 a.m. breakfast or hosting the Best Ottawa Business Awards to all hours in the evening,” Calian chief executive Kevin Ford, who was named Ottawa’s CEO of the Year in 2017, said in an email.

“His passion for ensuring the achievements of the Ottawa business community were highlighted and celebrated was always a priority. He can be proud of the creation of the Ottawa Board of Trade –​ clearly a legacy that will benefit the area for years to come.” One prominent local entrepreneur, however, said that while the outgoing Board of Trade boss excelled at networking and organizing events, he believes the organization needs someone with a different skillset to help guide it through the amalgamation process. “Ian had reached a point where it was time for a change,” said Doug McLarty, a partner in the Ottawa office of accounting firm MNP and the chair of the Capital 2020 Task Force. “You’ve got to have someone who can kind of meld (the three former chambers) and support the different cultures, but at the same time bring it all together. I’m not sure he was the right guy for that.” Sherman said the Board of Trade’s board of directors will begin searching for Faris’s replacement soon, adding the board plans to name an interim president and CEO shortly.

CROWE BGK FOUNDATION PRESENTS

ARC COCKTAIL LOUNGE

(located inside ARC The. Hotel) 140 Slater St. Downtown Ottawa

Join us for Hand crafted cocktails by our in-house mixologist, and some flavourful hors d’oeuvres. Live music/private parties/special events/meetings/ VIP soirees Monday - Friday 4:00pm - 11:00pm Happy Hour 4:00pm - 7:00pm guestservices@arcthehotel.com 613-238-2888

arcthehotel.com

Smash-iT for Cancer raised an incredible $20,000 FOR CANCER

for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation at the first annual Smash-iT table tennis tournament held at the Brookstreet Hotel September 5, 2019!

PING-PONG TOURNAMENT

Special Thanks go out to the Crowe BGK Foundation, founders of the Smash-iT event, participants, sponsors, and donors who have helped to change thousands of lives in our community.

In Kind Sponsors:

Conte Financial Services Advanced Air Quality Groupe Dorval Sources Tim Hortons Abbott Environmental Lloyd Douglas Solutions

Ottawa Table Tennis Club Shane Bahmann Digital Video Services Photolux Megan Design Anna Bélanger & Associates Registered Massage Therapy

27 OBJ.CA

Friends of Smash-iT:

OCTOBER 2019

We want to thank the following organizations in our community who contributed to the success of Smash-iT


SPONSORED CONTENT

The tools to become a founder … or a rock star for one uOttawa’s Telfer School of Management preps students for a world driven by entrepreneurship and innovation

E

ntrepreneurship is a tough grind. For a young person considering that path, straight talk and blunt truth about the road ahead is just as valuable as building a network and understanding the fundamentals of growing a business. It’s also important for business school grads to have an understanding and appreciation for how distinctly different it can be to work with a startup or growthstage company versus a more mature one. That’s why the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management has rethought, and retooled, its entrepreneurship programs and is working to instill entrepreneurship content and thinking into undergraduate and MBA programs. This is a departure from the traditional model, where curricula would focus on training the next generation of middle managers for well-established corporations. “The greatest creator of job growth today is young companies and startups,” said Stephen Daze, Telfer’s Dom Herrick Entrepreneur in Residence. “Even if a student doesn’t start their own business, odds are they will go to work in a startup environment that demands innovation and creativity. Our approach is as much about creating this innovative mindset among students as it is about creating an entrepreneurial one.”

OCTOBER 2019

‘AN INCREDIBLE SET OF EXPERIENCES’

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This approach attracted alumnus Elizabeth AudetteBourdeau, who had launched three startups by the time she graduated from Telfer. Her latest is Welbi, which helps senior living communities deliver exceptional and unique life experiences for residents. Welbi’s state-of-the-art recreational platform is poised for a rollout to more than 265 residences across North America.

TELFER ALUMNI STEP UP FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP Dedicated entrepreneurship capacity at the Telfer School of Management is possible thanks to the Dom Herrick Entrepreneurin-Residence (EiR) position, created from a donation by Telfer alumni Rob Ashe, former CEO of Cognos and GM of Business Analytics for IBM, and Sandra Herrick, chartered accountant and financial advisor. Stephen Daze, Telfer’s Dom Herrick Entrepreneur in Residence, is founder of the Agawa Entrepreneurship Group, Canada’s top entrepreneurship-focused training organization, and former Executive Director of the OCRI Entrepreneurship Centre. During her time at Telfer, Audette-Bourdeau took advantage of a rich ecosystem and support network of peers, access to student clubs, counsel from advisors and lecturers with practical and real-world experience, and the mentorship of Daze himself. This also included an eye-opening trip to Silicon Valley with Telfer’s Executive MBA candidates, getting involved with uOttawa’s Startup Garage, and working with a co-op program that allowed her to employ fellow students in her ventures. “The knowledge and perspective I gained gave me the basis to go on and build Welbi,” she said. “It’s all been an incredible set of experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone, let me make amazing connections and continues to give me the support I need to grow as a business owner.”

Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau had launched three startups by the time she graduated from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. A PASSION FOR BUSINESS It’s been a busy four years for Telfer student Logan MacPherson. He has pursued the coop program, which has given him practical business experience with Giant Tiger and Nokia and the opportunity to develop his own venture with his brother (Point3D Commercial Imaging) through Startup Garage. He’s taken part in the entrepreneur clubs supported by Telfer. And he’s gained invaluable experience through startup pitch competitions and by sharing the entrepreneurial journey with his peers. “What uOttawa is doing to support entrepreneurship and give students like me the opportunity to explore it in a practical and hands-on way is unmatched when you look at other universities,” he said. “Some do offer some kind of entrepreneurial support, but not to the degree that uOttawa does.”

ARE YOU READY? If you are interested in going to a school for entrepreneurship, or preparing to work in a startup environment, there’s no better place to pursue your business degree than at uOttawa’s Telfer School of Management.

OBJ360 CONTENT STUDIO

Learn more at www.telfer.uottawa.ca


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CEO OF THE YEAR Continued from page 23

OCTOBER 2019

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To a layman, it’s all the blink of an eye. But when you’re trying to complete an e-commerce transaction, for example, every one-thousandth of a second counts when reams of data are being sent back and forth around the world.​ “What we ultimately decided to do – and it’s not gonna sound particularly revolutionary – is to listen to our customers,” Goldberg says. “Our customers, for years and years and years, have been telling us that latency is a real, real problem. It drove us to LEO. You can’t achieve low latency with your satellites 36,000 kilometres above the Earth. “If you really want to tackle the big broadband global connectivity market, you’ve got to show up with something that looks like, smells like, operates like fibre. The apps that (customers) use just need to seamlessly work. “We believe if we can’t adapt our network to keep up with that … we don’t think that our future is going to be terribly bright. The good news is we think that the technologies that allow us to do this are ready for prime time now. I think we saw this earlier than some. Now our challenge is going to be to bring it to market timely and in a way that’s powerful. We could get there faster with a less capable solution. I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.” Over the past five years, Telesat has poured millions of dollars into its LEO program, launching its first low-Earth orbit satellite in early 2018. The LEO constellation will ultimately consist of 298 devices that will circle the globe, providing high-speed service to virtually every part of the world. The federal government has climbed on board as a major partner in the project, signing a deal earlier this summer to pay Telesat $600 million over the next 10 years to provide bandwidth aimed at providing high-speed internet service to rural customers in areas where fibre isn’t an option. The feds are also chipping in $85 million towards R&D for the program. “They get how important it is in a

Dan Goldberg has become one the region’s most respected CEOs. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

21st-century economy to have good broadband connectivity for everybody,” says Goldberg. “Our constellation can solve that.” Still, there are plenty of other highflying corporate titans vying to dominate the LEO universe. The list includes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of Tesla, whose company SpaceX has ambitious plans to deploy thousands of low-orbit satellites by the mid-2020s. But if Goldberg is looking over his shoulder, he’s hiding it well. “I think where we have a very significant advantage is our very deep understanding of the markets that we’re focused on serving, of the technology that we believe that we need to deploy to be successful. We’ve got a lot of experience in this market, and I think that we’re extremely well-positioned,” he says with a smile. “If we’re successful – and we are, as you can imagine, super focused on being successful – we will grow our revenue by multiples. It will put Telesat in a whole new league. Right now, we’re one of the largest satellite operators in the world. If we’re successful here, we very much would be positioned to be the largest. That’s our ambition.” Rachesky shares his friend’s confidence in the project.

“He’s really done an incredible job getting LEO where it is today,” he says. “It’s not easy to find CEOs that, you just trust them, you leave them alone and you know they’re going to perform incredibly well because they’re talented. And that’s Dan.”

TRUSTED MENTOR Friends will tell you Goldberg is modest to a fault. Fittingly, he credits his father Henry – a pioneer in the field of satellite regulation who was general counsel in the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy in the early 1970s and later launched his own highly successful law firm in the D.C. area – for being the ultimate role model as he was forging his own career. A self-described “indifferent student” in high school, Goldberg graduated with highest honours from the University of Virginia before attending Harvard, where his classmates included an aspiring lawyer from Chicago named Barack Obama. After cutting his legal teeth at his father’s firm, he moved into the satellite field as an in-house counsel at a firm called PanAmSat. Later, he joined European satellite firm New Skies as general counsel, quickly rising up the ranks to become chief operating officer and ultimately CEO of the Netherlandsbased company.

In 2006, soon after New Skies was sold to Luxembourg-based competitor SES, Goldberg and his family – which by then included three children – decided it was time to relocate back to North America to be closer to their extended family. As fortune would have it, a headhunter called right at that time with the opportunity at Telesat. Goldberg felt it would be a good fit and said yes. Thirteen years later, it’s turned out to be among the best of many great decisions he’s made. Goldberg, Fox and their kids – Grace, now 18, Claire, 16, and Jack, 14 – became Canadian citizens in 2016, and the family has put down firm roots in its adopted hometown. Goldberg and Fox have become a ubiquitous presence at charitable events supporting local causes such as the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, and he has become an invaluable source of insight and encouragement to a new generation of entrepreneurs that includes Finkelstein, whose office is right next door at 150 Elgin. “I speak to Dan every single day,” the Shopify exec says. “It sounds kind of crazy, but I do. Dan is usually the phone call that I make on my way home and sort of run a problem by him, see how he’s doing and also see if he can help me … and how I can work through my own issues. It’s just been this wonderful relationship. Over time, actually, Dan has become almost more like family to me than he has become a friend and a mentor.” Rachesky is quick to agree. “He’s a great dad, great husband,” he says of Goldberg. “He’s just an all-around good guy.” Told of such accolades, Goldberg just shrugs and offers a sheepish smile. When asked what really defines him, his answer is simple and straightforward: “Family and friends.” Ottawa, he says, has become his home, and he sounds like a man who wouldn’t want it any other way. “It’s been a great place for my family to grow up,” Goldberg says, admiring the spectacular view of the capital from his corner office on the 21st floor of Place Bell. “People here are just … they’re world-class people. We consider ourselves just unbelievably lucky to have landed here in this community.” He can rest assured the feeling is mutual.


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OTTAWA TALENT SUMMIT

‘People are looking for how to tap into their talents’ Local employers must help workers feel more engaged if city wants to win global battle for skilled labour, experts say BY MAUREEN MCEWAN Special to OBJ

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ith unemployment in the National Capital Region near a record low and competition for skilled labour more fierce than ever in many sectors, employers need to find ways to create a “bigger sense of belonging” among workers, an Ottawa HR expert says. Finding the right people in a tight talent market is a major challenge for many companies, says James Baker, the

co-founder and CEO of Ottawa-based understood by potential candidates executive search firm Keynote Group. or employees,” Baker explained at the Employers need to be “present in the inaugural Ottawa Talent Summit, an eyes of the candidate market,” he said, event hosted by the Ottawa Board of by clearly communicating what they are Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal about, what they stand for and what it is at Kanata’s Brookstreet Hotel on Sept. 23 like to work for them. and 24. “Organizations are responsible That requires a concerted effort that for ensuring that the right messages goes beyond just posting job openings are getting out there and they are and instead convinces potential new controlling the narrative, to a certain hires that they will have a clear sense of degree, so that they are being properly at a new employer, he added. Ad Size: mission 9.67”

“It is important for HR professionals, recruitment professionals to always consider the marketing and the communication of the values and the purpose of an organization,” Baker said. “It’s not about a one-time instance of posting a job and waiting for somebody to apply. It’s an ongoing, potentially, marketing challenge you’re taking on. “Getting the right people in, so that they’re engaged and (they’ve) bought into your purpose and your vision, becomes crucial because there’s that bigger sense of belonging.” Executive coach Craig Dowden, author of the book Do Good to Lead Well: The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership, echoed that sentiment. “Everyone talks about the war for top talent and how do we recruit the best and the brightest,” he said in an interview with OBJ. “(Workers) are looking for an organization with a purpose and they are looking for an organization with a clear and powerful ‘why.’ And they want to be there not just to do a job. It’s really to get behind a movement, if you will. And people are looking for how to tap into their talents,

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be at their best, and leaders are essential around that.” Representatives from a range of industries joined together with at the two-day event to discuss a common interest: how to recruit and retain the best employees and make sure the National Capital Region keeps pace in the global race for top-notch talent.

‘IMPORTANT FIRST STEP’ Baker said the event shows that the region’s business leaders are taking the issue seriously. “It was the first time that we really managed to get all those people around the table, in one room for a discussion,” said Baker, who co-chairs the Ottawa Board of Trade’s talent committee and was a keynote speaker on Sept. 24. “So, I think that’s an important first step because we know from the Business Growth Survey that talent is a fundamental concern, a fundamental priority for every organization in the city. So that for me was the key objective and the upside, on top of that, is that there was a lot of good information that we shared.”

The event kicked off on Sept. 23 with the 13th annual Employees’ Choice Awards, which recognize businesses with the best results in an employee engagement survey conducted by OBJ and the Board of Trade. For the first time, the top 10 recipients were ranked, with security technology firm Solink coming in at No. 1. It’s the third year in a row that Solink has been named an ECA recipient. Following Solink were Rewind, Alphabet Creative, InGenius Software, GGFL, NewFound Recruiting, Brookstreet Hotel and The Marshes Golf Club, BriteSky Technologies, Syntronic Research and Development Canada and Mindwire Systems. Baker said he hopes the event motivates industries and organizations in Ottawa-Gatineau to come together more often to discuss pressing issues. “For us, the next step is to not make this just a one-time event. There should be ongoing conversations about how we can work collectively to get more people to consider Ottawa home –​ the place they work, the place they live, the place that they play as well.”

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Hobin Architecture Announces New Associates Hobin Architecture celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier in 2019, with the themes revolving around Origins and Horizons. Our team is evolving but our values remain the same. With that, we are proud to announce the promotion of three important members of our family:

Rheal Labelle, OAA joined the firm in 2008 and has been a central figure in the firm’s developing design brand. Rheal has been involved with the design of projects large and small, from custom homes to large-scale urban redevelopments and city building projects.

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Melanie Lamontagne, OAA, MRAIC joined the firm in 2008 and has taken a leadership role on a number of institutional projects in and around the Ottawa area. Melanie is noted for her experience designing for different age groups, from schools and daycares to retirement and long-term care.

OCTOBER 2019

Patrick Bisson, OAA, MRAIC joined the firm in 2010 and has since been involved with a number significant projects in the not-for-profit sector for clients such as the Salvation Army, The Bridge Church and CCOC. He is also deeply involved with major mixeduse developments such as Zibi and Gloucester Frontier.


SPONSORED CONTENT

OTTAWA HOMEBUILDERS PIVOTING TO RENTALS, TAPPING INTO GROWING TENANT DEMAND Cardel Homes hires Sleepwell to manage and market Blackstone townhome development in Kanata South

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OCTOBER 2019

est known locally as a builder of houses and condos for sale, Cardel Homes recently tapped into the growing demand for high-quality rental properties with its new 76-unit Blackstone townhouse development in Kanata South. “There’s a demographic that’s struggling to get into the home ownership market,” says Tanya Buckley, vice-president of sales and marketing at Cardel Homes. “Others are choosing to rent for lifestyle reasons. “When we looked at the market, it was very clear that there was a demand for rental (properties).” But having long specialized in selling new homes, the Cardel team was somewhat new to the rental industry, and soon found itself in need of a little help when it came to the leasing and management of these Blackstone units. After carefully considering several firms in the region, Cardel sought the aid of Sleepwell Property Management, one of Ottawa’s largest third-party property managers. “Cardel approached us in the winter of 2017,” recounts Adam Pearce, vice-president of sales at Sleepwell. “Projects of this nature require a lot of attention at the beginning phase of the development – then of course thereafter is managing the day-to-day operations. “It’s not the first time we’ve done this,” he adds. “We’ve got a process. It’s not like we’re learning as we go. We know what we’re doing.”

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OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

Buckley says Sleepwell’s experience was a major factor in Cardel’s choice to manage both the Blackstone townhouse community as well as the homebuilder’s 36-unit Kol condo development, adding that this wealth of experience has been on full display as the firm stickhandled the inevitable issues that pop up throughout the process.

Adam Pearce, vice-president of sales at Sleepwell Property Management, and his colleagues worked with Tanya Buckley, vice-president of sales and marketing at Cardel Homes, to rent the homebuilder’s Blackstone townhouse community and Kol condo development in Kanata South. One common difficulty that often occurs on large projects of this type is filling finished rental units while the larger site is still under construction. “They were going to have to work with us during the construction period, which was going to be challenging,” Buckley says. “(The issue was) keeping those tenants serviced and happy. “I think both parties knew it would be challenging and they’ve worked with us through that.” Moving tenants into an unfinished development is not always easy, but failure to do simply equates to lost revenue — something Pearce and Sleepwell are always determined to avoid. “If you can fill those units from day one, that’s revenue in your pocket,” he continues. “If you can’t (and) you lose that revenue ... it’s going to affect your profit margins.”

Pearce says the key is developing relationships with tenants, managing their expectations and concerns as well as staying focused on the long-term outcome. “Once the project has finished, then you can do all the landscaping, the asphalt for the driveways. Then it’s a beautiful project,” he says.

A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP

Despite the challenges typical of a project of this scale, Buckley and Cardel have been very happy with Sleepwell’s efforts. The company seamlessly managed the 76 units as a team, drawing upon experienced specialists to handle all aspects of the project. “Our working relationship with Sleepwell has been very, very good,” Buckley says. “They’ve been consummate professionals, and they’ve added a lot of value.”

Are you a landlord? Learn how Sleepwell Property Management can maximize your ROI:

https://sleepwellmanagement.com OBJ360 CONTENT STUDIO


WOMENINBUSINESS

Ashley Hopkins, the new owner and CEO of Paradigm Properties, manages 15 commercial buildings in Ottawa. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Paradigm Properties CEO hoping to give Market new lease on life BY DAVID SALI

david@obj.ca

Today, the 35-year-old native of Carleton Place is the new owner and CEO of Paradigm Properties, a real estate management firm her aunt, Louise Radmore, launched in 1996. It’s a job that seems particularly well-suited to Hopkins, who calls herself both a workaholic and

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ack when she was employed at a ByWard Market nightclub in the early 2000s, Ashley Hopkins and her co-workers would pass the time by

dreaming up ways of making the tourist mecca more lively. “We used to stare at the building and come up with goofy ideas about what we could do with it,” she recalls. “That was 15 years ago. And nothing’s changed.”

OCTOBER 2019

Property management firm’s new owner says William Street pilot project just the start of efforts to revitalize historic downtown tourist district

a “geek” when it comes to issues such as infrastructure-building and city planning. “It’s such a dynamic industry,” Hopkins says. “I can be on a roof one day doing an inspection, and then I’m in a boardroom the next day. You don’t know what your day is going to entail, and I think that’s really why I love it.” In fact, Hopkins –​ who joined Paradigm in late 2010 after returning to Canada from a five-year stint running restaurants and nightclubs in England –​ liked working there so much she bought the company. Already a partner in the firm, she assumed full ownership in late June after her aunt decided to retire following a long and successful real estate career. It’s not a path Hopkins initially even considered when she first returned from her stay abroad nine years ago. But she needed a job, and Radmore needed administrative help in her office. It turned out to be a perfect match. “I’d say two months (after starting), I knew I wasn’t going anywhere,” says Hopkins, who studied police foundations at a private college after graduating high school before deciding a career in law enforcement wasn’t for her. “I fell head over heels for the job.” Diligent and detail-oriented, Hopkins quickly took to the often-mundane but vital task of doing due diligence on rental properties – that is, poring over leasing documents and financial statements to figure out what type of investments would make a property more attractive from a tenants’ perspective while generating healthier returns for Paradigm. “I love puzzles,” she says with enthusiasm. “I remember (Radmore) handing me boxes of (documents). She’d be like, ‘You know what our budget looks like. You’ve got to figure out how to create this and redo it.’ I would throw myself into (doing) diligence.” Her affinity for digging into the details of leases led to a role in investment management. Hopkins quickly became adept at crunching numbers to figure out if a particular property was financially viable to buy and lease out. Continued on page 38


At Norton Rose Fulbright, women are at the forefront of our success. Our Ottawa lawyers are innovative, intuitive leaders, inspirational mentors and dedicated advisors who speak your language. Collaborating with our Canadian and international colleagues, we provide the highest quality legal services covering major practice areas and key industries from the nation’s capital. Named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the last two years and certified platinum for gender parity, we have built a solid internal culture of inclusivity, unity and integrity.

OCTOBER 2019

Law around the world nortonrosefulbright.com

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WOMENINBUSINESS BOARD 2019-2020 PRESIDENT

Jessica Keats HEALER • CONSULTANT • SECRET WEAPON CEO – TrustedWiz

VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

Abbie Sizer

Associate Private Banker – BMO Private Banking

VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

Victoria Stewart

Account executive Ottawa Business Journal

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Soula Burrell

PRESIDENT’S LETTER The WBN is moving into its second year of growth. During the 2019-20 term, we will continue to incorporate strategic changes that will increase the size and diversity of our membership. We are building on programming initiated in the last year, as well as looking at new ways to better serve both our professional and entrepreneurial segments. We are stepping forward to lead the 2020 Women in Business Conference (womeninbusinessconference.ca) in addition to evolving and expanding the 2020 Businesswoman of the Year Awards (thebyas.ca). Our board’s overall goal is to increase our presence and voice in the business community, and we are well on our way. It is a great time to be involved with the WBN! The welcoming nature of the WBN drew me in during the spring of 2014, and I have been an active member ever since. The WBN gave me a place to grow as a woman in business and strengthen skills I would

not have been able to practise as a solopreneur. Taking on leadership roles within the WBN has made me a more confident and accomplished businesswoman in every way. I am very grateful for the friendship and mentorship I have found here. My experience inspires me to make it a priority to foster the WBN community during this period of growth and change. May you always enjoy a friendly greeting and a warm community embrace when you visit the WBN, and may this experience encourage you to become a member too.

Jessica Keats President Women’s Business Network

TREASURER

Jennifer Baldwin, CPA, CA Manager, Assurance & Advisory Services – GGFL, LLP

CORPORATE SECRETARY

Lisa Duncan

WBN MAJOR EVENTS SEPT. 9 – OCT. 31, 2019

Nominations for the Businesswoman of The Year Awards

OCT. 10, 2019

Owner - STAY or GO STAGING

CHAIR OF EVENTS

Visit thebyas.ca to submit your nomination today.

5:30-8 p.m. Sheraton Hotel, 150 Albert St. https://wbn.wildapricot.org/widget/ event-3460714

Christina Pliatsika Events Coordinator, Collab Space

Women in Politics

CHAIR OF MEMBERSHIP

Diana Lidstone

Growth Strategist for Talented Business Owners

CHAIR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Heidi Duchesne

Commercial Account Manager – RBC Royal Bank

Deborah Bard

FEB. 13, 2020

MARCH 4, 2020

6:30-8:30 p.m. Sala San Marco Event and Conference Centre, 215 Preston St.

Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, 200 Coventry Rd.

BYAs finalists’ cocktail reception

Women In Business conference

APRIL 23, 2020

BYAs gala

6-10 p.m. Infinity Convention Centre, 2901 Gibford Dr.

CEO - Deborah Bard Consulting

CHAIR OF NOMINATIONS

Hiba Kukaswadia, CPA, CA

OCTOBER 2019

CHAIR OF GALA

SAVE THE DATES

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Financial Controller at Joule Inc.

OBJ.CA

For more information on events and registrations please visit womensbusinessnetwork.ca/official-wbn-events


WOMENIN BUSINESS Here’s a tired entity that has so much potential that just needed help. It’s no disrespect to anyone before me, but the tenants just needed, as cheesy as it sounds, a hug.

OCTOBER 2019

– Ashley Hopkins, owner and chief executive of Paradigm Properties, on taking over management of 55 ByWard Market Square

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Continued from page 35 “You literally create a model of what the building is currently and what the building needs and what the costs will be for the next five, 10 years to get it to the investment level that you want it to be at,” she explains. “That just became my focus.” When Hopkins first bought a share of the company two years ago, she created a to-do list that included winning back some clients who’d left the firm, upgrading its accounting software and streamlining its management processes. The changes began paying dividends almost immediately. “We just started growing,” she says. “People just kept throwing us opportunities. How do you say no?” Today, Hopkins and her staff of 10 manage 15 commercial sites around the city from the firm’s new office in Hintonburg. Two of those properties are in the ByWard Market, where Paradigm is the landlord at the city-owned buildings at historic 55 ByWard Market Square and nearby 70 Clarence St. As the manager of the most important commercial properties in Ottawa’s most popular tourist district, Hopkins feels a certain responsibility to revitalize a neighbourhood she believes has lost some of its lustre.

‘A REALLY GOOD CHALLENGE’ She and Jeff Darwin, the head of the notfor-profit Ottawa Markets organization that oversees the area’s operation, are now working together on projects to make the ByWard Market more pedestrian-friendly. That includes a pilot program that banned cars from a one-block stretch of

William Street this summer, turning the road into a sort-of public square with Muskoka chairs, picnic tables, food stands and children’s games, including a giant version of Connect Four. For Hopkins – who first started imagining new concepts for the Market all those years ago while working at a nightclub – the William Street project is just the first step toward making the district the go-to destination for families, shoppers and tourists. “Here’s a tired entity that has so much potential that just needed help. It’s no disrespect to anyone before me, but the tenants just needed, as cheesy as it sounds, a hug,” she says with a laugh. “They needed people to listen to them and help them figure out their business issues and that sort of stuff. It was a really good challenge. The geek in me got to come out again.” Hopkins has heard some merchants complain that restricting parking and vehicular traffic will take a bite out of their bottom lines – criticisms she doesn’t necessarily buy. “It needs to be more of an inclusive place. I can’t see how bringing tens of thousands of people down to have fun would hurt business.” As for as her long-term plans for her own company, Hopkins says she’s always willing to consider adding to Paradigm’s portfolio – but not at the expense of the personal relationships she’s developed with her existing clients over the years. “I’m not looking to become the international REIT. I think there’s enough of those,” she says. “If I grow too quickly, I risk losing everything I’ve built. And I like what I’ve built.”


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for practical solutions for employees and employers to common workplace issues

Employment Law Minute hosts John Scholes, left, and Alex Lucifero, partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP

Cannabis at work: What’s changed, one year later?

OCTOBER 2019

Delivering and responding to workplace discipline

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EmploymentLawMinute.ca | Help@EmploymentLawMinute.ca | 1-855-821-5900

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OBJ.Social is supported by the generous patronage of Mark Motors, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties and Bruyère Foundation. STORIES AND PHOTOS BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

EVENT

Hospital’s mental health campaign reaps $464K from farm gala Cinq-Mars, who is married to Tomlinson Group president Kevin CinqMars, has been voluntarily fundraising for the hospital’s foundation since it launched its campaign in 2016. The mother of three has also been courageously raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental illness. Cinq-Mars expressed her gratitude

to: the campaign’s honorary co-chairs, retired Ottawa Senators player Chris Phillips and his wife, Erin; Ottawa philanthropists Barbara Crook and Dan Greenberg from Accora Village; Kathy Turner and Denis Daoust; and to the city councillors who served as fundraising ambassadors for the campaign. She gave a special shout-out to her friends Mark

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE Visit

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Saunders and Angela Grant Saunders, who run Saunders Farm and hosted the event only two days before their popular and busy Haunting Season began. Cinq-Mars received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the room and a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation interim president and CEO Judith Scott. Cinq-Mars donated to the live auction an apple pie that she lovingly made herself with hand-picked apples. It was sold off by auctioneer Ryan Watson from Raising the Bid. The fruity dessert sparked a bidding war that was won by Cinq-Mars’s dear friend Shelley Harrison. She paid $9,500. “That’s one expensive pie,” quipped emcee Jason MacDonald, sales representative with RE/MAX. Organizers also held a Fund a Need auction to bring in extra pledges. Both Crook and Kyle MacHutchon, owner of Inverness Homes, were the first to donate, giving $25,000 each, before additional contributions began coming in, raising $188,250.

OCTOBER 2019

Saunders Farm unofficially became the most bountiful farmland in the region on Sept. 19 ​– not for the few crops that it harvests each year but for the generous amounts of money raised that night for the Queensway Carleton Hospital and its mental health campaign. The sold-out Harvesting Hope at the Farm benefit was presented by Tomlinson Group. It drew a denim- and plaidwearing cream-of-the-crop crowd of 450 to the 100-acre agri-tourism destination located in the village of Munster in the southwest corner of Ottawa. Guests chowed down inside the picturesque party tent while seated at long tables, just like one big family. The gala grossed $464,127, which will go toward the west-end hospital’s $6-million Hopes Rising campaign to expand and renovate its acute mental health unit. With the campaign nearing completion, organizers hope to have shovels in the ground by next spring. Now, it wasn’t just the corn that was all ears when returning gala chair Sara Cinq-Mars addressed the room.


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OBJ.Social is supported by the generous patronage of Mark Motors, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties and Bruyère Foundation. STORIES AND PHOTOS BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

FUNDRAISER

Mike McCann memorial golf tourney scores whopping $758k for charity Good luck finding a charity golf tournament that’s on par with the kind of success that CLV Group’s Mike McCann Memorial enjoyed in mid-September at the Meadows Golf & Country Club. “We’re going to raise a heck of a lot of money tonight,” Mike McGahan, CEO of CLV Group and InterRent REIT, told the sold-out crowd that packed the clubhouse for dinner on Sept. 12. He wasn’t exaggerating. The net total came to $758,375. That’s believed to be the highest amount ever raised, without a matching dollar program, at any golf tournament in the region. Those

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funds will help at least 10 non-profit organizations, including the Ottawa Hospital Foundation. The inspiration behind it all: Mike McCann. McCann, who owned marketing firm Velocity Media, was the driving force behind CLV Group’s Ron Kolbus Memorial Charity Golf Tournament for many years. It raised more than $3.2 million by the time the benefit wrapped up in 2017 after 20 years. Sadly, McCann, 63, passed away in February from cancer. “He was just an amazing individual,” McGahan told the room. “He was a really genuine person.”


EVENT

Secret Garden gala opens doors for kids at Boys and Girls Club Don’t let the name fool you –​ A Night in the Secret Garden was not meant to be a covert and quiet affair. The brand new gala for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa burst onto the social scene in late August without any trace of secrecy. Rather, the benefit got its fun and lively message across so loud and clear that bylaw even dropped by. Nearly 400 supporters arrived to the marvellous party via a giant keyholeshaped entrance. The evening was all about delicious food and drinks, casual mingling and conversation, fun games and activities, live music and unabashed dancing in support of the non-profit organization. Thanks to the generous sponsors and guests, $150,000 will be invested into

the club’s free programming supporting local at-risk children and youth. The evening featured live music by the Jackson Miles Band and food stations from such reputable restaurants as La Bottega, Riviera, Beckta, Coconut Lagoon, North & Navy and Pure Kitchen, along with desserts from Maverick Donuts and Sundae School. The fundraiser was chaired by Mr. Hospitality himself, Stephen Beckta. He’s the owner of Beckta Dining & Wine, along with its sister restaurants, Play and Gezellig. He’s also the board chair of the BGCO. The club reaches out to 4,500 local children and youth each year, providing them after-school, weekend and summer programming at no cost.

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OBJ.Social is supported by the generous patronage of Mark Motors, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties and Bruyère Foundation. STORIES AND PHOTOS BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

EVENT

Purple Tie Gala offers glamour, glitz and good times – all for a great cause

OCTOBER 2019

Cornerstone Housing for Women’s inaugural Purple Tie Gala was full of style and splendour, with a light dose of comic relief, as partygoers turned out to the Ottawa Art Gallery on Sept. 14 to help homeless women in our community. The first-time benefit attracted a sold-out crowd of more than 300, many of whom arrived in their prettiest eyepopping purple attire and accessories. Not only is purple a trendy hue these days, but it’s a colour for symbolizing women internationally. Cornerstone Housing for Women provides emergency shelter and safe, affordable permanent housing for

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women in Ottawa. Many women turn to Cornerstone for help as the result of abuse and trauma, job loss, poverty, mental health challenges and addictions. Its goal is to help its clients rebuild their lives so they can have the hope and confidence to make a fresh start. The Purple Tie Gala netted nearly $50,000. That’s a big step up from former fundraisers, which raised between $20,000 and $25,000 for Cornerstone. Longtime supporter Frank Sukhoo of Sukhoo Sukhoo Couture –​ whose annual garden party fashion shows for Cornerstone were legendary ​– was back to lend his support. He dazzled arriving guests with a fashion installation that stretched up the first-floor staircase. Guests continued up to the third-floor Alma Duncan Salon, which was adorned with orchids and other flowers. There, attendees were served beer from major sponsor Flora Hall Brewing, signature cocktails from Top Shelf Distillers, wine by Château des Charmes and food from the OAG’s Jackson Café. What an absolute delight it was to have CBC newscaster Lucy van Oldenbarneveld host the gala with

loveable community builder Joseph Cull as his outrageous drag persona, Dame Edna. She made her conspicuous grand entrance to the 1980 Diana Ross disco hit I’m Coming Out. Joanne Livingston and Alan MacDonald, vice-presidents and portfolio managers at Livingston MacDonald Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities, served as presenting sponsors. Serving as gala patron was British High Commissioner Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, who, unfortunately, had to miss the gala. Diplomatic duty called her to Halifax for the arrival of the Royal Navy’s largest warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Le Jeune d’Allegeershecque spoke with sincerity, via video message, of how proud she was to be associated with the gala and its cause of finding safe and secure homes for women. Attendees included Peter John Hobbs, the director of mission for the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and retired Cornerstone executive director Sue Garvey, who just received the Key to the City of Ottawa. The organization’s new ED is Kia Rainbow.


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Emerging materials hold promise of a more sustainable future uOttawa Faculty of Engineering researchers tackle real-world problems

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esearch teams at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering are always busy trying to solve the pressing problems we face today, to ensure a sustainable future. For example: Converting CO2 into gasoline In the Faculty of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Prof. Elena Baranova works to overcome the critical challenges we face with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making alternative fuel sources commercially feasible. One area of focus is engineering “nanoparticle catalysts” that can convert that maligned greenhouse gas, CO2, into a liquid fuel. That’s right – create diesel or gasoline that can be used in a conventional automobile engine. The intent is to use these nanoparticle catalysts with hydrogen to convert carbon dioxide into water and a high-quality carbon monoxide that is suitable to be made into fuel. Prof. Baranova and her team are working with Natural Resources Canada on a scale-up facility to prove the commercial potential of their Made in Canada solution.

reacted with CO2 to produce liquid fuels.” Conventional water electrolysis requires a quite expensive catalyst for the reaction to occur – platinum. “Advances in technology have significantly reduced the amount of platinum necessary, but cost and supply issues remain a big hurdle,” she said. The Holy Grail is to replace platinum with another cheaper metal. In this case, that metal is abundant Canadian nickel. Considering that the going market rate for platinum is around $1,200 an ounce, while nickel goes for about 65 cents an ounce, the benefits are obvious. Growing sustainable building materials Over in the Department of Civil Engineering, Professor Reza Foruzanmehr is investigating ways to boost the sustainability of the construction industry by converting readily available and local biomass – such as agricultural waste – into building materials. This will help in reducing Canada’s escalating greenhouse gas emissions from the building materials manufacturing industry, which is currently responsible for six per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. “Canada’s population is projected to increase by 50 per cent by 2036,” he said. “We will need to build a lot of new housing and that will create a demand for building materials and may lead to shortages.” Prof. Foruzanmehr hopes to help communities in Canada’s North to become more self-sufficient and sustainable by decreasing dependence on building materials that often need to be flown in at a great expense.

Learn more What other cool areas of research are underway at uOttawa’s Faculty of Engineering? Find out at engineering.uOttawa.ca

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Ensuring economic independence “If we can provide remote communities with a means to create, locally, the materials needed to build and repair homes, communities could become more socially and economically independent,” he said. “This is a goal of sustainable development.” The looming supply-demand issue for Canada as a whole applies to wood as well as engineered materials such as gypsum board. Demand for wood in construction could soon outstrip the rate at which new stock can grow to maturity. One alternative to wood that Prof. Foruzanmehr is investigating is flax straw. Canada currently produces 1.2 million tonnes of flax straw annually. More than 75 per cent of this is discarded because it is the flax seed, not the stalk, that is valued. Flax straw’s availability and relative strength make it an ideal material that could be used to make reinforced composites for cladding building exteriors and for structural components.

OCTOBER 2019

Producing ‘green’ hydrogen Another area of Prof. Baranova’s research is to find more efficient ways of producing “green” hydrogen suitable for reaction with C02 to produce that highquality carbon monoxide. In this case, she is working on 3D nickel nanostructures to carry out water electrolysis. This is the breakdown of water into its constituent elements – oxygen and hydrogen – with the passage of an electric current. “This hydrogen production is a way of storing renewable energy,” Prof. Baranova said. “The produced hydrogen could be used in fuel cells or

Prof. Elena Baranova, from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering, works on converting CO2 into liquid fuel.


CONNECTING TECH IN OTTAWA

Opening the ‘black box’ on concussions Ottawa startup Neurovine is using AI to crack the code on concussion recovery, with backing from OSEG’s Jeff Hunt BY CRAIG LORD craig@obj.ca

OCTOBER 2019

I

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think probably the start of all this was the fact that I grew up with a father who played professional football,” recalls Ashleigh Kennedy. Her father, Ted Purnell, played on the Ottawa Rough Riders’ practice squad back in the 1960s. Though he had retired from pro football before Kennedy was born, growing up, her house was filled with his former teammates and old friends from the gridiron. As years passed, Kennedy started to notice her father’s friends declining rapidly. At first, she assumed this was the normal course of aging, but she learned very quickly how unnatural their degeneration was. “When I was very young, one of his friends committed suicide,” says Kennedy. “And it was related to CTE.” Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries, is dominating headlines in professional sports today.

Claims in a class-action lawsuit against the NFL for the league’s role in failing to protect players’ health have surpassed $500 million in recent years, and many professional athletes across the sporting world have announced their intentions to donate their brains to research after their deaths in an effort to uncover the mysteries of CTE. “I have seen the impact of concussions firsthand,” says Kennedy, who’s now the co-founder of a company called Neurovine. “That shaped my path to study it and to learn more about the brain.”

CONCUSSION CONCERNS Kennedy studied at Stanford University south of the border before doing a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Ottawa, followed up with a second doctorate in exercise physiology in France. A post-doc at the Toronto Rehab Institute then gave her a firstclass education in taking research out of the lab and building a product for use in the home. All the while, her husband and co-founder, Dr. Matthew Kennedy, was running into recurring concerns in his family practice in Ottawa. Patients


exhibiting symptoms of a concussion were flooding into his office, but he lacked the ability to effectively quantify the disease and prescribe an effective recovery regimen. That’s the problem with concussions. Symptoms and effective recovery methods often vary wildly from person to person, says Ashleigh Kennedy. EEG tests and careful monitoring from specialists can provide a limited window into a patient’s needs, but for an amateur athlete or everyday patient, the ideal treatments are educated guesses at best. Even worse, if an athlete suffers a concussion in the middle of a game, they might not know it and could head back out on the field. Kennedy calls concussions a medical “black box.” Her startup, Neurovine, is setting out to open that box. The company, which is conducting clinical trials at the Bruyere Institute in Ottawa, seeks to combine wearable technology and machine learning algorithms to track patients’ concussion recovery and progress. The goal is to build a personalized solution that can tell a user when they’re pushing their

physical or mental exertion too far and offer a tailored recovery road map that brings a patient back to full health in a faster, safer manner.

PRO SPORT SUPPORT Kennedy’s early efforts in concussion research led her to a CFL alumni meeting this past year. There, surrounded by retired football players, she heard a familiar story. “They talked a lot about people not being able to come to these meetings anymore because they had just declined too much. And they’re young, they’re like 60,” she says. That meeting is also where she met Jeff Hunt, one of the partners of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. OSEG runs the CFL’s Redblacks and the Ottawa Fury soccer club as well as the OHL’s 67’s, the team Hunt himself has owned since 1998. After being in professional sports for the past two decades, Hunt has been steeped in rising discussions around CTE. He tells Techopia he hadn’t been convinced by tech-oriented solutions to the problem until he met Kennedy and

Ashleigh Kennedy is co-founder of Neurovine. Photo by Mark Holleron learned about Neurovine. Now, the prominent local sports exec is the lead investor in the burgeoning startup’s $322,000 seed round. Hunt says the CTE issue is paramount to any sports organization, as effective athlete recovery is at the heart of the business. He notes that it’s frustrating for athletes who want to get back on the field or the ice, but have no way to chart their progress. That often leads to players pushing themselves before they’re ready, setting their recovery back even further. What gets Hunt excited about

Neurovine, then, is the ability to finally quantify an athlete’s return from injury. “It’s like taking your blood pressure – it is what it is. It’s not my opinion that you have high blood pressure – you have high blood pressure – and it’s exactly this,” he says. Neurovine is currently seeking participants for its clinical testing and is starting team trials in November with U Sports’ Carleton Ravens, but Hunt would eventually like to see the startup’s solution piloted in each of OSEG’s leagues. Though Hunt’s most vested interest is in helping his athletes get back to performing at their best as soon as possible, he and Kennedy are both excited to see how Neurovine can help patients of all stripes. “People tend to think about it at the professional level first. Naturally, that’s a very, very small percentage of concussions,” Hunt says. “That’s what’s most exciting, is having a tool for kids and families or minor sports teams to be able to utilize the technology that was tested and proven at the professional level.”

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Techopia Live:

Giatec Scientific scaling up with ‘discipline’ BY CRAIG LORD craig@obj.ca

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resh off its appearance on the 2019 Growth 500 list of Canada’s fastestgrowing companies, Giatec Scientific sent its co-founder and chief technology officer Pouria Ghods to Techopia Live to break down what’s behind the concrete sensor developer’s rapid growth. Giatec, which is also one of Techopia’s tech firms to watch in 2019, helps contractors measure the quality of concrete during construction and over the lifespan of a building. By embedding sensors in concrete as it is poured, Giatec’s technology allows builders to check the quality of the concrete in real time from a mobile app as opposed to the traditional, laborious

process of sending samples to a lab and awaiting the results. “This concrete sensor technology empowers them to make a decision on the job site,” Ghods told Techopia Live. The sensors, which are used by the likes of Tomlinson and other major contractors, speed up decision-making and work on projects, potentially saving valuable hours on each job. Now that the company feels it’s found its product market fit, Giatec recently set out to scale. Ghods said he and his business partner Aali Alizadeh sat down last year to determine what kind of leadership the company needed to move forward and where the firm could get the discipline it needed to scale its decision-making processes.

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They found their answer in Paul Loucks, OBJ’s 2015 CEO of the Year. Loucks had scaled companies to global players in the past, taking Ottawa’s Halogen Software to new heights in the early 2000s. “We are seeing that he’s going to do the same thing that he did at Halogen: Taking the company from 40 people to 400 by putting in more discipline, making the foundation stronger,” Ghods said. In addition to the strength of Giatec’s product, Ghods said one of the factors helping the firm grow is the attractiveness of its solution to an industry facing a talent crunch.

As the construction industry looks to attract a younger generation to the field, making use of an Internet of Thingsbased solution helps bring impressions of the industry into the 21st century. Ghods said that phenomenon is helping Giatec become not just a solution for the actual construction process, but also a recruitment tool for contractors to attract the younger generation. “They want to be part of technology change. They don’t want to be part of traditional, old-school work,” he said. “That’s another factor helping us to have significant growth in the construction market.”

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SPONSORED CONTENT

Bringing deep thinking to patents and trademarks in the global economy Ottawa firm Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall combines rich experience with a proven ability to stay ahead of constant change in intellectual property protection

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understanding where they come from. “Most of us have already gone through a stage of working either in technology, in business, or in research,” adds patent specialist Adrian O’Donnell. “We have inquiring, inquisitive minds that we like to keep active.” The sheer variety of challenges that arise for the Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall intellectual property team keep O’Donnell and his colleagues on their toes. “We never know what’s going to happen when that phone rings or when a new client comes in,” he says. “It can involve any kind of technology and our job is to bring clients up to speed so that they can protect themselves. Then we apply our skills to ensure that that protection happens.” SHIFTING LANDSCAPE While legal seasoning is critical, so too is the need to keep the skills sharpened. Today’s pace of change makes it impossible for any intellectual property lawyer to rest on his or her laurels. “You really need to keep up with case law,” explains partner and patent agent Wendy Lamson. “There’s just so much changing right now and that means a lot of challenges around getting patents in particular subject matter areas, such as business methods and computer-implemented inventions,” Lamson adds. “You really need to keep your finger on the pulse to craft patents that are broad, yet

The team at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall includes, from left, Paul Braunovan, Marina Stipanac, Wendy Lamson, Jennifer McKay, Adrian O’Donnell.

defendable and can’t be challenged in court.” The same goes on the trademark side, says Braunovan, where substantial changes to the Canadian trademark law came into effect this summer. Long in the works, the revised Trademarks Act and trademarks regulations now align Canadian methods with those of our major international trading partners, including the United States and European Union. One of the welcome developments is what essentially amounts to a centralized, online trademark application process in almost every major trading country in the world. “When filing an application, you click the boxes that correspond to what you want,” says Braunovan. “So it’s a great tool for Canadians who have broad, global ambition.” The standardized application also allows the Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall team to add real value for

clients by tapping into long-established global connections, Braunovan adds. “We can bring in reputable law firms and good assets in countries around the world to help clients navigate the trademark process,” he explains. “Because although there are some similarities, each country has its own nuanced ways to get protection.”

For patents and trademark protections that are prompt, strategic and designed for the global marketplace, start a conversation with the experts at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall. Reach them at lawyers@perlaw.ca.

OCTOBER 2019

hat do the latest breakthroughs in software, biofuels and craft beer have in common? They all need meticulously prepared and wisely executed intellectual property protections – patents or trademarks or a combination of both, tailored for an increasingly international marketplace. This, of course, is no easy feat, particularly as the business world accelerates, regulations evolve and technology becomes ever-more complex. Working with a savvy and agile legal team such as the one at PerleyRobertson, Hill & McDougall can be a make-or-break move in the lifespan of the next great gadget, formula or disruptive tech. Recognized as one of Ottawa’s leading independent law firms, PerleyRobertson, Hill & McDougall brings a highly resourceful blend of committed expertise and passion for innovation, something of critical value for either the first-time solo inventor or the global entity with hundreds of intellectual properties on the books. “We’ve got great breadth and depth of experience,” says partner and trademark expert Paul Braunovan. “The firm has been around for 40 years and all of the individual practitioners here have been doing what they do for a long time.” As a result, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall helps intellectual property clients of any size succeed by recognizing their differing needs and genuinely

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OCTOBER 2019

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THE LIST

LARGEST PR & GOVERNMENT RELATIONS FIRMS

(RANKED BY NUMBER OF LOCAL PR CONSULTANTS/ REGISTERED LOBBYISTS)

No. of local PR consultants/ registered lobbyists

No. of local employees

Major clients

Services offered

1

Hill+Knowlton Strategies 1115-50 O’Connor St., Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2 613-238-4371 hkstrategies.ca

56

75

Rob Mariani senior vicepresident and general manager

1993

NCC, City of Ottawa, Telus, Hexo, Canadian Blood Services, Repsol S.A, Astra Zeneca, H&R Block, ITK, SAAB, 3M, Keolis

Public affairs, government relations, advocacy, strategic communication, crisis communications, public relations, public engagement, procurement, digital communications and content marketing, internal communications and change management

2

Global Public Affairs 901-50 O’Connor St., Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2 613-782-2336 / 613-782-2428 globalpublicaffairs.ca

24

29

Philip Cartwright Stephen Sampson senior vicepresidents

1995

Chevron, Cenovus, CN, Conoco Phillips, Global Container Terminals, Organigram, Red Bull, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies

Integrated public affairs consulting services including government relations, strategic communications and issues management

3

Impact Public Affairs 1404-222 Queen St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5V9 613-233-8906 impactcanada.com

17

21

Huw Williams president Barbara Barrett senior vicepresident

1997

Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health

Public affairs, government relations, strategic communications, crisis communications, media training, digital advocacy, digital engagement, strategic event planning

4

Earnscliffe Strategy Group 400-46 Elgin St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5K6 613-563-4455 / 613-563-1768 earnscliffe.ca

16

39

Andre Albinati managing principal

1989

Microsoft, General Motors, CIBC, Enbridge, Shaw, Deloitte, CAA, Red Cross, Thyssenkrupp, Insurance Bureau of Canada

Strategic advice, government relations counsel, crisis management, mergers and acquisitions, public opinion polling, market research, policy analysis, media and presentation training, strategic communications, procurement, C-suite services, speechwriting

5

Summa Strategies Canada 1000-100 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5B7 613-235-1400 / 613-235-1444 summa.ca

14

16

Tracey Hubley president

1997

WND

Government relations, strategic communications, event planning, media training

6

StrategyCorp 850-100 Queen St., Ottawa, ON K1P 1J9 613-231-2630 strategycorp.com

13

14

Lisa Samson John Duffy principals

2004

Avaya Canada, Insititute for Quantum Computing, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Quebecor, Canadian Produce Marketing Association

Government relations, public relations, strategic communications, business consulting

7

Bluesky Strategy Group 35 O’Connor St., 2nd floor, Ottawa, ON K1P 5M4 613-241-3512 / 613-241-4867 blueskystrategygroup.com

12

14

Tim Barber Susan Smith principals

2003

Aerospace and defence, academic, arts and culture, health, financial, pharma, Indigenous/First Nations, cannabis

Company/Address/ Phone/Fax/Web

THE LIST

Key local executive(s)

Year est. in Ottawa

Election coverage that hits home.

MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDERS For real insight into the issues that matter most (RANKED BY NUMBER OF LOCAL EMPLOYEES) Denise Siele – Panelist

to you and your community:

Number of local employees

Year established in Ottawa

Fully Managed 2-1002 Beaverbrook Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 1L1 613-591-9800 fullymanaged.com

265

2

Grade A 200-9 Slack Rd. Nepean, ON K2G 0B7 613-721-3331 gradea.ca

86

3

HostedBizz 1050 Morrison Dr. Ottawa, ON K2H 8K7 613-454-5810 hostedbizz.com

25

2012

Paul Butcher

WND

DNS Networks 18-850 Industrial Ave. Ottawa, ON K1G 4K2 Mark Sutcliffe – Host 613-686-6643 dnsnetworks.ca

16

2003

Shawn Ebbs

WND

10

2000

Company/Address Phone/Fax/Web

1

Notable current clients

2006

Mark Scott CEO

WND

2002

Mathew Lafrance

Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, Habitat for Humanity, Hendry Warren LLP, McIntosh Perry, Osgoode Properties, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP, McMillan

Jennifer Stewart – Panelist

Caitlin Kealey – Panelist Paul V. Young

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WND

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PolarData 105-500 Claridge Dr. Ottawa, ON K2J 3G5 613-491-1404

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Key local executive

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4

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FOR THE RECORD

OCTOBER 2019

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

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Shipbuilding might not be the first industry that comes to mind as the logical next step for one of Kanata North’s best-known executives. But for Amy MacLeod, it’s a move that made perfect sense. After two decades as a leading voice of Canada’s largest tech park, MacLeod pulled up stakes in late September and headed downtown to join the new Ottawa office of Vancouver-based Seaspan Shipyards. MacLeod’s most recent gig was at telecom powerhouse Mitel, where she spent eight years and eventually rose to the position of vice-president of strategic communications. In her new role as Seaspan’s VP of corporate affairs and external communications, MacLeod will act as a liaison between the shipbuilder and its various federal government customers. “We’re at a point where we really feel like we are ready to start to tell people what we’ve been working on to build those relationships and that national brand and wanting to do that from Ottawa,” she says. Seaspan’s biggest clients include the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy, for whom it is building ships and noncombatant supply vessels as part of a multibillion-dollar contract awarded under the feds’ National Shipbuilding Program. “I’m a little bit in awe of what they do and very much humbled by the fact that what we’re building will outlive me but serve Canada throughout my lifetime continuously,” adds MacLeod. “There’s something really wonderful to be able to contribute to that in whatever small way I can.”

Amy MacLeod/Seaspan Shipyards For MacLeod, who began her career in Ottawa more than 30 years ago as an assistant to former Liberal MP John Nunziata, it feels like her new job is bringing her “full circle.” She believes her experience on Parliament Hill and at various firms in Kanata North gives her unique insights into the worlds of both corporate and public policy that will be invaluable in her new role. “Rarely do government and business

operate in concert,” says the 53-year-old, who earned a degree in political science from the University of Waterloo and spent the first eight years of her career as an aide to Nunziata, the controversial member of the “Rat Pack” that also included fellow Grit MPs Sheila Copps and Brian Tobin. “If you’re in the business sector, I think that government sometimes is a faraway and foreign kind of organization and not driven by business objectives. I

know from my time on the Hill that business often doesn’t know how government works. I’m hopefully able to understand the perspective of both sides and the objectives of both and use that experience and that perspective to meet the needs of both and speak about what’s important to both.” Shipbuilding and telecom tech might seem oceans apart as far as industries go. But MacLeod, whose term as chair of the Kanata North Business Association ends in November, says the skills she learned in the trenches on the Hill and in the boardrooms of high-profile companies such as Mitel, Newbridge Networks, Alcatel-Lucent and General Dynamics are tailor-made for her latest gig. “I have always been passionate about policy,” she says. “I can marry big, sophisticated, complex business with a political and a policy-oriented program. I couldn’t dream of a better job.” As much as she’s looking forward to establishing herself at Seaspan, she says she’ll continue to be one of her former employer’s –​ and consequently the Kanata tech park’s ​ – biggest cheerleaders. “Mitel is and always will be in my blood and in my heart,” says MacLeod, who lives in Stittsville with her husband Greg Vanclief, the managing director of global investments at Wesley Clover, and their daughter Arwen, 14. “It’s just part of who I am now. It was incredibly exciting to be part of that journey over the last eight years. It is a great Canadian brand, and they are doing great things in Canada. I may be downtown, but part of me will always live in Kanata North and at Mitel.” – David Sali


PEOPLE ON THE MOVE John Manley has joined law firm Bennett Jones as a senior business adviser. Manley, a former deputy prime minister who also held the portfolios of foreign affairs, finance and industry at various times, previously served as president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada from 2010-18, representing CEOs of leading Canadian corporations. Manley will join Bennett Jones’ public policy group. Paul Wood has been named president and chief operating officer of Giant Tiger. Wood joined Giant Tiger in 2003 from Collins Barrow Ottawa LLP. He moved into increasingly senior roles on the accounting team and most recently served as executive vice-president and chief financial officer, overseeing finance, real estate, warehousing and distribution, supply chain and merchandise planning. He succeeds Thomas Haig, who has retired. Minto Apartment REIT has appointed George Van Noten chief operating officer and named Glen MacMullin chief investment officer. Van Noten most recently served as the REIT’s senior

vice-president of operations, while MacMullin has spent the last decade with Minto Properties, where he led the firm’s asset management and investment management functions. Anne McGrath has joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Ottawa office as an associate with the public affairs team. McGrath was most recently principal secretary to former Alberta premier Rachel Notley and was previously the NDP’s national director and served as chief of staff to former NDP leader Jack Layton. Stayci Keetch is the new director of communications at the CHEO Research Institute. Keetch, a 2018 Forty Under 40 recipient, is also the owner of her own communications and marketing company, On Brand by Stayci Keetch. Daniel Sullivan has been appointed senior vice-president, Ottawa Central of Gallagher Benefit Services (Canada) Group. Sullivan will lead the daily business of the Ottawa Central location as well as continue to work closely with his clients throughout Ottawa as a senior group benefits and retirement consultant.

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LAST WORD

Inclusive workplaces prove their value Paying top female executives what they’re worth is just one element of a blueprint that sets local firms such as ADGA and Shopify apart, Janice McDonald writes BY JANICE MCDONALD

news@obj.ca

In her recent acceptance speech after winning an Emmy for her role as Broadway legend Gwen Verdon in the miniseries Fosse/Verdon, Michelle Williams championed the need for equal pay for equal work. “When you put value into a person, it empowers that person,” the Hollywood star told the crowd, earning a standing ovation for her powerful statement. Williams also reimagined her industry as a place that allows women to succeed because of the workplace environment and not in spite of it. Other industries should be working toward the same goal. The good news is there are companies in our community that are creating exactly those kinds of workplaces, but plenty of work remains to be done.

OCTOBER 2019

MAKING STRIDES

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According to OBJ’s 2019 Book of Lists, fewer than 10 of Ottawa’s top 96 highest-paid private-sector executives are women. Is that surprising? Not really. Disappointing? Absolutely. While women are making great strides in terms of being fairly compensated for their work, rising to the top while earning equal pay to their male counterparts remains a challenge.

A forward-looking orientation to talent recruitment and retention enables every company to address and remove any unintentional challenges women face in their organization. For example, Fran Gagnon, CEO of local defence and security powerhouse ADGA Group, is helping to change her male-dominated industry for the better. As she shared on the Fearless Women Podcast, Gagnon has taken specific steps to encourage more women leaders in her company and is creating a pathway for women to follow. As she often says, “You can’t be her if you don’t see her.” Gagnon wants more women to see the possibilities of forging a career in the industry. The defence and security sector generates $10 billion in annual revenues and employs more than 60,000 Canadians, so the opportunity for more women to join and become leaders in the field is significant. Diverse and inclusive workplaces offer many benefits. A recent Harvard Business Review study found the most diverse enterprises were also the most innovative. With the pace of change accelerating daily and competition for skilled workers growing more intense by the year, smart companies know they need to tap into the best available talent to innovate and win. Widening the aperture on talent has been a smart strategy employed by another trailblazing Ottawa company, Shopify. The e-commerce giant has become one of the most desirable local companies to work for, and with good reason.

At Shopify, women leaders can be seen throughout the ranks. New CFO Amy Shapero is the city’s top-earning executive at a publicly traded company in 2019. Brittany Forsyth, the firm’s chief talent officer, has been part of the organization since there were only 20 employees. Forsyth has said that finding and empowering the right people while fostering an environment focused on solving tough problems is her daily focus. Shopify strives to be a workplace where talent can thrive and younger women leaders have role models to follow and be inspired by. The latest research from IBM highlights the benefits realized by companies such as ADGA and Shopify that make advancing women into leadership roles a formal business priority. These “First Movers” follow a road map that secures accountability by getting leaders on board, creating specific measurable goals and milestones and ensuring processes are designed to promote parity between men and women.

CULTURE OF INCLUSION The result? In First Movers companies, the best people are retained for future leadership. These employers have created workplaces where all talent can thrive because a culture of inclusion is valued and a feeling of belonging is achieved. So while the list of the city’s biggest earners includes only a few women in 2019, future lists could look very different if the positive trends initiated by smart companies in our community continue and more companies decide to use the First Movers blueprint to advance women into leadership roles. For a chart illustrating the First Movers road map, go to www.ibm.com/ downloads/cas/2BQMGWL1. Janice McDonald is founder of the Beacon Agency and creator and host of The Fearless Women Podcast.

Great River Media, 250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6K7 obj.ca TELEPHONE Phone: 613-238-1818 Sales Fax: 613-248-4564 News Fax: No faxes, email editor@obj.ca PUBLISHER Michael Curran, 238-1818 ext. 228 publisher@obj.ca CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Terry Tyo, 238-1818 ext. 268 terry@greatriver.ca EDITOR, PRINT CONTENT David Sali, 238-1818 ext. 269 david@greatriver.ca WEB EDITOR Craig Lord, 238-1818 ext. 230 craig@obj.ca HEAD OF CONTENT Peter Kovessy, 238-1818 ext. 251 pkovessy@obj.ca CONTENT CREATOR & CAMPAIGN MANAGER 238-1818 ext. 251 pkovessy@obj.ca NEWS RELEASES Please e-mail to editor@obj.ca. ADVERTISING SALES General Inquiries, 238-1818 ext. 228 sales@obj.ca Wendy Baily, 238-1818 ext. 244 wbaily@obj.ca Eric Dupuis, 613-266-5598 eric@obj.ca Victoria Stewart, 238-1818 ext. 226 victoria@obj.ca CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes, 238-1818 ext. 253 creative@greatriver.ca GRAPHIC DESIGNER Celine Paquette, 238-1818 ext. 252 celine@greatriver.ca FINANCE Jackie Whalen, 238-1818 ext. 250 jackie@greatriver.ca PRINTED BY Transcontinental Qualimax 130 Adrien-Robert, Parc Industriel Richelieu Gatineau, QC J8Y 3S2 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We welcome opinions about any material published in the Ottawa Business Journal or issues of interest to local businesspeople. Only letters with the writer’s full name, address and telephone number will be considered for publication. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published, but they might be used to verify authenticity. Letters can be e-mailed to editor@obj.ca.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Ottawa offers fertile ground for ‘smart agriculture’ hub Kudos to OBJ for shedding some much-needed light on our dynamic regional agri-food ecosystem in its September 2019 edition. Despite all the hype and glamour that surround other socio-economic sectors that usually make it to the front page of OBJ, one fact remains: humans still need to eat. We need to produce more food and to ensure that it reaches the billions of mouths of an exponentially growing world population that is expecting an increasingly diverse supply of quality agricultural and food products. Breakthroughs in agricultural science, business, engineering and

technology during the 1800s and 1900s have allowed for the rapid specialization of our modern agri-food industry. The main outcome: millions of people worldwide have been relieved from the drudgery of human- and animal-powered agriculture. Today, there are only a handful of agricultural producers and of farm and food industry workers in Canada that produce not only most of the food that we need but also large quantities of grains, oilseeds, livestock and animal products that are exported all over the globe. As a result, the vast majority of Canadians do not need to toil at

growing the plants and raising the animals that will feed them. Instead, they can focus their energy, creativity and innovation on other equally worthy purposes in the arts, industry, science or technology. Without modern agriculture, there wouldn’t be a modern world, period. Modern agriculture has nothing to envy to other high-tech sectors when it comes to being “connected” and “intelligent.” Precision agriculture technologies for both crop and animal production have been around for well over a quarter of a century. These technologies allow for the optimal matching of inputs (that is, seeds, fertilizers or pesticides in the case of crops; feed, supplements or medication in the case of animals) and outputs (biomass, grains, fruits, nuts, roots and other crop products; meat, milk, eggs and other animal products). Developments in autonomous vehicle technologies, artificial intelligence, machine communication and data management and analysis are as important for modern agriculture as they are for other industries.

We currently market Ottawa as a “smart city” with expertise and resources in six knowledge-based industries: life science; software; digital media; communications technology; clean technologies; and aerospace, defence and security. I would argue that smart agriculture and food technologies should be added to that list. The list of Ottawa’s advantages in that area is compelling: the national headquarters of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are here; there are diverse crop and animal production operations as well as large and diverse areas of agricultural land; our region is home to excellent post-secondary institutions and tech companies; and we now have unique facilities and resources for connected and autonomous technologies. Together, let’s make Ottawa a go-to place when it comes to making our modern agricultural and food production systems more diverse, sustainable, efficient and effective! Prof. Claude Laguë, Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa

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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE KANATA NORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

Inside the labs of Kanata North:

Fall 2019

BUILDING A DIGITAL IDENTITY


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welcome

AN ENVIRONMENT OF BOUNDLESS OPPORTUNITY Hello again Kanata Networkers,

Sincerely, Jamie Petten Executive director Kanata North Business Association

FALL 2019 KANATA NETWORKER 3

After several months away, I am thrilled to be returning to Canada’s largest technology park! As I return from maternity leave, I am eager to contribute to improving our community and creating an impact that will make my children proud. As I hand over the reins to my husband to take over as primary caregiver, I feel grateful for how far we’ve come as a society that embraces this reversal of traditional parental roles. I consider how I will do it all and trust I will have the same strength and courage to lean in as I did before the baby arrived. But most of all, I am confident in the support I will receive from family, friends and colleagues to make it happen. That is perhaps the greatest takeaway from my time away. Nothing of great substance and meaning can be accomplished alone. Over the course of my maternity leave, partners, mentors, board members, teammates and

confidantes have gathered to support KNBA. These leaders have guided and pushed our community to accomplish great things over the past year. Our organization’s achievements are theirs. Leading the charge have been the dynamic KNBA team; Veronica, Deborah, Vanessa, Alycia and our summer student Neikko. Collectively, they’ve taken several of our flagship events to new heights, increasing opportunities for KNBA members and raising the profile of the park. Close to 3,000 attendees and more than 90 exhibitors packed the Brookstreet Hotel earlier this year for the largest-ever Discover TechNATA career and technology expo. More recently, two events reinforced Kanata North’s reputation as Canada’s autonomous vehicle capital. In August, some 350 workers from 40 companies in the tech park travelled through the Marshes Golf Course in autonomous pods in a pilot project that could be part of Kanata North’s transportation infrastructure in the years to come. That set the stage for the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Canada conference a few weeks later, which attracted automotive and technology heavyweights including Ford, General Motors and Uber as well as local firms such as Irdeto, Flex and BlackBerry QNX. All of these major milestones could not have been met without the tremendous leadership of our outgoing chair, Amy MacLeod. Her vision and unwavering commitment towards progress have been invaluable and will have a lasting impact on our business community for years to come. As a business association, we are here to foster an environment of boundless opportunity. An environment where businesses can innovate, scale leading-edge technologies and thrive. The founding leaders of this community envisioned an environment ripe for innovation, one with which we all are a part of today. It is our time now to decide the vision and path forward. What do we want for our future in Kanata North? For our children, our companies and our community? I am focused in this next phase on continued collaboration, improved transit and infrastructure, attracting top level talent to Canada’s largest technology park and supporting the needs of our world class companies here in Kanata North. I look forward to seeing you at our AGM on Nov. 21, 2019 at the Marshes Golf Course.


what’s inside

CONTENTS “We’re bigger than we’ve ever been and we’re just doing very well on all fronts.” – Fidus technology director Scott Turnbull. Read the full story on page nine.

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WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S NEXT Upcoming events and key dates

8

FORTY YEARS IN TECH Insights from former Tundra and Zarlink engineer Sue Dyer

8

WHAT 5G MEANS FOR KANATA NORTH Insights from Nokia

10 WHERE WE WORK How a core group of technicians built an enduring corporate culture in a Teron Road testing facility 12 WHAT WE’RE GEEKING OUT ON Going behind the scenes with L-Spark’s startups 14 WHERE WE LIVE LUNA Crêpes & Café owners thrive in ‘wonderful’ Kanata North community 16 TECHNOVATION Tech heavy hitters tackle industry gender gap

4 KANATA NETWORKER FALL 2019

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE KANATA NORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

Inside the labs of Kanata North:

Fall 2019

BUILDING A DIGITAL IDENTITY

The Kanata Networker is the official publication of the Kanata North Business Association. Learn more at kanatanorthba.ca

17 AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES CAV Canada cements Kanata North’s reputation as Canada’s autonomous vehicle capital 17 BUSINESS BRIEFING News from Canada’s largest tech park 18 OUT OF OFFICE L-Spark’s Erin Blaskie after-hours ascent


JOIN US FOR

THURS, OCTOBER 17, 2019 12-4 PM @ COMMUNITY HUB (behind 400 March Road) Come and enjoy lunch and outdoor activities with food trucks, live music, local beer favourites and more! Presented by

THE OTTAWA NETWORK, ONFE JA OTTAWA, COLLAB SPACE

FALL 2019 KANATA NETWORKER 5

In partnership with local vendors and


what’s new - what’s next?

WHAT’S NEXT…

ESAX FIRESIDE CHAT

WHAT’S NEW…

TÜV SÜD OPEN HOUSE

Oct. 2, 2019 TÜV SÜD is hosting an Oktoberfest open house celebration and BBQ and is inviting members of our business

community to visit the company’s new labs and facilities in Kanata North. The event will include a tour of the facility and a presentation on its services. Visit our events calendar for more details.

WORLD OF POUTINE COMING TO KANATA AT THE COMMUNITY HUB!

Oct. 24-27 (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) An exciting new foodie experience is coming to the heart of the Kanata North tech park. The 2019 World of Poutine Championship will be held at the Community Hub over four days from Thursday to Sunday. Ottawa’s top food trucks will battle it out to take home the title of the “2019 Poutine Champion!” It will be a family friendly event featuring a kids fun zone, face painting, live music, beer garden, best poutine competition, feature foodies and more! Check our events calendar for details.

The deadline for TEDxKanata speaker applications is Sept. 30. The theme for TEDxKanata 2020 is IGNITE! If you know someone who would make the perfect TEDxKanata speaker and can ignite excitement and passion in an idea worth spreading, nominate them now! Visit TEDxKanata.com/speakers.

talk

CEO

SERIES

CEO TALK WITH THE 2018 CEO OF THE YEAR, BRUCE LINTON Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Brookstreet Hotel Bruce’s experience as a founder, CEO and board member across a variety of enterprises influenced the positive start of Canopy Growth, which to date has enjoyed market support for capital raises of over $6 billion.

CULTURALLY COMPETENT INTERVIEWING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS

6 KANATA NETWORKER FALL 2019

INVEST OTTAWA MISSION TO MUNICH AND TU-AUTOMOTIVE EUROPE Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 2019 Invest Ottawa has planned a connected and autonomous vehicles-focused trade mission to Munich the week of Oct. 28 in partnership with BC Tech. Chosen companies will attend TU-Automotive Europe, Europe’s largest gathering of telematics, autonomous car, mobility and other automotive technology executives and decision makers with more than 600 attendees. The conference will be followed by B2B meetings with automotive manufacturers in Germany.

Oct. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hire Immigrants Ottawa, in collaboration with the Kanata North Business Association, invites you to a complimentary professional development training. This session is designed to equip employers, people with hiring responsibilities and HR professionals with practical skills, tips, strategies and tools needed to identify and address communication style.

Oct. 16 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Are you a small business owner looking for resources to grow? Join the eSAX Fireside Chat featuring an exceptional panel of women entrepreneurs including Erin Blaskie, Angella Goran, Fiona Gilligan and Terri Storey. Moderated by Sueling Ching, guests will include Mayor Jim Watson and MC Dylan Black.

TECHTOBERFEST IS BACK!

Oct. 17 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Join us and our friends at KRP Properties, the Ottawa Network for Education / JA Ottawa, Collab Space and The Ottawa Network for a unique networking opportunity connecting Ottawa’s thriving entrepreneurial community of technology, small business and youth. Join us at the Community Hub in Kanata for our outdoor event with German inspired flavours, food trucks and beer! We’ll have music, games and fun for all members and visitors, and will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items in support of the Kanata Food Cupboard.

CENGN SUMMIT

Nov. 13 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Brookstreet Hotel A full-day event bringing together multinationals, small and mediumsized enterprises, government and academia to showcase their leadership in information and communication technologies and next-generation networking. For more details, visit https://cengnsummit.ca.


SPONSORED CONTENT

Popular Senators Soirée gala returns Nov. 23 Safari-themed evening offers opportunity to rub shoulders with Senators players, network with business leaders, and support kids in the community

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It’s an opportunity the players enjoy and a role they take seriously, says Weir – but don’t just take it from him. Retired Sens right winger Chris Neil says he and his fellow players, active or otherwise, all love this chance to give back. “We’re blessed to play in a community that treats us unbelievably,” Neil says. “To be able to give back in that community and touch kids’ lives is awesome. As a child, you have role models and people you look up to; people you follow and idolize,” he adds. “As a hockey player ... you’ve always got to take the time to talk to kids and give back.” With a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck, Weir, Neil and the entire Senators organization are optimistic that the team will pick up a victory against the Rangers on Nov. 22 and a crucial fundraising win at the Senators Soirée the following evening. “There are a lot of kids that need some help,” Weir says. “This event goes a long way toward reaching them. It’s a win for guests from many perspectives, but it’s also a win for so many kids across the region.”

OBJ360 CONTENT STUDIO

When you attend an event such as the Senators Soirée, you’re helping the Ottawa Senators Foundation support many crucial initiatives in the community: Social Recreation The Foundation aims to topple barriers like registration fees and equipment costs, making it easier for children to get involved in summer camp, sports, after-school programs, and more. SENS Rinks The Foundation funds 15 SENS Rinks, which provide accessible recreation and sport opportunities to kids across the region. Education The Foundation has invested in educational initiatives directed towards youth, teens and young adults, such as bursaries and scholarships. Physical and Mental Wellness The Foundation supports charitable organizations focused on meeting the needs of families with children and youth suffering from various forms of mental health illnesses. Roger Neilson House The Foundation is an ardent supporter of Roger Neilson House, a pediatric respite and palliative care home for children.

ATTEND THE SENATORS SOIRÉE When: Saturday, Nov. 23 Where: Canadian Tire Centre Tickets: http://bit.ly/Sens-Soiree

FALL 2019 KANATA NETWORKER 7

ess than 24 hours after the Ottawa Senators face off against the New York Rangers on home ice next month, the Canadian Tire Centre will be transformed into a safari-themed venue for one of the most popular fundraising galas of the year. Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23, the Ferguslea Properties Senators Soirée presented by Bell is one of the biggest black-tie galas on Ottawa’s social calendar and features incredible entertainment, delicious food and drink, an auction, networking opportunities and the chance to meet Ottawa Senators players and executives. Even more worthy of emphasis is the fact that it’s the Ottawa Senators Foundation’s biggest fundraising event of the year. The Foundation, which supports child and youth activities that enable physical and mental wellness through social recreation and education programs, would simply not be able to operate on the same scale without this event. Last year, the Soirée raised more than $300,000, which in combination with other fundraising activities, allowed the Foundation

to help roughly 60,000 children in the Ottawa area. Brad Weir, the Foundation’s director of marketing communications and community investments, says he’s hopeful that this year’s safari-themed event will generate similar success. “We strive to make every year better than the last,” Weir says. “Thanks to the support of our players, sponsors and guests, last year was one of our best. Hopefully this year we can raise even more because the number of children in our community who need our support continues to grow.” The Senators Soirée is a great opportunity for community-minded citizens and hockey fans to give back. It also provides an unbeatable chance to get acquainted with the entire team, which Weir believes is particularly important during the current chapter of the team’s story. “We have a lot of youth on our team; a lot of players that people don’t know.” Weir says of the current Senators roster. “This is a great chance for those guys to be able to meet the fans, and make a significant impact in our community.”

HOW THE OTTAWA SENATORS FOUNDATION MAKES A DIFFERENCE


profile

‘You can do it – persevere and don’t let the naysayers get you down’ Former Mitel and Tundra Semiconductor engineer Sue Dyer reflects on industry’s evolution over four decades By Lisa Thibodeau

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ooking back on her nearly 40 years in the tech sector, Sue Dyer recognizes how difficult it can be for women to make a name for themselves in a predominantly male industry. Dyer got her start in engineering at

Sue Dyer worked at Tundra Semiconductor, Zarlink and other tech firms before joining PwC. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON IBM in the United States in the 1980s before moving to the U.K. for more than a decade to pursue her passion of designing integrated circuits. She eventually moved

8 KANATA NETWORKER FALL 2019

5G: Better, faster, stronger T he world has been running on 4G networks for the last nine years, but lately it looks like we are moving in a faster direction. 5G is the newest generation of cellular network technology that has significantly faster upload and download speeds. The use of 5G will enable our city and most importantly the Kanata North Tech Park to work more efficiently and will continue to create many more jobs in tech. The federal government recently announced a multimillion-dollar deal with Nokia, which has a considerable presence in Kanata North, to begin 5G research in Canada. The Kanata North Business Association sat down with Nima

Kasbiy, a software engineer at Nokia, to explore the significance of this nextgeneration technology.

KNBA: What are your thoughts on the federal government working alongside Nokia to research 5G? KASBIY: 5G technology will completely revolutionize the way the world interacts with technology. It’s much more than just a new cellular network framework. It means much faster service can be provided to many more people. 5G will also be used on a much broader scale, such as in the automotive industry – allowing cars to communicate with other cars and infrastructure and ultimately providing us with safer roads.

to Canada to join Ottawa’s tech sector in the early 2000s and has remained in the region ever since. While she loves working in tech, she says it wasn’t always smooth sailing. “The thing about being a woman and going into engineering is you have to realize there are always going to be people out there that don’t believe you have the capability because you’re a woman,” she says, adding that she has had her share of run-ins with disagreeable bosses and colleagues. She first noticed the underrepresentation in the industry back when she was pursuing her master’s degree and she was one of three women in a class of 103. She encountered similar imbalances throughout her career at Mitel, Tundra Semiconductor and Deloitte. Being one of the few women in the workplace never deterred Dyer, but drove her to continue to work hard and exceed expectations – taking on many managerial roles over the years. Rob Hilkes worked alongside Dyer at Tundra and remembers her congenial approach to managing a team.

“Sue doesn’t have an ego … she’s just very much a team player,” says Hilkes, who worked closely with her on a consortium project where he says her talents were instrumental. “That was an opportunity where you could see her interpersonal skills and leadership skills shine.” As Dyer approaches her fourth decade in the business and nearly 15th year in her current role as a senior manager at consulting firm PwC, she is encouraged by the number of women who are interested in the STEM industry today and the initiatives workplaces are making to incorporate them. “I think women are saying, ‘You know what? I can do this,’” says Dyer. “Maybe it’s because people my age are saying, ‘You can do it – persevere and don’t let the naysayers get you down.’” While Dyer concedes that working in technology is hard work, she credits it with giving her the foundational tools to build a successful career and branch out into new areas. “There are things that will try to impede you,” she adds. “But you just have to be really focused and dedicated.”

Healthcare can also benefit from 5G with speed-ups in the transmission of large files such as MRIs.

big tech hub, it will definitely benefit its expansion and development and continue to push Ottawa into the growing list of cities to be taken seriously when it comes to technology.

KNBA: Some consider Ottawa to be behind in technology compared to other capital cities such as London and Tokyo. Is Canada’s capital moving in the right direction with 5G? KASBIY: Definitely, 5G is already starting to roll out in a lot of the global technological hubs. Canada and specifically Ottawa starting to make moves towards 5G will definitely benefit our capital in many ways, both technologically and economically.

KNBA: Do you think the Kanata North tech park will benefit from 5G? KASBIY: The emergence of 5G has already and will continue to create many more job opportunities in R&D and testing. And with Kanata North being such a

KNBA: With the use of 5G also comes concerns about health risks such as radiation exposure. Are there ways to protect our health while using technology? KASBIY: While it’s true that 5G will increase the amount of radio waves and electromagnetic radiation around us, the radio waves emitted by 5G are far less energetic than higher frequency waves such as UV rays, X-rays and Gamma rays that we are also exposed to quite often. With that being said, it’s very important to invest in the research of potential health risks. Original article written by Neikko Burrell.


Fidus helps other companies design and build projects using its existing components like the Mantyss system.

Scott Turnbull (left) and Pat Gurtler (right) are looking to use Fidus’ technologies to advance the company into the AV sector. PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON

Relevance through reinvention 5G, autonomous vehicles open new opportunities for Fidus By Lisa Thibodeau

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verification and chip packaging design,” says Pat Gurtler, director of research and development. “We are also looking at getting into those expanding networks like 5G and autonomous vehicles.”

f l o ra l d e s i g n s

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everal years after putting down roots in Kanata North, electronic product developer Fidus is forging into several new markets and looking to further expand its local headcount. The business, which launched in Ottawa in 2001 following the shutdown of Cadence, designs and builds electronic products focusing on hardware, software and FPGA circuit boards. The team can build products from scratch or use some of Fidus’ own designs – such as the Mantyss daughter card – as a base for the project. This system streamlines the design process, and helps clients get their products to market faster. “Companies either don’t have the manpower or the technical capabilities,

so they outsource all or some of a project to us,” says Scott Turnbull, director of technology. “We can then leverage our design into their design and we can cut that process time in half.” Fidus builds complex systems for medical applications, defence applications and even consumer goods. Over the past few years, however, the company has tried to broaden its client base and shift its focus. Fidus used to be heavily involved in the communications sector, but as the market started to change, so did its business strategy. The company has tried to balance its focus, says Turnbull, pointing to their developments in software as an example. In order to stay relevant in the fastpaced tech space, Fidus is hoping to do this again. “We have started expanding into

The team moved to Kanata North just over four years ago and is thriving in the tech park environment. Its Terry Fox Road location makes the company even more accessible to clients, but also compelling to new hires, says Turnbull, who foresees the company – which currently has some 70 staff – continuing to grow in the near future. “We’re in a really awesome time in Fidus history,” he says. “We’re bigger than we’ve ever been and we’re just doing very well on all fronts.”


where we work

Stephen Tippet and Martin Lee have worked at the Teron Road lab for years, running product quality tests on everything from telecom equipment to consumer goods. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Tech talent powers Kanata F North testing lab through ownership changes

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By Lisa Thibodeau

Nortel-built facility enters new markets with TÜV SÜD

or countless companies in Kanata North and around the world, one of the first steps to bringing high-tech products to market – everything from telecommunications gear to aerospace components – has long been a testing lab on Teron Road. The exterior signage, as well as the facility operator, has changed several times over the past two decades. But there’s been a constant during that

same time period: A core group of skilled technicians who have been with the testing lab since its early days and helped it evolve and remain a worldclass facility. “We support each other,” says test technician Martin Lee. “The people are very important in making this business operate – it’s not just a bunch of machines that get the work done.” Inside its walls, skilled workers put products developed by other companies


– such as fibre optics and consumer goods including laptop displays – through a series of rigorous tests on vibration tables, radiation vaults and in temperature-controlled chambers. Many of the products tested at the facility may be transported over rough terrain, or exposed to extremely high or low temperatures, says Peter Connolly, an account executive at TÜV SÜD. By pushing products to their breaking points, TÜV SÜD is helping clients identify any weaknesses in order to make them better suited to withstand use, he adds.

A NEW CHAPTER

TÜV SÜD may be new to Ottawa, having taken over the facility in 2018, but many of its Kanata employees have deep roots in the local tech sector. Several previously worked for Nortel, which built the Teron Road location in 1999. The facility has since changed hands four times, keeping employees such as lab manager Stephen Tippett engaged with cutting-edge technology and a strong workplace culture. “Pretty much everybody stayed on board,” he says, estimating that about 80 per cent of the roughly 15 employees have been with the facility since “the early days.” A portion of the Nortel team remained when the facility was acquired by C-MAC, a Canadian electronic testing facility based out of Sherbrooke, Que. Other workers, such as Lee, left during ownership changes but found their way back. Lee returned in 2003 and has remained ever since, in large part

Power and safety engineer Suthan Kuhanesan uses a lightning surge generator during the safety certification process. taking the existing staff with it. Tippett and Lee continued their work certifying products through another acquisition by Singapore-based Flextronics in 2008.

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Mark Bamford prepares to perform a temperature test in one of TÜV SÜD’s many thermal chambers. because of the culture within the facility. The facility continued building and testing products but changed hands again in 2003 when it was bought by Solectron,

When Flextronics outgrew the facility and moved up the road, it opened the door to TÜV SÜD to enter the Kanata North market. Throughout the changes in ownership, the lab’s employees maintained the client relationships built over the years. “The lab is scaled and equipped and accredited in a way that aligns with the things these companies need,” says Tippet, who credits the Kanata tech park’s close-knit community for keeping employees and customers engaged throughout the years. “It’s the perfect size and shape for

Nokia, Ciena, Ericsson – those (firms) still have a lot of Nortel DNA in them because they acquired products from the breakup of the company.” TÜV SÜD is finishing a full renovation of the space. While Nortel spared no expense in future-proofing the building – its largest lab has been used nearly every day since its inception in 1999 – there are new additions being made to further update it. The company is expanding its work in wireless and Bluetooth connectivity testing to prepare for advancements in autonomous vehicles. The company purchased new wireless and radio frequency testing equipment, turning it into a tier-one wireless testing laboratory. “Having new industries in the marketplace is pretty exciting,” says Lee. “Bringing in new customers, testing cars … there’s a lot of industries here in Ottawa and we’re hoping we can help them all.” A new lab is also being built to allow for more testing of smaller products. While the larger lab often deals with month-long tests for large telecom or aerospace equipment, the new space turns around tests much quicker, allowing products to get to market faster. While the products being tested within the facility may be constantly evolving, its longtime employees say there has been a sense of consistency in other areas of their work. “There is an overarching culture here,” Tippet says. “We’ve been owned by different companies, from different countries and different cultures, but what we do has always remained the same.”

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what we’re geeking out on

Meet the next generation of L-Spark startups An inside look at the algorithms, software code and other innovations being developed in Kanata North

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here is a new cohort of companies emerging from Kanata North’s L-Spark looking to make their mark in Ottawa tech. The SaaS accelerator program helps entrepreneurs launch their businesses by providing them with the necessary connections and support to get their products to market. L-Spark is powered by Wesley Clover, the investment management and holding company backed by local tech titan Terry Matthews that’s produced success stories such as Solink, Solace and ProntoForms. It’s helping to produce a new generation of startups that are bringing new technologies to market and making names for themselves. “MyDoma, Neurovine and Bluink are incredibly different companies when it comes to the tech they are building,” says L-Spark marketing director Erin Blaskie. “They show the diversity that exists in startup and tech, which is critical to our long-term growth and success as a country.” Here’s a closer look at some of these local startups to watch and an inside glimpse at the technology they’re developing:

Bluink founder Steve Borza built the eID-Me app in hopes of creating a safer online experience for users. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Sarah Daniele created MyDoma Studio to make it easier for interior designers to connect with their clients. PHOTO SUBMITTED.


MYDOMA STUDIO

When Sarah Daniele recognized the lack of proper management software for interior designers, she set out to build her own. Daniele teamed up with her business partner and husband, Tom Martineau, to develop MyDoma Studio, a software platform that gives interior designers the tools to track projects, source products and build mood boards all on one platform. Users can fully integrate the software with their own systems and even connect to outside platforms such as Facebook and QuickBooks to make it easier to connect with clients. “We had to look at all the different types of technologies and languages to scale it up – who was going to host it, and what software could support the system,” she says. Daniele and Martineau worked on the software for nearly two years, taking the project from beta to a fully functioning product in 2016. The duo used open-source frameworks Ember and Node to develop the project, learning many lessons along the way. “If I did it again, I would do it faster, and listen less to all of the feedback which caused us to lose sight of our vision a bit along the way,” she says. “Things don’t need to be perfect, if they’re perfect you’re too late.”

BLUINK

UP THE BOX AND MAKE CONCUSSIONS VISIBLE USING REAL-TIME BRAIN DATA TO GUIDE THAT RECOVERY PROCESS.” - Ashleigh Kennedy, founder of Neurovine is working with patients dealing with concussions to help make the recovery process faster and easier. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

the attacks that people do today on passwords are eliminated with this technology,” he says, adding that it can also verify the identity of individuals at airports, hospitals and post offices. Users can also set a login range through GPS settings, blocking the ability to use the facial recognition or login software outside of a certain distance from their home or workplace,

giving them complete control over their personal information.

NEUROVINE

Ashleigh Kennedy and her husband Matthew are on a mission to help patients recover from concussions with their software Neurovine. Using portable EEG headsets, users can perform a brain scan, analyze their

data and upload it securely to the app to better understand their injury. From there, the software reads the scan and offers the user insights into how they are exerting their brain, warning them when they are straining the injury. “We are always surprised at how little support patients receive between physician visits,” she says. “Once you’re diagnosed with a concussion you really are left to your own devices to try and recover.” The software was inspired by Kennedy’s father, who played in the CFL for many years. Watching him and his friends suffer from the effects of concussions fueled her passion to find a solution. “We are trying to open up the box and make concussions visible using real-time brain data to guide that recovery process,” she says, adding that the software cleans up and tracks the brain scan through an algorithm, making it simple for anyone to read and understand the results.

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The team at Bluink are trying to make it safer than ever for people to log into websites, shop online and even hop on a flight. With its eID-Me software, users create a digital version of their identity right on their phone. The app uses a range of facial recognition systems and barcode readers to digitally store a user’s driver’s license, health card and passport in the system. The app also helps users stay safe online, says CEO Steve Borza. The app can generate, store and encrypt strong passwords, automating the entire login process. The app can connect with websites such as DropBox through a one-time use code, sharing only the information needed to log into any given site. “The login process is un-phishable, there’s no middleman access … all of

“WE ARE TRYING TO OPEN


where we live

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LUNA Crêpes & Café co-owner Cigdem Gulen, with some of the March Road eatery’s tasty wares. PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON

LUNA Crêpes & Café owners forging deep community bonds

Kanata North ‘the perfect location’ for growing business

By Paula Roy

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wners Cigdem and Ammar Gulen may have taken a circuitous route to the hospitality industry, but it has been a rewarding journey for them. Since purchasing their March Road eatery, LUNA Crêpes & Café, in early 2015, the business has grown steadily. So much so, in fact, that they’ve recently opened a second location in the


spacious outdoor patio will be the next project, says Cigdem. Another hurdle which has clearly been successfully overcome, based on the cafe’s popularity all day long, was to overhaul the menu and switch from commercially prepared products to dishes now made completely from scratch. From their acclaimed sweet and savoury crêpes to waffles, panini, omelettes, house-made gelato and more, the Gulens based their offerings on what they themselves like to eat. “Serving up top-quality food is important to us because we view the café as an extension of our home,” says Cigdem. “We want to share our love of good food and offer people a happy place in which they can relax and enjoy themselves. It’s nice to see our tables and couches filled with high school students on a break, groups of parents chatting over coffee or lunch and businesspeople having informal meetings.” Perhaps their biggest challenge was to generate awareness that the business had changed ownership and was being operated in a distinctly different manner. “We knew it would be hard to change people’s prior perceptions, but we were pleasantly surprised,” she says. “People told us they saw an honest, hard-working family trying to turn the business around and they wanted to find out what we were doing here. Many of those early supporters have become cherished friends.”

“WE FEEL SO VERY GRATEFUL TO BE PART OF SUCH A WONDERFUL COMMUNITY HERE IN KANATA NORTH.” – LUNA Crêpes & Café co-owner Cigdem Gulen

A ‘WONDERFUL COMMUNITY’

Cigdem admits those new friends have been extra-important to the Gulen family in recent months, ever since Ammar started treatments for cancer. “I cannot believe how warm and

supportive our customers have been; they help us out in so many different ways when we need a hand. We feel so very grateful to be part of such a wonderful community here in Kanata North.” With the opening of their second location, the couple is happy to be able to offer additional possibilities for employment to newcomers from Turkey who have fled due to the political turmoil there. “Once Ammar completes his cancer treatments and regains his health, we would certainly consider additional locations to provide more jobs,” says Cigdem. LUNA received the 2017 Restaurant Fast Serve Award from the West Ottawa Board of Trade (now part of the Ottawa Board of Trade), an achievement that likely stems in part from the Gulen’s constant search for new inspiration. “We love going to Chelsea and Old Montreal, as they remind us of the European influences in our native Istanbul. Rather than simply following the Ottawa trends, we want to see what’s happening around the world. “We’re so pleased to be in Kanata North – it’s close to downtown but developing all the time as more restaurants, cafes, retail shops and other services open their doors,” says Cigdem. “I love that our family can eat, shop, go to school, work and live all within just a few kilometres, while also having access to safe, convenient transit, beautiful outdoor spaces, a public library and year-round recreation opportunities. It’s the perfect location for us and for LUNA.”

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Bayshore Shopping Centre. The Turkish-born couple emigrated from their homeland in 2001 and worked in the television and communications industries in Canada and the United States for several years. The decision to settle permanently in Ottawa came about when their eldest child was in grade 3. “We found it challenging to be constantly applying for U.S. work permits, plus we wanted our daughter to start French immersion in grade 4, so we decided to return to Ottawa, where we had lived briefly before,” says Cigdem. Relocating to a new city wasn’t enough for these eager entrepreneurs; they also chose to change their career paths. “We both felt it was time to do something else and knew that running a café would not just be about making money, it would be about making people happy,” she says. The fact that they were able to find the ideal location in Kanata North is something Cigdem attributes to destiny. “We live nearby; I was out for a walk one day and noticed this business for sale. I saw that this is a nice area with lots of people working and living nearby so felt it would be ideal for a café focusing on breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch.” There were several challenges that the Gulens had to overcome once they took ownership of the cafe. Changing the interior decor and furniture was perhaps one of the easier ones and they have effectively created a space that is cheerful and welcoming. They budgeted to update the premises in stages and the


TOP: The teams gather together one last time where the girls pitch their apps to a panel of judges, hoping to take the top prize. PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER FRANCIS BELOW RIGHT: Lucy Bojilova, a long time mentor at Technovation, introduced the program to Ericsson when she joined the company in 2017. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

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Kanata North tech leaders tackle industry gender gap Technovation attracts support from Ericsson, Ciena, You.i TV and others By Lisa Thibodeau

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anagers and executives from several Kanata North companies have teamed up with global tech education nonprofit Technovation in an effort to get more young women

interested in pursuing technology careers. The program invites female high school students to participate in a three-month competition while being mentored by some of the top women in Ottawa tech. Teams are tasked with planning, designing and pitching a

mobile app startup as a way to inspire and teach girls about the industry. Host companies also provide teaching material to the teams, with lectures on how to debug code as a common theme. The program was brought to Ottawa in 2015 by Jennifer Francis, a principal at Cafe Noir Consulting who also sits on

the boards of both Invest Ottawa and the Capital Angels Network. “Technovation gets girls engaged in the technology and development side in (an) ... environment that makes it easier for them to ask questions, learn to code and gets them past the view that it is only for boys,” says Francis, adding that with the support from companies including Ericsson, Ciena, You.i TV, IBM, Shopify and L-Spark nearly 700 girls in the capital have taken part in the program. Lucy Bojilova is an R&D manager at Ericsson and has been a mentor for the program since its inception. She was introduced to Technovation while working at IBM, and loved the experience so much that she brought the initiative with her to Ericsson. “We have a big pool of tech companies here in Kanata and we should be ... bringing these girls here to showcase the opportunities that exist,” she says. The well-documented underrepresentation of women in tech is something Bojilova says she has seen throughout her career, making efforts to inspire girls to pursue a career in the sector something she finds easy to become passionate about. “We are behind, but by fostering and creating excitement with programs like Technovation, we will be able to make a change,” she says. Ciena has also been a sponsor of Technovation for the last two years, hosting some of the events at its sprawling Kanata North labs. Marie Fiala, the company’s director of portfolio marketing, heard about the program from Francis and thought it was the perfect complement to the company’s diversity initiatives. “Ciena really supports women in the workplace and the promotion of careers for young girls,” she says. “We were really impressed with the program and the amount of engagement and enthusiasm the young girls have.” Fiala adds that being able to show girls that tech is a viable career path for women leaves all of those involved with an overwhelming sense of pride. She says she is looking forward to working closely with Technovation in the future, hoping to further Ciena’s involvement by joining the mentorship program and working with the groups more one-on-one.


CAV Canada puts Kanata North’s autonomous vehicle prowess on display Ford, GM and Uber among global heavyweights at growing AV summit By Elizabeth Howell

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epresentatives from some of the world’s largest auto manufacturers and technology companies descended on the Brookstreet Hotel in early September for a growing annual conference that’s helping to cement Kanata North’s global reputation as Canada’s autonomous vehicle capital. Speakers from Ford, General Motors and Uber joined Kanata-based executives from firms such as Irdeto, Flex and BlackBerry QNX to explore the rapidly developing connected and autonomous vehicle sector and shine a spotlight on the growing ecosystem in Kanata North. The region is home to an estimated 90 companies working on this next generation of vehicle technology, said Sonya Shorey, Invest Ottawa’s vicepresident of strategy, marketing and communications, in an opening speech at the two-day Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) Conference. “I’m incredibly excited to explore new partnerships with the companies today,” Shorey said.

Kanata companies are working in multiple fields of autonomous driving tech, including research, software, design, security, connectivity, sensors, I.T. solutions, wireless and mobile technologies, noted Veronica Farmer, Kanata North BIA’s director of operations. Finished cars can even be tested locally. Two years after Canada’s first on-road test of a self-driving car down Legget Drive, Kanata North tech workers recently took several autonomous pods for a spin around the Marshes Golf Club. Several speakers also praised the arrival of the Ottawa L5 test facility, a new 16-kilometre track in the city’s south end meant to run autonomous cars yearround – including Ottawa’s harsh winter climate. Tours of the facility were available to delegates, and it was such a popular choice that people were waitlisted.

AUTO MANUFACTURERS

The first day of the conference included keynotes from two companies with an Ontario presence: Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.

Ford is rapidly scaling up its Kanata presence with 100 new local hires in the last year alone and plans to lease some 40,000 square feet in a new west-end office development. Ottawa native Rahul Singh – Ford’s head of autonomous vehicle software development – outlined several trends for the local industry to consider, including opportunities for new disruptive technologies to eliminate current pain points, such as the time wasted bringing a vehicle to a garage for routine servicing. Instead of requiring the vehicle’s owner to drive the car to a servicing center, future cars could do it themselves. “Maybe do it at 3 a.m., when there’s not a lot of traffic,” he said. “Payments are automated. Then it can come back home, park itself, charge itself in the wall, maybe even give energy back to the grid.” Other panels at the conference addressed matters such as government planning and regulations, the socioeconomic impacts of CAVs, autonomous vehicle technology and business planning in the CAV era. The annual conference was cohosted by the Kanata North Business Association, Invest Ottawa and Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE). This year, it was expected to surpass its previous attendance mark of 350 attendees.

Cannabis cluster emerges in Kanata North for one of Canada’s largest pot producers, solidifying its place in the sector. Momentum Law have also been an integral player in the development of cannabis retail in the city. The law firm works closely with individuals and businesses looking to explore the retail opportunities that come with legal marijuana, helping them navigate the rules and regulations surrounding the sale of the product.

With more encrypted data passing through networks every day, Corsa Technology has a way to make it easier to locate online threats. Under new CEO Eduardo Cervantes, Corsa shifted its strategic focus to deal with

Both Martello Technologies and Ruckify experienced a surge in popularity following Bruce Linton’s public departure from Canopy Growth. The former cannabis CEO sported a Martello t-shirt during his press tour, causing the software company’s shares to skyrocket by more than 200 per cent. Linton, the co-chairman of the communications company, announced he would be spending more time at Martello, attracting substantial interest to the Kanata company. Linton’s other venture Ruckify experienced similar fanfare. The product rental service was hit by the “Bruce effect,” with several propositions from venture capitalists looking to invest. While both companies have levelled out on the market, interest still lingers as the public waits to see what Linton will do next.

more online security needs in 2019. With the company’s new firewall system, companies are able to see 100 per cent of the encrypted traffic on their network, making it faster and more efficient to scan for threats. This new approach to cybersecurity is a step forward in an otherwise decades-old approach to online security software. Traditionally, firewalls would decrypt information before processing it through the system – a technique that left gaps in high-traffic network. Corsa uses a virtual network firewall which can process information faster, remove the need for any physical hardware and can scale up as the company grows.

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The cannabis business is continuing to grow in Kanata North as Gatineau-based HEXO opens a new office in Canada’s largest tech park. The packaged marijuana goods company will be joining the likes of Tweed, a Canadian marijuana producer, which moved to the tech park in early 2018 as well as a handful of other tech park businesses paving their way in the pot industry. March Networks announced in 2018 that it would be the video surveillance provider

Corsa takes new approach to online security

‘Bruce effect’ shines light on Kanata North companies


out of office

“I WENT OUT AND WAS REALLY NERVOUS, BUT I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.” – Erin Blaskie, on climbing natural rock in Utah for the first time

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‘Carve out time in your schedule to do something you love’ Newfound passion for rockclimbing helps L-Spark’s Erin Blaskie spend time with family, beat stress By Alycia Douglass

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ork hard, play hard – right? At least, that’s been Erin Blaskie’s approach to life these days. In her 9-5 grind, Blaskie serves as

director of marketing at L-Spark, where she works with SaaS and cloud startups. When she’s not helping scale Canada’s best in SaaS, Blaskie can be found literally climbing the walls – often clocking upwards of 20 hours a week at

her local climbing gym. She was first introduced to rock climbing through her daughter, who attended not one, but two birthday parties at Altitude Gym. While Blaskie initially opted out of climbing, she

says that seeing her daughter fearlessly navigate the wall was the driving force behind her first attempt. “I saw just how much confidence she was getting from climbing, but I didn’t try it that day,” says Blaskie. “We came back for another birthday party, and some of the other parents decided to climb … so I did, too. I got on the wall and loved it.” While Blaskie is admittedly not very competitive, she says that climbing has helped her break down some of her own personal barriers. Back in May, she traveled to Utah, where she climbed on natural rock for the first time. “It was the greatest challenge I’ve encountered (in the sport) so far,” says Blaskie. “I went out and was really nervous, but I loved every minute of it. I think it furthered my addiction to the sport.” Speaking of addiction to the sport, Blaskie isn’t the only rock climber in her household. In fact, Altitude Gym has become a common family gathering place for herself, her fiance and young daughter. “It helps that this is a sport that my whole family can do,” laughs Blaskie. “We can all climb. Because it’s such an individual sport, you can literally climb next to someone on the wall and be working very different difficulties and still have a great time.” While climbing has been a good source of quality time with family, Blaskie says it’s been even better for her overall mental health. Having previously struggled with burnout and depression, she says that having a space to release everyday stresses has helped her strike a better balance. “You have to carve out time in your schedule to do something you love,” says Blaskie. “Making that a priority has really changed my life for the better. I can come to the wall, and I can leave it all on the wall.” Having stumbled into the sport by chance, Blaskie remains grateful to have found her footing in a sport she can’t get enough of. “I never in a million years thought that this would be a sport I would be into,” says Blaskie. “But now that I’m into it, I can’t imagine my life without it.”


Kanata is home to the world’s most successful technology companies • Kanata North is the largest technology park in Canada, contributing some $13 billion to Canada’s GDP • Home to 500+ businesses • Major sectors: information and communications, technology and software; emerging sectors: defence, security and aerospace, life sciences, cleantech • Global companies, major research facilities including Cisco, Ciena, Ericsson and Nokia • Canadian leaders in global markets including Mitel, Nordion and BlackBerry QNX • Startups, investors and service providers

Let us connect you to Canada’s largest technology park Eric Dupuis, FALL 2019 KANATA NETWORKER 19

Account executive 613.238.1818 x273 eric@obj.ca


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Profile for Great River Media inc.

Ottawa Business Journal October 2019  

Ottawa's authoritative source of business news, covering tech, tourism, real estate and other key economic sectors in Canada's capital.

Ottawa Business Journal October 2019  

Ottawa's authoritative source of business news, covering tech, tourism, real estate and other key economic sectors in Canada's capital.